Grayson Allen

Multi-Team Deal Possible For Jae Crowder

Several teams have expressed interest in Suns forward Jae Crowder and there’s speculation that a trade could get done soon, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Crowder, who had been a starter during his first two years in Phoenix, is working out on his own while he waits for a deal to be completed.

The Bucks, Hawks and Warriors are among the most prominent suitors for Crowder, sources tell Pincus, and an unidentified executive believes the final version of the deal could include as many as five teams.

Pincus hears that Milwaukee has offered Grayson Allen for Crowder, while Atlanta is willing to part with some combination of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Holiday and John Collins. The Suns don’t have any immediate interest in either of those offers, Pincus adds.

As reported earlier today by Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Rockets could play an important role in a multi-team deal. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports stated last week that Phoenix had interest in Kenyon Martin Jr., and Pincus speculates that veteran guard Eric Gordon could also be included in a trade that sends Crowder and Dario Saric to another team. Pincus hears that Houston would want “real value” to get involved, whether it’s in the form of young talent or draft assets.

The Warriors could be a team to watch in the Crowder sweepstakes if they’ve become more willing to unload some of their young players after an 8-10 start, Pincus writes. Golden State’s defense has regressed after losing Gary Payton II and Otto Porter in free agency, and Crowder is the type of multi-positional defender who could fix those issues.

The Warriors also need help with rebounding after falling from seventh to 25th in the league in that category, and rival executives expect them to target another big man as well as a defensive wing. Pincus cites Myles Turner and Jakob Poeltl as possibilities, though the Pacers may decide to keep Turner after their strong start. The Spurs are limited to less than $13MM as the starting point for an extension offer to Poeltl, and the team may be inclined to trade him rather than risk losing him in free agency.

Golden State would have to send out nearly $16MM in salary to acquire both Crowder and Poeltl, but it’s limited in what it can offer until Donte DiVincenzo, JaMychal Green, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney become trade-eligible later this season.

Pincus offers a sample trade in which send the Warriors send James Wiseman and Ryan Rollins to the Spurs, while the Rockets get Jonathan Kuminga from Golden State and Saric from Phoenix. Another Pincus suggestion has the Warriors keeping Kuminga while shipping Moses Moody and either Patrick Baldwin or Rollins to the Rockets, while San Antonio gets Baldwin or Rollins along with Wiseman.

Fischer’s Latest: Bey, Suns, K. Martin, Collins, J. Holiday

Team personnel around the NBA are keeping an eye on Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says Detroit has received some calls from clubs inquiring about the third-year pro.

Bey has been considered part of the Pistons’ core since being selected 19th overall in the 2020 draft. However, his production has dipped so far this season and he was recently moved to a reserve role for one game before an Isaiah Stewart injury reopened a spot for him in the starting five. That brief demotion represented the first time Bey had come off the bench since the first half of his rookie season.

Still, while the Pistons may be more amenable to listening to inquiries on Bey than they have been in the past, Fischer says the team still seems intent on further evaluating the former first-round pick before seriously considering the idea of making him available.

Here are a few more notes from Fischer’s latest rumor round-up, which also included items on the Jazz and Clippers:

  • The Suns‘ interest in Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., first reported by Shams Charania last week, has resulted in Houston getting involved in some three-team Jae Crowder trade discussions, Fischer reports. Sources also confirm to Yahoo Sports that the Bucks have tried to use Grayson Allen to acquire Crowder, but Phoenix and Milwaukee have yet to find common ground on a straight-up deal.
  • There was “true momentum” toward a trade this past offseason that would have sent Hawks big man John Collins to the Kings, and the Wizards showed real interest in Collins prior to last season’s trade deadline, writes Fischer. However, Sacramento was happy to make a deal with Atlanta for Kevin Huerter instead, while Washington ended up landing Kristaps Porzingis to fortify its frontcourt. Fischer doesn’t say it outright, but the implication is that neither team is still pursuing Collins at this time.
  • Fischer echoes a John Gambadoro report stating that the Suns aren’t interested in acquiring Collins, largely due to the long-term money still left on his contract (he’s in the second season of a five-year, $125MM deal). And Phoenix may not be the only team that feels that way — Collins’ contract could complicate the Hawks‘ efforts to find a trade partner, according to Fischer, who suggests that the deal is “perceived to be above market value.”
  • Hawks wing Justin Holiday is worth monitoring as a possible trade candidate, per Fischer, especially if AJ Griffin continues to solidify a role in Atlanta’s regular rotation.

