Free Agency Rumors
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford has declined his $4.5 million player option for next season and will become a free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, will become one of the top reserve scorers on the open market after facing Monday’s deadline to decide on his option.
“Last summer, they could have acquired Paul George. ” said Adrian Wojnarowski on the Adam Schefter podcast. “I think Paul George wanted to know, ‘if LeBron commits to some years going forward, then I might be willing to commit.’ “When LeBron wasn’t willing to commit to an extension, that told me, they could have had Paul George without losing Kyrie. That’s a very different team: Kyrie Irving, Paul George and LeBron James. “When he wasn’t ready to do that then, Cleveland was worried and rightly so.”
Josh Lewenberg: Raptors GM Bobby Webster (from his @TSN1050Radio interview this morning) on RFA Fred VanVleet: “He’s a huge priority. I don’t want to get fined here, we’re a little limited in what we can say, but we love Freddy and he knows that. He is our highest priority.”
Kanter has been coy about his future, hinting one way or another over the last few months. But his real decision-making will come after the draft June 21. After that, he says, teams will have a better idea of where they’ll stand and their interest in and need for him, so he’ll have the information needed to choose what he wants to do. “The only thing I’m doing right now is waiting for the draft,” he told The Athletic. “After the draft we’ll see what’s going to happen. Because the draft a lot of things can change, for the Knicks and for the whole league. Because people are going to leave. Waiting for LeBron to decide and everything. I’m waiting for the draft to happen and then we’ll see.”
Kanter’s preference remains to sign a long-term contract, and he’ll talk to the Knicks first before any other machinations, but he knows this summer could be a frigid one for free agents. Few teams could have enough cap room to give him the money he would pass on if he opted out. “It’s a tough summer,” he said. “It’s a very tough summer. But we’ll see, though. If the smartest thing is to opt in, I’ll opt in. If the smartest thing is to opt out, I’ll opt out. We’ll see. I’ll talk to the Knicks, too, of course.”
The Heat also could sign a minimum-type power rotation player, perhaps two, if Miami doesn’t resign Luke Babbitt or Udonis Haslem to the minimum. Power rotation players who could command mid-level type money include center Greg Monroe (has some support inside the Heat; averaged 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 26 games for Boston after a Suns buyout).