As the All-Star break and trade deadline approaches, there are plenty of ongoing rumors in the NBA today related to potential trades, signings and retirements. It is an exciting time to be a fan since teams are more likely to take risks around this period than any other time of the year in hopes of making a strong run in the postseason. By now, most teams are well aware of expectations for the rest of the season.
The stronger teams are already aiming to recruit some buyout targets, as well as useful players on the trade block. As for the teams headed to the lottery, it is that time of the year where they shift all their efforts into developing their younger prospects, knowing that wins aren't very important at the moment. Plenty of reports appear every week, some of which come from reputable sources such as ESPN and Yahoo, which is why we can't take them lightly.
But of course rumors may not always come to fruition as deals tend to fall through during negotiations, sometimes at the very last minute. It is for the best if these rumors turn out to be false if you happen to be a neutral fan of the league as they may not be greatly received by fans. On the other hand, some reports circulating instill hope that the NBA is headed towards being more competitive in the near future. Here are 10 current NBA rumors we hope aren't true and 10 we hope are:
Kyrie Irving has voiced his frustration a number of times early into the season. With the season halfway over, Irving remains upset with the Boston Celtics' performances as the team sits in 5th position of the Eastern Conference, which will make it a challenging road in the postseason. Many reports have linked Irving with a move away from the Celtics in free agency, and the New York Knicks could be a potential destination. Given the Knicks' weak roster at the moment, we hope that Irving re-signs with the Celtics as they a much more talented roster going forward, as well as better management to deal with.
Markelle Fultz only appeared in 14 games in his rookie year where he struggled to live up to expectations. This season, he appeared in 19 games for the Philadelphia 76ers before the two sides came to an agreement that put him out of action. He was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, which apparently affected his overall play, but very little else has been provided by the team. Fultz was said to be aiming for a move away from the 76ers, and it would certainly be in his best interest to change scenery by joining a different team that would allow him to properly develop.
As of now, all signs point to Klay Thompson re-signing with the Golden State Warriors in the offseason. Fans of the team are understandably thrilled about the news since that would put the Warriors in a great position to remain the team to beat in the NBA. But we hope that Thompson chooses to begin a new venture as it would be interesting to see how he fares with a bigger role on a different team. Some fans believe that Thompson highly benefits from playing next to Stephen Curry, while others view him as a true All-Star who would succeed on any NBA team.
The Toronto Raptors have been leading the Eastern Conference for the majority of the season, but they have many flaws that may affect their play come Playoff time. They have a top ten player in Kawhi Leonard, as well as an All-Star in Kyle Lowry, but the latter will be turning 33 years old this March and has displayed signs of regression as a scorer. With the Washington Wizards reportedly making Bradley Beal available in trade talks, rumors have speculated that the Raptors are interested in adding him to the mix. Bradley would be a tremendous addition to the team on a friendly contract, while the Wizards can start the rebuild process from now.
Dirk Nowitzki made his season debut in mid-December after having been out of action for a few months. It hasn't been an ideal start for the 13 time NBA All-Star who is struggling on both ends of the court in his worst season ever thus far. Nowitzki is averaging career lows across the board and his role is likely to be decreased in the upcoming months, which only led to further speculation regarding his retirement after this season. It would be a shame to see an all-time great go out this way, and we hope that Nowitzki will give it one more shot in hopes of getting back on track.
Kevin Love has only appeared in four games this season before being sidelined with an injury, and now he is gearing up for a return in the next month. If Love returns prior to the trade deadline, there is a chance that the Cleveland Cavaliers will ship him out, although it is much more likely that they wait until the summer to do so. By then, Love would have had a few months to get his groove back and rebuild his value, allowing the Cavs to get some assets in return. It's for the best if Love gets traded since he would get a chance to play for another winning team before his career comes to an end.
Khris Middleton has an important summer coming up as he will be an unrestricted free agent. Some reports are already claiming that Middleton may be looking to leave the Milwaukee Bucks, especially if they don't meet his contract demands. Since many teams have the cap space to sign him, it is possible that Middleton will join the highest bidder after all. But we hope that he will also prioritize winning in the future as he has formed a great duo alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and the future may be bright for the young Bucks. We hope that the two sides will find an agreement in the summer since it would be the best possible scenario.
At the end of December, it was announced that John Wall would undergo a season-ending heel surgery, which essentially meant that the Washington Wizards couldn't trade him this season. Prior to the injury, Wall had been placed on the trading block as the Wizards appeared ready to move on from his era into a new one. But that will have to wait until summer at least when the Wizards may begin shopping Wall around once again. It is best for both sides involved to move into a different direction as the current core ran its course, and much needed changes have to take place.
Next season, the Memphis Grizzlies may start the year without Marc Gasol for the first time in over a decade. He has already surfaced in trade rumors in the past month, although now it has become more realistic with the Memphis Grizzlies falling out of the Playoffs picture. But even if the Grizzlies opt to keep him, Gasol could end up leaving for nothing via free agency in the summer. Given how much he has meant for the franchise, we hope that the two sides aren't headed for a break up as the Grizzlies could still return to form with some tweaks in the offseason.
