With NBA free agency upon us, here’s a look at the latest intel HoopsHype has gathered.
* The Charlotte Hornets are expected to make a push to land Gordon Hayward in free agency, league sources told HoopsHype. Hayward signed an offer sheet with Charlotte in 2014 when he was a restricted free agent, which was matched by the Utah Jazz.
Charlotte enters free agency with $19.4 million in cap space and would likely need to facilitate a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics and possibly a third team to land Hayward. The Hornets have several trade candidates, as noted in a recent HoopsHype story, including Cody Zeller and Nicolas Batum, who are both entering the final season of their contracts. Terry Rozier also drew trade interest from the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Sports Illustrated.
* The Hornets are also expected to be in the market for a free agent center addition, with Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez both hitting the open market.
* If Hayward leaves Boston, it could open the door for a sign-and-trade possibility for Danilo Gallinari, who’s one of HoopsHype’s top-ranked free agents this offseason. He’s also expected to draw significant interest from the Atlanta Hawks and other teams.
* The Los Angeles Lakers will be first in line to speak with two of their free agents Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley when free agency opens, league sources told HoopsHype. Both players are also expected to draw interest from several contenders as well. Howard has reportedly been linked to the Golden State Warriors, and Bradley has been linked to the Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks thus far.
The Lakers and Jared Dudley also have a mutual interest in a return, league sources told HoopsHype.
* The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to show interest in free agent center Aron Baynes, league sources told HoopsHype. Baynes and new Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy spent two seasons together previously with the Detroit Pistons. Baynes, who will be 34 when the season starts, could be a potential replacement for Derrick Favors, who is also a free agent.
* There’s mutual interest between free agent Kent Bazemore and the Sacramento Kings on a return. The 31-year-old swingman averaged 10.3 points, shot 38.4 percent from downtown, and grabbed 4.9 rebounds while playing 23.1 minutes per game off the bench for the Kings. Bazemore is also expected to speak with multiple teams once free agency opens.
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