Josh Jackson

Trade Rumors: Noah, Josh Jackson, Bledsoe, Mudiay

The Knicks would like to unload Joakim Noah‘s salary in any deal involving Kristaps Porzingis, according to a post by Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Noah was considered a major disappointment in his first year in New York after signing a four-year, $72MM deal last summer. Injuries and a suspension for violating the NBA drug policy limited him to 46 games, and he averaged just 5.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per night. Noah still has three years and $55MM left on his contract.

There’s more from a day filled with trade rumors:

  • Several teams are trying to convince the Suns to trade Josh Jackson, but Phoenix plans to keep the pick, tweets Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. The Kansas forward was projected as a top three selection, but slipped to fourth behind Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum. Phoenix, which is loaded with backcourt players, can use the help at forward.
  • The Suns aren’t likely to trade Eric Bledsoe today, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix. The team reportedly had discussions with Denver earlier today on a possible deal. Bledsoe, 27, will make $29.5MM over the next two seasons.
  • The Nuggets called several teams to gauge interest in Emmanuel Mudiay, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link), who notes that New York has passed on Mudiay before.

Nuggets, Suns Discuss Bledsoe, Mudiay

6:01pm: Discussions between the Suns and Bulls on Bledsoe involved the No. 16 overall pick, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.

5:39pm: The Suns currently have no trades on tap, and are preparing to use the No. 4 pick in the draft, tweets TNT’s David Aldridge.

5:25pm: The Nuggets and Suns have discussed a trade that would send Eric Bledsoe to Denver, with Emmanuel Mudiay and the No. 13 pick going to Phoenix, league sources tell Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (Twitter link). No deal is imminent, but talks remain “fluid,” per Haynes.

ESPN’s Chad Ford first reported that the Nuggets and Bulls were engaged with the Suns today on possible Bledsoe trade scenarios, while Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times tweeted that Phoenix was still looking to make a “major splash” with Bledsoe and/or the No. 4 pick.

According to Ford, if the Suns use the fourth overall pick on De’Aaron Fox, it will likely signal that they found a taker on Bledsoe. If Phoenix isn’t able to complete a Bledsoe trade tonight, Josh Jackson is the more probable pick at No. 4, assuming he’s still on the board, says Ford.

Denver would be an interesting landing spot for Bledsoe, who averaged a career-best 21.1 PPG and 6.3 APG in 66 games last year, before he was benched down the stretch by the tanking Suns. Although Mudiay is a former seventh overall pick, his development has been slow so far, leaving the Nuggets seeking a possible long-term alternative at the point guard position.

Draft Notes: Ball, Ntilikina, Bulls, Mavericks

The Lakers are widely expected to take Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick after trading D’Angelo Russell on Tuesday, but Ball tells Adam Zagoria of FanRag Sports that he hasn’t received a guarantee from the team. Ball worked out twice for L.A., with the second time reportedly at the request of the Lakers after a disappointing showing in the first session. “I think they were both fine,” he said. L.A. is still giving “real consideration” to Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

There’s more news as teams lock in their draft strategies:

  • French point guard Frank Ntilikina held a last-minute workout for the Knicks this morning, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Sources tell Berman that the Mavericks, who are also in the market for a point guard, talked to the Timberwolves about trading up from the ninth pick to the seventh to have a shot at Ntilikina, but talks collapsed because of Minnesota’s high asking price. The Wolves would prefer to use that pick as part of a package to get Jimmy Butler from the Bulls. Today’s workout was conducted by former Knicks player developmental coach Chris Brickley, who tutored Ntilikina last summer.
  • If the Bulls do move Butler, they will likely target Fox or Josh Jackson, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.
  • The Celtics are also interested in the seventh pick and have spoken to the Wolves about a possible deal, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Boston may want an extra draft choice to sweeten its offer to the Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis.
  • Responding to Damian Lillard‘s request for a better supporting cast, the Trail Blazers are trying to acquire a lottery pick, tweets Mitch Lawrence of The Sporting News. Portland’s priority in any deal is getting rid of a bad contract, according to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The Blazers made an offer for Paul George, but it “doesn’t move the needle” for the Pacers, relays Jason Quick of CSNNW (Twitter link).
  • The Raptors, who hold the No. 23 pick, are gauging interest around the league and are willing to trade down, according to Scotto (Twitter link).
  • The Nuggets, who have the 13th selection, are another team that may try to move down, tweets Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. He notes that Denver has a history of making draft-night trades.
  • Several teams have expressed an interest in moving into the late part of the lottery, according to Givony (Twitter link). He lists the Lakers, Hawks, Nets, Bucks, Trail Blazers and Rockets as teams that might try to acquire a pick in the 10-14 range.

