Free Agent Rumors: G. Williams, LeVert, Harden, VanVleet, Barnes

Even after the acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis, the door hasn’t been closed on a possible new contract for the Celtics and restricted free agent forward Grant Williams, sources tell Steve Bulpett of

According to Bulpett, the Celtics and Williams have a good relationship and are interested in beginning negotiations with one another to see if a deal is financially feasible. If those discussions aren’t fruitful, the two sides could pivot to exploring sign-and-trade scenarios that would land Williams elsewhere and get Boston some sort of asset, even if it’s only a trade exception.

For his part, Williams said on Tuesday that he “absolutely” would be interested in re-signing with the Celtics while also acknowledging that the team’s payroll and the realities of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could make it challenging, per Jay King of The Athletic.

“Cap-wise, with the new CBA, I think all these teams, as we see, are trying to get the trades in and the contracts done prior to the CBA truly being enacted,” Williams said. “So you’re going to see a lot of all-in pushes. So if the Celtics decide to do that, I think that’s kind of how it will work out (with him re-signing in free agency). If not, it helps them financially a little bit, but it definitely changes the numbers as you look around.”

Here are a few more notes and rumors on free agency from around the NBA:

  • The Cavaliers will likely offer free agent swingman Caris LeVert a deal in the range of $15-18MM per year, sources tell Chris Fedor of (subscription required). As Fedor explains, the Cavs’ goal is to find the sweet spot where they’ll be able to outbid rival mid-level offers for LeVert while leaving themselves with enough breathing room below the tax line to use their own full mid-level exception.
  • Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday, Brian Windhorst reiterated that James Harden seems more likely to sign with the Sixers than the Rockets as a free agent, according to Adam Zagoria of “(The Rockets) are out there aggressively chasing other free agents,” Windhorst said. “They are not acting as if they think they are getting James Harden.”
  • Despite reports that Fred VanVleet will be a top target for the Rockets in free agency, Josh Lewenberg of (Twitter link) has spoken to several people around the league who are skeptical that the point guard will end up in Houston. The Raptors remain confident that they’ll be able to re-sign VanVleet, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link), who says the team’s plan is retain both VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl.
  • After reporting earlier this week that the Kings‘ contract extension talks with Harrison Barnes had “gone quiet,”  James Ham of The Kings Beat (Twitter link) hears from a league source that the two sides have reopened those discussions. Barnes is eligible for an extension until June 30. If he doesn’t have a new deal in place by then, the veteran forward would become an unrestricted free agent.
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