Kendrick Nunn

Deveney’s Latest: Thybulle, Horton-Tucker, Nunn, Draft

The Bulls have strong interest in young Sixers forward Matisse Thybulle, sources told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney.

Bulls GM Marc Eversley, a former Philadelphia executive, was instrumental in pushing the Sixers to acquire him in the 2019 draft, Deveney notes.

While Thybulle’s vaccination status stirred some angst within the Sixers organization during the postseason, it was his spotty 3-point shooting that rendered him a non-factor, despite his defensive reputation.

The Sixers could try to create some wiggle room under the luxury tax but that type of trade would likely require a third team.

Here’s more from Deveney:

  • The Lakers tried to package Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn in trades this past season but didn’t get an enticing offer. They could revisit that scenario, even though they’re reluctant to attach their next available first-rounder in 2027. One league exec tossed out the names of Duncan Robinson, Malik Beasley and Christian Wood as the type of player they could get in return.
  • The Magic won’t trade the top pick unless they get the No. 2 or 3 pick as part of the package, but the Thunder and Rockets are open for business regarding the other top three selections.

Lakers Rumors: Westbrook, Wall, Monk, THT, Nunn, Vogel, James

Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explore potential offseason moves for the Lakers in their latest podcast. Scotto asked three different league executives for their opinions regarding Russell Westbrook‘s trade value, with slightly different results.

One said he had no interest in acquiring Westbrook whatsoever. The second executive called Westbrook’s contract “terrible” and said it’s viewed very negatively around the league, and would only be dealt for multiple other salary dumps.

The third executive was a little more circumspect in his assessment, noting that Westbrook’s $47MM player option for 2022/23 is likely to be perceived as a negative asset, but certain teams might take it on in order to get rid of long-term contracts.

Gozlan doesn’t think the Lakers’ front office will consider using the waive-and-stretch provision on Westbrook, considering the team will finally be clear of Luol Deng‘s dead money cap hit ($5MM) this summer. Teams might be interested trading for Westbrook if he indicates he’d accept a buyout agreement for a slightly discounted rate — perhaps $5-10MM less — which Gozlan believes is the high-end of the range he might earn as a free agent.

Both Gozlan and Scotto think that the framework for a potential Westbrook/John Wall swap will be revisited this summer, with one GM telling Scotto that he thinks the Rockets guard can still be a high-level backup in the NBA, or even a fringe starter.

Here are some more Lakers rumors:

  • Scotto queried four executives to gauge the value of unrestricted free agent Malik Monk, and they projected his next deal to be in the range of the taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.4MM) to the non-taxpayer mid-level ($10MM). As of now, the most the Lakers can offer Monk is the taxpayer mid-level.
  • Expect Los Angeles to again dangle Talen Horton-Tucker ($10.26MM), Kendrick Nunn ($5.25MM) and draft compensation to improve the roster, says Scotto.
  • League executives agree that former coach Frank Vogel was the scapegoat for the team’s disastrous season, with one noting that the well-respected Vogel should “be able to pick his spot as a high-level assistant if that’s something he wants to do,” according to Scotto.
  • LeBron James‘ future in L.A. is the biggest story surrounding the franchise, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. James is eligible for a two-year, $97MM extension in August, which could secure his place on the roster through 2025. However, sources at Klutch Sports say that the agency and James have yet to discuss the star’s future, per Pincus.

Lakers’ Kendrick Nunn To Exercise Player Option

Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn says it’s a “no-brainer” that he’ll opt in to the final year of his contract, Bill Oram of The Athletic tweets.

Nunn has a $5.25MM player option for 2022/23. He signed a two-year contract as a free agent last summer but didn’t appear in any games this season, mainly due to a knee injury.

Nunn deemed his right knee bone bruise “extremely frustrating” and didn’t anticipate he would need a full season to recover, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. He says he’s feeling much better and expects to be completely healthy for training camp.

Nunn was a productive rotation player for Miami the last two seasons. A year ago, he averaged 14.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.6 APG in 29.5 MPG in 56 regular season games.

Nunn is just one of five Lakers players with a guaranteed contract for next season. Along with the Big Three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker is the only other player who isn’t a free agent this summer or will have to sweat a team option. Westbrook holds an option of $47MM on his contract which he’ll undoubtedly exercise.

