HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – There are still potentially two big fish available in a shrinking free-agent summer pond. And while Sunday saw no concrete offers for either Andrew Bynum or Monta Ellis, the general sentiment is that things could change dramatically at either time for one, if not, both of them.
The Atlanta Hawks and Denver Nuggets are reportedly interested in acquiring Ellis, who can slide into a specific role in either location. The Hawks need to restock their ranks with impact players and Ellis, a legitimate 20-point scorer, could add immediate punch at shooting guard. Denver has a hole to fill where Andre Iguodala worked last season and Ellis could also be a fit there.
The market for Bynum’s services seems to have taken a familiar turn in this wild free-agent summer, and that’s to Texas, where the Dallas Mavericks are looking for a frontcourt anchor to pair with Dirk Nowitzki. They had their sights on Dwight Howard, of course, but since that didn’t work out they’ve had to work down their list. Now Bynum appears to be in their sights, though they are cautious about his knees, as any team would be at this point.
That said, some folks believe a surprise team could win the Bynum sweepstakes.
This one could get really interesting before it’s all over.
Making things even more intriguing is what will happen with incumbent Rockets center Omer Asik, who reportedly wants no part of playing behind Howard and has asked to be traded. The Rockets have no intention of trading him, according to ESPN.com, making for an extremely intriguing next few days for any team desperate for a center.
Free agency is only a week old but there are already tons of wrinkles. As for the other business that went down Sunday, here are some of the highlights:
- J.J. Hickson agreed to terms on a three-year, $15 million deal with the Denver Nuggets. There is always work for a rugged big man willing to do the dirty work Hickson did last season in Portland. The Nuggets used their full mid-level exception on Hickson.
- Carlos Delfino is joining the parade of former players returning to their roots this summer. He agreed to terms on with the Bucks a three-year deal worth $6.5 million guaranteed over the first two years with a team option in the third year. Hawks big man Zaza Pachulia is going back to Milwaukee, too.
- Ryan Hollins has agreed to terms on a one-year deal to remain with the Clippers. He played for new Clippers coach Doc Rivers in Boston (15 games during the 2011-12 season), a stretch that probably helped him with the Clippers’ senior vice president of basketball operations.
- Chris Kaman could be the answer to the Lakers’ big man problems now that Howard has vacated the premises. The sides are reportedly in talks on a potential deal, per Yahoo! Sports, but Kaman has also drawn interest from the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks.