Jabari Parker

Details On The Failed KCP-Jabari Parker Swap

The Lakers had a tentative deal in place earlier this season to acquire Jabari Parker and send Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley to the Bulls, a source tell Bill Oram of The Athletic. ESPN previously reported that the two teams discussed swapping Parker and KCP.

Caldwell-Pope would have had to agree to the deal, since he re-signed with the Lakers on a one-year contract, giving him the right to veto any trade. The deal was not signed off over the weekend leading up to Anthony Davis‘ public trade request and the Bulls were stuck in limbo for several days. Many within the league viewed Davis’ request as a call for the Lakers to trade for him. The Bulls subscribed to that notion and moved onto other trade discussions.

Parker was eventually sent to the Wizards in the Otto Porter Jr. deal, while KCP remains on the Lakers’ roster. Beasley was dealt to the Clippers along with Ivica Zubac and ultimately waived.

In Beasley’s case, the deal can partially be attributed to a locker room flair-up with coach Luke Walton. Walton wanted Beasley to play more unselfishly; Beasley, along with teammate JaVale McGee, challenged the request.

The Lakers ended up netting Mike Muscala in the Beasley-Zubac trade. Team president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka had watched Muscala score 17 points during a spirited Sixers win over the Lakers just days prior and some within the league believe that single performance inspired the front office to make the deal.

Southeast Notes: Fultz, Parker, Porter, Birch

Despite not seeing any action yet, former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz believes the Magic have a perfect system that will fit his game when he returns, John Denton of NBA.com writes. The Magic acquired Fultz in a deal before February’s trade deadline, pushing their vision to include him in pick-and-roll sets with Aaron Gordon and others once he recovers from injury.

“Pick-and-rolls are one of my favorite parts of the game, and as everyone knows, that’s the way that I played in college,’’ Fultz said. “I think (the Magic’s system) is almost perfect for me. I think I’m a versatile player, but with the screen-and-roll (system) and the players that we have here, I think it’s going to be very fun.”

Fultz has spent much of the season rehabbing in Los Angeles, but his rehab schedule shifted to Orlando this week so he could get adjusted with his new team, according to Denton. For Fultz, being around the team while sidelined is imperative as he continues to progress in his journey back to the court.

“I think it’s going to help me a lot, just being around the guys and seeing the (offensive) plays,’’ Fultz said. “When you’re sitting down watching, you see a lot of stuff that you miss while you are playing. So, I’m just soaking it all up right now. I’m getting to see the team practice, and then during games I can see where I could see myself playing and how I could help the team.’’

Fultz, 20, has played just 35 games since being drafted by the Sixers in 2017. The Magic hope he can become the team’s point guard of the future, though this largely depends on how his rehab progresses throughout the year.

There’s more today out of the Southeast Division:

  • Jabari Parker has found his groove since being acquired by the Wizards in a trade last month, Zach Rosen of NBA.com writes. Parker started the 2018/19 season in Chicago with an uneven role, but he’s consistently produced off Washington’s bench since the trade. “It’s crazy – just to see the turnaround,” teammate Bobby Portis said. “Seeing him come from Chicago not in a happy situation. Then being here and having coaches who really believe in his game, I think that’s really rejuvenating for him.”
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington examines the returns of the BullsWizards trade that featured Parker, Portis and Otto Porter from February. Since completing the deal, Washington holds a record of 8-10 and Chicago holds a record of 9-10. Porter moved from the Southeast Division over to the Central Division with the trade to Chicago, giving the Bulls production at the starting small forward spot in the weeks that followed.
  • Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel details the long, tough path Khem Birch took before making the NBA, with the 26-year-old now seeing consistent playing time as a big man off the Magic’s bench. “Two years ago I was on the Syrian border on New Year’s Eve thinking if I’m ever going to come back home and play basketball in America,” Birch said. “I actually look back to when I was over there in Europe, and it made me a stronger person and it made me mature more.” Birch, who went undrafted in 2014, has earned double-digit minutes in every contest with Orlando since the start of February.

Wizards Notes: Parker, Portis, McRae

Since acquiring Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker in exchange for Otto Porter in a deadline deal with the Bulls, the Wizards have a 6-7 record, the exact same record they had in their 13 games before the trade. However, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details, the club has looked quite different with Portis and Parker in its rotation.

The Wizards had struggled all season as a team with their rebounding, but they’ve seen those numbers improve over the last month, Hughes observes. Portis is averaging 9.4 RPG as a Wizard, while Parker is putting up 6.8 RPG — both figures would be career highs.

