Trade Rumors: Suns, Okafor, Butler, Favors

The Suns have expressed some interest in trading for Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, reports Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). Kuzminskas has averaged 14.6 MPG in 47 contests in his rookie season in New York, chipping in 6.0 PPG and 1.9 RPG. He’s under contract next season at a rate of about $3MM before he becomes eligible for restricted free agency in 2018.

Here are a few more trade rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • Within his latest rumor notebook for HoopsHype, Alex Kennedy writes that rival executives believe Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor is much more likely to be moved at the deadline than Nets center Brook Lopez. Kennedy notes that Okafor has received interest from the Kings, while Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer says the Lakers could be in the mix for Okafor. In a non-trade item, Kennedy also adds the Heat to the list of potential suitors for veteran free agent Larry Sanders.
  • Appearing on NBA TV on Wednesday, TNT’s David Aldridge suggested that the Bulls would insist on Jae Crowder in any package for Jimmy Butler, and the Celtics would be very hesitant to include him, given his role in Boston’s rotation and his extremely team-friendly contract. Brian Robb of 98.5 The Sports Hub (Twitter link) passes along Aldridge’s full comments. Meanwhile, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune reports that the Sixers inquired on Butler, but were rebuffed by the Bulls.
  • Based on his knowledge of the offers the Jazz have received, agent Wallace Prather doesn’t expect the club to move his client Derrick Favors before Thursday’s deadline, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. However, Prather acknowledged that things could change as the last minute.
  • After reporting earlier on Wednesday that the Thunder were eyeing Wilson Chandler, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets that the Nuggets forward is no longer on OKC’s radar. Still, Amick didn’t rule out the possibility of the Thunder circling back to Chandler if other options fall through (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Young, Heat, Mirotic

The Lakers are looking to trade Nick Young with an eye on acquiring a second-round pick, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. Young is making slightly over $5.44MM this season and his contract contains a player option worth nearly $5.67MM for the 2017/18 campaign. He’s had a solid year so far in Los Angeles, averaging 13.8 points per game while shooting 41.3% from behind the arc, a figure which is the highest of his career.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Heat are shopping Wayne Ellington and Josh McRoberts, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Twitter link). Mannix notes that the team would like to get out of the veterans’ contracts. After this season, Ellington has only one year at $6.27MM (non-guaranteed) remaining on his contract, while McRoberts has a player option worth slightly over $6MM remaining on his deal.
  • Earlier today, we learned that the Bulls have attempted to send Nikola Mirotic to the Sixers in a Jahlil Okafor deal. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes that the team has also floated Mirotic in talks with the Clippers.
  • David Stockton, who recently played in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, will return to the D-League and play for the Reno Bighorns, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link).

Latest On The Lakers And Paul George

The Lakers were among the team’s to reach out to the Pacers regarding the availability of Paul George, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reports. New Lakers team president Magic Johnson and Pacers team president Larry Bird spoke today, but the conversation didn’t get past pleasantries and possibly gathering levels of interest. Shelburne notes that a George-to-the-Lakers trade remains unlikely.

George met with Pacers owner Herb Simon recently to discuss George’s future with the franchise. According to Shelburne, since those talks took place, Simon has invited teams to make offers for the small forward. The Pacers are listening to offers, which would presumably put them in a rebuilding situation, but at the same time, they remain interested in upgrade talent. The team continues to float its first-round pick in trade discussions with the hope that it can bring George some help should he remain on the roster past Thursday’s deadline.

David Aldridge of NBA.com previously reported that the Pacers are simply feeling out the market for George rather than shopping him and Shelburne confirms that report. She notes that the Celtics are eager to trade for George and they could present the Pacers with a strong offer that persuades Indiana to deal the 26-year-old before the team expected to.

Johnson continues to look for trades outside of bringing George to Los Angeles. Shelburne notes that a trade which involves sending away Jose Calderon or Nick Young is far more likely than a George trade.

George said that he doesn’t expect to be dealt before the deadline. “I have no concerns,” George told local reporters. “I’m here. I practiced today. My head is not wrapped around that. I’ve got a team to turn around in the second half and that’s what I’m committed to.”

Wizards Exploring Market For Trey Burke

The Wizards are exploring the market for Trey Burke, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Washington is looking for a second-round pick in return for the point guard.

The franchise acquired Burke from the Jazz during the offseason in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick. Prior to being dealt, the 2013 No. 9 overall pick spent three seasons in Utah.

Burke has seen his role with the Wizards fluctuate this season. In 51 games with the team, he’s averaged 5.0 points in 12.6 minutes per game. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/22/17

Here are Wednesday’s D-League assignments and recalls:

Hawks Acquire Ersan Ilyasova From Sixers

10:25 PM: The trade is official, according to a Sixers’ press release.Ersan Ilyasova vertical

“I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court,” team president Bryan Colangelo said. “Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture.”

6:33 PM: The Sixers will send Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks for Tiago Splitter, a second-round pick, and the ability to swap another second-rounder, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter link). Philadelphia will receive a 2017 second-rounder which was originally Miami’s. The second element of the trade will be a pick swap between the two teams. Both players are in the last year of their respective contracts and both will hit free agency in July.

