Nets Rumors

New York Notes: Irving, Durant, Harris, Grimes, Quickley, Toppin

The Nets have leverage in trade negotiations and intend to use it, which could drag out the process into training camp, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

Kyrie Irving has opted in to the last year of his deal and Kevin Durant‘s extension kicks in next season. So, they can take their time finding the right trade package. It’s also hard to imagine Durant holding out or refusing to play, as Ben Simmons did in Philadelphia, if the Nets don’t deal him.

We have more on the New York teams:

  • In the same piece, Lewis quotes a league source as saying the Nets have no intention of trading Joe Harris. Holding onto Harris could indicate a retooling on the fly, while trading the 3-point specialist would signal a major rebuild.
  • Quentin Grimes, who is on the Knicks’ summer league squad, could be in the mix for a starting job when the regular season begins, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. The 2021 first-round pick showed some promise last season with his defense and 3-point shooting. A bout with COVID-19 and a dislocated patella marred his rookie season. Grimes could get a shot to start if the Knicks deal Evan Fournier.
  • The free agent additions of Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein leave Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin as likely second-unit performers, Zach Brazilier of the New York Post notes. The latter duo finished last season on a high note with expanded roles but they project as reserves next season.

13 Trade Exceptions Set To Expire In July

A total of 13 traded player exceptions created during the 2021 NBA offseason are set to expire this month if they go unused.

A trade exception is an NBA salary cap exception that can be generated when a team trades a player away. It allows that team to acquire a certain amount of salary without sending out any in return for one year after the exception was created. The club is permitted to trade for a player earning the amount of the exception, plus $100K.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Traded Player Exception]

For instance, the Trail Blazers are set to use their $20,864,198 trade exception, created in February’s CJ McCollum trade, to acquire Jerami Grant, who is earning $20,955,000 in 2022/23. Grant narrowly fits into that TPE after accounting for the $100K in wiggle room.

Most trade exceptions expire without being used, but teams can sometimes find a use for them — especially the bigger ones like Portland’s. So it’s worth keeping tabs on which ones are still available.

Here are the 13 exceptions set to expire this month:

  1. Boston Celtics: $17,142,857 (expires 7/18)
  2. Los Angeles Clippers: $8,250,000 (expires 7/18)
  3. Indiana Pacers: $7,333,333 (expires 7/7)
  4. New Orleans Pelicans: $6,382,262 (expires 7/7)
  5. Chicago Bulls: $5,000,000 (expires 7/7)
  6. Memphis Grizzlies: $4,054,695 (expires 7/7)
  7. Brooklyn Nets: $3,246,530 (expires 7/6)
  8. Toronto Raptors: $3,070,052 (expires 7/6)
  9. Atlanta Hawks: $1,782,621 (expires 7/7)
  10. Golden State Warriors: $1,782,621 (expires 7/7)
  11. Milwaukee Bucks: $1,517,981 (expires 7/7)
  12. Boston Celtics: $1,440,549 (expires 7/7)
  13. Brooklyn Nets: $118,342 (expires 7/6)

The Celtics’ $17MM exception, created in last year’s Evan Fournier sign-and-trade, is the most noteworthy one here, but it appears unlikely to be used. Boston reached a deal last week to acquire Malcolm Brogdon without having to use the exception, and now appears to be a long shot to strike another major trade agreement.

The third exception on this list, the Pacers’ $7.3MM TPE, will disappear if Indiana decides to operate under the cap. The team would have to renounce the exception in order to actually make use of its cap room.

While it’s possible some of the other exceptions on this list will be used before they expire, they won’t accommodate any of the deals that have been agreed upon to date.

The full list of outstanding trade exceptions can be found right here.

Nets Sign Alondes Williams To Two-Way Deal

JULY 4: Williams’ two-way deal with the Nets is now official, the team announced today in a press release.

As our tracker shows, Brooklyn’s other two-way slot remains open, though the club has a two-way qualifying offer out to David Duke.

JUNE 24: The Nets are signing Alondes Williams to a two-way deal, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

The 6’5″ guard averaged 18.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG and 1.2 SPG on .507/.282/.691 shooting as a junior for Wake Forest in 2021/22. He spent his first two college seasons with Oklahoma prior to transferring to the Demon Deacons.

