The Warriors could have dealt Harrison Barnes to the Magic for Arron Afflalo and a future first-round pick, a source tells Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (on Twitter). The Warriors passed, but such a deal would have eased losing Klay Thompson in a Kevin Love trade.
More from the west:
Zach Links contributed to this post.
A new doctor has declared Clippers owner Donald Sterling mentally fit after a comprehensive medical examination in Las Vegas over the weekend, a source with knowledge of the situation told Shelby Lin Erdman of CNN. The testing was arranged by one of Sterling’s attorneys and conducted with one of the top dementia and Alzheimer’s disease specialists in the country. More out of the West..
- Free agent Mo Williams has no meetings set with other teams and his “only goal” is to sign a new deal with the Blazers, a source tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (on Twitter).
- New Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo sounds intent on exercising his opt out after the 2014/15 season. “It’s probably something that I always anticipated, even beyond when I first signed this deal with Denver,” Afflalo told Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. “I knew my game, I knew my maturity, I knew I would grow as a player. And I wanted to have that option as I got older and I progressed as a player. So hopefully I’ll out-perform my contract and put myself in a better situation. That was my intent from the beginning, even before this year, was to play out the four years and progress as a player.”
- Grizzlies swingman Mike Miller tells Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal (via Twitter) that he’s meeting with his agent tomorrow in Los Angeles before talking with four or five clubs. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies can prevent him from looking around if they come to him with the right deal.
- A source tells Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter) that there are four or five suitors out there for Jordan Hill, including the Rockets and Mavs. He’s not ruling out a Lakers return and will take his time through the process with an eye on a longer deal.
- Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak says the club is putting Julius Randle through a series of physicals this week to test his foot though, right now, he doesn’t expect surgery, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- There is strong mutual interest in Vince Carter‘s return to the Mavericks, but several playoff teams are expected to express interest in the 37-year-old swingman, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. The Heat, Thunder, Blazers, and Raptors are among the playoff teams that are seen as potential fits for VC, according to a source.
- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is discussing an assistant coaching job on the staff with Luke Walton, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
- Lakers unrestricted free agent Kent Bazemore is expected to draw interest from the Hawks, Celtics, and Suns among others, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
The Nuggets absorbed Arron Afflalo into Andre Iguodala‘s $9,868,632 trade exception in Thursday’s trade with the Magic, reducing its value to $2,368,632. Still, the deal lets them make a new exception worth $1,422,720, equivalent to Evan Fournier‘s salary, and offloading Anthony Randolph in Thursday’s pick swap with the Bulls allows the Nuggets to create another new trade exception worth $1.75MM.
More from around the league:
- Colin Ceccio of USA Today broke down the salaries for this year’s crop of draft picks.
- Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today looks at the winners and losers from Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
- GM Sam Hinkie anticipates Thaddeus Young remaining with the Sixers, tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. When asked if Young would remain with the team, Hinkie said, “I do. I like everything Thad’s about.“
- NBA.com collected all the various draft grades the Hawks were given for their work on Thursday night.
- The estimates for when Joel Embiid will be able to return to the court for the Sixers have changed, reports The Toronto Sun (hat tip to the Sports XChange). Embiid is predicted to be out five to eight months, instead of the originally reported four to six months.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey will be busy once the free agent signing period begins, writes Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Olshey will look to upgrade his bench and he will have the team’s mid level exception which would allow Olshey to spend as much as $5.305MM on a player for up to four years, and a biannual exception that will allow him to spend roughly $2.1MM on a player for up to two years, the article notes. Freeman also looks at some of the free agent possibilities the team might entertain signing this summer.
More from the west:
- According to Nuggets GM Tim Connelly, both Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris are “long term plays,” writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Connelly also said, “I think Brian [Shaw] is an open competition coach, and if those guys come in and earn minutes, great, but I like what’s in front of them and I like the guys they are going to be able to learn from.”
- Shaw is happy with how the Nuggets roster is currently constituted, writes Dempsey in a separate article. Shaw said, “In terms of our team, I think we got better yesterday. It’s tough. Evan Fournier is a young guy that had a lot of promise and had tremendous upside. But I think (the Arron Afflalo trade) gives us a legitimate starter at the two position. In terms of the depth of our team… we wanted to wear them down with the first unit and wear them out with the second unit. We never got an opportunity to get to that because of the injuries.”
