Wojnarowski On Raptors, Warriors, Noel, Heat

In his latest podcast for The Vertical with longtime NBA executive Bobby Marks, Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned that the Pacers have been strongly rebuffing trade inquiries on Paul George, telling teams that they won’t even listen to offers. We had a full story on that earlier today, but it wasn’t the only notable tidbit from the conversation between Wojnarowski and Marks. Here are several more highlights from the podcast:

  • The Raptors appear to be willing to give up a draft pick and at least one of their young prospects to improve their current roster, but there aren’t many options out there right now for Toronto. According to Wojnarowski, the club can afford to be patient and opportunistic since it has so many young players who are still improving. The Vertical scribe points to Denver’s 2012 acquisition of Andre Iguodala (the Nuggets gave up Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, a future first-round pick, and a second-rounder) as the type of deal Masai Ujiri might be open to making again.
  • The Warriors would like to add a rim protector, but they know teams won’t be giving that type of player away, and they don’t want to do any trade that makes them “even 1% less likely to win a title,” says Wojnarowski.
  • The research that rival teams have done on Nerlens Noel is “not good,” per Wojnarowski, who adds that those clubs haven’t gotten good reports about the way the Sixers big man carries himself, and his habits. Teams are still interested in acquiring Noel, but they don’t want to give up a whole lot for him, so it’ll be interesting to see if Philadelphia eventually takes what it can get. The Sixers would probably love to see Noel put in a couple healthy and productive months before the deadline to improve his stock.
  • The Heat will likely test the trade market for Goran Dragic, but after giving up two first-round picks to acquire him, getting a single pick back in return would essentially be admitting they made a mistake, says Wojnarowski.
  • Wojnarowski wonders if the Celtics are overvaluing some of their own players, including perhaps Marcus Smart, in trade talks. Boston also continues to keep an eye on Gordon Hayward in case there’s any chance the Jazz make him available in a contract year.
  • Marks believes that if the Nets decide to move Brook Lopez, they can wait until the last year of his contract to do so. Marks, who previously worked for the franchise, calls Lopez a “creature a habit,” suggesting the veteran center is more likely than most players to re-up with his current team instead of actively exploring the free agent market. Lopez’s deal expires in 2018, but Wojnarowski notes that Brooklyn values him and won’t move him just to move him.
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