Central Notes: Crowder, Bucks, Lopez, Cavs, Duren, Bulls

After reporting earlier in the week that the Suns appeared to be making real progress on trading Jae Crowder – perhaps in a three-team scenario – Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports was hesitant to offer many specific details in the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast on Thursday, noting that he has yet to confirm the exact framework of the deals Phoenix is discussing. However, Fischer was able to identify a presumed frontrunner for Crowder.

“The only other thing I really feel comfortable sharing and confident sharing is that people around the situation have said that Milwaukee is the most likely team to land him,” Fischer said. “I can say that.”

As Fischer notes, he reported last week that the Bucks – who have long been identified as a possible suitor for Crowder – were gauging Grayson Allen‘s trade value around the league. So if Milwaukee does make a deal for Crowder, it seems likely that Allen would be an outgoing piece, either to Phoenix or to a third team.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After missing most of last season due to a back injury, Bucks center Brook Lopez is healthy and making a significant impact on the defensive end this season, according to Nekias Duncan of BasketballNews.com, who argues that the big man should be in the early Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Lopez is on an expiring contract and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
  • Logan Murdock of The Ringer takes a look at the Cavaliers‘ recent slump and their efforts to become a title contender without LeBron James for the first time in the 21st century. “I think for all of us, everyone is preaching championship,” Cavs wing Caris LeVert told Murdock. “I’ve been around a lot of teams, and it’s a long season. A lot of things happen within the season. So I think for us, just staying focused on the day-to-day, getting the most of each day, trying to maximize our potential each and every day will take care of all the rest of the stuff.”
  • Pistons center Jalen Duren is the NBA’s youngest player and the only one who was born after LeBron James made his NBA debut in 2003, but his teammates and coaches have been impressed with his maturity, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN.com. “He don’t feel 18. He’s not built like he’s 18,” Isaiah Stewart said of Duren, who turns 19 on Friday. “He’s built like a grown man. He’s very mature for his age.”
  • In a pair of stories for The Chicago Sun-Times, Joe Cowley considers what’s next for the enigmatic Coby White once he gets healthy and wonders if some lineup changes are in store for the struggling Bulls.

Fischer’s Latest: Bogdanovic, Lakers, Crowder, G. Allen

When the Pistons unexpectedly beat out rival suitors to acquire Bojan Bogdanovic in September, some executives around the NBA viewed it as a signal that Detroit was accelerating its timeline and making a push for the play-in tournament, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. However, it’s unclear if the Pistons are ready to take that step forward, having gotten off to a 3-9 start this season.

If the Pistons continue to struggle and Bogdanovic (19.3 PPG on .487/.457/.917 shooting) keeps playing anywhere near the level that he has in the early going, it could put the team in a good position to flip the veteran forward for value at this season’s trade deadline, Fischer notes.

The Pistons did sign Bogdanovic to a two-year, $39MM extension last month, but that contract shouldn’t hurt his trade value and might even improve it for some suitors, especially since the second year of the extension is only lightly guaranteed, Fischer writes. And even if the Pistons hang onto Bogdanovic through this season, he’ll now be movable in the 2023 offseason and beyond.

