D'Angelo Russell

Trade Rumors: Suns, Jazz, Capela, Wolves, Russell, Fournier, Anunoby

The Suns don’t currently own a pick in the 2022 NBA draft, but there have been recent rumors that the team is interested in trading for a second-rounder. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix goes a step further, stating (via Twitter) that “while a second-round pick is more likely, I cannot rule out (the Suns) trading into the first round.”

Gambadoro reports that Phoenix has its eyes on eight-to-10 prospects that the team would consider making a deal for. He points to the Spurs, Hornets and Hawks as teams who could be trade partners, though he doesn’t clarify which of those teams’ picks might be in play.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Like Phoenix, Utah doesn’t currently control a pick, but the Jazz are dangling core players to try and acquire some, multiple sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic. Jones reports that the Jazz are very active on the trade market, with the odds increasing that the team’s roster could look significantly different by the end of today. The Jazz have a “lengthy list” of potential undrafted prospects they hope to entice with Exhibit 10 contracts once the draft concludes, sources tell The Athletic.
  • The Timberwolves remain interested in potentially pairing Karl-Anthony Towns with Clint Capela in the team’s frontcourt, but sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that the Wolves and Hawks haven’t made any real headway on that front.
  • Sources suggest to Dane Moore of Bring Me The News (Twitter link) that there’s a greater than 50% chance that D’Angelo Russell will be traded by the Timberwolves in the coming days. Russell is viewed as a trade candidate due to his poor playoff showing despite having a solid season with Minnesota. The guard is extension-eligible this summer and his $31.38MM contract expires after next season.
  • The Knicks offered to trade Evan Fournier to the Celtics to create cap space in order to sign Jalen Brunson, but Boston has no interest in the deal, according to Gambadoro (Twitter links). The Celtics have a large trade exception that was ironically created by signing-and-trading Fournier to New York, so the Knicks theoretically wouldn’t have needed a player in return, but he’d still count against Boston’s cap, which would push the team deep into the luxury tax.
  • Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says (via Twitter) that he has “consistently heard” the Raptors are only interested in trading OG Anunoby if they can get an “elite center” in return. Toronto is still linked to Rudy Gobert and inquired about Jarrett Allen in February, sources tell Bleacher Report.

Point Guard Rumors: Brogdon, Knicks, Wizards, Morris, Murray

Although the Wizards and the Knicks are the two teams that have most frequently discussed a possible Malcolm Brogdon trade with the Pacers, people around the league are skeptical that either team would include its 2022 lottery pick in a package for Brogdon, says Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

If those league officials are right, that means a Brogdon trade could end up looking more like Portland’s deal for Jerami Grant. The Trail Blazers are giving up future picks (and a swap of 2022 second-rounders) for Grant, but aren’t including this year’s No. 7 overall pick. The Wizards and Knicks pick 10th and 11th, respectively, and will likely attempt to keep those picks as they pursue Brogdon.

According to Fischer, the Wizards have been open to discussing Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in trade conversations, while the Knicks have explored trade options involving Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker, and Cam Reddish.

Here are a few more rumors related to the point guard market:

  • With the Wizards widely believed to be seeking a trade for a veteran point guard, one potential target worth keeping an eye on is Nuggets guard Monte Morris, according to Josh Robbins and David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Responding to rumors about Dejounte Murray‘s possible availability, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com tweets that the Cavaliers have had conversation with the Spurs about Murray dating back to the trade deadline in February.
  • Besides Brogdon, Morris, and Murray, some other point guards believed to be available via trade this offseason include Mike Conley of the Jazz, Terry Rozier of the Hornets, Devonte’ Graham of the Pelicans, and D’Angelo Russell of the Timberwolves, according to Fischer.

Spurs, Hawks Have Discussed Dejounte Murray Trade

The Spurs are listening to offers for Dejounte Murray, and the “most significant” overtures have come from the Hawks, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

Sources tell Fischer that San Antonio and Atlanta have been discussing a deal since the trade deadline that would send Murray to the Hawks in exchange for a package centered around John Collins. Fischer adds that the Spurs want a “Jrue Holiday-like” return for the All-Star guard, so Atlanta would have to include a few more assets.

