Lakers Rumors: Mitchell, Redick, LeBron, Reaves, Bronny

As the Lakers weigh their offseason options, one path they will seriously consider is packaging players and draft picks to attempt to acquire a third star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Within the last year, star guards like Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and Zach LaVine have been mentioned as possible targets for Los Angeles, but Jovan Buha of The Athletic (YouTube link) says another name will likely be at the top of the team’s wish list entering the summer.

“If the Lakers go down the three-star path, and it’s still unclear — I think they’re going to kick the can down the road and see the possibility and see what the asking price is. There are teams that can outbid them if they get into a bidding war,” Buha said in an episode of Buha’s Block. “But if they do go down that road and at least explore it, (Cavaliers guard) Donovan Mitchell would be the preferred guy.”

There’s no guarantee that Mitchell will be available this summer, since the Cavs hope to sign him to a long-term extension. If Mitchell turns down that offer and ends up on the trade block, the Lakers would have plenty of competition for the five-time All-Star and wouldn’t necessarily be able to offer the best package, as Buha notes. L.A. would be able to offer up to three first-round picks alongside perhaps guard Austin Reaves, forward Rui Hachimura, and other salary-matching pieces.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Echoing previous reports, Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times says people around the NBA view J.J. Redick as the favorite in the Lakers’ head coaching search. Opinions on Redick’s potential as a coach are split, with some high on his upside due to his understanding of the game and his ability to clearly communicate ideas, while others “see nothing but inexperience” or believe his business relationship with LeBron James would have a negative impact on the locker room, Woike writes. Sources tell The Times that one reason Redick is viewed as a frontrunner is a widespread belief that he’ll have “incredibly strong” interviews.
  • Within that same L.A. Times story, Woike explores the likelihood of LeBron remaining with the Lakers (his sources believe it’ll happen), discusses the team’s top trade targets (he says none of Young, Murray, LaVine, and Brandon Ingram were seriously linked to the Lakers at the combine), and mentions the team’s ongoing fondness for Reaves. According to Woike, the Lakers regard Reaves highly as a “prospect for the future” on a team-friendly contract.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic is among the reporters to stress that drafting Bronny James won’t offer a team any assurances of having a shot at his superstar father. “It would not surprise me in the coming weeks if a team does reach out to (agent) Rich Paul – or anyone else around Bronny James, (including) LeBron James himself – and says, ‘Hey, if we draft Bronny James, would you come as well, LeBron?'” Charania said on the Up & Adams Show (Twitter video link). “And the answer to that is going to be no, as of right now. That’s not a given, that’s not something that’s going to be preordained.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said earlier in the week that Paul has made a concerted effort to dispel the idea that his father-and-son clients need to play together.
  • The Lakers announced on Friday (via Twitter) that they’ll host three preseason games outside of Los Angeles in the fall. The Lakers will play the visiting Timberwolves on October 4 and the Suns on Oct. 6 at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs before facing the Warriors on Oct. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Poll: Who Will Win Knicks/Pacers Game 7?

It will be an eventful Sunday in the National Basketball Association. Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Nuggets and Timberwolves, which we discussed on Friday, will be preceded by a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Knicks and Pacers. The winner will advance to face the Celtics in the Eastern finals.

Through the first six games of the Knicks/Pacers series, the home team has dominated. New York has a 3-0 record and a +43 margin at Madison Square Garden, but Indiana has been even better at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, posting a 3-0 record with a +50 margin.

The good news for the Knicks is that Game 7 will take place in New York. The bad news? At this point in the series, the injury-plagued squad is just looking to survive a battle of attrition. With Julius Randle and Bojan Bogdanovic already unavailable to open the second round, the Knicks have seen Mitchell Robinson go down with a season-ending ankle injury and OG Anunoby suffer a hamstring strain that’s expected to sideline him for a fifth straight contest on Sunday.

Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart have managed to play in every game of the postseason, but both players – who have had a major hand in the Knicks’ success to this point – are banged up, with Hart’s status for Game 7 still up in the air due to an abdominal injury. Even if he’s able to play, it’s unclear how close he’ll be to 100%.

