NBA Rumors Round-Up
NBA Rumors: Thunder Want Ben Gordon
The Thunder are interested in Ben Gordon, if he gets bought out … Spurs aren’t impressed with free agents … Andrew Bynum nearing Pacers debut?
Check out our breakdown of the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.
The Thunder is the latest team to express interest in guard Ben Gordon, source says. Gordon continues to work on a buyout w/ Bobcats.
Unlike the other teams who’d previously expressed interest in Gordon, OKC is open to a deal that would preserve BGs free agency this summer
OKC has a roster spot, but is still deliberating how best to fill it. Gordon among options, but also sentiment they may stay put at 14
If Gordon is bought out by the Bobcats, joining the Thunder would make a lot of sense. Not only would he be playing for a legitimate contender for the first time in his career, he would be able to preserve his free agency this summer, according to Shelburne.
Other teams that were expressing interest in Gordon – reportedly the Bulls, Clippers and Rockets – wanted to lock him up for the rest of the year and next year with a team option, which didn’t appeal to the 30-year-old since he wants to be a free agent this offseason. The Thunder appear willing to add him without trying to secure that second year.
After making the playoffs in four of his first five seasons in the league, Gordon has had to endure a lot of losses with the Pistons and Bobcats. Joining the Thunder would put him back on a winning team, and he would be able to help OKC as a bench scorer. It would be a low-risk, high-reward move for the Thunder, since it wouldn’t cost them much to bring Gordon in and there aren’t many other significant contributors remaining in the free agent pool.
With that said, Gordon still has to be bought out by the Bobcats to join another team. Talks have been ongoing for awhile between the two sides. Gordon must be bought out and waived tonight by midnight ET in order to be playoff eligible with his next team.
Popovich, on recently released free agents: ‘We’re not losing sleep over anybody’
Pop on new free agents: ‘R.C. [Buford] and the boys are doing their due diligence but there’s nothing there we’re super excited about’
The Spurs had been linked to Danny Granger and Caron Butler, but lost out to the Clippers and Thunder. They were reportedly interested in Antawn Jamison as well, but it sounds like they aren’t aggressively pursuing anyone, judging from Popovich’s quotes.
San Antonio let Shannon Brown walk as an unrestricted free agent when his 10-day contract expired because they were hoping to add a bought out veteran who could help them win now.
Granger or Butler would’ve been perfect for the Spurs, giving them another veteran contributor and depth at small forward since Kawhi Leonard and Austin Daye are the only threes on the roster.
It’s still possible that San Antonio adds someone before the end of the season. Having the open roster spot gives them some flexibility moving forward.
Andrew Bynum practiced three-on-three Thursday, and Vogel said he was optimistic the 7-foot center would be ready to play soon. Soon doesn’t mean a week from now, the coach said.
“The goal is to get him to the point where he’s able to play every night,” Vogel said. “We don’t want him to play one game and sit three games.”
“We know what we can expect from him when he’s healthy and in shape. He’s one of the best centers in the NBA,” Vogel said. “We’ve seen flashes of that in practice that he’s shown here.”
Andrew Bynum signed with the Pacers on Feb. 1, and he has yet to make his debut with the club one month later. That’s because the team is understandably taking things slow with Bynum to ensure that he’s healthy and capable of consistently contributing during their postseason run.
Indiana has one of the deepest frontcourts in the league with Roy Hibbert, David West, Luis Scola, Lavoy Allen, Ian Mahinmi and Bynum. Because they have so many frontcourt weapons, they don’t need to rush Bynum into playing sooner than necessary.
Vogel mentioned that Bynum has shown flashes in practice, and he did the same early in the season with the Cavaliers. Remember, prior to being suspended from the team, he had a few nice games including a 20-point, 10-rebound, five-block performance against Chicago in late November and a 20-point, 13-rebound game several nights later against Atlanta.
Nobody is expecting Bynum to return to his All-NBA form, but if he can provide solid minutes behind Hibbert in the playoffs, Indiana will be a much scarier team.
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