Jakob Poeltl

Southwest Notes: Jackson Jr., Irving, Poeltl, Wood

Jaren Jackson Jr. underwent foot surgery after the season but the Grizzlies remain confident he’ll be a major contributor in 2022/23, according to Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jackson is expected to be out four-to-six months due to a stress fracture in his right foot.

“Jaren is going to be just fine,” Grizzlies executive VP of basketball operations Zach Kleiman said. “This is not a concerning injury. Jaren’s already putting in the work to get back. We know he’s going to be even better. Not worried about Jaren. He’s going to be a big part of our group this season.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Nets reached out to the Mavericks regarding a potential Kyrie Irving trade but Dallas showed little interest, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Coach Jason Kidd has been emphasizing “chemistry and accountability” and Irving’s reputation would change that mantra. It would also be difficult for Dallas to put together a suitable package.
  • Jakob Poeltl‘s name has been bandied about in the trade market but he may wind up staying with the Spurs, according to Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com. The Spurs look at Poeltl as a stabilizing force on a rebuilding team. They were asking in the range of a rotation player and a first-round pick for Poeltl at February’s trade deadline and the price could be even higher now.
  • Officially a member of the Mavericks, Christian Wood took what appeared to be a dig at the Rockets during his introduction to the Dallas media, Caplan writes. Wood is thrilled to join a perennial playoff contender. “I’m thankful I came to a good organization,” he said. Wood is entering the final year of his contract and is extension-eligible this offseason.

Southwest Notes: Spurs, M. Wright, Rockets, Grizzlies

Veteran center Jakob Poeltl has been the subject of trade speculation dating back to February’s deadline, and while Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link) doesn’t believe the Spurssigning of Gorgui Dieng and waiver claim of Isaiah Roby signal the end of Poeltl’s time in San Antonio, he suggests the team should be gauging the trade market for the big man.

In the wake of the trade sending Dejounte Murray to Atlanta, McDonald (Twitter link) views anyone on the Spurs’ roster over the age of 24 as “imminently available.” That would include sharpshooter Doug McDermott in addition to Poeltl, though it sounds like that’s just speculation for the time being.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Despite earning a spot on the All-G League First Team as a rookie this past season, forward Moses Wright wasn’t tendered a two-way qualifying offer by the Mavericks and is now an unrestricted free agent. As Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com writes, Wright is playing for Dallas’ Summer League team in Las Vegas and is determined to show he deserves a training camp invite, whether from the Mavs or another team. “I want to be the most dominant big (man) out there,” Wright said. “Whether it’s talking, rebounding, defensive presence, no matter what I do, just be dominant at what I do.”
  • Kelly Iko of The Athletic wonders if there’s a way for the Rockets to get involved in a multi-team trade scenario involving Kevin Durant in order to land restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton. Iko acknowledges that Ayton’s positional overlap with Alperen Sengun isn’t ideal, but believes it would still make sense for Houston if the price was right.
  • The Grizzlies, whose only move in free agency has been a new two-year agreement with Tyus Jones, believe time is on their side and are operating with patience this summer rather than making any significant roster changes, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (subscription required).

Bulls Rumors: LaVine, Gallinari, Drummond, White

Zach LaVine is expected to finalize a new contract with the Bulls shortly after free agency begins at 6:00 pm Eastern, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. LaVine has informed people that he plans to stay in Chicago, and his new contract will likely be a five-year max deal in the $215MM range, Johnson adds.

After weeks of rumors that LaVine was prepared to explore his options on the free agent market, the situation has settled down in recent days and a return to Chicago appeared imminent. General manager Marc Eversley said after last week’s draft that the team would “do what it will take” to re-sign LaVine.

The 27-year-old guard has been an All-Star the past two years. He dealt with knee issues this season, but was still able to average 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 67 games.

There’s more from Chicago, all courtesy of Johnson:

  • The Bulls are among several teams that would have interest in adding Danilo Gallinari if he gets waived by the Spurs. The move is expected after San Antonio agreed to acquire Gallinari on Wednesday as part of the return for Dejounte Murray. Johnson estimates that Gallinari will receive a two-year deal worth about $7-8MM per season and points out that Billy Donovan coached Gallinari with the Thunder.
  • Chicago, which has been linked to several centers through trade and free agency rumors, has interest in signing Andre Drummond. Several other teams will also pursue Drummond, Johnson adds, but he should be available on a veteran’s minimum salary.
  • Johnson says rumors that the Bulls will try to sign Mohamed Bamba are “on life support” and believes that reports of interest in dealing for Jazz center Rudy Gobert were exaggerated. Another possibility could be trading for San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl if the Spurs continue to unload their veterans.
  • It appears likely that third-year guard Coby White will remain in Chicago. Johnson states that the Bulls listened to offers for White before the draft and were asking for a young rotation player and a draft pick. White is among Chicago’s best outside shooters and provides backcourt depth that is important with concerns about Lonzo Ball‘s knee.

