Buddy Hield

Trade Rumors: Bulls, Collins, Gobert, Lakers, Hield, More

The Bulls are among the teams that have shown interest in Hawks big man John Collins, sources tell Matt Moore of Action Network. Moore also confirms that Boston and Sacramento are two of the other clubs that have registered some level of interest in Collins, as Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said earlier today.

Chicago has been linked to a handful of frontcourt players so far this offseason, most notably Rudy Gobert. Moore writes that the Bulls remain in the mix for Gobert, but cautions that the Jazz‘s asking price will be “steep” and says any trade discussions involving the three-time Defensive Player of the Year could drag out, given Danny Ainge‘s reputation as a tough negotiator.

According to Moore, if Gobert is traded, the Bulls are probably the most likely landing spot, with the Timberwolves looming as a dark horse, but there’s no guarantee a deal will be made.

Here are a few more trade notes and rumors from Moore:

  • Moore reports that the Lakers have “circled back” to Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield after not trading for him a year ago. The Lakers have a clearer path to making an offer for Hield that doesn’t include Russell Westbrook‘s unwanted contract this summer than they did at the trade deadline, given that his salary declines from $23MM in 2021/22 to $21.2MM in ’22/23.
  • The Sixers are probably unlikely to find a taker for Tobias Harris, given the size of his contract, but Moore suggests the Kings are one team to watch on that front.
  • The Cavaliers aren’t looking to trade former lottery pick Isaac Okoro after drafting Ochai Agbaji, says Moore.
  • Moore suggests that the Raptors‘ asking price for OG Anunoby when the Trail Blazers pursued him around the time of the draft was believed to be the No. 7 pick, Josh Hart or Nassir Little, and a future first-round pick. Now that the draft has passed, Moore is skeptical that Anunoby will be on the move this summer.

Lakers Not Interested In Using First-Round Pick To Trade Westbrook

Teams that have spoken to the Lakers about Russell Westbrook have been demanding at least one first-round pick in any potential trade, league sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

However, the Lakers haven’t been receptive to that idea and have no intention – at least for the time being – of using one of their future first-rounders to facilitate a Westbrook deal, Buha reports.

Westbrook is expected to pick up his $47.4MM player option for the 2022/23 season and will be one of the league’s most expensive players following a disappointing first year in Los Angeles. Although he’ll be on an expiring contract, Westbrook will be a negative trade asset, with teams only willing to take him on if the Lakers sweeten the pot.

Having already traded away a pair of future first-round picks, the Lakers can currently only trade either their 2027 or 2028 selection. After next month’s draft, they’d be able to include their 2027, 2028, and 2029 first-rounders in trade discussions — if they move the ’27 or ’29 first-rounder, they wouldn’t be able to trade the ’28 pick due to the Stepien rule.

But the front office appears averse to attaching any of those picks to Westbrook, and Buha suggests it’s not just a negotiating stance to regain leverage. League sources tell The Athletic that people within the franchise genuinely believe that the right head coach and supporting cast can help Westbrook fit in better going forward.

Buha personally believes that bringing back Westbrook would be a mistake, arguing that the Lakers should be willing to include a first-rounder if necessary to make a deal or even to take the approach the Rockets did with John Wall, leaving the point guard at home to start the season. Waiving and stretching Westbrook’s contract or attempting to negotiate a buyout are other possible paths for L.A., but Buha views those as unlikely.

While the Lakers may not be interested in giving up a first-round pick just to dump Westbrook’s salary, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t be more open to the idea if they’re getting a couple legitimate rotation players in return.

Buha identifies the Pacers and Hornets as potential trade partners that may appeal to the Lakers, listing Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, Buddy Hield, Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington, Kelly Oubre, and Mason Plumlee as possible veterans of interest. I’m skeptical that a couple of those players would be legitimately attainable in a Westbrook deal, even with a first-round pick attached, but if the Lakers were willing to put two first-rounders on the table, more options would open up.

Central Notes: G. Hill, Lopez, Pacers, Cunningham

Bucks guard George Hill will remain sidelined for Game 2 of the team’s first-round series vs. Chicago on Wednesday due to an abdominal strain, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The injury, which Hill suffered on April 8, also kept him on the sidelines for Game 1 on Sunday.