The Hawks are seeking a strong ball-handler and defender to team with Trae Young in their backcourt, and Murray qualifies on both counts. Murray, who finished second in the Most Improved Player voting, averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists this season while leading the league in steals at 2.0 per game.

Fischer speculates that Murray’s contract status is likely behind the Spurs’ willingness to consider a trade. His four-year, $64MM deal will expire in 2024, and he’s expected to be in line for a max contract after that. San Antonio could still be rebuilding by then and may not want to make such a large investment in Murray.

Fischer points out that the Knicks and Wizards both need point guards, so there may be plenty of options for the Spurs to consider. Sources also tell Bleacher Report that the Timberwolves have tested the market to see what they can get in return for D’Angelo Russell.

Wolves Notes: Connelly, KAT, Draft, Russell, A. Williams

If it were up to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, Karl-Anthony Towns would remain with the Timberwolves for his entire career. Towns is eligible for a super-max extension this summer after being selected to the All-NBA Third Team.

I hope he’s here forever. I hope we have the type of team success that would allow us to look up and see Karl’s jersey being hung up in the rafters,” Connelly said in a Q&A session with Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “I reached out to a bunch of these guys, but I don’t want to force relationships. You have to develop those things naturally. So, I’ve heard so many great things about him. I know how great a player he is on the court, but off the court it’s been so consistent, just an unbelievably sweet guy that treats everyone in a really classy manner.

“I think he’s been through so much, so many different faces and different chairs, from the front office to the coaching staff. So I think with continuity with Finchy (head coach Chris Finch), you’re going to see a better version of Karl and he’s already a great player.”

Connelly conceded that the team’s potential first-round pick (19th overall) likely won’t have a significant role on the team next year, but he believes the Wolves can find a good long-term fit with the selection.

We’ll beat up all the different possibilities pretty good. We’re also very content and pretty excited about if we’re going to get a good player at 19,” he said. “It’s going to be hard for any player we draft to have a huge role with the team that just had the success they had. We’re not drafting for June 24, we’re drafting for, hopefully, to add a person that can be a part of sustained success and a person who can grow into a role. I think things are on the table, but we do feel pretty convinced that 19 is going to yield a good player.”

It’s an interesting interview from Hine for any Wolves fans looking for insight into Connelly’s approach.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Amid rumors that Minnesota is exploring the trade market for veteran centers, including Clint Capela, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune wonders if one of the team’s biggest offseason moves might be a position change for Towns. Rand notes that sliding Towns down to the power forward spot would improve the Wolves’ rebounding woes, and he’d likely feast on smaller players in the post, but there are some possible drawbacks. Towns is quicker than most centers, so he might lose the ability to pump-fake and drive past slower-footed defenders, and it would take him time to adjust defensively. Ultimately, Rand believes utilizing a bigger lineup could work in certain matchups.
  • Jon Krawczynski and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic discuss Minnesota’s draft possibilities for the 19th and 40th picks (the Wolves also control the 48th and 50th picks). Vecenie doesn’t love the team’s options for the first-rounder and believes trading out in order to acquire additional first-round selections makes sense, but if the Wolves keep the pick, he thinks Blake Wesley or E.J. Liddell could be decent options. Wesley, a guard from Notre Dame, is ranked 22nd on ESPN’s big board, while Liddell, a forward from Ohio State, is ranked 21st. Vecenie says there are a number of “interesting, high-upside” prospects who could be available with the 40th pick, including Peyton Watson, Josh Minott and Kendall Brown, among others.
  • The Wolves haven’t come close to trading D’Angelo Russell “or any other player,” sources tell Krawczynski in another story for The Athletic. However, Krawczynski says trade talks are expected to heat up “the closer it gets to the draft,” which is tomorrow, and the fate of Russell and other possible trade candidates should become clearer once it concludes.
  • Alondes Williams worked out for the Wolves on Tuesday, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter). 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. He’s ranked 59th on ESPN’s board, so he could be a possibility for one of the team’s second-round picks.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Workouts, Wizards, Russell, Magic

The Hornets hold three picks in the 2022 NBA draft (Nos. 13, 15, and 45) and are keeping busy in the weeks leading up to June 23, bringing in a handful of prospects on a daily basis for a closer look.