Meanwhile, Washington’s offense has been “supercharged” since the trade, according to Hughes, who writes that the team has ranked first in effective field goal percentage and assists per game while playing at the league’s third-fastest pace over the last 13 contests. Conversely, the Wizards’ defense has taken a hit — they’re forcing fewer turnovers and have allowed the most points in the paint in the NBA since the deal, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as neither Portis nor Parker is an elite defender.

Here’s more from out of D.C.:

  • While there’s no chance the Wizards will pick up Parker’s $20MM team option for 2019/20, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of the former No. 2 overall pick returning to the club next season, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Two-way player Jordan McRae, who is battling a sore Achilles, will be re-evaluated during the next few days, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said on Tuesday. As Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets, McRae might not spend any more time in the G League this season, since he still has some NBA days left on his two-way deal, and after the NBAGL regular season ends on March 23, all two-way players are permitted to rejoin their NBA clubs through the end of the NBA regular season.
  • A “top”-six team in our 2018/19 Reverse Standings for much of the season, Washington now ranks eighth in the lottery order after winning four of its last seven games. With a half-game separating them from the No. 6 Mavericks and No. 7 Grizzlies, it’ll be interesting to see where the Wizards finish. The No. 6 team in the lottery has a 37.2% chance at a top-four pick, whereas the odds for the No. 8 team slip to 26.2%.

Otto Porter Claims Wizards Promised Not To Trade Him

Otto Porter said Wizards management held a private meeting with him before the trade deadline and assured him that he would remain with the team, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. Washington’s front office changed its mind sometime before Wednesday night when Porter was shipped to Chicago in exchange for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker.

Porter was expected to be part of the Wizards’ future when he agreed to a rookie-scale extension in 2017. However, his production never matched his lofty new salary and he had settled into a sixth-man role since returning from an injury last month. He was owed $27.25MM next year and has a player option worth nearly $28.5MM for 2020/21, which created a luxury tax bind for a Wizards team that may not make the playoffs.

Katz notes that owner Ted Leonsis did a radio interview about a week ago in which he promised that Moore, John Wall and Bradley Beal would all stay with the organization past the deadline.

There’s more Wizards and Bulls news as the teams met tonight, just three days after the trade:

  • Parker contends his relationship with Jim Boylen did “a complete 180” after Boylen replaced Fred Hoiberg as Chicago’s head coach in December, relays Madeline Kenney of The Chicago Sun-Times“[Before that,] we never had controversy,” Parker said. “I always had his back, you know, with things that we had in-house problems with.” Displeased with Parker’s effort and commitment to defense, Boylen took him out of the rotation and Parker appeared in just one of 13 games in the first month that Boylen ran the team. “I’m happy,” Parker said of the deal that sent him to Washington. “I haven’t smiled in a while, but it’s great.”
  • Portis said he learned of Wednesday’s trade about 20 minutes prior to a game against the Pelicans and his “stomach dropped,” according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Portis seemed shocked about being dealt away from the team that drafted him in 2015. “Everybody knows how much I prided myself in playing for the Bulls and how much I really loved playing for the city of Chicago,” he said. “It’s a business and I finally got my first taste of it.”
  • Porter enjoyed the chance to provide inside information about his former team heading into tonight’s game, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “Yeah, I was telling coach everything there was to know about Washington,” he said. “Everything. … I was snitching, yeah.”

Wizards Trade Otto Porter To Bulls

11:13pm: The trade is official, the Bulls announced on Twitter.

6:43pm: The Wizards will send Otto Porter to the Bulls in exchange for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Washington will also receive a protected future second-round pick, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). Jake Fischer of SI.com adds (via Twitter) that the pick will be a top-36 protected second-rounder in 2023.

The deal shapes up as a cost-cutting move for Washington, which was well into luxury tax territory for this season and was in danger of heading there again next year. Porter, who makes $27.25MM next year and has a player option worth nearly $28.5MM for 2020/21, was the most logical trade piece to provide cap relief. Injuries have made John Wall virtually unmovable as his super-max deal kicks in next season, and the Wizards don’t want to part with All-Star guard Bradley Beal.

Washington gets back a pair of players with no guaranteed salary beyond this season. Portis will be eligible for restricted free agency after turning down an extension offer from the Bulls in October. The fourth-year forward is having his best NBA season, averaging career highs of 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Parker signed a two-year, $40MM deal with Chicago last summer, but it carries a team option on the $20MM second year. He will get two months to try to impress the Wizards, but the team will almost certainly likely opt for the savings.

