Chandler Parsons

Seven Teams Discussing No. 4 Pick With Grizzlies

The Grizzlies remain in discussions with a number of clubs about the possibility of a trade involving the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com. Givony identifies the Mavericks, Magic, Bulls, Knicks, Nuggets, Celtics, and Clippers as teams that have shown “varying degrees of interest” in making a deal.

Memphis has been exploring the idea of trading the No. 4 selection throughout the pre-draft process, and would like to include Chandler Parsons‘ unwanted contract in any swap. According to Givony, Parsons would likely be part of any deal Memphis makes involving that fourth overall pick.

Sources tell Givony that the Grizzlies don’t want to move out of the lottery altogether, so teams picking within a few spots of Memphis will likely have the best odds of making a deal, which could be bad news for a club like Boston. According to Givony, the Grizzlies have their eye on Wendell Carter Jr. as a potential target, so they may not want to drop too far — Carter is considered a probable top-10 pick.

A trade involving the Grizzlies and Magic, who hold the No. 6 pick, might appeal to Memphis if Orlando is willing to include Evan Fournier, per Givony. However, the Magic are hesitant to do so, preferring to offer up Bismack Biyombo. We heard earlier on Wednesday evening that the Knicks have considered a move up – perhaps to No. 4 – for Mohamed Bamba.

It’s possible that trade talks will go right down to the wire, since teams interested in moving up will likely want to make sure that their preferred prospect is available at No. 4.

For what it’s worth, Kevin O’Connor reported earlier in the evening (via Twitter) that the Mavs, Magic, Bulls, Knicks, Clippers, and Celtics have also explored the possibility of moving up to No. 3 in a trade with the Hawks. O’Connor suggested that Luka Doncic or Bamba would be the targets in that spot.

Knicks Looking To Trade Up For Mohamed Bamba?

Likely lottery selection Mohamed Bamba attended an in-person meeting in New York today with members of the Knicks’ organization, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. Begley seems to opine that the meeting is an indication that the Knicks are considering trading up from the No. 9 pick in order to draft Bamba.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN has endorsed Begley’s report, adding that the Knicks are specifically exploring the option of trading up to the No. 4 spot in the draft, currently owned by the Grizzlies, with Memphis eager to shed the expensive contract of Chandler Parsons.

Despite the reports, it’s also certainly possible that the Knicks are simply conducting due diligence in the event that Bamba slips to them at No. 9, with Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders indicating yesterday that Bamba is a candidate to slip a little further than expected in tomorrow night’s draft.

In addition to the ninth selection, the Knicks enter the 2018 NBA draft with only one other pick – No. 36 overall – and the team doesn’t seem to have many other assets with whom they’d be willing to part, with both Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. unlikely to be moved for the opportunity to move a few spots higher in the draft to select an unknown, albeit gifted prospect.

Givony’s report seems to imply that the Grizzlies may be willing to trade the No. 4 pick for the No. 9 pick if it means ridding itself of Parsons’ contract, but that would be quite the indictment of Parsons given the breadth of talent at the top of this year’s draft.

Moreover, even if Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn both opt out of their contracts, the Knicks would still likely need to return some salary to the Grizzlies in order to match the value of Parsons’ contract, since they’ll almost assuredly be operating over the cap upon the commencement of the new salary cap year absent any other moves.

Draft Rumors: Bridges, Knox, Nuggets, Jackson, Clippers

Villanova forward Mikal Bridges is at the top of the Sixers’ wish list if they don’t move out of the No. 10 spot, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kentucky forward Kevin Knox and his college teammate, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, are the likely alternatives if Bridges is off the board, Pompey continues. Knox came in for a solo workout with the Sixers on Tuesday, his second visit with the team. The Sixers are reportedly trying to move into the top five of the draft.

Here’s more draft news to pass along with the big night fast approaching:

  • The Nuggets are actively shopping the No. 14 pick attached to a big salary, Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated tweets. Denver is seeking suitors for the expiring contracts of Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur, Fischer adds. Faried is due to make $13.76MM next season while Arthur has $7.46MM remaining on his deal.
  • The Grizzlies will have a tough decision regarding Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr. at No. 4 if the Hawks select Luka Doncic at No. 3, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Doncic has reportedly moved into the lead on the Hawks’ draft board, while Jackson has refused to work out for the Grizzlies and hasn’t provided his medical information, Givony continues. That could increase the chances of Memphis trading the pick, something it has shown little interest in doing up to this point, Givony adds (Twitter links).
  • The Clippers like Jackson and could try to move to the No. 4 spot, but they’ve refused thus far to take Chandler Parsons bad contract as part of any proposed deal, Givony reports in another tweet.

