Andre Iguodala

Sixers Have Interest In Robert Covington, Other Players

The Sixers are parsing the trade market for reinforcements who can shoot the ball. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Philadelphia has expressed interest in several role players, including Malik Beasley, Glenn Robinson III, Davis Bertans, E’Twaun Moore, and Andre Iguodala. O’Connor adds that the team has also inquired on Robert Covington, whom the team dealt away in the Jimmy Butler deal last season.

Most of those names, including Covington, are truly available. The price for Minnesota’s wing is expected to be high and with Philadelphia void of shiny assets, GM Elton Brand will have to get creative if he is going to bring back Sam Hinkie’s former gem.

Zhaire Smith is the young prospect the team is most willing to part with. Rivals teams have more interest in Matisse Thybulle, though Philadelphia is reluctant to deal the No. 20 overall pick. The franchise owns all of its own draft picks starting in the 2021 draft, so the Sixers could attempt to sweeten any deal with a future asset.

Other names on that list could be more obtainable than RoCo. It’ll be tough to pry Bertans from Washington, as the team can envision him as a long-term piece, but Iguodala, Moore, and Robinson are in obvious selling situations. Denver won’t be a seller at the trade deadline, but with a deep rotation and Beasley’s impending restricted free agency, the franchise is smartly assessing the market for the shooting guard.

Here’s more on Philadelphia.

  • O’Connor contends that the Sixers should consider making a bigger move for Chris Paul, swapping either Tobias Harris or Al Horford and additional salary for the 34-year-old point guard. However, the scribe hears that Harris and Horford, each of whom signed long-term deals this offseason, aren’t any more tradeable than CP3.
  • Trading Simmons doesn’t appear likely, in part because it would mean “putting all your superstar eggs in the Embiid basket,” and the big man has had a shaky injury history. O’ Connor wonders if Simmons would be the one the team decides to build around if forced to choose between the two.
  • Big changes will likely come with an early exit in the playoffs, though many around the game believe it would be Brett Brown who takes the fall in that scenario. There were rumblings that former team president Bryan Colangelo was planning to fire Brown and replace him with Villanova coach Jay Wright, but that was before Twittergate. Still, O’Connor hears from multiple sources that Brown didn’t have the best relationship with the locker room last season.

Trade Rumors: Iguodala, Clippers, Suns, Pacers

As we’ve heard all season long, the Grizzlies remain confident that they can trade Andre Iguodala and won’t need to buy him out of his contract, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

“We will trade him, period,” A Grizzlies executive told Pincus. “We’ve gone far enough into the structure of deals with more than one team to say that [confidently].”

Marc Stein of The New York Times reported last month that Dallas isn’t expected to pursue Iguodala, but multiple executives still view the Mavericks as the best potential trade partner for Memphis, according to Pincus. One Western Conference executive speculated that the leak to Stein was “posturing,” suggesting that the Mavs and Grizzlies may be haggling over the Warriors’ 2020 second-rounder that Dallas holds.

Pincus shared a few more trade rumors and tidbits from around the NBA, so let’s round up the highlights…

  • Aron Baynes is believed to be on the Clippers‘ radar, and Pincus notes that Sam Vecenie of The Athletic recently suggested a Baynes/Ivica Zubac swap between the Suns and Clips. It’s unclear if the two sides have actually discussed such a deal or if it would interest either club, but Pincus suggests that Baynes would be a better complement to Montrezl Harrell.
  • Speaking of Harrell, the Clippers have had internal discussions about his future, but have yet to make any decisions on that front, per Pincus. Harrell will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • If the Suns remain in the playoff hunt, they’re unlikely to trade Baynes. In fact, they may be more inclined to pursue upgrades, perhaps targeting power forwards like Kevin Love (Cavaliers) or Danilo Gallinari (Thunder). Gallinari is believed to be higher on Phoenix’s wish list, says Pinucs. “Not many teams will have cap space next summer. The Suns probably would be able to re-sign Gallinari at a much better price (than Love’s contract),” one Western Conference exec said. “There’s uncertainty, especially if they give up a first-rounder, but the difference in price would make Gallinari the better target.”
  • While multiple executives believe the Pacers will eventually trade one of either Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner, the team itself remains content with its “old-school” frontcourt duo, according to Pincus.

Fournier Could Be On The Move

Magic swingman Evan Fournier is the player most likely to be moved before the trade deadline, according to an ESPN Insider report from Bobby Marks.