Williams won ACC Player of the Year and was selected to the All-ACC First Team for his strong performance this past season. He was ranked 59th on ESPN’s big board prior to the draft, so he was considered a fringe second-round pick, but ultimately went undrafted and landed in Brooklyn.

Spurs, Pacers, Pistons Still Have Cap Room Available

While many free agent agreements have been reported since last Thursday evening, few will become official until the NBA’s moratorium period ends this Wednesday. That means the terms that have been reported – and the cap space or cap exceptions teams will use to complete those signings – haven’t yet been locked in.

Still, we have a pretty good sense of what the cap room situation looks like for teams around the league. Here’s a snapshot, as of the morning of July 4, of which clubs still have the most spending power:

Teams with cap room:

By our count, the Spurs project to have about $38MM in remaining cap room, and could push that number even higher by stretching Danilo Gallinari‘s partial guarantee across three years when they officially waive him. However, it’s very unlikely they’d do so unless they have a specific need for that extra room. San Antonio could also create some extra space by waiving Keita Bates-Diop or Tre Jones, who have non-guaranteed salaries for 2022/23, though there has been no indication that will happen.

The Pacers, meanwhile, should have a little over $26MM in cap room once the Malcolm Brogdon trade is finalized, based on our projections. Like San Antonio, Indiana has a couple players without full guarantees (Duane Washington and Terry Taylor) and could create more cap space by waiving one or both.

The Pistons have already committed a chunk of their cap room to taking on Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks, and Kemba Walker from New York, but haven’t used it all yet. If Walker gives back his minimum salary in a reported buyout agreement and Detroit uses its room exception to sign Kevin Knox to his two-year, $6MM deal, the team could have $14MM+ in space — or even more, if Walker’s dead money is stretched across three seasons.

It remains unclear what the Spurs, Pacers, and Pistons will do with their remaining cap room. All three teams have been linked to restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton at some point during the offseason and could theoretically still make a run at him, with Indiana and Detroit perhaps sending back players in a sign-and-trade deal to fit a max deal for the big man under the cap. Still, there’s a sense the Pistons have backed off Ayton after landing Jalen Duren on draft night, and it’s unclear whether the Spurs or Pacers have serious interest.

Accommodating salary-dump trades to acquire more assets could be an option for all three teams, either in the offseason or close to the trade deadline.

The Knicks are the other team expected to use cap room this summer, but after signing Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein, they won’t have much left over. Even if they waive Taj Gibson and sign Brunson and Hartenstein to the lowest starting salaries possible based on their reported contract terms, New York projects to have less than $5MM in remaining room.

Mid-level exception teams:

The Hornets, Grizzlies, Thunder, Magic, and Jazz all still have their full non-taxpayer mid-level exceptions available, giving them the ability to offer up to about $10.5MM to a free agent. It’s worth noting though that Utah’s cap situation remains in flux as we wait to see what other moves the team has up its sleeve after trading Royce O’Neale and then agreeing to a blockbuster deal involving Rudy Gobert.

The Hawks, Nets, Heat, Pelicans, and Suns haven’t committed any mid-level money to free agents yet, but unless they shed salary, they’ll probably be limited to the taxpayer MLE (worth about $6.5MM) due to their proximity to the tax line.

The Bulls have used a small portion of their mid-level exception and should still have $7MMish available to spend, but doing so would push them into luxury tax territory, which ownership may be against.

There are some teams that could theoretically open up part or all of their mid-level exception if they’re able to turn reported free agent agreements into sign-and-trades. For example, Ricky Rubio agreed to a three-year, $18.4MM deal with the Cavaliers that will presumably use the MLE, but if Cleveland and Indiana were able to work out a sign-and trade deal involving Rubio, it would free up the Cavs’ mid-level to use on another move.

Trade Rumors: Durant, Irving, Lakers, Warriors, Sexton, Mavs

With nearly three months until training camps get underway, the Nets have time on their side and are in no rush to complete trades involving Kevin Durant and/or Kyrie Irving, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said during a Sunday appearance on SportsCenter (video link).

