Evan Turner

Western Notes: Conley, Turner, Howard, Suns

After a long, successful run with the Grizzlies, Mike Conley was viewed heading into this season as the player who was going to help turn the Jazz from a solid playoff team into a bona fide contender. However, it has been an up-and-down first season in Utah for Conley, who is averaging just 13.5 PPG on 39.8% shooting.

Speaking to Tony Jones of The Athletic, Conley admitted he hasn’t been able to entirely block out the criticism he has faced this season, and that he understands that criticism.

“Nobody is more frustrated than me,” Conley said. “Not the fans, not the media, not my teammates. I’m not a guy who runs from looking in the mirror. But, at this point, I have to control what I can control. I have to stay locked in. I have to focus on what I can handle. I know what’s being said. But in a big way, it’s not in my control what people may think.”

As Conley gears up for the home stretch and looks to become a consistent, reliable contributor for the Jazz, let’s round up a few more notes from around the Western Conference…

  • The Timberwolves and Evan Turner “came close” to reaching a buyout agreement by Sunday night, but couldn’t finalize a deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of SKOR North. According to Wolfson, Turner would still like to play this season, but that seems unlikely to happen with the Wolves, who are prioritizing the players they expect to be longer-term pieces.
  • Discussing Dwight Howard‘s initial stint with the Lakers, team owner Jeanie Buss singled out former Lakers – and current Rockets – head coach Mike D’Antoni as a reason why the veteran center didn’t succeed and chose to leave in free agency. “We hired a coach that didn’t respect his game and wasn’t going to put him in a position to succeed,” Buss said (video link via The Los Angeles Times).
  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic examines how Jordan McRae could fit with the Suns this season and potentially beyond. Phoenix reportedly intends to place a waiver claim on McRae, but there’s a possibility Detroit will do so as well, and the Pistons would have the higher priority.
  • NBA fans interested in the league’s salary cap minutiae will enjoy Jeff Siegel’s latest article at Early Bird Rights, which details the unusual case of the Kings‘ buyout agreement with Anthony Tolliver and explains why it could indirectly cost the Trail Blazers a little money.

Latest On Evan Turner, Wolves Buyout Talks

Evan Turner is still weighing the idea of a buyout, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. The wing was reportedly in buyout talks with the Timberwolves earlier this month but it has been quiet on that front until now.

Turner, who was scheduled to work out for the Clippers earlier this month, would be open to a reunion with the Celtics, Deveney hears. The former No. 2 overall pick spent two seasons in Boston, starting in 163 games for the club.

The Hawks traded for Turner during the offseason, hoping to use him as a backup point guard to starter Trae Young. That didn’t exactly work out and the team shipped him to Minnesota in its deal for Clint Capela.

The 31-year-old Chicago native has played for five teams in his career, as he has suited up for the Sixers, Pacers, and Blazers in addition to the Celtics and Hawks.

Evan Turner To Work Out For Clippers

New Timberwolves swingman Evan Turner is scheduled to work out for the Clippers, with a buyout apparently in progress from Minnesota, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

After being moved from the Hawks to Minnesota at the trade deadline, there were strong overtures that Turner was not long for the Timberwolves when he did not appear at a team press conference celebrating the rest of the team’s new additions.

The 6’6″ Turner was a multi-positional ball-handling bench cog for playoff teams in Boston and Portland before being traded to the Hawks in the final year of a four-year, $70MM contract he inked in 2016. The Athletic’s John Hollinger notes (Twitter link) that buying out Turner’s final year, during which is earning $18.6MM, could save significant luxury tax coin for the Timberwolves.

The former No. 2 draft pick appeared in just 19 games for Atlanta this season, averaging only 13.2 minutes per contest, as the Hawks prioritized developing their youth. He could abet the Clippers as yet another skilled passing wing.

Timberwolves, Evan Turner Discussing Possible Buyout

After overhauling their roster at the trade deadline, the Timberwolves held a massive press conference today to officially introduce their new players. Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt, Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans, James Johnson, and – of course – D’Angelo Russell were are all in attendance.

However, one new Timberwolf was absent: Evan Turner. Acquired for salary-matching purposes in Minnesota’s Robert Covington trade, Turner may not be on the roster for long.

According to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North (Twitter links), Turner was in town this afternoon, but is leaving today before the Timberwolves host the Clippers on Saturday. Wolfson notes that talks were ongoing between Minnesota’s front office and Turner’s representation, with Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic confirming (via Twitter) that the two sides are discussing a possible buyout.