While there’s no indication Fournier is being shopped, a straw poll of NBA executives believe that the Magic will need to start exploring their trade options on the veteran, who is likely to leave $17.2MM on the table and opt out this summer. Orlando is currently battling for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Fournier is enjoying a career year, averaging 19.6 PPG and shooting 42.3% from long range.

Here are more nuggets from the ESPN report:

Mavs Not Expected To Pursue Andre Iguodala

While the Mavericks appear to have the pieces necessary to make an attractive trade offer for Andre Iguodala, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) has been told that Dallas has “zero interest” in the veteran forward.

Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links) reiterates that point, citing league sources who say that the Mavericks like Iguodala and had interest in him during the offseason, but aren’t actively pursuing a trade for the 35-year-old and don’t intend to.

As Townsend explains, Dallas’ management group “loves” the club’s current chemistry. Although Iguodala wouldn’t necessarily negatively impact that chemistry, adding a veteran like him would to disrupt the current rotation, Townsend notes. Stein, meanwhile, suggests that the Mavs are being “measured” as they consider possible trade targets, even after emerging as potential contenders.

The Grizzlies have held onto Iguodala since acquiring from Golden State in July, despite the fact that he hasn’t played a single minute for the team this season. Memphis reportedly hasn’t budged from its asking price of a first-round pick, while contenders like the Lakers, Clippers, and Rockets continue to hold out hope that Iguodala will be bought out, per Stein (Twitter link).

Houston and the L.A. clubs aren’t particularly well positioned to acquire Iguodala in a trade, but Dallas might be. A package of Courtney Lee‘s expiring contract and the Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick would likely appeal to the Grizzlies.

It’s possible Dallas is projecting a lack of interest in Iguodala to gain leverage and lower Memphis’ asking price, but for now it seems safe to assume that the Mavs aren’t the favorites for the former Finals MVP.

Grizzlies Still Seeking First-Rounder For Iguodala?

The Grizzlies, who have no plans to buy out Andre Iguodala, also haven’t adjusted their asking price on the trade market for the veteran forward, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. Having acquired a first-round pick along with Iguodala in July, the Grizzlies are hoping to secure a second first-round pick when they flip the 35-year-old.

“They haven’t budged,” a league executive told Deveney. “Maybe they will as the date gets closer, but they’ve made clear, they’re not interested in a buyout with Andre and they’re looking for a first-rounder. Teams have been trying. They haven’t let go of that. But that tells you they know they’ll be able to get something and won’t have to buy him out.”

Acquiring a first-round pick for Iguodala’s $17MM expiring contract seems ambitious unless the Grizzlies are willing to take on some unwanted multiyear money, but there’s no harm in trying. The former Finals MVP is currently away from the team, and any potential trade partner with interest would be eyeing him for a potential playoff run, so Memphis can afford to be patient.

While I’d be surprised if the Grizzlies get a first-rounder for Iguodala, it seems as if the club should be able to land a second-rounder or two. The Mavericks, who control one of 2020’s most valuable second-round picks and could match Iguodala’s salary using Courtney Lee‘s expiring contract, still look to me like the best fit, but Deveney identifies the Bucks, Nuggets, and Jazz as a few other possible suitors.

I explained earlier today why several contending teams – including the Lakers – will have a tough time putting together a trade package for a player like Iguodala.

Woj, Lowe On D-Lo, Mavs, MPJ, Love, VanVleet, More

Approximately 120 players around the NBA became trade-eligible on Sunday, signaling the unofficial start of the NBA’s 2019/20 trade season. To celebrate the occasion, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe hosted an ESPN special to survey the trade market, discussing which teams are most likely to make moves and which players are most likely to be dealt.