Lakers Rumors: Coaching Change, Davis, Westbrook, THT, Nunn, Monk

An offseason coaching change seems inevitable for the Lakers, who could see their hopes for the play-in tournament end as early as tonight, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

Sources tell Fischer that L.A. is expected to fire Frank Vogel after the end of the season. Vogel has reportedly been on the hot seat for some time, and only received a one-year contract extension last summer.

There will be a long list of potential replacements, but Fischer identifies Jazz coach Quin Snyder and Sixers coach Doc Rivers as the most intriguing names to watch. Marc Stein of Substack recently linked Snyder to the Lakers’ job, and possibly to the Spurs as well. Snyder responded by calling it “disrespectful” to the teams involved to discuss rumors while those coaching positions are filled.

Snyder was a Lakers assistant 10 years ago, and Utah may decide to make a coaching change of its own after a late-season slide, but Fischer cites skepticism around the league that he’ll wind up in Los Angeles. The feeling is that Snyder would prefer to wait for the San Antonio job, even if Gregg Popovich returns next season.

Rivers could become available if Philadelphia has an early playoff exit, and he would be considered by the Jazz as well, Fischer adds. Rivers had a long history in Boston with Utah CEO Danny Ainge.

Fischer has more news regarding the Lakers:

  • Some rival teams have wondered if Anthony Davis might be available in a trade this summer, but multiple sources told Fischer that won’t be an option the Lakers seriously consider. Davis has been severely limited by injuries the past two years, playing 39 games so far this season and 36 in 2020/21, but L.A.’s front office still believes it has the makings of a championship contender when Davis and LeBron James are healthy.
  • The Lakers will try again to trade Russell Westbrook, but they still may not have any options other than a deal with the Rockets for John Wall that would likely also cost them a future first-round pick. Talen Horton-Tucker, who Fischer said was nearly sent to the Raptors at the deadline in a three-way deal that would have included the Knicks, will also be on the market, along with Kendrick Nunn, who is expected to pick up his $5.25MM player option.
  • Malik Monk was the Lakers’ best offseason signing, ranking third on the team in points scored and minutes played on a minimum-salary contract, but he may be somewhere else next season. L.A. only holds Non-Bird rights on Monk and will be limited to a contract that starts at the taxpayer mid-level exception, which is projected to be $6.4MM. Rival executives expect him to get offers with a starting salary as high as $10MM, says Fischer.

Lakers Health Updates: Davis, Nunn, LeBron, Gabriel

Lakers star big man Anthony Davis is aiming to return to action this weekend, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Davis has been shelved since spraining his right foot and MCL on February 16. He has missed 37 games for Los Angeles all told this season, including the past 17. The 6’10” big man has produced at a typically high clip this year when healthy, but his shooting numbers and defense have dipped. He is averaging 23.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 2.3 BPG and 1.2 SPG through his 37 healthy contests.

Sporting a 31-44 record, the Lakers currently occupy the Western Conference’s 11th seed. The team owns a record identical to that of the tenth-seeded Spurs, but the Spurs sport a better intra-conference record. Even with Davis back in the fold this weekend, an extended absence for LeBron James could doom the depth-challenged team’s play-in tournament odds.

The rest of L.A.’s schedule will not get much easier down the home stretch of the 2021/22 season. Across five of their final seven games, the Lakers will face off against four Western Conference playoff-bound teams in the Jazz, Nuggets (twice), Suns, and Warriors.

Here are a few more Lakers-related health updates:

  • Haynes’ sources have informed him that combo guard Kendrick Nunn, one of just five Lakers players earning more than the minimum this year, is expected to miss the rest of the 2021/22 season. Nunn has not played a single game for Los Angeles since incurring a bone bruise in his knee during the 2021 preseason. He signed a two-year, $10MM contract with L.A. during the 2021 offseason with a player option for 2022/23. Given his health predicament, it seems likely he will pick up that option.
  • According to Haynes, All-Star forward LeBron James is expected to miss his second consecutive game on Thursday after rolling his ankle during a 116-108 loss to the Pelicans on Sunday. Thursday would mark the four-time MVP’s 20th missed contest this year.
  • Reserve power forward Wenyen Gabriel, who has emerged as an important role player for Los Angeles, has been listed as day-to-day going forward after suffering a left ankle sprain, tweets Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

Lakers Notes: Anthony, Davis, Nunn, LeBron

Whenever Carmelo Anthony decides to retire, he’s determined that no one else is going to break the news, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Anthony discussed the topic after Friday’s practice, but gave no indication that he’s thinking about ending his career. At age 37, he remains a valuable weapon off the Lakers‘ bench, averaging 13.6 points per game and shooting 38.7% from three-point range.