As Owczarski relays, Bobby Portis (right calf bruise) and Jordan Nwora (back soreness) also showed up on the Bucks’ injury report for Game 2, but both are listed as probable and look like good bets to be active.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Bucks center Brook Lopez was limited to just 13 appearances during the regular season due to a back injury, but he’s healthy at the right time and looks like he has fresh legs, writes Steve Megargee of The Associated Press. The resurgence of Lopez, who scored 18 points in a season-high 32 minutes in Game 1 on Sunday, makes the Bucks more dangerous on both ends of the court and gives them a size advantage vs. Chicago, according to Megargee.
  • In his preview of the Pacers‘ offseason, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) observes that the team must decide if it wants to continue rebuilding in 2022/23 or pivot back to competing for the playoffs. That decision will affect whether Indiana decides to retain or shop veterans like Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Hield, Marks writes.
  • The three players selected immediately after Cade Cunningham in the 2021 draft look like future stars, but Cunningham’s second-half performance on the court and the leadership qualities he displayed off of the court show that the Pistons made the right call with the No. 1 pick, says Rod Beard of The Detroit News (subscriber link).

Lakers Rumors: Nurse, Davis, LeBron, Westbrook, Carmelo

Once the Lakers officially dismiss head coach Frank Vogel, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is expected to be one of the team’s top targets, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Lakers are hoping that Nurse is an option, according to Charania, who acknowledges that it’s unclear whether Nurse “will be attainable or whether he would have interest.”

In order to even talk to Nurse, the Lakers would have to get permission from the Raptors, since the former Coach of the Year remains under contract in Toronto for two more years. Nurse would then have to be interested in leaving a stable, well-run organization for one that was mired in dysfunction this season. And the Lakers would likely have to be willing to give up substantial draft compensation to acquire Nurse from the Raptors.

Given all of those obstacles, I’d be shocked if Nurse emerged as a realistic candidate for the Lakers’ job, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. As one Eastern Conference executive observed to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, Nurse is represented by Andy Miller at Klutch Sports, the same agency that reps LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“I would expect the Lakers to at least ask about Nick Nurse,” the executive told Deveney. “… He got the big contract with the Raptors and he is secure there. They’re not going to let him go. But it makes him look better and Klutch look better if they are asking for him, right? So yeah, I would not be surprised to see the Lakers ask about him but more as a favor to Klutch. Maybe they won’t because he is so far out of reach. But, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, that is how things work.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Anthony Davis said on Sunday that he still believes a roster built around him and LeBron James can contend for a title moving forward, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. “I think us two can. We’ve shown that we can,” Davis said.
  • While James and Davis are widely expected to remain in Los Angeles going forward, Russell Westbrook‘s future is cloudier. According to Charania, rival executives believe the Pacers will be open to discussing trades involving Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Hield and could emerge as a Westbrook suitor, which is something Marc Stein suggested over the weekend. While Brogdon and Hield would be good fits on the Lakers’ roster, L.A. would likely have to attach sweeteners to Westbrook to realistically make any deal with Indiana.
  • James told reporters today that an MRI on his left ankle showed that he won’t require surgery or any injections, but he’ll have to stay off of it for the next four-to-six weeks (Twitter link via Mark Medina of NBA.com). LeBron also said that he and the Lakers could have extension discussions later this offseason once CBA rules allow for it (Twitter link via McMenamin). James will become extension-eligible in August.
  • Asked about potential roster moves and the possibility of playing with Westbrook next season, James said he’ll defer to the front office. I’m not here to make decisions for the front office and that nature,” he said (Twitter links). “But I loved being teammates with Russ.”
  • Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com spoke to multiple league sources about the Lakers’ disappointing season and the perception that head coach Frank Vogel was being undermined. “On a regular basis, (Kurt) Rambis would get on Vogel in front of staff and players — in practices, in the hallway where everybody can see it. He wasn’t taking it behind closed doors and laying it out,” one source said. “And what position does Rambis have? What’s his title? His title is friend of Jeanie Buss. Trust me, Frank Vogel would have been happy to have been fired from that mess.”
  • Addressing Vogel’s firing, Bill Oram of The Athletic contends that the way the news leaked – before the team formally informed Vogel – should be a warning sign for potential replacements.
  • Asked about his priorities in free agency this offseason, Carmelo Anthony said he’d like to win a championship, but also wants to be somewhere he’ll be happy. “If I gotta be unhappy to try to go fight and win a championship, I don’t want that. I don’t want that unhappiness,” he said, per McMenamin (Twitter link). “… I think at this point in my carer, it’s about just being happy and being able to wake up and come to work every day with a good attitude. Being positive.”

