Gary Trent Jr.

Cavaliers Rumors: Sexton, LeVert, Trade Targets, More

Chris Fedor of recently spoke to Michael Scotto about a number of Cavaliers-related topics for the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast.

Guard Collin Sexton, whose season ended prematurely after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee just 11 games into the season, will be an interesting player to watch this summer. Sexton will be a restricted free agent once Cleveland tenders him a $7,228,449 qualifying offer. As a restricted free agent, the Cavs will have the ability to match any offer sheet for the 23-year-old, and since he’s coming off an injury and not many teams will have cap space to spend on free agents, a reunion seems likely.

When the Cavs were discussing a rookie scale extension with Sexton’s representatives last summer, the two sides floated a contract similar to the one Bogdan Bogdanovic received from Atlanta, which was four years and $72MM (with a player option in the final season), sources tell Fedor. However, he hears that the Cavs value Sexton in the $15-18MM per year range, while Sexton is seeking something closer to $18-22MM annually.

Although Sexton has undoubtedly been productive on the offense end, averaging 24.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 4.4 APG on .475/.371/.815 shooting in 2020/21, Fedor notes that there were questions about Sexton’s fit entering ’21/22, and his injury and the team’s success without him didn’t help his case. Given that he’s a 6’1″ shooting guard and a subpar defender, some teams view the former No. 8 pick as more of a sixth man than a starter, which could hurt his leverage in contract negotiations.

Scotto wonders if the Knicks or Wizards might be interested in Sexton, noting that both teams are looking for guards, but neither team has cap space. As Fedor previously reported, he hears that Cleveland has been curious if the Pistons might pursue Sexton, but sources tell Fedor that the Cavaliers don’t believe any team will end up offering him $20MM+ per season.

Here’s more from Scotto and Fedor:

  • Both the Cavs and Caris LeVert have expressed interest in reaching an extension this summer, and league executives tell Scotto that a shorter deal in the $19-21MM range might make sense for both sides. However, as Fedor observes, LeVert will be on an expiring $18.8MM contract in ’22/23, so if the Cavs don’t like the types of numbers Levert’s agents are throwing out, they could just wait it out and perhaps use him as trade bait next season.
  • Kevin Love improved his trade stock after a bounce-back, healthy season, and both Scotto and Fedor believe that his $28.9MM contract could be used as a trade chip if the team opts to pursue higher-paid veterans.
  • Noting Cleveland needs two-way wing scorers and a solid backup point guard for Darius Garland, Fedor hears the Cavs are interested in a number of veterans as potential trade targets: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris, Harrison Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Jerami Grant, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, and Mike Conley.
  • Although there’s mutual interest in a reunion with Ricky Rubio, Fedor says money could become an obstacle to a deal being completed. Rubio is likely to miss at least a portion of next season after suffering a second torn ACL in his left knee in December, and using the mid-level exception to sign him would reduce the club’s flexibility while still leaving a hole on the roster until he returns.
  • Sources tell Fedor that if a deal with Rubio doesn’t come to fruition, the Cavs would be very open to using their full mid-level to sign Grizzlies backup point guard Tyus Jones, assuming Memphis lets him walk in free agency and he’s unable to get more money elsewhere. Other guards Cleveland might look into in free agency are Delon Wright, Goran Dragic, and Raul Neto. If the Cavs pivot to a wing/forward, Kyle Anderson, Jeremy Lamb, and T.J. Warren are possibilities, according to Fedor.
  • For potential draft candidates with the No. 14 pick, Fedor hears the Cavs are fans of Malaki Branham, Johnny Davis, Bennedict Mathurin, Tari Eason, TyTy Washington, and Jeremy Sochan. Those players range from Nos. 9-18 on ESPN’s big board, so some might not be available at 14.

Scottie Barnes Returning For Game 4

12:25pm: Scottie Barnes will play in Game 4 against the Sixers on Sunday, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link).

11:52am: After expressing some doubt that standout Raptors rookie forward Scottie Barnes would be available for Toronto during a must-win Game 4, head coach Nick Nurse was singing a different tune today. Nurse said that Barnes was running throughout conditioning tests and could “possibly” return to the floor for the Raptors today, per Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice (Twitter link).

