Doug McDermott

Moore’s Latest: Pelicans, Spurs, Warriors, Nuggets, VanVleet, Vanderbilt, More

The latest trade intel column from Matt Moore of Action Network is packed full of tidbits about the upcoming deadline, including some details on which players a handful of Western Conference teams have made available.

According to Moore, the Pelicans – in the market for another shooter – have made players like Jaxson Hayes, Devonte’ Graham, and Naji Marshall available, while the Spurs are discussing Isaiah Roby in addition to previously reported trade candidates like Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. Perhaps most interestingly, Moore says the Warriors consider Jonathan Kuminga “off limits,” but have been willing to discuss youngsters James Wiseman and Moses Moody.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets – who have put second-year guard Bones Hyland on the trade block – are seeking another wing and have their eye on players like Bulls guard Alex Caruso, Clippers guard Terance Mann, and Pacers swingman Chris Duarte, Moore writes.

Here’s more:

  • The Magic, who have previously been cited as a possible free agency suitor for Fred VanVleet, have “real” interest in the Raptors point guard, reports Moore. While VanVleet is thought to be available at the trade deadline due to his uncertain contract status beyond this season, one executive told Moore that trying to get a deal done with Toronto is “like blood from stone.”
  • There’s a growing belief that forward Jarred Vanderbilt will be on the move this week even if the Jazz don’t get the first-round pick they’re seeking for him, according to Moore, who suggest the Trail Blazers may be the frontrunner to land Vanderbilt.
  • Two league sources tell Moore that the Cavaliers have contacted the Hawks to inquire about Bogdan Bogdanovic. While there’s no indication those talks went anywhere, it’s worth noting Caris LeVert‘s $18.8MM salary is a near-perfect match for Bogdanovic’s $18MM cap hit.
  • Recent strong play from Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein has reduced the odds that he’ll be traded before Thursday’s deadline — the belief is that he’ll remain in New York, per Moore.

Cavs Rumors: Small Forward, Reddish, Hart, G. Williams, LeVert, Love

Although the Cavaliers remain on the lookout for an upgrade on the wing, there’s a “growing sense” that they don’t love the options available to them on the trade market and would be comfortable standing pat if no deal comes to fruition, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscriber link).

Isaac Okoro has been impressive since becoming the full-time starter at small forward, averaging 9.2 points per game with a .500 3PT% in his last 18 games. Given how strong a defender Okoro is, he may be the Cavaliers’ best option at that spot even if his offensive game doesn’t continue to develop, according to Fedor.

Still, Fedor runs through several of the options available to Cleveland, identifying Malik Beasley, Tim Hardaway Jr., Doug McDermott, Luke Kennard, Royce O’Neale, and Hamidou Diallo as some potential players of interest, though most of them come with some caveats.

Sources tell Cleveland.com that there are mixed feelings within the Cavaliers’ front office about Knicks forward Cam Reddish, who is considered more of a fall-back option. Reddish has talent and untapped potential, but he’ll be a free agent in a matter of months and isn’t a clear upgrade on what the team already has at small forward, Fedor explains.

Fedor adds that Trail Blazers forward Josh Hart is one player who is high on the Cavaliers’ list of targets, writing that he has “plenty of fans” within the organization and that Cleveland explored a possible sign-and-trade for him two years ago before pivoting to Lauri Markkanen.

There’s a belief around the NBA that Hart will be on the move this week, according to Fedor, who notes that the Blazer has a similar skill set to Okoro but would bring a level of experience and consistency that the former No. 5 overall pick lacks.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Sources tell Cleveland.com that the Cavaliers checked in with the Celtics about forward Grant Williams, but got the sense that he’s unavailable — or would at least cost much more than the Cavs are in position to offer.
  • Veteran wing Caris LeVert tells Fedor that he expects to remain a Cavalier through Thursday’s trade deadline. If LeVert does stick around, Cleveland would be interested in signing him beyond this season, assuming the price isn’t exorbitant, Fedor writes.
  • Although there’s no indication that he’s on the trade block, it’s worth noting that veteran forward Kevin Love has fallen out of the Cavs’ rotation as of late to make room for Dean Wade. Love, who hasn’t played since January 24, had a conversation about his role with head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, tweets Fedor.