The Knicks are still listed as two-point favorites, according to BetOnline.ag, but given the overall talent level of the roster and their success at home this series, that number should be higher — it would be, if they were a little healthier.

New York’s injury woes have opened the door for the upstart Pacers, who entered the season as a projected sub-.500 team, to make the Eastern Conference Finals. But to pull out the series, they’ll need to put forth a better defensive effort than they have in the first three games in New York.

The Knicks, who had a 117.3 offensive rating during the regular season, have posted just a 107.6 mark on the road in the series vs. Indiana but have a staggering 131.0 offensive rating in their second-round home games.

Indiana hasn’t actually been bad at all offensively at Madison Square Garden. While star forward Pascal Siakam (18.3 points per game) hasn’t matched his regular season scoring average and star guard Tyrese Haliburton has games of six and 13 points sandwiching a 34-point outburst, the club as a whole has converted on 49.4% of its field goal attempts and 42.5% of its three-pointers on the road. But the Pacers’ defense has been porous in those losses and they haven’t been physical enough on the boards, where the Knicks have grabbed nearly 60% of the available rebounds across their three home games.

With Game 7 just over 24 hours away, we want to know what you think. Can the Knicks’ remaining healthy players come through on Sunday and win the series, or will the deeper, healthier Pacers become the first team to win a road game in the series?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Central Notes: Garland, Pistons Draft, Haliburton, Pacers

It might make more sense from a cost perspective for a team seeking a point guard to acquire Cavaliers guard Darius Garland rather than Hawks guard Trae Young if both become available this offseason. Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer says some teams are giving off the impression they’ll lean toward Garland in the event that both players end up on the trade block (Apple Podcasts link).

As has been widely reported this week, the Cavaliers may be forced to decide between Garland and Donovan Mitchell to keep long-term. If an extension is reached with Mitchell this offseason, Garland could be on the way out. The Hawks, meanwhile, are expected to seriously consider breaking up their backcourt of Young and Dejounte Murray.

Even though Young has been more productive in Atlanta than Garland has in Cleveland, teams may prefer Garland based on what they’d have to give up to acquire him, as well as his contract situation. Garland averaged 18.0 points and 6.5 assists per game, while Young averaged 25.7 points and 10.8 assists this season. Garland is under contract through 2027/28, whereas Young’s contract runs through at least ’25/26 with an early termination option for ’26/27.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • While James L. Edwards III of The Athletic believes the Pistons should trade their first round pick in this year’s draft, there should still be some intriguing options available when Detroit picks at No. 5. Stephon Castle, Alexandre Sarr, Donovan Clingan, Dalton Knecht and Reed Sheppard top Edwards’ list of desired prospects after the NBA Combine, though it’s likely one or more of those players are gone by the time Detroit picks.
  • The Pistons trading their No. 5 pick might make more sense as the team wants to get better and not necessarily younger, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press writes. The Pistons’ record has gotten worse in recent years as they’ve added more young first-rounders to their core, and pursuing veterans via the trade market might help Detroit improve sooner rather than later.
  • Tyrese Haliburton is under more scrutiny as he takes the Pacers deeper into the playoffs, but he’s always longed for the kind of pressure he’s feeling before Sunday’s Game 7, according to James Boyd of The Athletic. “He’s changed things for the better for this franchise and for this city,” teammate T.J. McConnell said. “When you got a guy, who’s your franchise guy, that really gets people involved … it’s easy for everyone to rally around a guy like that.
  • The Pacers responded well to harsh criticism from coach Rick Carlisle, who was upset by the team’s lack of aggression in Game 5, according to The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. On Friday, the Pacers upped their intensity and came away with a big win. Every player is anticipating a tight Game 7 on Sunday. “I expect probably the most unbelievable environment I’ve ever played an NBA game,” Haliburton said. “I think we’re all excited to go. There’s going to be a lot of energy in the building, from them and from us. And I think just weathering our emotions as much as we can.