Latest On Kristaps Porzingis

3:23pm: The Celtics and Knicks aren’t engaged in ongoing talks about a Porzingis deal, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, who says the teams exchanged offers this morning and haven’t been back in contact. Sources familiar with the negotiations are calling Jackson’s demands “ridiculous,” McMenamin posted on ESPN Now. He adds that the Celtics are now expected to keep the No. 3 pick and not try to trade down.

2:25pm: The Celtics are making a strong pitch for Kristaps Porzingis and are trying to assemble a package that the Knicks will accept, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Boston has offered the No. 3 selection, an unidentified player and an additional lottery pick that the Celtics are confident they can trade for tonight, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). However, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman posts on ESPN Now that the sides are not close to a deal.

There’s more today on the Porzingis front:

  • Knicks president Phil Jackson wants the Celtics to give up tonight’s No. 3 pick, next year’s unprotected Nets pick, Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder, relays Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Boston believes that’s too much to ask, but is willing to do the deal if it involves just one of the draft picks, according to Isola. New York wants Kansas forward Josh Jackson, who is expected to still be on the board at No. 3. Phil Jackson is also a fan of Crowder and regrets not picking him up from Dallas in the Tyson Chandler deal three years ago. Brown, the third overall selection in 2016, has a close relationship with former Knicks president Isaiah Thomas.
  • Jackson’s demand was confirmed to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) by another source, who added, “[Phil Jackson] is just messing with things.
  • Ramona Shelburne posts on ESPN Now that Jackson won’t settle for anything less than his demand. “He’s dug in,” a Knicks source told her. “If he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, there will be no [Porzingis] trade.”
  • The Celtics aren’t the only team trying to pry Porzingis away from New York, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
  • One of those teams is the Suns, who have talked to the Knicks about a trade involving the No. 4 pick. TNT’s David Aldridge says the teams aren’t close to a deal, although that could always change (Twitter link).

Trade Rumors: Jackson, George, Porzingis, Kanter

Numerous teams are trying to obtain a top-4 pick in order to select Kansas swingman Josh Jackson, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. With the Sixers having obtained the top overall pick to select Markelle Fultz, that means a blockbuster deal involving the Lakers, Celtics or Suns could be on the horizon. It also strongly suggests that the Celtics have settled on Duke forward Jayson Tatum as their preferred choice, since Jackson wouldn’t be available at No. 4 if Boston wants him.

Here are some of other trade rumors floating around as the draft approaches:

  • There is a growing sense that unless the Pacers get a suitable offer for Paul George today, President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard will wait until next month to re-engage talks regarding the 2018 free agent, according to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler. However, the latest projected salary cap of $99MM could motivate Indiana and the Lakers to get a deal done today, as Kyler details. The Spurs and Blazers are also making a run at George, Kyler adds in another tweet.
  • The Knicks believe Kristaps Porzingis would have been the top selection in today’s draft and next year’s draft and desire a package of picks that reflect his value, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. Team President Phil Jackson confirmed Wednesday he is listening to offers for the disgruntled big man. Talks between the Knicks and Suns have not gained any traction because Phoenix is unwilling to part with shooting guard Devin Booker, Wojnarowski tweets.
  • The Thunder could deal center Enes Kanter as early as today, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman speculates. The team has enough big men to take over his minutes, though Kanter is the most offensively-gifted frontcourt player they have, Carlson continues. It makes sense to obtain more shooters and veterans to help out Russell Westbrook, which makes Kanter expendable, Carlson adds. Kanter will make approximately $17.9MM next season and holds an $18.6MM player option on the final year of his contract next summer.

Spurs Rumors: Hill, Aldridge, Jackson, Summer League

A reunion between unrestricted free agent point guard George Hill and the Spurs is a possibility, according to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News. Hill wouldn’t mind playing once again for coach Gregg Popovich and he continues to maintain a residence in San Antonio, according to Young. Hill played for the Spurs from 2008-11 until he was traded to the Pacers in a deal that gave San Antonio the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard, among others. The Spurs are expected to make contact with Hill, who played for the Jazz last season, when free agency begins next month. However, Hill would seemingly be a fallback target for San Antonio, which is expected to make a serious run at the top point guard in free agency, Chris Paul.

