4:18pm: The Jazz are unlikely to trade Kanter, and while they’ll listen to offers for the big man, he remains in their plans for the future, sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Team officials are confident they can alleviate Kanter’s frustration, and it would take a “pretty amazing offer” for the Jazz to even think about parting with him, Jones also hears.
3:56pm: The Bucks have a strong interest in Taj Gibson and some interest in Norris Cole, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, while Sam Smith of Bulls.com indicates that Milwaukee would like to have Enes Kanter. The Bulls are particularly hesitant to part with Gibson, as Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote recently, in spite of apparent interest from other teams, though there are conflicting reports regarding the willingness of the Heat to part with Cole. Kanter is trying to force the issue in Utah, having publicly expressed a desire to be traded.
Chicago hasn’t initiated any talks about Gibson, according to Cowley, though the Raptors, Suns, Pistons and Trail Blazers are among the teams to have been linked to him over the past few months, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News wrote recently. He’s making $8MM in year two of a reasonably priced four-year extension with salaries below $9MM each season.
The Pistons reportedly offered Jonas Jerebko for Cole, but the Heat’s insistence that Detroit take Danny Granger along with him short-circuited any potential deal there. Heat team president Pat Riley denied that Miami proposed a deal to the Nets that involved Cole, who’s due for restricted free agency this summer, and the Hornets had interest prior to their Mo Williams trade.
Kanter is also poised to become a restricted free agent at season’s end after he and the Jazz failed to come to terms on an extension. Smith also indicates that the Celtics are in the mix for him, though there are conflicting reports about that.
The interest in all three players, each of whom plays a different position, seems to indicate that the Bucks are seeking a number of avenues to upgrade as they fight for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee, a year removed from having the worst record in the NBA, stands sixth in the East at 30-23. The Bucks are about $6.7MM under the cap, and though their roster is full, they’re reportedly in buyout talks with Larry Sanders.