Lakers Notes: Trade Deadline, Westbrook, Irving, Reaves

Now that Kyrie Irving is headed to Dallas, the Lakers are left to search for other ways to upgrade their roster, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.

There don’t appear to be any other All-Star level talents available for what L.A. has to offer, so Goon believes the options now involve role players such as Mike Conley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley from the Jazz, Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott from the Spurs or possibly Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and Mason Plumlee from the Hornets.

The Lakers are also in a difficult situation because the player they most want to part with, Russell Westbrook, has a contract that will likely require three or four players in return to match salaries, Goon adds. Utah, Charlotte and San Antonio may not be interested in making such a complex deal when there are simpler options with other teams.

Last month’s acquisition of Rui Hachimura — and the likelihood of a new contract this summer — will cut into L.A.’s projected cap room. A rival executive told Goon that the Lakers want to limit this year’s hit on their repeater tax, which also reduces their options in the trade market.

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • Although Westbrook has been better this season, teams remain reluctant to take on his $47.1MM contract, Goon adds. The same executive says potential trade partners still want at least one future unprotected first-round pick attached in any Westbrook deal. Goon also speculates that the Lakers’ interest in Irving may have opened old wounds with Westbrook that could affect locker room chemistry if he remains with the team.
  • The Lakers received permission from the Nets to talk to Irving’s representatives when he was pondering his player option last summer, but they didn’t follow up, sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Even though L.A. appeared to be the most likely trade partner at the time, Irving’s agent, Shetellia Riley Irving, never heard from any member of the team’s front office. Buha’s sources say the Nets informed the Lakers that they wouldn’t have accepted Westbrook in an Irving deal, so his only path to L.A. was to decline the option and sign for the mid-level exception, which the Lakers didn’t believe he would do. L.A. reportedly tried again in early July and during Summer League, but Brooklyn wasn’t interested in dealing Irving at the time.
  • Austin Reaves talks about the difficulty of breaking into the NBA as an undrafted free agent during an interview with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Spurs Rumors: Poeltl, Free Agency, McDermott, Richardson

The Spurs are in the midst of discussing trades oriented around starting center Jakob Poeltl with over half a dozen clubs, reports LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk. Ellis previously stated in December that Poeltl, an unrestricted free agent in 2023, had been San Antonio’s most popular player on the trade market. With just a few weeks left until the February 9 trade deadline, interest appears to be heating up.

Two sources inform Ellis that the Raptors are interested in reacquiring Poeltl, whom Toronto initially traded as part of its deal for All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard in 2018. A three-team deal that includes the contract of Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. has been discussed.

The Celtics are interested in shoring up their front line with Poeltl, and are reportedly prepared to move an unprotected future first-round pick in 2028.

Because Poeltl is less concerned with low post touches than their incumbent starting centers, the Trail Blazers and Pelicans are reportedly also potentially intrigued by the Spurs’ big man. The Mavericks view a hypothetical addition of Poeltl as an improvement on their current big men, a Western Conference scout tells Ellis.

Conversations with the Warriors have stalled, as the Spurs don’t have much interest in acquiring either James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga in a Poeltl deal, per Ellis.

There’s more out of San Antonio:

  • A team insider tells Ellis that, should San Antonio not find a deal it likes, it would try to re-sign Poeltl. League sources tell Ellis that Poeltl could earn “at least” a four-year, $80MM contract as a free agent, far above an extension offer the Spurs could offer him this season, which would be worth up to $58MM.
  • The Lakers have stayed somewhat engaged in potential trade conversations with San Antonio as well, Ellis reports. L.A. may still want to offload the $47.1MM expiring contract of reserve point guard Russell Westbrook, and could be interested in adding sharpshooters Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott, in addition to Poeltl.
  • San Antonio wants solid returns for both McDermott and Richardson, a source informs Ellis. The Spurs are seeking a first-round draft pick for Richardson, while also hoping for solid value out of McDermott. “Dougie won’t be traded for a second round pick, I can tell you that,” the source told Ellis.

Scotto’s Latest: Reid, Allen, Reddish, Poeltl, Anunoby

The Clippers and Nuggets are among the teams that have expressed interest in Timberwolves center Naz Reid, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype writes in his latest roundup of trade rumors.