In other news regarding the Spurs:

  • The Blazers are interested in bringing back LaMarcus Aldridge and reuniting him with point guard Damian Lillard, according to Young. That is unlikely because Portland only wants to make a deal in which it can match salaries, Young continues. The Spurs are trying to move Aldridge in a deal that would clear cap space in their pursuit of top free agents.
  • The Spurs’ efforts to land a Top 10 pick by moving Aldridge are hampered by Aldridge’s contract situation, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. Any lottery team trading for Aldridge would have to feel comfortable it can re-sign him, Stein adds. Aldridge will make $21.46MM next season but can opt out of the final year of his contract next summer if he chooses to leave $22.3MM on the table.
  • The Suns, who hold the No. 4 pick, could be a trade match for Aldridge, according to radio host Ric Bucher (Twitter link). Phoenix went hard after Aldridge in free agency before he chose San Antonio and the Spurs cover Kansas swingman Josh Jackson, Bucher adds.
  • The team has hired Dejan Radonjic of Red Star Belgrade as its associate head coach for its Summer League team, international journalist David Pick tweets.

Latest On Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks

10:19pm: The Knicks have talked with each team in the top five of Thursday’s draft about Porzingis, in an effort to extract a pick and a young potential star, sources tell Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. According to the ESPN report, the Knicks have had “substantive” talks with two teams, plus the Suns.

Sources tell ESPN that the Knicks have also spoken Oklahoma City about a possible Porzingis trade, but one source says the Thunder “don’t have enough” to be a viable trade partner.

8:40pm: Asked about what it would take to trade Porzingis, Jackson suggested the Knicks may be seeking two starters and a draft pick (Twitter link via Al Iannazzone of Newsday).

8:27pm: In an interview tonight on MSG, team president Phil Jackson confirmed that the Knicks are listening to calls on Porzingis. “As much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s best for the club,” Jackson said of the big man (Twitter links via Ian Begley of ESPN.com).

Jackson also suggested that he was somewhat bothered by Porzingis skipping his exit meeting. Still, he cautioned that the Knicks aren’t yet “intrigued” enough by what’s out there to make a move (Twitter links via Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders).

8:15pm: After a flurry of Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors surfaced on Tuesday, a follow-up report suggested that the trade talk was somewhat overblown, and that the Knicks were simply listening to calls rather than actively shopping the big man.

However, on The Vertical’s Facebook Live show on Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski said that the Knicks aren’t simply listening to inquiries, reporting that they’ve also been making outgoing calls about Porzingis. While Wojnarwoski acknowledges that New York’s asking price is high, and that a deal won’t necessarily happen, he notes that the Knicks appeared to be legitimately exploring the possibility, and haven’t told Porzingis he’s not going anywhere.

Here’s more on Porzingis:

  • According to Wojnarowski, the Knicks would be seeking a top-four draft pick and a starting guard in exchange for Porzingis. Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link) reports something similar, having heard that New York would want a top-four pick plus a “strong” asset for Porzingis.
  • We heard on Tuesday that the Knicks asked the Suns for Devin Booker and the No. 4 selection, so that sounds like the sort of package Wojnarowski and Berman are talking about. Besides Phoenix, the Celtics would seem to be the most logical trade partner for the Knicks.
  • If they were able to land a top-four pick in a deal for Porzingis, the Knicks would likely aim to draft Josh Jackson, says Wojnarowski.
  • Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link) follows up on an item he reported on Tuesday, clarifying that members of the Knicks organization have been in touch with Porzingis since the end of the season, though that contact has been “very minimal.”

Trade Rumors: Butler, Bledsoe, Hawks, Cavs

While the Bulls still aren’t close to moving Jimmy Butler, there appears to be more “organizational alignment” than there was last year on the idea that a rebuild is in the team’s best interest, reports K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Chicago’s asking price for Butler hasn’t changed, according to Johnson, who says the team would be seeking starters or rotation players, along with multiple high draft picks.

Since the Bulls would like to land a high pick in Thursday’s draft if they move Butler, the Celtics (No. 3), Suns (No. 4), and Timberwolves (No. 7) would make sense as trade partners. However, as Johnson details, the Bulls have received the impression that Boston plans to use the third overall pick, and Minnesota’s seventh overall pick likely wouldn’t put Chicago in position to nab one of the top prospects they like, such as De’Aaron Fox or Josh Jackson.

