New rumors surrounding the NBA free agency market suggests that the Charlotte Hornets may decide to let Al Jefferson walk away once this season ends. And, according to the speculations of various sources, his departure from the team could be linked to the statuses of Jeremy Lin and Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside.
By July, the Hornets are expected to have eight free agents, including Lin, who has reportedly declined his player option. Jefferson is also expected to enter the free agency market next month but it seems the team is not too keen on re-signing him.
As noted by Inquisitr, Jefferson has been riddled by injuries throughout his NBA career, and these had significantly affected his overall performance in the league. In fact, last season, he only averaged 12 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Jefferson, however, knows this and is even willing to take a pay cut just to remain with Charlotte next season.
"Most definitely," he said about the cut. "I've been in the league for a long time and I've done right by my money. So at this point, going into my 13th year and I'm 31 years old, this is the best situation. I'm not at the point in my career where I'm chasing the big check."
If the Hornets do decide to release Jefferson, they will have probably have enough salary space to retain some of its free agents such as Lin or Nicolas Batum.
As for Jefferson, walking away from the Hornets can still be good for him since it will give him a chance to end up in Miami. But, as noted by Heat Zone, this could still depend on Whiteside's free agency status.
According to the site, if Whiteside decides to depart Miami, then the NBA franchise will have to look for another center to fill its roster. Jefferson could become the logical choice for the Heat since they will most probably be looking for an athlete who's willing to sign a short-term contract. And, given Jefferson's current status in the league, a deal between him and Miami could work well for the two parties.