According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the San Antonio Spurs will withdraw Neal’s $1.11 million qualifying offer, allowing the 28-year-old three-point specialist to entertain the unrestricted free agent market.
My guess — just like everyone else’s — is that he won’t last long there.
Neal averaged 9.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last season, while shooting nearly 36 percent from three in just 21.8 minutes per game. Neal, career-wise, is a 40 percent shooter from distance.
The Spurs signed Marco Belinelli earlier this offseason, perhaps clearing way for this move to happen. Neal has been receiving interest from multiple teams in the league, with the most publicized being the Milwaukee Bucks (of course).
The Bucks traded J.J. Redick and lost out on Monta Ellis earlier this month, so adding Neal would makes sense.
Now that Neal is unrestricted, teams have the opportunity to act on that reported interest.
The Spurs are considered the frontrunners, along with the Miami Heat, to sign center Greg Oden. Oden is expected to make a decision shortly, but it’s unclear whether the Neal move has any correlation with Oden’s decision.