Harrison Barnes

And-Ones: Jrue, Vegas, Pangos, Payton, Big Markets

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy, having been named the winner of the 2020/21 NBA Sportsmanship Award, the league announced today in a press release.

The award, which aims to honor the player who “best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court,” is voted on by current NBA players. Each team nominates one of its players, a panel of league executives pares the list down to six finalists (one from each division), and the players vote on those six finalists.

Holiday, who earned 130 of 343 first-place votes, beat out runner-up Kemba Walker (74 first-place votes) for the award. Bam Adebayo, Harrison Barnes, Derrick White, and Josh Okogie were the other finalists.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • While it’s unclear when the NBA might seriously pursue expansion, Las Vegas has frequently been cited as a city the league would consider, and a Yahoo News report suggests one potential ownership group may be in place in Vegas. As Kurt Helin of NBC Sports relays, billionaire Jay Bloom heads a series of investors who reportedly have the funds and the connections necessary to be the frontrunners to own a Vegas NBA franchise if the opportunity arises.
  • Kevin Pangos, one of the top point guards in the EuroLeague, is drawing plenty of interest from European teams but may wait until NBA free agency to make a decision, says Aris Barkas of Eurohoops. There’s no indication that Pangos has an NBA offer awaiting him, but the former Gonzaga standout wants to consider all his options before making a decision.
  • Hall-of-Fame guard Gary Payton, who has spoken in the past about wanting to coach in the NBA, tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that he has agreed to a multiyear contract to coach Lincoln University in his hometown of Oakland, California.
  • In the wake of teams like the Celtics, the Knicks, and especially the Lakers being eliminated from the postseason, Ethan Strauss of The Athletic explores just how dependent the NBA is on its marquee, big-market franchises, and what the league can do to reduce that dependence.

Kings Notes: Walton, King, Sunday’s Game, Reserves

Luke Walton says he’s “very confident” he’ll be retained as the Kings’ head coach, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports.

Monetary factors may work in Walton’s favor, Anderson notes. He’s reportedly owed $11.5MM over the next two seasons and first-year GM Monte McNair has publicly expressed support for Walton, pointing out the progress made by several key players.

Walton is focused on better results for next season.

“We have an offseason plan put in place from when they’re going to be in Sacramento, and what coaches will be working with them, and what we need them focused on,” Walton said. “Clearly, a big thing for all young players is developing in the weight room as well, but it’s good, after you get a taste of what the NBA is all about, to be able to really fine tune some things in the offseason.”

We have more on the Kings:

Nuggets Notes: Bradley, Luxury Tax, Gordon, Tucker, Barnes, Murray

The Nuggets would have some interest in guard Avery Bradley if he’s bought out, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Bradley was part of package the Heat shipped to Houston for Victor Oladipo. Bradley has only appeared in 10 games this season due to injury. There’s a $5.9MM team option on the remaining year of his contract.

We have more on the Nuggets:

  • The team’s ownership is willing to pay the luxury tax in a future season as long as the club is a prime contender for the title, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. Denver has managed to stay below the tax threshold this season. Aaron Gordon‘s contract and Michael Porter Jr.‘s rookie deal expire after next season, giving the franchise a season-and-a-half to evaluate whether keeping both of them, along with stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, is worth a big luxury tax bill. However, ownership doesn’t want to be a “repeater” tax team, Lowe adds. Teams are subject to repeater penalties when they’ve been a taxpayer in three of four seasons.
  • Prior to acquiring Gordon from the Magic, the Nuggets discussed a P.J. Tucker trade with the Rockets but never got close to an agreement, Lowe reports in the same story. They also sent feelers to the Kings regarding Harrison Barnes but Sacramento wasn’t interested in dealing him.
  • Murray has been very proactive about his interest in playing for Team Canada in the Summer Olympics, Raptors and Team Canada coach Nick Nurse told The Athletic’s Blake Murphy (Twitter link).

