Kenyon Martin Jr.

Multi-Team Deal Possible For Jae Crowder

Several teams have expressed interest in Suns forward Jae Crowder and there’s speculation that a trade could get done soon, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Crowder, who had been a starter during his first two years in Phoenix, is working out on his own while he waits for a deal to be completed.

The Bucks, Hawks and Warriors are among the most prominent suitors for Crowder, sources tell Pincus, and an unidentified executive believes the final version of the deal could include as many as five teams.

Pincus hears that Milwaukee has offered Grayson Allen for Crowder, while Atlanta is willing to part with some combination of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Holiday and John Collins. The Suns don’t have any immediate interest in either of those offers, Pincus adds.

As reported earlier today by Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Rockets could play an important role in a multi-team deal. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports stated last week that Phoenix had interest in Kenyon Martin Jr., and Pincus speculates that veteran guard Eric Gordon could also be included in a trade that sends Crowder and Dario Saric to another team. Pincus hears that Houston would want “real value” to get involved, whether it’s in the form of young talent or draft assets.

The Warriors could be a team to watch in the Crowder sweepstakes if they’ve become more willing to unload some of their young players after an 8-10 start, Pincus writes. Golden State’s defense has regressed after losing Gary Payton II and Otto Porter in free agency, and Crowder is the type of multi-positional defender who could fix those issues.

The Warriors also need help with rebounding after falling from seventh to 25th in the league in that category, and rival executives expect them to target another big man as well as a defensive wing. Pincus cites Myles Turner and Jakob Poeltl as possibilities, though the Pacers may decide to keep Turner after their strong start. The Spurs are limited to less than $13MM as the starting point for an extension offer to Poeltl, and the team may be inclined to trade him rather than risk losing him in free agency.

Golden State would have to send out nearly $16MM in salary to acquire both Crowder and Poeltl, but it’s limited in what it can offer until Donte DiVincenzo, JaMychal Green, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney become trade-eligible later this season.

Pincus offers a sample trade in which send the Warriors send James Wiseman and Ryan Rollins to the Spurs, while the Rockets get Jonathan Kuminga from Golden State and Saric from Phoenix. Another Pincus suggestion has the Warriors keeping Kuminga while shipping Moses Moody and either Patrick Baldwin or Rollins to the Rockets, while San Antonio gets Baldwin or Rollins along with Wiseman.

Fischer’s Latest: Bey, Suns, K. Martin, Collins, J. Holiday

Team personnel around the NBA are keeping an eye on Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says Detroit has received some calls from clubs inquiring about the third-year pro.

Bey has been considered part of the Pistons’ core since being selected 19th overall in the 2020 draft. However, his production has dipped so far this season and he was recently moved to a reserve role for one game before an Isaiah Stewart injury reopened a spot for him in the starting five. That brief demotion represented the first time Bey had come off the bench since the first half of his rookie season.

Still, while the Pistons may be more amenable to listening to inquiries on Bey than they have been in the past, Fischer says the team still seems intent on further evaluating the former first-round pick before seriously considering the idea of making him available.

Here are a few more notes from Fischer’s latest rumor round-up, which also included items on the Jazz and Clippers:

  • The Suns‘ interest in Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., first reported by Shams Charania last week, has resulted in Houston getting involved in some three-team Jae Crowder trade discussions, Fischer reports. Sources also confirm to Yahoo Sports that the Bucks have tried to use Grayson Allen to acquire Crowder, but Phoenix and Milwaukee have yet to find common ground on a straight-up deal.
  • There was “true momentum” toward a trade this past offseason that would have sent Hawks big man John Collins to the Kings, and the Wizards showed real interest in Collins prior to last season’s trade deadline, writes Fischer. However, Sacramento was happy to make a deal with Atlanta for Kevin Huerter instead, while Washington ended up landing Kristaps Porzingis to fortify its frontcourt. Fischer doesn’t say it outright, but the implication is that neither team is still pursuing Collins at this time.
  • Fischer echoes a John Gambadoro report stating that the Suns aren’t interested in acquiring Collins, largely due to the long-term money still left on his contract (he’s in the second season of a five-year, $125MM deal). And Phoenix may not be the only team that feels that way — Collins’ contract could complicate the Hawks‘ efforts to find a trade partner, according to Fischer, who suggests that the deal is “perceived to be above market value.”
  • Hawks wing Justin Holiday is worth monitoring as a possible trade candidate, per Fischer, especially if AJ Griffin continues to solidify a role in Atlanta’s regular rotation.

