Boston Celtics

Hawks Made ‘Aggressive’ Offers For George, Butler

The Hawks weren’t necessarily considered likely to make a big splash today and ultimately didn’t do so, but according to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter), it wasn’t for lack of trying. Stein reports that the Hawks made “aggressive” draft-pick-centric trade offers for both Paul George and Jimmy Butler.

Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link) reported shortly after the trade deadline passed that the Hawks had been working on multiple “big deals” that didn’t come together, and these wouldn’t certainly qualify. GM Wes Wilcox had mentioned in the days leading up to the deadline that Atlanta wouldn’t hesitate to use its collection of draft picks to seek out roster upgrades — the Hawks have extra first-round picks in 2018 (from Minnesota) and 2019 (from Cleveland).

Reports on the talks between the Celtics and Bulls suggested that Chicago had wanted to acquire rotation-ready players in any deal for Butler, so a package heavy on draft picks may not have appealed to the club. As for the Pacers, even though team ownership was receptive to trade offers, president Larry Bird was determined to “swat away all pitches,” per Stein.

The Pacers were also said to have turned down a “monster” offer from the Nuggets, though ESPN’s Zach Lowe notes that Denver was reluctant to include Jamal Murray in that package. The Nuggets would have brought in trade assets from a third team in that scenario, per Lowe.

Meanwhile, though Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical suggested this afternoon that the Celtics had been willing to include both Nets’ first-round picks in talks for George and Butler, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears that Boston never formally made the 2017 pick available in Butler discussions. Even if the C’s had been willing to include one or both picks for either player, it’s not clear whether the team would have sought to add protection those selections.

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Okafor, Ainge, Lopez, Hawks

Before making today’s deal with Oklahoma City, the Bulls tried to obtain point guard Patrick Beverley from the Rockets, tweets Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago. Chicago reached out to Houston on Wednesday with an offer of Taj Gibson and Isaiah Canaan in exchange for Beverley, but the Rockets turned it down.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference on an active deadline day:

  • The Sixers didn’t trade center Jahlil Okafor, but it wasn’t because they didn’t try, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). He says Philadelphia made a strong effort to unload Okafor but was unable to find equal value so close to the deadline.
  • The Celtics were rumored to be seeking Jimmy Butler and Paul George, but decided to stand pat. GM Danny Ainge explained the conservative approach to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). “We had a lot of conversations,” Ainge said. “There were things we could do to improve our team, but nothing that was good enough to do.” The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski claims that Boston was willing to make both of the Nets‘ first-round picks available (Twitter link).
  • Nets GM Sean Marks didn’t indicate if he tried to trade Brook Lopez, tweets Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. “Brook’s here and we’re happy he’s here,” Marks said when asked about the veteran center. “He’s been the face of this franchise for a long time.”
  • After shipping Mike Scott to the Suns, the Hawks have two open roster spots, notes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link). The team will focus on the buyout market and possibly D-League callups.

Celtics, Cavs, Pacers, Others Stand Pat At Deadline

A number of teams who had been considered good bets to make trades at the deadline opted to stand pat, unable to find any deals to their liking, according to various reports. Here’s a breakdown of some of the teams that decided not to make a move:

  • The Celtics didn’t make a trade today, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). All of Boston’s assets, including the Nets’ next two first-rounders, remain under team control.
  • In essence, Kyle Korver was the big deadline acquisition for the Cavaliers, who stood pat today, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Not only did the Pacers keep Paul George, but the team didn’t make any move to fortify the roster either, according to Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star and Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports (Twitter links).
  • A source tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press that the Pistons didn’t make any trades today. In a tweet, Ellis expresses doubts about just how “available” some of Detroit’s players were.
  • The Kings fielded offers for Ben McLemore, Darren Collison, and Arron Afflalo, but will wait until the summer to make more trades, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • The Jazz also made no deadline deals, per Andy Larsen of Salt Lake City Hoops and KSL.com (Twitter link).

Trade Rumors: Sixers, Bradley, Tucker, Bogut

The Sixers are seeking deals for defensive-oriented guards capable of playing alongside Ben Simmons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia has targeted Celtics guard Avery Bradley, but hasn’t gained any traction.

With Marcus Smart playing well lately and Jaylen Brown viewed as a potential star by the Celtics, Bradley could be somewhat expendable in Boston, but Philadelphia and Boston aren’t necessarily a great match in such a trade. Both teams are loaded with future draft picks, which is likely what the Sixers would offer for Bradley — the Celtics don’t really need any more picks, unless they think they could use them in a package for a star.

Here’s more from around the NBA with the trade deadline less than a half-hour away:

  • At least three teams – the Pelicans, Cavaliers, and Celtics – have opted against meeting the Suns‘ asking price of a first-round pick for P.J. Tucker, reports John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers don’t expect to flip Andrew Bogut in another trade before the deadline, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides will immediately begin buyout discussions.
  • At this point, the Nuggets don’t expect to make any moves before the deadline, sources tell Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter link).
  • The Pacers are still trying to fortify their roster, and remain in talks with the Kings about Arron Afflalo, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.