Reid will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Scotto says there’s a belief around the league that he could land a contract worth the full taxpayer or non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Although he’s primarily a backup, Reid has been effective amid injuries to Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, averaging 15.4 PPG in seven games as a starter this season.

The Wolves are also exploring offers for D’Angelo Russell, and Scotto suggests that both Minnesota players might be moved in deals involving L.A.’s Terance Mann or Denver’s Bones Hyland, whom Connelly drafted during his time with the Nuggets.

Scotto offers more insight into the trade market with the deadline nearing:

  • The Knicks would like to acquire Grayson Allen from the Bucks as part of a deal involving Cam Reddish, although Scotto notes that might not be realistic given Allen’s inclusion in other trade rumors. Allen is a starter in Milwaukee and is a valuable shooter, connecting at 39.5% from three-point range, while Reddish has been benched in New York for the past 25 games. Allen has been mentioned in deals involving the Suns’ Jae Crowder and the Rockets’ Eric Gordon, which Scotto sees as more likely. However, he adds that the Bucks and Knicks have talked about a Reddish deal that doesn’t involve Allen, so the fourth-year forward could still wind up in Milwaukee.
  • The Spurs may be able to land a first-round pick and a young player in exchange for center Jakob Poeltl. That’s probably the limit, Scotto adds, because Poeltl will be a free agent this summer and will likely get a new contract starting around $20MM per season. If they don’t trade him by the deadline, Scotto expects the Spurs to give him that deal so they don’t lose him without getting something in return.
  • Two other Spurs are also in demand, with Scotto viewing one or two second-round picks as the price for Doug McDermott and one second-rounder enough to land Josh Richardson. McDermott is under contract for $13.75MM in 2023/24, while Richardson is headed toward free agency.
  • The Grizzlies are an interesting team to watch if the Raptors decide to part with OG Anunoby, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype adds in the same piece. Memphis owns all its first-round picks, along with a Warriors first-rounder in 2024 that’s top-four protected. Gozlan believes the Grizzlies might offer Danny Green and a young asset like Ziaire Williams in addition to draft capital, although Toronto might insist on Dillon Brooks. Other teams that could get involved in the Anunoby bidding, according to Gozlan, include the Trail Blazers, who reportedly offered the No. 7 pick to Toronto for Anunoby before last year’s draft, along with the Knicks, Kings and Suns.

Spurs, Hornets Expected To Be Among Top Deadline Sellers

The Spurs and Hornets are viewed as two of the NBA’s “assured” sellers in this season’s trade market, Shams Charania of The Athletic writes in his latest Inside Pass column.

In San Antonio, veterans Jakob Poeltl, Doug McDermott, and Josh Richardson are considered the team’s top trade candidates. Poeltl and Richardson are on expiring contracts, while McDermott is under contract for one more season at the same salary he’s earning this year ($13.75MM).

Confirming a previous report indicating that Poeltl is generating significant interest, Charania says the Raptors and Celtics are among the teams that have shown interest in the big man. According to Charania, Poeltl is widely respected within the organization and the Spurs would like him to be part of their long-term future, but they’ll have to take into account his price tag as a free agent and the risk of losing him for nothing this summer.

The Spurs have had a standing extension offer of four years and $58MM (his in-season max) on the table for Poeltl since before the season, per Charania, but the center has passed on that offer and is expected to do much better on the open market. Rival executives believe he could approach $20MM per year on his next deal, Charania adds.

San Antonio will have a ton of cap room available this summer, so it’s not as if the franchise won’t have the means to retain Poeltl. However, there’s a belief among rival teams that the 27-year-old’s desire to play for a contender could be an important factor as he weighs his future, Charania notes.

As for the Hornets, Mason Plumlee, Kelly Oubre, and Jalen McDaniels – all on track for unrestricted free agency in 2023 – are considered candidates to be moved. According to Charania, Charlotte is also expected to listen to inquiries on guard Terry Rozier, even though he’s still under contract for three years beyond this one.

More sellers besides Charlotte and San Antonio figure to emerge in the coming weeks, but for now, only two other teams are with them in the NBA’s cellar, well out of play-in contention. Those teams are the Pistons and Rockets.

