Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

New York Rumors: Nets, KCP, Goodwin, Knicks

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote last week that the Nets are expected to be “major players” this summer for restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. This week, Brian Lewis of The New York Post confirms Brooklyn’s interest in the Pistons sharpshooter, writing that the Nets will likely make KCP a “top priority” in the offseason.

“I’m impressed,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said of Caldwell-Pope. “I love how he competes, how he competes on the defensive end. That’s really the essence of what I see when I watch him play. He plays with force, he competes on the defensive end.”

It remains to be seen if the Pistons will be open to a maximum-salary contract for Caldwell-Pope, but that may be what it takes to retain him. With KCP’s Bird rights in hand, Detroit can offer more years and more money than any other team and will have the chance to match any offer. Still, it sounds like the Nets will put plenty of pressure on the Pistons, dipping back into the restricted free agent market after striking out last summer on Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Former first-round pick Archie Goodwin, who is on a 10-day contract with the Nets, tells NetsDaily that he hopes to stick around in Brooklyn for much longer than those 10 days.
  • Carmelo Anthony said on Tuesday that Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek informed the team that he plans to start reducing minutes for some veteran players down the stretch. As Newsday’s Al Iannazzone details, the Knicks want to assess some of their younger players to determine whether or not they have a future with the club.
  • Former Knicks head coach Derek Fisher appeared on The Vertical’s podcast this week and spoke to Adrian Wojnarowski about what led to the end of his time in New York. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News has some of the quotes from Fisher, who admits that his fight with Matt Barnes hurt his standing with the Knicks and talks about the tension created by the triangle offense.
  • Speaking of the triangle, TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal defended his former head coach Phil Jackson, suggesting that the Knicks players are to blame for the system’s ineffectiveness in New York. Marc Berman of The New York Post has the details.

Nets To Target George Hill In Free Agency?

After actively pursuing restricted free agents last summer, the Nets are expected to have the cap room to be players in free agency once again this offseason. And according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, one free agent that rival executives expect Brooklyn to target is veteran point guard George Hill.

As Net Income of Nets Daily details, Windhorst discussed the Nets’ possible free agent plans on an ESPN podcast this week. The report comes with a caveat — Windhorst hasn’t heard directly from GM Sean Marks or the Nets about their free agent plans. However, the ESPN reporter explains that GMs and executives around the NBA have been talking about Brooklyn’s presumed interest in Hill.

Last offseason, the Nets targeted multiple guards in free agency, signing Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson to pricey four-year offer sheets. Those offers were ultimately matched by the Trail Blazers and Heat, respectively, leaving Brooklyn with Jeremy Lin on a more modest three-year deal. Even with Lin under contract for next season though, it seems the Nets will be closely monitoring other point guards in free agency.

According to Windhorst, the Nets are also expected to dip back into the restricted free agent market as they look to add shooters. Otto Porter will likely be a Brooklyn target, and Windhorst says the Nets will also be “major players” for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Hill, Porter, and Caldwell-Pope will all be in line for big-money, long-term contracts this summer, and their respective teams are expected to make every effort to keep them. Windhorst notes that the Nets are capable of making things very difficult on Utah and driving the price up on Hill, whose camp reportedly believes he can get a max offer in unrestricted free agency. Porter is also viewed as a likely candidate for a max deal, while it remains to be seen whether Caldwell-Pope will get an offer that substantial. The Wizards and Pistons, respectively, won’t want to lose those key RFAs for nothing.

Central Notes: Pistons, Parker, Rondo

Rumors swirled around Pistons players as the NBA’s trade deadline approached but as Thursday came and went, the Detroit roster went unchanged. Stan Van Gundy spoke with Aaron McMann of MLive about the club’s lack of activity.

Look, we’re not real happy with how we’ve played up to this point overall, but we still do have a young group,” Van Gundy said of the now 28-31 Pistons.. “And as much as you would like the progress to be steadily up hill, it’s not always. That doesn’t mean that you lose faith in your guys.”

