Harrison Barnes

Stein’s Latest: Irving, Heat, Brunson, Tucker, Collins

Kyrie Irving has reportedly talked to LeBron James about a reunion in L.A., but it’s “a stretch” to say the Lakers are currently trying to acquire Irving, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column. There’s increased speculation this week that Irving and the Nets may not be able to work out a new contract, and the Lakers are believed to be one of his potential landing spots if he does leave Brooklyn.

However, Stein is skeptical of their chances considering their current financial situation. If Irving opts in to his $36.9MM salary for next season, the Lakers don’t have the necessary trade assets to pry him away from the Nets, Stein states. And if he opts out, L.A. can’t offer more than the taxpayer mid-level exception, which is projected at $6.39MM.

Stein expects Irving to remain in Brooklyn, saying it’s unlikely he’ll pass on such a lucrative player option. Stein also cites a leaguewide expectation that the Nets will work out at least a short-term deal with Irving to avoid causing any friction with Kevin Durant.

Stein shares information on a few more topics:

  • The Heat could be a team to watch if the Nets decide to trade Irving. Although Irving doesn’t seem like a natural fit for “Heat culture,” Stein notes that Miami is always willing to pursue stars when they hit the market.
  • League sources tell Stein that the Knicks would be a legitimate threat to sign Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson if they can clear enough cap space to make a max offer. The Brunson family’s connections to team president Leon Rose and the team’s recent hiring of Rick Brunson, Jalen’s father, as an assistant coach give New York an advantage. However, Stein notes that the Knicks’ efforts to unload salary suffered a setback with Alec Burks‘ offseason foot surgery.
  • The Sixers are considered “by far the favorite” to sign Heat forward P.J. Tucker if he decides to leave Miami. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey, who signed Tucker in Houston, is reportedly willing to offer a three-year, $30MM contract.
  • A deal with the Kings involving Harrison Barnes is among the Hawks‘ “prime options” as they try to work out a John Collins trade, Stein tweets.

Fischer’s Latest: Kyrie, Collins, Barnes, Knicks, Magic

Monday’s report stating that Kyrie Irving is at an impasse in contract discussions with the Nets and could consider other destinations is widely viewed as an attempt by Irving’s camp to create leverage in those negotiations, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated during an appearance on Get Up on Tuesday (video link).

Still, even if that’s the case, the Nets and Irving have some work to do to bridge the gap in their contract talks, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says the team prefers a shorter-term deal that includes incentives, while Irving naturally wants a longer-term commitment.

Despite the report of an “impasse,” talks between Irving and the Nets are expected to remain fluid as his option decision deadline and the start of free agency near, says Fischer. There still appears to be mutual interest in figuring something out, and Brooklyn team officials have been operating as if Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons will all be back in 2022/23, Fischer adds.

According to Fischer, word has circulated among league personnel since May’s draft combine that Irving has interest in the Lakers and Knicks, but most team executives haven’t given much credence to that chatter, given how challenging it would be for either team to acquire him.

Here’s more from Fischer’s newest round-up of NBA rumors:

  • Fischer is the latest reporter to reiterate that John Collins is viewed as one of the NBA’s most likely offseason trade candidates, writing that Collins and the Hawks seem to have mutual interest in finding him a new home. Fischer also confirms a previous report which stated that the Collins talks between the Hawks and Kings haven’t included the No. 4 overall pick, though he notes that Sacramento forward Harrison Barnes is believed to be available.
  • The Knicks are considered likely to trade Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel, according to Fischer, who says the team is exploring ways to create $25MM in cap room, possibly to pursue free agent point guard Jalen Brunson. However, Fischer cautions that league personnel still widely expect Brunson to re-sign with the Mavericks.
  • Teams looking to shed a contract or two will likely be in touch with the Magic. Fischer hears from sources that Orlando – one of the only teams projected to have cap room – has emerged as a possible landing spot for unwanted salary. Any team looking to dump a contract on the Magic would have to be willing to give up an asset or two to make it happen.

Cavaliers Rumors: Sexton, LeVert, Trade Targets, More

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com 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.

Leftover Deadline Rumors: Raptors, Rockets, Lakers, Nuggets, Knicks

The Raptors considered a series of potential trade scenarios before they agreed to send Goran Dragic and a draft pick to San Antonio for Thaddeus Young, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca.

According to Grange, Toronto had hoped the Hawks would make Bogdan Bogdanovic available, viewing the veteran wing as someone who could help the team in both the short- and long-term. However, Atlanta didn’t budge on Bogdanovic, forcing the Raptors to look elsewhere.