As Wojnarowski explains, the Suns and Heat – believed to be Durant’s preferred landing spots – “don’t really have the ability to do one-on-one deals” with Brooklyn and give the Nets the pieces they want, so three- or four-team scenarios will have to be explored.

“The market is still taking shape,” Wojnarowski said. “I think it’s incumbent on some of the other teams to be creative and start bringing to Brooklyn ideas, going out and seeing if they can get players (and) picks that would put the kind of package it would take to get Kevin Durant.”

As for Irving, Wojnarowski described the point guard’s trade market as “slow-moving.”

“The Lakers have yet, I’m told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get him from Brooklyn,” Wojnarowski said. “That may come, that may evolve with time, but so far right now there’s no traction really on deals with either Irving or Kevin Durant. They’ll develop over time.”

Here are a few more rumors related to Durant and other top NBA trade candidates:

  • The Warriors‘ stars aren’t pushing the front office to acquire Durant, but would welcome such a deal if it happened, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Still, Thompson, citing multiple sources within the Warriors’ organization, stresses that a reunion with Durant is “highly unlikely.” Marc J. Spears of ESPN previously reported that Golden State had interest in the two-time Finals MVP.
  • While the Mavericks are rumored to have some level of interest in Cavaliers restricted free agent guard Collin Sexton, Chris Fedor of doesn’t view Dallas a likely landing spot. As Fedor explains on the Wine and Gold Podcast (hat tip to HoopsHype), the Mavs don’t have cap space and the Cavs aren’t attracted to the pieces Dallas could offer in a sign-and-trade. Acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would also hard-cap the Mavs, who project to be above the tax apron this season.
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype considers possible destinations for Donovan Mitchell in the event that the Jazz are willing to make him available, while John Hollinger of The Athletic proposes five hypothetical trade packages for Durant.

Latest On Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving

The Warriors are among the teams with interest in Nets superstar Kevin Durant, sources tell ESPN’s Marc J. Spears (Twitter link). As Spears notes, more than half the teams in the league are said to be interested in Durant, so it comes as no surprise that Golden State is among them.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the idea of the Warriors emerging as a legitimate suitor for Durant. Appearing on ESPN Radio (Twitter audio link) Spears proposed a package that would include Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and James Wiseman, but the Nets wouldn’t be permitted to acquire Wiggins without trading Ben Simmons, and there has been no indication they intend to move Simmons, especially given that they’d have to sell him for pennies on the dollar at this point.

Without Wiggins included, either Klay Thompson or Draymond Green would be required for salary-matching purposes, and it’s difficult to envision the Warriors breaking up their long-term championship core to reunite with Durant, who chose to leave the organization as a free agent three years ago. Earlier this week, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report cited sources with knowledge of the situation who indicated Golden State is the only team that is not “a tangible option” for Durant.

As we wait for further developments on the Durant front, we also have a few notes to pass along on him and his Nets teammate – and fellow trade candidate – Kyrie Irving:

  • League personnel who spoke to Brian Lewis of The New York Post said that the Nets are “adamant” about getting All-Star caliber talent back in any Durant deal, and aren’t in any rush to make a move. League sources tell Lewis that nothing is close to getting done at this point.
  • Appearing on The Rally on Bally Sports (Twitter video link) on Saturday, Shams Charania of The Athletic suggested the Sixers are among the teams to watch for Irving. It’s very hard to imagine Philadelphia making a serious play for Kyrie — it would require either parting with James Harden or moving Tobias Harris in order to reunite Irving with Harden, whose trade request out of Brooklyn was said to be motivated in part by Kyrie’s vaccination decision.
  • For what it’s worth, Nick Wright of FS1 (Twitter link) reports that there “no appetite” for Irving in Philadelphia and the Sixers haven’t engaged in any trade talks for him. According to Lewis, the 76ers are keeping an eye on Irving and have briefly spoke to the Nets, but he hears from a source that “nothing happened there.”
  • Charania also identified the Mavericks as a possible suitor for Irving, but Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News is unconvinced of that, writing that Kyrie is “the acquisition of a desperate team.” Towsend doesn’t believe Dallas is that desperate.
  • The Lakers remain the most likely trade partner for Irving. According to Ian Begley of (Twitter video link), there has been some optimism from the Lakers’ side that they’re gaining momentum toward making a deal with the Nets.
  • In his latest Substack article, Marc Stein says he believes Irving is destined to end up with the Lakers. As Stein writes, he has heard “repeated rumbles” that LeBron James is pushing for the team to acquire Irving, and it’s “impossible to ignore the growing expectation leaguewide” that Kyrie will land in L.A..

