The NBA’s free-agency period officially opened at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, and the rumor mill already is churning at full speed.
The Boston Celtics have been active during these first few hours of free agency, reportedly engaging in talks with two Western Conference guards.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported early Tuesday morning that the Celtics are among the teams that have reached out to free-agent point guard Isaiah Thomas, who has spent the first three years of his career with the Sacramento Kings.
Thomas, who at 5-foot-9 shares the title of shortest player in the NBA with Nate Robinson, averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game last season. The 25-year-old is drawing plenty of looks in his first foray into the open market, with the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns all expressing interest, league sources told ProBasketballTalk.
The Kings extended a qualifying offer to Thomas after the season, making him a restricted free agent.
Boston also has reached out to free-agent shooting guard/small forward Kent Bazemore, league sources told ESPN.com, with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reportedly placing a call to Bazemore himself.
The Old Dominion product played in 23 games (15 starts) for the Lakers last season after being acquired from the Golden State Warriors in February. Bazemore averaged 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest before tearing a tendon in his foot, ending his season with five games to go.
Bazemore, who reportedly also received calls from the Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks, was not extended a qualifying offer by the Lakers after the season, though the team is “on board” with trying to bring him back, a league source told ESPN.com.
UPDATE (9:15 a.m.): The Celtics also have contacted forward/center Jordan Hill, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
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Hill, the No. 8 overall pick in 2009, averaged 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds in 72 games for the Lakers last season.