Eastern Notes: Hawks, Celtics, Butler, Knicks

Whether it’s via trade or free agency, the Hawks are planning to add a third point guard to their roster, head coach Mike Budenholzer said today (Twitter link via Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution). Dennis Schroder has had a very solid season in Atlanta, but Malcolm Delaney has been up and down as his backup, and the team doesn’t really have additional depth at the position.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • On The Vertical’s live trade deadline show, Adrian Wojnarowski suggested that one reason the Celtics and Bulls haven’t moved forward in Jimmy Butler talks is because the Bulls would want at least a couple players capable of joining their rotation immediately, and Boston is more interested in using draft picks in a potential package.
  • The Knicks have yet to budge on their insistence that the Timberwolves add an additional player or draft pick to a Ricky Rubio/Derrick Rose swap, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. As Begley notes, it’ll be interesting to see if either side budges before the deadline.
  • J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com takes a closer look at why the Wizards targeted Bojan Bogdanovic and were willing to give up a first-round pick for him.

Trade Rumors: C. Lee, Clippers, Pacers, Jazz, Kings

Earlier today, we heard that the Clippers recently showed interest in Courtney Lee, and according to Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Clips and Knicks continue to talk. New York has been seeking draft picks in discussions on Lee and other players, and the Clippers don’t have any immediate first-rounders to offer, as Begley notes. So if the Knicks want to send Lee to Los Angeles, they may have to settle for a player or get a third team involved.

Here are more of the latest trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers have been talking to teams about possible trades that would allow them to clear roster spots, tweets ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst notes, teams suspect that might be related to their talks with the Celtics regarding Paul George. Of course, Indiana may also just be doing due diligence as well in case Boston ups its offer — the Pacers wouldn’t want to be stuck having to waive useful players to make a deal work.
  • The Jazz don’t appear likely at this point to make a deal, says Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (via Twitter). TNT’s David Aldridge notes (via Twitter) that Utah could still make a move for Deron Williams, but if Williams isn’t dealt, the veteran point guard won’t ask for a buyout from the Mavericks.
  • The Kings continue to mull their options, but don’t appear to be moving forward with talks for players like Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo for now, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), who adds that Sacramento’s asking prices may be too high. If those prices come down, things could change.
  • The Wizards continue to work the phones, but aren’t overly optimistic about getting another deal done by the deadline, tweets Bontemps.
  • The market for Iman Shumpert appears to be cooling as the deadline approaches, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (Twitter link). Amico says that teams are asking for a draft pick from the Cavaliers, and Cleveland doesn’t have many picks left.

Latest On Paul George

12:12pm: “More than a few” rival teams believe the Celtics have a real shot to land George today, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein (Twitter link). However, Wojnarowski tweets that the C’s have no significant traction yet on either George or Jimmy Butler.

10:43am: On the heels of his last George update, Wojnarowski has issued another one, tweeting that the Celtics have now introduced a Nets pick into the discussion. ESPN’s Zach Lowe notes that it’s the 2017 first-rounder (Twitter link). However, Boston has yet to meet the Pacers’ asking price.

10:35am: The Pacers and Celtics had preliminary talks regarding George, but those discussions won’t move forward unless – or until – the C’s put the Nets’ pick on the table, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). Wojnarowski doesn’t specify which of the Nets’ picks he’s referring to, but I’d imagine the 2017 first-rounder would be the Pacers’ preference.

10:00am: The Pacers have shown a willingness this week to listen to inquiries on Paul George, but Indiana’s asking price on the star forward is “off the charts,” tweets Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. A league source who spoke to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders echoed that sentiment, suggesting that George would be “massively expensive” to obtain. That source said that his own team didn’t have anywhere close to the assets to pursue such a deal.

[RELATED: Lakers inquired on Paul George]

Outside of the fact that it would take a huge package to pry George away from the Pacers, potential suitors will be apprehensive about making a deal because they know that he wants to win in Indiana, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. As Haynes explains, George’s top preference would be to ultimately re-up with the Pacers, while the Lakers would be his Plan B. The All-Star forward wouldn’t be willing to commit long-term to a team besides those two.

Meanwhile, as has been previously reported, a recent meeting between George and Pacers owner Herb Simon prompted Indiana to more seriously consider all of its options with PG13, since he indicated during that meeting that he wants to stay with the Pacers for the long term only if the team can be a serious contender. Haynes tweets that the meeting between George and Simon was “cordial,” with no ultimatum given.

Sixers To Trade Nerlens Noel To Mavericks

11:58am: According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links), if the Sixers don’t receive the Mavs’ first-round pick this year, they’ll instead receive 2017 and 2018 second-round picks from Dallas. Since that first-rounder is top-18 protected, it seems very unlikely to change hands, so the conditions on the pick make the deal look even better for the Mavs.Nerlens Noel vertical

11:30am: There are still some moving parts to sort out in the deal before it becomes official, according to Jake Fischer of SI.com, who tweets that the trade may expand to involve a third team so that the Sixers don’t have to waive a player.

