MONDAY, 10:25am: Stuckey would like to hear from the Bulls, a source tells Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com. It’s unclear whether the Bulls reciprocate his apparent interest, and that would seem less likely in the wake of Kirk Hinrich‘s reported decision to opt in. Chicago will likely have only the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception to spend on outside free agents.
FRIDAY, 3:29pm: The Rockets and Kings are expected to be among the teams with interest when Rodney Stuckey when he hits free agency next week, and he’ll prioritize signing with a contender, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM. That would presumably give an edge to Houston over Sacramento, though the mutual interest between the combo guard and the Pacers is strong, according to Charania. The semantics of the report are a bit curious, since Charania indicates that interest from the Rockets and Kings is only “expected,” but it would appear that the 29-year-old is at the very least on the radar for both teams.
Indiana has Non-Bird rights on Stuckey, so the Pacers can’t exceed 20% more than the minimum to re-sign him without using cap space or an exception. Still, president of basketball operations Larry Bird made it clear this spring that the eight-year veteran is a priority, and David West‘s apparent decision to opt out gives the team a legitimate chance to open cap room.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey isn’t optimistic that Houston will end up with cap space to burn this summer, though the team would have the $5.434MM mid-level exception if it stays above the cap. That amount may well be earmarked for Josh Smith, however.
The Kings are in flux amid the DeMarcus Cousins saga, though they seem likely to be able to open up enough cap space to make a competitive bid to Stuckey. Still, Sacramento would probably be a fallback option for him if he is indeed set on joining a contending team. Indiana might not be a contender, either, though the return of Paul George for a full season at least gives the Pacers a reasonable shot in the relatively weak Eastern Conference.