“I’m going to tell you that right now: You ain’t going to hear no whispers,” Anthony said when asked about retirement. “You’re going to hear it straight from me.”

Anthony, who along with teammate LeBron James are the only active players from the 2003 draft, wants to keep his career going as long as possible after finding himself out of the league nearly three years ago when it seemed nobody wanted him. He has remained durable despite his age, appearing in 64 games so far this season and missing only 15 combined over the past three years. Anthony credits that to his mental approach to each season.

“If coming into it you’re thinking, ‘Oh I want to play 70 games or 72 games,’ you’re not going to be really locked into that,” he said. “You’ll be worried about something going wrong or this happening.”

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • Anthony Davis didn’t take part in contact during Friday’s practice, but his workload has been increasing and the team remains hopeful that he’ll be available before the end of the regular season, Goon states in the same piece. Davis hasn’t played since spraining his right foot in a February 16 game.
  • There’s less optimism surrounding Kendrick Nunn, an offseason free agent addition who hasn’t played all season, Goon adds. Nunn still isn’t able to practice, and coach Frank Vogel acknowledged that it’s “a good question” why he hasn’t been ruled out for the season. “I haven’t circled back with a recent update on that other than to know that’s he’s trying to (come back),” Vogel said. “I’m not sure when the next MRI is. But the intent is for him to continue to ramp up activity to where his imaging is coming back clean. I think there’s been some improvements, but not enough to see him back in practice.”
  • Vogel is touting James for MVP honors, but admits the Lakers’ poor record will affect his chances, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. James is the league’s top scorer at 30.0 PPG, but L.A. is fighting to hold onto a spot in the play-in tournament. “He is as deserving for MVP consideration as anybody in the league,” Vogel said. “I know how the voting goes — the team with the best record or top couple of records usually gets most of those considerations, so the win-loss record definitely would probably hurt him. But you can’t tell me that anybody has played a better season than LeBron James has this year.”

Lakers Notes: LeBron, Augustin, Gabriel, Nunn

The Lakers‘ record fell to 27-34 on Tuesday, as the team entered the fourth quarter with a lead over Dallas but couldn’t hang on and lost by a score of 109-104. Los Angeles, the No. 9 seed in the West, is now just two games ahead of No. 11 Portland for a play-in spot, but Russell Westbrook – who acknowledged that he has to play better – still believes better things are ahead for the club.

“Super confident that we’re going to be all right,” Westbrook said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I’ve got confidence in this group, like I always have. And we can play the best teams. I’m not worried about nobody we have to play. We’ve beaten the best teams; we’ve lost to some of the worst teams. So, our confidence and my confidence in this group is extremely high because I know what we’re capable of when we put our mind to it and do exactly what we need to do on a night-in, night-out basis.”

As McMenamin writes, LeBron James missed some time about a month ago due to swelling in his left knee and said before the All-Star break that he’s still not 100%. However, James has no plans to shut his season down at any point and is committed to waiting until the offseason to rest his knee, sources tell ESPN.