The trade drops Washington’s projected tax bill for this season from $8.96MM to $3.34MM and puts it $2.3MM above the tax threshold, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. Marks adds that Parker’s option must be exercised by June 29, and the team must submit a $3.6MM qualifying offer to Portis by the end of June to retain the right to match any offers.

Porter, 25, will get a chance to shine in Chicago as part of the team’s young core. He’s averaging 12.6 PPG and 5.6 RPG in his sixth NBA season and recently moved into a sixth-man role in Washington.

The Wizards had pledged last week not to trade Porter or Beal, but Wall’s heel surgery, followed by a ruptured left Achilles tendon that will sideline him for at least 12 more months, apparently changed their minds, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. The move should create enough financial freedom for Washington to sign Tomas Satoransky and Thomas Bryant to long-term deals this summer, adds David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Wolves, A. Davis, Irving, Conley, More

After making a big splash earlier in the season by sending Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia, the Timberwolves remain active on the trade market, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, who reports that GM Scott Layden is “canvassing the league for available deals.” Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News relays a similar sentiment, tweeting that Layden has been “much more communicative” than in past years.

According to Wolfson, players on expiring contracts are available, as are Jeff Teague and Gorgui Dieng. However, as of Tuesday, there was “zero sense” that anything was close to getting done. Meanwhile, sources tell Krawczynski that multiple teams checked in last month on Andrew Wiggins to see if the Timberwolves might be willing to move him for “pennies on the dollar.” Those inquires qualified more as due diligence though, and didn’t really go anywhere, per Krawczynski.

Here are several more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans still have yet to respond to the Lakers‘ most recent trade offer for Anthony Davis, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). L.A. reportedly pulled out of talks on Tuesday after making a big offer on Monday night, though it appears the club would be ready to re-engage if New Orleans makes a counter-offer.
  • While Kyrie Irving‘s comments on his upcoming free agency last week had some league observers wondering if the Celtics would consider moving him at the trade deadline, the team – unsurprisingly – has no intention to do so, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. “Boston’s not taking calls on Kyrie,” one general manager said. “That was made pretty clear.”
  • The Grizzlies are believed to be seeking multiple first-round picks in any package for Mike Conley, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. According to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune, the Jazz’s final offer to Memphis was a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and expiring contracts (likely Ricky Rubio and Derrick Favors). The Grizzlies asked for Dante Exum, but were told no, per Jones (Twitter link via John Martin of 92.9 ESPN).
  • A source tells Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times that the Bulls have received “a handful” of calls about Jabari Parker within the last week. Parker is a candidate to be traded, or to be bought out if Chicago can’t find a suitable deal.
  • According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), the Hawks have started to receive more calls on veteran trade candidates Kent Bazemore, Dewayne Dedmon, and Jeremy Lin. Smith adds (via Twitter) that Knicks forward Noah Vonleh is another trade candidate to watch, as he has generated multiple inquiries.

Trade Rumors: KCP, J. Parker, O’Quinn, R. Lopez

In addition to doing their best to pry Anthony Davis away from the Pelicans, the Lakers have reportedly explored a deal with the Bulls involving Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jabari Parker. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported as much on the Hoop Collective podcast this week, as Matthew Moreno of LakersNation.com relays.

There are a number of potential roadblocks to such a deal. For one, the Lakers would have to include at least one more piece in order to match salaries, since Parker is earning $20MM and Caldwell-Pope has a $12MM cap hit. Most of the Lakers’ other expiring contracts are tied up in their offer for Davis, though they’d be available to move if the Pelicans decide to hang onto AD through the deadline.

Additionally, Caldwell-Pope has the ability to veto a trade, which is why he hasn’t been included in any of the Lakers’ offers to the Pelicans for Davis. Windhorst suggests that the Bulls “really like” Caldwell-Pope, so if KCP reciprocates that interest, perhaps he’d sign off on a deal. But it’s unclear whether he’d agree on a move that would send him from a playoff contender to a lottery team. For what it’s worth, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times hears that Caldwell-Pope doesn’t appear to be interested in the Bulls.

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

Bulls Notes: Hutchison, Parker, Anthony, Dunn

Serious injuries have now affected nearly every key piece of the Bulls‘ rebuilding effort, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The latest casualty is rookie Chandler Hutchison, who will be sidelined until at least the All-Star break with an “acute injury” to his right foot.