Hawks Talking John Collins Trades; Suns, Jazz Interested?

7:00pm: The Jazz have also shown recent interest in Collins, Charania said in an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link).

3:06pm: John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 disputes Charania’s claim that the Suns are a potential suitor for Collins, tweeting that Phoenix doesn’t have interest in the veteran forward.

Gambadoro adds (via Twitter) that the Suns and Kings had a discussion about Barnes over the summer, but with Sacramento playing well and Mike Brown a fan of the veteran forward, the Kings don’t intend to move Barnes.

10:09am: Hawks big man John Collins, who has been the subject of trade rumors multiple times in recent years, is considered available once again this season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Charania, the Hawks have opened “preliminary” trade talks involving Collins, with the Suns among the teams showing interest in the 25-year-old. Sources tell The Athletic that a Collins trade doesn’t appear imminent, and Charania cites executives who believe it could take weeks or months for the Hawks to find a deal they like — if they move him at all.

Collins was considered a trade candidate during the year leading up to his restricted free agency in 2021, but signed a five-year, $125MM contract to remain in Atlanta. That deal did little to quiet the trade rumors surrounding him though — those rumors popped up again at the 2022 trade deadline and during this past offseason, prompting Hawks general manager Landry Fields to tell reporters on Media Day in September that Collins was “still here for a reason.”

In 15 games so far this season, Collins has struggled to produce consistently. His average of 12.6 points per game is his lowest since his rookie year, and his .493 FG% is a career-worst mark, as is his .227 3PT%. Still, given his track record, the power forward should bounce back and will be an intriguing trade target for any team looking to acquire an impact frontcourt player.

As Charania notes, the Hawks have been one of the primary suitors for Suns forward Jae Crowder and have been engaged with Phoenix in trade talks in recent weeks, so it’s plausible the two teams could come together for a bigger deal involving both Crowder and Collins.

In order to match Collins’ salary, Phoenix would have to include at least one more mid-level type contract besides Crowder’s expiring deal. Dario Saric ($9.24MM expiring contract) and Landry Shamet ($9.5MM in 2022/23, plus $21.25MM across two more guaranteed years) would be the top candidates.

However, the Suns may be averse to the idea of taking on Collins’ long-term contract, according to Charania. He’s owed $23.5MM in 2022/23 and nearly $52MM in the following two seasons, with a $26.6MM player option for ’25/26. With the Suns facing a possible ownership change, it’s unclear how comfortable they are adding more big long-term financial commitments to their books.

In addition to Collins, the Suns have expressed interests in forwards such as Harrison Barnes of the Kings, Kyle Kuzma of the Wizards, and Kenyon Martin Jr. of the Rockets, sources tell Charania. Phoenix has also reportedly engaged in Crowder-related trade talks with the Bucks, with one report suggesting Milwaukee is the frontrunner to land the veteran forward.

Rockets’ Martin Open To Contract Extension

Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. is becoming more amenable to the idea of continuing his career in Houston, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who hears from sources that Martin is open to signing a contract extension with the team.

It’s a major reversal for Martin, who reportedly spoke to Rockets management this offseason about the possibility of a trade due to concerns about his role. With Jae’Sean Tate re-signed and forwards Jabari Smith and Tari Eason drafted in the first round, it was unclear whether the 21-year-old had a place in Houston’s long-term plans.

