Updated NBA rumors: Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick headline latest names in the NBA rumor mill

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dribbles the ball past Philadelphia 76ers guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the second quarter of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dribbles the ball past Philadelphia 76ers guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the second quarter of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.

With the NBA season nearing its end, fans, analysts, and front offices have started looking ahead to the offseason, trying to determine which players to target in free agency and via trades. The trade market has really heated up as of late. With so many players looking for contract extensions, it's only a matter of time before we see a sign-and-trade from one of the league's biggest stars.

Already this week, we've gotten news on which player might be that first domino to fall. We've also seen some massive coaching hire news surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, even as the NBA Finals draw nearer and nearer, the NBA rumor mill keeps spinning.

Here are the latest rumors from around the NBA.

NBA News: Bronny James to remain in NBA draft, agent Rich Paul says ahead of deadline

Philadelphia looking to trade for Jimmy Butler

Time is really just a flat circle, isn't it?

Just a few years after the 76ers traded Jimmy Butler away, they seem to want him a backup option. It's clear the 76ers main priority is still landing Paul George, but Butler seems to be the team's No. 2 option, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey.

Butler is looking for a two-year max extension worth $113 million, and after five seasons in Miami where Butler failed to play more than 65 games once and just suffered an injury in the playoffs, the Heat could look to move off of him for the right price. In his report, Pompey claimed that should a deal be reached, the Sixers would be willing to give Butler the contract he is looking for.

Of course, this is all under the presumption that the Sixers don't land Paul George. So, what is the likelihood of that happening? Pretty likely right now.

According to Kevin O'Connor with The Ringer, the Clippers largest offer to George has been three years, $152.4 million. The Sixers have enough money available to sign a max contract player and could offer George a four-year, $212 million contract if he reaches free agency. While George has said that he would like to stay in Los Angeles if possible, the extra money and potential to play alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey could be enough to convince him to travel to the East Coast.

Kenny Atkinson leaning heavily toward Cleveland over LA

The Lakers have taken a very slow, cautious approach when it comes to hiring their next head coach. Since Darvin Ham was fired, two more coaches have been fired and, with Brian Keefe agreeing to terms with the Washington Wizards, three others have been hired. The most recent firing was Cleveland's J.B. Bickerstaff, who was let go after the Cavaliers' second-round series loss to the Boston Celtics.

Well, the Cavs may have already found their next guy, and lo and behold, it's someone the Lakers were reportedly considering -- Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson. According to a report from Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Atkinson has emerged as the favorite for the Cavs' job.

Lloyd does note that Knicks associate head coach Johnnie Bryant is also a name to watch in this coaching search, but it seems clear that Atkinson is the frontrunner and has been for some time.

Are the Lakers still leaning Redick?

As for the Lakers, it appears they are still not sold on J.J. Redick. LA Times writer Dan Woike reported that the Lakers have scheduled an in-person interview with Pelicans' assistant coach James Borrego.

At the same time though, J.J. Redick is allegedly calling people up to fill open assistant coach roles with the Lakers already. On the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes said that Redick is already doing background checks and calling potential assistant coaches to join his staff.

Celtics' assistant coach Sam Cassell is also in the running for the Lakers' head coaching position according to reports.

NBA News: Thunder GM Sam Presti 'missed' on Gordon Hayward trade: 'That's on me'

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Latest NBA rumors: Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick and the Lakers and more