“What it really does is it gives them contract control so it’s easier to trade him in July, when a team that needs him is far more likely to have cap space and wiggle room,” an assistant general manager told Yahoo Sports.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Lakers inquired on Bogdanovic when he was a member of the Jazz and could still have interest if the Pistons were to make him available, according to Fischer, who points out that a package of Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel would be enough to match Russell Westbrook‘s expiring deal. If the Lakers are hesitant to make an all-in move, a package like that could hold some appeal, since it shouldn’t cost them both of their tradable first-round picks, says Fischer.
  • The Suns were another team with interest in Bogdanovic before he was traded out of Utah and could still put together a package built around Jae Crowder‘s expiring contract, Fischer writes, adding that there’s no indication that Crowder and the Suns will reunite even after starting forward Cameron Johnson went down with a knee injury.
  • It’s unclear whether the Bucks have interest in Bogdanovic, but they’re among Crowder’s potential suitors and could hypothetically offer Grayson Allen for him, according to Fischer, who hears from sources that Milwaukee has been calling teams to gauge Allen’s trade value.
  • While Allen looks like the kind of rotation piece the Suns are known to be seeking in exchange for Crowder, Fischer wonders if Phoenix might become more inclined to wait until closer to the trade deadline to see if any higher-impact players shake loose — Crowder’s expiring contract could be an important piece in any offer for a player of that caliber.

Eastern Notes: Crowder, Bucks, Claxton, Williams, Mitchell

What kind of trade package could the Bucks put together for the Suns’ Jae Crowder, considering they’re one of the teams reportedly interested in the veteran forward? Eric Nehm of The Athletic explores that topic, speculating that Milwaukee could deal some combination of Grayson Allen, George Hill and second-round picks.

However, dealing Allen would remove one of the Bucks’ top shooters and it’s questionable whether Crowder would be part of the team’s crunch time unit.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Nets big man Nic Claxton posted back-to-back double-doubles in the team’s first two games. His teammates and coaches want to see him do that consistently, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. “I’m happy he played well, we want him to keep it up, but now as a young player in the league he has to show consistency,” Kyrie Irving said. “And we have to be right there with him.” Claxton re-signed with Brooklyn this summer on a two-year, $20MM contract.
  • Bulls forward Patrick Williams has gotten off to a rough start this season, but he’s not discouraged, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “They (coaches and teammates) know, obviously, I want to play well, and I want them to play well, and they want to play well for themselves as well. But just can’t get too down when you don’t play well,” he said. “Just reminding, that was what, game three? Of at least 82. Obviously we want to play past 82. But that was game three of 82.” Williams averaged 5.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in the first three games.
  • The Cavaliers have already embraced Donovan Mitchell as a leader, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “He’s just a good dude,” center Jarrett Allen said. “That’s what it boils down to. He is easy to talk to; he doesn’t boast about his accomplishments, he is one of the hardest workers every single game in the gym. It’s easy to root for a guy like that and easy to follow somebody’s lead like that.”

Central Notes: Middleton, Lopez, Stewart, Bagley, Bey

Khris Middleton won’t be ready to play by opening night as he recovers from wrist surgery. Joe Ingles is still rehabbing from a major knee injury.

So who will step up in their place? Eric Nehm of The Athletic examines potential lineup combinations the Bucks may use in their absence. Pat Connaughton will likely start until Middleton returns, though Jordan Nwora and MarJon Beauchamp will have opportunities to establish themselves as rotation pieces. Wesley Matthews and Grayson Allen will fight for minutes at shooting guard.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Middleton has a $40.4MM option on his contract for the 2023/24 season, while center Brook Lopez will be an unrestricted free agent unless he signs an extension. However, there hasn’t been any buzz about it at Bucks camp, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. In fact, Lopez claims that “I wasn’t exactly aware this was a contract year” until the subject was brought up.
  • Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley may be more suited to playing center but they’ll both see action at times at power forward this season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. That will allow Nerlens Noel and rookie Jalen Duren to get some minutes off the bench. “It’s tough,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “What’s going to have to manifest itself is – it’s not natural right now – for Isaiah to kind of slide to the four just to open some spots for everybody.”
  • While most of the attention regarding the Pistons is focused on their young backcourt of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, third-year forward Saddiq Bey has served notice that he could be an offensive force this season, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. “He’s putting the ball on the floor a lot better, finding guys a lot better,” reserve guard Cory Joseph said. “We know how he can score and the attention he’s going to get. He’s making the game better for himself and everyone around him right now. He’s playing really well.”

