Kyle Lowry could be the first major free agent off the board if the Toronto Raptors have it their way. The Raptors are aggressively targeting the point guard with a contract that could pay him as much as $12 million annually, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Local reports have also confirmed the mutual interest from both sides in getting a deal done. Sportsnet's Michael Grange reported one Western Conference GM saying "They're bidding against themselves a little bit."
Toronto will have some competition. The Heat are looking to sign some new top notch free agent talent with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh opting out to help Miami get better cap space, and Lowry should be on their list.
But if you're Lowry how could you not want to listen to what Heat have to say? Miami can't compete money-wise w/Raps but gotta hear 'em out— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2014
Rockets' Morey expects Parson's return, but others will make offers
Houston's Daryl Morey believes Chandler Parsons will return to the Rockets' roster despite passing on picking up their option on his contract. Parsons is expected offers from Charlotte, the Lakers, Chicago, Dallas, Minnesota and others, the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigan reports.
The 25-year-old averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and four assists per game last season, all of which were career-highs. Parsons is in line for a big raise whether it's from the Rockets or another team. The former second round draft pick made only $926,000 last season, according to Mark Deeks at Sham Sports.
Vince Carter expected to draw suitors from contenders
At the ripe age of 37 years old, Vince Carter should still draw interest from a handful of playoff teams interested in scoring off the bench. These teams include Miami, Oklahoma City, Portland and Toronto, a source told ESPN's Tim MacMahon. He also reported that there's strong mutual interest in Carter's return to Dallas.
Carter averaged 11.9 points per game on 40.7 shooting last season for the Mavericks, and shot just a tick under 40 percent from three-point range. He provided one of the most memorable moments of the first round when he hit a three-pointer to defeat the eventual champion Spurs in Game 3.
Wizards to meet with Trevor Ariza in Los Angeles on first day of free agency
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports says Wizards coach Randy Wittman and vice president of player programs Ed Tapscott are scheduled to meet with their free agent small forward on the morning of free agency's commencement. Ariza's perimeter defense and outside shooting were vital for a Washington team that reached the second round of the playoffs.
Ariza turned 29 on Monday, a day before the start of free agency. He averaged 14.4 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting, and also added 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per night. Ariza's most memorable effort of the season came in Game 4 of the first round series against the Chicago Bulls, when he drained six three-pointers on the way to a 30-point scoring effort.
Evan Turner becomes unrestricted free agent after Pacers don't give qualifying offer
In the interest of creating more cap space, the Indiana Pacers have declined to extend an $8.7 million qualifying offer to small forward Evan Turner, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. Turner, who joined the team via trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, averaged 7.1 points per game on 41.1 percent field goal shooting as a Pacer. Indiana also is clearly more concerned about retaining free agent Lance Stephenson, who should garner a lot more attention in free agency.
Jordan Crawford also becomes unrestricted free agent without qualifying offer
The Warriors did not extend a qualifying offer of about $3.2 million to swingman Jordan Crawford. Crawford, now an unrestricted free agent, will be able to choose his next team from whatever list of suitors he draws.