He joins Lauri Markkanen, who missed the first 23 games of the season with a right elbow injury, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis, who both had extended absences with knee issues, Denzel Valentine, who is out for the year after ankle surgery, and Wendell Carter Jr., who may miss the rest of the season after thumb surgery.

The timing of Hutchison’s injury is unfortunate because he had just moved into the starting lineup when the Bulls traded Justin Holiday to Memphis.

“You see the confidence Hutch is playing with and the growth he has had, the confidence Wendell was playing with and the growth he has had,” coach Jim Boylen said. “And you forget about Denzel coming into his third year ready to go, pumped, had a great summer. So it’s gut-wrenching. It’s painful for them individually and painful for the team. It’s tough.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Boylen has several options at small forward while Hutchison is out, Johnson adds in the same piece. Jabari Parker could be moved back into that spot or the team could try a smaller lineup with Wayne Selden or Shaquille Harrison. Regardless, Parker should see steady playing time after about a month of hardly leaving the bench. “The dude’s special,” Zach LaVine said of Parker. “He’s one of the only dudes on the team who has averaged 20 points per game in the NBA. He’s one of the most talented dudes on the team. I’m happy for him. It’s a tough situation, but he’s handling it well.”
  • Chicago acquired Carmelo Anthony this week, but the move came five years later than the organization would have liked, Johnson notes in a separate story. The Bulls were serious suitors for Anthony when he was a free agent in 2014, and Johnson speculates that he could have been the missing piece to make the Bulls title contenders.
  • Parker and Robin Lopez have dominated the trade deadline speculation in Chicago, but the most important decision may involve Dunn, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. The third-year point guard will become eligible for an extension this summer, and the Bulls have to decide soon whether he will be part of their future. Mayberry notes that the team recently scouted Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who now projects as a top five pick.

Chandler Hutchison Sidelined Until All-Star Break

Bulls rookie Chandler Hutchison won’t play again until after the All-Star break because of an injury to his right foot, the team announced on its website.

Hutchison has been diagnosed with an acute injury to a sesamoid bone that he suffered in Wednesday’s game. He will wear a walking boot for the next two to four weeks, and his condition will be re-evaluated during the break.

The 22nd player taken in this year’s draft, Hutchison has appeared in 44 games, starting 14, and is averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in about 20 minutes per night. His absence may open more playing time for Jabari Parker, whom the Bulls would like to trade before the February 7 deadline.

Kanter: “Get Me Out Of Here” If I’m Not Playing

Enes Kanter‘s frustration with his diminished role in the Knicks‘ rotation reached a boiling point on Wednesday night after he received his first DNP-CD of the season in the team’s loss to Houston. As Marc Berman of The New York Post relays, Kanter said that what the Knicks are doing to him is “pretty messed up.”

“They told me this morning that I’m starting,” Kanter said of the Knicks’ coaching staff. “Now I come to the game and I didn’t even play. I’m trying to be a good teammate, but I want to play basketball. If you’re going to play me here, play me. If not, just get me out of here.”

With his minutes fluctuating over the last month or so as the Knicks focus more on developing their young players, Kanter has already expressed annoyance about his role multiple times. However, he took it to a new level on Wednesday by calling on the club to “get me out of here” if it doesn’t plan to play him.

With Luke Kornet sidelined due to an ankle injury, Kanter appeared set to return to the starting lineup and play regular minutes going forward. However, New York instead opted to start Noah Vonleh at center, with Mitchell Robinson backing him up. The duo handled all the center minutes during Wednesday’s tough four-point loss to the Rockets, leaving Kanter to vent to reporters after the game.

“It’s so frustrating,” Kanter said, per Berman. “In the meeting, [head coach David Fizdale] said I was starting. Now it’s coming here and coming to the game ready to go and I sit on the bench. … I deserve way better. They didn’t explain me anything. I’m just going to let my agent handle it. I love the Knicks, don’t get me wrong. I love the crowd and MSG and have love for this city, but I want to play basketball. Either play me or just let me play someplace.”

Although Kanter is on an expiring contract, he’s earning $18.6MM+ this season, which will make him difficult to move, since the Knicks don’t want to take on any extra 2019/20 money. The Knicks and Bulls have reportedly discussed a deal involving Kanter and Jabari Parker, who has a $20MM expiring contract of his own, but they’ve been unable to find a third team willing to take Kanter.

The Mavericks were among the teams that turned down the chance to be the third team in such a deal, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Presumably, Wesley Matthews‘ expiring salary – which is identical to Kanter’s – would have been included in that proposal.