Five teams, most of them in the Eastern Conference, are planning to pursue Greg Monroe when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling. The source predicts Monroe will sign early in July, which often isn’t the case with restricted free agents. There’s more from Zwerling amid our latest look around the league:
- The Celtics have interest in signing-and-trading Kris Humphries this summer, Zwerling writes in the same piece. Danny Ainge is reportedly high on the 10th-year veteran who’s expressed a desire to stay in Boston, so it seems there’s no guarantee Humphries will go elsewhere this summer, even as the C’s appear to be preparing for that possibility.
- Marvin Williams is comfortable in Utah and wants to remain with the Jazz, observes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who figures that was one of the reasons the team reportedly turned down at least one offer for a late first-round pick in exchange for Williams.
- Pelicans GM Dell Demps expressed confidence in his core earlier this week, but Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com, in an Insider-only piece, urges Demps to shake up the team in the offseason.
- Justin Barrasso of WEEI.com examines the transition Brad Stevens is making from college to the NBA game, noting that most college coaches who’ve entered the pros have done so with franchises far less stable than the Celtics are.
Chad Ford of ESPN.com takes an Insider-only look at the trade market for a handful of teams with little more than 24 hours remaining before Thursday’s 2:00pm Central trade deadline. We’ll round up the highlights here:
- The Knicks are shopping Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert and Beno Udrih as they seek to upgrade their point guard spot. Ford mentions Jeremy Lin as a long shot possibility for New York, but Houston is adamant it doesn’t want to give him up. Trading for Lin or Kyle Lowry would require the Knicks to relinquish Tim Hardaway Jr.
- The Warriors have been listening to offers for Harrison Barnes, and they’ve gone as far as to counter a few of them, Ford hears. Greg Monroe, Thaddeus Young, Tristan Thompson, Kenneth Faried, John Henson and Amir Johnson all intrigue the W’s as possible targets in exchange for Barnes, Ford writes. Golden State is also enamored with Kevin Love, as most teams around the league are.
- Ford describes David Lee as available, too, but he notes there isn’t much of a market for him, which makes sense, given his bloated contract.
- Part of the Pelicans‘ motivation for exploring trades for Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans is the feeling that they could fall back into position to snag a top-five pick in this year’s draft if both guys are off the roster, according to Ford. Their first-rounder goes to the Sixers if it’s No. 6 or worse. Chris Mannix of SI.com wrote earlier this morning that New Orleans was looking to move either Gordon or Evans, but not both.
Every Celtics player, including Rajon Rondo, is available for the right price, Chris Mannix of SI.com reports in a pair of tweets. Still, some rival executives believe Boston is overvaluing Brandon Bass and Jeff Green, for whom Danny Ainge is demanding first-round picks, as Mannix writes in a full piece. Mannix also notes that the Celtics would prefer to keep Kris Humphries through the deadline. There’s plenty more in Mannix’s dispatch covering several of the league’s most active teams in advance of Thursday’s deadline, so let’s dive in:
- The Pelicans are making a strong effort to trade either Eric Gordon or Tyreke Evans, Mannix hears, contradicting what coach Monty Williams told reporters earlier this week.
- Mannix adds Arron Afflalo to the list of players the Bobcats are eyeing. Charlotte is apparently willing to absorb a player-friendly contract as part of a deal that brings in an impact player, Mannix writes.
- The Pistons like Evan Turner, and they may be willing to offer the Sixers the first-round draft pick they’re looking for, according to Mannix. Still, it will take “an overwhelming offer” to pry Greg Monroe from Detroit, which would like to trade Josh Smith instead but is finding no takers.
- Andre Miller is “gone one way or another,” but that may be the only trade Denver makes, in spite of a heavy volume of calls coming in from other teams, Mannix writes. The Nuggets don’t appear inclined to auction off Kenneth Faried, according to Mannix. His report contrasts with what teams are telling Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who hears that anyone outside of Ty Lawson is available (Twitter link).
- Rival teams are interested in Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Nets are unwilling to trade the rights to the former second-round pick who’s playing in Turkey.