While nothing is done yet, Turner would like the opportunity to join a contender, so he and the Wolves are exploring their options, says Krawczynski.

If he sticks around, Turner could provide short-term ball-handling help for a Timberwolves team that has traded away point guards Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier in recent weeks. However, he’s in the final season of a four-year contract and isn’t in Minnesota’s long-term plans, so it makes sense that the Wolves would be open to ending that contract early.

A report earlier this week indicated that Turner would likely generate interest if he reaches free agency. The Celtics – his old team – were among the clubs named as potential suitors.

Wolves, Hawks, Rockets, Nuggets Complete Four-Team Trade

FEBRUARY 5: The trade is now official, with Twitter announcements from the RocketsTimberwolves and Nuggets confirming the deal. Atlanta also formally waived Chandler Parsons to accommodate the trade, as detailed earlier.

FEBRUARY 4: The Timberwolves, Hawks, Rockets, and Nuggets are in agreement on a massive four-team trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that the four clubs were close to reaching a deal, while Woj says (via Twitter) the players involved are now being informed.

According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), Charania (Twitter links), Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), and Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link), the trade looks like this:

There have been rumors for the last several days suggesting that a trade like this one could be in play. An earlier variation had the Warriors in Denver’s place, with the Wolves pursuing D’Angelo Russell, but Golden State backed off those talks earlier on Tuesday, leaving Minnesota, Houston, and Atlanta to work out a new agreement.

Let’s break down how the deal will impact each team…

Houston Rockets:

Daryl Morey‘s group has long been on the lookout for an upgrade on the wing, and they’ll get their man in Covington, a three-and-D specialist who is on a team-friendly contract that’s worth $11.3MM this season and runs through 2021/22.

The Rockets gave up two valuable assets in Capela and their 2020 first-round pick to bring in Covington, Bell, and a second-round pick. By moving Nene and Green in the deal, the team will also move well below the luxury-tax line, which would be a favorable outcome for ownership — while Tilman Fertitta has claimed to have signed off on the club being a taxpayer, it looks like this could be the second straight season that the Rockets sneak out of the tax at the deadline.

On the other hand, as Wojnarowski points out (via Twitter), the structure of the deal would allow Houston to take back up to another $12MM in salary. So until the trade is made official, there’s a window for the Rockets to potentially expand it even further to include another team and player, assuming they find a suitable target, agree on compensation, and are willing to go back into the tax. That won’t be easy, however.

While Bell could play some minutes at the five, the Rockets will remain on the lookout for a more reliable replacement for Capela, either via a trade or on the buyout market, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Houston’s go-to lineup will feature P.J. Tucker at center, but the team still wants a more traditional big to match up with star bigs in the playoffs, notes Tim MacMahon of ESPN (via Twitter).

MacMahon also adds (via Twitter) that Green, who is likely out for the season with a broken foot, had the ability to veto his inclusion in this trade, but won’t do so.

The move will reduce the Rockets’ roster count to 13 players on standard contracts, so the team will have two weeks to get back up to the NBA’s required minimum of 14 players.

Denver Nuggets:

The Nuggets were said to be seeking a first-round pick for Beasley and a second-round pick for Hernangomez, their two restricted-free-agents-to-be. They won’t quite meet that asking price, but they’ll at least get the first-rounder they were looking for, acquiring Houston’s 2020 pick in the deal.

In addition to sending out Beasley and Hernangomez, Denver also moved Vanderbilt and will bring back four players: Green, Bates-Diop, Napier, and Vonleh. The team had an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no one will have to be waived, though MacMahon reports (via Twitter) that Green is expected to be cut after the trade is official, once again opening up that last roster spot.

As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski observes (via Twitter), Napier and Vonleh are capable of playing rotation minutes and providing depth off the bench for the Nuggets. Bates-Diop will probably be further down on the depth chart. Napier and Vonleh will be unrestricted free agents at season’s end, while KBD has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2020/21.

Having previously traded away their own 2020 first-round selection for Jerami Grant, the Nuggets can get back into this year’s draft with Houston’s first-rounder. Of course, with Wojnarowski suggesting Denver will continue to be active before Thursday’s deadline, that pick could theoretically be flipped in another move.

Atlanta Hawks:

The Hawks have been linked to several centers over the course of the season, reportedly expressing interest in Andre Drummond, Steven Adams, and Dewayne Dedmon, among others. In recent days, the club appeared to be zeroing in on Capela, a big man whose rim-running ability will complement Trae Young on offense and whose rim-protecting ability could help bail out Young on defense.