Aaron Gordon Rumors: Trade Request, Celtics, Rockets

Asked on Tuesday about his reported trade request, Magic forward Aaron Gordon acknowledged some frustration with his situation in Orlando and admitted that frustration had “boiled over.” But when he was asked if he still wanted to be dealt, Gordon didn’t say yes, talking instead about having developed a “sense of love and community” in Orlando.

Gordon’s reluctance to confirm that he still wants to be dealt may have been genuine. According to Adrian Wojnarowski on today’s Woj & Lowe Trade Deadline Special on ESPN, Gordon made his trade request several weeks ago and has been having some “second thoughts” about it within the last 24-48 hours.

That doesn’t mean the Magic won’t still trade Gordon, but they may not approach talks with the same urgency if the 25-year-old is no longer pushing for a change of scenery.

Here’s more on Gordon:

  • The Celtics are continuing to focus their attention on Gordon, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who tweets that the odds of Boston acquiring Kings forward Harrison Barnes seem to be fading. Sacramento believes Barnes can be a key part of a playoff push next season, so they’re not feeling pressure to sell low on him now, Mannix explains.
  • Wojnarowski also said on ESPN this afternoon that the Celtics appear to be “very serious” about trying to acquire Gordon.
  • A report earlier today indicated Boston has offered at least a first-round pick and a young player. Orlando is believed to be seeking a second first-rounder. The young player in the Celtics’ offer is thought to be Aaron Nesmith or Romeo Langford, per Brian Robb of MassLive.com, who says Marcus Smart now appears unlikely to head to the Magic as part of a larger deal involving Evan Fournier.
  • While the Rockets were viewed as the possible favorites for Gordon a few days ago, those discussions “seem to have fallen apart,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the Woj & Lowe Special today. There’s still time for that to change, but if Houston isn’t confident in its ability to re-sign Gordon when his current contract expires in 2022, the team probably won’t be enthusiastic about giving up major assets for him.

Mannix’s Latest: Gordon, Celtics, Barnes, Oladipo, OKC, More

Several rival executives tell Chris Mannix of SI.com that the Magic appear committed to trading both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier this week. Having fallen well out of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, Orlando is prioritizing receiving draft compensation rather than players who could help the team win this season, Mannix writes.

To that end, while Marcus Smart is said to be included in the Celticstrade discussions for Gordon and Fournier, Mannix wonders if the Magic might want to re-route Smart to a third team for more draft capital if Boston and Orlando move forward on that deal.

Mannix also suggests there has been some chatter around the league that the Celtics’ talks with the Magic about Gordon may be a way of pressuring the Kings into more seriously discussing Harrison Barnes, since there hasn’t been much traction with Sacramento to date. The Kings don’t seem to be displaying a strong desire to move key players for draft picks, says Mannix.

Here are a few more items of interest from Mannix’s latest trade rumor roundup:

  • It’s no longer a question of whether or not the Rockets will trade Victor Oladipo, but rather where they’ll send him, according to Mannix, who hears that the Knicks‘ interest in the two-time All-Star may be overstated.
  • The Thunder are “open for business” on deals for Al Horford and George Hill, but haven’t made it down the road in any trade discussions for either veteran. Mannix says Oklahoma City has sought “second-round compensation” for Hill, though it’s unclear if that means one second-round pick or multiple selections.
  • There’s still no serious traction toward any trades involving Cavaliers center Andre Drummond or Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge. Mannix thinks both players will ultimately end up on the buyout market, where they’ll receive significant interest.

Nuggets Rumors: Barnes, Gordon, Hampton, Fournier

The Nuggets are interested in Kings forward Harrison Barnes, a league source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Singer suggests the price tag for Barnes is unclear, but multiple previous reports have indicated that Sacramento is expected to demand a significant return.

Barnes is one of a handful of combo forwards who has been linked to the Nuggets as of late. As Singer and Sam Amick of The Athletic point out, Denver seems to be in the market for a forward with some size who can match up against the likes of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard in the postseason. Two of the Nuggets’ top defenders, Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig, departed in free agency during the 2020 offseason, leaving the team with a hole at that spot.