The 6’9″ first-year forward out of Florida State suffered a left ankle sprain during Game 1 of the team’s first-round series against the Sixers, and has been sidelined ever since. Missing Barnes and his 15.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 3.5 APG has been a huge blow for the Raptors. Philadelphia leads Toronto 3-0, and can eliminate the Raptors with a victory today.

Nurse is calling Barnes a game-time decision to return, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN (via Twitter). Bontemps reveals that Barnes was somewhat involved in the team’s practice yesterday. He had his status upgraded from “doubtful” to “questionable” on the Raptors’ newest injury report, per Blake Murphy of Sportsnet (Twitter link). Barnes is the only player listed on Toronto’s injury report at all today.

“It wasn’t too serious,” Nurse said of the ankle injury, per Josh Lewenberg of (via Twitter). Lewenberg reports that Nurse does not think Barnes will be under any sort of minutes cap, should he indeed become available.

In more good news for the Raptors, starting shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. has also recovered from the non-coronavirus illness that had limited his efficacy through the series’s first three contests. Nurse said Trent “seems to be all the way through” his ailment, tweets Murphy.

Trent scored a total of nine points through Toronto’s first two games, a far cry from his regular season average of 18.3 PPG. He looked more like his normal self on Wednesday for Game 3, scoring 24 points during the team’s 104-101 overtime loss to the Sixers.

Injury Notes: Doncic, Trent, Barnes, Capela

After Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that there was optimism about Luka Doncic returning from his left calf strain as early as Game 3, the Mavericks star increased his activity at Wednesday’s practice, as veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein tweets.

Following that practice, Doncic spoke to the media for the first time during the playoffs and said he’s “feeling good,” per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). However, he wasn’t prepared to say he’ll be active for Game 3 in Utah on Thursday.

Doncic told reporters that a risk of aggravating the injury will be something he and the Mavs have to consider as they map out his return (Twitter links via MacMahon).

I don’t know if I’m going to be 100 percent. I think that’s tough right now,” Doncic said. “But if I’m ready and there’s no risk of (aggravating the) injury, I’ll be out there.”

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Raptors swingman Gary Trent Jr. (non-COVID illness) was initially listed as questionable for Game 3 on Wednesday vs. Philadelphia, but he’ll play and start, tweets Josh Lewenberg of The team will see how Trent feels in the first quarter before making a decision on how much he’ll play tonight, says Lewenberg.
  • Raptors forward Scottie Barnes, meanwhile, continues to be listed as doubtful for Game 3 due to a left ankle sprain, but the rookie is out of his walking boot, and head coach Nick Nurse didn’t rule out the possibility that he could play on Wednesday, per Lewenberg (Twitter links).
  • Providing an update on Clint Capela on Tuesday, Hawks head coach Nate McMillan said the injured big man remains limited to physical rehab work for now, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). As Spencer relays, Capela – who is recovering from a hyperextended right knee – was seen doing some light on-court work prior to Tuesday’s game (all video links).
  • In case you missed it, we passed along the latest news on Devin Booker (hamstring) and Ben Simmons (back) earlier today.

Injury Updates: Simmons, Barnes, Trent, Collins

Nets guard Ben Simmons, who continues to recover from a back issue, took contact for the first time on Monday and participated in a 4-on-4 scrimmage, head coach Steve Nash told reporters on Tuesday (link via Steve Popper of Newsday).

“Yesterday was his first day of contact, played with some teammates yesterday,” Nash said. “He’s making progress, but there’s no real update. We’ll just see how he responds and see if he’s able to do more contact tomorrow.”

