Kyler’s Latest: Howard, Hawks, Mozgov, Biedrins

Having already examined free-agents-to-be on postseason teams at each of the other four positions, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld turns his attention to the playoff centers heading for free agency this summer. Here are a few highlights from his piece:

  • The Lakers will be able to offer Dwight Howard over $30MM more than any other team, as I outlined here, but that doesn't mean he's a sure bet to be back. As Kyler notes, money and market are usually deciding factors, but L.A. will have to convince Howard that he won't be signing up for five more years as bad as 2012/13.
  • Zaza Pachulia will be recovering from a partially torn Achilles, raising significant questions about his next contract. The Hawks are unlikely to bring him back for more than the minimum, according to Kyler.
  • With Pachulia out in Atlanta, Johan Petro has improved his stock recently and could be in line for a new deal with the Hawks, particularly if the team strikes out on higher-profile targets.
  • Despite a report suggesting the Nuggets will extend a qualifying offer to Timofey Mozgov, Kyler is skeptical that Denver will really make such an offer (one year for nearly $4MM), since Mozgov could accept it. A two-year deal from another team is the most likely scenario for Mozgov, in Kyler's view. There has been enough reported interest for Mozgov that it wouldn't surprise me if the Nuggets retained him and considered him a trade asset going forward.
  • Kyler hears from sources that when Samuel Dalembert worked out for the Heat prior to the 2011/12 season, the team decided he had put on too much weight, and passed. As such, it's probably unlikely that Dalembert ends up in Miami this offseason.
  • Although Andris Biedrins is viewed as a lock to opt in to the final year of his contract, worth $9MM, Kyler wonders if the Warriors could convince him to opt out if it meant adding an extra year to his deal. For instance, the team could re-sign him to a two-year, $10MM pact to reduce his cap hit for 2013/14. I'd be surprised to see that happen though.
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