The Pistons have struggled since starting guard Reggie Jackson returned to the lineup in early December, previously he had been recovering from a knee procedure and Ish Smith had stepped in to man the point. Over the course of the past month, Jackson’s name has been linked to the Timberwolves in a possible two- or three- team trade, potentially involving the Knicks.

You don’t want to get that deal fever where you just want to make a deal so badly that you end up making a bad one,” he said. Considering that Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, two names that came up as possible trade candidates at the deadline, are just 23 and 24 years old respectively, patience may still pay off.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Though 2014 second-overall pick Jabari Parker will miss the remainder of this season and part of next season recovering from a torn ACL, his second drastic injury in the past three seasons, the Bucks didn’t consider dealing him at the deadline, tweets Stephen Watson of WISN 12 News. “Absolutely not,” general manager John Hammond told Watson, when asked explicitly.
  • It’s not clear whether the Bulls will embrace a rebuild or continue to push to win now and the continued presence of Rajon Rondo in the lineup embodies the organization’s indirection, Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.
  • After a pair of 10-day contracts with the Hornets, former Pistons guard Ray McCallum – one of the last cut by the Pistons during training camp – is back in the D-League with Detroit’s affiliate in Grand Rapids. The point guard is averaging 17.8 points and 7.5 assists per game with the Drive so far this season.

Trade Rumors: KCP, OKC, Afflalo, Knight, Ezeli

While the Pistons have been open to listening to inquiries on anyone, few – if any – players on their roster have received as much interest as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Speaking to reporters, including Rod Beard of The Detroit News, Stan Van Gundy confirmed that KCP’s future has been one of the main topics discussed as of late by the Pistons, who will have to make a big long-term commitment to the shooting guard this summer if they keep him.

“That’s something you have to make decisions about and deal with. I’m not getting into specifics at this point, but that has been a significant part of what we’ve talked about,” Van Gundy said of the RFA-to-be. “He was probably the most urgent decision because of that and the money coming and what it means in terms of the cap and the (luxury) tax. We’ve talked about it internally and we’ve talked about it with (team owner) Tom (Gores). We know exactly what’s coming and we’re making informed decisions.”

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

  • The Thunder are being aggressive as the trade deadline nears, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter links), who adds Doug McDermott to the list of players on Oklahoma City’s radar. OKC was linked to another Bulls forward – Taj Gibson – earlier today.
  • League executives believe the Kings will move Arron Afflalo today, says Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee adds (via Twitter) that Afflalo is more likely to be dealt than Ben McLemore, who has impressed some people within the organization lately. Afflalo has been linked to Indiana and Oklahoma City this week.
  • Brandon Knight wouldn’t mind a change of scenery, but the Suns have set their asking price too high in the past in talks with the Magic, Kings, Sixers, and Bulls, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. As Amick observes, it remains to be seen whether that will change today.
  • The Trail Blazers continue to try to find a taker for Festus Ezeli‘s contract, per ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link).
  • Although Bucks general manager John Hammond likes to make trades, league executives say Milwaukee has been “low key” in trade talks this week, according to Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • The Cavaliers continue to work on deals that could fortify their roster, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team ultimately rely on the buyout market instead, tweets Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Latest On The Pistons, Drummond, Caldwell-Pope

The Pistons are “welcoming offers” for Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to Mark Stein of ESPN.com. It’s likely that Drummond stays with the franchise, as he’s beloved by owner Tom Gores, but the softened stance on the big man opens up the door on a potential trade.

The Blazers had discussions with the Pistons about bringing Drummond to Portland, but those talks ended when Detriot insisted on receiving C.J. McCollum in return, sources tell Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. Stein notes that the Blazers view McCollum as untouchable.

Stein adds that the Raptors and Pistons have had exploratory conversations on Drummond. Detroit has also engaged in conversations with the Nets. Before DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans, the Pistons discussed a deal with the Kings centered around a Cousins-Drummond swap.

Drummond signed a max contract with the team over the summer. Caldwell-Pope will be a restricted after the season and the team is reportedly wary about having to give the shooting guard a sizable deal. Stein notes that the team is looking for at least one first-rounder in exchange for KCP.

