Kevin Garnett is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Wolves this offseason and during his new contract, Garnett and Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders are expected to try and form a group to buy the team from owner Glen Taylor, writes Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press. During his 20 seasons in the NBA, Garnett has amassed more than $325MM in salaries alone while Saunders has made an estimated $40MM during his 17 seasons as an NBA coach.
Here’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Garnett will have his greatest impact on the Wolves during practices, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. Anthony Bennett and Adreian Payne seem likely to benefit the most from having the veteran around. “Those two, they’ll be able to take more on the court from KG,” assistant coach Ryan Saunders said. “The things he does, the little nuances he knows, they’ll see the ultimate professional.”
- New addition Arron Afflalo was ecstatic about the trade that sent him to Blazers, writes Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. The shooting guard believes the Blazers have a real chance to “contend for a championship.” The team believes both Afflalo and Alonzo Gee can help boost its bench unit. “Both guys have been in the league long enough that they know what teams do, it’s just a matter of understanding how we do things,” coach Terry Stotts said. “There will be some time to find a comfort zone, but … I think I have a good feel for who they are as players and what they can do. There’ll be a learning curve for all of us, but hopefully the system that we play fits what they do and they’ll flourish in it.”
- Alonzo Gee hopes to make his impact on defense with the Blazers, writes Jabari Young of CSNNW.com. Gee, who has a reputation of being one of the more underrated defenders in the league, admits he will be move motivated playing for a team that has championship goals. “It does change how you look at every game,” Gee said. “Every game counts. You got to go out and try you best to help the team out as well.”
SUNDAY, 3:41pm: The Nuggets announced that they have waived Robinson.
THURSDAY, 8:33pm: Robinson and the Nuggets have reached a verbal agreement on a buyout, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com tweets.
4:14pm: Thomas Robinson may not be a member of the Nuggets for very long. The player’s representatives are going to seek to reach a buyout arrangement with Denver, Jabari Young of CSNNW.com reports (Twitter link). The young forward out of Kansas was acquired by the Nuggets as part of the deal that sent Arron Afflalo to the Trail Blazers. Denver also received Will Barton, Victor Claver, a second-rounder, and a future lottery-protected first-round pick in the transaction.
The 6’10” forward is making $3,678,360 this season, and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. It’s unclear just how much of his salary Robinson is willing to give back in a buyout. But with Kenneth Faried currently entrenched as the starting power forward, and the Nuggets in full-rebuilding mode, Robinson may prefer to seek out a contending team in need of an athletic big man, though that is just my speculation.
In 32 appearances for the Blazers this season, Robinson has contributed 3.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 12.2 minutes per contest. His career numbers since becoming the No. 5 overall pick back in 2012 are 4.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 0.5 assists. Robinson’s career slash line is .462/.000/.523.
With the trade deadline passed the Timberwolves‘ focus is on seeing which players fit into their long-term plans, Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune writes. “It’s an evaluation time for some of these guys, for where they’re at,” president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said. “But also for what they have to work on, once the season ends and they start getting ready for next year, what they need to do to become solid rotational players. So it’s a little of both.”
Here’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The first-round pick the Jazz netted in their trade of Enes Kanter is Oklahoma City’s 2017 choice, and it’s lottery-protected every year through 2020, as RealGM shows. If it doesn’t convey by then, the Thunder will send their 2020 and 2021 second-round choices.
- Thaddeus Young‘s representatives had asked the Timberwolves to trade him prior to Thursday’s deadline, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reports (Twitter link). Young was dealt to the Nets for Kevin Garnett.
- Joffrey Lauvergne‘s contract with the Nuggets is for three years and $5.2MM, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The big man will earn $1.89MM the first year, and then $1.7MM in each of the two remaining years, with the third season non-guaranteed, Pincus notes. Denver used part of its mid-level exception to sign the big man, Pincus adds.
