George Hill‘s name has come up more frequently in conversations among team executives as the trade deadline approaches, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, adding that the Clippers, Lakers, and Sixers are among the teams with interest in the Thunder guard. Hill hasn’t played since January 24 due to a thumb injury, but is out of his cast and is working toward a return, as Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder tweets.
While some clubs are hoping the Thunder will buy out Hill, that seems unlikely, since he has another partially guaranteed year left on his contract, and buyouts aren’t really Sam Presti‘s “M.O.,” as one assistant general manager tells Fischer.
Plus, the Thunder are in position to take on salary in trades if it nets them greater draft compensation, Fischer writes. Oklahoma City is one of two teams – along with New York – that remains below the salary floor this season, as John Hollinger of The Athletic observes, so the club could take on about $12MM without taking any real financial hit.
Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:
- A number of Pelicans players were prominently involved in trade rumors in January and February, but some of that talk has died down as of late, according to Fischer, who says there doesn’t seem to be any real traction toward an Eric Bledsoe deal. As for J.J. Redick, a buyout seems more likely than a trade at this point, per Fischer.
- Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. is available in trade discussions, but would probably only make sense as a salary-matching piece for a high-salary player, such as DeMar DeRozan, writes Fischer. If Porter remains in Chicago through the deadline, it’s possible he could emerge as a buyout candidate.
- The only way the Knicks would realistically pull the trigger on a Victor Oladipo trade this week is if the team receives assurances that he’ll re-sign this summer, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who says the team isn’t interested in giving up any real assets for a rental.
- Potential buyers are expecting – or at least hoping – that the price tags on certain big-name trade candidates, such as Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, and Harrison Barnes, will drop as the deadline nears, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. I’m not sure that’s a safe bet, since it seems to be a sellers’ market.