“We still have games to play,” James said after Tuesday’s loss. “Until you stomp me out, cut my head off, bury me 12 feet under, then I got a chance. So that’s my confidence.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Head coach Frank Vogel is enthusiastic about what newly-signed point guard D.J. Augustin can bring to the team, as Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group relays. “I know his game really well,” Vogel said before Tuesday’s game. “He gets in late tonight – we’ll be able to sit down and talk more in depth about where he fits on our team. But I like what he brings to the table, not just with the off-ball ability, to shoot the basketball and stretch the floor and give our guys more space.”
  • Vogel also discussed new two-way player Wenyen Gabriel, who was signed on Tuesday along with Augustin. According to the Lakers’ head coach, Gabriel will join the NBA team immediately rather than being assigned to the G League. “The successful stints this year have been with Bron, Russ, (Anthony Davis), and the younger, energetic guys,” Vogel said, per Goon. “So, we’ll have to see what Wenyen brings to the table, but it is possible that he gets into the rotation and plays some.”
  • While replacing DeAndre Jordan and Sekou Doumbouya with Augustin and Gabriel adds more talent to the Lakers’ roster, the team had a greater need on the wing than at point guard, Jovan Buha of The Athletic opines in his analysis of Tuesday’s roster moves.
  • Explaining why the Lakers felt comfortable trading away Rajon Rondo earlier in the season if they still needed to sign a veteran point guard later, Vogel said that Rondo was intended to be a third-string backup behind Westbrook and wasn’t a good fit alongside him, whereas Augustin should be able to play with or without Westbrook. “Their skill sets don’t fit,” Vogel said of Rondo and Westbrook (via Goon). “They don’t match on the floor. So (Rondo) was not playing, or when he was playing, he wasn’t a good formula for us.”
  • There’s still no timeline for injured point guard Kendrick Nunn to make his Lakers debut, Vogel told reporters on Tuesday. “We just don’t know about Kendrick,” he said, according to Goon. “We’re still hopeful that he comes around and is able to ramp up and do it without pain and the MRI comes back where we want to see it. It hasn’t happened yet. Until we see him back on the floor, we need help at that position and that skill set.” Buha believes the signing of Augustin suggests we likely won’t see Nunn this season.

Western Notes: Lillard, Blazers, Kings, Lakers, Micić

Appearing on Draymond Green‘s podcast, Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard expressed some enthusiasm about the team’s direction, singling out teammates Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little, Jusuf Nurkic, and Josh Hart, and suggesting Portland has “got some pieces to the puzzle” and just needs to keep adding to those pieces.

As Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com relays, Lillard also pushed back against the idea that Portland can’t be an appealing free agent destination, arguing that if the Blazers have a chance to seriously contend, they’ll attract talent.

“No offense, but people (are) going to Oklahoma City, people going to Milwaukee, you know what I mean?” Lillard said. “People are going places and Portland ain’t what people think it is, otherwise I wouldn’t have been living here this long. If you just couldn’t live here, I wouldn’t be living here this long.

“I think that’s part of it, but at the end of the day, people are going places that’s like ‘You went there?’ (Carmelo Anthony) went to OKC when we was trying to get ‘Melo to come here. Ask ‘Melo where he would go first. And I’ll say this: not just because of the living situation.”

Here are a few more notes from around the Western Conference:

  • The Kings‘ trade deadline shake-up create a more positive vibe around the organization, point guard De’Aaron Fox said this week, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “I think the mood is definitely a bit better,” Fox said. “It’s definitely different when guys come into new situations, guys coming from Indiana, guys coming from Detroit and Donte [DiVincenzo] coming from Milwaukee … it’s like a breath of fresh air when you have a change of scenery.”
  • Lakers head coach Frank Vogel shared a series of injury-related updates on Thursday, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). Most notably, Kendrick Nunn (knee) has begun his ramp-up process again following a setback last month, Anthony Davis (foot) is off his crutches, and Carmelo Anthony (hamstring) is probable to return on Friday after missing the team’s last five games.
  • Speaking to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com, veteran international agent Misko Raznatovic expressed dissatisfaction with the rules governing draft-and-stash players like his client Vasilije Micić, whose NBA rights are held by the Thunder. “One team gets your rights and then, (even if) you’re the best player in Europe, they don’t want to trade you and they don’t want to give you (a fair contract) offer,” Raznatovic said. “And then you never play in the NBA, (even if) you’re better than 80% of the guys who are there. I don’t believe this is fair.” Raznatovic did note that Micić has an annual NBA escape clause in his contract with Anadolu Efes, so he’ll talk to the Thunder again this summer to see if they can work something out.

Lakers, Knicks, Raptors Have Discussed Possible Three-Team Trade

7:08am: In a full story on the talks involving the Lakers, Knicks, and Raptors, Scotto says Toronto has discussed sending a first-round pick to New York, while Los Angeles has talked about sending a second-round pick. The Knicks have sought additional draft compensation, according to Scotto.