If the Pistons hold onto Caldwell-Pope and re-sign him to a max deal in the offseason, they would be near the luxury tax line. That’s not an attractive position to be in for a team that sits below .500. However, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy tells Vince Ellis of the Detriot Free Press that ownership has not issued any mandate to shed salary this season.

Trade Rumors: Rose, Rubio, Okafor, Caldwell-Pope

The Timberwolves have reached out to the Knicks about a possible Derrick Rose deal, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Rose has fallen out of favor with Knicks president Phil Jackson, who is disappointed with the veteran guard’s effort on defense. Rose is entering free agency and sources tell Berman that New York would rather move him now than give him a long-term deal. He won MVP honors in Chicago in 2011 under Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau.

The proposed deal is believed to involve Ricky Rubio, whom Thibodeau has never believed in as his long-term point guard, according to Berman. Rubio still has two years and more than $29MM left on his contract and has been the subject of trade rumors since Minnesota drafted Kris Dunn last summer.

The Knicks contacted the Wolves about Rubio at last year’s deadline, Berman writes, and have been interested in him since he entered the league in 2009 because of the recommendations of their European scout, Kevin Wilson, who is based in Barcelona.

New York also reportedly likes Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica and inquired about his availability as part of the Rose discussions, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).

There’s more on the trade front as Thursday’s deadline inches closer:

  • The Rockets have asked about Wolves guard Shabazz Muhammad, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. Wolfson doesn’t believe the teams are close to a deal.
  • The Pistons refused an offer from the Sixers involving Jahlil Okafor and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, tweets Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. Philadelphia offered to bring a third team into the trade, but Detroit still wasn’t interested. The Pistons reportedly have hesitations about giving Caldwell-Pope a maximum salary after his contract expires at the end of the season. The Sixers have been calling around the league trying to make a deal for Okafor, with the Pacers and Bulls as the most frequently mentioned potential trade partners.
  • The Suns are looking for someone to take Brandon Knight‘s contract and might be a fallback option for an Okafor trade, according to Fischer (Twitter link). A former starter in Phoenix, Knight in is the midst of a disappointing season, averaging 11.0 points per game and shooting less than 40% from the field. He still has three seasons and nearly $43.9MM left on his current deal.
  • The Thunder and Clippers remain in pursuit of Nuggets swingman Wilson Chandler, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.

Woj’s Latest: Bogdanovic, KCP, Butler, Sixers

The Kings still had four days to go before the 2017 trade deadline when they agreed to send DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, but the team rushed to finalize the trade so that owner Vivek Ranadive wouldn’t change his mind about wanting to move the star center, Adrian Wojnarowski says in a podcast for The Vertical.

Both Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks were somewhat critical of the Kings, pointing out that the team should have been able to find a way to move Matt Barnes in the process of trading Cousins, rather than releasing him and eating his $6.4MM+ guaranteed salary for 2017/18. Wojnarowski also said that multiple free agents in recent years have used the Kings for leverage or turned down more money from Sacramento sign elsewhere, suggesting that the club needs to make good decisions and improve its reputation going forward.

The Vertical’s team, including Wojnarowski, Marks, and Chris Mannix, tackled many more topics within that podcast and a live chat with fans on Facebook, so let’s dive in and round up some of the highlights…

