Jrue Holiday

Suns Pursued Gordon, Mavs Went After Gallinari At Deadline

Within his latest Inside Pass column for The Athletic, Shams Charania passes along details on several deals that were pursued but didn’t get done at the 2020 trade deadline, a month ago today.

According to Charania, the Suns made a “late push” for Magic forward Aaron Gordon, while the Mavericks did the same for Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari is on an expiring contract, but Gordon is under team control for two more years beyond this season and is expected to receive interest from multiple teams this offseason if Orlando is willing to move him, Charania says.

Elsewhere in the Western Conference, the Nuggets attempted to make a “major trade” just before the deadline, sources tell The Athletic. Charania notes that Jrue Holiday was a player of significant interest for Denver, though it’s not clear if he was the player the Nuggets were pushing for at the deadline. The Pelicans never showed any interest in moving Holiday, per Charania.

Finally, while we’ve previously heard that the Lakers made an offer for point guard Derrick Rose, Charania provides some additional details on that offer, writing that it included fan favorite Alex Caruso and draft compensation. The Lakers would have needed to include at least one more player in that package for salary-matching purposes. In any case, the Pistons weren’t interested in moving Rose.

Although nothing materialized on any of these fronts, there’s value in knowing which teams pursued which players, since many of them remain under contract beyond this season and could become trade targets again down the road. Someone like Gallinari, meanwhile, could be on Dallas’ wish list in free agency, assuming the Mavs didn’t simply view him as a rental.

Scotto’s Latest: Gallinari, Nunn, Pacers, Nuggets, More

When the Thunder and Heat discussed a potential Danilo Gallinari trade leading up to last week’s deadline, James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Nunn, and draft compensation were among the various assets that came up in talks, league sources tell Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report. Miami reportedly wanted to extend Gallinari’s contract as part of a deal, but couldn’t agree to terms with his camp, which is one main reason the trade didn’t happen.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote last week that he believed the Heat could’ve acquired Gallinari without surrendering any of their young players like Nunn. So even though his name came up in discussions, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Thunder would have insisted on his inclusion, depending on what other pieces were involved.

While Gallinari remained with the Thunder for this season, Scotto suggests the Heat and Knicks could be among his potential suitors this summer. Miami clearly has interest, and created some cap flexibility for 2020/21 by moving Johnson and Dion Waiters last week. New York, meanwhile, will have cap space and is hiring veteran CAA agent Leon Rose as its new president of basketball operations. Gallinari is a CAA client.

Here are a few more noteworthy tidbits from Scotto’s look at the post-deadline landscape:

  • The Knicks and Pacers discussed a possible Marcus Morris trade. According to Scotto, a package that featured Aaron Holiday, Doug McDermott, and T.J. Leaf was “briefly kicked around,” but didn’t end up going far.
  • McDermott’s name also came up in discussions about a potential Pacers trade with the Bucks involving Ersan Ilyasova, says Scotto. It’s not known which team initiated those talks.
  • Before the Cavaliers traded for Andre Drummond, they called the Pacers to ask about Myles Turner‘s availability, per Scotto. Indiana has remained firm on keeping Turner, though many executives expect the team to eventually break up its Turner/Domantas Sabonis frontcourt.
  • The Nuggets discussed the possibility of trading Gary Harris, Malik Beasley, and Juan Hernangomez as part of a package for Bulls guard Zach LaVine or Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, sources tell Scotto. New Orleans set a very high asking price for Holiday, while LaVine was said to be “off-limits” for Chicago, so Denver didn’t get far on either front.

Southwest Notes: Holiday, Covington, Doncic, Lyles

Pelicans shooting guard Jrue Holiday was excited to remain in New Orleans through the trade deadline this season, as he explained to The Athletic’s William Guillory. The 29-year-old Holiday, considered one of the best defensive guards in the league, is on the third year of a fairly reasonable five-year, $126MM contract.

