Phoenix Suns

Suns Acquire No. 8 Pick From Kings, Draft Chriss

10:40pm: The Kings have officially announced the swap (via Twitter).

7:24pm: The Suns and Kings have agreed to a trade that will send the No. 8 pick to Phoenix, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the pick will be Washington power forward Marquese Chriss.

In return, Sacramento will receive Bogdan Bogdanovic and the Suns’ pick at No. 13, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). Phoenix’s pick at No. 28 will also be included, along with a second-rounder in 2020, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. That second-round pick originally belonged to the Pistons (Twitter link).

Earlier today, Bogdanovic decided to remain in Turkey for another season before joining the NBA. That decision gives him the freedom to negotiate a salary in 2017, rather than being bound by a rookie contract, which would have happened if he had signed during this offseason.

Draft Rumors: Celtics, Bender, Ingram, Valentine

The Celtics weren’t able to find “realistic deals” for the No. 3 pick, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. There was speculation that several teams, most notably the Sixers, were trying to acquire the pick to get their hands on Providence point guard Kris Dunn, but the Celtics never found an offer they liked. Instead, Boston used the pick to grab California power forward Jaylen Brown, whom the team intends to keep, according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said the team never came close to making a deal, tweets Adam Kauffman of WBZ News Radio in Boston. “We did not sniff a trade today,” Grousbeck said. “It was a collection of rip-off attempts, and we laughed at them.”

There’s more as draft night heats up:

  • French power forward Guerschon Yabusele, the Celtics’ pick at No. 16, will probably be a draft-and-stash player, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.
  • The NBA opt-out clause for Dragan Bender is $1.2MM, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The Croatian big man, who was selected fourth overall by the Suns tonight, will contribute to his release, says Pick.
  • Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said his team received a lot of trade interest in the No. 2 pick, but was’t offered anything compelling enough to give up the rights to Brandon Ingram, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Bulls will keep Denzel Valentine, who was their choice at No. 14, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Chicago had him ranked second on its draft board behind Dunn.
  • Before they made their pick at No. 13, the Kings called the Pistons about the possibility of moving back to No. 18, but Detroit turned down the offer, reports Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers (Twitter link).
  • The Cavaliers, who currently don’t have a pick in either round, are trying to obtain a second-round choice, tweets Chris Haynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Draft Rumors: Nuggets, Celtics, Sixers, Dunn

With the 2016 NBA draft just minutes from getting underway, let’s round up some of the latest rumors from around the league…

  • According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter), league executives are saying that many teams with mid-to-late first-round picks are making a “great effort” to move those selections. Already today, the Pacers have moved the No. 20 pick and the Hornets have traded No. 22.
  • The Nuggets made an effort to move up to No. 3, but felt that the Celtics were asking for too much, reports NBA.com’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics aren’t considering Croatian big man Dragan Bender with the third overall pick in the draft, reports Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Boston instead appears to be “increasingly drawn to” Providence point guard Kris Dunn. The Sixers also like Dunn a lot, and are engaged in last-minute talks with Boston, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • The Suns, who have frequently been linked to Marquese Chriss at No. 4, are giving “increasing consideration” to Bender at that spot, tweets ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. Meanwhile, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix is also gauging the value of that No. 4 pick in the event that Dunn is still on the board, since it sounds like there are a few teams coveting the point guard.
  • Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks thinks the draft is “a little light” in the first round, but “heavy” in the second round, and says the team is excited about the No. 46 pick. Nelson added that Dallas hasn’t ruled out trying to get into the first round for the right player (all Twitter links via Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com).

Draft Rumors: Sixers, Noel, Magic, Butler, Raps

The 76ers have had “significant engagement” with the Celtics in the last 24 hours, and those trade talks are continuing, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). However, Wojnarowski reports that Philadelphia has also recently been in touch with the Timberwolves (No. 5) and Kings (No. 8). According to Michael Scotto of The Associated Press (Twitter link), the Sixers are dangling Nerlens Noel and their two picks near the end of the first round (Nos. 24 and 26) in an effort to pick up a second top-eight pick.

Here are a few more draft rumors and updates from around the NBA:

  • There have been reports that some teams with high picks tonight – such as the Celtics at No. 3 or the Timberwolves at No. 5 – are willing to include those selections in a package for Jimmy Butler. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News suggests (via Twitter) that the Magic are also among the teams pursuing Butler, but according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (via Twitter), the Bulls forward is under the impression that Chicago intends to keep him.
  • If none of the consensus top eight players on draft boards slip to No. 9 for the Raptors, GM Masai Ujiri may end up taking Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford (Twitter link), who is hearing “strong rumblings” about Toronto’s interest in the big man.
  • League sources tell Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic that Washington’s Marquese Chriss is believed to be the Suns‘ preferred target at No. 4, assuming he’s available. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 tweets that he expects Phoenix to take either Chriss or Dragan Bender, adding that he doesn’t believe Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray are in play.
  • Ford (ESPN Insider-only link) and Jonathan Givony of The Vertical have both updated their mock drafts today to reflect the latest info they’re hearing from around the league.

