DeMar DeRozan

Eastern Rumors: Ball, Rose, Tucker, Portis, Allen, Williams, Fournier, Schroder, Horton-Tucker

The Bulls are looking to make to major additions to shore up their point guard position, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

The Bulls have been linked for months to Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball and there’s thought to be mutual interest between the two sides on a four-year deal worth more than $80MM. If the Pelicans extend a $14.36MM qualifying offer to Ball, he’ll be a restricted free agent — the Bulls would have to give him an offer sheet and hope New Orleans doesn’t match it, or work out a sign-and-trade with the Pels.

The Bulls may have some competition from the Celtics, who have been recently mentioned as a potential Ball suitor after dealing away Kemba Walker. There’s increasing speculation the Celtics will not look to re-sign unrestricted free agent Evan Fournier, says Fischer. That possibility increased significantly after the Celtics agreed to acquire Josh Richardson from the Mavericks.

Chicago is also considering another Derrick Rose reunion and there’s mutual interest. It’s uncertain if the Knicks and head coach Tom Thibodeau can convince Rose, an unrestricted free agent, to re-sign with them if the Bulls make a hard push. However, Chicago will likely need to shed salary in order to bring in both Ball and Rose and the Knicks have plenty of cap room to outbid the Bulls for his services. While that’s a best case scenario in the Bulls’ eyes, they’re intent on adding two point guards this summer, especially with Coby White out indefinitely after undergoing left shoulder surgery, per Fischer.

Fischer offers up a number of other interesting items:

  • The Bucks are interested in bringing back two of their prominent free agents. They’d like to re-sign defensive specialist P.J. Tucker on a contract in the neighborhood of two years and $20MM. They are also hoping to re-sign forward Bobby Portis and the feeling is mutual. Since the Bucks only have Non-Bird rights on Portis, they’d have to use their mid-level exception to give him a starting salary higher than about $4.3MM.
  • The Cavaliers view the Raptors as their main threat to re-signing restricted free agent Jarrett Allen. Toronto’s interest in Allen surfaced last weekend. However, Cleveland is likely to match any offer sheet for Allen. The Raptors are also eying Kings free agent Richaun Holmes.
  • League sources think Lou Williams, one of the league’s top reserves, could re-sign with the Hawks on a veteran’s minimum deal, sys Fischer.
  • The Knicks, who need to add scoring punch, have expressed interest in Fournier. They’ve also been linked to Lakers guards Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker. Schroder will be looking for a new home after the Lakers agreed to acquire Russell Westbrook. Previous reports have indicated the Knicks’ potential pursuit of Fournier and Schroder. Horton-Tucker is a restricted free agent after the Lakers extended a qualifying offer, though the team has the option of pulling it off the table.
  • According to SNY.TV’s Ian Begley, there’s support within the Knicks organization to pursue Nets free agent Spencer Dinwiddie and he’s interested in remaining in New York. Devonte’ GrahamKendrick Nunn, and Kyle Lowry are some other potential targets at point guard. At the wing, the Knicks have some interest in the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan and they’ve had discussions with the Magic this week regarding a potential Terrence Ross trade.

Western Rumors: Lakers, Pelicans, McDermott, Ja. Green, Holmes, More

After agreeing to acquire Russell Westbrook from Washington, the Lakers won’t have a ton of cap flexibility to add outside free agents this offseason. Los Angeles will likely be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum-salary contracts, since acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would create a hard cap that the team wouldn’t be able to stay under.

However, even with limited resources, that doesn’t mean the Lakers will have to wait until the second or third wave of free agency to go bargain hunting. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, people around the NBA believe that several veterans in search of a championship ring could be willing to pass on more lucrative offers elsewhere to join the Lakers. Fischer identifies DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Carmelo Anthony as some players who may fit that bill.

Here are a few more rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans, Suns, and Nuggets are believed to be among the teams interested in pursuing Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott in free agency, according to Fischer. A recent report from The Indianapolis Star suggested Indiana may lose McDermott this summer.
  • A return to the Nuggets is a possibility for JaMychal Green, but the power forward is also expected to draw interest from the Pelicans and Timberwolves, says Fischer.
  • Following up on a Marc Stein report linking Daniel Theis to the Rockets, Fischer confirms Houston is eyeing the veteran big man and suggests the team’s $8.2MM trade exception could be used to land Theis in a sign-and-trade.
  • According to Fischer, sources expect Richaun Holmes to remain with the Kings. That’s a bit of a surprise — Sacramento only has Holmes’ Early Bird rights and has been linked to several other centers, having agreed on Friday to acquire Tristan Thompson. But the Hornets, one of Holmes’ presumed suitors, are no longer expected to go big for a free agent center after drafting Kai Jones and agreeing to trade for Mason Plumlee, per Fischer. The Raptors, Mavericks, and Knicks may still be possibilities for Holmes, Fischer adds.
  • The Mavericks are viewed as the favorites to sign Sterling Brown in free agency, league sources tell Fischer.