FA/Trade Rumors: Ayton, Centers, Turner, Beal, Saric, Lakers

Echoing comments made last week by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that Suns center Deandre Ayton – a restricted free agent this summer – may be the biggest name to change teams in the coming weeks.

Phoenix is “increasingly expected” to explore sign-and-trade scenarios involving Ayton, according to Stein, who says there’s plenty of skepticism around the NBA about the team’s desire to make a significant financial commitment to the young center.

Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report conveys a similar sentiment in his latest round-up of NBA rumors, suggesting there’s “considerable skepticism” that the Suns will re-sign Ayton. The Pistons, Spurs, Trail Blazers, Hawks, and Raptors have all been mentioned as possible suitors for the former No. 1 overall pick, Stein notes.

Here are a few more updates from Stein and Pincus on some of this year’s top free agents and trade candidates:

  • According to Pincus, some sources believe that the Spurs (Jakob Poeltl), Bulls (Nikola Vucevic), Hawks (Clint Capela/John Collins), and Pacers (Myles Turner) are among the teams that could be willing to move their current centers in a package for one of the offseason’s top available big men (Ayton, Rudy Gobert, etc.). Grizzlies center Steven Adams also may be a summer trade candidate, though he’s well-liked in the locker room, says Pincus.
  • While both Pincus and Stein have talked to sources who believe the Pacers are likely to keep Myles Turner, Stein notes that the situation could change if the big man wants to play out his expiring contract rather than agreeing to an extension, since Indiana may not want to risk losing him for nothing next year.
  • According to Stein, one or two teams hopeful of landing Bradley Beal believe the All-Star guard wants to be the Dirk Nowitzki of D.C., sticking with the Wizards for his entire career.
  • While Dario Saric‘s $9.24MM expiring contract makes him an obvious trade candidate, Pincus writes that the Suns are hopeful the forward can return to form after missing last season due to an ACL tear, and may not be looking to move him.
  • If the Lakers have any hope of trading Russell Westbrook without including a first-round pick, they’ll likely have to take on at least one or two players earning $15-25MM annually on multiyear deals, Pincus writes, citing veterans like Davis Bertans and Duncan Robinson as hypothetical examples. Rival executives and agents don’t expect the Lakers to get clarity from LeBron James on his long-term intentions before the draft or free agency, which will complicate L.A.’s decision-making process — the team would be more comfortable taking on pricey multiyear contracts with a guarantee that LeBron is sticking around long-term, Pincus observes.

Spurs, Hornets Discussing Jakob Poeltl, P.J. Washington

The Spurs and Hornets have discussed a possible trade that would send center Jakob Poeltl to Charlotte, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

League sources tell Scotto that the proposed deal would see San Antonio acquire Hornets forward P.J. Washington, rookie big man Kai Jones, and a first-round pick. However, the two sides are haggling over the possible inclusion of that draft pick, says Scotto.

Charlotte has long been in the market for a center and is one of the many teams that have been linked to Poeltl. Toronto and Chicago were also mentioned as potential suitors for the big man leading up to the deadline, and Scotto says the Mavericks have expressed interest too.

Poeltl has emerged as a two-way force this season, averaging a career-high 13.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 45 games (28.8 MPG). He’s also San Antonio’s top rim protector, with 1.7 BPG.

The Spurs, meanwhile, have been one of the league’s busiest teams in the last month as they look to collect draft assets and young talent. According to Scotto, San Antonio considered drafting Jones at No. 12 last July before ultimately opting for Joshua Primo. Presumably, the Spurs are still high on Jones despite the fact that he hasn’t shown much yet at the NBA level, logging just 46 minutes across 16 games.

Washington has been solid again this season for Charlotte, averaging 9.9 PPG and 5.5 RPG on .446/.386/.729 shooting, but has seen his role reduced. He’s coming off the bench and is averaging a career-low 24.6 minutes per game after averaging 30+ MPG in each of his first two NBA seasons.

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.

Fischer’s Latest: Nuggets, Fox, Poeltl, Brunson, Buyouts

Nuggets forward JaMychal Green and guard Facundo Campazzo are considered available in trade talks, reports Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Mike Singer of The Denver Post also recently identified Green and Campazzo as two players the Nuggets would probably be willing to move as they seek a defensive-oriented small forward.

The Nuggets’ ability to trade Green could be complicated by his ability to veto any trade that involves him. A source tells Singer that the veteran forward wouldn’t accept a move to a non-contending team.

Here are a few more trade rumors, courtesy of Fischer:

  • The Knicks and Pelicans have held exploratory conversations for Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, says Fischer, whose report was published before New Orleans reached an agreement to acquire CJ McCollum — it’s probably safe to assume the Pels are no longer a candidate to pursue Fox.
  • The Hornets are among the teams interested in Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, per Fischer. Toronto and Chicago have previously been reported as potential suitors for Poeltl.
  • The Pistons remain very interested in Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, but may have to wait until free agency if they want to make a play for him, according to Fischer, who says Dallas is still committed to retaining Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith through the deadline.
  • Nets big man Paul Millsap, Kings center Tristan Thompson, Rockets guard D.J. Augustin, and guard Tomas Satoransky (who is reportedly being traded to the Trail Blazers) are considered potential buyout candidates, writes Fischer.