It’s another positive update for Simmons after ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Shams Charania of The Athletic both referred to him on Monday as “pain-free,” per NetsDaily. The three-time All-Star has been ruled out for Game 2, but it remains possible that he could make his Nets debut later in the first round. A pair of reports last week indicated that Simmons was targeting a return between Games 4 and 6.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • The Raptors have listed forward Scottie Barnes (ankle) as doubtful for Game 3 on Wednesday, while swingman Gary Trent Jr. (non-COVID illness) has been deemed questionable, tweets Blake Murphy of
  • Hawks big man John Collins is still experiencing pain in his finger and acknowledges he isn’t “at peak physical conditioning,” but he’s hoping to take on a bigger role in Game 2 after playing 21 minutes in his return on Sunday in Game 1, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I feel like I’m as good as I can be right now,” Collins said. “Trying to take all the precautions and all the treatments. Only thing I can do. Obviously, I’m still in some pain. But I feel like everybody’s in some type of pain this time of year, at some point. Mine might be a little bit more than normal, but I’m still trying to do what I can.”
  • In case you missed it, there’s optimism that Mavericks star Luka Doncic will be able to return in Game 3 or Game 4 vs. Utah.

Raptors’ Scottie Barnes Out For Game 2

Raptors forward Scottie Barnes, who was officially diagnosed on Sunday with a left ankle sprain after leaving Game 1 on Saturday due to the injury, has been ruled out for Game 2 on Monday, head coach Nick Nurse told reporters, including Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link).

Barnes was wearing a walking boot on his left foot today, tweets Josh Lewenberg of The Rookie of the Year finalist told reporters that he’s feeling better each day and is staying positive, but is unsure about when he might be able to return, per Lewenberg and Bontemps (Twitter link).

Losing Barnes is a major blow to a Raptors team that was defeated soundly by the Sixers in Game 1. No Raptor logged more minutes during the regular season than the No. 4 overall pick, who had an impressive playoff debut with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in 32 minutes before Joel Embiid stepped on his foot, ending his night.

While Barnes has been definitively ruled out for Game 2, the Raptors are still considering Gary Trent Jr. and Thaddeus Young doubtful, tweets Bontemps. Young and the training staff are working to see if he’ll be able to play through a thumb sprain, while Trent missed Monday’s shootaround due to a non-COVID illness.

As Lewenberg tweets, if one of Trent or Young is going to play tonight, it sounds more likely to be Young, but Toronto may be without both of them in addition to missing Barnes.

Raptors’ Barnes, Young, Trent Unlikely To Play In Game 2

3:20pm: The Raptors have confirmed in a press statement that Barnes, Trent and Young are all doubtful to play in a critical Game 2 against the Sixers on Monday.

The club has indicated that Barnes officially has been diagnosed with a left ankle sprain, while the official diagnosis for Young is a left thumb hyperextension.

12:55pm: Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said today that rookie forward Scottie Barnes, veteran forward Thaddeus Young, and starting shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. are doubtful to suit up in Toronto’s second game of its first round series vs. the Sixers on Monday, reports Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

According to Bontemps, Nurse indicated that all three Raptors players will be monitored over the course of the next day.

“I mean, listen, it doesn’t look good for any of those guys,” Nurse said after a team practice Sunday. “They’re all going to be listed as probably doubtful, so it doesn’t look good for any of them. We’ll evaluate them as we go and see where we end up.”

Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports reports (via Twitter) that Trent left the club’s practice Sunday as he deals with an illness. Nurse revealed that the ailment, a non-coronavirus illness, has kept Trent’s attendance in practice erratic.

Barnes, who tweaked the ankle during the Raptors’ 131-111 Game 1 loss to the Sixers on Sunday, is undergoing an MRI on the ankle. Young, dealing with a left thumb sprain, already got an MRI of his own and is currently waiting on the results.

Losing Barnes and Trent, both of whom started for Toronto Saturday, would be a big blow for the fifth-seeded Raptors, already the underdogs in the series. Young played for six minutes yesterday as a reserve.

The 6’9″ Barnes, a first-year player out of Florida State, is a finalist for Rookie of the Year hardware this season. Across his 74 contests for the 48-34 Raptors, the 20-year-old is averaging 15.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 3.5 APG, while shooting 49.2% from the field and connecting on 73.5% of his free-throw looks.

