The NBA offseason gets progressively less interesting as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months. There is always an initial flurry of activity, with restricted free agents getting offer sheets and unrestricted free agents pondering where to go. The draft, even though everyone knows that most of the players selected will have a marginal impact on their respective squads in the first year, also steals some headlines. But after that first burst, once the big name free agents leave town or opt to stay home, things die down.
This week, the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons agreed on a sign-and-trade for Brandon Jennings. While there is some debate regarding how good the 23-year-old actually is, there is no denying that he was the last big name available. For whatever reason, be it his attitude or his game, it took a lot longer for him to get his situation figured out than anyone thought it would. Now that it’s done, though, everyone can move on.
What’s left now are the impact bench players. You know, guys who will not start on good teams, but may play important roles on the second unit if they don’t get bogged down by injuries.
With that in mind, here is the latest buzz from around the NBA:
ESPN: "Amid their search for a young big man who could provide interior scoring, rebounding and defense, the Knicks are having discussions with free agent Ivan Johnson."
Sporting News: "Jamison said he will definitely tread more cautiously through this latest decision on his NBA future. As he did when he chose to sign a one-year veteran's minimum deal with the Lakers last summer, Jamison has suitors. The Bulls, Clippers, Grizzlies and Bobcats have all showed interest in the 37-year-old free agent, who believes he has a couple more years left of competing at a high level."
Hearing: Knicks can only offer minimum, but I'm told they're trying hard to convince free-agent PG Beno Udrih to take it and come to NYC— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 31, 2013
The Knicks also have shown interest in 7-foot-2 center Hamad Haddadi. Nothing imminent there either.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) August 1, 2013
Like I said earlier, move doesn't stop #Pistons from seeking Rondo. More of a matter they couldn't wait around to see what happens there.— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) July 31, 2013
The Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and Denver Nuggets have expressed interest in Devin Ebanks, according to sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 30, 2013
ESPN: "Another big man the Knicks had "strong interest" in, according to a player source, was Kris Humphries -- if the Celtics carried out their potential plan to buy him out. Humphries was also interested in playing for the veteran's minimum in New York. But a source familiar with Humphries said a buyout is unlikely at this point."
Of all these moves, Johnson and Udrih to New York have the potential to be the most impactful, and Rondo to Detroit is the most intriguing. Will the latter move happen? Probably not. It’s hard to see Jennings operating effectively with a ball-dominating backcourt mate who has been dubbed the most selfish past-first player in NBA history.