The Raptors inquired on Pistons forward Jerami Grant and Kings forward Harrison Barnes, sources tell Grange, but the price tags for those players were high. As previously reported, there were also discussions about a three-team deal that would’ve sent Talen Horton-Tucker and Nerlens Noel to Toronto, but Grange suggests those talks never gained serious traction.

Here are a few more leftover rumors on trades that didn’t get made on deadline day:

  • The Rockets never made real progress on a John Wall trade with the Lakers, who were unwilling to attach a first-round pick to Russell Westbrook, but a few days before the deadline, Houston got much closer to moving Wall to another team, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. That proposed deal ultimately fell through, per Feigen, who doesn’t specify which team the Rockets were talking to.
  • During a TV appearance, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (video link) said one concept that “could have been discussed” by the Rockets and Lakers before the deadline, “depending on who you believe,” was a swap of Westbrook, Horton-Tucker, and draft capital for Wall and Christian Wood. It doesn’t sound like those talks, if they even occurred, advanced at all.
  • After agreeing to acquire center Jalen Smith from Phoenix, the Pacers explored flipping him to a new team, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Fischer says the Nuggets were among the clubs in the mix for Smith, but Indiana didn’t find a deal it liked and ended up hanging onto the third-year big man.
  • The Knicks didn’t make a deal on deadline day, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Sources tell Steve Popper of Newsday that the club was willing to move just about anyone on its roster, but had trouble finding trade partners for many of its top trade candidates, including Kemba Walker and Noel. According to Popper, his sources suggested there was a “universal lack of interest in the Knicks’ talent and contracts.”

Trade Rumors: Barnes, Lakers, P. Washington, Bulls

As Thursday’s trade deadline nears, the Kings have been sending signals that they plan to hang onto forward Harrison Barnes, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link).

Barnes has been a frequent subject of recent trade rumors, with one report earlier today stating that the Kings were still very much open to discussing him. A follow-up report said Sacramento only wanted win-now pieces in any deal involving the veteran forward, since the team still has playoff aspirations.

It seems safe to assume that most teams with interest in Barnes are other contenders or playoff hopefuls — those clubs would likely be more inclined to give up draft picks and young prospects than players who can contribute right away, so it makes sense that the Kings are having a tough time finding a deal they like.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers have been “very reluctant” to give up a future first-round pick in any deadline trade, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said today (video link). According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, prior to Tuesday, it seemed the front office’s preference was to wait until the offseason to do anything major, since the team’s 2029 first-round pick will become eligible to be traded at that time — L.A. could theoretically package its ’27 and ’29 first-rounders in the summer. Tuesday’s loss reportedly helped create a greater sense of urgency in the Lakers’ locker room to make a deadline move, so it will be interesting to see how the front office responds.
  • The Hornets aren’t shopping forward P.J. Washington, but they’ve been willing to listen to calls about him, according to Jordan Schultz, who reports (via Twitter) that the Heat, Raptors, and Rockets are among the teams with interest in Washington.
  • Bulls guard Coby White has been mentioned off and on this season as a possible trade candidate, but he doesn’t sound too concerned about what will happen at the deadline, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “I think I’ll be here past the deadline,” White said. “I haven’t really been worried about it.”
  • According to Johnson, there’s not much buzz right now about the Bulls making a major splash at the deadline. League sources tell Johnson that Chicago seems more interested in a frontcourt addition than acquiring a player like Dennis Schröder. Two of Johnson’s sources said the team’s reported interest in Schröder has been overstated.

Trade Rumors: Harden, Simmons, Barnes, Dragic, Fournier, Hawks

A number of NBA reporters have expressed skepticism that a James Harden/Ben Simmons mega-deal will come to fruition this week, citing sources who say it almost certainly won’t happen. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst remains bullish on the possibility of the Nets and Sixers figuring something out before Thursday’s trade deadline.

[RELATED: Sixers, Nets Engaged In Trade Talks On Tuesday]

Appearing on ESPN’s Greeny with Mike Greenberg (video link), Windhorst said the two teams are “absolutely” talking and negotiating possible terms, and suggested Harden would welcome a deal.

“Yesterday, the 76ers were out looking for other moves, talking to other teams about other moves – moving players, opening roster spots – leading those teams to believe that they were getting ready to make the (Harden/Simmons) deal,” Windhorst said. “They have swapped offers, and really right now it’s about haggling (over) the ancillary parts.