Raptors Notes: Playoffs, VanVleet, Trent Jr., Lowry

Following Cleveland’s loss to Orlando, the Raptors beat the Hawks by a score of 118-108 on Tuesday night, clinching a playoff berth as a top-six seed in the East, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. After the game, coach Nick Nurse indicated he would rest Fred VanVleet, who’s been hampered by a sore right knee since before the All-Star break.

He obviously is not 100 percent but he’s lacing them up and giving everything he’s got…I give him a lot of credit,” Nurse said (Twitter link via Michael Grange of Sportsnet).

Nurse also suggested he’d rest other banged-up players in the final three games, Grange tweets. As Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports observes (via Twitter), one additional benefit of making the playoffs outright is the team will get an extra six days rest between the final regular season game and its first playoff game, which could be crucial for injured players like VanVleet and OG Anunoby (quad), among others.

Here’s more on Toronto:

  • The Bulls fell to the Bucks on Tuesday, so the Raptors hold a one-game lead for the No. 5 seed in the East. Both teams have three games remaining, but the Bulls hold the tiebreaker due to a better head-to-head record. Toronto closes its schedule with games against the Sixers, Rockets and Knicks, while Chicago faces the Celtics, Hornets and Wolves, per Lewenberg (Twitter link).
  • Gary Trent Jr. earned a couple of $75K bonuses recently — one for the team winning 45 games, and another for making the playoffs, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. If the Raptors finish as a top-five seed, Trent will earn another $75K bonus.
  • Toronto’s roster is undeniably influenced by Kyle Lowry, according to Lewenberg. Eric Koreen of The Athletic makes a similar point, stating that the team has been constructed in the spirit of Lowry. “They play hard every night,” Lowry said before Sunday’s game, his first in Toronto as a member of the Heat. “They’re all over the place. They scramble. They’re athletic. They help each other very well. They don’t give up much. They remind me a lot of just the team that, when we were down 15 in the fourth quarter, we find ways to win games, scrap and claw and find a way, and fight to win a game. That’s what these guys do. There’s never a moment where they just don’t feel like they can’t win the game.”

Injury Notes: N. Powell, LeBron, Suggs, Raptors

Appearing on TNT during Tuesday’s broadcast of the Clippers/Nuggets game, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports provided a positive update on Norman Powell‘s recovery from a fractured left foot (video link via Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints).

“Norm Powell, sources tell me, is itching to get back out there and is expected to return at some point before the end of the regular season,” Haynes said.

Responding to the report, Powell seemed to take exception to Haynes’ assessment of his situation, tweeting, What sources? Is saying how I feel? It’s either from me or fake news. Chill with the sources talk. Smh.”

It’s unclear what part of Haynes’ report Powell was objecting to — presumably, the veteran swingman is doing all he can to make it back on the court before the Clippers participate in the Western Conference play-in tournament next month.

Here are a few more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Lakers star LeBron James has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game vs. Philadelphia due to left knee soreness, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Since Los Angeles doesn’t play again until Sunday, holding James out tonight will give him nearly a full week to rest his knee, which has bothered him for much of the season.
  • Magic guard Jalen Suggs has missed four straight games due to a right ankle bone bruise, but the team isn’t shutting him down for the rest of the season, head coach Jamahl Mosley said on Tuesday, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. “Him and I actually just had a very good conversation a moment ago about his competitive nature and what he wants to do,” Mosley said. “For that young man, playing is the thing he loves to do the most. Being around his teammates is what he loves to do the most in these situations. We’ll focus on his health, which is obviously the biggest thing. If he’s healthy, we’ll have him on the court ready to play.”
  • Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told reporters that sitting out a game in back-to-back sets is “not doing much” to alleviate his nagging knee pain, but said he understands why the team is going that route (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of I probably would’ve been even less effective than I was (Monday vs. the Bulls) if I would’ve played (Sunday vs. the Sixers),” VanVleet said after Monday’s loss in which he shot just 7-of-22 from the field. “It’s a difficult situation. I gotta figure it out.”
  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic (all Twitter links) passed along several more Raptors injury updates, noting that OG Anunoby (finger) practiced on Wednesday, while Gary Trent Jr. (toe) didn’t. Both players are officially listed as questionable for Thursday’s game vs. Cleveland but seem closer to doubtful, says Koreen.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Harris, Nets, Horford

