Here’s a glimpse into some juicy murmurs circling the NBA:
He said, he said: LeBron James is denying reports that he told former free agent and soon-to-be Houston Rocket Trevor Ariza that he was staying in Cleveland beyond next summer, when James becomes a free agent himself. Back-and-forth aside, Ariza could still pull a Turkoglu and sign with the Cavs tomorrow, when free agents can officially sign with their new teams. Regardless, Ariza stands to gain a boost in minutes, especially if he ends up in Houston, where Artest’s absence leaves a big hole for him to fill. Throw in the possible absence of Yao Ming for the season and Ariza’s potential for a breakout season is even more sexy. On the Cavaliers, Ariza’s value would only see a modest boost, since he plays the same position as James and would be competing for shots with the King and Mo Williams, not to mention Shaquille O’Neal.
- It seems like there is more and more reason to believe Grant Hill will be leaving the Phoenix Suns and sign on with the Boston Celtics. First off, if he does sign with the Celtics, they would have a lineup filled with big names: Hill, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace? It reads like an All-Star lineup a few years ago. But, as everyone knows, all of these players, save Pierce, are seeing age and mileage catching up to them, muting their production. Still, Hill would provide the Celtics a solid, dynamic sixth man. His value would decline on the Celtics, where he would likely see around 20 minutes per night. Hill is still being sought after by the New York Knicks where his value would be higher than it would be on the Celtics, and the Suns, so this is far from done.
- Once upon a time, Shawn Marion was a perennial top three fantasy basketball player. Then he got selfish and whiny and went to the Miami Heat and then to the Toronto Raptors and his value hasn’t recovered since. Now there are reports that the Dallas Mavericks are trying to engineer a sign-and-trade involving a Jerry Stackhouse buyout. There are a few ways this could go down, but Marion stands to benefit either way. Playing alongside a distributor like Jason Kidd and a star like Dirk Nowitzki should boost Marion’s scoring and rebounds per night.