And-Ones: Tax Bills, T. Young, Buyouts, Avdija

The Trail Blazers, Heat, and Thunder all reduced their projected end-of-season tax bills with their moves leading up to the trade deadline, while the Rockets and Warriors got out of tax territory altogether. The Timberwolves ended up sneaking slightly over the tax line as a result of the D’Angelo Russell trade, but the league-wide tax penalties for 2019/20 will be very modest overall, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter).

According to Marks’ calculations, the Trail Blazers will have the highest bill, at around $5.94MM, followed by the Heat ($2.96MM), Thunder ($2MM), and Timberwolves ($1.34MM). If those numbers don’t change between now and the end of the regular season, it would mean the league’s other 26 teams receive approximately $236K apiece in tax distribution, which would be the lowest mark in league history, according to Marks.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Hawks point guard Trae Young was one of the notable omissions from the 44-player list of finalists released on Monday for Team USA’s 2020 Olympic roster. Young admitted that he would have liked to receive consideration, as Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt by seeing it,” Young said. “Obviously I would have wanted to play on the team.”
  • The Hawks, Knicks, and Pistons project to have more than enough cap room for a maximum-salary player this summer, with the Heat and Hornets potentially joining them, says John Hollinger of The Athletic. As Hollinger observes in his preview of the NBA’s 2020 cap outlook, there are several other teams that could create some cap room if free agents walk or players turn down options, but there won’t be much league-wide space this offseason.
  • In an Insider-only article for, Marks and Kevin Pelton break down the buyout market, suggesting that Knicks forward Maurice Harkless would be among the most intriguing options if he reaches the open market.
  • Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) makes the case that 19-year-old forward Deni Avdija, who is currently playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the EuroLeague, deserves to receive consideration as a possible top-three pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
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