NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Will Duncan, Popovich Return?

Will Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich be back with the Spurs next season? … Mitch McGary may have a first-round promise … Cavaliers red-flagged Joel Embiid’s back?

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Check out 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.

Duncan, Popovich Expected to Return Next Season

Amid rising speculation that Duncan and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich might ultimately be moved to walk away together in the event that the team goes on to win its fifth overall championship, San Antonio’s two faces of the franchise have routinely deflected any questions about their future plans.

But sources say the Spurs, to this point, are quietly operating under the assumption that Duncan and Popovich will indeed be back next season. Both of their current contracts, along with those of fellow Spurs pillars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, expire after the 2014-15 season, provided Duncan decides to opt in.

via Marc Stein of ESPN

With the Spurs one victory away from winning the championship over the HEAT, many people have speculated that Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich may retire after this season to end their careers on top. However, Stein reports that the Spurs are expecting to have both men back for next season.

Duncan can opt out of his contract this summer to become an unrestricted free agent, or he can opt in and make $10,361,446 in the 2014-15 season. Duncan has until June 24 to notify the Spurs if he’ll opt out of his contract.

When asked about his future prior to Game 1, Duncan said he isn’t sure when he’s going to walk away from the game.

“I don’t know when I’m going to retire,” Duncan said, according to Stein’s article. “I don’t know what the factors are going to be. I don’t know any of that and I don’t care about any of that stuff right now. It will happen when it happens.”

Duncan just turned 38 years old and is currently in his 17th NBA season, while Popovich is 65 years old and in his 18th season as a head coach. Manu Ginobili, who is 37 years old, has said that he will definitely be back next season as well.

The Spurs are clearly still a championship-caliber team, so it would be a shame if Duncan and Popovich retired and ended their run prematurely.

McGary May Have a First-Round Promise

Some executives suspect that Mitch McGary has a promise from a team in the 20s. Several teams say they can’t get him in for a workout.

via Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

Mitch McGary was being projected as a fringe first-round prospect entering the pre-draft process, but now a number of executives around the league believe that he has a promise in the 20-30 range.

McGary’s decision to skip the NBA draft combine in Chicago and then refuse to work out for a number of teams seems to indicate that he could have a promise from a team in the first round.

A number of teams have tried very hard to get McGary in for a workout, but his camp isn’t budging, which has talent evaluators around the NBA wondering if he has a promise and is being asked to stay away from other teams.

McGary, who is 22 years old, played in just eight games during his sophomore season due to a back injury. He averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds.

During the NCAA Tournament, McGary tested positive for marijuana, which would have led to him being suspended for all of next season, so he entered the 2014 NBA Draft despite the fact that his stock had dropped significantly.

Cavaliers Won’t Draft Embiid After Bad Physical?

Sources tell me Joel Embiid’s physical w/ the #Cavs did not go well. Enough red flags that they won’t take him #1 overall.

via Tony Rizzo of ESPN Cleveland

Joel Embiid is obviously a very talented player who has a ton of upside, but his health is a big issue that could prevent him from being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

According to this report, the Cavaliers found some red flags while giving Embiid a physical and won’t draft him with the top overall pick as a result.

Cleveland really needs to hit a homerun with this pick, since they want to make the playoffs next season and keep Kyrie Irving content. The fact that Anthony Bennett, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, didn’t perform well in his rookie season also puts some added pressure on the Cavs to get this pick right.

If the Cavaliers feel that Embiid’s back is going to be a problem, they could decide to go with a safer pick.

This would be excellent news for Andrew Wiggins, Embiid’s teammate from Kansas, as he is viewed as the likely No. 1 pick if Embiid isn’t selected first overall.

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