Dejounte Murray

Knicks Among Teams To Inquire On Dejounte Murray

The Knicks are among the teams to inquire on Dejounte Murray and express interest in the Spurs‘ All-Star guard, reports Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Marc Stein previously reported of a belief that the Knicks could try to make a run at Murray, while Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated that league personnel began to mention Murray on Tuesday as New York’s next possible target.

The Knicks are still considered the strong frontrunners to sign Jalen Brunson in free agency, so the idea would be to acquire Murray in addition to Brunson, rather than in place of him. As Begley explains, some members of the organization are concerned about what a backcourt duo of Brunson and Evan Fournier would look like on defense and have discussed the potential fit of Brunson and Fournier.

While Murray’s defensive ability would make him a strong match alongside Brunson on that end of the court, it’s worth noting that he was the lead ball-handler in San Antonio this past season, with his usage rate increasing to a career-high 27.3%. As Fischer wrote earlier today, the Knicks are reportedly pitching Brunson on running the show in New York after he spent four years sharing point guard duties with Luka Doncic, so acquiring Murray may be at odds with that plan.

The Spurs are said to be seeking at least three or four first-round picks in any deal involving Murray, and the Knicks are well positioned to offer draft assets. New York has all of its own future first-round selections, plus protected 2023 first-rounders from Detroit, Washington, and Dallas, as well as a protected 2025 first-rounder from Milwaukee.

The Hawks have been the team most frequently linked to Murray as of late, while the Wizards are also reportedly among the clubs to inquire.

Trade Rumors: Spurs, Hawks, Murray, Collins, Thybulle, Thunder

The Spurs and Hawks began talking about Dejounte Murray and John Collins prior to the trade deadline in February and have resumed those discussions this offseason, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says the conversations remain very fluid.

As Fischer explains, while Collins appeared to be part of those trade talks leading up to the draft, word spread earlier this week that the two teams were discussing a new framework that included Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks going to San Antonio. However, one league source told Fischer that Collins was once again on the table on Tuesday. Fischer has also heard from sources that the Spurs’ asking price for Murray has gotten as high as four first-rounders.

While multiple reports in recent weeks have indicated Collins will likely be on the move this offseason, it’s unclear which teams represents his most likely landing spots outside of San Antonio. Fischer writes that the Kings, Trail Blazers, Celtics, and Nets all conveyed “some level” of interest around the draft, but adds that it doesn’t appear the Hawks have made progress in talks with any of those teams.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • As the Sixers continue to explore the trade market for possible deals, the two teams that have been linked most often to swingman Matisse Thybulle are the Trail Blazers and Mavericks, according to Fischer.
  • The Thunder still technically have unused 2021/22 cap space that could be used to absorb unwanted salary and they remain interested in exploring scenarios that use that space and net them assets, sources tell Fischer. That window will close in less than 48 hours when the NBA’s new league year begins.
  • With Russell Westbrook officially under contract for the 2022/23 season, a trade remains possible and would be the Lakers‘ preference, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic. However, the Lakers remain averse to attaching a first-round pick to Westbrook to move him, so they’re currently planning to have him start next season on their roster, sources tell Buha.

Knicks Rumors: Robinson, Fournier, Reddish, Randle, Murray

After Marc Stein reported last week that there were “strong rumblings” about the Knicks‘ plan to sign center Mitchell Robinson to a new multiyear contract, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report follows up on that story today, confirming Stein’s report.

According to Fischer, there’s a belief that Robinson will receive a new four-year deal from the Knicks that approaches $60MM in total earnings. It’s unclear whether that amount would be fully guaranteed or would include incentives, but it would be a nice payday for a four-year veteran who has been earning the minimum salary since entering the NBA.