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • The Nuggets remain interested in Aaron Gordon, and the Magic appear more motivated to move Gordon than the Kings do to deal Barnes, writes Singer.
  • A source with knowledge of the situation tells Amick that there are conflicting views within the Nuggets organization on how strong an offer the team should be willing to make for Gordon. The possible inclusion of 2020 first-round pick R.J. Hampton is one apparent source of debate, Amick adds.
  • Amick also observes that Gordon’s next contract could be cause for concern for the Nuggets as they consider a potential deal. The franchise is already heavily invested in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, so the roster would start getting awfully expensive if and when Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. also require significant financial commitments.
  • We passed along an Athletic report last night indicating that the Nuggets have also inquired on Magic guard Evan Fournier. Chris Mannix of SI.com confirms that report, citing league sources who say Denver has engaged with Orlando on both Gordon and Fournier.

Trade Rumors: Hill, Bledsoe, Redick, O. Porter, Knicks, More

George Hill‘s name has come up more frequently in conversations among team executives as the trade deadline approaches, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, adding that the Clippers, Lakers, and Sixers are among the teams with interest in the Thunder guard. Hill hasn’t played since January 24 due to a thumb injury, but is out of his cast and is working toward a return, as Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder tweets.

While some clubs are hoping the Thunder will buy out Hill, that seems unlikely, since he has another partially guaranteed year left on his contract, and buyouts aren’t really Sam Presti‘s “M.O.,” as one assistant general manager tells Fischer.

Plus, the Thunder are in position to take on salary in trades if it nets them greater draft compensation, Fischer writes. Oklahoma City is one of two teams – along with New York – that remains below the salary floor this season, as John Hollinger of The Athletic observes, so the club could take on about $12MM without taking any real financial hit.

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

  • A number of Pelicans players were prominently involved in trade rumors in January and February, but some of that talk has died down as of late, according to Fischer, who says there doesn’t seem to be any real traction toward an Eric Bledsoe deal. As for J.J. Redick, a buyout seems more likely than a trade at this point, per Fischer.
  • Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. is available in trade discussions, but would probably only make sense as a salary-matching piece for a high-salary player, such as DeMar DeRozan, writes Fischer. If Porter remains in Chicago through the deadline, it’s possible he could emerge as a buyout candidate.
  • The only way the Knicks would realistically pull the trigger on a Victor Oladipo trade this week is if the team receives assurances that he’ll re-sign this summer, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who says the team isn’t interested in giving up any real assets for a rental.
  • Potential buyers are expecting – or at least hoping – that the price tags on certain big-name trade candidates, such as Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, and Harrison Barnes, will drop as the deadline nears, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. I’m not sure that’s a safe bet, since it seems to be a sellers’ market.

Kings Rumors: Holmes, Barnes, Bagley, Bjelica

Although the Kings are open to listening to trade inquiries for anyone not named De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton, sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN that it will take a significant return to pry away forward Harrison Barnes or big man Richaun Holmes.

Barnes has been a popular subject of trade speculation in recent weeks, having reportedly drawn interest from Boston and other teams, while a report earlier today said Toronto and Charlotte are among the teams eyeing Holmes. However, according to Lowe, the Kings are telling teams that they don’t consider themselves far off from being a playoff team, so they’re not eager to trade productive veterans in their prime for draft picks and prospects.

As Lowe points out, given Marvin Bagley III‘s struggles and health problems, the Kings may also view Holmes as their center of the future and will have the cap flexibility to re-sign him in free agency this offseason. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to try to get what they can for him on the trade market.