Wes Unseld Jr. Joining Bulls As Top Assistant

Former Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. has agreed to join the Bulls as Billy Donovan‘s top assistant, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports (Twitter link). Unseld went 77-130 in two-and-a-half seasons as head coach of Washington.

Before earning the top spot in Washington, Unseld was a longtime assistant on various NBA coaching staffs. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Wizards from 2005-11 before joining the Warriors for a season and then being part of the Magic’s staff from 2012-15.

Unseld was hired as an assistant in Denver in 2015 and spent the next six seasons with the Nuggets, earning a promotion to associate head coach during that time. Unseld helped the Nuggets improve and was instrumental in allowing Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to develop and flourish.

Unseld was named Washington’s head coach in 2021, giving him the chance to coach the franchise his Hall of Fame father played for and bringing his own career full circle. The Wizards went 35-47 in both of his first two seasons, missing the playoffs both years. This year, he went 7-36 before being replaced by Brian Keefe.

Unseld wasn’t technically fired this season. Instead, he was reassigned to an advisory role in the front office. As we relayed in January, Wizards executive Michael Winger made sure to applaud Unseld for the strides several players made in their development during his tenure. Now, he’s departing the organization to resume his coaching career.

As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reports (Twitter link), Bulls PR officially announced the move. According to Johnson, the Bulls had been seeking someone with head coaching experience to work under Donovan, and Unseld was a candidate for Chicago’s head coaching job in 2020 before Donovan became available.

Southeast Notes: Williams, Hornets Front Office, Hartman, Hawks

Grant Williams had a prolific high school basketball career in Charlotte and was recently named one of the city’s best high school players of the past 40 years. Although he wasn’t drafted by Charlotte in the 2019 draft, he was traded to the Hornets at the 2024 deadline and made an immediate impact.

After being dealt from Dallas to the Hornets, Williams averaged 13.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game on 50.3% shooting. As a Maverick, he had been averaging 8.1 PPG and 3.6 RPG on 41.3% shooting. In a one-on-one interview with The Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr., Williams opened up about his exit from Dallas, which was rumored to be related to a rift between him and star Luka Doncic).

I think it’s a media creation,” Williams said, echoing what Doncic previously said. “I can text Luka today, and me and him are good. … As much as I can say yes, of course, I’ll probably go at Luka a little bit, at the same time, we’ve known each other for four or five years. It’s not something he didn’t expect. He knows I’m a competitive guy and we always compete. So no matter what rumors are out there, we still have a respect for each other and still talk.

Williams will factor into Charlotte’s offseason planning while on an affordable contract that pays him an average of around $13.7MM annually over the next three years. Charlotte possesses two budding stars in LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller, and is armed with the No. 6 pick in the 2024 draft.

You look at the team that ended the season versus the team that started. If you’re a 41-41 team in the West, you’re an 11th seed. In the East, you’re in the play-in,” Williams said. “So it’s only 20 more games for us to win, and I think if everyone is healthy, it’s a chance for us to make an impact and look like Orlando, Oklahoma City, [teams] like that.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets officially announced the hirings of assistant general manager Dotun Akinwale, vice president of basketball operations & strategy Ryan Gisriel, and vice president of basketball insights and analysis Patrick Harrel, according to a team release. Akinwale most recently served as Atlanta’s vice president of player personnel, Gisriel last worked with the Nets for 11 years, and Harrel spent the past eight years with the NBA. All of these hires were previously reported.
  • The Wizards has brought in Michael Hartman to run the team’s strategy and analytics group, according to The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov. More front office hires are expected this offseason, according to Vorkunov. Hartman was previously with the Pelicans as the senior director of basketball operations.
  • The Hawks, holders of the No. 1 overall pick, sent team personnel to watch Zaccharie Risacher in France in the first game of the season’s playoffs, as observed by Eurohoops.net (Twitter link). In attendance were general manager Landry Fields, coach Quin Snyder and assistant general manager Kyle Korver. Risacher, the No. 1 prospect on ESPN’s best available list for the 2024 draft, put up 14 points and six rebounds on 50.0% shooting in the game.

