Pekovic has been the top free agent on the market for quite some time now, and the latest suggestion is that he is simply ensuring that the four-year, $50 million offer that is reportedly on the table from the Minnesota TImberwolves is the best offer that he is going to get. It probably is, but until he signs it, Niko-watch remains in full effect. With the amnesty deadline now past, unless a new team can free up substantial cap space, Pekovic will likely re-sign in Minneapolis. His agent, Jeff Schwartz, can made a counteroffer. Schwartz also reps Kevin Love. Owner Glen Taylor is optimistic a deal will get done.
According to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, the Bucks’ well-chronicled pursuit of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague was never really about Jennings, it was about cost. Jennings reportedly asked the Bucks for $12 million per year, while the Bucks offered Teague only $8 million. Now, the two are locked in a stalemate that could result in Jennings being signed-and-trade to the Pistons as much as it can result in him accepting the one-year qualifying offer and hitting free agency again next season. Who knows? Maybe he will end up on the Los Angeles Lakers with Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.
Like Pekovic, Henderson is a restricted free agent who is looking to ensure that he accepts the best deal. Coach Steve Clifford told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that he sees bringing Henderson back as one of the team’s priorities heading into the late summer, but at this point, Henderson’s accepting the one-year qualifying offer is a distinct possibility if the sides cannot come to terms on an agreement. As a restricted free agent whose productivity seems to have gone unnoticed, Henderson’s odds of receiving a lucrative offer seem close to nil.
Although it would make some sense for the Jazz to bring back Mo Williams, no deal is imminent. Earlier this month, Williams was linked to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks recently re-signed Jeff Teague and could use Williams to add to its backcourt depth, although he and Lou Williams might be superfluous. Williams is said to be considering taking less money to join a contending team. A reunion with LeBron James may not be out of the question, but neither would Williams heading to Oklahoma City, San Antonio or Chicago. If he is willing to lower his salary demands, plenty of teams would have him.
5. Mike Miller (Small Forward, Miami Heat)
Like Metta World Peace, Miller’s time as a free agent may be very short-lived. Thunder general manager Sam Presti had a sit-down with Miller and his representatives Friday. It is said that the Thunder are the front-runners for Miller, with Memphis also in the mix. The demand for his talent is all due to his performance in the past two NBA Finals. After averaging just 4.8 points in just 15 minutes during the regular season, Miller played heavy minutes in the Finals and shot 11-of-18 from behind the 3-point line in the series. JULY 20 UPDATE: Denver Nuggets are now in the picture, too, and the Houston Rockets have extended an offer, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
6. Greg Oden (Center, Unrestricted Free Agent)
Oden managed to play just 82 games over the first five years of his career. After sitting out the entire 2012-13 season, he apparently wants back, and there are a number of teams willing to give him an opportunity. The New Orleans Pelicans are prepared to pay him $3 million this season, and may offer a second year as well. Meanwhile the Dallas Mavericks—who are offering less money—are amongst the other teams courting him as well. His immense potential and relatively young age of 25 have created a market for Oden. The risk-reward is quite high, but only if Oden’s three microfracture knee surgeries are truly a thing of the past.
Despite putting together an impressive run with the Chicago Bulls in last season’s playoffs, Robinson has not received the lucrative, multiyear contract he was hoping for. The New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets are among the teams that have knocked on his door, but the latest news suggests that the Washington Wizards are the team angling for Robinson’s services. If Nate the Great keeps on signing babies, though, his stock may not recover. Seen at Vegas Summer League spaking with various team execs.
8. Gary Neal [R] (Shooting Guard, San Antonio Spurs)
All is quiet on the Neal front. The Spurs would surely like to keep him, but procured insurance, Marco Belinelli, in the event that Neal—still a restricted free agent—receives an offer that is too rich for the Spurs to match. The Spurs committed $36 million to re-signing Tiago Splitter and may not have much more to spend, especially considering the inevitable extension that will be doled out to Kawhi Leonard.
9. Beno Udrih (Point Guard, Orlando Magic)
Last season, Udrih earned a whopping $7.3 million. Whether or not he is willing to take a substantial pay cut may have something to do with him remaining on the open market. He is not one of the sexier point guards available, but the 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists he averaged over the final nine games of the season for the Magic means something. And no, it is not an aberration. He has been a solid point guard since he was a member of the Sacramento Kings many moons ago.
After his childhood friend Metta World Peace signed with the New York Knicks, the hope here is that Odom, another New York City native, follows suit. The Knicks need another big. The Lakers would like him back, but aside from them, there does not seem to be much of a market for Odom. His athleticism has waned, but he can still pass and handle the rock.