Talk of post-season moves in the NBA is hotting up, here are three of the biggest stories as the finals come to a close.
Ramon Sessions to leave LA?
Sessions enjoyed his first ever play-off games in LA last month, after being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers last season to replace 37-year-old Derek Fisher. He proved a useful player for the Lakers, even if his productivity dipped from averaging 12.7 points per game to 6.8. The Lakers want to keep Sessions, but he is 'willing to test the market' and can explore free-agency. He is also keen on a stay, but wants to see what other offers are out there, what they can offer him financially, and in terms of contract length. It is a wise move to keep his options open, and LA will find there are few better available replacements for the 26-year-old, so will have to put up a good offer of their own to him. When free agency begins on July 1, Sessions will be waiting to see what comes his way.
Steve Nash to New York Knicks?
Veteran Steve Nash, two-time MVP is still in search of his first NBA Championship, and it didn't at any point look like he was going to win one with the Phoenix Suns last year. So now a free agent, he is hoping for offers from play-off teams to join ahead of next year. Most strongly linked are the New York Knicks, Nash has property in the Big Apple, and has stated he would welcome a move if the offer is made. Whether he is the right fit for the Knicks is another matter, he is an offense led player, and the Knicks have a number of similar types, albeit not as successful, but pundits have expressed reservations about the pair's suitability. Another team mentioned are the Dallas Mavericks, last year's champions, who could pair him up with star man Dirk Nowitski.
James Harden to...?
Last year's worst performing team the Charlotte Bobcats caught a tough break in the NBA Draft Lottery. They would have been hoping to land number one pick Anthony Davis but he will head to the New Orleans Hornets. The Bobcats are reported to be willing to trade their number two pick of college talent for an established NBA star, and the Oklahoma City Thunder star is a target. The Thunder are thought to be facing a tough task balancing the books with Harden and Ibaka needing contract renewals, and taking top rookie talent for Harden, an important clutch performer in the play-offs is a possibility. The Bobcats are also entertaining the an offer for the Grizzlies' Rudy Gay, and are open to offers ahead of the draft in July. They need a proven top talent to lift them out of the mire they are in at present, even if the talk is the last thing Harden will want to hear midway through the NBA finals.
image: © Keith Allison