Pau Gasol is averaging career lows in nearly every statistical category, as it is evident that he is a bench player at this point of his career. But that doesn't indicate that Gasol should retire as he could still be useful off the bench. He has been averaging about five points per game and over five rebounds in under 16 minutes, while shooting close to 50% from the field. Last summer, Gasol revealed his wish to continue his journey, believing that he still has three or four more seasons in him. As one of the best international players of all-time, Gasol has been good enough throughout his career to retire when he wishes to do so.
With Luka Doncic having a brilliant rookie campaign, it has made Dennis Smith Jr. expandable as far as the Dallas Mavericks are concerned. The team believes that Smith isn't a great fit next to Doncic, and needs the ball in his hands to be effective. With the Mavs intending to rightfully build around Doncic, that has left Smith out of the equation with many league executives reporting that a trade could be in the works. And while the Mavs' concerns are justified, they may be giving up on Smith too soon as he is still an impressive player who could adjust his game to make it work.
The time has come for Vince Carter to call it a career. He has been a bench warmer for the past few years, and it isn't doing his legacy any favors. If he had been playing for a contender, then it would be an understandable move, but seeing as how Carter has signed with the worst teams in the league - it makes little sense for him to carry on. Next year, he will likely see even less minutes as his abilities continue to diminish. It would be sad to see the man once known as Half-Man, Half-Amazing looking like a complete shell of himself.
The San Antonio Spurs have a tough task on their hands. Despite having two All-Star players in LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, they aren't viewed as a potential contender in the present or the near future. They happen to be among the best mid-range shooters in the game, although the NBA has changed plenty in recent years with emphasis on three-point shooting. Recent rumors have indicated that Aldridge could be on the way out from San Antonio by next summer, unless they happen to overachieve in the playoffs. And while the Spurs' concerns regarding their stars' fit is understandable, it wouldn't be the wisest move to trade Aldridge right now.
The Jimmy Butler era in Philadelphia has already had its ups and downs. Regardless of how the regular season plays out, Butler's future is likely to be determined by the postseason. He has already clashed with his head coach as Butler had grown frustrated with the offensive system in place. Since he wants to be the number one option, Butler would be better off going to a different team. For instance, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could both grant him that role - two sides that were reportedly on Butler's wishlist when he requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Carmelo Anthony hasn't been on an NBA court since November 8, 2018 when he played against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. He struggled throughout the game as the Houston Rockets were in a drought, and that eventually led to a fallout between the two sides. Anthony continues waiting for a call from another NBA team, as he hopes to resume his career. But he isn't willing to take on just any role as he wants to be featured on the offensive end, while getting consistent minutes. And if Anthony isn't recruited as a starter in the near future, then retirement may be his next option which would be unfortunate.
Unless you are a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, then it is likely that you want Kawhi Leonard to end up anywhere but alongside LeBron James. Since last summer, it's been said that Leonard is targeting a move to his hometown, but as time went by, media members began claiming that Leonard preferred playing for the Clippers over the Lakers. But that's not to leave the Toronto Raptors outside of the equation since they are still in the mix to re-sign Leonard. It would be for the best if one of the Raptors or Clippers signed Leonard to a lengthy deal.
The Charlotte Hornets have had many years to build a decent team around Kemba Walker and they have failed to do so. They might return to the playoffs this year although their stay is most likely going to be a short one, as the Hornets aren't quite as talented as the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Walker has given it his all in past years but it is now time for him to move on, otherwise he will be stuck on a treadmill team for many more years to come. Unfortunately for the Hornets, that means they would have to go on yet another rebuild.
Tobias Harris has been nothing short of brilliant for the Los Angeles Clippers as the team has exceeded all expectations for the 2018-19 season. After having bounced around the league a few times, Harris has finally found a home with the Clippers where he is putting up career highs in points, rebounds, and field goal percentage. And while he will certainly be pursued by a number of teams in free agency, all signs indicate that Harris will remain a Clipper beyond this year. It would be a wise decision for both sides since Harris is the perfect fit on the current Clippers team.
With every passing month, it seems more likely that Anthony Davis will be leaving the New Orleans Pelicans in the future. Set to be a free agent in 2020, Davis has indicated that he will value winning above all, which isn't exactly great news for the Pelicans. It's been a disappointing year for the team as they sit outside of the playoff picture as of now. Davis has also been linked plenty with the Los Angeles Lakers as there might be some interest on his side as well. His exit would be disappointing since it is better for Davis to lead his own team, but only time will tell if the Pelicans can retain him.
Since Draymond Green clashed with Kevin Durant earlier this season, rumors have only increased about the latter's future with Golden State Warriors. It had been speculated since the summer that he would likely be moving on to a different team once he becomes a free agent, but the incident with Green may have sealed the deal. Not only would it be great to see Durant lead his own team once again, but the league would highly benefit from his departure. There wouldn't be a stand out favorite among the rest, creating more excitement and unpredictability for the next few years.