On Tuesday, the Hornets worked out Tyson Etienne (Wichita State), Jordan Goldwire (Oklahoma), John Meeks (College of Charleston), Orlando Robinson (Fresno State), D’Shawn Schwartz (George Mason), and Bryson Williams (Texas Tech), according to the team (Twitter link). All six of those players rank outside of the top 75 on ESPN’s big board, so they figure to receive consideration as possible second-round or UDFA targets.

On Wednesday, Hugo Besson (New Zealand Breakers), Khalifa Diop (Gran Canaria), Hyunjung Lee (Davidson), Javante McCoy (Boston University), Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga), and Yannick Nzosa (Unicaja) make up the Hornets’ workout group (Twitter link). Several of those prospects are more highly regarded by draft experts — ESPN ranks Nembhard, Besson, and Diop 35th, 38th, and 39th respectively.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards will be in the market for a starting point guard this offseason, but don’t expect them to pursue D’Angelo Russell. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News said on his podcast (The Scoop w/ Doogie) that he has heard Washington has no interest in the Timberwolves guard (hat tip to HoopsHype).
  • The Wizards‘ pre-draft workout on Wednesday will feature Kenny Baptiste (France), Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State), Kyle Foster (Howard), Justin Kier (Arizona), Aminu Mohammed (Georgetown), and Gabe Osabuohien (West Virginia), as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays (via Twitter).
  • Murray State guard Tevin Brown was in Orlando on Tuesday, presumably to work out for the Magic, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. The Murray State guard is the No. 74 on ESPN’s big board, so the Magic could consider him in the second round or as an undrafted free agent.

Wolves Rumors: KAT, Russell, Edwards, Beasley, Draft, More

In the latest HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic said he fully believes that Karl-Anthony Towns will be offered — and will sign — a super-max extension with the Timberwolves summer. Towns became eligible for the super-max after being selected to the All-NBA Third Team.

Krawczynski acknowledges that Towns has his share of flaws, but he points out that Minnesota isn’t a free agent destination, the team has undergone lots of front office and coaching changes in his seven seasons, and he hasn’t played with a whole lot of talent around him. Once the deal is signed, if Towns plateaus, the Wolves still have the option of trading him in the future due to his “age, production and efficiency,” says Krawcyznski.

Here’s more from Scotto and Krawczynski:

  • Scotto wonders if trading away D’Angelo Russell might affect Towns’ decision to sign an extension, and points out that the last time Russell was in a contract year he wound up making the All-Star team with the Nets. Krawczynski thinks Towns will sign the super-max either way, but determining what to do with Russell will be a challenge for new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly. Krawczynski notes that Russell is eligible for an extension this summer, but he’s doubtful his next deal will be worth the max. If the price is right for both sides, Krawczynski thinks an extension might be viable. Russell helped lead the team to a 46-36 regular season and had a huge game in the play-in win over the Clippers, but then struggled against the Grizzlies, so gauging his market value will be tricky for Connelly, says Krawczynski.
  • A couple of scouts told HoopsHype that they think Anthony Edwards, not Towns, will eventually be the best player on the Timberwolves, but Krawczynski says there’s no jealousy between the two players — they enjoy playing together and believe their games complement each other.
  • Malik Beasley, who was drafted by Connelly in Denver, could benefit from the reunion, says Scotto, who believes Beasley is primed for a bounce-back year after seeing his name in trade rumors. Krawczynski agrees that Connelly’s presence should help, and reports that Beasley was out of shape entering training camp last fall due to his legal trouble. While noting that it was Beasley’s fault and he only has himself to blame, Krawczynski also says that he’s the hardest worker on the team.
  • The Timberwolves currently control the Nos. 19, 40, 48, and 50 picks in the upcoming draft, but don’t expect them to have four rookies on the roster next season. According to Krawczynski, a more likely outcome is that they either draft-and-stash some European prospects in the second round or package some picks to move up or acquire veteran help. Attaching the No. 19 pick with a veteran to improve the roster is also a possibility, he says.
  • A reunion with Taurean Prince, who’s an unrestricted free agent, could be in the cards. Krawczynski says there’s mutual interest between the two parties, noting that “players and coaches love him,” and Prince has stated that he was happy in Minnesota. Neither Scotto nor Krawczynski expect Jake Layman to be back, and Josh Okogie‘s return seems unlikely, but could still occur if he doesn’t draw much interest in free agency. The team likes him, but he didn’t receive much playing time, so he’ll probably look for another opportunity, per Krawczynski.