10:46am: The Sixers are in agreement with the Mavericks on a deal that will send Nerlens Noel to Dallas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia will receive Justin Anderson and a first-round pick from the Mavs. ESPN’s Marc Stein adds (via Twitter) that the Sixers will also get Andrew Bogut‘s expiring contract.

According to Stein (via Twitter), the first-round pick heading to the Sixers in the deal will be top-18 protected in 2017, which makes it unlikely that it will change hands this year. As our 2016/17 Reverse Standings show, Dallas currently projects to have the No. 7 overall pick, though Noel should help improve this year’s team. Future protections on the first-rounder have not yet been reported.

Noel, who will turn 23 in April, was frequently mentioned as a trade candidate earlier this season, particularly after he publicly questioned the Sixers’ decision to head into camp with a logjam at center. However, the former sixth overall pick had played well as of late, averaging 8.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and a career-best .611 FG% in less than 20 minutes per game for the season.

Recent trade rumors had focused more on Jahlil Okafor than Noel, so it will be interesting to see if the Sixers end up moving Okafor today as well. In his full report on the trade, Wojnarowski suggests Okafor is now likely to stay put. However, as Jake Fischer of SI.com notes (via Twitter), the Sixers have been “steadfast” this week in their efforts to move Okafor, so it would be a change of direction to hang onto him now.

[RELATED: Latest on Jahlil Okafor]

For the Mavs, Noel represents a substantial upgrade at center, giving the team the sort of athletic, rim-protecting big man it had been seeking. As Wojnarowski tweets, Dallas has “long been intrigued” by Noel, and will look to lock him up this summer. The Kentucky product will be a restricted free agent, so the Mavs will have the opportunity to match any offers he receives from other teams.

From the Sixers’ perspective, the move represents a chance to pick up a young player and a draft pick while also potentially not having to worry about reaching the salary floor. Anderson has yet to make a real impact in his two NBA seasons, but he’s still just 23 years old and won’t be a restricted free agent until the summer of 2019. Meanwhile, the combined salaries for Bogut ($11MM+) and Anderson ($1.51MM) are worth approximately $8MM more than Noel’s salary, allowing Philadelphia to surpass the salary floor.

However, if the Sixers were to flip Bogut in another deadline deal, that could change the equation, and the team has yet to decide what they’ll do with the veteran center, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports (via Twitter) that Bogut and the Sixers are expected to engage in buyout talks, with potential suitors like the Cavs keeping a close eye on the situation. However, TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter links) suggests Philadelphia could reroute the former No. 1 pick to another team, with the Celtics as one possibility.

A couple final bookkeeping notes on the swap: Assuming it’s completed as reported, Dallas should have the opportunity to create a pair of trade exceptions in the deal. One would be worth about $6.64MM (the difference between Bogut’s and Noel’s salaries), while the other would be worth approximately $1.51MM (Anderson’s salary). The Mavs should also now comfortably avoid the luxury tax this season, having previously been about $1MM away from the tax threshold.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Celtics Rumors: Butler, George, Bogut, Fultz

The Celtics remain hopeful of acquiring either Jimmy Butler or Paul George before the trade deadline but it’s more likely they’ll hold onto their main assets, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports.

One sticking point is that GM Danny Ainge is reluctant to part with the first-round pick the Net owe them this summer via a swap of positions, Bulpett continues. An agent with connections to the potential deal between the Bulls and Boston informed Bulpett that Ainge’s unwillingness to deal the pick scuttled preliminary discussions. The Pacers would likely want that same pick as part of any deal involving George, Bulpett speculates.

Unless a blockbuster deal is worked out that would give them a serious chance of supplanting the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics have no real incentive to move their most prized assets, the thinking goes in the Boston front office. According to another league executive, teams have offered solid veterans to Boston but Ainge only wants to a “real star” for those assets, Bulpett writes in a separate column.

Other nuggets involving the Celtics possible moves:

  • Andrew Bogut, whom the Mavs agreed to trade to the Sixers today, could be re-routed to the Celtics, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. However, ESPN’s Chris Haynes tweets that Philadelphia is expected to engage in buyout talks with the veteran center.
  • Ainge wants to remain a player in this summer’s free agent market unless he can obtain a franchise cornerstone today or via the draft, according to Bulpett. If the Celtics end up holding onto the Nets pick, Washington freshman Markelle Fultz could be the player they’re coveting.
  • A lesser trade involving a forward such as the Grizzlies’ JaMychal Green or Suns’ P.J. Tucker remains a possibility, Bulpett adds.

Jae Crowder A Sticking Point In Potential Butler Talks?

  • Appearing on NBA TV on Wednesday, TNT’s David Aldridge suggested that the Bulls would insist on Jae Crowder in any package for Jimmy Butler, and the Celtics would be very hesitant to include him, given his role in Boston’s rotation and his extremely team-friendly contract. Brian Robb of 98.5 The Sports Hub (Twitter link) passes along Aldridge’s full comments. Meanwhile, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune reports that the Sixers inquired on Butler, but were rebuffed by the Bulls.
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