The Utah Jazz did not move Paul Millsap before the February 21 trade deadline, but Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports that they discussed deals for the forward with the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers, neither of which ended up coming to fruition.
Kennedy tweets that the Jazz and Pacers discussed a trade that would have sent Millsap and Alec Burks to Indiana for Danny Granger and Lance Stephenson. In a separate tweet, Kennedy reports that the Jazz and Clippers discussed a trade of Millsap and DeMarre Carroll for Eric Bledsoe and Lamar Odom.
Millsap, 27, is averaging 15.2 PPG and 7.4 RPG this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
Let's check out a few afternoon links related to Western Conference clubs....
With two weeks to go until the trade deadline, the Timberwolves are exploring possible deals involving Luke Ridnour, reports Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops. According to Sheridan, there's a "good chance" that Ridnour will be dealt before the deadline.
Ridnour, who is earning $4MM this season, has one additional year left on his contract at $4.32MM, and is one of a number of point guards on the Wolves' roster, along with Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea. While Ridnour earned major minutes at the point earlier this season, Rubio has seen his playing time increase over the last month as his health improves, meaning Minnesota now has an excess of players at the position.
The Timberwolves engaged in trade discussions with the Jazz in a deal involving Alec Burks, but those talks have been tabled for now, according to Sheridan. Nonetheless, Utah is in the market for a point guard, so it's possible the two sides revisit those negotiations before February 21st.
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Wednesday evening:
At the quarter-mark of the year, Sam Amico of FOXSports.com offers up his rookie review. The Blazers' Damian Lillard is proving that big talent can come out of small schools and figures to be a top candidate for the Rookie Of The Year award. Fourth-overall pick Dion Waiters has been streaky from the outside but has been extremely impressive at times for the Cavaliers. Not every rookie is off to a hot start, however, as Thomas Robinson of the Kings is struggling along with the rest of his team. More from today's column..
Here are the latest updates from around the Northwest Division:
Earlier this week we passed along news that Jazz forward Al Jefferson might be interested in re-joining the Celtics at some point before his career is through (This is Jefferson's final year under contract with the Jazz.)
Now, it appears another member of the Jazz could be on his way out of town. Second year shooting guard Alec Burks is reportedly "available," according to a tweet from Fox Sports Ohio reporter Sam Amico. Only 21 years old, Burks' per game averages are plummeting across the board. This season he's appeared in only five games, and is averaging just 1.4PPG on 20% shooting. Last season he averaged 7.2PPG.
No potential suitor was mentioned in the tweet, but it isn't difficult to imagine several teams around the league that might be interested in buying low on this athletic talent.
The Jazz have picked up all four rookie contract options on their docket this offseason, according to Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter). The team exercised its fourth-year options on Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward, along with its third-year options on Enes Kanter and Alec Burks.
Favors, 2010's third overall pick, represents the priciest decision of the group, as he'll now be in line for a guaranteed $6.01MM salary in 2013/14. He and Hayward, who will earn $3.45MM in '13/14, will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2014 unless they're extended next summer. As for Kanter and Burks, they'll earn $4.51MM and $2.2MM in 2013/14, with the Jazz holding additional options on both players for the following season.
To follow option decisions from around the NBA in advance of next week's deadline, check out our rookie contract option tracker.