Latest On Knicks’ Injuries

As we relayed on Friday night, the statuses of Knicks forwards OG Anunoby (hamstring strain) and Josh Hart (abdominal soreness) going forward are up in the air, but the outlook for either being able to play and give 100% in Sunday’s Game 7 against the Pacers isn’t great, according to multiple outlets.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter video link; hat tip to Stefan Bondy of The New York Post), the Knicks have already ruled out Anunoby for Game 7.

“The Knicks are going to have to beat Indiana without OG Anunoby,” Wojnarowski said prior to Game 6. “I’m told he would also be out for a Game 7 with that hamstring.”

The Knicks are 1-3 this postseason and 14-18 in total without Anunoby in their lineup since acquiring him in February — they’ve gone 26-5 when he has been available.

Hart, who has been something of an iron man for the Knicks, motioned to the sideline and asked to come out of Game 6 in the first quarter. As we detailed last night, he eventually came back in, but according to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, he was clutching his abdomen during every downbeat of the game.

You never wanna see anybody get hurt, but it’s been our season,Donte DiVincenzo said. “We have more than enough, whoever’s on the court. I’ve said it 100 times.

As The Athletic’s Fred Katz writes, during this playoff run alone, the Knicks have lost Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic to season-ending injuries, Anunoby to his current hamstring strain, and Jalen Brunson briefly with a foot issue. Now there’s Hart, who had previously appeared in 81 of 82 regular season games and in all 12 of New York’s playoff games. Spotrac’s Keith Smith points out the Knicks are down to just four healthy players who appeared in the opening postseason game against the Sixers: Brunson, DiVincenzo, Isaiah Hartenstein and Miles McBride (Twitter link).

Reserves Alec Burks and Precious Achiuwa have become key contributors during the latter half of this playoff run and New York may need to go even deeper into its roster if Hart isn’t good to go. Jericho Sims, Shake Milton, DaQuan Jeffries and Mamadi Diakite are New York’s only other healthy roster pieces.

For what it’s worth, several Knicks players seemed optimistic about the chances of Hart playing. As Katz writes, Hart has seen more action than any other player in the league in the postseason and had a stretch of five games where he averaged more than 48 minutes per contest.

Just knowing him, he’ll do whatever to play. If his leg’s not falling off I can probably say he’ll probably play,” Hartenstein said. “I haven’t talked to him. We’ll see. It’s hard. He’s done so much for us this season.

In 12 playoff games, Hart has maintained averages of 14.9 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists, though he was held to five points, eight rebounds and three assists on Friday.

There’s a lot of things obviously that physically don’t go our way with our team this year,” Brunson said. “I think our main focus is whoever we have out there, regardless of what you’re dealing with or anything — if you are out there, you are ready to go. Yes, Josh asked to come back out, but he went back in and gives everything he has. What more can you ask for from a teammate? Knowing the situation, we’re just going to have each other’s backs.

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Bokmeyer, Anunoby, McBride, Hart

While the Raptors didn’t trade Bruce Brown Jr. again after they acquired him from the Pacers this season, that might change this offseason. The Raptors have until June 29 to exercise Brown’s $23MM team option for next season and, according to Doug Smith of The Toronto Star, a handful of sources think that Toronto will pick up that option and trade Brown quickly, rather than waiting until the 2025 deadline.

Trading Brown would give the Raptors some leeway when it comes to talks with free agent wing Gary Trent Jr. According to Smith, the sentiment is that Toronto won’t start the season with both Brown and Trent on the roster. Trent is still just 25 and his outside shooting ability might make him more appealing in the long run.

