Jeremy Lamb

Cavaliers Rumors: Sexton, LeVert, Trade Targets, More

Chris Fedor of 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.

Sabonis To Kings, Haliburton To Pacers In Six-Player Trade

9:00pm: The trade is now official, the Pacers announced in a press release.

4:36pm: The second-rounder being sent to Sacramento in the deal is actually a 2023 pick that will be convey if it lands anywhere from 31-55, per Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter links).

12:37pm: The Pacers have agreed to send Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday to the Kings in exchange for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Sacramento will also receive a 2027 second-round pick in the trade, according to Wojnarowski. That pick will presumably be the Utah selection the Pacers acquired from Cleveland on Monday, since Indiana has traded away its own 2027 second-rounder.

The deal involves two teams that have been trying to shake up their rosters ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. Both are in the middle of disappointing seasons, with the Pacers 13th in the East at 19-36 and the Kings, who were open about their need to make the playoffs heading into the season, stuck at 13th in the West at 20-35, two games out of the final play-in spot.

Sabonis, who was an All-Star in 2020 and 2021, carries a $19.8MM cap hit this season, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. As Marks notes, Sabonis’ cap figure is expected to eventually drop to $18.5MM this season and $19.4MM next year because his All-Star bonus will be considered unlikely going forward.

Sabonis’ production has remained steady at 18.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists through 47 games, but the Pacers have been looking to break up the combination of Sabonis and Myles Turner.

Lamb has an expiring $10.5MM deal, while Holiday is under contract for $6MM and $6.3MM next season. The Kings will create a $4MM trade exception in the deal, Marks adds.

It’s a fascinating deal for the Kings, since reports in recent weeks repeatedly stated they preferred to build around Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox going forward. They relented on Haliburton in order to land a star center and will now move ahead with rookie Davion Mitchell as Fox’s potential long-term backcourt partner. It’s unclear whether more moves are coming for Sacramento, which still has a frontcourt logjam that includes center Richaun Holmes.

The Pacers, meanwhile, acquire a potential future star in Haliburton, who has emerged as a full-time starter this season and is averaging 14.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 51 games. He will make $4.2MM and $5.8MM over the next two seasons and will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the summer of 2023.

Indiana also lands Hield, who has a $23.1MM salary this year that will drop to $21.2MM next season and $19.3MM in 2023/24, and Thompson, who has a $9.7MM expiring deal. The Pacers will create a $10.5MM trade exception, according to Marks (Twitter link).

The trade leaves Indiana $615K below the luxury tax line, though Hield has nine bonuses in his contract that could affect that, Marks adds (via Twitter). Two of them are considered likely — fewer than two turnovers per game and finishing in the top 10 in made three-pointers — which would add up to $595,962 and push team salary dangerously close to the threshold. If the Pacers make more deals this week, they’ll likely try to trim a little more salary to create additional breathing room below the tax line.

Indiana was said to be seeking a Nikola Vucevic-esque package of several draft picks and/or young prospects in exchange for Sabonis. However, as we noted when we previewed the trade deadline for Central teams last week, the Pacers have historically preferred to acquire packages headlined by promising NBA-ready players rather than draft picks when they’ve traded away stars. The team first acquired Sabonis along with Victor Oladipo for Paul George in a 2017 blockbuster that was widely panned by experts at the time.

Sabonis and Oladipo both eventually developed into All-Stars in Indiana, and now the Pacers will hope for the same from Haliburton, a potential two-way impact player who is still just 21 years old.

Pacers Rumors: Turner, Sabonis, Ayton, Rubio, McCollum

After trading Caris LeVert to Cleveland, the Pacers continue to talk to teams about centers Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, but are still seeking a substantial return, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Indiana wants at least two first-round picks for Turner and an even more significant package for Sabonis, according to Fischer.

The Trail Blazers, Mavericks, Raptors, Knicks, Hornets, and Kings are among the teams to express interest in Turner, but they’ve all balked at the Pacers’ asking price so far, Fischer writes. As Fischer reported last week, Toronto has discussed a framework of Goran Dragic‘s expiring contract and a first-round pick for Turner, but it sounds like Indiana would want more assets than just a single first-rounder.

