The Carmelo Anthony free agency tour made its stops in Texas on Wednesday, providing the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks a stage to make their best pitches to the high-scoring forward. USA Today's Sam Amick says the Rockets are already pleased with how their meeting went, while the Mavs are scheduled to see him at night.
Coming a day after Anthony's lengthy meeting with the Chicago Bulls, the stops in Texas essentially round out the top suitors for the player. He will also meet with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday and presumably talk with the New York Knicks at some point in the future, but it's more than likely Anthony will head to Texas or Chicago if he leaves NYC.
As Amick passes on from the Houston Chronicle, Anthony met with Rockets executives for roughly 4.5 hours Wednesday afternoon. The meeting also included coach Kevin McHale, Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler and a pair of prospective teammates, Dwight Howard and James Harden.
It's unclear which way Anthony is leaning at this point, but leaving the Knicks and a whole bunch of money on the table seems like a real possibility. If that's the case and he goes for the rings, heading to Houston or Chicago would seem most reasonable.
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LeBron has the power to halt free agency
Why has there been a lack of movement in free agency? Blame LeBron James, or maybe look to his example as a way star players can exercise their power.
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Gasol could be the kind of intriguing move that puts OKC over the top, giving the team a veteran post scorer unlike anything it's had in recent years. The team's stars seem to agree, as ESPN.com's Marc Stein says Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook visited Gasol in Los Angeles on Wednesday to personally sell him on joining forces.
Other teams aren't backing off yet, though, with the Bulls and Spurs at the top of the list. Stein says Chicago's "rising interest" in Gasol reflects worry that 'Melo might not want to go there, while the Spurs appeal because of Gregg Popovich and the roster's international flavor.
Cavs may not offer Gordon Hayward max deal because they expect Jazz to match
The Cleveland Cavaliers may hold off from offering restricted free agent Gordon Hayward a max-level contract because they expect the Utah Jazz to match any offer, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. He says that concern is "strongly discouraging" the Cavs from making a more aggressive run.
Hayward, a 24-year-old swingman who offers potential on both sides of the court, could be an intriguing fit in Cleveland as the team builds around Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins. His ability to contribute immediately would be an obvious plus, and at his age, there's the possibility that he could take another step from here.
That potential could also be why he ends up sticking in Utah, though, because the Jazz certainly like Hayward. They've offered him contract extensions in the past, and while none of them matched the max figures being rumored as part of a possible Cavs offer sheet, it wouldn't be surprising if the two sides eventually bridged the gap.
It's not clear why Cleveland wouldn't offer the deal simply because it might get matched, but that's the rumor.
Pacers reach out to Rodney Stuckey, no meeting scheduled
The Indiana Pacers reached out to free agent guard Rodney Stuckey this week, but no meeting has been scheduled between the two sides, according to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star.
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Coming on the heels of the team signing C.J. Miles to a four-year, $18 million contract on Wednesday, news like this makes it increasingly hard to project the Pacers' plan with Lance Stephenson. He reportedly rejected a $44 million contract offer from the team recently and could up leaving via restricted free agency.
With Miles already eating up a portion of Indiana's available payroll, fitting Stephenson in would already be a challenge. If the Pacers do ultimately continue pursuing someone like Stuckey, it could be a clear sign that they're preparing to move on from their starting shooting guard.
Wizards meet with Thabo Sefolosha
The Washington Wizards met with free agent swingman Thabo Sefolosha on Wednesday, "but no offer was made and there isn't much to offer," reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Sefolosha doesn't make a ton of sense for the Wizards, particularly as they continue to pursue free agent Trevor Ariza. Most likely, he's a back-up option if talks fall apart with Ariza, as the Wizards also have Otto Porter and Martell Webster to fill out the depth chart next season, though the latter may be sidelined early after undergoing back surgery.
Assuming Washington does bring back Ariza, which appears to be the plan, then there's not a whole lot of room for what Sefolosha offers. Last season with the Thunder, he was pretty rough, averaging 6.3 points per game on 42 percent shooting, and while defense is his calling card, he's not nearly as useful when he's not an effective spot-up shooter.