The Raptors acquired Brown as part of the trade that sent Pascal Siakam to Indiana. He averaged 9.6 points in 34 games with Toronto after registering 12.1 PPG in 33 games in Indiana. Despite the slight dip in production, Brown is still viewed as a valuable rotation player with defensive prowess and positional versatility.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets hired Justin Bokmeyer to their front office as their new director of basketball operations, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports. This move is likely related to the Hornets hiring away Ryan Gisriel, Brooklyn’s former executive director of basketball and business operations. Bokmeyer worked in international basketball operations before going to the NBA. He also helped guide the NBA Academy program and assisted in launching the Basketball Africa League.
  • OG Anunoby, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, has missed the past four games for the Knicks. According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz (Twitter link), head coach Tom Thibodeau said Anunoby’s health is “basically the same.” The forward is doing some light on-court work, but it remains unclear when exactly he will return.
  • Miles McBride began the season on the bench, but the Knicks are now calling on him to handle the most important defensive assignments, Newsday’s Steve Popper observes. He was inserted into the starting lineup in Game 5 and was the primary defender against the engine of the Pacers’ offense in Tyrese Haliburton, who scored just 13 points on the night. McBride still thinks he has room for improvement. “I think I’ve got to go up a level,” McBride said. “… Obviously he didn’t go scoreless, and he was still impactful in a way, so my goal is for guys to go scoreless and to make as minimum of an impact on the game.” McBride finished Game 6 as the team’s second-highest scorer, with only Jalen Brunson (31 points) exceeding McBride’s 20 points.
  • Josh Hart exited Game 6 in the fourth quarter with what the team called abdominal soreness and didn’t return, according to the team (Twitter link). Hart left the game a couple times due to injury, going to the locker room after the first quarter and again later in the game. The severity is unclear — considering the Knicks were trailing significantly at the time,  it’s possible this was more of a precautionary move in order to preserve an important role player for Game 7 on Sunday.

Heat Notes: Mitchell, Rozier, Bryant, Robinson

The Heat‘s 2023 offseason was centered around their pursuit of Damian Lillard, and with the Cavaliers eliminated from the 2024 playoffs after falling to Boston in the second round, it could be a second straight offseason of star hunting in Miami. While Donovan Mitchell may ultimately agree to sign an extension with the Cavs, Miami figures to be among the teams pursuing the All-Star guard if he hits the trade market this offseason.

Recent reporting from The Athletic suggested the Cavs feel optimistic about securing a long-term commitment from Mitchell, but as we noted earlier today, that’s not a sure thing yet. If Mitchell were to ask out of Cleveland, any team acquiring him would need assurances he would commit long-term before sacrificing significant capital. Along with the Heat, the Lakers and Nets are teams frequently mentioned among those with potential interest in Mitchell.

As for the Heat, they may need Mitchell to use his leverage to push for a deal to Miami to have a realistic chance to land him, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Other teams with potential interest could outbid the Heat, who only have one first-rounder available to trade if the situation doesn’t play out before this year’s draft. The Lakers will have three potential firsts and the Nets will have up to seven available to pursue Mitchell in this scenario, with Cleveland still set to owe Utah its first-rounders in 2025, 2027, 2029 and two pick swaps in 2026 and 2028.

Ultimately, there are more questions than answers when it comes to Mitchell’s future. If he does ask for a trade, the Heat would have to get creative in order to acquire him, Chiang writes.

We have more from the Heat:

  • The Heat moved a first-round pick to acquire Terry Rozier before the 2024 deadline. It was only the third time Miami has done so in the past decade — the team also fave up first-rounders for Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler. According to Chiang, even though the veteran guard missed the playoffs due to a neck injury, the Heat have no complaints with Rozier and are pleased with what he brought to the team. “I had a great conversation with him about some things,” team president Pat Riley said. “He’s open, he wanted to know from me what I thought about what he can do even at his age, which is still young. I gave him my opinion and I’m sure he’ll work on it, But he was a great addition for us, absolutely.
  • Thomas Bryant signed with the Heat last season on a minimum contract with a player option for 2024/25. He wound up only appearing in 38 games with averages of 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. While the vision was for Bryant to be the primary backup for Bam Adebayo and perhaps play alongside him at times, that didn’t come to fruition, Ira Winderman of South Florida’s Sun Sentinel writes. Bryant now must make a decision by June 29 on his $2.8MM player option for 2024/25. “The opportunities were not there all the time, but I believed it was things that coach [Erik Spoelstra] had to do,” Bryant said. “He was dealing with everything, as well. We had injuries and there were opportunities there for me, as well. I tried to capitalize as much as I could in those as many I had. But overall, I thought it was a great time.
  • Bryant’s decision may very well be the deciding factor for what the Heat do with another depth big in Orlando Robinson, Winderman writes in the same piece. Robinson was promoted from a two-way contract but hasn’t broke into the rotation yet, appearing in just 36 games with averages of 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds. The Heat have a July 15 deadline to guarantee his $2.1MM salary or to waive him and make him a free agent. Since neither Bryant nor Robinson made it into the rotation, it’s possible Miami looks to move on from one or both.