So far this season, however, Martin has appeared in all 11 of the Rockets’ games and is averaging a career-high 25.7 minutes per contest. He has put up 11.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.8 APG on .489/.341/.667 shooting, and his willingness to play a complementary role next to the club’s primary scorers and play-makers has made him a nice fit in several lineups, as Iko outlines.

“I don’t care about how much I score,” Martin told Iko. “If I can get someone else open, I’m fine with that. Just me being a connector — when the offense gets stagnant, get something moving so other guys see it. And the next time we come down the floor, if this works go back to it. Me and Coach (Stephen Silas) talked a lot (about it), and me being a connector on offense and defense helps us a lot.”

Martin is in the third season of the four-year contract he signed after being selected 52nd overall in the 2020 draft. Because more than two years have passed since he signed that contract, he’s eligible for a contract extension, though in order to work out something during the season, the Rockets would have to decline his minimum-salary team option for 2023/24 as part of the agreement — only players on expiring contracts can sign in-season veteran extensions.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Veteran Contract Extension]

The three-year, $20.6MM contract that Tate signed this past summer with the Rockets would likely serve as a point of comparison if and when the team discusses a new deal with Martin, since his role and his production so far this season are similar to Tate’s in 2021/22.

Fischer’s Latest: Suns, Johnson, Oladipo, K. Martin, G. Williams

When the Suns engaged in trade talks for Kevin Durant this offseason, they made it clear that Cameron Johnson was off limits, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

While it’s hard to believe that the inclusion of Johnson would’ve been a deal-breaker for the Suns if they had a realistic shot to land Durant, Fischer’s report suggests the team is high on the fourth-year wing and is hoping to lock him up long-term.

According to Fischer, “early indications” suggested that Phoenix would like to sign Johnson to an extension in the range of $72MM over four years. Whether that’s enough to get anything done with the young sharpshooter remains to be seen.

Fischer’s first roundup of NBA rumors for Yahoo Sports focuses primarily on the Suns and Jae Crowder, as we detailed earlier today. But there are a few more odds and ends within the article about other teams and players. Here are some of the highlights:

  • According to Fischer, the Wizards were one of the teams with legitimate interest in signing Victor Oladipo in free agency this past summer. Fischer writes that Oladipo turned down a “potential starting opportunity” in D.C. in order to remain with the Heat.
  • The Suns have had discussions about the possibility of acquiring Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., who has also drawn interest from the Trail Blazers and Heat, Fischer reports. Martin reportedly spoke to Rockets management this offseason about the idea of being dealt.
  • Interestingly, Fischer cites sources who say there doesn’t seem to be a contract extension coming for Celtics forward Grant Williams. The team still has five more days to work out a potential deal with Williams before this year’s rookie scale extension deadline of October 17. If Williams doesn’t sign a new contract by then, he’ll become a restricted free agent next summer.

Rockets Notes: Martin, Chriss, Porter, Outlook

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Kenyon Martin Jr. didn’t confirm an offseason report that stated he had talked to Rockets management about the possibility of being traded, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. However, the third-year forward also didn’t exactly deny it.

“Like I keep saying, I’m just here to do my job,” Martin told reporters. “Everything else is between upper management and my agents. This summer, my goal was to get better and try to make the team better. I feel like I got better. So, going into the season, just try to win as many games as possible and keep moving forward.”

