Jeremy Lin

Kings Among Teams Interested In Jeremy Lin

The Kings are among the teams that have expressed “exploratory” trade interest in Hawks point guard Jeremy Lin, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

As Stein notes (via Twitter), Lin is one of a handful of Atlanta veterans expected to be available leading up to the February 7 trade deadline. The club figures to be seeking draft picks in return for Lin and Dewayne Dedmon, who are on expiring contracts, as well as Kent Bazemore, who still has one more year left on his deal after this season.

De’Aaron Fox has enjoyed a breakout season for the surprising Kings in 2018/19, but the club could use a veteran ball-handler and play-maker like Lin to stabilize its backcourt behind Fox. Yogi Ferrell and Frank Mason have handled backup point guard duties so far this season in Sacramento, while Lin has enjoyed a bounce-back year after two-injury plagued seasons in Brooklyn, averaging 10.8 PPG and 3.6 APG in a part-time role (19.5 MPG) for the Hawks.

The Kings figure to be linked to a number of trade candidates in the coming weeks, since they reportedly want to be buyers and they have the most in-season financial flexibility of any NBA team. With $11MM in cap room and a handful of expiring veteran contracts – such as Zach Randolph‘s and Kosta Koufos‘ – Sacramento could easily accommodate just about any salary. That includes Lin’s $13.77MM expiring deal.

The Sixers, Pelicans, and Trail Blazers are said to be among the other teams that have inquired on Lin.

Deveney’s Latest: Sixers, Pelicans, Blazers, Lin

While most teams around the NBA are clutching tightly to their future first-round picks, a handful of clubs appear willing to move their 2019 first-rounders, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. Deveney identifies the Sixers as one of the teams, reporting that Philadelphia appears open to trading its own 2019 first-rounder to acquire shooting help.

Of course, the Sixers would get Sacramento’s first-rounder instead of their own if the Kings’ pick ends up at No. 1, but Philadelphia would certainly make sure the pick wouldn’t go anywhere in that scenario. Deveney also notes that the 76ers have thus far kept Miami’s unprotected 2021 first-rounder out of trade talks.

Deveney identifies Mike Scott, Frank Kaminsky, and Noah Vonleh as the sort of players the Sixers might have their eye on, though presumably the team wouldn’t part with its first-rounder straight up for any of those players.

Here are a few more notes and rumors from Deveney’s latest Sporting News article:

  • New Orleans is another team that would move its first-round pick for immediate help, particularly at small forward, according to Deveney, who says the Pelicans have had some interest in Terrence Ross. As we’ve heard previously, the Magic have indicated they’d rather move Jonathon Simmons than Ross, but Ross would have more value. If Orlando keeps slipping further from the No. 8 seed in the East, the team might become more inclined to shop Ross.
  • The Trail Blazers would also be willing to part with their 2019 first-rounder for help in the backcourt or on the wing, per Deveney. Sources tell Deveney that Portland has expressed some interest in Hawks point guard Jeremy Lin, whom the Sixers and Pelicans have also inquired on. Getting a first-round pick in return for Lin might be challenging, but the veteran guard has boosted his value with a solid season so far in Atlanta.
  • While they’ll likely have more first-round picks than anyone this June, the Celtics aren’t expected to make any of those selections available at the deadline, sources tell Deveney. Boston will presumably save those picks for the summer, when a bigger move could be in play.

Southeast Notes: Lin, Wizards, Magic, Plumlee

It sounds like interest around the NBA in Hawks point guard Jeremy Lin is picking up, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). After missing most of the last two seasons in Brooklyn due to injuries, Lin is averaging 10.9 PPG and 3.6 APG with an efficient .502/.380/.821 in the final year of his contract.

Lin’s salary is fairly sizable ($13.77MM), but given the lack of clear-cut sellers around the league, as well as the number of teams that could use one more play-maker, he could be a sought-after trade chip. Smith speculates that the Hawks should be able to secure a “decent asset” – albeit nothing “amazing” – in return for Lin if they move him by February 7.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • After waiving Ron Baker earlier this week, the Wizards now have two open spots on their 15-man roster and will need to fill at least one of those two openings soon. Head coach Scott Brooks said on Tuesday that the club is exploring its options, with power forward and point guard among the positions that could be fortified (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington).
  • Point guard remains the most problematic spot for the Magic, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic details. While Orlando hasn’t fallen out of the playoff race in the East yet, the club may require a trade in order to fortify its bench and avoid slipping from contention, writes Robbins. It remains to be seen whether the Magic will be buyers or sellers at the deadline.
  • The Lakeland Magic have waived forward Justin Jackson, the team announced today (via Twitter). While Orlando’s G League affiliate will no longer carry the Maryland product, who suffered a season-ending injury, the Magic still hold the NBA rights for Jackson, the 43rd pick in the 2018 draft.
    • [UPDATE: Lakeland has since deleted its tweet announcing the release of Jackson. It’s not clear what this means for his spot on the roster.
  • Hawks big man Miles Plumlee, who underwent a non-surgical procedure on his left knee in December, underwent another procedure on that same knee this week, per a press release from the team. The Hawks say Plumlee will be re-evaluated in about two weeks, while Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the procedure was a PRP-like injection.

