PARTING THOUGHTS: MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Grizzlies guard Mike Miller has made it known that he would like to end his career in Memphis, but the probability of that happening appears to be slimming with each passing day as the team is failing to improve its offer to the former NBA Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year. According to CBSSports.com, Miller's best offer looks to be coming from Oklahoma City, which has attempted to sign him each of the last two times he has been a free agent. Miller appears open to playing for the Thunder, just as he did on the other two occasions before eventually choosing more comfortable homes in Miami and Memphis, respectively. Wherever he chooses, the 14-year veteran will not be there for long. Expect Miller to sign a three-year contract for $12-15 million.
Although Chandler Parsons had a big hand in brining Dwight Howard to Houston, it does not look like another former Florida big man will have similar success with Carmelo Anthony. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Joakim Noah is not confident that he will be able to persuade Anthony to sign with the Chicago Bulls and has instead shifted his focus to free agent Pau Gasol. Noah and Gasol teaming up would give Chicago the best-passing frontcourt in the league while injecting some much-needed offense into the Bulls lineup. If Chicago can also add Nikola Mirotic from Spain, suddenly the Bulls would have a great outlook for next season.
Though Parsons is arguably the third- or fourth-hottest free agent on the market, teams are waiting to see what Anthony decides before making a move on him. And as long as Anthony chooses to go somewhere other than Houston, chances are the Rockets will take advantage of Parsons being a restricted free agent and match any deal offered by another team. A source close to the player told Inside the Gators on Friday that Parsons has fielded calls from half a dozen teams since the start of free agency but did not want to take any visits or enter into deep discussions until the market opened up. Multiple reports have Anthony making a decision by the end of the weekend, meaning things should heat up for Parsons on Sunday or Monday.
Only Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are being talked about as affected by LeBron James's decision - Wade especially after he left $42 million on the table in hopes of James re-signing with the Miami Heat along with he and Bosh - but Udonis Haslem also gave up a nice $4.5 million deal in order to give Miami extra space. Though the Heat will likely re-sign Haslem no matter what James decides - paying him more money overall spread out over two or three seasons - there is reason for nervousness considering he already turned down $15 million to leave Miami for Dallas a couple years ago.
Rounding out the Gators' NBA free agents is Matt Bonner, who is a longshot to re-sign with the San Antonio Spurs after being nothing much more than a seat-filler on the bench in the playoffs (despite earning two starts and playing relatively well in the Western Conference Finals). Bonner will be 35 by the time the postseason comes around again. Though he can shoot and plays well within a team concept, he is very much a specialized player. The Spurs are looking to add more well-rounded talent as it prepares to see a turnover in its roster over the next season or two. Bonner should eventually find a soft spot to land, though it will likely be on a one- or two-year veterans contract.