“Now, does that mean it’s absolutely going to get done by tomorrow? No, I can’t say that. I’m not sitting in the room. It’s complicated. … But they are in the ‘deal zone’ right now, and so I am leaning toward this probably happening. I don’t want to guarantee it or anything, but I think we’re headed in that direction.”

In an appearance of his own on Greenberg’s show, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link) cast doubt on his colleague’s reporting.

“I try not to do the prediction business because you follow the news where it leads,” Wojnarowski said when asked about the likelihood of a Harden/Simmons swap. “But right now, there’s no negotiation going on between Philadelphia and Brooklyn. The trade deadline is tomorrow at 3:00, it can change. But the idea that they’re going back and forth that’s been surmised by some, I don’t believe that to be accurate. … I think, barring a flurry of negotiations and activity that hasn’t happened yet, right now James Harden is likely to be with the Nets.”

Here are a few more trade rumors from across the NBA:

  • Although the Kings continue to explore potential trades involving forward Harrison Barnes, they’ve told teams they’re not interested in packages heavy on future assets, per Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). Sacramento remains focused on competing for the playoffs this season and would want players that could help right away.
  • After a report on Tuesday indicated New York has shown interest in acquiring expiring contracts, Mannix suggests the Knicks could “jump in the mix” for Raptors point guard Goran Dragic. However, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) says Toronto doesn’t see Evan Fournier as a fit. The Knicks continue to shop Fournier’s long-term contract around, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday.
  • Grange also reports that the Spurs have rebuffed the Raptors‘ interest in center Jakob Poeltl and are seeking more than just a mid first-round pick and expiring salary in exchange for Poeltl.
  • The Hawks have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors in recent weeks, with players like John Collins and Danilo Gallinari cited as candidates to be on the move. However, a person familiar with the situation told Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, as of Tuesday night, there was about a 90% chance that the Hawks would simply stand pat this week.

Trade Rumors: Kings, Barnes, Jazz, Gordon, Nets, Sixers

The Kings have made on major trade already this week, sending three players, including Tyrese Haliburton, to Indiana in exchange for a three-player package headlined by Domantas Sabonis. However, they may not be done dealing yet. A front office source who spoke to Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com believes there’s another Sacramento move on the way before Thursday’s deadline.

“That one (the Sabonis trade) is just Part One,” the source told Bulpett.

Kings forward Harrison Barnes remains a candidate to be moved, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who hears from sources that the team is expected to “aggressively” explore the market for Barnes.

There should be no shortage of suitors for Barnes, a solid defender who is knocking down 40.5% of his three-point attempts this season and has a reasonable contract ($20.3MM this season, $18.4MM next year). Marc Berman of The New York Post, who hears from multiple sources that the Kings would be open to moving Barnes, reports that the Knicks are one team that has inquired on the veteran forward.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Jazz have expressed interest in trading for Rockets shooting guard Eric Gordon, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. As Scotto writes, Utah has been dangling Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract and a future first-round pick in the hopes of adding a wing, while Houston has sought a first-rounder in any deal involving Gordon.
  • While ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (video link) thinks there’s a real chance of the Nets and Sixers completing a James Harden/Ben Simmons trade this week, Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash said on Tuesday that he expects his roster to be the same after Thursday’s trade deadline as it is now, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).
  • Whether or not they trade Simmons, the Sixers are in the market for another backcourt player, head coach Doc Rivers said on Tuesday (Twitter link via Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer). “We have no choice. We have to get another guard,” Rivers said. “We just do. Even if Furk (Furkan Korkmaz) and Shake (Milton handle the ball), we need a point guard, and we’re looking. But they don’t grow on trees, as you know.”

Pelicans Rumors: Barnes, Covington, Alexander-Walker, Hayes, Hart

Multiple reports in January indicated that the Pelicans would likely be buyers at the trade deadline, and there are no signs that has changed, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto reports that New Orleans is expressing interest in several trade candidates, including Kings forward Harrison Barnes and Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington.

As previously relayed, the Pelicans have also been “repeatedly linked” to Rockets guard Eric Gordon and are said to be among the teams with interest in Pacers center Domantas Sabonis. Blazers guard CJ McCollum has also been cited by multiple reports as a player firmly on New Orleans’ radar.

Here are a few more updates on the Pelicans:

  • Rival executives believe Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes are available in trade discussions, Scotto said on the latest episode of the HoopsHype Podcast. Multiple executives tell HoopsHype that the Pelicans are more willing to listen to inquiries about Alexander-Walker than they have been in the past.
  • Noting that Josh Hart is a player worth keeping an eye on because of his strong play this season and his team-friendly contract structure, Scotto says the Hawks are among the teams that are fans of Hart.
  • According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Pelicans are believed to be revisiting a trade concept that they first discussed with the Kings in the 2021 offseason — the hypothetical deal would involve Barnes and Hart.