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report also hears that the Kings are willing to discuss anyone besides Fox or Haliburton, but that the asking price for Barnes is high. Sources tell Fischer it may take multiple first-round picks to pique Sacramento’s interest. “Every playoff team would be interested in him, but that’s why I don’t think that deal’s gonna happen,” one assistant general manager said of Barnes.
  • There’s a belief in league circles that Bagley would welcome a change of scenery, according to Fischer. Bagley’s father pushed for a trade earlier this year, and the former No. 2 overall pick didn’t exactly denounce it. However, the big man is currently sidelined with a broken hand and Sacramento is asking for a first-round pick, reducing the likelihood of a deal, Fischer says.
  • Although it’s unclear whether any team will meet Sacramento’s asking price of a younger player and a second-round pick, Nemanja Bjelica remains the King most likely to be traded, per Fischer. “They want to move him, and Bjelica told them he wants to be moved,” an assistant GM said. League sources who spoke to Bleacher Report identified the Celtics as a top suitor for the stretch four.

Celtics Notes: Barnes, Trade Deadline, Starting Lineup, Stevens

With the Celtics slipping under .500, a major move may be necessary before Thursday’s trade deadline to solidify Boston’s playoff chances. One of the hottest rumors surrounding the team has been a deal for Kings forward Harrison Barnes, and Jared Weiss and Jason Jones of The Athletic examine what a potential trade might look like.

The Celtics are in the market for a wing player with size who can improve the team’s defense. Barnes handles the toughest wing matchup for Sacramento and may be able to provide some minutes at center in small-ball lineups. Weiss notes that would enable Boston to explore moving Tristan Thompson, who is under contract at $9.72MM for next season.

Weiss proposes a deal sending Barnes, Nemanja Bjelica and Hassan Whiteside to the Celtics in exchange for Thompson, Grant Williams, Javonte Green, an unprotected first-round pick this season, and a partially protected first-rounder in 2023.

Sacramento played the Celtics on Friday, and Barnes was asked about the possibility of a trade. “Obviously Boston’s a great franchise, but for the time being I’m with the Kings and that’s where my focus is — my teammates in the locker room, going out there, putting it on the line every night and trying to win games,” Barnes responded.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Without breaking up their core, the Celtics only have modest assets if they decide to become sellers rather than buyers before the deadline, according to Brian Robb of MassLive. Robb projects that Thompson, Semi Ojeleye or Daniel Theis would only bring second-round picks or unproven bench players in return, while Jeff Teague and Green have virtually no trade value.
  • Bruce Castleberry of The Boston Herald believes immediate changes are necessary for the Celtics to turn their season around. He proposes putting Robert Williams and Payton Pritchard in the starting lineup in place of Theis and Kemba Walker. Castleberry states that Williams is Boston’s best big man, while a reduced work load could help Walker be fresh for the playoffs.
  • Brad Stevens has no intention of returning to college basketball, even though his name has been floated for the vacant Indiana job, according to Jeff Borzello and Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Trade Rumors: Oladipo, Kings, Markkanen, McGee

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski expects Rockets guard Victor Oladipo to be “prominent” in trade discussions leading up to the March 25 deadline, he said in the latest episode of The Woj Pod. However, it’s not clear what sort of return Houston will want or if any teams will be willing to meet the asking price.

As RealGM relays, Wojnarowski and ESPN colleague Tim Bontemps believe teams will be reluctant to aggressively pursue Oladipo since he hasn’t recaptured his All-Star form in Houston (he’s shooting .399/.316/.772 since joining the Rockets) and will be seeking a huge new multiyear contract as a free agent this offseason.

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

  • A number of power forwards are among the most intriguing players on the trade market, but teams like the Kings, Magic, and Bulls are sending signals that they won’t necessarily feel compelled to move players like Harrison Barnes, Aaron Gordon, and Thaddeus Young, writes ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (Insider link). According to Windhorst, teams that have called Sacramento have found the club willing to discuss Nemanja Bjelica and Jabari Parker, but more hesitant to talk about Barnes.
  • The Bulls appear more likely to consider moving Lauri Markkanen than Young, Windhorst adds in the same story.
  • According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, a number of strong playoff teams are interested in Cavaliers center JaVale McGee. However, those clubs are gauging the likelihood of a possible buyout for McGee before committing to giving up an asset for him.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN closes the book on the trade that sent Torrey Craig to the Suns, tweeting that Phoenix sent $110K to the Bucks in the deal. That’s the minimum amount possible this season if a team trades cash.