- Nuggets GM Tim Connelly was critical of Ty Lawson, whose relationship with the team has reportedly deteriorated, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports (Twitter links). Speaking about Lawson, Connelly said, “He needs to grow up. The organization, top to bottom, can’t be anymore supportive. It’s time for, not just Ty but for several of our guys to be pros or it’s time to take a hard look at our roster.“
- As a result of their deadline dealings the Blazers now have an empty roster spot, something president of basketball operations Neil Olshey is in no hurry to fill, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes. Olshey believes that the Blazers’ player rotation is set and the organization believes that it has enough talent and depth to be a contender in the Western Conference, Freeman adds.
- With the Nuggets reportedly set to waive him, Victor Claver‘s representatives are working to find the player a spot on an NBA roster, Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com relays. “The priority would be to find a new NBA deal even if it has to be a 10-day contract,” a league source told Sierra. “That would not be a problem, especially considering it may be too late for a deal in the Euroleague at this point.“
Numerous NBA sources outside of Jeremy Lin’s camp and the Lakers are skeptical either party would want a reunion, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. Still, Lin isn’t really opening up about his future with anyone and he says that he has declined to discuss his impending free agency even with his family and his agent. More from the Western Conference..
- Draymond Green is flattered by talk that connects him to his hometown Pistons, but he told KNBR that he’s focused on winning with the Warriors, Jimmy Durkin of the Mercury News writes.
- “I know I am a free agent,” Green told Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. “Everyone knows it. But I can honestly say I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.” The Warriors standout is averaging 11.1 PPG and 8.3 RPG this season.
- The Rockets sent Nick Johnson and Clint Capela to the D-League, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (on Twitter). This marks Capela’s fifth trip to the D-League and Johnson’s fourth.
- Blazers GM Neil Olshey gave up very little in exchange for a player he knows and likes in Arron Afflalo, John Canzano of The Oregonian writes. Portland, he writes, added offensive punch in the second unit with very little sacrificed.
The Nuggets are creating some $18MM in trade exceptions from their pair of deals today, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes, so it appears they’re using some of their existing trade exceptions to accommodate Thomas Robinson, Will Barton and Victor Claver in the Arron Afflalo deal. That would allow Denver to create a $7.5MM exception for Afflalo. With JaVale McGee headed out to the Sixers with apparently no players coming back, the Nuggets stand to be able to make another exception worth $11.25MM, the equivalent of McGee’s salary. Trade exceptions can’t be combined, but those would nonetheless be powerful weapons. Of course, neither of the trades are official yet, so details could change. In the meantime, here’s more on the busy Nuggets:
- The Celtics took the Nuggets’ temperature on a few deals this week, but Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (on Twitter) hears that the inquiries were more “probing” than anything. Needless to say, those talks didn’t get far.
- Now that Barton is officially with the Nuggets, the feeling is that he could last with Denver as both he and GM Tim Connelly are Baltimore guys, Jabari Young of Comcast SportsNet Northwest tweets.
- The Nuggets are unlikely to move Wilson Chandler today, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). The Blazers and Clippers were the main teams in the mix for him but they’re both out of the running for different reasons. The Blazers already got Arron Afflalo and the Clippers don’t have the assets necessary to pull something off.
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) heard that the Nuggets were seeking two first-round choices for Chandler.
- Chandler made a change in representation and he will now be represented by Roc Nation NBA agents Rich Kleiman & Joe Branch, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal (on Twitter). To keep up on everyone’s representation, check out Hoops Rumors’ Agency Database.
- Several teams, including the Kings, are waiting to see if Denver’s asking price for players drops, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. Mannix also identified the Blazers as a team waiting to see if the sticker price would drop, but that was before the Afflalo deal.
- The Kings were interested in Afflalo, but Denver’s asking price of a first-round pick and a good young player kept them at a distance, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday could be sidelined for more than another month after reaggravating the stress reaction injury in his lower right leg on Monday, John Reid of NOLA.com reports. The Pelicans announced on Wednesday that he will be re-evaluated in three weeks by the team’s medical staff but New Orleans offered no timetable for his return. Holiday, who suffered the setback while doing light drills, has been sidelined since January 14th. He was averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 assists prior to the injury.
Here’s more from around the league:
- The Pacers are open to trading Roy Hibbert, rival executives told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). There is nothing imminent regarding a potential trade of Indiana’s starting center, Kennedy adds.