Multiple recent reports have suggested that Detroit has set a high asking price for veterans like Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, but the team is believed to be open to conversations. The Raptors, Lakers, Pelicans, Bucks, Cavaliers, and Mavericks are among the clubs that have registered interest in Bogdanovic, league sources tell The Athletic.

As for the Rockets, their roster isn’t exactly loaded with expendable vets. Shooting guard Eric Gordon is the team’s most obvious trade candidate, but Houston is seeking either a good young player or a first-round pick in exchange for Gordon, says Charania.

Cavs Rumors: Bey, Hayward, Love, Ross, Possible Targets

After discussing several possible Cavaliers trade targets on Jake Fischer’s podcast last week, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com expanded on the club’s hunt for a wing in a subscriber-only story on Tuesday, taking a closer look at why Mavericks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. appeals to Cleveland, why the club is reluctant to part with former lottery pick Isaac Okoro, and much more.

Here are a few highlights from Fedor’s story:

  • Pistons forward Saddiq Bey “has some fans” in Cleveland, but there’s still a gap between how the Cavaliers and Pistons value him, writes Fedor, noting that Detroit’s asking price would have to come down significantly for Bey to be a realistic target for the Cavs. That line of thinking applies to a number of other possible trade candidates on the market, including Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.
  • Although Gordon Hayward‘s skill set makes the Hornets forward a logical target for the Cavaliers, his $30MM salary makes him a long shot for Cleveland. Kevin Love ($28.9MM) would likely have to be included in a deal for Hayward, and trading Love isn’t a possibility the team has internally considered, according to Fedor, who has previously reported that there’s mutual interest between the Cavs and Love in continuing their relationship beyond this season.
  • If the Cavaliers liked Magic wing Terrence Ross, they could have acquired him “multiple times” in the past, Fedor writes, implying that the asking price was one Cleveland could have easily met. Fedor said on Fischer’s podcast last week that the Cavs don’t have much interest in Ross.
  • Fedor identifies Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith and Spurs veterans Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson as players worth monitoring in Cleveland’s search for wing help. He adds that the Cavs would have interest in Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson and Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate, but there’s no indication that either player will be available at this season’s trade deadline.

Raptors Notes: Core, Trade Options, Poeltl, Shooting Woes

The Raptors remain high on their core of Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby and believe that quartet is a strong foundation for an elite team, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca.

If the front office is sincere in that belief, it would make sense to aggressively seek out an upgrade on the trade market prior to this season’s deadline to complement those core players, perhaps using a future draft pick or two, Grange argues.

Grange points to Spurs center (and former Raptor) Jakob Poeltl as an ideal target for Toronto, based on his ability to protect the rim on defense and finish at the rim on offense. Poeltl is also on an expiring contract and has full Bird rights, making him a logical option for the Raptors, who want to maintain their cap flexibility while having the ability to invest in a player they like. Given Toronto’s shooting woes, the team could also talk to San Antonio about veteran forward Doug McDermott, Grange notes.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Within his Sportsnet.ca story linked above, Grange says the Raptors are believed to be making calls with “some more urgency than would otherwise be expected from a management group that tries to keep things low key.”
  • The Raptors are one of the NBA’s lowest-ranked teams in terms of both three-pointers per game (25th) and three-point percentage (26th), prompting Eric Koreen of The Athletic to explore what they can do address their shooting woes. While it would help if certain players – like VanVleet, Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. – bumped their three-point rates to their career averages, acquiring another shooter should also be something the team seriously considers, as Koreen outlines.
  • Despite falling below .500 following two ugly losses in Orlando, the Raptors remain optimistic that better days are ahead, writes Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. “We can’t hit the panic button. I know that a lot of people do hit that panic button real quick but (we’re) not doing that,” Siakam said. “… There’s no finger pointing. We’re all in this together. No matter what’s happening, those guys in here, I love them and I want everyone to succeed, I want us to succeed as a team. I think we’ve all got to do it together. Everyone’s in this together and we’ve gotta get out of it together.”
  • In case you missed it, we passed along a series of injury updates on Raptors frontcourt players on Tuesday.

Spurs Rumors: Poeltl, Richardson, McDermott, 15th Man, Wesley

Center Jakob Poeltl is the player that the Spurs have gotten the most trade inquiries about, according to LJ Ellis of SpursTalk, who repeats what he reported last month, writing that the team continues to seek two lightly protected first-round picks in any deal involving the big man.

