NBA free agency rumors roundup: Wizards working on John Wall extension, Kendall Marshall on trading block
We're just about done with NBA free agency, as the majority of worthy players have found their new homes. But there are still rotation spots to be filled, and as Tuesday's news shows, there are still moves to be made, if not big signings: the Washington Wizards are interested in ensuring John Wall stays safely in Washington, the Toronto Raptors are making sure their salary situation remains tenable and the Phoenix Suns are hoping to create some value from a draft pick gone bad.
Here are Tuesday morning's NBA rumors for you to enjoy:
The Wizards know that 2010 first overall selection John Wall is the franchise, and they're willing to put their money where their mouth is and begin negotiations with the talented 22-year-old on a long-term deal. His rookie contract extends though next year, but Washington would apparently like to avoid the awkwardness that comes with soon-to-expire contracts and make sure Wall knows he's wanted. What people have forgotten behind some truly awful Wizards teams is that Wall is quite, quite good -- he averaged 18.5 points and 7.6 assists last year, spectacular numbers for a third-year player. Although the Wizards finished well out of the playoffs, they were a respectable 24-25 after Wall's return from injury, and that only because they ended the season on a six-game losing streak. With Bradley Beal and now No. 3 pick Otto Porter in the fold, the Wizards are building around the future, and it could be a bright one.
The Phoenix Suns are apparently interested in dealing Kendall Marshall, the No. 13 pick out of North Carolina just a year ago. According to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, the Suns see new acquisition Eric Bledsoe as their No. 1 point guard, and Goran Dragic as their backup, leaving Marshall as the No. 3 option. The 21-year-old didn't look particularly strong in his rookie year, averaging just 3.0 points and 3.0 assists in sparing minutes, and the Suns would like to make a move to prevent a first-round selection from becoming nothing more than a deep bench player in just over a year. That pick was made by then-GM Lance Blanks: now, Ryan McDonough, a hot young executive brought in from the Boston Celtics organization, is running the show.
Yesterday we wrote that the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs were the two main teams interested in bringing in Greg Oden, the former No. 1 pick whose career has been derailed by injury problems. Tack on two more: the Mavericks met with Oden Monday night, per Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, and the Kings and Pelicans are also in the mix, per Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld. All these teams would be taking a flyer on big man depth that may never be able to contribute, as Oden hasn't played in an NBA game since 2010. But if the Ohio State product finally feels ready to resume an unfortunately curtailed career, there's no denying the talent that was once there.
As the Rockets shed payroll, new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, formerly Daryl Morey's understudy, was more than glad to pick up players he had his eye on while with Houston. James Anderson, a 2010 first-round pick of the San Antonio Spurs, never really became a factor with the Spurs, and played 29 games last season with the Rockets. His strength is hypothetically his shooting, although the 6'6 wing has only shot 33.3 percent for his career. Tim Ohlbrecht is a bit of a project, a 6'11 German center who has dominated in various Eurobasket competitions as well as his one season in the D-League, but his NBA resume consists of just three games with Houston last year. Hinkie doesn't yet have a coach, but the analytics-based executive is making sure that new coach has players with the Hinkie seal of approval.
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