December 5, 2023

With the free agency now only about 24 hours away, the NBA rumors have already caught on. Before the event officially begins (Thursday at 6 p.m. ET), here’s a look at some of the latest information from around the league, including some notes on the futures of Damien Lillard, Dejaunt Murray and Victor Oladipo.

Lillard Big Extension Blazers

The Trail Blazers went into full tank mode last season, but that was only a short-term solution to some of the team’s problems – most notably the abdominal surgery by Damien Lillard. Now, with Lillard healthy again, the Blazers hope to reshape their roster and return to the playoffs.

Of course, trying to win isn’t the only way to keep Lillard happy. In addition, the Blazers are set to extend it for two years worth more than $100 million, According to Jake Fisher. Lillard is currently in the middle of a four-year deal that runs through 2025 (with a player option for the final season). If he signs that two-year extension, it will keep him in Portland until 2027.

Barring a trade request at some point over the next few seasons – something Lillard wasn’t interested in paying for up until this point – this extension will likely ensure he ends his career with the Blazers. He will turn 37 in the summer of 2027.

Building momentum towards Tottenham trading with Murray

Will the San Antonio Spurs really consider trading Degonte Murray? The answer seems to be yes. Momentum is building towards a trade involving the All-Star goalkeeper, According to Mark Steinwith the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves among the teams interested.

Rumors about Murray’s trade first started circulating earlier this month. In particular, there have been reports of a possible deal with the Hawks involving John Collins. It was hard to know how much stock to put in it, however, given that Murray is 25 years old, he just made an All-Star game for the first time in his career, and he looks like a key piece in rebuilding the franchise.

All of these factors will make the price tag very high, but it appears that Tottenham are open to doing business. The logic would likely be twofold: they could get an absolute stake for Murray given his age, contract and ability, and he would be set up to join the Victor Wimpanyama lottery. The 7-foot-2, 18-year-old Frenchman appears to be a talent of a generation and is expected to be the number one pick in the 2023 NBA draft.

Oladipo Heat will probably leave

Victor Oladipo underwent another surgery on his quadriceps tendon in May of 2021, and missed most of last season while undergoing rehab. He finally returned in March, but played sparingly until the end of the regular season. While he had more minutes in the playoffs, as the Heat went to the Eastern Conference Finals, his playing time was still understandably choppy.

Although it was clearly not the player who got injured – Olipo fired 36.8 per cent from the field in the playoffs – he had his moments. He scored 40 points in the Heat’s regular season final, and had an impact on the defensive end, especially in the ECF against the Celtics.

As a result, Oladipo is expected to have many suitors when he arrives at free agency this summer. Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons are among the interested teams, according to Jake Fisher. Oladipo is not expected to return to competition.

Magic will not submit a qualifying bid to Bamba

It looks like Mo Bamba’s tenure with the Orlando Magic is over. Despite Bamba’s exit from the best season of his career, the team is not expected to make a qualifying bid for the big man, which would make him an unfettered free agent this summer, According to Khoubi Price.

Bamba, ranked No. 6 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, hasn’t lived up to expectations yet. However, he seemed to figure out a few things last season and made 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 cuts per game, while shooting 38.1 percent from a 3-point ground — all career marks.

Even if he’s not a superstar, Bamba still has the potential to be a productive player and is only 24 years old. It’s no surprise, then, that he has so much interest throughout the league. The Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves all have registered interests by price.

Mavericks won’t give up Bronson’s signing and trading

Late Tuesday night, the New York Knicks pulled another deal with the Detroit Pistons. This time around, they sent Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to Detroit along with two future second-round picks and $6 million in cash in order to make more room for their pursuit of Jalen Brunson.

That deal, along with their overnight move to part with Kimba Walker’s contract, means the Knicks now have about $30 million in cover space this summer. That would be more than enough to sign Bronson to a four-year deal worth around $110 million, and they are now considered to be his signature favourite.

As they emptied the required room, the Mavericks’ hopes of saving Mark and Tadawul from the situation seemed to be gone. However, the Mavs did not lose hope in this possibility, Per Tim Katto. Whether they will be able to do so remains to be seen now that the Knicks have all the clout, but it would be much better than letting Bronson walk for nothing.

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