- Kirk Hinrich has been drawing more interest than Mike Dunleavy, but executives around the league believe the Bulls probably won’t deal Hinrich and risk deepening the divide between Tom Thibodeau and the front office. Dunleavy is similarly off the table.
- Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been “determined” to find another star to go along with Kyrie Irving, but the league appears to have lukewarm feelings about the young players on the Cavs, according to Mannix, which would appear to make a blockbuster unlikely.
- There’s been friction between Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala, Mannix hears, but rival executives nonetheless believe it will take a massive offer to acquire Barnes, Mannix notes, echoing what Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has said.
Victor Oladipo may be the only Magic player unavailable for a trade, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who adds that the team is looking for multiple first-round picks or young players for Arron Afflalo. Ford believes Orlando will indeed find a taker for Afflalo, but that’s in contrast to a report from Sam Amick of USA Today indicating the Magic aren’t that eager to trade him and aren’t hearing from any team with strong interest (Twitter link). The Magic’s price is much lower for Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson, Ford writes, and while Amick tweets that the Magic is focusing most of its trade attention on those two, Orlando hasn’t gotten anywhere with either of them yet, Amick says.
Ford has much more in his latest Insider-only piece, and we’ll hit the highlights here:
- The Cavs and Bobcats appear to be the only teams capable of trading away a 2014 lottery pick that would actually do so, according to Ford. If the Cavs are determined to make a playoff push, they’ll offer Dion Waiters and their 2014 first-round pick in search of veteran help, Ford writes.
- There’s nothing major happening on the Ersan Ilyasova front, Ford hears, naming Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour as the Bucks most likely to be traded. Milwaukee is reluctant to let go of Caron Butler, who’s a native of nearby Racine, Ford adds.
- The Sixers want “significantly” more than just a first-round pick for Thaddeus Young, which has been dissuading some teams from trading for him, Ford writes.
- Jeff Green and Brandon Bass are the names that come up most frequently in trade discussions involving the Celtics, according to Ford.
- Several GMs tell Ford that the Lakers appear willing to discuss any player on their roster short of Kobe Bryant.
- Everyone outside of DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas is available from the Kings, with Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and Jimmer Fredette the primary bait, Ford writes.
- It’s unlikely the Jazz trade Gordon Hayward, Ford says, naming Marvin Williams as the team’s most likely trade candidate.
- Teams are looking to acquire a package of both Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey, but the Pistons remain unwilling to deal Monroe, as multiple GMs tell Ford.
There has been chatter “for weeks” that Pistons president of basketball ops Joe Dumars is on shaky ground, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who adds that no one around the league would be surprised if he’s replaced in time for next season. Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times hears similar sentiments about Dumars’ job security, so Maurice Cheeks might not be the only one heading out of Detroit (Twitter link). There’s more on the team that made the first coaching change of the season on Sunday amid our look at the Central Division:
- The Pistons continue to turn away calls about Monroe, according to Lowe, who thinks the team need not be in a hurry to pull off any major trade.
- The Cavs are willing to trade just about anyone on the roster short of Kyrie Irving, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in his Insider-only “Tank Rank” piece. Ford casts Dion Waiters as the likely bait for a deal that would help improve the club, though it’s not clear whether that’s based on his reporting or if that’s merely educated speculation.
- New Cavs GM David Griffin will lead the way in the club’s approach to the trade deadline, but it’ll be a collaborative approach, with owner Dan Gilbert involved in the decision-making, a source tells Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
- Pacers players gave a lukewarm response when Kyler asked them about the signing of Andrew Bynum. Kyler hears that the Pacers won’t hesitate to waive the former All-Star and his $1MM guaranteed salary if he violates the club’s “low tolerance” policy for him.
- Terry Foster of The Detroit News wouldn’t be surprised to see Dumars step down this summer, realizing his fate. The News scribe believes the team’s decision to appoint John Loyer as interim coach for the rest of the season, rather than conduct an immediate search, signals owner Tom Gores’ lack of faith in Dumars.
TNT’s David Aldridge’s lengthy “Morning Tip” column on NBA.com has a strong trade deadline focus this week, as is only appropriate with 10 days left before the big day. We’ll dive into the highlights here:
- The Pelicans have been shopping Eric Gordon “for a while,” Aldridge writes, but an opposing GM says they’re not finding takers because rival teams realize that injuries have cut into the 25-year-old’s athleticism.