Atlanta will surrender Turner’s expiring contract, Brooklyn’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, and an extra future second-round pick in order to lock up Capela. The move will give the Hawks some cost certainty in the middle — Capela, who has a $14.9MM cap hit in 2019/20, has three more years and about $51.3MM left on his contract after this season. He won’t be eligible for free agency until the summer of 2023.

Acquiring a center now rather than waiting until the summer and trying to land one in free agency will give the Hawks the opportunity to evaluate how Capela looks next to big man John Collins. A heel injury is currently nagging Capela, but it’s not believed to be an issue that jeopardizes the rest of his season.

A 2017 first-round pick, Collins will be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason. If he meshes with Capela down the stretch, Atlanta would likely be more willing to invest heavily long-term in Collins, who is expected to seek the max or something close to it.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the Hawks are currently carrying 15 players, so they’ll have to waive or trade someone in order to take back both Capela and Nene for Turner, even if they intend to eventually release Nene.

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Although the Timberwolves probably would have preferred to get the Warriors involved in this deal to acquire Russell, they’ll get a handful of intriguing assets in exchange for Covington and several low-cost role players (Bell, Bates-Diop, Napier, and Vonleh).

Beasley and Hernangomez will both be eligible for restricted free agency this summer, which will give the Wolves the chance to match any offer sheet they sign. Neither player had been great this season in Denver, as a crowded depth chart pushed them out of the rotation at times, but they both had solid seasons in 2018/19.

Beasley averaged 11.3 PPG with a .474/.402/.848 shooting line in 81 games (23.2 MPG) a year ago, while Hernangomez averaged 5.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG on .439/.365/.767 shooting in 70 games (19.4 MPG). The Nuggets explored contract extensions last fall with both players, reportedly offering Beasley $30MM over three years, but they didn’t reach a deal with either one. Now the Wolves will have the opportunity to evaluate them during the season’s final two months and decide whether they’re part of the franchise’s long-term plans.

In addition to acquiring those two Denver players – and a little-used project in Vanderbilt – the Timberwolves take on Turner’s $18.6MM expiring contract, generating some extra cap flexibility for the 2020 offseason by moving off Covington’s guaranteed money. They also secured Brooklyn’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, which could end up at No. 15 or 16 if the Nets hang onto a playoff spot this spring.

This move doesn’t necessarily affect the Wolves’ plans to revisit a Russell trade with the Warriors, though like Allen Crabbe, Turner can’t be aggregated with another player in a deadline deal to match D-Lo’s salary. That Brooklyn first-round pick figures to be one of the assets Minnesota dangles in any offer for Russell.

Like Houston, Minnesota will have two openings on its 15-man roster once this trade is finalized, and will have up to two weeks to get back up to 14 players, the league’s required minimum.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Evan Turner Would Draw Interest If Bought Out

One of four players headed to Minnesota in the Timberwolvesfour-team trade with Denver, Houston, and Atlanta, Evan Turner looks like a potential candidate to reach free agency in the coming weeks. Sean Deveney of Heavy.com suggests the Wolves are likely to buy out Turner in the coming days if his $18.6MM expiring contract can’t be used in another deadline deal.

Still, it’s not a lock yet that Turner won’t suit up for his new team. Darren Wolfson of SKOR North suggested this morning (via Twitter) that his early sense is that the veteran guard will stick around and play for the Wolves for now. Wolfson later noted (via Twitter) that Minnesota could take a few weeks to make a final decision, since the deadline to waive Turner and allow him retain his playoff eligibility is March 1.

Agent Kevin Bradbury said in a statement to Wolfson that no decisions have been made yet on Turner’s status.

“We’re working through all the options with G.R. (Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas) right now,” Bradbury wrote in a text message. “They have been professional and upfront with everything. Evan is a 10-year vet who has a lot of basketball left in him and understands this is a business. We’re open to working with (Rosas) to help everyone accomplish their goals.”

At least in the short term, Turner’s veteran experience and his ball-handling ability could help a Timberwolves team that’s undergoing some major changes and has now moved both of its top two point guards (Shabazz Napier and Jeff Teague) in in-season deals. However, he’s probably not in the organization’s plans beyond this season and may appreciate the opportunity to join a contender sooner rather than later.

If Turner eventually gets a buyout, multiple teams are expected to have interest in him, league sources tell Deveney. The Celtics – who may be looking for some bench scoring – and the Heat would likely be among the teams with interest, Deveney adds. For what it’s worth, Miami is right up against a hard cap and would have to move a little salary to sign a veteran like Turner.