The Kings have engaged with the Pacers about both Turner and Sabonis, though it’s unclear how much progress was made in those talks, says Fischer. De’Aaron Fox was “at least mentioned in some capacity” in discussions between the two teams, according to Fischer, which echoes a January report.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • Some people around the NBA who have spoken to Bleacher Report have suggested the Suns may be one of the teams interest in Sabonis. While Phoenix isn’t expected to shake up their roster this week, some of Fischer’s sources believe an offseason deal that involves Sabonis and a Deandre Ayton sign-and-trade is a possibility.
  • Both Fischer and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst say that Ricky Rubio‘s expiring contract could be flipped before Thursday’s trade deadline, which Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on Monday. T.J. Warren and Jeremy Lamb, also on expiring contracts, look like trade candidates too, per Fischer.
  • Fischer reports that the Pacers are believed to be one of the teams with some interest in Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum.

Eastern Trade Rumors: Pacers, Sixers, Hawks, Celtics, More

Although Domantas Sabonis‘ name has frequently surfaced in trade rumors in the last couple months, one executive who spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said he doesn’t think the Pacers will move Sabonis unless they get a package like the one Orlando got for Nikola Vucevic last season. Chicago gave up two lightly-protected first-round picks and young center Wendell Carter Jr. for Vucevic, and took on Al-Farouq Aminu‘s multiyear contract in the deal.

The price will be significantly lower for other Pacers trade candidates, including Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb, who are both available, according to Scotto. Rival executives tell HoopsHype that Indiana is thought to be seeking a couple second-round picks for Holiday.

Scotto doesn’t specify an asking price for Lamb, but I imagine it will be a challenge for the Pacers to get positive value for the veteran wing — he’s having a down year and is earning more than $10MM.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the Eastern Conference from the latest episode of the HoopsHype Podcast:

  • When the Sixers and Hawks discussed Ben Simmons, they “briefly kicked around” a trade that would’ve involved Simmons, Tobias Harris, John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Danilo Gallinari, according to Scotto. That concept didn’t gain any traction though, as Atlanta has no interest in Harris.
  • Scotto has heard the Celtics did due diligence on Rockets center Daniel Theis, but says a reunion with the big man is less likely following last week’s Juan Hernangomez trade, since Hernangomez would’ve been the most logical salary-matching piece in any deal involving Theis. Scotto adds that rival executives believe Boston will hang onto Robert Williams, viewing him as part of the team’s current core.
  • The Hornets, Raptors, and Bulls are among the teams in the market for a center, says Scotto. The position has been an area of concern for Charlotte and Toronto for a while — Chicago has Vucevic, but would be interested in adding a backup.

Fischer’s Latest: McCollum, Powell, Simmons, Turner, Hawks, Schroder

Anfernee Simons‘ breakout season is leading to speculation that the Trail Blazers may try to trade CJ McCollum or Norman Powell, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Portland entered the season with plans to be a contender, but injuries and some disappointing performances have left the team in a tight race for a play-in spot. With Damian Lillard sidelined after abdominal surgery, the Blazers may opt to unload some of their assets and take advantage of a high draft pick going into next season.

There have been whispers throughout the league that McCollum might be available, though Fischer wonders how much of a return he’ll provide considering that he’s 30 years old, is in the middle of a down season, and has been out of action for six weeks after suffering a collapsed lung. He also has two full years left on his contract at $33.3MM and $35.8MM.

Powell, who signed a five-year, $90MM extension during the offseason, seems like a more surprising name to be included in trade talks. However, about a dozen teams wanted to acquire him before he went to Portland at last season’s deadline and Fischer found that many league executives see his contract as valuable.

There’s a belief that Powell wouldn’t mind being traded again, as sources tell Fischer that there were “several snags” in his contract negotiations with the Blazers. One of the teams he considered in free agency was the Pelicans, according to Fischer, who notes that New Orleans is seeking to upgrade to improve its chances of reaching the play-in tournament.