- Aldridge expects the Pistons to try to convince Phil Jackson, who served as a special advisor to the team this summer, to coach the club, but Aldridge notes it’s unlikely the Zen Master would do so.
- The Pistons aren’t giving up Greg Monroe unless it’s part of a blockbuster trade, and they’re hoping they can re-sign him this summer to a contract similar to the four-year, $49.4MM deal that Serge Ibaka inked with the Thunder in 2012. If not, Aldridge expects the Pistons to swallow hard and match a max offer sheet from another team.
- Kyle Lowry will probably remain with the Raptors through the deadline, but that’s not an indication that the Raptors are willing to pay a heavy price to re-sign him this summer, Aldridge writes.
- Aldridge hears plenty of trade chatter surrounding Kenneth Faried, and though the Nuggets deny it, Aldridge thinks there could be something to it. He’s up for an extension this summer, and if he doesn’t get one, he’ll be a restricted free agent in 2015. Denver wouldn’t be willing to give him an outsized payday as it stands, given its concerns about his defense, Aldridge writes.
- Grizzlies management is high on Ed Davis, who’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, and Aldridge examines how that affects the team’s willingness to retain Zach Randolph. Aldridge says the Wizards would prefer to acquire Davis rather than Randolph if they had a choice.
- Patty Mills will be a free agent at season’s end, but even amid increased playing time with the Spurs this season, he’s giving no thought to leaving for another team where he could have a larger role or make more money, according to Aldridge.
In his most recent column, Sam Amick of USA Today passed on a lot of information gathered from six NBA executives speaking anonymously regarding what he thinks will be a “very active swapping season.” Talk includes teams from around the league looking to win now or bolster rebuilding efforts. The entire article is worth the read, but here is a brief roundup:
- The Knicks “have decided to think big” as the deadline approaches, and believe that the Celtics‘ Rajon Rondo is more available than Boston general manager Danny Ainge is letting on. Trading Carmelo Anthony is not being given serious consideration, despite all the speculation surrounding his willingness to re-sign this summer.
- Rival executives think that if Ainge were to make any Rondo move, he would wait until just before the deadline to do so.
- The Pelicans are thought to be willing to trade Eric Gordon, although moving the two-year, $29MM left on his contract would be a challenge.
- If the Suns don’t acquire Pau Gasol, Thaddeus Young is another possible trade target before the deadline. It’s also believed that Phoenix would have strong interest in Rudy Gay this off season should he opt out of his player option.
- The Spurs and Bobcats were mentioned by an executive as possible destinations for the Sixers‘ Evan Turner, either through a trade this season or when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer.
- It’s more likely that the Pistons move players with expiring deals (Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villanueva or Jonas Jerebko, for instance) than for them to part with Greg Monroe before the deadline.
- The Timberwolves have great urgency to make the playoffs and keep Kevin Love content, and are thought to be willing to part with J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham, and Alexey Shved for a deal that would help them avoid finishing another season outside the playoffs.
- While the Grizzlies‘ Zach Randolph hasn’t said whether he will opt out of his contract this summer, he has indicated that he wants to remain with Memphis. For their part, the Grizzlies don’t appear to be shopping him. The Suns inquired about the power forward, but were told he wasn’t available.
- The Magic aren’t eager to move Arron Afflalo, and it would likely take a proven player in addition to any draft picks to pry him away from Orlando.
Sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders that the Pelicans have had a deal in place all season to trade Austin Rivers if he didn’t start seeing minutes. His playing time has perked up of late, and Kyler wonders if the Pelicans are merely showcasing him for other trades. The Pelicans are also open to trading Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans, according to Kyler, who shares plenty more in his latest piece. We’ll hit the highlights here:
- The Bobcats are “kicking around” the idea of trading for Greg Monroe, Kyler writes. He also hears they’d be willing to throw Bismack Biyombo into a Ben Gordon trade to convince teams to take on Gordon’s inflated deal, but as Kyler notes, that wouldn’t do much to persuade reluctant trade partners.