  • The Wizards don’t want to trade a first-round pick for a rental player, but the team does have “significant interest” in Nets sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Wojnarowski also adds the Kings to the list of teams with real interest in Bogdanovic.
  • Although the Pistons “love” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, they’re hesitant about giving him a maximum salary contract in the offseason, so they have been open to listening to inquiries on him to gauge his value, says Wojnarowski. While Stan Van Gundy did say last month that no one on the roster is untouchable, a KCP deal seems like a long shot.
  • If the Bulls are going to consider moving Jimmy Butler, they’ll need to blown away by an offer, per Wojnarowski. Mannix adds that the Celtics believe Jaylen Brown has star potential and would be very reluctant to include him in an offer for Butler.
  • In recent weeks, the Sixers have shifted their focus from trading Nerlens Noel to trading Jahlil Okafor, but if the team doesn’t find a deal it likes for Okafor, Noel remains a trade candidate, says Wojnarowski. Although the Bulls have had “pretty consistent interest” in Okafor, Philadelphia continues to value him like a former third overall pick, and teams around the league are less bullish on his value, according to Woj.
  • The Rockets, Thunder, and Hawks are among the teams on the lookout for help. Mannix says Houston remains in the market for a frontcourt piece, while Wojnarowski says the Thunder are still seeking a wing scorer. Woj also notes that Atlanta is focused on building around Paul Millsap, despite the fact that he can opt out this summer.
  • The market for Nets center Brook Lopez is “really limited,” since the market is somewhat over-saturated with that type of player, says Wojnarowski.
  • The Clippers are reluctant to give up any more draft picks, particularly for rental players, so they’re a candidate to dive into the buyout market after the deadline, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that the club has had some interest in Wilson Chandler and Nikola Mirotic.
  • According to Wojnarowski, the Trail Blazers remain committed to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as core pieces, and are taking the long view on their roster rather than pushing for a playoff spot this season.

Central Notes: Deadline Previews, Butler, Williams, Rubio, Caldwell-Pope

The Bulls are at a “real crossroads” at this year’s trade deadline, Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago writes. With a 28-29 record, Chicago enters the All-Star break as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Given the top-heavy conference, Strotman notes, even the most optimistic fan wouldn’t have the Bulls projected to advance past the first round of the playoffs. Taj Gibson will be mentioned in trade rumors, as will Robin Lopez and Doug McDermott. While Jimmy Butler has “peak trade value,” the Bulls have incentives to keep the 27-year-old; particularly on his team-friendly contract.

For what it’s worth, Butler reportedly isn’t interested in being traded. Sources told Seerat Sohi of ESPN that Butler is “grounded in Chicago,” and feels loyalty to the franchise that took a chance on him in the 2011 draft.

More from around the Central…

  • Still on his first 10-day contract, Derrick Williams has made quite an impression on the Cavs. According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, the team envisions Williams as their seventh or eighth man against the Warriors in the Finals. The Cavs are going to sign Williams to a minimum contract for the rest of the season, Vardon writes, but the 25-year-old is expected to pursue a bigger payday over the offseason. In order to maintain roster flexibility through the trade deadline, the Cavs will postpone signing Williams to a minimum deal until after his second 10-day contract expires.
  • ESPN’s NBA Insiders discussed the best deadline deals for teams around the Central. Three of ESPN’s four contributors advocated the Cavs stand pat (largely due to cap restrictions), while Jeremias Engelmann suggested the team shop Kyrie Irving. Such a trade would never materialize, Engelmann writes, but the four-time All-Star’s “market value is many times greater than the actual impact he has on the game.” Amin Elhassan cited Ricky Rubio as a natural fit for the Pistons, calling him a “true set-up man” to summon Andre Drummond‘s offensive potential.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical profiled the Pistons and Bucks in his deadline preview series; two teams “fighting for the East’s last playoff spot.” The Pistons have limited roster flexibility, and would likely be best off holding onto current and future draft assets, Marks writes. Detroit may shop Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a restricted free agent-to-be, particularly in light of an underwhelming shooting guard market. Marks cited the Bucks’ need to acquire a stopgap for the injured Jabari Parker without selling off assets. As evidenced by Milwaukee’s recent trade with the Hornets, GM John Hammond won’t be afraid to shake up the roster if need be.

Pistons Rumors: Drummond, Jackson, Johnson

The Pistons have “quietly explored” the trade market for Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, two of their roster’s centerpieces, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reports in his latest piece, which is a deep dive into the situation in Detroit. According to Lowe, the Pistons came away disappointed with what teams might be willing to offer for Drummond or Jackson, reducing the likelihood of either player being moved in the next eight days.

