Jordan Clarkson

Stein’s Latest: Gordon, Bucks, Jazz, Washington, Crowder, More

The Bucks, who surrendered four second-round pick for Nikola Mirotic at the 2019 trade deadline, are exploring a similar approach as they pursue Rockets wing Eric Gordon, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack article. According to Stein, Milwaukee has pitched four second-rounders to Houston in various trade scenarios involving Gordon, but the Rockets remain focused on getting a first-rounder.

One report over a month ago suggested the Bucks were offering up four second-round picks in a three-team scenario that would send Gordon to Phoenix and Jae Crowder to Milwaukee, which makes more sense from a salary-matching perspective. Acquiring Gordon, whose cap hit is $19.57MM, would be tricky for a Bucks team that doesn’t have any highly paid trade candidates.

Milwaukee’s five players earning eight-digit salaries (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis) are crucial contributors, so any trade package would likely have to start with Grayson Allen, who is making $8.5MM.

Adding George Hill ($4MM) and Jordan Nwora ($3MM) to Allen would still leave the Bucks about $75K short of the outgoing salary required to take back Gordon, meaning they would have to get creative if they hope to land the veteran shooting guard.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • There’s a “rising belief” around the NBA that the Jazz will be open to listening on any players on their roster besides Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler at the trade deadline, says Stein. Previous reports, including one from Stein, have indicated Utah would be hesitant to move Jordan Clarkson.
  • The Hornets‘ interest in re-signing restricted free-agent-to-be P.J. Washington appears to have risen significantly since last summer, according to Stein. Miles Bridges‘ uncertain NBA future following an alleged domestic violence incident presumably factors into Charlotte’s increased interest in Washington, Stein notes.
  • Given that Jae Crowder‘s time away from the Suns is approaching the four-month mark, his potential trade suitors have questions about how long it would take him to get acclimated and to get his conditioning back to 100% if he eventually reports to a team this season, Stein writes.
  • Stein also confirms a couple previously reported rumors, writing that Spurs center Jakob Poeltl is expected to seek approximately $20MM per year in free agency this summer and noting that the Heat are among the possible trade suitors for Knicks forward Cam Reddish. Shams Charania of The Athletic cited $20MM as a number to watch for Poeltl, while Ian Begley of SNY.tv has mentioned Miami’s interest in Reddish.

Western Notes: Clarkson, Booth, Gobert, Ingram, Eason

Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson denied the rumor that he turned down a contract extension offer, according to Karlo Sacamos of Spin.ph. At least three reporters have stated that Clarkson’s representatives and the Jazz have discussed an extension.

I’ve really had no communication in terms of extension from my side or my team that I know of,” the Filipino-American combo guard said in a recent online media availability with Manila-based reporters. “And if those talks are happening, sometime soon, I would love to be here in Utah, continue to play with my teammates further.”

Clarkson, who turns 31 in June, is posting career highs in multiple categories for Utah, including points (21.1), rebounds (4.2), assists (4.4) and minutes (32.6) per game, Sacamos notes. However, due to CBA rules regarding veteran extensions, the Jazz are limited in what they can offer him at the moment.

If the summer comes and it’s nothing else or it’s not an agreement or anything comes through, we just have to wait and see,” the Clarkson said, per Sacamos. “I can’t tell that far in the future, but in terms of right now, I don’t think there’s really been much talking.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • In an interview with Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports Radio (Twitter link), GM Calvin Booth suggested the Nuggets might have a relatively quiet trade deadline. “When healthy, I don’t think we need much. I think we have a lot of what we need inside our locker room,” he said. The Nuggets are currently 30-13, the No. 1 seed in the West.
  • After being limited to 13 minutes in Saturday’s over Cleveland, Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert attempted to play on Monday against Utah, his former team, but was ruled out after just five minutes of action (Twitter link). The three-time All-Star is dealing with right groin soreness.
  • Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram missed his 25th straight game on Monday in Cleveland due to a left big toe contusion, and his extended absence is frustrating some people in the organization, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com (subscriber link). Clark notes that injuries have long been an issue for Ingram. He has played just 15 games this season.
  • Rookie first-rounder Tari Eason plans to appeal his $30K fine for his role in an altercation between the Rockets and Kings on Friday, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link). “There is an appeal process and I’m working on one as we speak,” Eason said. The forward was docked for escalating the fracas and making inadvertent contact with a game official. Eason added that he “was surprised” that he was penalized and that he didn’t realize he had come in contact with an official, according to Feigen.