Atlantic Notes: Butler, Russell, Raptors, Wanamaker

Sixers coach Brett Brown is defending Jimmy Butler, saying he wasn’t disrespectful when he questioned the way he’s being used in the offense, according to an Associated Press story. ESPN reported Friday that Butler has “aggressively challenged” Brown since being acquired from the Timberwolves in November and has “tenuous” chemistry with fellow stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Meeting with reporters before tonight’s game, Brown tried to calm the situation.

“I didn’t feel like any of that crossed the line,” he said of Butler’s comments. “He’s vocal. He’s all in and he has opinions, but it’s instigated by me. None of this should surprise anybody. He’s got opinions. He wants to be heard. And he should be heard.”

Butler missed the game with a respiratory infection and wasn’t available for comment. He reportedly wants to be utilized more often in pick-and-roll situations, which aren’t a standard part of Brown’s offense.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell has improved significantly during his second season in Brooklyn, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Russell, who is averaging career highs with 18.2 points and 6.4 assists per game, is headed for restricted free agency this summer but indicated a desire to stay with the Nets. “We’re winning,” he said. “I haven’t won a lot in this league, so for me to get that type of success, I’m going to stick with it.”
  • As Kyle Lowry missed his sixth straight game tonight with back trouble, the Raptors are looking for another playmaker before next month’s trade deadline, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He states the best target would be the Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague, who isn’t being shopped but has become more expendable with productive seasons from Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones. Other possibilities include the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea or Devin Harris and the Hawks’ Jeremy Lin.
  • Brad Wanamaker was as surprised as anyone when Celtics coach Brad Stevens told him to check in during the first quarter last night, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. It was the 15th game of the season for the 29-year-old rookie, but most of his time has come late in games that were already decided. He responded with a pair of 3-pointers to help Boston build a lead. “The key word is challenging,” Wanamaker said. “I’m just trying to stay mentally prepared. I’m getting a lot of feedback from my family, friends, just saying, ‘Stay ready.’”

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southeast Division:

Jeremy Lin, Hawks, 30, PG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $38.3MM deal in 2016
Lin suffered a season-ending knee injury last October with Brooklyn. He’s bounced back impressively as the backup point guard in Atlanta. He’s averaging 10.9 PPG and 3.2 APG in 18.5 MPG while posting an above-average PER. For a contender looking to fill the same spot, Lin would be a viable option prior to the trade deadline. He’ll have to accept a lower salary with his next contract but he shouldn’t have too much trouble finding work in July.

Frank Kaminsky, Hornets, 25, PF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $11.8MM deal in 2015
Far removed from leading Wisconsin to the 2015 national championship, Kaminsky continues to disappoint as a pro. Under former coach Steve Clifford, Kaminsky was a steady presence in the rotation. First-year James Borrego has buried Kaminsky so deep on the bench that the stretch four hasn’t played the last three games. Kaminsky could be a restricted free agent if the Hornets extend a $4.9MM qualifying option but that’s not happening. He’ll be looking to hit the reset button in July.

Rodney McGruder, Heat, 27, SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3.4MM deal in 2016
McGruder has started regularly for the Heat this season but that might not last much longer. He’s averaged 5.2 points in his last five outings while shooting 27.6 percent from the field. His PER is well below average. In McGruder’s favor is his team-friendly contract. He’ll be a restricted free agent if the Heat extend a $1.93MM qualifying offer. Whether he receives it will likely depend on how much cap space Pat Riley wants to open up.

Nikola Vucevic, Magic, 28, C (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $53MM deal in 2015
Orlando has some young, athletic bigs but Vucevic is so productive, he’s maintained his minutes under new coach Steve Clifford. The veteran big man is averaging a career-high 20.8 PPG, 11.8 RPG and 3.6 APG. Like many 7-footers his age, Vucevic came into the league as mainly a low post player but has extended his range beyond the arc. He’s made 39% of his attempts this season. Currently ranked No. 10 in our Free Agent Power Rankings, Vucevic should be a nice consolation prize for a team with significant cap space that strikes out pursuing the biggest names on the market.

