NBA Report: Lakers, Cavs hit free agency with a sprint
JUL 01, 2013 2:10p ET
• Multiple league executives say the Los Angeles Lakers have been far and away the most aggressive team in exploring available players, even by Lakers standards. “If there’s a guy they think can help them, they’re getting his agent on the horn,” one FOX Sports Ohio source said.
• The Lakers reportedly have shown interest in everyone from center Byron Mullens (Charlotte Bobcats) to shooting guards Nick Young ( Philadelphia 76ers) and Wayne Ellington ( Cleveland Cavaliers).
• Of course, the Lakers’ priority remains center Dwight Howard. But they have several contingency plans in place should Howard opt to sign elsewhere.
• Philadelphia 76ers free-agent center Andrew Bynum was impressed with the Cavaliers during trade discussions a year ago, and is said to be very open to Cleveland and playing for Mike Brown -- Bynum’s coach for one season (2011-12) with the Lakers. However, current talks between the Cavs and Bynum have been described only as “light exploratory.”
• As first reported by FOX Sports Ohio, the Cavs are interested in forward Earl Clark (Lakers), and Clark is likewise said to be “very intrigued” with the Cavs. The sides have arranged to meet Tuesday, according to a Sporting News report.
• As of late last week, it was said free-agent center Greg Oden wants to play for the Miami Heat. Oden has also had talks with the Cavs, but a source said such a union is unlikely, as the Cavs are unwilling to guarantee money.
• The Cavs, however, would be happy to land either Darren Collison (Dallas Mavericks) or C.J. Watson (Brooklyn Nets) to back up point guard Kyrie Irving.
• Watson is believed to be nearing a deal with the Indiana Pacers, though.
• Recent reports say the Golden State Warriors are putting out feelers for All-Star big man David Lee. The Cavs are not involved in those conversations. Nor do they have an interest in Mavs shooting guard O.J. Mayo, a free agent.
• The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly have had discussions with the Mavericks about a sign-and-trade involving Mayo. Clippers backup point guard Eric Bledsoe has also been mentioned in the talks, sources said.
• The Clippers have also had direct contract with Mayo, with new coach Doc Rivers even placing a call, according to USA Today.
• Multiple sources said the Cavs came very close to getting a second draft pick at No. 5 or No. 9, with an eye on former Maryland center Alex Len (Phoenix Suns) or ex-Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore ( Sacramento Kings).
• While the Houston Rockets have put on a full-court press to try to secure Howard, they have reached no conclusions regarding current starting center Omer Asik. No decision will be made on Asik until the Howard domino falls.
• The Cavs have a strong interest in Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic, a restricted free agent. However, as of Monday morning, Pekovic’s camp had yet to hear from the Cavs.
• It is believed T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor is unwilling to match a large offer for Pekovic.
• The New Orleans Pelicans met with free-agent swingman Tyreke Evans (Kings) to tip off free agency. The Pelicans are also said to have shooting guard Kevin Martin (Oklahoma City Thunder) and swingman Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets) on their radar.
• League sources speculate guard Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs) could be an option for the Rockets later in free agency.