Because he was on a minimum-salary contract, Robinson has a minuscule cap hold, allowing the Knicks to keep it on their books without compromising their newly-created cap room. New York have the ability to use up that cap room – likely to sign Jalen Brunson – and then go over the cap to re-sign Robinson using his Bird rights.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Despite having agreed to move Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel, the Knicks may not be done making trades. They’re still gauging the market for Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish, according to Fischer.
  • Meanwhile, Fred Katz of The Athletic said in the latest episode of Seth Partnow’s Callin Shots podcast that the Knicks have also gauged Julius Randle‘s value on the trade market, though Katz doesn’t expect the veteran forward to be on the move this summer, as R.P. Salao of ClutchPoints.com relays.
  • Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that even if the Knicks land Brunson, there’s a belief they could try to make a run at Spurs guard Dejounte Murray or another player of Murray’s caliber using their collection of draft assets. Fischer agrees, suggesting that Murray began to be mentioned by league personnel on Tuesday as New York’s next target. However, Fischer notes that would seem at odds with the Knicks’ pitch to Brunson that he’d have the opportunity to run the show at point guard.

Wizards Rumors: T. Jones, Wright, Brogdon, Murray, Kuzma, KCP

While the Timberwolves are expected to have interest in a reunion with Tyus Jones, the rival team that has been linked most frequently to the Grizzlies‘ free agent point guard is the Wizards, says Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

According to Fischer, Jones is believed to be seeking a multiyear deal worth in excess of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which projects to come in at $10.35MM.

The Wizards, who are in the market for a starting point guard, will be over the cap, limiting their ability to offer more than the full MLE. However, they could potentially get there if Jones is interested in coming to D.C. and they can figure out a sign-and-trade deal that the Grizzlies would get on board with.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Delon Wright has been mentioned as another free agent guard who is on the Wizards’ radar, per Fischer. Wright will be an unrestricted free agent after spending the season in Atlanta.
  • Although Malcolm Brogdon still looks like a viable trade target for the Wizards, the team never seriously considered including the No. 10 pick in last week’s draft in an offer for him, Fischer writes.
  • Sources tell Bleacher Report that the Wizards are among the teams to inquire on Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, though Washington probably doesn’t have the assets necessary to make the best trade offer for Murray.
  • Forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continue to be identified by league personnel as players who are available in trade scenarios, according to Fischer. Caldwell-Pope’s full $14MM salary for 2022/23 became guaranteed after he wasn’t waived on Tuesday, notes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link).

Hawks, Spurs Still Discussing Dejounte Murray

The Spurs and Hawks continue to discuss a possible trade that would send All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to Atlanta, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

Fischer reported prior to last week’s draft that San Antonio and Atlanta were talking about Murray, and it appears those conversations didn’t end when the draft did.

Fischer’s initial reporting suggested that the two teams were discussing a package that would include John Collins, but Zach Klein of WSB-TV in Atlanta tweets that some sources around the NBA believe the Hawks are working on a Murray deal that would instead involve Danilo Gallinari and multiple first-round picks. Fischer adds (via Twitter) that he has heard those same whispers.

While Collins is under contract for four more seasons at a rate of $25MM annually, Gallinari is on a partially guaranteed expiring contract and will be off the books after the 2022/23 season. If the Spurs are looking more toward the future than the present, they may value cap flexibility and the opportunity to load up on draft picks more than a win-now player like Collins.

For what it’s worth, a package that doesn’t involve Collins and is heavy on draft picks would line up more with the “Jrue Holiday-like” return Fischer said last week that the Spurs were seeking. The Pelicans received three first-round picks and a pair of first-round pick swaps from Milwaukee in that Holiday deal.

Hawks View Kings’ Offer For John Collins As “Underwhelming”

The Kings have been actively trying to acquire John Collins, but Atlanta isn’t impressed by Sacramento’s latest offer, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. His sources say the Hawks consider it “underwhelming.”

The reported offer for Collins includes veteran forward Harrison Barnes, but not the No. 4 pick in tonight’s draft. The trade would likely have been completed already if Sacramento was willing to part with that, Amick adds.

Amick also addresses Wednesday night’s report that the Hawks have talked to the Spurs about Dejounte Murray. He states that Atlanta officials believe San Antonio’s current asking price is “exorbitant” and although the teams aren’t close to an agreement, Amick believes it’s a situation to watch.