Fischer shares a few more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Little has changed on the Ben Simmons trade front since the offseason, as Sixers ownership, the front office, coach Doc Rivers, and star center Joel Embiid are all united in the stance that the team needs to get an elite player in return. Fischer states that Philadelphia is willing to wait for someone along the lines of Lillard, Bradley Beal, James Harden or Jaylen Brown to become available. The Sixers have discussed three-team packages with the Kings, Pacers and Timberwolves, but none of those teams can offer a star that Philadelphia sees as equal value for Simmons.
  • The Pacers are seeking multiple first-round picks in exchange for center Myles Turner. The Mavericks, Timberwolves, Knicks, Kings, Hornets and Trail Blazers have all expressed interest, and several league executives told Fischer that the Raptors might be a team to watch. The Cavaliers and Knicks have asked about Caris LeVert, but Indiana also wants multiple first-rounders for him. The Pacers have gauged the trade value of Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and Torrey Craig too, Fischer adds.
  • The Hawks are willing to consider a major upheaval before the deadline, with a rival assistant GM telling Fischer that he believes everyone except Trae Young and Clint Capela are available. Atlanta appears willing to move De’Andre Hunter for veteran help, and there may be a market for Danilo Gallinari, who only has a $5MM guarantee next season on his $20MM contract.
  • The Celtics will try to trade Dennis Schröder, who is unlikely to be re-signed next season because of tax considerations. The Knicks, Cavaliers and Mavericks are all possible destinations. Boston has also targeted Suns center Jalen Smith, who will be a free agent after Phoenix declined his third-year option.

COVID-19 Updates: Noel, Hornets, Pacers, Ingles, Reed, Bucks, Metu

Knicks center Nerlens Noel has cleared the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per New York’s PR team (Twitter link). Noel entered the protocols in late December.

The 6’11” big man has only appeared in 17 contests, starting 10, for New York so far this season. The 27-year-old out of Kentucky is averaging 3.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG and 1.1 SPG across 23.1 MPG. Knee injuries kept Noel absent for much of the start of the 2021/22 season. He signed a lucrative three-year, $32MM contract with the Knicks during the offseason.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates:

Jeremy Lamb Enters Protocols For Pacers

Pacers reserve swingman Jeremy Lamb tested positive for COVID-19 and has entered the league’s health and safety protocols, according to James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. Head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters, including Boyd, that lead assistant coach Lloyd Pierce returned an inconclusive test and will miss the team’s game against Charlotte Wednesday night.

Lamb, 29, suffered a torn ACL in February 2020 and has struggled to regain the same level of play post-injury. In 26 games this season (14.3 MPG), Lamb is averaging 6.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 1.4 APG on .361/.342/.932 shooting. He’s earning $10.5MM this season and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022.

There were rumors over the summer that the Pacers were looking to trade Lamb, but they haven’t found any takers yet, with his play not matching his salary. He could potentially be used as salary matching as part of a larger deal, with the Pacers reportedly looking to be active on the trade market. The Pacers hold a 14-20 record, 13th in the East.

Pierce is in his first season with the Pacers after being fired as head coach of the Hawks last season.

Lamb will be out for at least six days or until he returns two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Boyd writes that rookie two-way guard Duane Washington Jr. could receive more minutes in Lamb’s absence. Boyd also notes that with Malcolm Brogdon sidelined (sore Achilles), Keifer Sykes, whom the Pacers recently signed, should receive his first NBA action Wednesday.

Central Notes: Cunningham, Green, Pacers, Mobley

Pistons point guard Cade Cunningham is set to miss Detroit’s entire early-season road trip due to a lingering ankle injury, but could be ready to make his NBA debut on October 30 against the Magic, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Cunningham, 20, is apparently still dealing with some soreness.