- If Kevin Love is traded this summer, the Timberwolves will move from an offense centered on his versatility and shot-making to one built around passing and a dangerous transition game, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. The article examines how the draft night selections of Zach LaVine and Glenn Robinson III fit into that plan.
- Rod Beard of The Detroit News examines what Nik Stauskas will bring to the Kings.
Thursday’s trade that sent Arron Afflalo to the Nuggets in exchange for Evan Fournier and No. 56 pick Devyn Marble also gave the Magic a chance to reap an additional asset. It allows Orlando to create a $6,077,280 trade exception representing the difference in salary between Afflalo and Fournier. Of course, it might not last long if Orlando, which has been technically operating above the cap in spite of its diminutive payroll, elects to use cap space this summer. Still, it’s one more arrow in GM Rob Hennigan‘s quiver, and it helps explain another decision he made, as we detail below amid the latest from the Southeast Division:
- The Magic fielded offers that would have allowed them to obtain a first-round pick for Afflalo, but they elected to take the package from the Nuggets instead, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reveals.
- Hornets GM Rich Cho contends that the team’s decision to draft big man Noah Vonleh at No. 9 doesn’t affect Charlotte’s designs on re-signing Josh McRoberts, as Cho told reporters today, including Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
- It was a surprise when Caron Butler signed with the Thunder instead of the Heat this past season, but he said in a recent radio appearance on FM 104.3 The Ticket that the Heat approached him after he’d already committed to joining Oklahoma City. Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald has the highlights from the interview, in which the soon-to-be free agent confirmed that he’d consider signing with Miami this summer.
FRIDAY, 12:18am: The deal is official, the Magic have announced via press release.
THURSDAY, 12:18pm: The Magic have agreed to send Arron Afflalo to the Nuggets for Evan Fournier and the No. 56 pick, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Nuggets appear to be absorbing Afflalo into a trade exception, Zach Lowe of Grantland tweets. A quick glance at this summer’s outstanding trade exceptions would indicate that Denver is using the $9.868MM exception from the Andre Iguodala deal to take on Afflalo.
Afflalo is set to earn $7.56MM this season and has a player option for 2015/16 at $7.75MM, but it seems likely that he’ll opt out, effectively making his deal an expiring contract. The haul for the guard may seem light, but that fact could have weighed down his trade value. Afflalo put up a career-high 18.2 PPG this season in 35 minutes per contest. His ~46% field goal percentage was right in line with his career average and his 16.0 PER was a full three points higher than his mark last season.
The deal is something of a homecoming for Afflalo, who played for Denver from 2009/10 through 2011/12. The reunion won’t be short lived, as a source tells Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (on Twitter) that the 28-year-old will not be flipped to another team in a trade. Afflalo has been mentioned as someone the Nuggets were interested in acquiring for the purposes of flipping him to the Wolves in a Kevin Love deal.
Fournier averaged 8.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.5 APG in 19.5 minutes per night in 76 games last season. The shooting guard showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie campaign but didn’t take significant strides forward in 2013/14. Even though he shot well shot well from downtown, his field-goal percentage dropped to 41.9%, down 7.4 percent from the previous season.
Orlando surely likes Fournier but the real motivation for the deal comes in additional flexibility. Following the trade, the Magic have roughly $27.5MM in guaranteed salary on the books for 2014/15.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Clippers engaged the Magic in discussions about trading for Arron Afflalo this past spring, but were rebuffed after Orlando didn’t find L.A.’s trade offers enticing enough, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. However, there was some sense that the two clubs could later re-visit talks if they managed to get a third team involved in discussions. The Clips have been eyeing Afflalo for quite some time and came close to landing the former UCLA shooting guard last summer, according to Shelburne, who also mentions that Donald Sterling eventually nixed the negotiations.
You can find more of tonight’s miscellaneous news and notes below:
- Spurs icon Tim Duncan revealed on “The Late Show with David Letterman” that he had briefly considered retirement shortly after winning his fifth NBA championship. “I thought about calling it a career…But I felt I could at least do one more year. I felt I was still effective. I felt I could still play and help the team” (transcription via Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News).
- Some NBA executives believe that the Cavaliers’ reported interest in Jabari Parker could just be a smokescreen to get other teams to ante up their trade offers for the No. 1 pick, tweets Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Among those teams is the Jazz, who are said to covet Parker if they acquired the top pick.
- Both Howard Eisley and Brian Scalabrine are candidates to become assistant coaches for Doc Rivers, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Eisley has been serving as a players skills coach for the Clippers, while Scalabrine spent the latter portion of last season as a coach for the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.