Also, sources tell Amick that the Hawks’ reported interest in Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been exaggerated. Atlanta still values Clint Capela, who has a good relationship with Trae Young. Financial considerations also point toward keeping Capela, who is owed $61MM over the next three seasons compared to $169MM over four years for Gobert, including a player option for 2025/26.

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.

2021/2022 All-NBA Teams Announced

The 2021/22 All-NBA teams have officially been announced by the NBA. For the fourth straight season, Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was unanimously selected to the All-NBA First Team by a voter panel of 100 media members. Antetokounmpo, 27, is making his sixth All-NBA team overall.

Antetokounmpo, reigning MVP Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, and Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic received the most votes. Suns All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker and Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid rounded out the list of top five vote-getters. Because the All-NBA teams, unlike the All-Star squads, require just one center per team, Embiid was relegated to an All-NBA Second Team placing.

Below is a list of the three All-NBA teams. Vote tallies are listed in parentheses next to player names. Five points were awarded to players for a First Team Vote, three points netted for a Second Team vote, and one for a Third Team vote. Antetokounmpo earned a perfect 500 points.

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Jazz center Rudy Gobert and shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, Heat center Bam Adebayo and small forward Jimmy Butler, Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown, Bucks guards Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, Grizzlies shooting guard Desmond Bane, Suns small forward Mikal Bridges, Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray, and Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet all received All-NBA votes. Surprisingly, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who played in just 29 games this season, also received a single vote.

As we previously outlined, the All-NBA selections come with significant financial ramifications. As a result of being named to All-NBA teams, Booker and Towns have become eligible for super-max extensions that would begin in 2024/25. If they’re signed this offseason, those deals would be for four years and would start at 35% of the ’24/25 cap. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter), they currently project to be worth $211MM apiece.

Young’s five-year contract extension, which was signed last August and will go into effect in 2022/23, will now be worth 30% of next season’s cap instead of 25% by virtue of his All-NBA selection. Based on a projected $122MM cap, that means it’ll be worth about $212MM instead of $177MM.

Jokic had already met the super-max requirements prior to this announcement, since he won last year’s MVP award — he’s eligible to sign a five-year, super-max extension this offseason and has said he plans to do so. Doncic, who signed a maximum-salary contract extension last summer, also previously met the super-max criteria by earning All-NBA nods in 2020 and 2021.

Notable players who are not eligible this offseason for super-max deals include Morant and Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine. As Marks tweets, Morant needs to make the All-NBA team again in 2023 to qualify for a starting salary worth 30% of the cap (instead of 25%) on his next deal.

LaVine, a free agent this offseason, would have been eligible to earn up to 35% of next season’s cap from the Bulls if he had made an All-NBA team, but will instead be able to earn no more than 30% of the ’22/23 cap on his next contract.

With their inclusions, Morant, Booker, and Young are making their All-NBA team debuts. Meanwhile, on the other side of the NBA aging curve, two 37-year-old veterans further cemented their Hall of Fame credentials during the 2021/22 season. James made his 18th All-NBA team, while Paul was named to his 11th All-NBA team.

Ja Morant Wins Most Improved Player Award

Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has been named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, according to a league press release.

Morant is the first Memphis player to win the award. He received 221 points (38 first-place votes) from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Spurs guard Dejounte Murray finished in second place with 183 points (20 first-place votes).

Cavaliers guard Darius Garland wound up in third place with 11 first-place votes and 178 points, followed by the Warriors Jordan Poole (15 first-place votes, 131 points) in fourth.

There were a wide range of legitimate MIP candidates this season, with no less than seven players receiving at least three first-place votes. Morant’s teammate Desmond Bane, Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey, and Hornets forward Miles Bridges rounded out the top seven vote-getters.

A first-time All-Star, Morant averaged 27.4 PPG, 6.7 APG and 5.7 RPG in 33.1 MPG in 57 games to lead Memphis to the Western Conference’s second-best record. He had an 8.3-point increase in scoring and 4.3 percent improvement in field goal percentage from last season. Morant was the Rookie of the Year two seasons ago.

Anfernee Simons, Robert Williams, Jaren Jackson, Jalen Brunson, and Max Strus also each received at least one second- and/or third-place vote. The full results can be found here.