O’Connor’s Latest: Ball, Rockets, Dieng, A. Johnson

While Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball was a subject of frequent trade speculation earlier in the season, trade talks involving the former No. 2 overall pick have “fizzled” for the time being, sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. A report last week also suggested that a Ball deal is becoming less likely as the trade deadline nears.

Still, that doesn’t mean that Ball will be untouchable before March 25. As O’Connor writes, New Orleans will have to assess how high it’s willing to go to retain the fourth-year point guard in restricted free agency this summer. If they think there’s a chance a rival team will give him an offer sheet they won’t want to match, the Pelicans have to at least consider getting something in return for Ball now.

Executives around the NBA still aren’t sure whether the Pelicans will end up as buyers or sellers, according to O’Connor, so they’ll be a team worth keeping a close eye on at the start of the second half.

Here are a few more items of interest from O’Connor:

  • While the Rockets are getting calls about veterans like Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon, and P.J. Tucker, multiple league sources believe that young wing Sterling Brown will garner interest and is another candidate to be moved, per O’Connor.
  • Multiple front office executives believe Grizzlies big man Gorgui Dieng is a trade candidate to watch, says O’Connor. His $17.3MM cap hit may be a challenge to match for some teams, but his contract is expiring and he’s a solid role player.
  • Raptors 905 forward Alize Johnson, who has played well in the G League bubble, is receiving interest from the Raptors, Magic, Rockets, Spurs, and Suns for a possible NBA contract, a league source tells The Ringer.
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8 thoughts on “O’Connor’s Latest: Ball, Rockets, Dieng, A. Johnson

  1. Sillivan

    If Rickets want young good players or first round picks for Tucker and Oladipo, they have to Take more future salary Like Bledsoe contract

    I think they want to save the money

    • dust44

      Where does it say that? It says “young wing Sterling Brown will garner interest”. Rockets are looking for expiring contracts and picks. They have none from making dumb trades to chase Harden and Dantonis small ball dream.

      • WallyWood

        Luckily for them the Rockets have an actual GM (Rafael Stone) who knows what he’s doing, instead of some fan who thinks he could.

        He got Kevin Porter Jr. for basically nothing, and has a lot of other really good players to build his team around (Wood, Wall, etc).

  2. StefKurriedChix

    Warriors have good chips to throw in to make a great trade recipe is what the juice in the story is here. Very unlikely these teams get together except when one fleece’s the other in a trade jam. A playoff contender could bid before he is a Miami Heat.

  3. WSnotAstros2017

    I think VO goes to Heat. I do not see him to another team for a couple months then hit free agency.

    I just do not see him or Tucker with Warriors.

    I hope those players listed for The Rockets if find new homes find good ones. Tucker think his playing days are winding down and could help defensively still. Gordon not sure he can still score and more. Brown was great when things started but has tapered off. I wonder too if House could go. I know not mentioned here but is another I feel is not in Rockets future.

    • WallyWood

      They probably want to keep House, and Gordon too. While Dipo, Tucker, and Brown are all on expiring contracts so it makes sense to see what they can get for them. Exum and Kurucs are as well, so they can be used for salary matching purposes. Hopefully they can get some decent players in return to build around Wood, Wall, Gordon, Porter, House, and Tate.

      Plus they should be able to re-sign Nwaba after the season, they basically gave him $900K last year to do nothing so he kind of owes them at least some loyalty. They also still have Martin who looked good in the G-League.

  4. Tatsumaki

    Would Memphis do dieng for kcp+? Could solve lakers issues at center. Someone like brown also makes sense as a cheap 3 and d type player lakers desperately need

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