- The Sixers could wind up dealing away all of their three veteran trade candidates — Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young — by the deadline, Kyler writes, adding that the Rockets have been targeting Young all season. We heard Young connected to Houston in December, but this is the first report suggesting the Rockets have had interest in him since.
- Dion Waiters and Alonzo Gee are the names most frequently mentioned around the league when the subject of Cavs trade candidates comes up, according to Kyler. Cleveland is reluctant to make Anderson Varejao a part of its talks, but the Cavs are coming around to ideas they hadn’t previously considered, Kyler observes, adding that the team looks like it will be a seller, either at the deadline or around draft time.
- Almost everyone on the Bucks, outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson, is fair game for a trade, according to Kyler, who hears that the Rockets have been eyeing Ersan Ilyasova.
- Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette are the Kings that Kyler keeps hearing in trade chatter, but there’s little market for either, he writes.
- Rival teams are getting the sense that the Pistons will stand pat at the deadline, which Kyler finds vexing.
- Sources close to the Raptors tell Kyler that their trade talk is simply due diligence, and that they’re only considering overwhelming offers.
The Pistons are unlikely to trade Greg Monroe before the February 20th deadline, writes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The idea of moving Monroe because of finances isn’t true, the team can fit him in their budget, as Andre Drummond‘s next contract is still two seasons away. The question is more to whether or not Monroe is worth signing to a big money extension. Ellis opines that teams are reluctant to give up on young, skilled big men of high character like Monroe. But, he also agrees that if a high-level player like Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo becomes available, then the Pistons would definitely have to consider making a deal. But the team trading Monroe just to add another shooter or solid rotation player that isn’t a game-changer? Highly unlikely, according to Ellis.
More from Detroit:
- Pistons owner Tom Gores is frustrated with the team’s record and performance so far, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. “I’m not satisfied with the job I’m doing. I’m not satisfied with the job anybody’s doing, including myself,” Gores said yesterday. With the team’s record at 19-27, and considering the Pistons have given away a number of games this season with uneven fourth-quarter play, Gores said what most owners or general managers or coaches of an underperforming team would say, “The record isn’t indicative of the talent assembled on the roster“.
- Goodwill also believes that Gores shares part of the blame from when he all but demanded the Pistons make the playoffs this season, and made his desire known for the team to make a big splash in free agency. This resulted in the signing of Josh Smith, a player who didn’t necessarily fit the mold of what many expected the team should’ve been shopping for.
- Gores also stated that he is more focused on making their own players better right now, rather then making trades before the deadline, according to Goodwill’s piece. The owner hasn’t publicly demanded the Pistons make a drastic change to a roster that needs shooting in the worst way. But that could change if the Pistons’ woes continue.
- Keith Langlois of NBA.com puts a more positive spin on Gores’ outlook. He believes that the owner sees a lot of hope in the young roster. The Pistons average age among their starters is 23 years, and that allows Gores to maintain a measure of patience despite the inconsistencies that have dogged them over the season’s first 46 games.
The Pistons have informed teams with interest in trading for Greg Monroe that the big man isn’t available, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. That echoes a Monday report that Detroit is strident in its position that it won’t trade Monroe to the Wizards, who apparently covet the soon-to-be restricted free agent.
Stein suggests there’s a strong chance the Pistons and president of basketball operations Joe Dumars will come around to the idea of trading Monroe before the February 20th trade deadline. The team will otherwise face a conundrum in the summer, when the 6’11″ Monroe will be an appealing prize for other teams on the free agent market. The Pistons have the right to match offers, but as Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News surmised this fall, Monroe and agent David Falk could command a deal in line with the four-year, $48MM extension that Derrick Favors signed with the Jazz.
The Pistons had postseason aspirations after acquiring Josh Smith in the offseason, but they’re 18-27 so far, tied with the Knicks for ninth place in the Eastern Conference and a half game behind the Bobcats for the final playoff spot. The addition of Smith, plus the promotion of Andre Drummond to the starting lineup, has given Detroit a front line that lacks shooting touch, helping lead to speculation that a shakeup could be coming. Hoops Rumors readers who voted in a recent poll identified Monroe as the Piston most likely to be traded by a wide margin.