Pacers Rumors: Carlisle, Brunson, Brogdon, Westbrook, Hield, Turner

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle appears committed to his role for the future, Marc Stein writes at Substack. As we recently relayed, Carlisle denied that he’s interested in switching to a front office role, addressing the rumors in a brief statement.

“I just want to be completely clear on this. I don’t know what the assumptions are that people are making about this, why this would be the case,” Carlisle said, according to Stein. “When I came here, we had hoped to have a really good season this year. We had some struggles early, and it morphed into a change in direction, but that’s OK. It has not quelled my enthusiasm for being back with the Indiana Pacers or taking on this challenge one single bit.”

The Pacers are viewed as a team that may pursue Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson in free agency this summer, Stein reports. Brunson played under Carlisle for three years in Dallas. Signing the 25-year-old could motivate Carlisle further, though Detroit and New York are also expected to bid for his services.

There’s more out of Indiana today:

  • The Pacers have left several rival teams with the impression that they’ll attempt to trade Malcolm Brogdon this offseason, Stein relays. Trading Brogdon would open a spot for Brunson, who could pair with Tyrese Haliburton in the backcourt.
  • If the team doesn’t sign Brunson, it could also examine a possible Russell Westbrook trade with the Lakers, Stein notes. A deal for Westbrook would likely include Buddy Hield, whom the Lakers coveted before trading for Westbrook last offseason. It could also include Brogdon and draft compensation from the Lakers. Indiana acquired Hield in a deal with Sacramento earlier this season.
  • One player the Pacers do want to keep is Myles Turner, according to Stein. Turner saw his name surface in trade rumors this season. He averaged 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 29.4 minutes per game, shooting 51% from the floor. He’s under contract for next season at $18MM.

Lakers Notes: Davis, James, Injuries, DeRozan

The Lakers aren’t technically out of playoff contention yet, but after falling two games (and a tiebreaker) behind San Antonio in the Western Conference standings on Sunday, their odds of claiming a spot in the play-in tournament are increasingly slim — in fact, the Lakers could be officially eliminated as soon as Tuesday if they lose in Phoenix and the Spurs win in Denver.

Following Sunday’s loss, Anthony Davis sounded like someone who recognized that L.A.’s season is all but over, as he reflected on “what could have been” if the team had been healthier.

“I think the biggest thing that I think about personally is what we could have been, had we stayed healthy all year,” Davis said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “What could we have been. … Guys feel like, ‘OK, what could we have been if I was healthy all year, [LeBron James] was healthy, [Kendrick] Nunn was healthy.’ You think about those things. We put this team together and it looked good on paper, but we haven’t had a chance to reach that potential with guys in and out of the lineup.”

Davis, who has only played in half of the Lakers’ 78 games so far this season, has been bothered throughout his career by injuries, but he bristled at the perception that he’s fragile, telling Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times that he hasn’t been sidelined due to “little ticky-tack injuries.”

“This is what I’ve learned about injuries,” Davis said. “Last year when I wasn’t playing, people were saying, ‘AD’s giving up on his team. It’s the playoffs. AD has to play. He’s got to play.’ And when I went out there to play, got hurt again, they said, ‘Who was his trainer? Who let him play?’

“So, what the [expletive] do you want me to do? When I play, it’s a problem. It’s a problem when I don’t play. At the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and how my body feels. And we go from there. I’m not worried about who’s saying what or who thinks this about me because none of them have stepped on the floor and played. And the ones that did play, they should understand.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • A source familiar with James’ status told Dave McMenamin of ESPN that the star forward is “unlikely” to play on Tuesday vs. Phoenix. However, according to McMenamin, the source said there’s still a chance that could change if LeBron’s ankle improves more than expected by tomorrow night.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic and his colleague John Hollinger both pushed back against the idea that injuries have been the primary cause of the Lakers’ disappointing season. Buha observed that even in games when Davis and James played, the team was just 11-11, while Hollinger said the team’s offseason plan needs to be better than simply running it back and hoping its two superstars stay healthy in 2022/23.
  • Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up and First Take on Monday, former Lakers president Magic Johnson criticized the club for not acquiring DeMar DeRozan last offseason instead of Russell Westbrook (link via Jenna Lemoncelli of The New York Post). While that’s not an unreasonable take, given that DeRozan had interest in playing for his hometown team, Johnson’s assertion that the Lakers could’ve had DeRozan, Buddy Hield, Alex Caruso, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope instead of Westbrook is a fantasy that doesn’t pass muster. Unless DeRozan had been willing to sign for the taxpayer mid-level exception (which wasn’t viewed as a viable option at the time), L.A. would’ve become hard-capped by acquiring him and would have had no way of carrying all those contracts in addition to James’ and Davis’ maximum salaries. Acquiring both DeRozan and Hield without giving up Caldwell-Pope also likely wouldn’t have been possible due to salary-matching rules.