The Raptors must address their perimeter shooting this offseason, Eric Koreen of The Athletic argues. Gary Trent‘s shooting slump and injuries to Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby have exposed the lack of natural shooters on the roster. Toronto ought to focus on finding another shooter or two in free agency or the draft, Koreen says. The Raptors currently rank 13th in 3-point shooting.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets had discussions with several teams prior to the trade deadline regarding Joe Harris, according to Ian Begley of However, Harris’ ankle injury impacted what teams were willing to give up for him. Harris, who hasn’t played since Nov. 14, opted this week for season-ending surgery on his left ankle. He has two years left on his four-year, $75MM contract.
  • The Nets are running out of time to build chemistry, Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post notes. Even with Kevin Durant back in the lineup, the rotation remains in flux. Ben Simmons has yet to make his season debut, Kyrie Irving‘s availability remains uncertain, Goran Dragic just joined the team and the coaches are still sorting out frontcourt options. “We are cutting it close,” Durant said. “There’s under 20 games left in the season. We have to go out there and figure it out.”
  • Al Horford has proven his worth during the Celtics’ turnaround, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes. Boston has outscored opponents by 7.6 points per 100 possessions with Horford on the court. Horford, whose $26.5MM salary next season is partially guaranteed, has been a defensive anchor during the resurgence. “Everybody thinks Al is up there in age and that he’s lost it,” Marcus Smart said. “He’s still got it.”

Mavericks Notes: Dinwiddie, Trent, Porzingis, Kidd

Having appeared in his 50th game of the season on Thursday, Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie has earned a $1.5MM bonus, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Since that bonus was considered unlikely this season and will now be considered likely in 2022/23, Dinwiddie’s cap hit for next season will increase from $18MM to $19.5MM, Marks observes.

Dinwiddie’s ability to reach the 50-game threshold could have additional financial ramifications beyond this season’s $1.5MM bonus. As Marks explains, the point guard’s contract includes language that calls for his third-year salary to become fully guaranteed if he appears in at least 50 games in each of the first two years of the contract.

For now, that 2023/24 salary – which will be worth at least $18.9MM and could get as high as $21.4MM via incentives – is partially guaranteed for $10MM. The remainder would become guaranteed if Dinwiddie plays at least 50 games in 2022/23.

Dinwiddie’s $1.5MM bonus is the second-highest individual incentive to ever be earned, according to Marks (Twitter link), who says Andrew Bogut‘s $1.9MM bonus in 2015 for All-Defense honors holds that record.

Here’s more on the Mavericks:

  • Before Dallas traded Kristaps Porzingis to Washington on deadline day last month, there were rumors that the Mavs and Raptors were discussing a possible deal. Appearing on The Lowe Post podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Tim MacMahon of ESPN shared a little more information on that rumor. “My understanding is their discussions there were (Goran) Dragic and Gary Trent,” MacMahon said (hat tip to RealGM). “Toronto understandably said, ‘We’re not giving up Gary Trent Jr.'”
  • MacMahon also provided more details on why the Mavericks were motivated to move Porzingis and why they were satisfied with a return of Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans for Porzingis and a second-round pick. “The Mavericks basically got to the point of ‘Hey, financially it’s a wash, but it’s two smaller contracts that would be easier to move,'” MacMahon told Lowe, per RealGM. “And they felt like K.P. was kind of in the way and those two guys could fill roles off the bench, so they pulled the trigger as soon as they found a deal where they didn’t have to give up a first-round pick. A lot of that was that the fit with K.P. wasn’t there. It doesn’t mean Porzingis necessarily did anything wrong. The Mavericks took a huge swing and a miss on him. It didn’t work out.”
  • In a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said he believes he’s grown since his days of coaching the Nets and Bucks. “I learned a lot from Frank (Vogel), said Kidd, who was on Vogel’s staff as a Lakers assistant before being hired by Dallas. “Don’t worry about the small stuff. If there’s something to address, address it.”