The new details from Scotto are a little surprising. Based on the underwhelming seasons Noel and Horton-Tucker have had, and the guaranteed money left on their contracts beyond 2021/22, including a first-round pick seems like a steep price for the Raptors. I’d also be pretty shocked if the Lakers could make this move without giving up more draft assets beyond a single second-rounder.


6:40am: The Lakers, Knicks, and Raptors have engaged in talks about a possible three-team trade, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

According to Scotto, the framework the teams have discussed would see the Lakers get Cam Reddish and Alec Burks, the Knicks acquire Goran Dragic and draft capital, and the Raptors receive Talen Horton-Tucker and Nerlens Noel. It’s also possible Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn could find his way into the hypothetical deal, Scotto adds.

It’s an intriguing concept. The struggling Lakers would get a couple players capable of immediately stepping into the rotation and playing alongside their stars; the slumping Knicks would move off a series of players on multiyear deals in exchange for an expiring contract and more draft assets; and the Raptors would turn Dragic’s expiring contract into a veteran center in Noel and a young prospect in Horton-Tucker, who hasn’t played well this season but is still just 21 years old and has some upside.

While Scotto doesn’t specify one way or the other, the draft picks going to New York in the proposed deal would presumably come from the Lakers, based on the players changing hands. Based on a combination of their contracts and recent production, Reddish and Burks have the most trade value of any of the players included in this trade scenario. Los Angeles has the ability to offer either a 2027 or 2028 first-round pick, as well as second-rounders.

It’s worth noting that the NBA’s trade rules wouldn’t prevent the Knicks from being able to flip Reddish in a deal like this one even after acquiring him less than a month ago, since the structure of this trade wouldn’t require him to be aggregated with any other players for salary-matching purposes — New York could use Noel and Burks to match Dragic’s incoming salary.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) has also heard that the Lakers and Raptors have talked about Horton-Tucker and says Toronto has been “quite active” in trade discussions. However, Fischer notes that the Raptors have explored many Dragic-related scenarios and downplays the idea that any talks with Los Angeles have gotten too serious yet.

Lakers Feeling Urgency To Make Deadline Move

The Lakers are feeling urgency to make a move prior to the trade deadline to try to get their season back on track, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

According to McMenamin, the team’s latest loss – to the defending champion Bucks – on Tuesday, led to the “uneasy admission” in the locker room that the current roster just isn’t working. Sources tell ESPN that standing pat at the deadline and hoping for the best isn’t viewed as a viable option by Lakers players.

After the game, star forward LeBron James acknowledged that there’s a significant gap between the Lakers and a serious title contender like Milwaukee.

“It tells me we ain’t on their level,” James said, per McMenamin. “I mean, I could have told you that before the game. … Obviously you always kind of use games to see where you are at that moment. But we know where we are at this moment: sitting at a couple, few games under .500. Haven’t played the basketball that we’d like to play.”

As Bill Oram of The Athletic writes, James offered a clear answer when asked if he thought the current roster was capable of reaching the Bucks’ level: “Do I think we can reach the level where Milwaukee is right now? Um, no. Is that what you wanted to hear? No.”

While the Lakers may feel more compelled than ever to shake up their roster at the deadline, their ability to do so will be limited due to their lack of valuable trade chips.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • For the third time this season, Russell Westbrook was benched during crunch-time minutes on Tuesday. Asked after the game about what he had to do to earn a consistent spot in L.A.’s closing lineups, Westbrook rejected the premise of the question, per McMenamin. “I shouldn’t have to hit any benchmark, to be honest,” Westbrook said. “I’ve put a lot of work and I’ve got a lot of respect in this game. I don’t got to hit a benchmark, or I shouldn’t have to. I’ve earned a right to be in closing lineups.”
  • One Lakers staffer who had reservations about the Westbrook trade when the team made the deal in the offseason told Oram, “I didn’t think it would be this bad.”
  • Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said on Tuesday that the team remains hopeful Kendrick Nunn will be able to play this season, but acknowledged that the point guard is unlikely to suit up until at least March, per Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group. Nunn, who is considered one of L.A.’s only trade chips, hasn’t played at all this season due to a right knee injury.