Holiday held appeal for several contending teams looking to shore up their backcourt ahead of a playoff push, including the Heat and Nuggets. The Pelicans themselves are just 4.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. With 2019 No. 1 draft pick  Zion Williamson finally debuting on January 22, New Orleans valued Holiday too much to make a deal just yet.

“I feel like what we’re doing here is something promising,” Holiday told Guillory of his season with the new-look Pelicans. “Obviously with the new management and the new guys coming in, we’re fairly young but we’re all very, very hungry. What we have here, we can build together.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • New Rockets forward Robert Covington and his very reasonable four-year, $47MM contract took him from overlooked role player to highly coveted glue guy very quickly ahead of this season’s trade deadline, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle details.
  • Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is optimistic that All-Star guard Luka Doncic will return to the court ahead of the All-Star break, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). “That’s not definite, but that’s the hope,” Carlisle said.
  • The future of Spurs bench big man Trey Lyles in San Antonio is appraised by the San Antonio Express-News’ Jeff McDonald. Lyles is averaging a robust 5.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in just 18 minutes per game for the club. He has suited up 51 games, including 41 starts. The 6’9″ Kentucky alum signed a two-year, $11MM contract with San Antonio this summer. Only $1MM of his $5.5MM salary next year is guaranteed.

Notes On Nuggets/Wolves/Rockets/Hawks Trade

Within the past month, both Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez approached Nuggets management about the possibility of being traded, a league source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Beasley and Hernangomez were key parts of Denver’s rotation in 2018/19 but had less consistent roles this season in large part due to Jerami Grant‘s arrival and Michael Porter Jr.‘s emergence.

Both players sought more consistent playing time and will now get the chance to earn an increase in minutes in Minnesota. Beasley and Hernangomez, both of whom are eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end, could even become long-term building blocks for the Timberwolves if they finish the 2019/20 season strong.

Here are a few more notes and leftover items on the 12-player, four-team trade that also involved Atlanta and Houston:

  • Beasley was a popular trade target leading up to the deadline — a league source tells Singer that at least 10 or 12 teams had inquired on the fourth-year shooting guard in talks with the Nuggets.
  • Although there has been speculation that the Nuggets intend to use the first-round pick they’re acquiring from Houston as part of a potential package for Jrue Holiday, that wasn’t the team’s plan when it made the deal, Singer writes in a separate Denver Post article. The general belief is that the Pelicans will hang onto Holiday through the deadline anyway.
  • The trade helps clarify a crowded rotation in Denver and gives the Nuggets some options for subsequent moves, says Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.
  • Daryl Morey and the Rockets are going all-in on their small-ball philosophy by essentially swapping Clint Capela for Robert Covington, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. The deal shows just how unconventional Houston is willing to get, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who explores the reasons why the team was okay with moving on from Capela.
  • Meanwhile, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic examines what Capela will bring to the Hawks and what the move means for the franchise’s present and future. As Kirschner points out, Atlanta wasn’t willing to give up a first-round pick for Andre Drummond, but did so for Capela, who is locked in for several years at a reasonable price. Capela should fit in with the Hawks’ up-tempo offense and help anchor their defense, Kirschner adds.
  • Count Trae Young among those excited by the Hawks‘ acquisition of Capela. Getting Clint, it’s big-time,” Young said, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter links). “I already shot him a text and talked to him. I’m excited about getting him. … There’s been times late in games where we just couldn’t get a stop. All we needed was one stop. Having him makes our defense that much better.” Young’s enthusiasm is a good sign for the Hawks, since there were rumblings earlier this season that the second-year star wanted the team to make a move.

Trade Rumors: Holiday, Clippers, Thompson, Celtics

A report last week suggested that Jrue Holiday is happy with the Pelicans, who won’t move him unless they’re blown away by an offer. That’s still the case, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that New Orleans remains content to hang onto Holiday through Thursday’s trade deadline.

Teams like the Nuggets and Heat have been linked to Holiday, and there are plenty of other contenders who would surely have interest in the former All-Star guard if New Orleans were shopping him. However, according to Wojnarowski, the kind of “overwhelming offer” it would take to change the Pelicans’ mind hasn’t materialized.