Bogdanovic To Remain Overseas Another Season

Suns 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic won’t be joining the NBA next season, electing instead to remain overseas with the Turkish club Fenerbahce, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic relays. Remaining overseas for one more season makes fiscal sense for the swingman. Bogdanovic would have been required to sign a rookie contract that would give him a salary of about $5.7MM over four years. By waiting until 2017 to make the jump to the NBA, Bogdanovic is now free to negotiate any amount, starting with his draft year’s rookie salary scale.

  • The Suns made an attempt to pry Hayward from the Jazz, offering Eric Bledsoe and a lottery pick in exchange, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. There is a growing sense around the league that Phoenix will move either Bledsoe or Brandon Knight prior to the start of next season, Stein adds (Twitter link).

Suns Eyeing Dunn; Bledsoe On Trade Block?

While the Sixers, Celtics, and a few other clubs have been the subject of more trade rumors in recent weeks, the Nuggets may actually be the team most likely to pull off a draft-day deal, sources tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. As we noted earlier this week, Denver is one of four teams holding three first-round picks, and is the only one of those clubs without a D-League affiliate, which will make it tricky for the Nuggets to use all their selections and carry all those players on their roster.

In addition to holding three top-20 picks, the Nuggets also have Kenneth Faried, who hasn’t demanded a trade, but wouldn’t mind being moved, since he doesn’t feel like he’s a part of Denver’s long-term plans, according to Deveney. The Sporting News scribe adds that the Nuggets have received offers for Danilo Gallinari as well, but would prefer to move Faried.

Here’s more from Deveney, including info on a potential suitor for Faried:

  • The Timberwolves have spoken to the Nuggets and have some interest in trading for Faried, Deveney writes. New head coach Tom Thibodeau observed Faried first-hand when they were both part of Team USA at the 2014 World Cup, and apparently liked what he saw.
  • The Magic will have interest in a handful of former Florida Gators in free agency this summer, including Al Horford, Joakim Noah, and Chandler Parsons, according to Deveney. With Orlando hoping to make a splash in free agency, Deveney also points out that the team could take a risk on a young project like Skal Labissiere in the draft, with the expectation that they’ll land veteran help a couple weeks later.
  • The Suns have interest in Kris Dunn at No. 4, and Eric Bledsoe would become very available in trade talks if the team were to select Dunn with that pick. However, Bledsoe’s knee issues could diminish his value, as one GM tells Deveney: “It’s definitely a case of selling low if they trade him now. Those knees are serious red flags and you figure it is only a matter of time before (his left meniscus) will be removed.” Bledsoe previously had his right meniscus removed, and has had his left meniscus repaired.
  • Spanish forward Juan Hernangomez is projected to come off the board in the 20-30 range in Thursday night’s draft, and Deveney says the Raptors, who hold the No. 27 pick, are particularly interested. Hernangomez seems willing to remain overseas as a draft-and-stash project, but has also said he’d love to come to the NBA immediately.

Draft Rumors: Lakers, Ingram, Celtics, Bembry

With Ben Simmons having reportedly received a promise from the Sixers at No. 1, the Lakers know who will be on the board for them at No. 2, and barring a last-minute blockbuster trade offer, Los Angeles intends to select Duke’s Brandon Ingram with that pick, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford and Ramona Shelburne. The decision, which comes as no surprise, comes after the Lakers spent three hours meeting with new head coach Luke Walton on Tuesday night, per the ESPN.com report. The team did its homework on other top prospects, but this year’s class has always been viewed as having a consensus top two, so it would have been a huge upset if the Lakers had landed on anyone but Ingram.

Let’s check in on a few more draft rumors, notes, and updates around the league…

  • ESPN’s Marc Stein wrote last night that the Celtics‘ preference at No. 3 – assuming they keep the pick – has “emerged as one of the bigger mysteries of draft week.” Bill Simmons of The Ringer agrees, tweeting that the Suns (Marquese Chriss), Timberwolves (Kris Dunn), Pelicans (Jamal Murray), and Kings (Buddy Hield) all appear to have preferred targets, but Boston could throw a wrench into the top eight by selecting one of those players. Meanwhile, Brett Dawson of The Advocate cautions (via Twitter) that it’s not yet clear whether Murray is New Orleans’ top target.
  • The Hawks, Sixers, and Spurs – all of whom have picks in the 20-30 range tomorrow night – have done the most extensive research on former St. Joseph’s wing DeAndre’ Bembry, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
  • Rothstein adds (via Twitter) that two names he’s hearing on the Grizzlies‘ short list for the No. 17 pick are Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt) and Malachi Richardson (Syracuse).
  • The Pacers have narrowed down their list of realistic targets for the No. 20 overall pick to eight prospects, and prioritizing versatility, writes Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star.
  • ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider-only link) has revealed his final big board for the 2016 draft, which has Kris Dunn supplanting Jamal Murray at No. 3, and Marquese Chriss cracking the top five.
  • The NBA has announced 19 Green Room invitees for the 2016 draft, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv details. The list of prospects who will be in attendance on Thursday night includes the usual suspects, such as Simmons and Ingram, but also features a handful of names further down on draft boards, including Timothe Luwawu, Malik Beasley, and Denzel Valentine.

