NBA

2020 NBA free agency rumors: Gordon Hayward declines $34M player option, Knicks pursuing Celtics star

After a few weeks of negotiations between the league and the players, plans for the 2020-21 NBA season are falling into place. The draft took place on Wednesday night and free agency is set to start on Friday. Training camps will start on Dec. 1, and before we know it, opening night on Dec. 22 will be here. 

With the start of the season right around the corner, the rumor mill is starting to heat up. While there aren’t many stars available in free agency, there are some veteran role players that contenders will be interested in, and the trade market is expected to be extremely busy. Speaking of trades, the moratorium was lifted on Monday afternoon, at which point teams can finalize trades.

Ahead of what should be a fascinating week, here’s a look at some of the latest rumors in the NBA world. For an up-to-date look at every player with a player option for next season, click here:

Knicks interested in Hayward

The Knicks have been “aggressive” in their pursuit of Gordon Hayward, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. Hayward has also declined his $34.1 million player option for next season with the Celtics, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, becoming a free agent. 

Blazers in on Millsap

The Portland Trail Blazers are interested in veteran forward Paul Millsap, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Millsap has spent the past three seasons in Denver, where he helped the Nuggets make the Western Conference finals.

Hayward undecided on future

Gordon Hayward has a player option for $34.1 million for next season, but the veteran forward still has not made a decision on whether he wants to return to Boston, or test free agency, according to veteran Celtics reporter Mark Murphy. A number of teams are interested in Hayward, who has also been the subject of trade talks. 

Bulls letting Dunn, Harrison go, extend offer to Valentine

The Chicago Bulls have decided not to make a qualifying offer to Kris Dunn, according to KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, nor Shaquille Harrison, according to Wojnarowski. Chicago will, however, extend an offer to Denzel Valentine, according Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the teams with interest in the defensive-minded Dunn, who is now a free agent. 

Lopez opting out

Robin Lopez’s one-year reunion with his brother Brook in Milwaukee appears to be coming to an end. Robin has declined his $5 million player option for next season and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

Bradley drawing interest from contenders

Avery Bradley has a player option for next season, and can decide to stick with the defending champion Lakers. But if he doesn’t he’ll have no shortage of options in free agency. The Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors are among contenders interested in the veteran guard, according to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes.  

Davis officially opting out

Anthony Davis is officially opting out of the final year of his contract and will become a free agent, according to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes. This is just a formality, however, and he’s expected to re-sign with the Lakers on a long-term deal. Exactly how long of a contract he signs remains to be seen, but he won’t be leaving Los Angeles. 

Lakers interested in Matthews

If the Dennis Schroder trade is any indication, the Lakers are going to be busy over the next few weeks, and another player they’re interested in is veteran swingman Wesley Matthews, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. With Danny Green off to OKC, Matthews would be a natural fit to replace him. He can guard multiple positions, shoots the ball well from 3-point land and has plenty of experience. The Lakers are sure to face plenty of competition to sign him, however, including from Milwaukee, where Matthews played last season. 

Mavs could sign Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari is not expected to return to the Thunder, who are entering rebuilding mode. In such a weak free-agent class, he will be one of the top players available, and there will be no shortage of teams interested in bringing him aboard. One of them is the Dallas Mavericks, according to Ian Begley of SNY. Dallas had the most efficient offense in league history last season, and adding Gallinari would only make them more dangerous. His ability to space the floor alongside Luka Doncic would be a clear fit. However, signing him to a long-term deal could hinder their future free agency plans. 



 

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