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

  • The Clippers don’t currently have any traction on any deals involving Maurice Harkless, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, who points to Marcus Morris (Knicks), Thaddeus Young (Bulls), and Andre Iguodala (Grizzlies) as some of the targets the team has considered.
  • The Cavaliers don’t want to trade Tristan Thompson “just to move him,” and continue to seek a first-round pick for the big man, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. According to Fedor – in a separate article – Cleveland still has interest in re-signing Thompson this summer if he stays put, but would be hesitant to award him another contract in the range of his current one (five years, $82MM).
  • According to David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link), sources maintain that the Wizardsinterest in acquiring Thompson from the Cavaliers isn’t particularly strong. As Aldridge observes, re-signing both Thompson and Davis Bertans in the offseason might be tricky for a team with two max players in its backcourt.
  • The Celtics still aren’t expected to do anything major at the deadline, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, who says a move to add a veteran who can provide offense off the bench is more likely than a deal to upgrade the center position.

Lowe’s Latest: Redick, Bertans, Collins, Drummond, OKC, More

A number of players who have been mentioned as trade candidates this season may not be moved – or may not be available at all – at Thursday’s deadline, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes in an article jam-packed with trade-related rumors and speculation.

For instance, teams who have called the Pelicans asking about J.J. Redick have been “shooed away,” sources tell Lowe. The Wizards have taken a similar approach to clubs inquiring on Davis Bertans, though Lowe notes that could change if Washington is offered something concrete that moves the needle more than a future first-round pick.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last week, teams have been monitoring John Collins in case the Hawks think about trading him, but there’s no indication Atlanta has interest in moving Collins “on any of the general terms being bandied about,” Lowe writes.

The Pistons‘ talks involving Andre Drummond aren’t entirely dormant, but it’s “far from a sure thing” that he’ll be moved, according to Lowe, who suggests that even if Detroit does make a deal, the return will likely be less than the team envisioned.

Meanwhile, the Thunder have been mentioned all season long as a potential seller, given their offseason moves and their veteran trade candidates. But the safest bet is that they stand pat with guys like Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams, per Lowe.

As Lowe points out, the Thunder could still have leverage to make deals after the season, when Schroder and Adams will be entering contract years and Gallinari will be a prime sign-and-trade candidate. The Heat are among the teams to inquire on Gallinari this season, sources tell Lowe.

As noted above, Lowe’s latest ESPN piece is filled with many more trade rumors and notes. Here are several of the highlights:

  • Lowe confirms a previous report that the Nuggets and Heat are among the teams to express interest in Jrue Holiday. Lowe also names the Raptors as a club that would be an ideal fit for the Pelicans guard, but he has a hard time envisioning a deal involving any of those teams unless they’re willing to part with young players like Michael Porter Jr., Tyler Herro, or OG Anunoby, which seems unlikely.
  • The Pacers could probably net a first-round pick for backup guard Aaron Holiday, but haven’t shown any real interest in moving him, says Lowe.
  • The chatter about the Trail Blazers making a major win-now move has died down, sources tell Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, the Lakers have explored the Kyle Kuzma market and are eyeing several ball-handlers, including Kings swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has also received interest from the Hornets.
  • The Sixers don’t intend to include Matisse Thybulle in any deal and seem most likely to “tinker” around the edges of their roster, per Lowe.
  • The Grizzlies have asked for a first-round pick from teams inquiring on Jae Crowder, according to Lowe. However, he’d “bet heavily” against any potential trade partner meeting that price.
  • Lowe provides updates on both Morris brothers, suggesting that the Knicks “seem hell-bent” on keeping and re-signing Marcus Morris, and citing sources who say the Pistons could probably get a second-round pick for Markieff Morris.
  • A lot of teams have asked the Bucks about Sterling Brown, while Pistons youngsters Christian Wood and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have also generated interest, according to Lowe, who thinks that Detroit is more likely to engage in talks on Wood than Mykhailiuk. Lowe also hears that a few clubs have “poked around” on Kings big man Harry Giles, and identifies Denzel Valentine (Bulls), Jakob Poeltl (Spurs), Marvin Williams (Hornets), and Malik Monk (Hornets) as other under-the-radar trade candidates to watch.

