Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Wizards Rumors: Westbrook, Beal, Dinwiddie, Neto, Kispert, Bryant

After spending the 2020/21 season with the Wizards, Russell Westbrook contemplated his future and found he had a growing desire to join the Lakers, according to Shams Charania and Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Westbrook’s desire to play for his hometown team intensified after he spent time with LeBron James and Anthony Davis at LeBron’s home about two weeks ago and the trio discussed the idea of teaming up, according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Turner says James and Davis spoke in that conversation about changing positions if it’s best for the team, with LeBron willing to play more frequently at the four, with AD at the five.

Westbrook recently informed the Wizards that he’d like to be dealt to the Lakers if they could find a trade that worked, per Charania and Katz, and the two teams did just that on Thursday, reaching an agreement on a blockbuster deal that will send Westbrook and two future second-round picks to L.A. for Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and No. 22 pick Isaiah Jackson. Washington is flipping Jackson to Indiana in a deal that will involve Aaron Holiday and No. 31 pick Isaiah Todd.

One of the primary reasons Westbrook originally wanted to play in D.C. was the presence of head coach Scott Brooks, according to Charania and Katz, who note that the star point guard lobbied for the Wizards to retain Brooks. After the team decided to part ways with Brooks, Westbrook preferred an established coach, sources tell The Athletic, but Washington opted for a first-timer in Wes Unseld Jr.

Here’s more on the Wizards and how the Westbrook trade affects their offseason:

  • Bradley Beal had no issues with the Westbrook deal and hasn’t expressed a desire to leave Washignton, sources tell Charania and Katz. For now, the Wizards remain confident they can keep the All-NBA guard long-term.
  • The Athletic’s duo reiterates that Spencer Dinwiddie is a potential Wizards target worth keeping an eye on, though a source tells Charania and Katz that the Nets wouldn’t be inclined to sign off on a sign-and-trade of Dinwiddie for Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma alone. Dinwiddie is also expected to receive interest from the Nets, Heat, Knicks, and Raptors, among others, per The Athletic.
  • Elsewhere on the point guard front, a reunion with Raul Neto is a possibility for the Wizards, sources tell Charania and Katz. The team also agreed to acquire Aaron Holiday, having grown “enamored” with him prior to the 2018 draft. Washington tried to trade for Holiday a year ago, according to The Athletic.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, one of Beal’s closest friends in the NBA, is the type of three-and-D player the Wizards have long sought, Charania and Katz observe.
  • Corey Kispert was 10th on the Wizards’ draft board entering Thursday night, and the team considered the possibility of trying to trade up for him before landing him at No. 15, write Charania and Katz.
  • The Wizards are preparing for Thomas Bryant to miss the start of the season as he continues to recover from an ACL tear. A source tells The Athletic the club is hoping Bryant will be able to return by December.

Wizards Agree To Trade Russell Westbrook To Lakers

7:18pm: The Wizards and Lakers have agreed to terms on a Westbrook trade, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

In addition to Westbrook, the Lakers will receive a 2024 second-round pick and a 2028 second-rounder in exchange for Kuzma, Harrell, Caldwell-Pope, and the No. 22 pick.

Reports have suggested that the trade isn’t viewed as a precursor a deal involving Beal, who still reportedly wants to remain with the Wizards.

4:49pm: Confirming that the Lakers and Wizards are moving toward a Westbrook deal, Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times tweets that there are still ongoing discussions between the two teams about the draft assets involved — the Wizards could end up sending the Lakers a second-round pick, says Turner.

Meanwhile, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets that a deal may not be officially completed until the new league year begins next week. It could grow into a larger multi-team trade during free agency, Fischer suggests.

4:30pm: The Lakers and Wizards are nearing a deal to trade Westbrook for Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope, Harrell, and L.A.’s No. 22 overall pick, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). However, Woj cautions that no agreement is in place yet (Twitter link).

4:20pm: The Lakers and Wizards are engaged in discussions about a possible trade that would send Southern California native and former UCLA star Russell Westbrook back home, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As Charania explains, Westbrook would like to be moved elsewhere and the Lakers are his preferred landing spot. The two teams are talking about a deal that would involve Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell, according to Charania (Twitter link), who says the Lakers’ No. 22 pick could also be in play.