Spurs Eyeing Kyle Kuzma

The Spurs are believed to be interested in working with the Lakers on a potential sign-and-trade involving DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Kuzma, Marc Stein reports (via Twitter).

DeRozan, a Compton, California native, is reportedly interested in joining Los Angeles once he becomes a free agent. The Spurs could acquire Kuzma in a sign-and-trade scenario, though Stein notes the Lakers’ talks with the Kings have been the most serious.

Sacramento and Los Angeles have discussed a trade centered around Kuzma and Buddy Hield. Hield has spent the past five seasons with the Kings, averaging 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 34.3 minutes per game in 2020/21. He also shot 39% from three-point range.

As Stein mentions, while Hield would be an excellent acquisition for the Lakers, any deal could depend on whether Montrezl Harrell exercises his $9.72MM player option for next season. The 27-year-old big man has a July 31 deadline for that option.

Kuzma is under contract with the Lakers next season and the following at $13MM. He also holds a $13MM player option for the 2023/24 campaign.

Free Agent Rumors: Mavs, Lowry, Kawhi, Knicks, Dinwiddie, More

While the Mavericks are expected to show interest in free agent point guard Mike Conley, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein says Dallas’ focus in free agency will be on pursuing Kyle Lowry and attempting to re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr. Reports to date have suggested that Conley is more likely than Lowry to return to his current team, so it makes sense that the Mavs would prioritize Lowry.

According to Stein, the Mavericks were initially expected to wait to see if Kawhi Leonard gave any indication that he was thinking about leaving the Clippers. However, the team has moved off of those plans, says Stein. That’s probably a signal that Leonard is unlikely to depart Los Angeles.

Here are a few more updates related to free agency:

  • At least one key decision-maker in the Knicks‘ front office has “embraced” the idea of signing Spencer Dinwiddie this offseason, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who hears that at least one other club plans to make the point guard a strong offer. Begley also confirms that DeMar DeRozan is among the other free agent guards on New York’s radar, though he says teams monitoring the situation view the Knicks as more likely to go after DeRozan if they’re able to acquire Damian Lillard in a trade.
  • The Suns are among the teams eyeing sharpshooter Reggie Bullock as a possible free agent target, Begley writes in a separate SNY.tv story. The Knicks have “significant” interest in re-signing Bullock, Begley adds.
  • Despite playing a modest role with the Nuggets down the stretch of the season, JaVale McGee is interested in re-signing with the team, two league sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Singer cautions that the veteran center figures to have multiple suitors on the open market.
  • Rockets guard Avery Bradley is expected to draw interest from multiple playoff contenders if he becomes a free agent, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). Houston will have to make a decision soon on Bradley’s $5.9MM team option for 2021/22.

Free Agent Notes: McConnell, McDermott, Theis, DeRozan, Oubre

The Pacers are more likely to retain T.J. McConnell than Doug McDermott in free agency in August, according to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required). Michael suggests that Indiana is likely to re-sign McConnell, but will probably lose McDermott due to his “escalating price tag” following a career year.

If the Pacers bring back McConnell, it may affect what the team does with Aaron Holiday. According to Michael, the 24-year-old point guard – who is entering the final year of his rookie contract – has been hoping for a change of scenery since the 2021 trade deadline, so he could emerge as a trade candidate again this offseason.

Here are a few more notes related to free agency:

  • Chatter around the NBA suggests that Daniel Theis will be seeking a “big payday” in free agency, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, who suggests the veteran center may not be back with the Bulls.
  • Appearing on the Club Shay Shay podcast (video link), Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said that his free agency decision will be “all about winning.” Asked by host Shannon Sharpe what that means for his salary expectations, DeRozan admitted he’d like to be well-compensated too, but said he feels more urgency to compete for a title as he enters his age-32 season.
  • Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Kelly Oubre didn’t offer many specific details about his plans for free agency, but hinted that a new deal with the Warriors may not be his top priority. “I want to continue to expand my game, grow and spread my wings. I want to continue to show all the things I’m capable of and not be put in a box,” Oubre said. “I felt like the universe was trying to put me in a box last year.”

Charania’s Latest: Beal, Lakers, Hardaway Jr., Barton, Turner, Ennis, Lowry

Wizards star Bradley Beal is expected to use this weekend to continue pondering his future with the franchise, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

Beal has been “on the fence” about his future with Washington at times, Charania notes. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer first reported that Beal had been pondering a trade request, adding that any call for a move would likely come before Thursday’s draft.