Central Notes: Turner, Pacers, Stephenson, Holiday, Beilein

Considered a prime trade candidate earlier in the season, Pacers center Myles Turner ultimately stayed put after he injured his foot and Indiana opted to move Domantas Sabonis instead. Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files said he believes Indiana should either trade or extend Turner this offseason rather than having him enter 2022/23 on an expiring contract with a retooling team.

Agness believes the Pacers are more likely to bring back Turner than to move him, but notes that the Mavericks would be one team of interest to Turner if he’s shopped, since he was born and raised in the Dallas area. Scotto spoke to four NBA executives who believe the Pacers could get at least a protected first-round pick for Turner if he’s traded this offseason.

Within the same podcast, Agness acknowledged that the Pacers could gauge the trade market for Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Hield, but he doesn’t view either player as a lock to be dealt. Agness also expressed skepticism that Indiana will be able to re-sign big man Jalen Smith, since he expects other teams to exceed a $4.67MM starting salary, which is the most the Pacers can offer.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Veteran wing Lance Stephenson is interested in re-signing with the Pacers this offseason, regardless of whether the team attempts to reload for another playoff push or leans further into rebuilding mode, according to Scotto. Stephenson would like to spend the rest of his career in Indiana, Scotto adds.
  • Having logged 2,075 minutes this season, Jrue Holiday has earned a $306K bonus in his contract with the Bucks, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Holiday is also on track to receive a bonus based on his games played and rebounds per game, Marks adds (via Twitter).
  • John Beilein‘s brief head coaching stint in Cleveland was a disaster, but he has embraced a new role out of the spotlight with the Pistons, as Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press details. Detroit’s senior advisor of player development, Beilein is a “meticulous note-taker,” Sankofa writes. “There’s some guys that, with one approach, shoot 45%,” Beilein said. “With another approach, shoot 20%. I keep this. Or left-hand dribble versus right-hand dribble, they shoot drastically different percentages. I’m keeping that stuff that they probably don’t have in the NBA databook, whether a guy shoots a hang dribble or a quick dribble. That’s not in the computer, but I can compute it.”

Pacers Notes: Warren, Hield, Haliburton

Pacers forward T.J. Warren, who has already been ruled out for the rest of 2021/22, will also remain away from the team for the remainder of the season, says Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Warren had previously been practicing and playing some 5-on-5 with the Pacers, but is continuing his rehab and preparing for next season on his own.

“T.J. Warren will continue his ramp-up for next season at his home in Raleigh, NC,” the Pacers said in a statement provided to Agness. “He has the full support of the Pacers organization and medical staff.”

Warren, who missed the entire 2021/22 season due to a left foot injury, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so it’s possible he has played his last game for the Pacers.

Here’s more out of Indiana:

  • Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield was one of the NBA’s most one-dimensional players in Sacramento, but has exhibited newfound driving and passing abilities since arriving in Indiana, Louis Zatzman of FiveThirtyEight writes in a breakdown of Hield’s evolving game.
  • Hield is averaging 5.0 assists per game in 16 games with the Pacers after registering 1.9 APG in 55 games with the Kings this season. Indiana has a 117.8 offensive rating when he’s on the court, which would rank first in the NBA. “Different style, different opportunity,” Hield said, per Wheat Hotchkiss of Pacers.com. “I think (head coach) Rick (Carlisle) gave me a better opportunity than (I had in) Sacramento that helps me to show that. When I wanted to (do more with the ball), they just wanted me to be a corner catch-and-shoot guy. So now I’ve been able to show what I can do and just be free and playing basketball happy again.”
  • The Pacers will host the Kings on Wednesday, and while Hield and Tyrese Haliburton are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, they downplayed the importance of meeting their old team, with Haliburton suggesting he has friends and family who are “behind the narrative” far more than he is. Hotchkiss has the story and the quotes at Pacers.com.
  • In case you missed it, Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was fined $40K by the NBA following an altercation with a Pacers fan in Indiana on Sunday. The fan allegedly made disparaging remarks about Nurkic’s mother and grandmother. Nurkic’s grandmother passed away of COVID-19 in 2020.