Kyler’s Latest: Bamba, Kings, Magic, Mavs, Grizzlies

Mohamed Bamba may be a candidate to slip a little further than expected in the 2018 NBA draft, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his latest round-up of draft rumors. According to Kyler, Bamba is “in the mix” for a handful of clubs in the top seven, but it’s not clear if any of those teams view him as their first or second option.

As Kyler explains, Bamba is widely expected to be a strong defender at the NBA level, but there are questions about his offensive potential. Since many of the other big men at the top of the draft are considered more well-rounded prospects, they may come off the board before Bamba, creating some uncertainty about the Longhorn’s potential landing spot.

Here’s more from Kyler’s article, which is worth checking out in full:

  • The Kings appear likely to keep their pick at No. 2, but Kyler’s sources remain skeptical that the club will draft Luka Doncic in that spot. While Sacramento has taken a “long look” at Michael Porter Jr., it’s looking more and more as if the club will opt for the less risky option, Marvin Bagley III, Kyler writes.
  • If there are no surprises in the top five picks, there’s a very real chance that Collin Sexton will be the Magic‘s man at No. 6, per Kyler. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has also suggested that Orlando is high on the Alabama point guard.
  • League sources tell Kyler that the Mavericks don’t intend to move the No. 5 pick unless they can land an All-Star or would-be All-Star.
  • While it remains to be seen if the Grizzlies will make a trade involving the No. 4 selection and Chandler Parsons, they’ve received some offers that include lower picks and expiring contracts, according to Kyler, who says the club should have options it if wants to pull the trigger on a deal.
  • The Lakers and Celtics have expressed some interest during the pre-draft process in moving up significantly in the draft, but neither team seems eager at this point to part with assets necessary to make such a jump, says Kyler.

Draft Notes: Grizzlies, Magic, Nuggets, Gabriel

Teams near the top of the draft continue to explore trade options as Thursday approaches. The Grizzlies are one of those teams, as they continue to receive significant interest in scenarios that would see them send out Chandler Parsons along with the No. 4 pick, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). According to Stein, it seems clear that remaining in the lottery is crucial to the Grizzlies, who are believed to be taking more calls than they’re making.

Meanwhile, a couple spots down the draft order, the Magic are also having “exploratory” trade talks, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said on Monday.

“We’re having discussions above us and below us, but I wouldn’t comment more specifically than that,” Weltman said, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. “It’s our job to explore every possible option, get to know the draft as well as we possibly can. And, obviously, the draft isn’t just about the draft. It’s about other roster moves that you could potentially look at as well. So there’s not a team we don’t talk to. There’s not a stone we don’t turn over.”

As Robbins notes, Weltman made similar comments leading up to last year’s draft. In that case, the Magic kept their lottery pick, but traded a couple of their other selections later in the draft.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

  • The Nuggets‘ Monday workout with potential first-round pick Mitchell Robinson was canceled, according to an announcement from the team. No reason for the cancellation was provided.
  • Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel is working out for the Cavaliers today, then the Hornets on Tuesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Gabriel is a candidate to be drafted in the second round.
  • The Warriors continued to take a closer look at prospects on Monday, bringing in Jeffrey Carroll (Oklahoma State), Xavier Cooks (Winthrop), Ben Emelogu (SMU), Melvin Frazier (Tulane), Terry Larrier (UConn), and William Lee (UAB) for workouts (Twitter link via Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News).
  • Kerem Kanter, the younger brother of NBA veteran Enes Kanter, was in Oklahoma City on Monday to work out for the Thunder, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The younger Kanter brother isn’t considered likely to be drafted.
  • Loyola-Chicago guard Donte Ingram is scheduled to work out for the Knicks on Tuesday, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com.

Central Draft Notes: Bulls, Bucks, Pistons

The Bulls have the pieces to move into the Top 5 of the draft but it’s unknown whether they like any prospect enough to do that, according to Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls could package their picks at No. 7 and No. 22 and power forward Bobby Portis to make a deal with the Hawks at No. 3 or the Grizzlies at No. 4. Memphis, though, might want to unload Chandler Parsons contract, in which case the Bulls probably wouldn’t have to include Portis, Strotman continues. With Lauri Markkanen the long-term solution at power forward, the Bulls can afford to deal Portis, who might become a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t receive a contract extension, Strotman adds.