Here are several of the highlights from that discussion between Woj and Lowe:

Western Conference:

  • The Warriors may field trade inquiries on D’Angelo Russell leading up to February’s trade deadline, but they’re unlikely to actively shop him and probably won’t move him before the 2020 offseason, according to Wojnarowski (video link).
  • Wojnarowski believes the Mavericks would like to acquire a standout center to complement Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (video link). He cites Montrezl Harrell as one player who might fit that bill, though Dallas would have to wait for the Clippers‘ big man to reach free agency.
  • The Nuggets essentially view Michael Porter Jr. as “untouchable,” says Wojnarowski (video link).
  • Wojnarowski and Lowe expect contenders to keep a close eye on Pelicans guards Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick as the deadline nears (video link). According to Woj, Holiday loves New Orleans, but it’s not clear how patient he’ll be with the team’s rebuilding process.
  • Woj and Lowe note that the Clippers pursued Marcus Morris in free agency and could have interest in him again on the trade market. Lowe wouldn’t be surprised if the club tries to see what it can get using a package of Maurice Harkless, Patrick Patterson, and its first-round pick (video link).
  • Wojnarowski views 2019/20 as a pivotal year for the Rockets, adding that GM Daryl Morey seems to have given up trying to find a way to trade for Grizzlies wing Andre Iguodala after exploring multi-team scenarios earlier in the year (video link).

Eastern Conference:

  • Wojnarowski thinks the best the Cavaliers can realistically expect in a Kevin Love trade is a protected first-round pick, an expiring salary, and another throw-in player (video link). Woj adds that it seems as if Love is “ready to go,” having lost patience with the rebuild in Cleveland.
  • Count the Raptors and Heat among teams that will be reluctant to make any moves that compromise their 2021 cap flexibility (video links). According to Wojnarowski, Toronto wants to re-sign Fred VanVleet this summer, but continues to eye Giannis Antetokounmpo for ’21. As for the Heat, they seem less likely to trade young players for veterans than they have been in the past.
  • Pistons owner Tom Gores “loves” Andre Drummond, but the club will soon have to have a serious conversation about whether to go all-in on the veteran center or whether to try to shop him, per Woj (video link).
  • Lowe thinks players like Timberwolves forward Robert Covington and J.J. Redick will be on the Bucks‘ radar if they’re available, adding that Milwaukee appears willing to go over the tax line for the right deal (video link).

Southwest Notes: Murray, J. Jackson, Iguodala, Ball

After missing the entire 2018/19 season due to an ACL tear, Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray began the 2019/20 campaign on a minutes restriction and then was removed from the starting lineup. However, head coach Gregg Popovich didn’t necessarily view that move as a demotion — the team believed that removing the responsibilities of running the first-team offense might allow Murray to play a “freer, more instinctual game,” writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News.

While Murray’s play for the second unit has been up and down, he had one of his best games of the season last Friday in a Spurs win over Sacramento, with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals in 32 minutes. That last number may be the most important of the bunch, as it suggests Murray’s minutes restriction is no longer in effect. With no more nightly cap on his playing time, Murray is eager to show what he can do.

“I know it takes time,” the Spurs’ guard said. “There was the minute restriction, a lot of stuff going on. It is what it is. I’m going to bust my tail, continue to work, continue to learn. I’m just ready to be unleashed.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • After being held out of Monday’s game, Josh Jackson once again won’t play for the Memphis Hustle on Wednesday, the Grizzlies announced today (via Twitter). Jackson, who reportedly missed a team meeting, has essentially received a two-game suspension for violating team rules.
  • What sort of trade options might the Grizzlies have for Andre Iguodala? Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian takes a deep dive and explores several hypothetical scenarios, labeling the Mavericks as Memphis’ most logical trade partner and the Nuggets and Raptors as possible wild cards.
  • Lonzo Ball was one of the key pieces acquired by the Pelicans in their blockbuster trade with the Lakers over the summer, and New Orleans is doing all it can to get the most out of the former No. 2 overall pick. Andrew Lopez of ESPN.com takes a closer look at how the Pelicans have worked on rebuilding Ball’s jump shot.

O’Connor’s Latest: Thunder, Blazers, Love, Iguodala, More

As we relayed earlier this morning, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Rockets have “serious interest” in Timberwolves wing Robert Covington. That tidbit was just one of many in a longer article jam-packed with notes and observations on the NBA’s trade market, so let’s round up some of the other highlights from O’Connor’s piece…