Trevor Ariza, Wizards, 33, SF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $15MM deal in 2018
Phoenix quickly moved Ariza to a team fighting for a playoff spot after giving him a nice one-year payday over the summer. The Wizards are just 1-4 since acquiring Ariza but what’s more significant is how many teams inquired about him before the trade. He reportedly drew interest from at least eight clubs. His 3-and-D skills remain in high demand and he should be able to land at least one more big-money contract before he retires.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: Hardaway, Russell, Lin, Mudiay

After a strong start to the 2018/19 season, Knicks’ guard Tim Hardaway Jr. has seen his game go a little stagnant over the last month or so. And according to Stefan Bondy of the Daily News, we now know why, as it has been reported that Hardaway is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot and will have to manage the pain moving forward this season.

As Bondy notes, Hardaway missed the Knicks’ loss against the Suns on Monday to ease some inflammation he was having, but he returned tonight to score 27 points against the Sixers, albeit in a losing effort.

As numerous previous injuries have demonstrated, playing on plantar fasciitis prolongs the recovery because the only cure is rest. Knicks’ head coach David Fizdale says that Hardaway has been coping with the pain “for a while,” but Hardaway says the pain only began a few games ago, so it’s difficult to know when the pain actually started.

“I’ve never had (plantar fasciitis) before, just heard a lot of things about it, that if you keep playing on it, it could get worse,” Hardaway told Bondy. “So around this time last year (with the Knicks) I had an injury and I was out a month-and-a-half. Almost two months. So I just want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Hardaway’s status and pain tolerance will be something to keep an eye on as the Knicks’ season moves forward.

There’s more out of the Big Apple:

  • Nets’ point guard D’Angelo Russell is beginning to look like a player who was taken with the No. 2 overall selection in the NBA Draft, and his teammates and others within the organization are starting to take notice, per NetsDaily. Russell is embracing Brooklyn and becoming a team-first player as he looks to become a leader and cash in on a big payday this summer.
  • In a piece written by Brian Lewis of the New York Post, former Nets’ and current Hawks’ guard Jeremy Lin opens up about the pain he felt when he was traded to Atlanta from Brooklyn. Speaking on his meeting with head coach Kenny Atkinson after learning of the trade, Lin said he was hurt and that the trade was unexpected, but that he ultimately understood it was a business decision and he’s grateful for the time he spent in Brooklyn.
  • Since being promoted to the starting lineup about a month ago, Knicks’ point guard Emmanuel Mudiay has been a bright spot for an otherwise underwhelming team, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Mudiay has done a good job of improving his conditioning, but his defense is still a work in process. If he continues to get better this season, however, the Knicks could very well look at bringing him back next season and beyond.

Stein’s Latest: Melo, Bazemore, Ross, Davis

The Rockets continue to search for a taker for Carmelo Anthony, Marc Stein of The New York Times reports in his latest newsletter. Moving Anthony’s $2.4MM salary – which has a cap hit of $1.5MM, would afford the team roughly $2.6MM in luxury tax savings.

Stein notes that the Sixers and Lakers—two teams often mentioned as potential landing spots for Melo—appear uninterested in bringing the prolific scorer aboard. The Hornets have also resisted the idea of adding Anthony despite the connection between team owner Michael Jordan and Anthony through the Jordan Brand.

Anthony became trade-eligible on the weekend and perhaps as NBA clubs gather in Las Vegas for the G League showcase, a rival team will strike a deal with Houston.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest newsletter.

  • Kent Bazemore is generating interest from contending teams looking for a swingman, Stein reports. Bazemore has one more year and $19.3MM left on his deal with the Hawks after this season and the interest in the wing at that price speaks to how highly he’s regarded in the marketplace, Stein writes.
  • Hawks veterans Jeremy Lin and Dewayne Dedmon are also receiving interest from around the league. Both players are on expiring deals.
  • Terrence Ross is the Orlando wing who is generating the most interest. However, the Magic would prefer to trade Jonathon Simmons over Ross, who is on an expiring $10.5MM contract.
  • It’s unlikely that the Pelicans deal Anthony Davis this season but a critical point is approaching. New Orleans can offer Davis a massive contract extension worth over $200MM in total value this summer and should the big man decline it, the Pelicans will realistically have to trade him.