- Gal Mekel is being hotly pursued by Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israel Premier League, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets. Mekel, a point guard, appeared in four games with the Pelicans in December this season.
- Trade chatter around the Raptors is unusually low, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun tweets. The Raptors are looking toward the offseason to make any big moves, Wolstat adds.
- Jermaine O’Neal, who has opted not to play this season, hinted that the Warriors and Trail Blazers as well as the Mavs were interested in his services, according to quotes posted by Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com from a Dallas radio interview. The Mavs were expected to sign O’Neal but the veteran delayed his comeback because he felt that the timing wasn’t right, O’Neal explained in the interview on 103.3 FM’s “Friedo and Fitzsimmons” show.
- The Nuggets are still considering offers for Arron Afflalo, and some “late charging” teams have expressed interest in the guard, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The Blazers are still strongly in the mix to acquire Afflalo, Wojnarowski adds.
- Ty Lawson‘s no-show at Nuggets practice on Wednesday might be a ploy on Lawson’s part to force a trade, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders opines. Lawson’s absence was unexcused by Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post.
- The Timberwolves had checked in on free agent Jamaal Tinsley but never offered him a 10-day contract, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. It was reported earlier that Minnesota and two other teams had offered Tinsley 10-day deals that he had declined.
The Jazz have not received any serious offers for Enes Kanter, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops tweets. The team is seeking a quality young player and a first-round pick for Kanter, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported on Tuesday. The team would be happy to retain Kanter past the trade deadline, a league source told Scotto. Kanter is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
In other news around the Northwest Division:
- Kevin Durant said he feels no resentment toward the Thunder for the James Harden trade and added that it will have no bearing on his free agency in 2016, as he told reporters, including Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. Durant also said that he loves having Reggie Jackson as a teammate, which counters an earlier report.
- Teams around the league are convinced that the Nuggets will obtain the first-round draft pick they seek in return for Arron Afflalo, and that the Trail Blazers are the current favorites to land the guard, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).
- Afflalo’s representative may not be thrilled at the prospect of the Nuggets guard being dealt to Portland because it could stunt the growth of C.J. McCollum, Jabari Young of CSNNW.com writes. Both players are represented by Excel Sports Management and McCollum’s playing time and bargaining power would likely shrink if Afflalo lands with Portland, Young adds. McCollum’s contract calls for him to make approximately $2.5MM next season and the club holds a team option of just over $3.2MM for 2016/17.
Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.
With Thursday’s NBA trade deadline creeping ever closer, things are going to heat up rather quickly. The reports that the Suns are looking to trade Goran Dragic are likely just the beginning of what should be an interesting couple of days around the NBA. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports relayed some of the latest deadline rumors from around the league:
- The Celtics are continuing to try to include Tayshaun Prince in a trade package, but if unable to find a taker, the team will work out a buyout arrangement after the deadline, Wojnarowski notes.
- After missing out on Amar’e Stoudemire, who is reportedly on his way to Dallas once he clears waivers, the Clippers’ best chance to improve their roster will be to sign a free agent, Wojnarowski opines. Los Angeles may attempt to sign Prince if he is waived by Boston, Wojnarowski adds. The Blazers are also interested in Prince, the Yahoo! scribe relays.
- The Clippers have dangled Jamal Crawford in an effort to acquire a first round draft pick that the team could use to nab the Nuggets‘ Wilson Chandler or Arron Afflalo, the Yahoo! scribe adds. Los Angeles continues to show interest in the Suns‘ Gerald Green as well, Wojnarowski reports.
- Los Angeles had scouted Lance Stephenson recently, but the Clippers never engaged in discussions with the Hornets regarding the mercurial guard, Wojnarowski relays.
- There are several teams around the league that are hoping Jameer Nelson reaches a buyout arrangement with the Nuggets, Wojnarowski notes. Denver currently has no plans to cut the veteran point guard loose, adds the Yahoo! scribe.
- Wolves president Flip Saunders has shown little inclination that he wishes to deal Kevin Martin and Thaddeus Young, Wojnarowski relays.