- Timberwolves president/head coach Flip Saunders said he’s in contact with other NBA teams on a daily basis, but was coy when specifically asked if those discussions involved Kevin Love, writes Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press. As Greder points out, Saunders said he’s comfortable with the current roster, including Love. “I don’t know about the prospects of us trading anybody by Thursday night…I feel comfortable with the guys that we have. If we can get something that makes our team better, we’ll do it. If we don’t, we’ll stay pat and move forward and enter into free agency on July 1.”
The Cavs had been favoring Jabari Parker, but his poor performance in a workout for the team coupled with a stirring audition from Andrew Wiggins has left Cleveland torn with just two days to go before the draft, according to Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford of ESPN.com. The time left before Thursday night’s draft figures to be full of back-and-forth, with uncertainty seemingly surrounding all 60 picks. Here’s the latest:
- The Wolves are willing to give up J.J. Barea, Corey Brewer, Alexey Shved and the No. 13 pick in an effort to either land a higher draft pick or a veteran, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his NBA AM piece. The Bulls have their eyes on the 13th pick, according to Kyler.
- The Hornets, who have a longstanding interest in Arron Afflalo, are on board with surrendering the No. 9 pick and a player for the Magic shooting guard, Kyler writes in the same piece.
- The Jazz are targeting Wiggins as they attempt to move up rather than Parker, and they’re actively shopping pick No. 23, according to Kyler.
- The Sixers‘ reason for seeking a third top-10 pick is so they would still be able to emerge with two top-10 picks from the draft if they package the third and 10th selections to move up, sources tell Kyler.
- The Kings have three deals in the works involving the No. 8 pick, according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com.
- The Bucks are not actively shopping John Henson, in spite of heavy interest from other teams, but they are open to the idea of trading him for a lottery pick, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
- Milwaukee is listening to offers for the No. 2 overall pick, though Bucks GM John Hammond said today that “it would take something very special,” to prompt him to give it up, tweets Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- It’s “highly unlikely” that the Blazers, who are without a pick in either round on Thursday, end up trading for one, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com hears (Twitter link).
The Bulls have spoken with the Kings about a deal that would send the No. 8 pick in Thursday’s draft to Chicago, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. The target for the Bulls is Doug McDermott, according to Deveney, who seconds an earlier report that Chicago has interest in Gary Harris and Nik Stauskas, too.
Chicago has been active in attempts to move up in the draft order, reportedly engaging in serious talks about the No. 11 pick with the Nuggets. The No. 12 pick is also part of multiple conversations the team has had with the Magic as Chicago pursues Arron Afflalo, according to Deveney. A top-flight shooter appears to be Chicago’s aim, and McDermott would fit that bill, having nailed 44.9% of his three-pointers last season.
Sacramento is actively attempting to move the No. 8 pick and is more likely to trade it than to use it to select a player on Thursday, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com reported last week. The Hawks have also reportedly been linked to talks for the eighth pick.
The latest Insider-only mock draft from Chad Ford of ESPN.com is full of rumors, draft-related and otherwise. Let’s dive in and hit the highlights:
- The Bulls are offering Taj Gibson, Tony Snell, and the 16th and 19th picks in this year’s draft to the Wolves, Ford hears. That’s presumably as part of a Kevin Love package, though Ford doesn’t make it clear exactly what Chicago wants back in return for those assets.
- The Sixers continue to explore the idea of a Michael Carter-Williams trade as they seek another top-10 pick. The Lakers would like to acquire Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young for No. 7 and Steve Nash, but they’ve gained no traction on that proposal, according to Ford.
- The Magic have offered picks Nos. 4 and 12 plus Arron Afflalo to the Cavs and Bucks as they attempt to move into the top two, but neither Milwaukee nor Cleveland has bitten. They’re also dangling Afflalo to the Kings and Nuggets for the eighth and 11th selections, respectively.
- The Bucks are looking for an additional lottery pick, Ford reports, citing “serious” interest from other teams in Larry Sanders, John Henson and Brandon Knight. The Nuggets have spoken with Milwaukee about the No. 11 pick, according to Ford.
- A source close to both the Nuggets and Dario Saric deny that Denver has given him a promise to draft him at No. 11.
- There are several other medical issues that came up in Joel Embiid‘s physical in addition to his foot and back, sources tell Ford. It’s unclear how much concern there is regarding them.