The 28-year-old Beal recently finished his ninth season with the team, averaging a career-high 31.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

Here are some other notes from The Athletic’s story:

  • The Lakers are expected to express interest in Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Spencer Dinwiddie, Charania reports. A previous report from Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times indicated that the three guards have interest in joining L.A.
  • The Mavericks have prioritized re-signing veteran free agent Tim Hardaway Jr., Charania notes. Hardway is coming off a stellar campaign with Dallas, averaging 16.6 points per game on 39% shooting from three-point range.
  • Will Barton declined his $14.7MM player option with Denver earlier this month, but there’s expected to be significant interest between both sides on negotiating a new deal, according to Charania. Barton recently concluded his seventh season with the Nuggets.
  • The Pelicans and Hornets have expressed interest in Pacers center Myles Turner, Charania reports. Indiana is open to moving the 25-year-old Turner after finishing the season at just 34-38.
  • Magic free agent James Ennis is expected to garner interest from multiple postseason contenders. Ennis, a seven-year veteran, averaged 8.4 points per contest on 43% shooting from deep this past season.
  • Charania also reported a list of top suitors for Lowry in free agency, listing the Sixers, Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans and Heat as teams likely to be in the mix for him.

DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry Reportedly Have Interest In Lakers

Veteran guard DeMar DeRozan has interest in the possibility of joining the Lakers, as does his former Raptors teammate Kyle Lowry, reports Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Both DeRozan and Lowry will be unrestricted free agents this offseason.

Turner cites sources not authorized to speak publicly on the matter who say that DeRozan – a Compton native who played his college ball at USC – would be willing to accept less than the $27.7MM he earned with the Spurs this past season in order to play for his hometown team.

The Lakers are said to be seeking a veteran play-maker, having been linked earlier in the week to Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, so it stands to reason the team would have interest in DeRozan and Lowry as well. Lowry was a target at the March trade deadline. However, as we noted when we discussed L.A.’s interest in Paul and Westbrook, the club’s cap limitations won’t make it easy to land an impact player this summer.

Unless DeRozan or Lowry is willing to accept a deal in the range of the mid-level exception to join the Lakers, a sign-and-trade would likely be necessary to accommodate one or the other. The Lakers would need the cooperation of the Spurs or Raptors to complete a sign-and-trade and would be hard-capped at the tax apron for the 2021/22 season as a result.

That scenario would also likely require the Lakers to dump some of their current guaranteed contracts besides LeBron James and Anthony Davis, then fill out their roster primarily with minimum-salary players. It’s not inconceivable, but it would be a challenge — and it’s not a given that sacrificing multiple role players to land a single veteran would improve the team’s title chances.

Turner also reports that Spencer Dinwiddie – who may be less expensive in 2021/22 than DeRozan or Lowry – has interest in joining the Lakers too. That echoes a previous report that stated Dinwiddie would be interested in playing for either Los Angeles team.

We’ll have to wait to see what happens with the Lakers and their various targets, but as Marc Stein points out in his latest newsletter, it’s noteworthy that there has been “seemingly daily discussion” about the possibility of L.A. pursuing guards with All-Star résumés. While it’s possible the team is just doing its due diligence and creating some leverage in its Dennis Schröder negotiations, it feels increasingly likely that Schröder could end up signing elsewhere.

Texas Notes: Tate, Silas, DeRozan, Doncic

Rockets wing Jae’Sean Tate enjoyed being able to hone his raw defensive promise at the pro level in his rookie season, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

“If you pay attention to later in the season,” Tate told Iko, “I started to play without my hands and try to beat (players he was guarding) to the spot. I think my angles have improved tremendously since the beginning of the season, just picking my angles and how to cut people off.”

Iko notes that Rockets head coach Stephen Silas has entrusted a variety of defensive assignments across a variety of positions to the 6’4″ Tate, who ranks in the top 97th percentile of league players in his ability to guard all of the NBA’s positions.

“I’ve been grateful enough to be able to play different positions throughout this year,” Tate said of his positional versatility for the depleted Rockets this season. “And for them to give me that freedom to play point guard — I played a little bit a point guard (in the past) but to actually start at the one certain games and be the floor general where I got other younger players telling me to lead us out there — that was a big eye-opener for me because I’ve never been in a position like that.”