Pelicans Notes: Ingram, Holiday, Griffin, Hayes

Brandon Ingram has quickly taken over as the first scoring option and the team leader for the Pelicans, writes Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Times-Picayune. That status was emphasized this week when Ingram was selected as a reserve for the All-Star Game, becoming the team’s only representative.

Ingram’s stardom didn’t appear to be a sure thing when he was acquired from the Lakers as part of the Anthony Davis trade. He was dealing with a blood clot condition and a shaky shooting history that raised questions on whether he would ever reach his full potential.

“He was always tough to guard,” Jrue Holiday said. “He could always score. Here, I feel like when we really started getting to play with him in the beginning, it was obvious he can do everything.”

Holiday deserves much of the credit for allowing Ingram to seize the spotlight, Kushner adds. Coming into the season, the veteran guard was expected to fill the leadership role, with executive vice president David Griffin calling him the team’s “best player” and a dark horse MVP candidate at media day.

There’s more from New Orleans:

  • It wasn’t long ago that Ingram feared he might have to stop playing because of health concerns, notes William Guillory of The Athletic. The blood clot issue forced him to miss the final 19 games of last season and sometimes left him unable to work out. Doctors assured Ingram that it wouldn’t be a recurring issue, but he feared his career might be cut short. “I came a long way mentally, physically and emotionally. Just continuing to pursue what I’ve been doing,” he said. “I had good help from my teammates, my coaches, from everybody around the organization putting me in this position.”
  • Griffin is relying on his experience with LeBron James as he helps mold Zion Williamson, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Griffin and James were together for three seasons in Cleveland, reaching the NBA Finals each time. “The blessing of having been with LeBron is I learned a lot of what I did wrong,” Griffin said. “Like the time away, I learned a lot of the mistakes we made. And we made a lot of them. And LeBron was so good, he made us win anyway. So it would be a high-class problem that this kid (Williamson) turns out so good that we can make as many mistakes as we did for LeBron and still win.”
  • Jaxson Hayes has apologized for his social media reaction after learning he wasn’t selected for the Rising Stars Challenge, according to Scott Gleeson and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Hayes posted the apology on Instagram, saying he used “extremely poor judgement and inexcusable language.”

Jrue Holiday Drawing Trade Interest, Committed To Pelicans

If he’s available at this year’s deadline, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday would be the most intriguing trade candidate on the market. However, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic that Holiday has made it clear he’s happy in New Orleans and is committed to the franchise.

According to Charania, Holiday’s preference is to take the rest of the season to see how the Pelicans perform with a healthy roster. Given that he has no desire to be traded and head of basketball operations David Griffin has suggested the Pels don’t plan to move key players, it seems likely that Holiday will stay put next week.

Still, that doesn’t mean the front office won’t receive inquiries on the standout guard. Charania reports that the Nuggets and Heat are among the clubs with interest in Holiday, and others are expected to emerge. Multiple teams tell Charania that the Pelicans are open to listening to any and all trade calls, but their asking price for Holiday is very high.

While New Orleans has fallen shy of preseason expectations so far, with a 19-29 record that places them 12th in the Western Conference, the team has rebounded to some extent following a disastrous start. The Pelicans have won 12 of their last 18 games and aren’t totally out of the hunt for a playoff spot. The eighth-seeded Grizzlies hold a five-game lead on New Orleans.

With much-hyped rookie Zion Williamson back in the lineup and the rest of the roster relatively healthy, the Pels should have a good opportunity to evaluate the current group for the rest of the second half before potentially making major roster decisions in the offseason.

Pelicans Ready for Zion Williamson’s Debut

The long wait for Zion Williamson is almost over as the celebrated rookie is set to make his NBA debut tonight. He was projected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing meniscus surgery in late October, but the actual recovery time turned out to be 13 1/2 weeks as the Pelicans were extremely cautious with their franchise cornerstone. Williamson tells Andrew Lopez of ESPN that the long wait was often difficult for him to accept.