Wolves At Impasse With Warriors In D-Lo Talks

The Warriors are moving on from conversations with the Timberwolves about a D’Angelo Russell trade for now, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). As Charania explains, Golden State has been firm in its asking price for Russell, and Minnesota has been unwilling to meet that price to this point.

The Warriors and Timberwolves exchanged trade concepts throughout the day, but a significant gap remains, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that Golden State is exploring deals that would help them shed salary and acquire draft assets. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the impasse between the two teams can be attributed in large part to a disagreement over draft compensation.

O’Connor reports that the Timberwolves are offering their own protected 2020 first-round pick as well as Brooklyn’s lottery-protected 2020 first-rounder, which would be acquired as part of a multi-team trade sending Robert Covington to Houston and Clint Capela to Atlanta. However, the Warriors prefer future first-round picks, including Minnesota’s unprotected 2021 first-rounder, according to O’Connor, who notes that the 2020 draft isn’t considered a particularly strong one.

Interestingly, multiple league sources told O’Connor that Andrew Wiggins was part of “every iteration” of the potential swap being discussed by the Wolves and Warriors.

Although the Warriors are no longer actively involved in trade talks with the Wolves, Hawks, and Rockets, those three teams continue to engage, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter). In fact, Charania reports (via Twitter) that those discussions are becoming serious.

Minnesota, Atlanta, and Houston are still exploring a trade that would send Covington to the Rockets, Capela to the Hawks, and Evan Turner‘s expiring contract and draft compensation to Minnesota, per Charania, who says that a new fourth team could emerge to round out the deal. The Nuggets are among the candidates to become that fourth team, tweets Wojnarowski, though he cautions that the situation is fluid and talks with other teams are ongoing.

With Denver looming as a potential fourth team, it’s worth noting that the Wolves have eyes for Malik Beasley, according to our Chris Crouse. Minnesota also has interest in Gary Harris, a source tells Crouse. If the Nuggets deal Harris, it would give them some extra financial flexibility to work out a deal with Beasley, who is a restricted free agent after the season.

There are a ton of moving parts involved in these discussions, so we’ll have to wait to see what’s next. D-Lo remains Minnesota’s top priority, so if the Wolves, Hawks, and Rockets end up completing a three-team trade involving Covington and Capela, Gersson Rosas‘ group could hang onto the assets it gets in that deal and attempt to re-open Russell talks with Golden State closer to the deadline or even in the offseason.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Latest On Wolves’ Multi-Team D’Angelo Russell Trade Talks

As multiple reports have indicated, the Timberwolves have been making an effort to orchestrate multi-team trade talks involving the Warriors, Rockets, and Hawks that would help them land point guard D’Angelo Russell.

The basic goal of such a four-team deal would be get a center (Clint Capela) to Atlanta, a wing (Robert Covington) to Houston, Russell to Minnesota, and various assets to Golden State. However, according to those previous reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Minnesota and Golden State haven’t been able to find common ground on a package for Russell.

The Timberwolves may need to give the Warriors flexibility on which year(s) they’d prefer to get draft picks, league sources tell Wojnarowski.

Multi-team trades aren’t easy to complete, so this mega-trade is certainly no lock to get done. But it also doesn’t appear as if the clubs involved have given up yet. Here are the latest updates on these four-team discussions:

  • Within his report, Wojnarowski suggests that Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins would almost certainly have to be included in any trade involving Russell for financial reasons, and our Chris Crouse confirms (via Twitter) that Wiggins has been discussed as part of a potential deal.
  • According to Jabari Young of CNBC (Twitter link), Hawks swingman Evan Turner – who has a pricey expiring contract – and Warriors center Kevon Looney are among the other players whose names have come up as parts of this potential trade.
  • The Hawks, Timberwolves, and Warriors are talking about what draft picks (and possible protections) would be involved in the trade, according to Young (Twitter link). The Rockets aren’t involved in that aspect of the deal and would presumably just receive Covington and a center, Young adds.
  • Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) hears that the Rockets like Looney as a potential option to replace Capela in the middle if they can land a three-and-D upgrade such as Covington.
  • According to John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link), a four-team, seven-player trade that includes Wiggins, Russell, Covington, Capela, Looney, Turner, and Nene could get both the Warriors and Rockets out of the tax. Wojnarowksi has suggested that the Warriors are interested in shedding some salary — they’d avoid repeater penalties if they sneak below the tax line this year.

