Trade Rumors: Anunoby, Hornets, Prince, Beasley, Crowder

The Raptors have told teams they’ll wait until their current road trip is over before making a decision on their direction at the trade deadline, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in an appearance on NBA Today on Thursday (YouTube link). With games in Houston on Friday and Memphis on Sunday still on tap for Toronto, potential trade partners will have to wait a few more days for clarity.

However, if the Raptors do make OG Anunoby available, Windhorst expects there to be several playoff teams vying for his services.

“If the Raptors are willing to put OG Anunoby on the trade block, I believe – conservatively – there could be six or seven different teams, a lot of them contenders for the title this year, who are willing to put in a significant offer for him,” Windhorst said. “It would really depend then on whether the Raptors prioritized getting young players… or if they decided to focus on draft picks, because that would change the order of teams that you’d like for OG.”

In the same TV segment, Windhorst’s ESPN colleague Bobby Marks observed that it would help potential Anunoby suitors if they could get some clarity on whether the NBA will tweak its contract extension rules in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Based on the current rules, if he were to sign an extension, Anunoby could only get a 20% raise on next season’s $18.6MM salary (or on his $19.9MM player option for 2024/25). As such, he may be inclined to wait for free agency to sign a new contract, since he could get a bigger raise at that point. However, if the new CBA loosens restrictions on veteran extensions, a team acquiring Anunoby now would be in a better position to extend him before the end of his current contract.

CBA negotiations are ongoing, so it’s unclear if teams will have a real sense by the February 9 deadline of whether or not those rules will change.

Here are a few more trade rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • The Hornets are engaged in trade talks about “almost all of their veterans,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link) writes, citing league sources. While Lowe doesn’t name specific players, we’ve previously heard Mason Plumlee, Terry Rozier, and Kelly Oubre, among others, referred to as possible trade candidates.
  • In his Lowe Post podcast, Lowe mentions in passing that teams are calling the Timberwolves about forward Taurean Prince “a lot.” Lowe doesn’t provide any additional details, but it seems safe to assume that Minnesota isn’t eager to move one of its key role players, given the team’s playoff aspirations. The Wolves currently rank sixth in the West at 28-26.
  • Rival executives tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report that they believe the Jazz have at least one team willing to offer a first-round pick for veteran wing Malik Beasley. It’s unclear what sort of protections that first-rounder might have or whether Utah would have to take back a multiyear contract for salary-matching purposes.
  • The Bucks aren’t the only team that has requested and received permission to speak to Suns forward Jae Crowder, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link), who says there are “others” who have done the same.
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