The Lakers have also discussed those players and their first-round pick with the Kings in conversations about a possible Buddy Hield trade. It’s hard to see how L.A. would be able to acquire both Westbrook and Hield, so if both Sacramento and Washington are on board with working toward a deal, the Lakers will have to choose which player to pursue.

It sounds for now like Westbrook is the Lakers’ primary focus, according to Charania (Twitter link), who classifies the club’s talks with the Wizards as “serious.”

The Lakers were linked to Westbrook last week, as the team is in the market for a play-making point guard to complement LeBron James and Anthony Davis. If they’re able to complete a deal for Westbrook, it would reduce the Lakers’ need to re-sign Dennis Schröder, though it wouldn’t necessarily create any additional cap obstacles to doing so.

As for the Wizards, if they move forward with trading Westbrook, the big question will be how it affects Bradley Beal, who was rumored to be mulling his future this past week. For what it’s worth, Caldwell-Pope is very close friends with Beal, notes Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggests (via Twitter) that the Wizards’ goal would be to keep Beal, using the trade to create some future cap flexibility to continue adding talent around him.

Latest On Lakers’ Buddy Hield Trade Talks

A weekend report indicated that the Lakers and Kings have discussed a potential trade centered around Buddy Hield, and it sounds like those talks may be gaining some momentum.

After Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the Hield scenario is the “most promising” of the possible deals the Lakers are pursuing, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote late last night that L.A. has stepped up its efforts to get something done, adding that the talks have gained “real traction.”

According to O’Connor, the Lakers’ offer to the Kings would include the No. 22 pick in tonight’s draft, along with Montrezl Harrell and either Kyle Kuzma or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Harrell technically isn’t eligible to be traded at this point, since he has yet to make a decision on his $9.7MM player option for the 2021/22 season. He’d have to pick up that option to be dealt, so he’ll have to consider several factors — if he opts out, he’d get to choose his next team, but he may not be able to match his option salary, whereas if he opts in, he may immediately be dealt to Sacramento or another team.

As O’Connor outlines, the proposed trade makes some sense for both teams. The Lakers could use a sharpshooter and secondary play-maker on the wing, and Hield certainly fits that bill, having knocked down 4.0 three-pointers per game at a 39.1% clip in 2020/21. His contract is pricey, but not especially unfavorable for a shooter of his caliber — he’s owed $62.5MM over the next three years, and his salary declines each season.

As for the Kings, they still have interest in re-signing center Richaun Holmes, but Holmes is believed to be seeking a four-year, $80MM deal, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California. Armed with only the big man’s Early Bird rights, Sacramento will have a very hard time getting anywhere near that asking price without dumping some salary to create cap space. If the Kings expect to lose Holmes, they could view Harrell as a solid alternative to step into that role of a rim-running center.

O’Connor’s report suggests the Kings would likely prefer Kuzma to Caldwell-Pope as the second player in the deal, but either one would fit into Sacramento’s rotation. Caldwell-Pope could play a three-and-D role, while Kuzma would see minutes at the four. The Kings are reportedly exploring trading Marvin Bagley III, which would open up more playing time in the frontcourt for a player like Kuzma.

The Lakers have shopped Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope to many teams around the NBA this month, per a weekend report. According to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link), the Pacers, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Jazz, and Knicks are among the teams that have been offered Kuzma in various trade scenarios.

If the Lakers and Kings want to move forward on a deal involving Hield, we can probably expect an agreement to be reached later today so that Sacramento is the team making the No. 22 pick. In that scenario, the deal may not be made official until the new league year begins next week for cap reasons.

Lakers Notes: Trade Obstacles, Hollins, Penberthy, Workouts

The Lakers’ desire to land another big star is well-documented at this point, but their ability to actually make the money work is another matter altogether.

Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register goes through the obstacles facing the Lakers in a variety of different high-profile moves, such as a trade for Russell Westbrook or a sign-and-trade of Dennis Schroder for Kyle Lowry. Goon also discusses the idea of stars like Chris Paul, DeMar DeRozan, or Kyle Lowry taking pay cuts to play with LeBron James, explaining why it’s unlikely.

Lastly, Goon touches on the reports that the Lakers have been shopping a package of Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all over the league, and how poorly that reflects on the strength of that trade offer.