Evan Turner Talks Hawks, Possibility Of Buyout, More

Since he told reporters on January 4 that the Hawks would be making him and Chandler Parsons inactive going forward, Evan Turner hasn’t played a single minute for Atlanta. The Hawks have focused on their youth movement, which has essentially made Turner an afterthought — unless his expiring $18.6MM salary can be used in a trade that nets the club a future asset.

It’s a new experience for Turner, a former No. 2 overall pick who has appeared in more than 700 career regular season games and had never averaged fewer than 22 minutes per contest entering this season. Still, he tells Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, he understands the Hawks’ position and is remaining positive even as his role has disappeared.

As Turner continues to work out and stay in game shape in the hopes of eventually getting an opportunity to return to the court in Atlanta or elsewhere, the 31-year-old spoke to Kirschner about his experience with the Hawks this season, whether or not he’ll seek a buyout next month, and his outlook on the team’s future.

Here are a few highlights from the discussion, which is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber:

On why he thinks things didn’t work out after the Hawks brought him in to be Trae Young‘s backup:

“I’ve been injured some, and being Trae’s backup means he’s averaging 36 (minutes) per game, so what would I be playing? Like three minutes at a time? That’s not like any type of diss or anything like that. If you don’t know the conversation we’re having, you get a bitter individual. That’s not the case. You say Trae’s backup, and that’s 12 minutes, maybe. I also understand that it’s about development. Like Brandon (Goodwin), he’s gotten a great opportunity to continue to vibe in this league, and I’m excited for him for that.”

On how long it took him to accept his role – or lack thereof – in Atlanta:

“To be completely honest, when we started the season, you could see that we had already broken down, and we’re rebuilding, rebuilding. You see signs pointing toward it. I try not to dwell on that stuff. I do my best to try to control what I can control. When it comes down to it, the one thing I try not to do, as a man, is I don’t like the front-running s–t. ‘When s–t is going well for me, I’m happy, and when it’s not going well for me, I’m b—hing.’ Nah. For me personally, there’s never been a moment where I’ve been like that.”

On whether he might seek a buyout in search of a new opportunity next month:

“You just walk out and say, ‘Look, bruh, this little buyout means I’m going to get all my bread, right?’ If he says no, you say, ‘Well, you might as well learn my favorite color.’ You let your agent worry about that stuff, though. I think (GM) Travis (Schlenk) is a classy dude. I’ve never gotten the sense from him where he’s not going to be honest or do you right. I don’t think it’s going to be too much of a haggle. I’m not saying he owes me anything, and I don’t owe him anything, but I just think I’ve never gotten the sense from him where we’ll be arguing over a few pennies. I’m not going to worry about that, and wherever it takes me, it’s all good. It’s all going to be OK.”

On the Hawks’ long-term potential:

“I think the biggest thing is if they have established roles and figure it out, I think we could be dangerous. These aren’t little kids. You have a guy like De’Andre (Hunter), who’s 6’8″ and like 220 (pounds). You have a kid like Cam (Reddish), who’s had up and down moments but when he gets going, he has All-Star written on him. … You have dudes like Trae, who can do what we needs to do and is a possible All-Star this season. John Collins is going to be legit. I think if they turn the right corner, they have pieces you can trade for. I think they’re going to be OK.”

Hawks May Shut Down Turner, Parsons For Foreseeable Future

Veteran Hawks guard Evan Turner said today that Atlanta brass told him and his fellow graybeard, forward Chandler Parsons, that they will be inactive going forward while the 7-28 Hawks look to develop their youth, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Washburn considers Turner, on an expiring $18.6MM contract, a viable candidate for a buyout. Turner thrived as a bench off-guard for the Trail Blazers from the 2016/17 season through the 2018/19 season, and could provide a similar function for a high-level contender. He has only appeared in 18 games for Atlanta.

Parsons, however, has struggled to stay on the court since signing a four-year, $94MM deal with the Grizzlies in 2016. Injuries have limited the 31-year-old Florida alum to appearing in just 100 of a possible 363 games for Memphis and the Hawks. He may have very limited value to any team going forward, except as a big contract to make a transaction work. Parsons is earning $25.1MM this season, but has played in just five games.

As Dana Gauruder has noted previously on Hoops Rumors, both Hawks players’ expiring contracts number among options that could be thrown in to help complete a deal for a player on a large contract. Andre Drummond of the Pistons, currently making $27.1MM in the final guaranteed year of his contract, has been floated as a possible trade target for Atlanta. Drummond has a $28.8MM player option for the 2020/21 season.