The NBA has seen a lot of player movement in the first 10 days of free agency, and more changes are on the horizon. Even after the likes of Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade decided to switch teams, more stars could be on the move as the summer moves along.
Though it was mostly expected, Tim Duncan announced on Monday that he won’t be returning to the San Antonio Spurs for the 2016-17 season. Duncan, perhaps the game's greatest power forward, is retiring after spending 19 seasons with the same franchise. He ends his career with five championships, two MVP awards, three NBA Finals MVP’s and 15 All-Star selections.
San Antonio has been prepared for Duncan’s impending departure. While his retirement leaves a hole in the Spurs’ roster, the team has already signed big man Pau Gasol. The addition of Gasol will make up for the loss of Duncan, who saw less playing time last season than ever before, though he still started 60 games and averaged 25.2 minutes per contest. Playing most of his career at power forward, Duncan started at center last season with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard also in the frontcourt.
Duncan, known for his relaxed demeanor and private behavior, seems destined to spend his retirements outside the limelight. It wouldn't be surprising if Duncan aids head coach Gregg Popovich tutoring some of the Spurs big men, but more than likely he will spend his retirement days away from any basketball-related activities.
Rudy Gay wouldn’t fill a need for San Antonio, but the forward is reportedly available. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported last week that the Sacramento Kings are looking to move Gay, guard Ben McLemore and center Kosta Koufos.
The Chicago Bulls have reportedly discussed a potential deal with the Kings in regards to Gay. The Bulls have made major roster moves this summer, signing Rajon Rondo and Wade. Chicago traded Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks and let both Gasol and Joakim Noah walk as free agents.
Gay will be 30 years old by the time the upcoming season starts. He averaged 17.2 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Kings in 2015-16 with 46.3 percent shooting. He made 34.4 percent of his three-point attempts.
There haven’t been any recent reports of the Oklahoma City Thunder discussing a trade involving Russell Westbrook, and the team is reportedly looking to hold onto him for the time being. But now that Kevin Durant has joined the Golden State Warriors, it might only be a matter of time before the Thunder look to deal their starting point guard, who is entering the final year of his contract. It's possible Thunder general manager Sam Presti holds onto Westbrook until the trade deadline.
A day after Durant announced he was headed to Golden State, the odds of Westbrook being traded during the upcoming season were set at -300.