Trade Rumors: Pelicans, Bulls, Poeltl, Grant, Nets

The Pelicans, who have been described as trade deadline buyers, are making an effort to fortify their core, Marc Stein reports at Substack.com. In addition to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, New Orleans views Jonas Valanciunas and Herbert Jones as part of that core, according to Stein, so those players appear to be off limits in trade talks.

While the Pelicans are apparently unwilling to move Valanciunas or Jones, they do have other players who would appeal to trade partners. Most notably, Stein suggests that forward Josh Hart, who is in the midst of a career year, could be on the move this week. Multiple previous reports have indicated Hart may be a trade candidate.

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

  • The Bulls made an offer for center Jakob Poeltl that was centered around a first-round pick, but they were rebuffed by the Spurs, according to Stein. Chicago has already traded away two of its own future first-round selections – including one to San Antonio – so the pick in the offer for Poeltl may have been Portland’s 2022 first-rounder, which is top-14 protected and appears unlikely to convey this year.
  • In his preview of the Pistons‘ trade-deadline week, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic says the Wizards, Kings, and Trail Blazers are the teams that have exhibited the most interest in Jerami Grant. Sources tell Edwards that the Nets have also “poked around,” but are a longer shot to acquire the forward.
  • Within his look at the James Harden and Ben Simmons situations, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reports that the Nets have been looking for more shooting on the wing. That makes sense, given that Joe Harris‘ status for the second half and postseason remains up in the air. O’Connor also echoes some of the same points made in a series of other Harden/Simmons reports this morning, including reiterating that the Sixers aren’t willing to entertain trading Tyrese Maxey this week.

Scotto’s Latest: McCollum, Covington, Finney-Smith, Raptors, Gallinari

In the wake of Friday’s trade that sent Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers, many executives around the league expect the Trail Blazers to move CJ McCollum either before the deadline or during the offseason, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The Pelicans and Mavericks are among the teams with interest in McCollum, Scotto adds.

Joe Cronin, the interim general manager in Portland, said the trade with L.A. was designed to create more playing time for Anfernee Simons, who has emerged as a potential star in his fourth NBA season. Cronin calls Simons, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, a “core piece” and said the team “wanted to create a runway here for him.” The same reasoning could apply to moving the 30-year-old McCollum, who will make $69.13MM over the next two seasons.

Scotto shares a few more trade-related tidbits:

  • After Friday’s trade was completed, several teams called the Clippers to see if they were interested in flipping Covington, who has a $12.975MM expiring contract. However, L.A. sees Covington as insurance if Nicolas Batum decides to turn down his $3.3MM player option this summer and would consider re-signing him even if Batum remains with the team. Scotto views Serge Ibaka as the next Clipper who might be traded.
  • Sources tell Scotto that the Mavericks passed on an offer of a potential late-lottery pick in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith. The 28-year-old forward will be a free agent this summer, but Scotto cites “sentiment around the league” that Finney-Smith is outplaying his maximum extension of $55.6MM over four years.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner is among the names the Raptors have considered in their search for help in the middle. Scotto identifies Jakob PoeltlRobert WilliamsNicolas Claxton and Jusuf Nurkic as other potential Toronto targets, saying the Raptors have considered offering a first-round pick to the Spurs for Poeltl. The price for Turner would be even higher, as Indiana wants either two first-round picks or one first-rounder and a young player with potential.
  • The Raptors are among several teams with interest in acquiring veteran forward Danilo Gallinari from the Hawks. Scotto notes that Goran Dragic, who hasn’t played since November, could be used to help match salaries in a deal with Atlanta.

Stein’s Latest: Collins, Hawks, Poeltl, Turner, Fox, Lopez

Hawks big man John Collins appears increasingly unlikely to be traded before next Thursday’s deadline, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article. As Stein explains, Atlanta has been involved in plenty of trade discussions in recent weeks, but the team is playing well lately and seems inclined to push any Collins deal into the offseason.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe conveyed a similar sentiment earlier today. While he didn’t focus specifically on Collins or any other player, Lowe reported that the Hawks remain active in trade talks, but don’t appear to feel the same urgency to make a move that they did a couple weeks ago.

Here are a few more trade rumors from Stein’s latest roundup:

  • The Spurs would require a first-round pick and a quality player in order to part with center Jakob Poeltl, according to Stein, who says the Bulls are among the teams to express interest in the big man. Stein previously identified Toronto as another club with interest in Poeltl.
  • Stein was told on Friday morning that the odds of Pacers big man Myles Turner being moved before the February 10 deadline are a “coin flip.” Turner seemed more likely to be dealt before he sustained a stress fracture in his foot that cooled his market.
  • Despite the Kingsinsistence that they want to keep De’Aaron Fox and build around him and Tyrese Haliburton, Stein says numerous teams still believe Sacramento would be willing to part with Fox.
  • Teams have inquired on center Robin Lopez, but it’s unclear how interested the Magic are in trading him, Stein writes.