Central Notes: Pistons, Middleton, Bucks, Bulls

As had been previously rumored, the Pistons are adding a pair of former NBA players to their coaching staff, announcing today that Keith Bogans and Rashard Lewis are coming aboard as player development assistants, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News.

The Pistons have also hired former Celtics assistant Brandon Bailey as a player development assistant and Brittni Donaldson – formerly of the Raptors – as an assistant coach and director of coaching analytics. The team announced a series of other promotions, including George David to associate general manager and Rob Murphy, Josh Bartelstein, and Tony Leotti to assistant GM.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • As we previously relayed, the Pistons sent the Jazz some cash as part of the Bojan Bogdanovic trade. The exact amount, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), was $1,752,638, which is equal to the amount that Saben Lee is earning in 2022/23. That means, from a financial perspective, Utah essentially swapped Bogdanovic ($19.55MM) for Kelly Olynyk ($12.8MM this season, plus a $3MM partial guarantee in 2023/24) and will get a free look at Lee.
  • Khris Middleton could become a free agent as soon as next summer if he turns down a $40MM+ player option for 2023/24. While he’s not sure how his contract situation will play out, the standout wing tells Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he wants to stay with the Bucks long-term. “I think everybody knows that. Even though I know you’re really not supposed to say it for all the reasons out there, but I think everybody knows deep down that I want to stay,” Middleton said. “But also, you know it’s a business. Things change, things happen. You just never know. For sure I would love to stay, if everything works out.”
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic poses a series of questions for Bucks players to answer this season, including whether Grayson Allen‘s playoff struggles vs. Boston were a fluke or a harbinger of things to come.
  • The Bulls will miss Lonzo Ball, one of their best two-way players, as he recovers from another knee procedure to open the season, but they have enough depth at point guard and don’t need to make a trade to fortify the position, opines Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Central Notes: Allen, Pacers Draft, Sharpe, Bucks Draft

Bucks wing Grayson Allen underwent a surgical procedure on his left ring finger, according to The Associated Press.

“A lot of times, guys do maintenance-type stuff, routine stuff in the offseason to kind of get ready,” general manager Jon Horst said. “It was good for him to kind of approach it in the offseason. It’ll be fine. There’s no kind of lasting effects.”

Allen, whose two-year, $18.7MM extension kicks in next season, averaged 11.1 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 27.3 MPG during the regular season.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers will work out six more draft prospects on Monday, according to the team’s website writer Wheat Hotchkiss. As previously reported, that group includes projected lottery pick Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky). The other prospects who will visit include Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest), Alfonso Plummer (Illinois), Jermaine Samuels (Villanova), Aaron Thompson (Butler), and Vince Williams Jr. (VCU).
  • Speaking of Sharpe, he held a Zoom press conference on Friday and said he’d fit well with the Pacers if they use their lottery pick (No. 6 overall) on him. “I feel like I could really play with those guys just because they have good guys that can really handle the ball, play defense, switch on defense,” Sharpe said to The Indianapolis Star’s James Boyd and other media members. “I feel like I can score and really impact the game.” Sharpe is certainly not lacking in confidence. “I see myself being one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball,” he said.
  • The Bucks hold the No. 24 pick and could be in the market for a wing player. The Athletic’s Eric Nehm takes a look at nine prospects who could potentially be available at that spot, including LaRavia, MarJon Beauchamp and Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Bucks Notes: Game 7, Middleton, Carter, Hill, Allen

The Bucks missed an opportunity to end their series at home Friday night and they’ll have to regroup quickly as they head to Boston for Game 7, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Milwaukee has already won twice on the Celtics’ home floor in the series, and Giannis Antetokounmpo said he and his teammates will have a relaxed attitude heading into Sunday’s showdown.