O’Connor’s Latest: Ariza, Suns, Lakers, Love, Knicks

Earlier this morning, we relayed a report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggesting that the Jazz are among the teams with interest in Bulls forward Jabari Parker. O’Connor’s full article for The Ringer includes a number of other interesting tidbits worth passing along, so we’ll round up some of the highlights in the space below…

  • Many NBA executives expect it to be a quiet trade season in 2018/19, since there will be a ton of buyers and the sellers don’t have all that many attractive trade assets, says O’Connor.
  • After Friday’s three-team Trevor Ariza trade fell apart, the Lakers jumped back in by offering Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a second-round pick, but the Suns wanted a young player – likely Josh Hart – instead of the draft pick, according to O’Connor. The Lakers, as previously reported, refused to include Hart or any of their other top prospects.
  • One of the other variations of an Ariza deal that was discussed before the Suns sent him to the Wizards featured the Rockets and Hawks, league sources tell O’Connor. In that scenario, Ariza would have gone to the Lakers and the Rockets would have acquired Caldwell-Pope. The Suns would have received Jeremy Lin and an additional asset, while the Hawks got Brandon Knight and a first-round pick.
  • Reports have suggested that the Cavaliers don’t plan to trade Kevin Love unless they’re blown away by an offer. Even if that stance changes, front office executives don’t expect Cleveland to receive any viable offers for Love unless the big man looks healthy and productive before the deadline, O’Connor writes.
  • The Knicks‘ clearest path to a maximum-salary slot for the 2019 offseason would involve trading Courtney Lee or Tim Hardaway Jr. However, according to O’Connor, front office sources believe New York would need to attach an asset in order to move either player without taking back multiyear salary.

Pelicans Rumors: Porter, Moore, Bazemore, Lin

Few players have made a bigger impact on their teams this season than Anthony Davis, whose Pelicans have a +10.7 net rating when he’s on the court and a -13.7 rating when he sits. However, Davis could use some help, so Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer devotes his latest article to exploring a number of potential trade options for New Orleans, providing a handful of interesting tidbits along the way.

Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • There are “whispers” that the Pelicans have interest in Wizards forward Otto Porter, according to O’Connor, who believes that Porter could thrive in New Orleans’ up-tempo offense and would fill a major need for the team. While there’s no indication that the two teams have engaged in trade discussions, O’Connor suggests that a package along the lines of Solomon Hill, Julius Randle, and a first-round pick might work.
  • Following up on a report suggesting that the Pelicans offered Nikola Mirotic and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler, O’Connor writes that E’Twaun Moore was included in a version of New Orleans’ offer for Butler. Sources tell O’Connor that the Pels declined to make Jrue Holiday available in those trade talks, and also resisted offering an unprotected 2022 first-round pick.
  • O’Connor identifies Kent Bazemore, Wesley Matthews, James Johnson, Trevor Ariza, and DeMarre Carroll as some other wings and forwards who could be of interest to New Orleans, and who may end up being available. The Pelicans made a play for Bazemore in the offseason, O’Connor notes.
  • Scott Kushner of The Advocate recently argued that the Pelicans could use another playmaker, even when Elfrid Payton is healthy. O’Connor makes a similar point, observing that New Orleans had interest in Jeremy Lin before he signed with the Nets in 2016. Lin could be a trade candidate to watch, according to O’Connor, who points to Milos Teodosic (Clippers) and T.J. McConnell (Sixers) as others to keep an eye on.

Southeast Notes: Lin, Young, Gordon, T. Brown

While opening night is thrilling for everyone, that’s especially true for new Hawks guard Jeremy Lin, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin is coming off two frustrating years in Brooklyn, where injuries limited to a total of 37 games. He suffered a torn right patellar tendon in the first game of last season and hasn’t played since.

“I think I’m just going to be really excited, really grateful,” Lin said before tonight’s game. “I’m going to be like, ‘Dang, in a lot of ways I made it. I made it back.’ The rehab process — not just the knee, the hamstring and all the other stuff — those were tough, to watch all those games. For me, to just get back on the court, I’m going to be super happy.”

Lin remains disappointed that he couldn’t contribute more to the Nets after signing a three-year, $36MM contract in 2016. His focus now is on putting together a healthy season in Atlanta and rebuilding his value for another shot at free agency next summer.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks‘ decision to trade down and draft Trae Young was the result of a compromise between the team’s ownership group and the front office, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The owners wanted to keep the No. 3 pick and take Luka Doncic, while the front office preferred Jaren Jackson Jr., who wound up in Memphis with the fourth selection. The parties elected to swap picks with Dallas and take Young, whom everyone in the organization agreed on.
  • The Magic showed their faith in Aaron Gordon with a new four-year, $76MM contract this summer, and president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman tells Josh Robbins of The Athletic that Gordon’s intangibles factored into the decision. Gordon is coming off a breakthrough season in which he raised his stats to 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. “Organizationally, we wouldn’t have done what we did if we didn’t have the utmost confidence that he’s going to be able to not just become a good player in his own right, but a player that lifts others,” Weltman said.
  • Wizards rookie Troy Brown can expect to spend at least part of the season in the G League, tweets Doug McKinney of NBC Sports. The additions of Jeff Green and Austin Rivers over the summer will limit Brown’s opportunities for playing time at the NBA level.