We have more from the Lakers:

  • Lionel Hollins will no longer be an assistant coach for the Lakers, reports Jovan Buha of The Athletic (via Twitter). Hollins’ contract expired without the team and him coming to an agreement on an extension. Kyle Goon tweets that Hollins indicated he would be open to coaching again in the right opportunity.
  • With the departure of Hollins, shooting coach Mike Penberthy is being promoted to a front-of-bench coaching position on head coach Frank Vogel‘s staff, Buha and Sam Amick write in a piece for The Athletic. Penberthy was offered a similar position on Jason Kidd‘s staff with the Mavericks before the Lakers matched their offer. Buha and Amick write that it’s unclear if the Lakers will add another assistant coach this offseason.
  • The Lakers worked out five prospects today, according to Lakers reporter Brad Turner: MaCio Teague, Spencer Littleson, Jose Alvarado, Brandon Boston Jr., and Moses Wright. Of the five, Boston is the highest-ranked, and could be an option either at 22 or if the Lakers look to trade back from 22 into the top of the second round in order to save money.

Pacific Notes: Bower, Lakers, Kuzma, Kings, Suns

The Suns and senior vice president of basketball operations Jeff Bower have parted ways, as relayed by Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Bower originally joined the franchise back in 2019.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the organization,” Bower said. “We are proud of the progress and accomplishments achieved on the court over the past two seasons. I look forward to other opportunities and projects that are in the future.”

Phoenix constructed a title-contending team this season after going just 19-63 two seasons ago, a remarkable turnaround for the franchise. The re-shaping of the roster largely had to do with general manager James Jones, Bower and others.

“Jeff’s impact on the franchise has been immeasurable,” Jones said. “He helped lay the foundation for our success. We are extremely thankful.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explores how the Lakers could execute a valuable sign-and-trade this offseason. Los Angeles is seeking a guard this offseason that can lower the workout for LeBron James, who’s set to turn 37 in December. The team has shopped Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to many clubs in recent weeks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link).
  • Jason Jones of The Athletic examines how Kuzma could fit with the Kings if a potential deal was finalized. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Sunday that Los Angeles and Sacramento have discussed a deal involving Buddy Hield and Kuzma.
  • The Suns are hiring Bryan Gates as an assistant coach on Monty Williams‘ staff, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter). Gates will replace Willie Green, who left to accept a head coaching job with the Pelicans earlier this month. Gates worked for Williams in New Orleans from 2010-15.

California Notes: Jackson, KCP, L. Pierce, Warriors

Clippers starting point guard Reggie Jackson appears to have discovered a good NBA fit in L.A. after several prior stops, writes Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Jackson emerged as the club’s clear starting point guard since being inserted into the starting lineup in Game 3 of the team’s first-round series against the Mavericks. He is averaging for 17.8 PPG, 3.2 APG and 3.0 RPG across 17 games in these playoffs.

Shelburne notes that Jackson has been red-hot since becoming a starter during the postseason, and he has made his impact felt in a big way with L.A. Shelburne notes that the Clippers are plus-104 with Jackson on the floor, and he joins just two other players in league history to connect on at least three 3-point shots across 14 playoff contests.

“I’ve gone through my career trying to make the right play and not necessarily just being myself and coming out and playing the game,” Jackson said of his career before the Clippers. “But the more I just continue to be myself, the more this team empowered me to be myself, I’ve been able to find success.”

Jackson admitted that he contemplated retirement from the NBA last summer, before the Clippers came calling for a return appearance after he joined the club late in the 2019/20 season. “I was ready to leave. I was ready to give up,” Jackson said. “I thought I was going to retire because I just couldn’t get healthy.” Jackson inked a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal during the 2020 offseason, and should be in line for a major raise this summer thanks to his playoff output.

“It’s just about being positive and showing him that he’s wanted,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. “One thing about Reggie, he’s always going to come in, speak to everybody, shake everybody’s hand… Whoever’s in the gym, general managers, the president, the owner, the equipment guys.”