“There’s a lot of times when I wanted to punch a wall or kick chairs because it’s frustrating,” Williamson said. “To not be able to move your body the way you want to, not to make any athletic movements; I mean, it’s tough. Especially because I’m 19 and I haven’t even played my first NBA game. It was tough but I battled through it.”

The rehab process included changes to his diet and the way he moves to help reduce the stress on his knees. That includes learning a new way to land after jumping.

“I think it’s not landing straight legs, kind of don’t let all my force go into my legs,” he said. “It’s a lot of technical stuff. I really couldn’t explain it to you, to be honest. I could probably show you on a video better.”

Williamson is aware of the immense expectations surrounding his first regular season game. A sell-out crowd is anticipated, and teammate Brandon Ingram said this week he expects every home game to be sold out for the rest of the season. The Pelicans have played their way back into the playoff race after a 6-22 start, and fans believe Williamson will push them over the top.

He doesn’t mind sharing that enthusiasm.

“We did go through a bad stretch, but things have turned around,” Williamson said. “Everybody’s been playing better. I’m just looking to go join in and have some fun.”

There’s more surrounding the star rookie’s first game:

  • The Pelicans have “really pulled back in trade talks among all their players” in hopes of making a playoff push, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Tuesday on SportsCenter (video link from Tommy Beer of Forbes). The New Orleans front office wants to see how the team does in the seven games before the February 6 trade deadline before making a decision on the availability of Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick, Woj adds.
  • Williamson’s debut comes with a few concerns, notes Dan Devine of The Ringer. Playing alongside Derrick Favors gives the Pelicans two frontcourt players with limited shooting range, and Zion’s presence might take away shots from Ingram, who is making a bid for the All-Star team. Also there are questions about whether New Orleans’ best small-ball lineup — Williamson, Ingram, Holiday, Redick and Lonzo Ball — can defend well enough to be effective.
  • Williamson has half a season to try to pass Grizzlies guard Ja Morant in the Rookie of the Year race, writes Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report, who observes that nobody has ever won the award while playing fewer than 50 games.

Trade Rumors: Bucks, Rockets, Covington, Heat, More

With teams around the NBA looking for ways to upgrade their roster in advance of the February 6 trade deadline, Chris Mannix of SI.com wonders whether the 37-6 Bucks would be better off just standing pat. As Mannix notes, most general managers are inclined to give stock answers about being opportunistic and always looking for favorable deals, but Milwaukee might not want to even risk disrupting the team’s chemistry.

“The stock answer is true,” Bucks GM Jon Horst told Mannix. “Of course we are going to look around. Of course we are going to do our jobs. But we are going to be incredibly patient and incredibly protective of what we have. I think that’s fair and I think that’s smart. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to do anything or that we shouldn’t do anything. But we have guys here that have shown they can impact games.”

Here are a few more notes and rumors related to the NBA’s trade market:

  • The Rockets have shown previous interest in Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, but that interest has cooled and Houston isn’t currently pursuing him, an executive with knowledge of the team’s thinking tells Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe thinks the Heat are one player away from being “really dangerous” and hears from sources that the team is actively looking for that piece. According to Lowe, there has been plenty of speculation around the NBA about Miami – and other teams – targeting Jrue Holiday, but potential suitors don’t expect the Pelicans to move him this season.
  • The Hawks‘ trade interest in Andre Drummond – which has apparently ended – was believed to be more ownership-driven, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who says the Pistons don’t have any real traction on a Drummond deal for now. Within his mailbag, Mannix also says he’d be surprised if the Warriors move D’Angelo Russell before the 2020 offseason.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com says he’s gotten the sense that the Cavaliers have set an “internal price tag” on Tristan Thompson. Fedor believes the Cavs are probably unlikely to move the big man unless they get a first-round pick — a package like the one they got for Jordan Clarkson probably wouldn’t be enough.