The 2019 NBA offseason is now well underway, and most of the in-demand free agents around the league have already been snatched up. At this point, the remaining pool of available talent is pretty shallow and consists primarily of veterans looking to extend their careers via minimum deals.
However, teams have already started to look towards trades, and a number of major moves could still be in the works. So, with plenty going on around the NBA, here is all the latest news and rumors you need to know for July 18th.
Lakers not set on signing Kyle Korver; could keep final roster spot open
After missing out on the free-agent signing of Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Lakers have quickly put together a roster that they hope will be a contender next season. The Lakers have added several names including Avery Bradley, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, and DeMarcus Cousins, while also bringing back JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Despite an influx of moves, the Lakers still have one roster spot open, and Kyle Korver has strongly been linked with a move to Los Angeles. However, ESPN's Kevin Porter believes that the team will opt to keep open their final roster spot rather than signing Korver.
Korver spent two seasons playing with LeBron James in Cleveland, and the veteran remains among the NBA's best three-point shooters. But, with the Lakers already adding a series of shooters in free agency, it appears that the team prefers to keep an open roster spot heading into the season.
The team has also been linked with a move for Carmelo Anthony, so it remains to be seen when the team will fill out their roster.
JR Smith to meet with the Milwaukee Bucks
After failing to make an appearance since November, JR Smith was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week. The veteran guard was frozen out by the team after publicly questioning the direction of the franchise, and Smith played just 11 times during the 18-19 season.
Since being released, Smith has been linked with the Lakers, although the organization quickly ruled out the prospect of making a move. However, according to Shams Charania of Athletic, Smith is discussing a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks recorded the best regular-season record during the 18-19 season, although the team lost Malcolm Brogdon in free agency. If Smith is to join the Bucks, he would provide the team with help from the bench and experience, although the 33-year-old is well known for his off-the-court issues.
Kyle Lowry undergoes surgery
In light of the departures of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors playoff hopes for the forthcoming season may depend on the team's ability to keep their remaining star's fit. However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that star point guard Kyle Lowry has undergone surgery to repair on an ongoing problem in his thumb:
Kyle Lowry underwent a procedure to repair a torn tendon in his left thumb on Thursday. Lowry remains hopeful he can participate in USA Basketball's training camp in August and play for the national team in the FIBA World Cup in China in September.
Lowry averaged 16.2 points, 7.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds during the NBA Finals as the Raptors upset the Golden State Warriors. The 33-year-old is expected to be back for the start of the 19-20 season, although any setback could have a big impact on Toronto's season.
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