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Despite a lackluster season in Houston that will send the 17-55 Rockets to their first lottery appearance in years, new head coach Stephen Silas still has the approval of owner Tilman Fertitta, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • As Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan enters free agency, he is amenable to testing the market, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. The 32-year-old vet, a four-time All-Star during his time with the Raptors, acknowledged his appreciation for the three years he has spent in San Antonio. “It’s definitely an honor to play for this organization,” DeRozan said when the club’s season officially concluded this week. “Everything they did for me and how they treated me, it was definitely A1.”
  • Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic and his team are applying lessons learned during last season’s Orlando “bubble” playoffs for Dallas’ second consecutive first-round matchup with the Clippers, writes Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News“I think last year helped this year,” said Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith. “When the game goes down to the wire, we know we’ve got to get that one more stop or that one more rebound.” With Doncic and fellow prime Dallas scorer Kristaps Porzingis going cold in the fourth quarter, Doncic knew to turn to the team’s role players to help ice a Game 1 victory over the Clippers.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Southwest Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Southwest Division:

DeMar DeRozan, Spurs, 31, SG/SF (Down) – Signed to a five-year, $139MM deal in 2016

DeRozan threw in a clunker in San Antonio’s play-in game against Memphis, shooting 5-for-21 from the field. The master of the mid-range game now enters unrestricted free agency in a league that craves 3-point shooters at the wing.

DeRozan does more than just knock down 18-footers. He’s got a knack for drawing fouls and this season he averaged a career-high 6.9 assists. What will that package of skills draw on the open market? We’ll find out if DeRozan doesn’t reach an extension agreement with San Antonio. The Spurs have an exclusive window to reach a new deal with DeRozan before free agency begins at the start of August.

Lonzo Ball, Pelicans, 23, PG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $33.5MM deal in 2017

Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram said glowing things about Ball in their post-season press conferences. Ball said he would “love” to remain in New Orleans. Now, the proverbial ball is in the front office’s court.

Will the Pelicans extend a $14.36MM qualifying offer to Ball to make him a restricted free agent? If so, will they match any offer sheet? Should the Pelicans do so, they’re basically telling everyone they believe the trio of Williamson, Ingram and Ball is a championship-caliber core. That’s a pretty big leap of faith, considering the Pelicans went 31-41 this season with each of them playing at least 55 games. But Ball’s going to get paid this summer, one way or another.

Josh Richardson, Mavericks, 27, SF/SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $42MM deal in 2018

Richardson was acquired from the Sixers in a draft-night deal to upgrade their perimeter defense. According to the numbers, Richardson hasn’t made much of an impact in that area. He ranked 22nd among shooting guards on ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus ratings. Richardson’s offensive rating was even lower after averaging 12.1 PPG on 42.7% shooting (33% on threes) despite playing with a premier play-maker.

Richardson holds an $11.6MM option on his contract for next season. Perhaps he’ll seek for a multi-year deal on the open market but it may be prudent for him to take the guaranteed money and test the waters next summer.

Kelly Olynyk, Rockets, 30, PF/C (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $50MM deal in 2017

Anyone want a stretch four who averages 19 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 4.1 APG and 1.4 SPG? Those are the stats Olynyk posted in a 27-game stint with the tanking Rockets. Those numbers can be taken with a grain of salt – Olynyk didn’t suddenly turn into an All-Star level talent at 30 years old. He did show that he can still be a highly productive rotation player. For obvious reasons, Olynyk enjoyed his stint in Houston and that will factor into his decision as he heads into unrestricted free agency. If nothing else, he gained more leverage over the past two months.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Spurs Notes: DeRozan, Mills, Gay, K. Johnson

After falling to the Grizzlies in the play-in tournament, the Spurs face important decisions on their veteran players. DeMar DeRozan will be one of the biggest names on the free agent market this summer, and San Antonio must decide whether to make a long-term investment in the 31-year-old guard on a team filled with young talent.

The Spurs will have an exclusive window to reach a new deal with DeRozan before free agency begins August 1, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider article). DeRozan is eligible for an extension that could pay him up to $149.1MM over the next four seasons, including a $33.3MM starting salary for 2021/22.

If DeRozan reaches the open market, Marks identifies the Hornets, Mavericks, Heat and Knicks as teams that would have cap space and interest in signing the high-scoring guard. He suggests New York, which will have $55MM available, could be tempted to reunite DeRozan with his long-time friend and former Raptors backcourt partner, Kyle Lowry.

There’s more from San Antonio:

  • Similar decisions will have to be made on Patty Mills and Rudy Gay, who are both headed to free agency, Marks adds in the same piece. Mills, who will turn 33 this summer, has spent most of his career with the Spurs and was considered a Sixth Man of the Year candidate during the first half of the season. Gay, who turns 35 in August, is a dependable three-point shooter and an effective weapon off the bench.
  • After spending much of his rookie year in the G League, Keldon Johnson made significant progress during his second NBA season, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. The 21-year-old small forward started 67 games this year and appears to be part of the Spurs’ foundation heading forward. “I’ve learned a lot,” Johnson said. “I’ve grown a lot — on and off the court — from just observing (coach Gregg Popovich) and how he goes about things. … He’s taught me so many things.”
  • Popovich is encouraged by the progress his team made this season, but he cautions that becoming a title contender won’t happen right away, Orsborn tweets. “That takes time,” Popovich said. “… The more these guys get to practice together, the more they develop, hopefully the record will bend in the correct direction.”