Fischer’s Latest: Jazz, Suns, McDaniels, Sixers, Holmes

League personnel expect the Jazz to become a seller ahead of the February 9 trade deadline, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who reports that Utah has received a lot of interest in Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. The Jazz are looking for a first-round pick in exchange for either player, sources tell Fischer.

A couple weeks ago, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported about three-team trade talks between the Jazz, Suns and Hawks that involved Beasley, Vanderbilt, John Collins and Jae Crowder. Fischer hears from sources that the Jazz and Hawks also discussed a more straightforward deal, with Beasley and Vanderbilt heading to Atlanta in exchange for Collins, but suggests that the deal may have fallen apart when Utah asked for a first-rounder as well.

Echoing a report from Marc Stein, Fischer says Jordan Clarkson “is not considered a trade candidate at this time.” The Jazz want to keep the veteran guard, but are currently limited in what they can offer him in an extension, so he is expected to hit free agency.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • Fischer suggests that a three-team deal is the most likely pathway for Crowder to eventually be dealt from the Suns. The Bucks are known to be very interested in Crowder, with Fischer reiterating that Milwaukee has been dangling Grayson Allen to rival teams. Charania reported a couple days ago that the Suns are interested in Hornets forward Jalen McDaniels, but sources tell Fischer that the fourth-year forward is a favorite of GM Mitch Kupchak, so Allen and second-round picks is unlikely to be enough for Charlotte.
  • Rival teams have gotten the impression that the Suns are looking for another ball-handler at guard, potentially a long-term replacement for point guard Chris Paul, Fischer adds.
  • Like Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Fischer says the Wizards aren’t currently open to trading Kyle Kuzma, as the team hopes to re-sign him in free agency.
  • Unsurprisingly, Fischer writes that the Sixers will be actively looking for roster upgrades ahead of a playoff push. However, if that doesn’t come to fruition, Fischer suggests Philadelphia might dump a smaller salary to dip below the luxury tax threshold, pointing to Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle and Jaden Springer as potential contracts that could be moved.
  • Kings backup center Richaun Holmes is available on the trade market, sources tell Fischer. The 29-year-old is in the second year of a four-year, $46MM deal, but has fallen out of Sacramento’s rotation under new head coach Mike Brown, averaging just 2.7 PPG and 2.0 RPG in 26 games (9.0 MPG). He averaged 14.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 1.6 BPG in 2020/21, so it’s possible a rival team might view him as a bounce-back candidate, but there’s no question that his value has declined.

Stein’s Latest: Raptors, Hardaway, Clarkson, Turner

The Raptors appear unlikely to tear down the foundation of their team before the trade deadline, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column. Sources tell Stein that Toronto is open to parting with Gary Trent Jr., who has an $18.56MM player option for next season and could be headed for free agency, but it would take a significant offer to pry away OG Anunoby or Pascal Siakam.

The player to watch might be Fred VanVleet, according to Stein. VanVleet reportedly received a four-year, $114MM extension offer before the start of the season, and he and the team decided to delay any further extension talks. Stein believes that if the Raptors keep VanVleet past the deadline, it’s an indication that they plan to commit to a longer deal.

Toronto has slipped into a tie for 11th in the East at 17-23 and could be headed for a spot in the lottery. A source indicated to Stein that the team might be content with taking a shot at Victor Wembanyama or another elite draft prize rather than trying to reconfigure its roster on the trade market.

There’s more from Stein with the deadline just one month away:

  • The Mavericks are making Tim Hardaway Jr. available, and the Cavaliers can get him if they’re willing to take on his contract, which has two years remaining at a total of $34.1MM. Stein points out that Hardaway has been shooting much better since moving into the starting lineup, which would make him a valuable asset for a Cleveland team that’s in the race for the best record in the East. Caris LeVert‘s expiring $18.8MM contract is an easy way for the Cavs to match Hardaway’s current $19.6MM salary, Stein notes.
  • After reporting on Saturday that Jordan Clarkson turned down an extension offer from the Jazz, Stein clarifies that he doesn’t expect the shooting guard to be traded. Stein explains that Clarkson is significantly underpaid at $13.3MM with a $14.3MM player option for 2023/24, and CBA rules limit what Utah can offer him before the current season ends. Stein hears that Clarkson wants an annual salary in the $18-20MM range, and the Jazz appear willing to give him that when they’re able to.
  • The Pacers are in a much better position to work out an in-season extension with Myles Turner, since they can restructure his current-year salary up until a March 1 deadline, Stein adds. He says the team has discussed an extension with Turner’s representatives, but they haven’t been able to reach an agreement.