“No matter what happens, we’re gonna leave that game and we’re going to be better,” Antetokounmpo said. “If we’re going to be the team advancing to the next round, great. I hope so. We’re gonna play hard, but if we’re not, at the end of the day, we’re gonna learn from this one. We’re gonna be better. So for me just go out and play free. Be fearless, play free, we don’t owe nobody nothing.”

There’s more from Milwaukee:

  • The Bucks haven’t found an effective way to replace Khris Middleton, who has already been ruled out for Game 7 with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, Nehm states in the same story. Jevon Carter, who was signed in February, took Middleton’s spot in the rotation during the first two games against Boston and George Hill replaced him once he returned from injury in Game 3, but neither is the complete player that Middleton is. “Jevon’s been good. He’s helped us,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “So we gotta look at everything, but I think the defense and everything … I think George really helps us defensively. And Jevon can too. They’re different in how they help us defensively.”
  • Budenholzer will also have to decide how much to use Grayson Allen in Game 7, Nehm adds. Allen has made some important contributions in the series, but he was a minus-29 and missed all four of his three-point shots in Game 6. Boston has been targeting him on defense and taking advantage of switches to create mismatches. “The plus-minus is a tough stat and sometimes it’s good, but Grayson is doing his best,” Budenholzer said. “He had some good looks. Just some nights they go, some nights they don’t. Sometimes you get good looks …  It can flip. You make one or two of those, he feels a lot better. Less transition defense, more halfcourt defense, but as a group, we gotta be better.”
  • An outdoor watch party in Milwaukee for Sunday’s game has been canceled in the wake of shooting incidents on Friday night that left 21 people wounded, according to Jim Salter of The Associated Press. The Bucks said 11,000 people attended Friday’s watch party.

Central Notes: Portis, Hill, Hayes, Brogdon

Bobby Portis and Grayson Allen helped the Bucks survive the absence of Khris Middleton in a Game 3 rout of the Bulls, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Portis took Middleton’s spot in the starting lineup and posted 18 points and 16 rebounds as Milwaukee pulled away early. Allen hit five three-pointers on his way to a career playoff high of 22 points.

It was a timely performance for Portis, who will have to decide on a $4.565MM player option that was included in the two-year deal he signed last offseason. Portis was in demand last summer before opting to return to the team that he helped win a championship.

“I just take the shots that are given to me,” Portis said. “I’m a guy that, I don’t really try to go get the game, I let the game come to me. If somebody doubles Giannis (Antetokounmpo) or they build a wall and I’m open, then that’s the shot that you have to shoot for the possession. It’s possession-for-possession in the playoffs, half-court setting, and obviously, teams’ defenses are always going to be built around trying to stop ’34,’ so the guys around him have to be able to open the floor up and knock down shots and space the floor, so just let the game come to us.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks guard George Hill may miss extended time with an abdominal strain, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Hill hasn’t played since being hurt on April 8, and coach Mike Budenholzer said his condition shouldn’t be considered “day to day.”
  • The Pistons believe second-year guard Killian Hayes could benefit from a summer of pick-up basketball, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. They saw improvement in Hayes’ mental approach to the game this season and want him to experience a setting where he has to win to keep playing. “You guys play pick-up. How hard do you have to play to stay on the court,” coach Dwane Casey asked reporters. “If not, you wait until next, waiting three more games. He’s never had to go through that, and that’s not a knock on him. It’s just something a young man, 18, 19-year-old had to go through. He played on club teams in Europe that practiced three times a day, structured. He hasn’t had a chance to go out and spread his wings and do some of the things he can do.”
  • Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, who was shut down for the season on March 18 because of back pain, is looking forward to more time playing alongside new backcourt partner Tyrese Haliburton next season, per Wheat Hotchkiss of NBA.com“He’s a great young talent, great young point guard,” Brogdon said. “Super unselfish. He’s the guy you want to play with. He’s the guy that’s going to help you win. I think the fit is great for me, for the organization. I’m excited to play with him.”