Wolves Notes: Connelly, Towns, Russell, A-Rod, Lore

New Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly will make some additions to the team’s front office, starting with longtime Magic executive Matt Lloyd.

However, Connelly made it clear during his introductory press conference on Tuesday that he’s certainly not looking to clean house or make any major, immediate changes to the way the franchise is run, joking that his plan is to “get out of the way (and) hope I don’t mess it up too much,” according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic and Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

“I’m not joining a team that’s broken,” Connelly said. “This is a team that’s trending in the right direction. It’s made a ton of really, really smart decisions, most recently extending (head coach) Chris (Finch) and getting Pat Beverley on the additional one-year (contract). So I’m not here to impede progress, I’m here to promote it, and I’m hopeful that I can learn a ton from the people in the building, and hopefully I can add a little bit of my knowledge to what’s already a very strong core of people.”

Connelly acknowledged that it was a difficult decision to leave Denver for Minnesota, suggesting there were “a lot of sleepless nights” as he weighed the decision. But he believes the Timberwolves have a have a chance to “do something special,” which helped sell him on the move.

Of course, the financial aspect of the Wolves’ offer was also a major selling point, though sources confirmed to The Athletic that Connelly doesn’t technically have a stake in the team’s ownership. His deal calls for him to “benefit financially” if the value of the franchise increases over the life of his contract, per Krawczynski.

“Basically he’s on a bonus program, just like a lot of people are,” majority owner Glen Taylor said when asked about the equity aspect of Connelly’s contract. “If the team does well, he does better.”

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Giving Karl-Anthony Towns a super-max extension this offseason should be a no-brainer decision for Connelly, but determining what to do with D’Angelo Russell will be a trickier call, Chip Scoggins of The Star Tribune contends. Russell is also extension-eligible as he enters the final year of his current contract, and looks like a possible trade candidate. “I don’t know how or what our roster is going to look like on draft night or into free agency, but certainly this team doesn’t win 46 games without the contributions of them both,” Connelly said during his first media session, per Hine. “It’ll be fun to get to know both guys.”
  • Hiring Connelly away from Denver is part of a push by incoming Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore to make the club a “world-class” organization, writes La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune. “We want to be first in class in every category,” Rodriguez said this week. “From an arena, to personnel to players, to medical staff, to physical therapy and everything in between. The Minnesota people deserve that. They are starving for a winner and we are going to bring them that.”
  • Michael Rand of The Star Tribune takes a look at three paths Connelly could take with the Timberwolves’ roster this offseason and beyond.

D’Angelo Russell May Be Option In Knicks’ Point Guard Search

If the Knicks can’t get their preferred choices at point guard, the TimberwolvesD’Angelo Russell could become an option this summer, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

New York has a strong connection to Russell in Gersson Rosas, who was recently named senior basketball advisor after spending time with the organization as a consultant. Fischer notes that when Rosas was president of basketball operations in Minnesota, he traded Andrew Wiggins and a lottery pick to the Warriors for Russell in 2020 after missing out on him in free agency.

Russell, who has a $31.4MM expiring contract next season, took some heat after a disappointing performance in the Wolves’ brief playoff run. The emergence of other backcourt options in Minnesota might make him expendable as the team looks to the future.

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell remains the Knicks’ dream choice, but getting him appears unlikely even if Utah decides to shake up its roster, Fischer writes. He cites “healthy skepticism” around the league that New York can make the best offer for Mitchell, noting that Miami could potentially put together a deal centered around Tyler Herro and multiple first-round picks.

The Knicks have also been linked to Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, who is headed toward free agency, but Fischer hears there’s a “growing sense” around the league that Brunson will remain in Dallas. Fischer expects Brunson’s new contract to top $20MM per season and says John Collins‘ five-year, $125MM extension could be a good comparison.

New York can only offer four years to Brunson and would need to clear out significant cap space first. Sources tell Fischer that the Knicks unsuccessfully tried to move Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel ahead of the trade deadline to begin opening cap room. Fischer cites league executives who believe New York would have to include either the No. 11 pick in this year’s draft or Immanuel Quickley in any deal to unload salary.