In other draft-related musings involving Central Division clubs:

  • If the Bulls retain their No. 22 pick, they should avoid Duke sharpshooter Grayson Allen and Villanova big man Omari Spellman, Scott Phillips of NBC Sports Chicago opines. Allen’s temperamental behavior during his college career is something the Bulls don’t need with an already young roster, while Spellman’s skills do not complement Markkanen because he’s not a rim protector, Phillips continues. De’Anthony Melton (USC), Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky) and Anfernee Simons are three other late first-round prospects the Bulls should pass on, Phillips adds.
  • The Bucks could select Michigan big man Moritz Wagner with the No. 17 pick, Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com speculates. The Bucks need a physical frontcourt player who can shoot from outside and Wagner would bring that, Woelfel continues. While most draft experts peg Wagner as a late first- or early second-round selection, he could move into the middle of the first round because of his offensive skills, Woelfel adds.
  • Missouri State forward Alize Johnson and Purdue guard Dakota Mathias are two of the players the Pistons might consider with their second-round pick, according to Ansar Khan of MLive. Both players came in for workouts this week. Detroit traded away its first-round pick in the Blake Griffin deal with the Clippers.

Scotto’s Latest: Parsons, Hawks, T. Young, Nets

The Grizzlies may be using their No. 4 choice as a way to get rid of Chandler Parsons‘ huge contract, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who passes on a few pre-draft rumors along with his latest mock draft. Memphis is reportedly calling around the league to see what kind of deal it can get in return for Parsons and the pick.

Parsons has missed 94 games because of injuries since signing a four-year, $94MM contract with the Grizzlies in 2016. He still has two seasons and $49.2MM left on that deal, making it extremely hard to move. With Mike Conley and Marc Gasol also holding sizable contracts, Memphis is already over the projected cap for next season and has little flexibility as it tries to improve on a 22-60 record.

Parsons, 29, appeared in just 36 games last season, averaging 7.9 points in about 19 minutes per night.

Scotto shares a few more rumors a week away from draft night:

  • The Hawks are willing to help teams unload bad contracts to open up cap space. However, the level of compensation they will ask for depends on how much money they’re being asked to absorb. That could be significant for teams like the Rockets, Sixers or others who want to create room to make a max offer to LeBron James or Paul George.
  • Trae Young has canceled an individual workout with the Sixers that was scheduled for Friday, which may be an indication he is confident he won’t be on the board when Philadelphia picks at No. 10.
  • The Nets are hoping to trade up into the teens and are willing to take on an unwanted contract to make it happen. They are offering the 29th pick and Spencer Dinwiddie in return.
  • Several teams are willing to make their second-round picks available, including the Suns‘ selections at 31 and 59 and all four of the Sixers‘ choices at 38, 39, 56 and 60. Philadelphia would reportedly part with this year’s picks in exchange for future second-rounders.
  • The Clippers are hoping to package their picks at 12 and 13 in exchange for a higher selection.
  • The Suns‘ likely choice of DeAndre Ayton at No. 1 is bad news for free agent centers such as Clint Capela, DeMarcus Cousins and possibly DeAndre Jordan. Phoenix could have as much as $30MM to spend and needs help in the middle. However, Ayton has only worked out for the Suns and seems like a sure bet to be taken first overall.

Southwest Notes: Parsons, Holiday, Mbah a Moute, Ginobili

Chandler Parsons has given the Grizzlies a few reasons for optimism, writes Michael Wallace of NBA.com. Parsons continued to battle knee problems in the second season of a four-year, $94MM contract, but he appeared in 36 games, two more than a year ago, and may have reached 50 if the team hadn’t fallen out of contention so quickly, Wallace adds.

Former coach David Fizdale switched Parsons to power forward and reduced his playing time early in the season, but that changed when J.B. Bickerstaff took over, and Parsons was able to spread the floor and use his playmaking skills. He also shot a career-best .421 from 3-point range.