Suns Interested In Gordon Hayward

  • According to Stein, the Bulls have shown little interest in sending Butler to the Celtics, the Bucks regard Parker and Middleton as “untouchables,” and the Jazz are telling interested teams that Hayward isn’t available. The Suns have also made an effort to pry Hayward from Utah, Stein writes.

    [SOURCE LINK]

Suns Shopping No. 4 Pick

There likely won’t be much drama with the first overall pick on draft night, now that the Sixers have reportedly informed LSU’s Ben Simmons they’ll be selecting him. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of surprises the rest of the way. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford (via Twitter), all six teams picking between Nos. 3 and 8 – the Celtics, Suns, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Nuggets, and Kings – are shopping their selections to some extent. This year’s draft class is viewed as having a consensus top eight, with a drop off after that point, so those picks could generate plenty of trade interest.

Five Teams Holding Multiple First-Round Picks

With the 2016 NBA draft just three days away, trade talks figure to heat up around the league this week, and there’s a chance we could see plenty of action on Thursday night. One prominent agent tells Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times (Twitter link) that he expects several trades to be made around the draft, with some star players potentially involved.

While first-round picks are always desirable trade assets, the value of those selections has increased even more this year. The salary cap is expected to rise by upwards of $24MM for the 2016/17 season, but rookie salaries will only increase marginally, making those four-year rookie contracts one of the best bargains in the sport. And as it turns out, five NBA teams control nearly half of those first-round picks — four clubs have three first-rounders apiece, while a fifth club holds a pair of them.

Outside of teams in the process of a complete rebuild, there generally aren’t many clubs interested in adding more than a couple rookies to their roster. As such, the teams holding multiple first-rounders (and, in some cases, some second-rounders as well) figure to receive plenty of inquiries this week about those picks, and could be involved in draft-night trades.

Here’s a breakdown of the five teams holding multiple first-round picks:

Boston Celtics
Picks: 3rd, 16th, 23rd
The Celtics’ three first-rounders pale in comparison to their five second-rounders, and the fact that Boston holds eight total selections in this year’s draft means that a trade is probably inevitable. The No. 3 overall pick is in play, though the team reportedly hasn’t yet found a deal it likes involving that pick. The C’s have the option of packaging multiple picks if it means acquiring an impact player, which could be appealing to a team with one big trade chip that wants to land a handful of assets.

Denver Nuggets
Picks: 7th, 15th, 19th
The only team with three top-20 picks, the Nuggets are also the only team in this group of five without a D-League affiliate. That means selecting a project at No. 15 or 19 with the intention of developing him in the D-League isn’t really a viable approach. It also makes Denver a prime trade candidate, though the team could also use its 15th or 19th pick on a draft-and-stash player, since there are a handful of international prospects projected to potentially come off the board in that range.

Philadelphia 76ers
Picks: 1st, 24th, 26th
The 76ers aren’t moving the No. 1 pick, and they’re probably not in win-now mode quite yet, meaning they could conceivably keep their two mid-20s selections as well. Still, with a new GM (Bryan Colangelo) in charge, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team shift its approach this year, and trade one of those selections for more immediate help, rather than stashing a prospect or dealing the pick for a future first-rounder.

Phoenix Suns
Picks: 4th, 13th, 28th
Executive and agents around the NBA expect the Nets to acquire a first-round pick, and I could easily imagine them making their first call to Phoenix to talk about that 28th overall pick. There’s a reasonable chance that the Suns move that selection, and No. 13 could be in play as well. I’d expect Phoenix to keep No. 4 though, giving them the opportunity to add a prospect like Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender.

Toronto Raptors
Picks: 9th, 27th
General manager GM Masai Ujiri has indicated that the Raptors are open for business when it comes to their first-round picks, joking that there’s a clause in Dwane Casey‘s new extension forbidding the team from adding multiple rookies to the 2016/17 roster. Of the two picks, No. 27 is more likely to be moved, but if Toronto has the opportunity to trade for a veteran power forward that could immediately slot into the starting lineup, No. 9 will certainly be in play as well.

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