“Last week, we made the decision to make sure we bring him back gradually, where he’d get some time with the G League team (the Motor City Cruise), practice with them, and get some reps with them,” head coach Dwane Casey said of the top draft pick out of Oklahoma State. “The medical people are holding back — and rightfully so… You don’t want to rush him back if it’s not 100%. That’s the one thing that they want to make sure of, that it was 100%, because there were certain movements he had that were still sore.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Reserve forward Javonte Green has already endeared himself to the Bulls faithful since coming over to Chicago at the 2021 trade deadline, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Tribune. “(Green is) one of the biggest energy guys we have,’’ Bulls starting point guard Lonzo Ball said. “Not only running the lane but playing defense. He can guard a lot of different positions, and he uses his hands very well… We definitely feed off of that when he comes into the game.’’
  • Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb and forward Oshae Brissett are proving their mettle as galvanizing scorers off the bench so far this season, according to Akeem Glaspie of The Indianapolis Star“A lot of the time the starters are not gonna be able to have it completely going and be able to make shots,” starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon said. “But as long as we defend and the second team comes in and gives us some energy and a spark off the bench offensively, we’re gonna be fine.” Indiana is currently 1-2 in this young season.
  • Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and his assistants have been showing film of some NBA legends to rookie big man Evan Mobley, per Chris Fedor of Mobley, the third pick in the 2021 draft out of USC, was utilized much like Hall of Fame big man Kevin Garnett on defense during a 101-95 Cleveland win over the Hawks. He has also watched game tape of future Hall of Fame power forward/center Dirk Nowitzki, as well as current All-Star bigs Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo. “He’s asking me to emulate them but knows I’m still my own player,” Mobley said about Bickerstaff’s strategy. “I try to play my game, take bits and pieces from them, but still be myself and play how I play.” Mobley, already the Cavaliers’ starting power forward, is averaging 15.7 PPG, 8.3 APG, 2.3 BPG and 1.3 APG through three games. Cleveland is 1-2 in those contests.

Jeremy Lamb Unlikely To Finish 2021/22 Season With Pacers

The Pacers have made an effort to trade Jeremy Lamb and his $10.5MM expiring contract this offseason, but haven’t had any luck, so the veteran wing will likely open the season on the team’s roster, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star. However, according to Michael, Lamb isn’t expected to still be a Pacer by the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

Lamb, 29, suffered a torn ACL during his first season in Indiana in 2019/20. That injury delayed his start to his second season with the team, and lingering knee and leg issues limited him to 36 total games in 2020/21. He averaged 10.1 PPG and 3.6 RPG in .435/.406/.947 shooting in 21.3 minutes per contest.

As Michael writes, since the Pacers added Caris LeVert earlier this year and drafted Chris Duarte in July, there’s no longer a clear role on the wing for Lamb, so the team is comfortable moving on from him. However, Lamb may have to prove this fall that he’s fully healthy in order to increase his appeal as a trade chip. At this point, teams likely wouldn’t give up much of value to acquire him.

Although the Pacers haven’t found a deal they like yet, Michael hears that about four teams have expressed some level of interest in Lamb. The Lakers and Hornets are among those clubs, Michael adds.

Central Notes: Pacers, Stanley, Green, T. Antetokounmpo, DeRozan

The Pacers are looking to add a third point guard after trading Aaron Holiday to the Wizards, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star. They’ve been trying to move wing Jeremy Lamb and his expiring $10.5MM contract but have yet to find any takers.

Those factors contributed to the decision to pull a qualifying offer from two-way player Cassius Stanley. However, Stanley’s time in the organization isn’t necessarily over. He’s been offered a training camp invite, though it’s uncertain if he’ll accept it or attempt to hook on with another team.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Javonte Green‘s two-year, veteran’s minimum contract with the Bulls is fully guaranteed and doesn’t include any options, Keith Smith tweets. Green was acquired in March and entered the month as a restricted free agent after Chicago extended him a qualifying offer. The signing was made official on Wednesday.
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo received a player option in the final year of his two-year contract with the Bucks, Ian Begley of SNY.TV tweets. He signed a two-year deal worth approximately $3.6MM.
  • DeMar DeRozan will make $26MM in the first season of his three-year contract, somewhat below what was initially reported, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. DeRozan, who was acquired by the Bulls in a sign-and-trade, will make $27.3MM and $28.6MM in the final two years, for a total of $81.9MM, according to Smith (Twitter link). The contract is fully guaranteed without any options or bonuses.