The latest NBA rumors have linked the Miami Heat to Kevin Durant. However, the Heat are reportedly wary of including Bam Adebayo in a possible Durant deal. The Brooklyn Nets are also against including Ben Simmons to sweeten the deal. Simmons' value is at an all-time low due to what transpired for the past year.
Meanwhile, the NBA might be starting an investigation against the New York Knicks for tampering violations. The Knicks' pursuit of Jalen Brunson was not a secret, but reports of a deal being done were released before free agency started.
Here is the latest NBA rumors roundup for July 22 brought to you by Sportskeeda.
Jamal Murray wasn't mentally ready to return last April
Jamal Murray suffered a torn ACL in his left knee against the Golden State Warriors on Apr. 12, 2021. There were reports before the NBA playoffs stating that Murray will return for the Denver Nuggets. However, the Nuggets decided to keep the 25-year-old guard out of the entire postseason.
Nuggets beat writer Mike Singer appeared on the "HoopsHype" podcast with Michael Scotto. Singer noted that Murray was feeling great physically in April, but was not mentally ready. There were also concerns about his movement on the defensive end.
"In April, the hesitation for him to return was not offensively," Singer said. "It was defensively. He was concerned about fighting around screens, getting dinged, diving for loose balls, and that half-second hesitancy that might still be there as a result of that ACL tear he had."
"I think he wasn't mentally there in terms of a return this past April, which would've entailed a postseason run. He'll have a full offseason and training camp. I've seen him throw down some pretty impressive dunks in practice gyms. He looks good."
Ben Simmons' trade value at an all-time low
The Brooklyn Nets are actively trying to trade Kevin Durant after he requested it before free agency. However, the market for Durant has been slow due to the Nets' asking price. Teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors have been linked to the NBA superstar.
According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Heat are reluctant to part ways with Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo. They want to replace Adebayo with Kyle Lowry, but that might not be enough to acquire Durant. Lowe suggested that the Nets could soften the blow of Adebayo's loss by adding Ben Simmons to the deal.
However, Lowe noted that Simmons' trade value is at an all-time low. The three-time NBA All-Star has not played for more than a year, while also coming off back surgery. The Nets are also not interested in trading Simmons as just a throw-in for a bigger deal.
Jazz receiving a lot of calls about Jarred Vanderbilt
Jarred Vanderbilt was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Utah Jazz as part of the Rudy Gobert deal earlier this month. Vanderbilt is on his third team, previously playing his rookie season for the Denver Nuggets after getting drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2018.
The 23-year-old forward started in 67 games for the Timberwolves last season. He averaged 6.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals. He's not a scorer, but can defend multiple positions. This is one of the reasons why Jake Fischer revealed to the "Don't Aggregate This" podcast that the Jazz are receiving multiple calls for Vanderbilt.
"A lot of teams have called on Jarred Vanderbilt," Fischer said. "I don't know the number. I don't really have any specific teams that I've heard of. But last I talked to Utah that he was the guy who's getting the most calls, the most incoming calls of all the players."
Will the NBA investigate the New York Knicks for tampering?
The New York Knicks went all in on Jalen Brunson by signing him to a massive four-year, $104 million deal. However, the NBA might start an investigation into the Knicks' possible tampering violations. There were reports of Brunson and the Knicks reaching an agreement before the official start of negotiations.
Fred Katz of The Athletic reported that the league could start an investigation. This is regardless of whether one or more of the remaining 29 NBA teams file a complaint. The Knicks were preparing for the imminent arrival of Brunson before free agency. They started dumping salaries as early as the NBA draft.
Kratz also pointed out that the Knicks hired Brunson's father as an assistant coach ahead of free agency. Rick Brunson was the head coach at Camden High School in New Jersey before signing for the Knicks.
DeMarcus Cousins caused friction backstage in Denver
DeMarcus Cousins is one of the remaining big-name free agents in the market. Cousins played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets last season. He appeared in 17 games for the Bucks before he was waived. He averaged 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists, while starting in five games.
The Nuggets signed the four-time NBA All-Star to three 10-day deals before signing him for the rest of the season. Cousins played 31 games in Denver, averaging 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He served as a backup to NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, but the Nuggets have signed DeAndre Jordan to replace Cousins.
According to Nuggets beat writer Mike Singer, Cousins was causing some friction in the locker room. He opined on the "HoopsHype" podcast that the Nuggets might not have wanted the former star center for the entire season.
"They signed DeMarcus Cousins, who was a productive center, but we know his reputation," Singer said. "Behind the scenes, I do think there was some friction, and would there be calm waters throughout an entire season? If there would be, they'd bring him back."