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Clarkson, Markkanen, Murray

Rudy Gobert hasn’t made a smooth transition to his new team after the Timberwolves acquired him in an offseason trade, but his performance Friday indicates that things may be turning around, writes Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune. Gobert posted 25 points and 21 rebounds and scored on six lob dunks, showing that he’s building a connection with his teammates.

“I try to just be in the right spot,” Gobert said. “Make it easy for them. And those guys have been getting better. A lot of guys [had] turnovers trying to throw me the ball earlier this season. And, every night, that’s going to happen here and there. But I really try to reward them by finishing those plays and being in the right spot.”

The Wolves talked a lot after Friday’s game about how long it takes to get used to a new teammate after a major personnel move. Kyle Anderson, who’s also in his first season in Minnesota, said he studied film of Joe Ingles passing the ball to Gobert when they were together in Utah.

“You just have to trust him,” Anderson said. “I mean, it’s hard. It is a lot of pressure on someone to come into a new team and be good in October and November. Like, that’s rare. So I think he’s getting his rhythm in the pocket. We’re starting to trust him more and he’s making the right play.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Tony Jones of The Athletic has confirmed a report by Marc Stein that the Jazz and Jordan Clarkson have discussed a contract extension. In a series of tweets, Jones cites “mutual interest in moving forward” and states that negotiations are expected to continue. Sources tell Jones that the team views the 30-year-old Clarkson as young enough to be part of the rebuilding process.
  • In his first season with the Jazz, Lauri Markkanen has turned into the player the Bulls were hoping for when they traded for him on draft night in 2017, says KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Utah visited Chicago tonight, and Markkanen said he always looks forward to returning to his first NBA home. “I think I’m a better player than I was a couple years ago when I was here and I’m just getting more mature. And then being in the right system utilizes my strengths,” he said. “Being on the move is getting me to my right spots. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do this stuff earlier on.”
  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is getting to the point where he’s not afraid to test his surgically repaired ACL, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Murray turned in a vintage performance Thursday with 13 first-quarter points. “For the most part, I’m just playing out there,” he said.

Stein’s Latest: Bogdanovic, Gordon, Oubre, Turner, Clarkson

Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic may not be the biggest-name player to change teams prior to the February 9 trade deadline, but he seems to be the one who is the most in demand at this point, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack story.

According to Stein, the list of clubs with interest in Bogdanovic has reached double digits, even though the Pistons have been telling teams for weeks that they’d prefer not to trade their top scorer.

Although they’ve expressed reluctance to move Bogdanovic, the Pistons have also been conveying that if they do have a change of heart, the asking price would be at least an unprotected first-round pick, says Stein. A previous report suggested Detroit would seek a first-round pick plus at least one more asset. Bogdanovic’s potential suitors are hoping that the Pistons’ apparent hesitation to move the 33-year-old is a negotiating ploy and that the price will drop as the deadline nears, per Stein.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest rumor round-up:

  • Two teams have told Stein recently that the Rockets‘ asking price for Eric Gordon is similar to what the Pistons have sought for Bogdanovic. While Houston may be trying to get an unprotected first-round pick for Gordon, the club probably knows it won’t get that sort of return, according to Stein, who views it as an example of just how high prices are in general with over a month to go until the deadline and few sellers on the market.
  • The Cavaliers, Suns, and Raptors were among the teams thought to have some trade interest in Hornets wing Kelly Oubre before he underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand, Stein writes.
  • According to Stein, Pacers big man Myles Turner and Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson have so far rebuffed extension offers from their respective teams. Stein doesn’t expect Utah to trade Clarkson even if no extension is in place by February 9, but is less sure about Indiana’s plans with Turner.

Haynes’ Latest: Young, DeRozan, Clarkson, Wood, Winslow, GPII

Rival executives believe Trae Young could be the next star player to make a trade request if the Hawks don’t “make inroads” in the playoffs, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020/21 as the No. 5 seed, Atlanta was eliminated by Miami in the first round of last year’s playoffs as the No. 8 seed. Haynes writes that Young encouraged Atlanta’s front office to deal for guard Dejounte Murray in the offseason, but their partnership has been a little shaky thus far, with the Hawks currently sitting with a 16-16 record, the No. 9 seed in the East.

