1 » ESPN.com’s Chad Ford took an early look at the prospects potentially available in the 2015 NBA Draft and had a number of Florida Gators on his top-100 list. Leading the way at No. 13 overall is forward/center Chris Walker, who is projected to be a lottery selection. He is followed by sophomore point guard Kasey Hill (No. 29), junior guard Michael Frazier II (No. 65) and redshirt junior F Dorian Finney-Smith (No. 67). Walker has already decided to turn pro after the 2014-15 season, though Hill will need to take a major step forward if he hopes to leave after his second campaign. Frazier and Finney-Smith will likely remain at Florida for their senior seasons.
2 » Power forward Udonis Haslem chose not to exercise his player option of $4.6 million with the Miami Heat, the second time in his career that he has left money on the table to help the club have increased flexibility in free agency. The last time Haslem made a similar maneuver, he gave up $10 million in salary to re-sign with Miami instead of take a free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Halsem, now 34, is near the end of his NBA career. He averaged a career-low 14.2 minutes per game during the regular season and played less than 11 minutes on average in the 2013-14 postseason. Rather than take the chunk salary of $4.6 million he is due as an option, he is expected to sign a multi-year deal for a larger amount (but lower annual salary) that will be paid out over three or four seasons. Chances are Haslem will retire before seeing the end of his contract and be given a role in the Heat organization while still being paid by the franchise. He will be entering his 12th season in 2014-15.
3 » Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Marc Spears on Saturday reported that the Houston Rockets have officially decided not to pick up their team option on F Chandler Parsons, allowing one of the best young players in the league to become a restricted free agent on July 1. Houston’s decision, which was first reported weeks ago by the outlet, is being made in order to free up cap space as the team attempts to pursue big-name free agents. The Rockets plan to match any offer for Parsons, though teams have made similar plans in the past only to have other franchises foil them with poison-pills and wasteful contract terms. Houston, for example, stiff-armed the New York Knicks into letting PG Jeremy Lin go by offing $15 million in the final season of a three-year deal. Parsons averaged career-highs of 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during his third year in the league.
4 » Undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery after the Chicago Bulls were eliminated from the postseason, C Joakim Noah is now “doing well” but still not running, head coach Tom Thibodeau told Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. The 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Noah averaged career-highs of 12.6 points, 11.3 boards and 5.4 dimes per game. Earning his second-straight NBA All-Star nod, he was a double-double machine and matched an NBA record for most triple-doubles by a center in a single season. Noah is currently traveling the globe as he normally does in the offseason. Patric Young told OnlyGators.com last week that he saw Noah at an airport catching a plane to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Noah sent out an Instagram picture on Saturday of him chilling out by the beach.