Pacific Notes: Howard, Nnaji, Bjelica, Hield

Veteran center Dwight Howard, who will be back on the free agent market after the Finals, is thankful the Lakers took a chance on him, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Howard was moved into the starting lineup during the conference finals. “It’s been the hardest road to get back here. I’m very grateful,” he said. “I’ve never given up on myself.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Power forward prospects Zeke Nnaji and Jalen Smith have interviewed the Suns, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Nnaji, who played at Arizona, is ranked No. 35 overall by ESPN, while Maryland’s Smith is considered first-round material at No. 20. The Suns currently own just one pick in the draft, the No. 10 overall selection.
  • The Kings’ decision on whether to retain forward Nemanja Bjelica could hinge on how much new GM Monte McNair values Marvin Bagley III, as well as the team’s financial constraints, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. The Kings hold a $7.15MM option on Bjelica’s contract next season but re-signing Bogdan Bogdanovic is an even bigger priority, Jones continues. If Sacramento drafts another power forward, the team may find Bjelica expendable, Jones adds.
  • The Knicks, Sixers, Grizzlies and Hornets are some of the teams that might be willing to absorb Buddy Hield‘s four-year, $106MM extension and make a deal for the Kings‘ shooting guard, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype speculates. All four of those teams could benefit from the outside shooting of Hield, who had a somewhat disappointing season after signing his extension, which kicks in next season.
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12 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Howard, Nnaji, Bjelica, Hield

  1. Thronson5

    I’m happy for Howard. Glad he’s changed and it’s worked out. Never thought he would be back but glad he was brought back, he really has changed, grown up and has been big for them off the bench in some games and when he got a chance to start these playoffs. I hope he’s back next season

    • x%sure

      Chris Webber probably agrees. He was going on about Howard, countering Reggie Miller’s previous talk of his past incidents, when a replay from a different angle showed that Howard did indeed club someone on the head. Sudden silence on air. Then the other two started whooping it up laughing. :D Flagrant 1.

      With Adebayo after Jokic, Lakers are happy he stayed with it. The last game McGee started, Jokic lit him up to begin the game & Nuggets won.

  2. x%sure

    Urbina suggests a good trade with Sixers.
    BuddyHield & JabariParker for AlHorford, JoshRichrdsn, & pick. Sacto was linked to Horford recently and Bagley could use a mentor if not Embiid. They could use a wing and Philly, deep shooting.

    Also Hield for Monk, pick, & Hornet capspace. Hield plays with an MJ-type attitude if not skill.

    Disagree about Hield to Memphis, and them needing shooting more than a good presence at the 2G. Not strong at Orlando. Not needing superb 3pt shooting or leadership opens the doors.
    Dinwiddie would be great there, and Troy Brown, Kennard, Reddish, KPorter, Shamet, Trent, Ball, Sexton, Joe Harris, and several Spurs. Augustin, Galloway, Crawford, Connaton, Windler, & Dort cheaper.
    Wow door did open for this post.

    • tjbarnaba

      Why would the Sixers trade for two of the very worst defensive players on the planet, one of which has a 4/100+ mill extension kicking in… makes absolutely zero sense…

      • x%sure

        Well Jabari is just for expiring, and Horford is still due $70mil vs Hield at $86mil. SAC would be trading a ticking time bomb for maturity. PHL would be trading a backup for boosted shooting. Hield probably needs to be kept happy, but fans should appreciate somebody that consistently hits.

    • x_burner_X

      Hield still has positive value as a trade asset. Josh Richardson too. But to get rid of Horford philly will need to attch at least 2 picks

      • Agreed. Sixers have 4 second-round picks this year. Hield is a much better fit than Horford. He’s a good complement to Simmons in the backcourt.

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