NBA Rumors: Blazers Offer Massive Extension to Damian Lillard; Victor Oladipo is likely to leave Heat


 NBA Rumors: Blazers Offer Massive Extension to Damian Lillard;  Victor Oladipo is likely to leave Heat

With the start of free agency now only about 24 hours away, the NBA rumor mill is really heating up. Before the action officially begins (Thursday at 6pm ET), here’s some of the latest information from across the league, including some notes on the futures of Damian Lillard and Victor Oladipo. (We have more on here Bradley Beal, James Harden and Dejount Murray).

Blazers offer Lillard great expansion

The Trail Blazers went into full-tank mode last season, but that was only a short-term fix for some of the team’s problems — most notably Damian Lillard’s abdominal surgery. Now that Lillard is back to health, the Blazers are hoping to retool their roster and get back into the playoffs.

Of course, trying to win isn’t the only way to keep Lillard happy. In addition, according to Jake Fischer, the Blazers are said to be offering him a two-year extension worth over $100 million. Lillard is currently in the middle of a four-year deal that runs until 2025 (with a player option for the final season). If he signs that two-year extension, he’ll stay in Portland through 2027.

Barring a trade request at some point in the next few seasons — something Lillard hasn’t been interested in doing so far — such an extension will likely ensure he ends his career with the Blazers. In the summer of 2027 he will be 37 years old.

Oladipo is likely to leave Heat

Victor Oladipo underwent another operation on his quadriceps tendon in May 2021 and missed most of last season while in rehab. He eventually returned in March but played sparingly until the end of the regular season. While he earned more minutes in the playoffs as the Heat went into the Eastern Conference Finals, his game time was understandably still sporadic.

While he clearly wasn’t the player he was before the injury — Oladipo was shooting 36.8 percent from the field in the playoffs — he had his moments. He scored 40 points in the Heat’s regular-season finals and made a strong showing on defense, particularly in the ECF against the Celtics.

As a result, Oladipo is expected to have multiple suitors when he comes to free agency this summer. The Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons are among the interested teams, according to Jake Fischer. Oladipo is not expected to return to the heat.

Magic will not make a qualifying offer to Bamba

Mo Bamba’s tenure with the Orlando Magic seems to be over. Despite Bamba having enjoyed the best season of his career, the team is unlikely to make the big man a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. according to Khobi Price.

Bamba, the No. 6 pick overall in the 2018 NBA draft, has so far failed to live up to expectations. Last season, however, he seemed to have figured things out, putting up 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 38.1 percent from 3-point land — all career-highs.

Even if he won’t be a star, Bamba still has the potential to be a prolific player and is only 24 years old. So it’s no surprise that he’s set to attract a lot of interest across the league. The Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves have all registered interest per prize.

Mavericks don’t give up Brunson sign-and-trade

Late Tuesday night, the New York Knicks completed another trade with the Detroit Pistons. This time, they sent Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to Detroit along with two future second-round picks and $6 million in cash to create more cap space for their pursuit of Jalen Brunson.

That deal, combined with their draft night move to terminate Kemba Walker’s contract, means the Knicks now have around $30 million in cap space this summer. That will be more than enough to sign Brunson to a four-year deal worth around $110 million and they are now considered favorites for his signature.

Having cleared the space required, the Mavericks’ hopes of a sign-and-trade salvaging the situation seemed dashed. However, according to Tim Cato, the Mavs haven’t given up hope of that possibility. Whether they’ll be able to do so remains to be seen given the Knicks now have all the leverage, but letting Brunson run for nothing would be far better.

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