Central Notes: Bagley, Hield, Caruso, LeBron

Marvin Bagley III is delivering exactly what the Pistons expected when they acquired him in a four-team trade, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Bagley has provided inside scoring for a Detroit team that ranks 29th in offense, serving as both a lob threat and a post-up option. His defense has been less effective, but Edwards states that he’s putting in the effort.

The Pistons opted to trade for Bagley rather than wait for free agency because they wanted to see how he would perform in their system. After three-and-a-half frustrating years in Sacramento, the former No. 2 overall pick is enjoying the opportunity.

“This whole thing has been a different experience for me,” Bagley said. “I’ve never been traded before. Coming from the West Coast to the East Coast, that in itself is a different thing for me. Learning new faces, new names and trying to build relationships with people. I’m continuing to learn the place, learn the city, get out in the city more. There are a lot of things I’m looking forward to doing while I’m here. I’m just going to embrace it and keep building off what we have here. We can take this thing to the next level. I’m excited about that.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Buddy Hield, Bagley’s former teammate in Sacramento, is also starting a new chapter of his career after being traded to the Pacers, notes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. Tramel suggests that Hield is getting his first experience in a stable NBA environment after starting his career with the Pelicans and Kings. “I’m somebody that wants to win,” Hield said. “Somebody that’s been eager to win for a long time and hasn’t had a chance to. Come out here and do what I do best. Try to score the basketball and help the team out the way Coach (Rick Carlisle) wants me to. I’m very excited. Can’t tell you how much I’ve been waiting for this opportunity.” 
  • Bulls guard Alex Caruso will resume basketball activities in a few days, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Coach Billy Donovan confirmed today that Caruso has made progress in his conditioning and now needs to get a feel for the game again. “The biggest thing will be once he gets a ball in his hand, it’s finding his rhythm, shooting again,’’ Donovan said. “He hasn’t been able to do any of that stuff. We’re really hopeful that early next week he can get on the floor and start to do those types of things.’’ Whenever Caruso returns, the team plans to have him on a minutes restriction.
  • LeBron James hinted at a potential return to the Cavaliers last week, but Marc Stein of Substack is skeptical that owner Dan Gilbert and president of basketball operations Koby Altman want to go through that experience again. Stein states that James and Rich Paul of Klutch Sports virtually ran the team during the last four years that LeBron was in Cleveland, and the Cavs will be reluctant to break up the core of young talent that they’ve assembled.

Pacers Notes: Haliburton, Hield, Turner, Brogdon, Smith, Sabonis

New addition Tyrese Haliburton said the Kings gave him no indication that he might be traded to the Pacers or any other team, as Wheat Hotchkiss of Pacers.com writes. “It’s just overwhelming,” Haliburton told reporters on Thursday, following his first practice with Indiana. “I had no idea, they gave me no indication this was happening.”

Haliburton said it’s hard not to feel a little circumspect entering a new city after being hurt, but he’s still excited for a fresh opportunity.

It’s scary, right?” he said. “I’ve put a lot of love, a lot of trust in Sacramento and kind of immersed myself in the community and with the people. They got rid of me, but you know that’s part of the business. I think that’s kind of my best trait. It’s like somebody who just loves hard. I want to be here. I want to be a part of it.

“It can be the biggest upside, but it can be a big downfall, too. It hurt when I got traded because I loved being there and I loved the people, but coming here I’m going to do the same thing. They’ve shown me nothing but love since I’ve gotten here and they’re another organization taking a chance on me (when) they have no reason to. So I’ll put everything I’ve got into it.”

Here’s more from Indiana:

  • Buddy Hield, who was also part of the trade, said it was “a shift that was needed,” after a disappointing season in Sacramento, Joel Lorenzi of The Indianapolis Star relays. “Just want to go there and do what I do best, shoot the ball and try to make opportunities for my teammates,” Hield said. “Just bring the positive energy I can bring to this team.”
  • Coach Rick Carlisle said Myles Turner (stress reaction in foot) will be out through the All-Star break, but Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles soreness) is “close” to returning. Neither player has an official timetable, James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star tweets.
  • If Jalen Smith plays well with the Pacers, he might price himself out of Indiana for an unusual reason, according to Nat Newell of The Indianapolis Star. Smith, who the Pacers acquired in a trade that sent Torrey Craig to the Suns, had his third-year team option declined by Phoenix, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer, but with one big caveat — Indiana can only offer up to the amount of his declined option, which was $4,670,160.
  • Two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis, who was sent to the Kings as part of the trade that brought Hield and Haliburton to Indiana, thanked Pacers fans on Instagram recently, Newell writes in a separate story for The Star.