Fischer adds that one factor working in the Knicks’ favor in their pursuit of Brunson is that they can offer him the chance to be the undisputed leader of the offense, which he won’t have in Dallas playing alongside Luka Doncic. Fischer notes that if Brunson signs with the Pistons, who are also reported to be interested, he would be in the same situation with Cade Cunningham.

Sources also tell Fischer that New York won’t be among the teams pursuing Cavaliers free agent guard Collin Sexton. Cleveland is interested in keeping him, but it could be difficult considering the team’s salary commitment to other players. Fischer hears that the Pacers, Pistons and Wizards will all be in the market for Sexton.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Russell, Jazz, Hernangomez

The Timberwolves are coming off a thrilling season — one that featured their second playoff appearance in the last 17 years — but the road ahead will only be harder for the team, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. 

Minnesota finished the regular season with a 46-36 record. The team showed flashes of potential in its first-round series against the No. 2 Grizzlies, but ultimately lost in six games.

“We’ve got to take two steps forward while other teams take one step forward,” executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta said.

In addition to the Grizzlies, the West also has several other competitive teams. The Suns, Warriors, Nuggets and Mavericks will all likely be competing for a championship again next season. Minnesota fans may have enjoyed this season, but more work must be done before advancing in the playoffs.

Here are some other notes from the Northwest Division:

  • Trading D’Angelo Russell may be best for the Timberwolves, Michael Rand of the Star Tribune opines. Rand believes that Russell, who’s set to make $31.4MM next season, can’t be part of a championship core on his current salary. Russell is set to enter unrestricted free agency in 2023, so Minnesota could try to get something in return for him before then or risk losing him on the open market. The team still doesn’t have an established presence at point guard behind Russell. In 65 starts this season, he averaged 18.1 points and 7.1 assists per game, shooting 41%.
  • Sarah Todd of the Deseret News examines whether the Jazz will stay competitive in the West beyond this season. Utah lost its first-round series against Dallas in six games, raising questions about whether the team will keep Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert together. The Jazz have made the playoffs six straight seasons, but didn’t reach the conference finals once during that time.
  • In a separate story for the Deseret News, Todd explores what the future may hold for Jazz forward Juancho Hernangomez. The 26-year-old was productive in his 17 regular-season games with Utah, averaging 6.2 points on 51% shooting from the floor and 44% shooting from deep. His minutes were limited in the playoffs, however. He scored a total of 14 points in 56 minutes against Dallas, shooting 5-of-18 (28%) from the floor.

Stein’s Latest: Kings, M. Jackson, Russell, Brunson, Hornets

Mike D’Antoni‘s inability to advance to the second round of head coaching interviews with the Kings suggests that the team is making it a priority to upgrade its defense, according to Marc Stein, who observes in his latest Substack article that Sacramento ranked 27th in defensive efficiency this season after placing 30th in 2020/21.

According to Stein, former Golden State coach and current ABC/ESPN broadcaster Mark Jacksonreportedly one of three finalists along with Steve Clifford and Mike Brown – impressed Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, and appears to have a legitimate shot of returning to an NBA bench. All three of Sacramento’s finalists are known for their “fondness for defense,” says Stein.

If Jackson isn’t hired by the Kings, he’s expected to be a candidate for the Lakers‘ job, though he may not be high on their wish list, Stein writes, adding that L.A. is expected to take its time with its head coaching search and likely won’t move as quickly as Sacramento’s has.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • A number of rival teams expect the Timberwolves to attempt to trade guard D’Angelo Russell this offseason, according to Stein. Russell, who is good friends with Karl-Anthony Towns, will be on an expiring $31.4MM contract in 2022/23 after struggling in Minnesota’s playoff series vs. Memphis.
  • Mavericks team officials are expressing plenty of confidence behind the scenes that the team will be able to work out a new deal with free agent point guard Jalen Brunson this summer, says Stein. New York, Detroit, and Indiana have frequently been cited as potential suitors for Brunson.
  • If Quin Snyder decides to leave the Jazz this spring, the Hornets would have interest in him for their head coaching position, league sources tell Stein. Charlotte is in the market for a replacement for James Borrego.