There’s more out of California:

  • Lakers starting wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was robbed of an estimated $150K in belongings at gunpoint in front of his Los Angeles-area home, per TMZ Sports (h/t to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). Caldwell-Pope and his friends at the scene were not physically harmed. The LAPD is currently looking into the theft.
  • Former Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce is being eyeballed for a potential position as an assistant coach under Warriors head coach Steve Kerrtweets Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole notes that both coaches will serve on the US Olympic Team’s bench under Gregg Popovich this summer. Pierce was let go by Atlanta after the team began the 2020/21 season with a disappointing 14-20 record. He had been the head man for the Hawks since 2018. A longtime NBA assistant, Pierce previously logged time as a Warriors assistant during 2010/11 under then-head coach Keith Smart.
  • With Klay Thompson poised to return after missing two full seasons due to lower-body injuries, the Warriors appear to be gearing up for a deep playoff run once again. Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area considers four free agent wings the team could add on affordable deals to fill out its bench.

Lakers Notes: Davis, LeBron, Caldwell-Pope, Drummond

Anthony Davis told reporters he’s feeling better today, but the decision on whether he plays in Thursday’s Game 6 will be made by the Lakers‘ medical staff, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Davis was held out of Game 5 with a left groin strain, and L.A. wasn’t able to stay close without him, falling behind by 30 points at halftime.

Davis said the groin injury was a result of overcompensating for a hyperextended left knee that he suffered in Game 3. He is averaging 21.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in four games, but L.A. has been ineffective when he hasn’t been on the court.

Davis had been hoping to play in Game 5, but determined during a second warm-up session that he wasn’t able to go, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Davis said he went through 20 minutes of shooting and the injury still felt the same.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel replied, “We’ll see,” when asked about Davis’ chances of returning for Game 6, saying it will be a game-time decision (Twitter link from McMenamin). “He’s doing everything he can to get back out there,” Vogel said.

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • LeBron James cautioned Davis against trying to return too soon, according to Chris Haynes of The Athletic. James had a similar injury during the 2018/19 season that kept him out for several weeks.
  • Vogel also expects Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to be a game-time decision on Thursday night, Rankin adds (via Twitter). Caldwell-Pope returned in Game 5 after missing Game 4 with a sore left knee, but he played just 15 minutes in the lopsided loss. He said the knee tightened up in the second half and affected his ability to move.
  • The Lakers appear determined to keep Andre Drummond beyond this season, McMenamin said this week on Zach Lowe’s podcast (hat tip to Brad Sullivan of Lakers Daily). Drummond was widely considered to be a rental when he signed with L.A. in late March after a buyout with the Cavaliers, but L.A. reportedly believes the 27-year-old center is worth a long-term investment. He’s rumored to be seeking a max deal in free agency this summer, so he would have to significantly scale back those demands for a deal with the Lakers to be realistic. Marc Gasol is the only center L.A. has under contract for next season, although Montrezl Harrell has a $9.72MM player option.

Injury Updates: Walker, Williams, KCP, Doncic, Kleber, T. Antetokounmpo

With the Celtics facing elimination, Kemba Walker and Robert Williams have been declared out for Game 5 against the Nets on Tuesday, Malika Andrews of ESPN tweets. Walker (left knee bone bruise) and Williams (left ankle sprain) had previously been listed as doubtful. Neither played in Game 4 after exiting Game 3 in the early going.

We have more injury updates:

  • Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is expected to return to the lineup for Game 5 against Phoenix on Tuesday, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. He missed Game 4 with a sore left knee.
  • The Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (neck strain) and Maxi Kleber (right Achilles soreness) are listed as probable to play Game 5 on Wednesday, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets.
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo isn’t doing any contact work yet but “he did most, if not all of the non-contact portion of (Tuesday’s) practice,” according to Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, as Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. He suffered an avulsion fracture to his right patella tendon suffered on May 16.

Pacific Notes: Morris Twins, Fox, KCP, CP3

Lakers power forward Markieff Morris and his twin brother, Clippers power forward Marcus Morris, are hoping to meet in the playoffs in a Western Conference Finals for the ages, writes J. Brady McCollough of the Los Angeles Times. Marcus’ club is currently down 2-1 to the ascendant, lower-seeded Mavericks. Markieff’s Los Angeles team, the 2020 champion, is up 2-1 against the higher-seeded Suns.

“That matchup wasn’t supposed to happen in the bubble,” Marcus said of the Lakers-Clippers all-Staples Center showdown that fans were denied in the Orlando restart season “bubble” in 2020. “That was supposed to happen in Staples Center.”

