Lucas: Tracking The Tar Heel Free Agents
By Adam Lucas, GoHeels.com
Not every NBA free agent is named Dwight Howard. Several Tar Heels became unrestricted or restricted free agents this week, giving them the freedom to explore new opportunities--and more money--with other teams. Here's a complete look at the Carolina alums who could be changing addresses:
Wayne Ellington (with Memphis/Cleveland last year): The Cavs did not make a qualifying offer to Ellington, which means he's an unrestricted free agent. Reportedly, Cleveland is still interested in bringing him back. However, it looks like there is competition for his services. Ellington tweeted right after midnight on Sunday--when teams can first contact free agents--that free agency had "just started in a very pleasant way." The Lakers are reportedly one of the teams interested.
Tyler Hansbrough (with Indiana last year): The Pacers made Hansbrough a restricted free agent by issuing him an offer, reported to be $4.15 million, before the July 1 deadline. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be back with the Pacers, but it does mean they have the right to match any offer.
Antawn Jamison (with Lakers last year): Here's a blast from the past: the Wizards and Jamison reportedly have mutual interest. Jamison played with the Wizards from 2004-10.
Jerry Stackhouse (with Brooklyn last year): The most veteran Tar Heel in the league hasn't officially said he's retiring, but he hasn't officially said he's not retiring, either. The Nets just brought in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, so if they were to re-sign Stackhouse, they'd have a very formidable 1998 video game squad. Stackhouse has a lot of options beyond just playing. He's expressed interest in coaching, and also might be the next president of the NBA Players Association (he's currently the vice-president).
Marvin Williams (with Utah last year): Williams had an early termination option in his contract, but declined it and will be back with the Jazz in 2013-14. Unfortunately, he'll also miss the start of next season due to surgery on his Achilles tendon.
Brandan Wright (with Dallas last year): It looks like it's going to be a happy summer for Wright, an unrestricted free agent who is poised for a much bigger payday. A half-dozen teams are reportedly interested in the big man.
Adam Lucas is the publisher of Tar Heel Monthly.