Josh Richardson, Josh Okogie Among Players On Jazz’s Radar

Celtics swingman Josh Richardson and Timberwolves swingman Josh Okogie are among the wing options the Jazz have discussed as they weigh their trade options, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on HoopsHype’s latest podcast.

Utah also continues to keep an eye on Kings forward Harrison Barnes and Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington, according to Scotto. Barnes – whom new Jazz executive Danny Ainge pursued during his time in Boston – and Covington have previously been identified as potential targets for the club.

Barnes and Covington would certainly come at a higher cost in a trade than Richardson or Okogie. Scotto has heard from executives around the NBA that the Kings are seeking at least a first-round pick in any deal involving Barnes. Utah has a future first-rounder to offer along with Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract, but Scotto thinks Sacramento might push for a player like Bojan Bogdanovic, who could contribute right away, over Ingles, who will be sidelined for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL.

If the Jazz are unable to use Ingles and draft assets to land a player like Barnes or Covington, they could shift their focus to a target like Richardson. In his latest roundup of leaguewide trade rumors, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says that Utah has been “consistently mentioned” as a possible destination for Richardson.

A January report indicated Boston has been “surprisingly open” to discussing Richardson after trading for him and signing him to a one-year extension during the 2021 offseason. Richardson’s scoring average has dipped to 9.8 PPG, his lowest mark since his rookie season in 2015/16, but he’s hitting 39.1% of his three-point attempts and is a versatile defender.

Okogie, who is shooting a career-worst 35.6% from the floor in just 12.7 minutes per contest (32 games) in 2021/22, will be a free agent at season’s end and is likely viewed as a fallback option for Utah. The former first-round pick is earning just $4.1MM and is a solid defender, but won’t contribute much on offense and probably can’t be counted on to play a significant role on a contending team. He has been in and out of Minnesota’s rotation this season.

Pacific Notes: Moon, Barnes, AD, LeBron, Johnson

Xavier Moon, who recently completed three 10-day hardship contracts with the Clippers, is determined to make it back to the NBA, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Moon’s last game was in New York City against the Knicks, and he said it was a surreal experience.

Watching these games on TV, Madison Square Garden, everybody doing what they do and getting a chance to take the court?” Moon said. “Man, surreal.”

The 27-year-old NBA rookie has plenty of international experience, having made stops in France, England, Israel and Canada. Upon hearing that some G League teams were interested in his services late last summer, Moon decided to buy out his contract with an Italian club and give things a shot closer to home, Greif writes.

I was like, I think I’ll hold off from going overseas this year,” Moon said. “And I think that was probably one of the better decisions that I made.”

Moon appeared in six games with the Clippers, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.5 RPG in 13.8 MPG. In 17 games with Agua Caliente, the team’s G League affiliate, he has averaged 13.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.6 APG, and 1.4 SPG on .489/.386/.864 shooting.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings are in a tailspin, losing 12 of their last 14 games to fall to 18-32 on the season, 13th in the West, and Harrison Barnes is understandably frustrated with the team’s performance, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “It’s a range of emotions: frustration, anger, embarrassment, disappointment. You can go down the list,” Barnes said after posting 28 points and nine rebounds in the loss to the Hawks on Wednesday. “No one prepares and wants to lose, wants to go through losing the way we’ve been going about it. There’s a lot of frustration, but it’s on us to get out of this.”
  • Anthony Davis said X-rays on his right wrist came back negative after injuring it on a dunk over Joel Embiid in the Lakers‘ loss to Philadelphia on Thursday, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets. Davis will miss Friday’s game against Charlotte with wrist soreness, McMenamin relays in a separate tweet.
  • LeBron James is also inactive Friday night for the Lakers and is considered day-to-day with left knee soreness, as Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group details. In a follow-up tweet, Goon notes that James’ knee is swollen on top of being sore, so the team is being cautious with the 37-year-old star.
  • Within the same article from Goon, Stanley Johnson says he’s thrilled he was able to turn his 10-day deals with the Lakers into a standard contract that will cover the remainder of the season, with a team option for next year. “I couldn’t have dreamed of something like this in wildest my dreams,” Johnson said. “Obviously, I wanted it. … Seeing a 10-day guy with a fit like this, it’s happened before. And it will happen again. But it doesn’t happen a lot.”