NBA Rumors are surfacing as the NBA Playoffs come to a close. Here is the latest on Larry Bird‘s resignation as the Pacers’ president, Paul George‘s desire to play for the Lakers, Paul Millsap‘s desire to opt out, and Russell Westbrook‘s hope in Oklahoma City.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 29, 2017
The Atlanta Hawks did not get great news after they were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.
Star forward Paul Millsap admitted that he is most likely to use his upcoming player option for the 2017-18 season, per Hoops Rumors. That would make Millsap one of the bigger free agency names.
Millsap made $20.1 million last season, but he will turn down the player option that would have paid him $21.5 million next season.
Throughout the season, Millsap heard his name in various trade rumors, despite leading the Hawks to their 12th straight postseason.
Ultimately, Millsap could still return to the Hawks by re-signing. However, Atlanta will have to outbid teams.
Millsap averaged 18.1 points and 7.8 rebounds last season. He is a four-time All-Star.
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) April 30, 2017
Speaking of players leaving their teams, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said he does not want to leave his current team, per ESPN. The Thunder guard expressed a desire to stay in Oklahoma City.
Westbrook said he hasn’t thought about anything when asked about a new extension after the Thunder were eliminated from the NBA playoffs. The MVP candidate could make as much as $220 million over five years via the new CBA.
He added that he loves Oklahoma City and everybody here. Westbrook said Oklahoma City is the place that he wants to be.
As for a timeline on his new extension, Westbrook said that he and his wife are expecting their first child. The All-Star is focused on the baby and not his potential new contract.
Ultimately, the Thunder are expected to offer Westbrook an extension this offseason. If he declines it, he could become a free agent before the 2018-19 season via his player option.
Still, he is expected to stay with the Thunder because his extension last season was an indicator of his long-term commitment to the Thunder.
As for another potential marquee player who might be available, Paul George has been talking about playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Per Hoops Rumors, George has been talking about his desire to play in L.A. with a current Pacers teammate.
Moreover, Lakers team president Magic Johnson alluded to adding George via Jimmy Kimmel Live. George is a Southern California native but his leadership came under fire after this past playoff series.
The Indiana Pacers were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and George was not afraid to call out his teammates and express frustration.
George can become a free agent after the 2018 season. Publicly, he has not yet made a decision on his future with Indiana.
It remains to be seen if the Lakers will deal for George but expect plenty more rumors as the season progresses.
Speaking of the Indiana Pacers, President Larry Bird stepped down. Brown is expected to continue as a consultant for the Pacers. However, general manager Kevin Pritchard will assume control of the basketball operations department, per Hoops Rumors.
It is unclear if Bird’s resignation could impact George’s future with the team. Previously, Bird maintained that he would do anything to keep George.
Bird was the Pacers’ president of basketball operations since 2003. He did take the 2012-13 season off due to health issues. Indiana made the postseason nine times during his tenure. He also won Executive of the Year in 2012.
[Featured Image by Todd Kirkland/AP Images]