Kristaps Porzingis Likely Out For Start Of ECF, Could Return In Series

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis is expected to remain out for Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which will take place on Tuesday and Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, there is optimism that Porzingis will be able to return later in the series, barring any setbacks.

Porzingis has been out with a calf injury since Game 5 of the first round against the Heat on April 30, missing the entirety of Boston’s second-round series against Cleveland.

Al Horford — who racked up 22 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in Game 5 against Cleveland — has been starting in Porzingis’ place.

According to Wojnarowski, Porzingis has been making progress in his recovery and is increasing his on-court activity, but still needs time before he’s considered ready to play.

In 57 regular season games, Porzingis averaged 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and shot 51.6% from the field and 37.5% from beyond the arc while helping the Celtics to an NBA-best 64 wins.

Outside of the Porzingis injury, the Celtics have stayed healthy through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The big man was the only player listed on the team’s injury report prior to Game 5 on Wednesday.

Boston will take on the winner of the Knicks-Pacers series, with Game 6 of the series being played on Thursday night. New York leads the series 3-2.

Suns Notes: Budenholzer, Tellem, Big Three

Mike Budenholzer spoke for the first time since taking over as head coach of the Suns on Friday in his intro presser. According to ESPN, Budenholzer was emotional when talking about his childhood in Arizona.

It’s mind-boggling to me, like mind-blowing, to think that I’m going to be the head coach of the Phoenix Suns,” Budenholzer said.

A former NBA champion as coach of the Bucks, Budenholzer is tasked with leading a franchise with three super-max players in Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. That group went 49-33 last season and was swept in the playoffs under former head coach Frank Vogel.

I’m excited about working with this roster and these players,” Budenholzer said. “We have great players. And with great players come great expectations. I think we embrace that.

Budenholzer didn’t coach last year after being dismissed by the Bucks. He has a 484-317 record over a 10-season coaching career.

This year, for me, was really healthy,” Budenholzer said. “I kind of had a list of priorities, diving into my kids and my family, super important. We’ve been through a lot. So really, the time with my kids was just amazing. My son’s a senior in high school — going to every one of his games — driving home you’re like, ‘Wow, I got a gift.

We have more from the Suns:

  • With the Suns maintaining a “championship or bust” mentality, Budenholzer isn’t necessarily safe for the long run despite the hefty five-year, $50MM contract he signed, Duane Rankin of Arizona Republic writes. Rankin lists eight conversations Budenholzer needs to have with Phoenix brass, including why he needs to have more say in the team’s roster construction than his predecessors.
  • The Suns are closing in on hiring Nets executive Matt Tellem to the team’s front office, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). Tellem began as a basketball information coordinator in 2011 and was promoted to vice president of strategy for Brooklyn in 2023. He also served as general manager of the Long Island Nets from 2019-23.
  • Appearing on The Burns & Gambo Show, Suns general manager James Jones said there is no scenario in which Beal, Durant or Booker are traded this summer (Twitter video link). “Those guys aren’t going anywhere. Those guys are part of the solution,” Jones said. With Phoenix lacking flexibility and draft assets to make major upgrades to a roster that was swept out of the first round of the playoffs, there has been some speculation about the futures of Phoenix’s star players. However, Jones’ comments this week echo a recent report from ESPN suggesting that the big three aren’t going anywhere.