Still, while a Drummond trade remains an “extreme long shot,” a deal involving Jackson isn’t entirely off the table. Lowe suggests the Timberwolves, Magic, and Pelicans are among the potential suitors for the veteran point guard, if Detroit is willing to settle for a modest return. Per Lowe, Jackson’s value has “cratered,” and a player like Ricky Rubio is one of the few solid starters the Pistons could get in any trade package. Lottery teams seeking a long-term solution at point guard are unwilling to move their first-round picks for Jackson, and Detroit isn’t ready to simply dump him for a collection of expiring contracts.

In his attempt to find a potential trade partner for a Jackson deal, Lowe identifies the Magic and Nuggets, pointing to players like Elfrid Payton and Emmanuel Mudiay as possible trade pieces. However, while Mudiay is believed to be available, Denver doesn’t appear to have interest in Jackson. Lowe notes that Orlando is an “intriguing” possibility, since GM Rob Hennigan was in Oklahoma City’s front office when the team drafted Jackson.

Here’s more from Lowe on Jackson, along with a few other intriguing Pistons-related tidbits:

  • The Pelicans have kicked the tires on Jackson, but never engaged in serious talks, league sources tell Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, several Pistons players criticized Jackson during a December players-only meeting for his apparent lack of effort on defense. Drummond tells Lowe that the criticism “wasn’t cool,” since Jackson was coming off an injury and wasn’t yet 100%. However, both Drummond and Stan Van Gundy acknowledge that the team has struggled to adjust to Jackson’s presence on the court this year after finding a groove early in the season with Ish Smith handling the point.
  • According to Lowe, a fear that top free agents won’t come to Detroit has pushed the Pistons to acquire solid players on good contracts when they become available. Those players aren’t always a fit with Drummond and Van Gundy, which has contributed to some of the team’s roster issues.
  • Multiple teams, including the Spurs, made an effort to nab Stanley Johnson in a trade after Van Gundy publicly called out the second-year forward earlier in the season. Although the Pistons rebuffed those efforts, the team has been frustrated by Devin Booker‘s development in comparison to Johnson’s, since the draft room was “almost deadlocked” between those two players in 2015, says Lowe.
  • The Pistons are unlikely to make a major move until closer to the draft, since they want to make the playoffs and are reluctant to do anything that will adversely impact their odds of earning a postseason spot, says Lowe. The ESPN analyst notes that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s pending restricted free agency will be an interesting case to follow this offseason, since the Pistons may have to shed a salary – perhaps Tobias Harris‘ or Boban Marjanovic‘s – if they need to match a max offer sheet for Caldwell-Pope.

Central Notes: Ellis, Rondo, Pistons

Monta Ellis‘ role with the Pacers keeps declining, notes Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The 31-year-old shooting guard has been replaced in the starting lineup by Glenn Robinson III and has struggled to contribute off the bench. Ellis is averaging just 8.3 points per game, the lowest since his rookie season, and shoots just 29% from 3-point range. He’s also taking a career-low 9.3 shots per 36 minutes and his free throw and assist rates have both fallen. Ellis is signed for $11.23MM next season and has an $11.7MM player option that Lowe expects him to exercise in 2018/19.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Rajon Rondo said he wasn’t trying to be the “bad guy” when he called out Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune relays (Twitter links). “I have a great relationship with the young guys [on the Bulls] and they had some things to say,” Rondo said. “When people express feelings relationships get better.”
  • Coach Fred Hoiberg said there will be no suspensions for any of the Bulls players as a result of the verbal battle between Wade, Butler and Rondo, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com passes along (Twitter link). However, Hoiberg did say there will be fines handed out.
  • Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy says the idea of a 10-man rotation isn’t workable, even though the team is getting past its injury problems, relays Aaron McMann of MLiveKentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jon Leuer recently returned to the lineup, giving Detroit 10 players who have seen regular playing time this season. But Van Gundy says decision have to be made on what’s best for the team, not to make sure certain players get enough minutes. “I like having all of those guys available,” he said. “It certainly gives us more flexibility, but the idea it’s as simple as, ‘Play 10,’ or ‘Play nine’ … you start charting out the minutes guys should get, and it doesn’t work.”

Chris Crouse contributed to this post

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