- Teams that miss out on acquiring Afflalo may take a look at nabbing the Wolves‘ Chase Budinger, Wojnarowski writes. While teams like Budinger’s ability to spread the floor, his $5MM player option is a deterrent for some interested franchises, the Yahoo! scribe adds.
The Trail Blazers have been pursuing Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler for weeks and remain the team most interested in trading for him, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post. Portland wants to add a scorer off its bench, Dempsey adds, and Chandler would fit that description. Chandler, who is making $6.76MM this season, is averaging 13.9 points in 31.7 minutes per game for the Nuggets.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- The Blazers are also interested in Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo, and have the most assets among his pursuers to make a trade happen, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Clippers and Heat, among other teams, are also interested in Afflalo, but don’t have the assets to pull off a deal, Wojnarowski continues. Afflalo is making $7.5MM this season and has a player option for the same amount next season.
- Enes Kanter could command a contract in excess of $10MM per season as a restricted free agent this summer and the Jazz center wants to protect his Bird rights if he’s dealt, Wojnarowski reports in the same piece. Kanter reportedly turned down a four-year, $32MM offer from Utah last fall. The Jazz are only willing to trade Kanter if they receive a quality young player and a first-round pick before Thursday’s deadline, Wojnarowski continues. In lieu of a trade, Jazz management and Kanter’s representative Max Ergul have been trying to resolve Kanter’s disappointment over his playing time peacefully, Wojnarowski adds.
- The decision to sign Klay Thompson to an extension this past fall was relatively easy, but committing money to players is always a nerve-wracking proposition, Warriors GM Bob Myers tells Tim Kawakami of The Bay Area News Group. Kawakami, in that piece and in another, delves into a Warriors front office that thrives on collaboration, with Myers and co-owner Joe Lacob the primary decision-makers who receive tons of spirited input. Assistant GMs Travis Schlenk and Kirk Lacob, consultant Jerry West and coach Steve Kerr have a say on every move from D-League transactions on up, as Kawakami reveals.
- Marc Gasol will not rule out returning to the Grizzlies regardless of how they do in the postseason, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. Gasol will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and the Grizzlies have an edge through the CBA because they can offer him a five-year deal while other suitors can only offer four. The Knicks, Lakers and Spurs are among the teams who will pursue Gasol, Amick adds.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Jermaine O’Neal appeared poised to join the Mavs, but instead it’ll be another big man jumping aboard Dallas’ roster mid-season, as Amar’e Stoudemire has reportedly committed to inking a deal with Rick Carlise and company. While the seven-time All-Star hooking up with the Mavs is the biggest scoop of the night, we’ve got plenty more from around the league to round up below:
- The Blazers “will not hesitate” to send a first-round pick, Thomas Robinson, and “another player” to the Nuggets in exchange for Wilson Chandler, reports Jabari Young of CSNNW.com. Portland prefers Chandler to Arron Afflalo, according to Young, but the team would be interested in adding Afflalo if Denver’s asking price on him is significantly lower than that of Chandler’s.
- If Larry Sanders and the Bucks reach a deal on a buyout, the Cavs will be among the teams with interest in signing the 26-year-old big man, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link). Sanders hasn’t suited up for Milwaukee since December 23rd.
- There’s “plenty of interest” around the league in Brendan Haywood‘s uniquely structured contract, Amico reports in the same tweet.
- The Bulls are interested in adding a shooter to their roster, but they won’t move any of their big men or sacrifice a future first-rounder to do so, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Such reluctance likely means they won’t be able to land the sharpshooting Afflalo, whom the team is reportedly high on, and Johnson indicates Chicago will look to the list of players who reach buyout deals as potential targets.
- Andre Dawkins‘ second 10-day contract with the Celtics expired last week, but Boston doesn’t intend to re-sign him for the remainder of the season, reveals Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).
- While no signing is imminent, the Bulls and Ronnie Brewer have kept in close contact this season, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Chicago has one open roster spot.
- The Wizards hope to acquire a speedy point guard to back up John Wall and a shooter to help space the floor, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports passes along in his weekly power rankings.
- Adam Silver doesn’t believe that the draft lottery is a broken system, but he confessed that fans’ generally negative perception of it has him contemplating a new way to determine the draft order, observes Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times.