Scotto’s Latest: McCollum, Covington, Finney-Smith, Raptors, Gallinari

In the wake of Friday’s trade that sent Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers, many executives around the league expect the Trail Blazers to move CJ McCollum either before the deadline or during the offseason, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The Pelicans and Mavericks are among the teams with interest in McCollum, Scotto adds.

Joe Cronin, the interim general manager in Portland, said the trade with L.A. was designed to create more playing time for Anfernee Simons, who has emerged as a potential star in his fourth NBA season. Cronin calls Simons, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, a “core piece” and said the team “wanted to create a runway here for him.” The same reasoning could apply to moving the 30-year-old McCollum, who will make $69.13MM over the next two seasons.

Scotto shares a few more trade-related tidbits:

  • After Friday’s trade was completed, several teams called the Clippers to see if they were interested in flipping Covington, who has a $12.975MM expiring contract. However, L.A. sees Covington as insurance if Nicolas Batum decides to turn down his $3.3MM player option this summer and would consider re-signing him even if Batum remains with the team. Scotto views Serge Ibaka as the next Clipper who might be traded.
  • Sources tell Scotto that the Mavericks passed on an offer of a potential late-lottery pick in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith. The 28-year-old forward will be a free agent this summer, but Scotto cites “sentiment around the league” that Finney-Smith is outplaying his maximum extension of $55.6MM over four years.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner is among the names the Raptors have considered in their search for help in the middle. Scotto identifies Jakob PoeltlRobert WilliamsNicolas Claxton and Jusuf Nurkic as other potential Toronto targets, saying the Raptors have considered offering a first-round pick to the Spurs for Poeltl. The price for Turner would be even higher, as Indiana wants either two first-round picks or one first-rounder and a young player with potential.
  • The Raptors are among several teams with interest in acquiring veteran forward Danilo Gallinari from the Hawks. Scotto notes that Goran Dragic, who hasn’t played since November, could be used to help match salaries in a deal with Atlanta.
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