  • As expected, Thunder veterans Chris Paul, Steven Adams, and Danilo Gallinari are all available, league sources tell O’Connor. However, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday, Oklahoma City also seems willing to take on bad contracts and unwanted money, according to O’Connor, who hears that getting out of tax territory isn’t necessarily a priority for the club. The Thunder don’t anticipate a major tax bill this season and know they won’t be back over that line in future years, so they’re willing to live with a slightly bigger penalty this season if it means acquiring extra assets.
  • Speaking of Gallinari, the Trail Blazers are expected to pursue the Thunder forward, league sources tell The Ringer. O’Connor also hears that Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love would like to play for his hometown team in Portland.
  • O’Connor identifies the following teams as ones that appear most open to trading late first-round or early second-round draft picks: The Bucks, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Sixers, and Mavericks. Some of those clubs hold other teams’ picks and could dangle those in trade talks. For instance, Milwaukee owns Indiana’s lottery-protected first-rounder; Philadelphia has New York’s and Atlanta’s second-rounders; and Dallas controls Golden State’s second-rounder.
  • League sources tell O’Connor that Davis Bertans (Wizards), Marvin Williams (Hornets), J.J. Redick (Pelicans), and Marcus Morris (Knicks) are among the veterans who are candidates to be dealt before the deadline. Redick likely won’t be moved, but multiple execs believe New Orleans could strongly consider the idea if the right offer comes along.
  • O’Connor hears that there’s “no world” in which the Grizzlies buy out Andre Iguodala. Memphis will trade him — it’s just a matter of when and where, says O’Connor. A source tells The Ringer that the Grizzlies are open to any type of trade package, even if it means taking back a multiyear contract.

Western Notes: Crowder, Lakers, Holiday, Bates-Diop

Former Jazz forward Jae Crowder took time this week to discuss his time with the team, detailing the close friendships he made and the impact head coach Quin Snyder had on him.

Crowder, who was acquired by the Grizzlies last July, also discussed Memphis’ slow start to the 2019/20 season in an interview with Aaron Falk of Jazz.com.

“We’ve come out on the losing end, so obviously we’re not where we want to be but we’re figuring it out,” Crowder said. “We’re competing at a high level and trying to do what it takes to win games. At this level, with a young team, it’s just hard to win games. We’re learning from our losses and wins and trying to build every day.”

The Jazz traded for Crowder in February of 2018, giving the 29-year-old roughly one-and-a-half seasons with the franchise. He averaged 11.9 points in 80 games for the team last season, quickly gaining respect from the fans and confidence from the coaching staff.

“He just gave me a mindset that added on to fueling my fire,” Crowder said of Snyder. “To always compete at a high level and always embrace wherever you’re at in life. He gave me a role on that team and I’m appreciative of him. I’ve told him that personally. I appreciate him believing in me, believing in my effort and coaching me the way that he coached me.”

There’s more from the Western Conference today:

  • The Lakers tied a team record on Friday for the best start in franchise history, extending their current record to 17-2. The team recorded their 10th straight win with a victory over Washington, led by the likes of Anthony Davis (26 points, 13 rebounds) and LeBron James (23 points, 11 assists). “Obviously, this is a historic franchise; they have done so many great things,” Davis said, as relayed by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. “To be a part of a franchise like this is definitely amazing. I just want to leave my mark here and just keep it going. Obviously, our goal is to add another banner here. It’s something we feel like we can do, and if we do that, to be a part of that would be nothing but great.”
  • Andre Iguodala, one of the league’s all-time great defenders, has tabbed Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday as the best defensive player in the NBA today. “Best defender in the league… @Jrue_Holiday11”, Iguodala wrote on social media. Holiday is consistently mentioned as one of the toughest defenders in the NBA, with the 29-year-old making the All-Defensive Second Team in 2019 and All-Defensive First Team in 2018.
  • Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop is slowly but surely forcing his way into the team’s rotation, Chris Hine writes for the Star Tribune. Bates-Diop, 23, was drafted 48th overall in 2018 by the Wolves after spending four seasons at Ohio State. He’s averaged 8.9 points in seven games (17.9 MPG) this season.

Mavs Expected To Enter Andre Iguodala Sweepstakes

Andre Iguodala remains on the Grizzlies. He’s away from the team and the franchise is expected to trade him at some point this season. Many assume that Los Angeles will ultimately be where the former Finals MVP ends up but that’s far from a certain outcome.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com hears from rival executives that the Mavericks could be contenders for Iguodala’s services. Courtney Lee ($12.8MM) is on an expiring deal and the team could package him along with another young player or draft picks (Windhorst mentions Dallas’ extra second-round picks) to acquire Iguodala.

The Mavericks have the NBA’s best offense, though their defense is in the bottom half of the league, per NBA.com. Iguodala could bring his defensive prowess to a team that is already outproducing its expectations this season.