Young is under contract through at least 2025/26 (he has a player option in ’26/27) after signing a maximum-salary rookie scale extension in the 2021 offseason, so he seemingly wouldn’t have much leverage if he does request a trade down the line. It also wouldn’t exactly be a good look from an optics standpoint considering he pushed for the Murray acquisition.

The Hawks recently made a major change to the top of their basketball operations department, with former president Travis Schlenk moving into a role as a senior advisor, and GM Landry Fields taking his place as the head of basketball operations. A source tells Haynes that Fields meets with the team’s star point guard regularly and the two have a “great relationship.”

Rival teams are keeping a close eye on Atlanta’s situation, particularly with the rumored tension between Young and head coach Nate McMillan. Haynes states that Fields has ownership’s green light to upgrade the roster, but thus far hasn’t found any takers for forward John Collins.

Here’s more from Haynes:

  • Another star player rival executives believe could request a trade in the offseason is DeMar DeRozan, who will earn $28.6MM next season in the final year of his contract. Like the Hawks, the Bulls have dealt with their own on-court dysfunction, currently sitting with a 13-18 record, the No. 11 seed in the East. The Bulls were the No. 6 seed last season after finishing 46-36 (they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Milwaukee), so they’d have to go 33-18 the rest of the way to just to match that mark, which seems improbable at the moment. Haynes says that playing on an expiring deal is a “non-starter for most high-caliber players” and suggests that DeRozan is likely to seek an extension or ask out if the Bulls don’t improve. However, he did just enter free agency in the 2021 offseason after playing on an expiring contract with San Antonio, and was notoriously loyal with Toronto, so it’s unclear if this is report is just speculation from Haynes (and rival teams) or something the five-time All-Star is actually considering.
  • League sources tell Haynes that Jordan Clarkson and his agents are engaged in contract extension talks with the Jazz. However, Haynes says it’s not a lock that a new deal gets signed and Clarkson might enter free agency instead, which would require him to turn down his $14.3MM player option for ’23/24. A couple of reporters wrote last month that Clarkson was more likely to be extended than traded by the Jazz.
  • The Mavericks haven’t made Christian Wood available in trade talks, but according to Haynes, some rival teams think that might change soon. Haynes notes that Wood is playing on a $14.3MM expiring deal and is eligible for a four-year, $77MM extension in a couple days, but his fit in Dallas hasn’t been what either side was hoping for. Wood’s points, rebounds and minutes are down from the past couple seasons, and he has only started four of 29 games, with head coach Jason Kidd citing defensive concerns as the reason for the big man’s somewhat reduced role.
  • Justise Winslow suffered a left ankle injury in Wednesday’s loss to the Thunder and is expected to undergo an MRI, sources tell Haynes. The Trail Blazers forward is an unrestricted free agent in 2023 and is a rotation regular for Portland. On the bright side, Blazers guard Gary Payton II hopes to make his season debut next week, per Haynes, which is in line with a report last week from Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Northwest Notes: Russell, Gobert, Clarkson, Blazers

Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell has been fined $20K by the league for directing inappropriate language toward a game official, the league’s PR department tweets. The incident occurred toward the conclusion of the Timberwolves’ 135-128 loss to the Thunder on Saturday. Russell was ejected in the late going after receiving two technicals.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was also ejected on Saturday, in that instance for tripping Thunder forward Kenrich Williams. “It was just frustration,” Gobert told Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link). “Guys are going to talk. It’s a part of the game. Sometimes you can feel it’s disrespectful, but I got to be smarter than that. Penalizing my team, penalizing myself. So, just seems like for me, I got to be smarter.”
  • Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson has been fined $15K by the league, Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Clarkson tossed his headband into the stands during the final seconds of Utah’s 116-111 loss to the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
  • Considering the Trail Blazers are above .500 despite losing star Damian Lillard for a stretch and playing 14 of their games on the road, coach Chauncey Billups is happy with the state of the team, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. “We’re in a good spot,” he said. “We’ve been in a really tough stretch, maybe our toughest stretch of the season in terms of travel and games. We knew it was going to be a difficult stretch here, and that’s what it’s proven to be. But I think we are in a good spot.”

Jazz’s Beasley Discusses Trade Rumors, Hardy, Future, More

After being traded from Minnesota to Utah over the summer, Jazz wing Malik Beasley came into the season with aspirations of becoming an All-Star, he tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

While Beasley acknowledges that making the All-Star Game as a reserve probably isn’t happening, he said he was happy to come off the bench and hopes to make a run at the Sixth Man of the Year award.

