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RUMOR ROUNDUP: Cam Johnson to have many suitors; what about Dorian Finney-Smith?

It’s that time of year. As the days win down to the NBA Draft, rumors get superheated. So let’s see what’s up

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Johnson was in Melbourne, Australia, Friday enjoying a ground of golf, decked out in Brooklyn Nets gear. It was one day after he had committed to play for Team USA in late August, a pretty good sign that he’s not that worried about his free agency.

(h/t @TheCodyMallory)

We don’t know Johnson’s handicap, but we’re starting to get a good read on what his next contract could be worth, well north of what he turned down from the Suns a year ago when they wanted to extend him: four years and $72 million. Now, the market is starting to look like around four and $90 million, maybe even $100 million.

Marc Stein reported Friday that in addition to the Houston Rockets, whose interest has been well known and rumors of the Indiana Pacers possibly making a bid, the Detroit Pistons, now coached by CJ’s old coach Monty Williams may be interested.

League sources say Cam Johnson is prominent (and rising) on Detroit’s list of free agent targets. Brooklyn’s restricted free agent swingman naturally has a huge new fan in Motown after the Pistons’ hiring of Monty Williams as coach — Johnson’s former coach in Phoenix.

After the Suns traded Johnson and Mikal Bridges to the Nets back in February, Williams admitted he cried. The Nets though hold the trump card in any negotiations: they can match any offer (within 24 hours) if it comes to that, as Stein added and it may not. Stein noted that Brooklyn has “all but convinced Johnson to re-sign.”

Stein also said that the Nets may want to move some pieces to add flexibility and keep away from the dreaded second apron of the luxury tax threshold with its flexibility-killing sanctions. They’re about $30 million short of the second apron now.

The Nets, though, are quietly expressing confidence that they have all but convinced Johnson to re-sign ... or that they will match any external offer they need to match to keep him. Stay tuned to see if that leads to a salary-dumping move or two from Brooklyn to create additional payroll flexibility. Dorian Finney-Smith, acquired from Dallas in February in the Kyrie Irving trade, remains a prime trade candidate.

Stein is not alone in suggesting a mini salary dump. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report had basically the same take, also Friday,

Many competing executives expect Johnson back in Brooklyn, coupled with a cost-cutting trade, perhaps with Dorian Finney-Smith out with marginal salary back to the Nets. Mikal Bridges is in high demand, but he’s not expected to be available in trade. Others like Royce O’Neale or Joe Harris could be moved.

This not the first time (or the second) that there have been rumors about DFS — or the similarly talented 3-and-D Royce O’Neale — being moved around next Thursday’s Draft. Immediately after the Nets traded Kyrie Irving for Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, an unprotected first and two seconds, Brian Lewis reported that the Nets had an offer of two firsts for the player they call Doe-Doe. His source did not provide details. Two days ago, The Ringer reported that the Nets have received calls on both Finney-Smith and O’Neale. Also, NetsDaily has been told DFS could be a key piece if the Nets renew their longstanding interest in the Hawks’ John Collins.

There’s plenty of other rumors out there, not all of which seem credible or even plausible.

Everything appears to be on hold in Portland as the Blazers front office mulls whether to use the third pick (which increasingly looks Alabama PF Brandon Miller) or try to move it to satisfy Damian Lillard’s desire to play for a contender.

As Blazers Edge, our SB Nation sister site, reported Friday, Brian Windhorst on his latest podcast, put extra emphasis on Portland’s recent activity in trade talks.

“And then you got Portland who is actively trying to trade the No. 3 pick to support Dame Lillard — and I mean actively.”

Although Windhorst said he suspected Portland would ultimately keep the pick, he added this later:

“Portland is trying some pretty aggressive moves from what I’ve been able to glean. I have no idea how accurate everything is, but they are swinging. ...[A rebuild] is not the direction they’re going at all. That is not the intel I am having at all. If that’s being considered, it’s not being discussed outside the family.”

Finally, Jake Fischer confirmed ESPN’s report that the Nets are trying to move up.

There are plenty of clubs in addition to the Mavericks, such as the Thunder at No. 12 and the Lakers at No. 17, sources said, that will consider trading down with teams that hold multiple picks near or in the 20s such as Utah (Nos. 16 and 28), Brooklyn (Nos. 21 and 22) and Indiana (Nos. 26 and 29), who are all considering options at trading up, sources said.

Then, there’s speculation, not yet a rumor, that the Nets could be interested in Cole Anthony who the Magic reportedly are making available amidst their point guard glut. Anthony, the son of Greg Anthony, is a native and resident of New York, a big fan of the New York Liberty and has been seen in the company of Joe and Clara Wu Tsai (who are friendly with is mother, Crystal McCrary) on more than one occasion.

Of course, as Brian Windhorst said on his Hoop Collective episode, he’s learned not to put too much into rumors in the superheated days prior to the Draft. If we could all learn that lesson.