Splitter, who hasn’t played this season because of a calf injury, is a buyout candidate, but the team hasn’t yet decided whether or not it will try to negotiate an agreement with the big man, freelance journalist Derek Bodner reports (Twitter link). Both players are in the last year of their respective contracts and both will hit free agency in July.

Atlanta will be Ilyasova’s fourth team in the last calendar year and his fifth team since playing for the Bucks during the 2014/15 season. That offseason he was shipped to Detriot, but the Pistons sent him to Orlando at the ensuing trade deadline. He was then traded to the Thunder in their Serge Ibaka deal over the summer where he was later traded to the Sixers for Jerami Grant.

Ilyasova played well for the Sixers this season, but Philadelphia was wary of committing to him in free agency, according to Bodner (Twitter link). The move opens up playing time for rookie Dario Saric.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Rumors: PG-13, Celtics, Rose, Bulls

Earlier tonight, we passed along the latest notes and rumors from the Western Conference. Here’s the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • Teams around the league believe that the Pacers are simply looking to gather information on the market for Paul George rather than shopping him, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets.
  • Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) hears that there have not been any “substantial talks” between the Celtics and the Pacers or Bulls this week.
  • There’s a feeling around the league that the Knicks “would give Derrick Rose away” in a trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Facebook Live link). Rose has recently been linked to the Wolves.
  • In the same segment, Wojnarowski adds that he believes the Bulls may be interested in Jahlil Okafor regardless of whether they trade Jimmy Butler. Wojnarowski added that the Sixers would need at least a first-round pick to part with Okafor while the Bulls are likely to try and offload Nikola Mirotic in an Okafor deal.
  • Wojnarowski adds (same piece) that the Bulls are firmly behind coach Fred Hoiberg. The organization wants to make it work with the former college coach and if Chicago trades Butler, the franchise could put together a team that’s much younger and possibly better suited for Hoiberg’s coaching style.
  • Reggie Jackson‘s trade value is at an all-time low and Wojnarowski (same piece) doesn’t envision the Pistons trading him at the deadline.
  • The Hawks acquired Ersan Ilyasova earlier today and Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link) hears that the team isn’t done dealing.
  • The Raptors continue to offer Jared Sullinger and a draft choice to teams as they look for help on the wing, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops tweets.

Western Notes: Mavs, Kings, Wolves, Jazz

We’re less than 17 hours away from the trade deadline. While we wait to see what unfolds, check out some notes and rumors out of the Western Conference:

  • Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut are rumored to be on the move and the Mavericks held both of them out of practice today, Earl K. Sneed of Fox Sports relays via Twitter“With the trade deadline tomorrow, you can read a lot into that,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
  • If the Mavericks make a deal involving Williams or Bogut, it’s likely to occur right before Thursday’s deadline, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. The team is looking for picks in the upcoming draft in exchange for their veterans.
  • The Kings are likely to move someone in their backcourt, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee tweets. Voisin hears that the Pacers have interest in acquiring Arron Afflalo.
  • The Jazz have had conversations with other teams regarding a Derrick Favors trade, but a source told Spencer Checketts of 1280 KZNS (Twitter link) that the team doesn’t view any offer as “even close” to being fair.
  • Wolves executive/coach Tom Thibodeau said the team is still looking at trade possibilities, but as of right now, he doesn’t see any deal that makes sense for the franchise, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press writes. “If there’s something that makes sense that can make you better, then you take a look at it. If not, I’m happy with the team we have. I like the guys we have. I like the approach we have,” Thibodeau said.
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Chris Paul has been medically cleared to return to the court and he may play as early as Thursday, Andrew Han of ESPN.com relays.

Latest On The Pistons, Drummond, Caldwell-Pope

The Pistons are “welcoming offers” for Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to Mark Stein of ESPN.com. It’s likely that Drummond stays with the franchise, as he’s beloved by owner Tom Gores, but the softened stance on the big man opens up the door on a potential trade.

The Blazers had discussions with the Pistons about bringing Drummond to Portland, but those talks ended when Detriot insisted on receiving C.J. McCollum in return, sources tell Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. Stein notes that the Blazers view McCollum as untouchable.

Stein adds that the Raptors and Pistons have had exploratory conversations on Drummond. Detroit has also engaged in conversations with the Nets. Before DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans, the Pistons discussed a deal with the Kings centered around a Cousins-Drummond swap.

Drummond signed a max contract with the team over the summer. Caldwell-Pope will be a restricted after the season and the team is reportedly wary about having to give the shooting guard a sizable deal. Stein notes that the team is looking for at least one first-rounder in exchange for KCP.

If the Pistons hold onto Caldwell-Pope and re-sign him to a max deal in the offseason, they would be near the luxury tax line. That’s not an attractive position to be in for a team that sits below .500. However, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy tells Vince Ellis of the Detriot Free Press that ownership has not issued any mandate to shed salary this season.

Nets To Waive Marcus Thornton

The Nets will waive Marcus Thornton, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reports (Twitter link). Thornton came to Brooklyn in the Bojan Bogdanovic deal earlier today.

Thornton is on a one-year, $1.3MM deal, which is fully guaranteed. He was seeing regular minutes for the Wizards before rookie Sheldon McClellan took his role off the bench and the 29-year-old shooting guard didn’t play in Washington’s last 21 games.

In the 33 appearances this season, Thornton averaged 6.6 points and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 35% from the field. He’s also sported a 10.5 player efficiency rating.

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