“I had moments this year where I felt good and felt like myself, and I had moments where the soreness and stiffness were just too much,” Parsons said. “I want to play. I want to be healthy. And I’m doing everything in my power to get there.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • In taking a 2-0 series lead over Portland, the Pelicans are getting the production they were counting on from Jrue Holiday when they re-signed him to a five-year, $126MM deal last summer, notes Mark Schwarz of ESPN. Holiday had 33 points and nine assists Tuesday as New Orleans won its second straight road game. “I may be a bit biased, but if you can tell me a better two-way player in the league right now, I’m willing to listen,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “But what we ask him to do and the things we ask him to do offensively, he was just great tonight.”
  • Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute is healing quickly after dislocating his shoulder late in the season, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Mbah a Moute hinted that he might be able to play against Minnesota if the first-round series lasts long enough. “I wouldn’t say ‘no.’ But I also want to be smart and do the right thing,” he said. “It’s feeling better. Continue to do the rehab, get the strength back and see what happens.”
  • LeBron James isn’t the only NBA player being targeted by billboards, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. An “Uno Mas Manu” billboard has been posted near downtown San Antonio, urging Manu Ginobili to return for another season. “I don’t know why, ‘One more?’” he joked. “What’s up? I was thinking about signing a five-year deal, and now they are throwing me down. Very disappointing.” Ginobili, 41, recently said he will take some time this offseason before deciding whether to play a 17th season.

Grizzlies Sign Omari Johnson, Cut Marquis Teague

The Grizzlies have made a roster change today, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed forward Omari Johnson to a multiyear contract. To create an opening on the roster, Memphis has waived guard Marquis Teague.

Johnson, 28, went undrafted out of Oregon State in 2011 and has played for a variety of professional teams since then, spending time in Canada, Spain, and Lithuania, as well as in the G League. This season, the 6’9″ forward has played for the Grizzlies’ NBAGL affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, averaging 16.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG with a .460/.418/.824 shooting line in 44 games.

Johnson’s salary for 2018/19 will be non-guaranteed, notes Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com (Twitter link).

As for Teague, he only signed his rest-of-season deal with the Grizzlies three days ago, so his stint on a standard contract didn’t last long. Memphis may have preferred to get a longer look at a forward instead of Teague this summer after signing another guard – MarShon Brooks – to a multiyear deal today. Or the Grizzlies may have simply wanted to reward Teague with an NBA salary despite him not being a part of their long-term plans.

It’s also worth noting, according to Wallace (Twitter links), that the Grizzlies will be without forwards Jarell Martin (ankle) and Chandler Parsons (knee) for the season’s final four games, creating a need for some frontcourt depth. Wayne Selden (knee) will miss the rest of the season too, Wallace notes.

Southwest Notes: Green/Paul, Aldridge, Ginobili, Parsons

Late in Sunday night’s win over Minnesota, Gerald Green of the Rockets shoved Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng into the stands in retaliation for Dieng pushing Chris Paul to the floor after being fouled

Green was ejected, causing Paul to speak out on his behalf, telling Rockets‘ beat writer Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he would take care of any fine levied against Green by the league. Said Green, “I’m just trying to be there for my teammate. I saw something happen and I reacted. I paid the consequences for it. I learned my lesson, got ejected, try not to do that again, and hopefully we’re going to move forward from this.”

Despite Green’s contrition, the league announced today that it has fined the Rockets swingman $25K for the incident, with no word yet on whether or not Paul with stay true to his word and foot the bill for Green coming to his defense.

There’s more coming out of the Southwest Division:

  • With all of the uncertainty surrounding the injury to and possible return of superstar Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge has quietly saved the Spurs‘ season, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “I’m a leader, so I have to do what we need – playing defense, blocking shots, scoring,” Aldridge said. “It all comes with it. But my teammates have been great. Everyone has gotten better in this stretch. It’s been good for us.”
  • In another article for the San Antonio Express-News, McDonald reports that Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr believes that Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili, 40, still has another year or so left in the tank. “I could see Manu playing when he is like 58, honestly,” Kerr said before Monday’s game. “He loves the game. He keeps himself in such great shape. I thought he was going to retire last year, so the fact he came back this year surprised me. (But) it wouldn’t shock me at all if Manu came back next year.”
  • It has been a frustrating tenure so far in Memphis for Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons, but as reported by Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com, Parsons believes he can get back to form next season barring any additional injury setbacks. “Obviously, there were high expectations coming here and I haven’t come close to meeting them. But in my head, it’s all health. I know if I’m healthy, I can play with the best of them. And I’ve shown flashes of that this year when I’ve played minutes.”