Nets Rumors: Durant, Trade Request, Edwards, Irving

Free agency has stalled as teams wait to see what will happen with Nets star Kevin Durant, but the situation could be resolved when general managers gather this week in Las Vegas for Summer League, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Owner Joe Tsai and GM Sean Marks are making their way through a flood of offers and are focused on getting the best package in return rather than making a quick decision.

The Heat and Suns are reportedly Durant’s preferred destinations, and while Lewis says the Nets are willing to work with Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman on finding the right deal, they won’t be “held hostage” by Durant’s wishes.

The Pelicans and Raptors may provide the best options to trade Durant without having to rely on a third or fourth team to make the deal work, Lewis adds. Both teams have full control of their future draft picks and they have young stars in Brandon Ingram and Scottie Barnes to build a trade package around.

There’s more news from Brooklyn:

  • Durant made his first public comment since his trade request, Lewis states in the same piece, with a tweet on Saturday that read, “The ones who were locked in that gym with me know what it is, they know what I’m about. If u haven’t been in there with me, ask around.” Robin Lundberg of Sports Illustrated responded with specific questions about Durant’s intentions, but Durant answered, “Keep dreaming robin lmao.”
  • The Nets pulled their qualifying offer to Kessler Edwards this week, but they still have interest in bringing him back, Lewis adds. Brooklyn holds Edwards’ Non-Bird rights and is talking to the 21-year-old forward about a new deal.
  • Other teams have little interest in trading for Kyrie Irving because they know he wants to end up with the Lakers, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (Twitter link from Hoop Central). “In talking to league executives over the last couple of hours, the value of Kyrie Irving in a trade has absolutely plummeted,” Windhorst said. “They know he’s going to be a pure rental. If he doesn’t want to go to the situation he is [traded] to, it’s unclear what he’ll do.” 

Wolves Notes: Gobert, Towns, Durant, Murray

Although the Timberwolves were encouraged by last season’s success, there was an “overwhelming feeling internally” that the team would hit a wall before becoming a legitimate title contender if it didn’t make at least one more major upgrade, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

That line of thought was the motivation behind the team’s blockbuster trade agreement for three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. As Krawczynski explains, the front office had a hard time identifying another player around the NBA who could address so many of the club’s weaknesses and would be available for the package Minnesota was willing to offer.

The Timberwolves anticipate Gobert will make life easier for his new teammates, allowing them to take more gambles on defense and giving D’Angelo Russell a pick-and-roll partner who sets good screens and can be a lob threat.

The Wolves also believe they can make Gobert’s life easier — Minnesota has stronger perimeter defenders (Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince) than Utah did, and Karl-Anthony Towns‘ ability to make outside shots will complement Gobert’s inside game, Krawczynski notes.

Here’s more on the Wolves and their roster shake-up:

  • Sources tell Krawczynski that Gobert has expressed excitement about playing with the Timberwolves and that Towns was especially supportive of the move.
  • According to Krawczynski, Wolves sources were pessimistic throughout the process that an agreement would actually be reached, and a deal looked to be “in peril” as of Friday morning. Minnesota was prepared to shift its focus to other targets like Myles Turner or Clint Capela before the Gobert talks gained traction again later on Friday when Utah agreed to do a deal without McDaniels included.
  • Before striking a deal for Gobert, the Wolves made “several calls” to the Nets about Kevin Durant, sources tell Krawczynski. However, Minnesota was unwilling to give up Edwards or Towns for Durant, so those talks didn’t go far.
  • The Timberwolves were also in the mix for Dejounte Murray and could have outbid the Hawks for him, but the fact that they didn’t shows that they valued Gobert more, observes Krawczynski.
  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune takes a closer look at the impact the acquisition of Gobert will have on the Wolves both offensively and defensively, as well as from a salary cap perspective.