Here are more trade rumors from around the league, including notes on Chicago’s other potential trade partner, the Suns:

  • The Suns have explored the possibility of trading their No. 4 overall pick in a deal for a star, having looked into players like Butler, Paul George, and Kristaps Porzingis, Adrian Wojnarowski noted during The Vertical’s live show on Wednesday night. Sources tell K.C. Johnson that Phoenix is also looking to include Eric Bledsoe, who has two years left on his contract, in any major trade package.
  • On The Vertical’s live show, Wojnarowski identified the Hawks as a team to watch on the trade market, suggesting that new GM Travis Schlenk may be looking to cut costs as he retools the roster. Kent Bazemore could be a trade candidate in Atlanta, per Wojnarowski.
  • Even without a GM in place, the Cavaliers continued to work “furiously” on Wednesday pursuing trade possibilities, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. It appears the Cavs and Chauncey Billups are close to reach an agreement that would add him to their front office, but the team is more focused on working the trade market, and will continue trying to find a deal on Thursday.
  • Within a larger piece about the draft, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun suggests the Raptors are confident about their chances to re-sign Serge Ibaka in free agency, which could make Jonas Valanciunas expendable in the right deal.

Celtics Rumors: No. 3 Pick, Tatum, Isaac, Smith

With just over 24 hours until the NBA draft gets underway, one NBA executive tells Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald that the Celtics may be looking into the possibility of moving down in the draft again. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets that he has heard the same thing.

Per Bulpett, most sources still believe that the Celtics’ decision will come down to Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum, but it doesn’t appear Boston is necessarily locked in on one specific player at No. 3. Jonathan Isaac has even “crept into the speculation,” according to Bulpett, who adds that another exec believes the C’s would like to find a way to end up with point guard Dennis Smith Jr. — that scenario would almost certainly involve a trade down.

Here’s more out of Boston:

  • A coach from one NBA franchise tells Bulpett that if you asked 10 different teams which player Danny Ainge wants in this draft, you might get 10 different answers. “We call him the minister of disinformation,” the coach said of Ainge. “He’s putting a lot of stuff out there.”
  • Rumblings on Wednesday have indicated the Celtics may be leaning more toward Tatum than Jackson with the third overall pick. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress appears to be on board that bandwagon — his latest mock draft for The Vertical has Boston selecting Tatum at No. 3, though he acknowledges Jackson is also in the conversation.
  • The NBA’s rumor mill appears to be more active this year than it usually is prior to the draft, and the Celtics – loaded with assets of all sorts – are at the eye of the storm, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

Draft Notes: Jackson, Ball, Ntilikina, Smith

Kansas forward Josh Jackson wanted to work out for the Celtics after they traded for the No. 3 pick, but couldn’t work out the scheduling, tweets Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. The Celtics are reportedly deciding between Jackson and Duke forward Jayson Tatum if they decide to keep the pick, and Tatum held a workout in Boston on Monday.

Jackson added that he has spoken to Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown and believes they would form a good combination (Twitter link). The former Jayhawk also disputed a rumor that he refused to work out for the team unless he was promised Boston wouldn’t trade its pick (Twitter link).

There’s more as the top prospects met with the media today in New York:

  • Lonzo Ball confirmed to reporters his only pre-draft meeting was with the Lakers, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Ball also believes L.A. traded D’Angelo Russell to open up a spot for him and he can see that “the Lakers have a plan.” He adds that the Lakers haven’t promised to take him, relays Adam Zagoria of Fanrag Sports (Twitter link), saying, “We’ll just find out tomorrow night.” Ball also explained why he turned down a session with the Celtics when they had the top pick, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “If it’s either play for the hometown or go No. 1, I’d rather play for the hometown,” Ball said.
  • Frank Ntilikina met with the Knicks front office today, including team president Phil Jackson, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The French point guard, who is reportedly in strong consideration with New York’s No. 8 pick, said the team wanted to meet him in person.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. also met with Jackson and the Knicks front office, Begley relays (Twitter link). The North Carolina State point guard believes he can be effective in the triangle offense.
  • Indiana’s OG Anunoby said doctors have assured him that he can resume basketball activities by October or early November, according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Anunoby had surgery on his right knee after a season-ending injury in January.
  • Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen was a Timberwolves fan growing up, and Minnesota was among the four teams he worked out for, Fischer tweets. The others were the Mavericks, Celtics and Magic, and he had a meeting with the Knicks.
  • Gonzaga’s Zach Collins had private workouts with the Magic, Wolves, Kings, Mavericks and Suns, and a group session with the Lakers, Fischer relays (Twitter link).
  • Duke’s Luke Kennard held individual workouts for the Lakers, Pistons, Knicks and Mavericks (Twitter link).
  • The Nets and Bulls were among the teams to work out international big man Isaiah Hartenstein leading up to the draft, tweets David Pick.
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