The Raptors and Warriors are among the teams that have shown the most interest in Poeltl, sources tell Ellis. Toronto has thus far been unwilling to offer a package headlined by more than one moderately protected first-round pick, Ellis writes.

As for a potential fit with Golden State, Ellis hears that the Spurs aren’t especially interested in James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga as the centerpiece of a hypothetical Poeltl trade. According to Ellis, San Antonio likes Moses Moody the most out of the Warriors’ three young prospects, but would want more than just Moody for Poeltl. In other words, Golden State would likely have to be willing to part with future draft assets to have a chance to land the veteran center.

The Spurs’ other trade candidates include Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. Ellis says the club still wants a first-round pick in any deal involving Richardson, while McDermott will likely remain in San Antonio through the trade deadline unless a team offers a first-rounder for him.

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • Having recently signed Alize Johnson to a non-guaranteed contract to provide frontcourt depth following injuries to Poeltl and Jeremy Sochan, the Spurs will likely cut Johnson and sign a perimeter player once their regulars get healthy, sources tell Ellis. Bringing back Jordan Hall is one possibility, and San Antonio has also been doing its homework on former Jazz guard Jared Butler. One longer-shot candidate for that 15th roster spot, according to Ellis, is Isaiah Thomas, who could be a target if the front office feels as if the scoring burden on youngsters like Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell is getting too heavy.
  • Richardson is expected to return to action on Thursday vs. Houston after missing six games due to a right ankle sprain, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. McDermott, out for two games with a sprained right ankle of his own, will also likely be back on Thursday, Orsborn adds (via Twitter).
  • Spurs rookie Blake Wesley, who is recovering from a torn MCL, still has no official timeline for a return, but the club is hoping he’ll be back later this month, according to Orsborn (Twitter link).

Trade Rumors: Collins, Jazz, Clarkson, Fournier, Robinson, More

Many around the NBA thought it was a foregone conclusion that John Collins would be moved ahead of the draft this past summer, and Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that the Hawks power forward was “very nearly” dealt to the Kings in June.

Sources tell Stein that there’s “momentum building on all sides” for Collins to be traded during the 2022/23 season, so his name should be “right at the top of the list” of players most likely to be dealt before the February 9 deadline.

Stein confirms that the Jazz have shown interest in Collins, and that’s a noteworthy pivot for a team that many believed would be tanking and a frontrunner for a top lottery pick after dealing away Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and other veterans.

Speaking of Utah, a rival executive tells Stein that he thinks the Jazz are more likely to extend Jordan Clarkson‘s contract than trade him. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype hears similarly, saying there’s “palpable buzz” about a potential Clarkson extension.

Here are a few more trade rumors from Scotto, who takes a look at the top trade candidates for each NBA team:

  • The Knicks are reluctant to part with a first-round pick to move off Evan Fournier‘s contract, sources tell Scotto. Fournier has fallen out of New York’s rotation after a prolonged shooting slump and is owed $18MM this season and $18.9MM in 2023/24. In addition to Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley, rival executives also believe that second-year guard Miles McBride is available due to the team’s backcourt logjam, per Scotto.
  • The Heat have made Duncan Robinson available in trade talks, sources tell Scotto. That’s hardly surprising since Robinson, like Fournier, has struggled and fallen out of the rotation at times in ’22/23. The problem is Miami would almost certainly have to attach assets to deal Robinson, who is owed $57.5MM over the next three seasons, and it remains to be seen whether the Heat are willing to do so.
  • Echoing a previous report, Scotto writes that the Lakers were trying to offload Russell Westbrook to the Spurs for Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson before the season started. While LJ Ellis of SpursTalk.com stated that the Lakers were only willing to attach two second-round picks to Westbrook’s enormous expiring contract, Scotto hears the Lakers offered a lottery-protected first-rounder and the Spurs wanted that pick to be unprotected, which caused the talks to stall.
  • Center Nerlens Noel is not expected to finish the ’22/23 season with the Pistons, according to Scotto. It’s unclear if Scotto means he’ll be bought out at some point or moved in a trade, since Noel’s $9.2MM contract doesn’t have positive value given how many injuries he’s dealt with the past couple seasons.