Heat Notes: Durant, Highsmith, Jovic, Summer League

The Heat could try to improve their bargaining power in a potential Kevin Durant trade by negotiating with the Thunder to remove protections on the 2025 first-round pick owed to OKC, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

If Oklahoma City agrees to accept the pick with no lottery protection, Miami will be free to offer Brooklyn first-rounders in 2023, 2027 and 2029 without violating the Stepien rule. Teams aren’t permitted to trade draft picks that are more than seven years away, but the Heat could also include pick swaps in 2024, 2026 and 2028.

Chiang says the Heat are in a “holding pattern” as they wait for the next step in the Durant drama. They haven’t made any moves since reaching agreements to re-sign Dewayne Dedmon and Victor Oladipo shortly after free agency began Thursday afternoon.

The Nets can’t acquire Bam Adebayo as long as Ben Simmons is on the roster and the Heat would prefer to keep Jimmy Butler, so any trade offer would have to be built around Tyler Herro. Chiang notes that Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry are sufficient to match salary, while inexpensive players such as Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Omer Yurtseven could be added to sweeten the offer. It’s unlikely that would be enough to interest the Nets, who reportedly have received interest in Durant from more than half the league.

League rules prevent Miami from trading Dedmon or Oladipo until December 15, while first-round pick Nikola Jovic, who signed his rookie contract today, can’t be included in a trade for 30 days.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Haywood Highsmith received a $50K guarantee on his 2022/23 salary by remaining on the roster past Friday’s deadline, Chiang adds. The second-year small forward joined the Heat in late December on the first of three 10-day contracts, then was given a standard deal in March.
  • Highsmith has an opportunity for a larger role next season after P.J. Tucker‘s departure to Philadelphia, Chiang notes in a separate story. Highsmith, who scored 11 points in today’s Summer League opener, is working to model himself after Tucker as a three-and-D player.
  • Jovic is still adjusting to the speed of the NBA game and that was evident in today’s debut, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. He made just 1 of 6 shots and grabbed three rebounds in 21 minutes of action. “I know he wanted to play better,” said Summer League coach Malik Allen. “I just think it was moving really fast. I told him just to keep his head up. He was frustrated. That learning curve is going to continue to be there for him.”

Knicks Rumors: Mitchell, L. Rose, Brunson, Durant, Irving

Even if the Jazz decide to trade Donovan Mitchell, the Knicks might not be first in line to acquire him, writes Ian Begley of A New York City native, Mitchell has been rumored as a prime Knicks target for some time. The Jazz have indicated they plan to keep Mitchell and rework the roster around him, but sources tell Begley that several teams believe he would be available at the right price.

However, there’s no guarantee that New York’s front office will meet that price. Sources close to the Knicks indicated to Begley before the draft that the team was reluctant to part with the mix of players and draft picks that would be necessary to land a talent like Mitchell, fearing that the remaining roster would be too thin to compete. Since then, New York has reached an agreement with free agent guard Jalen Brunson, but Begley doesn’t believe that will change the team’s philosophy toward a potential Mitchell trade.

There’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks may have signed their top target this year by luring Brunson away from the Mavericks, but it’s still not clear that team president Leon Rose was the best choice to run the organization, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Rose and William Wesley were highly touted when they took over the Knicks because of their connections to the league’s top players. The results have been uninspiring, according to Bondy, as the team hasn’t landed a true star and has committed nearly $500MM in guaranteed money over the past two summers to an average roster.
  • Brunson’s father, Knicks assistant coach Rick Brunson, has been telling friends for months that Jalen wanted to come to New York, but there were concerns about whether the team could create enough cap space to make a competitive offer, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Brunson family has a strong connection to Rose, but Jalen wasn’t willing to sign for less than his market value.
  • The Knicks may have dodged a bullet when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving decided to sign with Brooklyn three years ago, suggests Steve Popper of Newsday. The Knicks pursued the two stars, but Popper believes they would have run into the same chaos the Nets are experiencing now.