“As a seven-year veteran, I can (come off the bench) for my team and understand the role,” Beasley said. “I’m at a point in my career where I want to make money, but I also want to win. I’m down for sacrificing the starting position role and doing the best I can to prove to my team that we’re all in this together.”

Beasley, who will turn 26 this Saturday, added that another one of his goals is to earn a spot in this season’s three-point contest — he has made a strong case for consideration so far, knocking down 3.2 three-pointers per game at a 41.4% rate. He tells Scotto that if the Jazz keep winning, he expects the home team to be well represented at All-Star weekend in Utah.

“If we stay in the top three, I feel like we can get two All-Stars in Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson,” Beasley said. “If we finish first or second, we can get me in the three-point contest and Kelly Olynyk in the skills challenge. When we go into the locker room or the plane, we always say us four guys are the most likely to get those nods.”

Here are a few more highlights from Beasley’s conversation with Scotto, which is worth checking out in full for the swingman’s thoughts on the Jazz exceeding their outside expectations, his goals for the rest of his career, and much more:

On being involved in trade rumors once again this season:

“I’ve been in the league for seven years, so I understand there are going to be rumors. If it happens, it happens. I think the main thing I realized is that I can only control what I can control. If something happens, prove to the next team why they chose you and why the other team shouldn’t have traded you.”

On his impressions of first-time head coach Will Hardy:

“He’s a great guy, truly. I’m not just saying that. It makes it even better that he’s young. Sometimes, when we’re in the locker room, he’ll call us ‘bro,’ or we call him ‘bro.’ It’s not just a regular head coach thing. He treats us like we’re family.

“He’s always telling us to have fun. Whenever you make mistakes on the court, for a first-time head coach, you don’t get that a lot. Usually, if a guy messes up, it’s a scream because people want to prove that everybody wants to win so badly. Coach wants to be great. He wants everyone to have fun. If you make a mistake, that’s the game of basketball. He even admits his own mistakes. It shows how great he is as a coach. I believe he should get Coach of the Year.”

On his future in Utah and the team’s $16.52MM option on him for 2023/24:

“I would love for them to pick that option up for me to continue my journey here in Utah. If not, then I’ve got to make the best of it. I’m very thankful for this landing spot since I came here. There are a lot of great people here in Utah and a great fan base. I think it’s the perfect opportunity to show I’m a changed man in Utah. It’s a place where big-name players usually wouldn’t come here, but I don’t know why. Once you come out here, you’ll have a great time.”

Jazz Rumors: Conley, Markkanen, Vanderbilt, Beasley, Collins, More

The severity of Mike Conley‘s knee injury could have an impact on which direction the Jazz go in their various trade talks, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who notes that a significant drop-off in Utah’s play with Conley unavailable may make the team more inclined to sell — especially if the veteran point guard ends up sidelined for multiple weeks, as was originally rumored.

For the time being, Fischer says, the Jazz appear intent on keeping forward Lauri Markkanen, who is enjoying a breakout season, and guard Jordan Clarkson, who is believed to be a better candidate for an extension than a trade. The club has also established a “high” asking price for forward Jarred Vanderbilt, Fischer adds.

That would leave Conley, swingman Malik Beasley, and center Kelly Olynyk as the most likely veteran trade candidates in Utah, according to Fischer, though he acknowledges that Olynyk is a favorite of Jazz CEO Danny Ainge.

Here’s more on the Jazz from Fischer:

  • League sources tell Yahoo Sports that Utah’s interest in Hawks big man John Collins is legitimate. However, Atlanta didn’t gain any traction after inquiring about a Markkanen/Collins swap, and it seems unlikely that Collins will end up with the Jazz, Fischer writes.
  • While Conley’s $22.68MM cap hit would be the best straight-up match for Collins’ $23.5MM figure, Fischer doesn’t expect the Hawks to have much interest in Conley, given that they already have two star point guards in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Beasley would be a more logical candidate to be included in any Jazz deal for Collins, per Fischer.
  • Sources tell Fischer that the Jazz have been looking to move Rudy Gay, who is averaging career worsts so far this season in points per game (4.5), minutes per game (15.8), and field goal percentage (36.2%), among many other categories. Gay is earning $6.18MM in 2022/23 and is considered highly likely to pick up his $6.48MM player option for ’23/24, so he’ll have negative trade value.