McCollough reveals that the Morris brothers and their families live just 10 minutes apart on the west side of Los Angeles County (near their clubs’ practice facilities), with Markieff in Playa del Rey and Marcus in nearby Manhattan Beach.

“[W]e know the importance of having your family around for your success in life, just having that backbone and that stability,” Marcus said. “Being in the same city has been amazing.”

How long the brothers will remain in the same city remains to be seen. Markieff inked a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Lakers for this season and has remained a valuable stretch-four option off the bench for L.A. Clippers starter Marcus signed a four-year, $64MM extension ahead of the 2020/21 season, though McCollough acknowledges that the Clips may make roster changes if the team continues to underperform in the postseason.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Recently-extended Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox exhibited significant growth in his play and leadership, even amidst an otherwise-disappointing Sacramento season, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area“Just trying to get to that level of consistency, where night in and night out you’re playing really good and if you’re not playing great, you’re still playing really good basketball and I don’t think I was there just yet,” Fox said. He averaged a career-best 25.2 PPG, to go along with 7.2 APG, 3.5 RPG and 1.5 SPG. Ham observes that Fox’s driving ability and his stroke on jumpers from 10-16 feet away from the bucket are high-level, though the rest of his shot chart is a bit more erratic.
  • Lakers starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been ruled out for this afternoon’s Game 4 matchup against the Suns due to a left knee contusion, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. Veteran Wesley Matthews would make the most positional sense as a replacement starter, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Lakers All-Star power forward/center Anthony Davis, however, will be suiting up today as he plays through a knee injury, tweets Marc Stein of the New York Times.
  • Suns All-Star point guard Chris Paul remains a game-time decision for today’s pivotal Game 4 against the Lakers, tweets Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Paul has been battling a shoulder injury since Game 1. The Suns are currently down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Paul’s output has taken a turn with reduced minutes since the injury. He is averaging 6.7 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 4.0 RPG for the series.

Injury Notes: Davis, KCP, Paul, Doncic, R. Williams, Walker

Anthony Davis is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 4 with Phoenix, but the Lakers star doesn’t see any question about his status, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“There’s no chance that I don’t play tomorrow,” Davis said after today’s practice. “As a player, I’ve wanted to be in this moment. You want to be in the playoffs and help contribute to my team’s success. I want to be out there. So in my eyes, for me as a competitor, I think I’ll be out there tomorrow.”

Davis suffered a hyperextended left knee after landing awkwardly on a chase-down block in Game 3. He was able to play 40 minutes in the victory, even though he was in pain for the rest of the night. Davis said he didn’t need an MRI, but there has been swelling in the knee and he’s been wearing a compression sleeve.

“I haven’t mentioned or talked about a brace,” he said. “But if that’s going to help, then I don’t mind going back to the 1970s brace.”

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • The Lakers are also listing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as questionable after he hurt his left knee and quad area in Thursday’s game, McMenamin adds. Coach Frank Vogel said he’s hopeful that both players will be available.
  • Suns guard Chris Paul sat out today’s practice and is still experiencing pain in his left shoulder, tweets NBA writer Gina Mizell. Coach Monty Williams said the team’s medical staff told him Paul is “ready to play, and that’s all I can go off of.”
  • The Mavericks are listing Luka Doncic as questionable for Sunday with a cervical strain, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Doncic said he began feeling pain in his neck around halftime Friday night and it eventually spread down his left arm. “It’s just weird,” he said. “Just some massage, some ice and hopefully it will be good.”
  • Celtics center Robert Williams has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday, according to Brian Robb of MassLive. Williams had an awkward landing in the first quarter Friday night and didn’t return to the game after playing just six minutes. He has also been dealing with turf toe for the past month. “Rob’s doubtful,” coach Brad Stevens said after today’s practice. “He probably won’t do anything in the morning and see how he feels as we get closer to game time. But you saw him last night, even in his stint, I thought he looked pretty limited. We’re hopeful to have everybody available, but at least in Rob’s case I’d say that’s probably doubtful.”
  • Celtics guard Kemba Walker is listed as questionable for the second straight game with a bone bruise in his knee, Robb adds. Walker played in Game 3, but shot just 3-of-14 from the field and had five turnovers. “Kemba was sore today,” Stevens said. “I think that he’ll go through stuff in the morning tomorrow and have a better idea on him.”