Martin is on a guaranteed minimum salary this season and has a non-guaranteed team option worth the minimum in 2023/24. He has been a regular rotation player for Houston over the last two seasons, averaging 9.0 PPG and 4.3 RPG on .524/.360/.667 shooting in 124 games (22.0 MPG), but the depth chart has gotten increasingly crowded at his position, raising questions about where he fits in the team’s long-term plans.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • According to Feigen (Twitter link), the only Rockets player dealing with an injury entering training camp is Marquese Chriss, who is still rehabbing after undergoing knee surgery in June.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. said on Monday that he’s in a “beautiful space” as he prepares to begin his fourth NBA season, and isn’t stressing about a potential rookie scale extension. “I stopped worrying about that last year and it’s been that,” Porter said, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I still got that mindset. I got a team that represents me and they handle that part. For me, I just come in here and try to become the best player (I can be). It hasn’t been weighing on me because that’s my mindset.” Porter will become eligible for restricted free agency in 2023 if he doesn’t sign an extension with Houston by October 17.
  • After winning 17 games in 2020/21 and 20 games in ’21/22, the Rockets are still a ways off from contending, but center Alperen Sengun is bullish on the long-term potential of the team’s young core. “We’re just going to learn, and then we’re going to be (the) best in this league one day,” Sengun said on Monday, according to Feigen. “I really believe this.”
  • In his training camp preview for The Athletic, Iko poses three questions facing the Rockets, including how long Eric Gordon will remain on the roster and whether the club can improve its defense this season after ranking dead last in the NBA in 2021/22.

Texas Notes: Wood, Mavericks, Martin, T. Jones

Christian Wood told WFAA TV that he’s “counting my blessings” about the trade that sent him from the Rockets to the Mavericks in June. Wood, who spoke during a break at a youth basketball camp, said he’s focused on helping Dallas get even further than last season’s trip to the Western Conference Finals.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and for this organization to try and take that next step,” he said. “I just want to win games. My main objective is to try and get to the (NBA) Finals.”

Wood, who’s entering the final year of his contract, will add plenty of scoring and rebounding to the Mavs’ front line. He averaged 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last season, but he wasn’t in the Rockets’ long-term plans, so they shipped him to the Mavericks in exchange for four players and a first-round pick.

Wood said he’s happy to be in Dallas — both on and off the court.

“I love the city — it’s a little bit calmer than Houston, thank God,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve tried a few food spots out here, and the food is great. But I’m still trying to find my way around.”

There’s more NBA news from Texas:

  • The Mavericks are hiring Nets scouting director Matt Riccardi to a senior front office position, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Riccardi, who grew up in the Dallas area, has been with Brooklyn for the past 13 years.
  • Several teams are monitoring Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., who requested a trade in June, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. After the Rockets re-signed Jae’Sean Tate and drafted Jabari Smith and Tari Eason in the first round, it doesn’t appear there’s a future for Martin in Houston.
  • Tre Jones‘ contract for the upcoming season became guaranteed for $500K when he remained on the Spurs‘ roster past August 1, tweets Spotrac contributor Keith Smith. Jones, who would make $1.78MM if he gets a full guarantee, could challenge for the starting point guard spot now that Dejounte Murray has been traded to Atlanta. Jones made 11 starts last season while averaging 6.0 points and 3.4 assists in 69 games.

Southwest Notes: Josh Green, Rockets, Grizzlies

After being benched during last season’s playoff run, Mavericks wing Josh Green is working diligently on his game to try to stay in the lineup as much as possible going forward, according to Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.

I think the biggest thing for me is just realizing what I need to do to help the team out; I’m not trying to work on stuff that I’m not gonna do in a game,” Green said. “And I’m coming in with full confidence, knowing what I need to do and being ready to go. I’m more motivated than ever.”

The 18th pick of the 2020 draft, Green averaged 4.8 PPG and 2.4 RPG on .508/.359/.689 shooting in 67 games (15.5 MPG) last season. Still just 21 years old, Green says he’s feeling self-assured entering his third season.

My confidence is high, man. I’m ready to go, and I can’t wait for next year,” Green said, per Kennedy. “Coach (Jason) Kidd really helped me out last year, and he has a lot of trust in me, so now it’s just about me going forward and continuing to develop and show what I can do. I’m on a veteran team — a very good team — so for me, it’s just about doing what I can do to impress and just play like I usually play.”

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Assuming Eric Gordon remains on the roster entering training camp, he should be the starting small forward for the Rockets, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Houston’s starting lineup projects to be Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, Gordon, Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Sengun, according to Iko, with the first five reserves possibly being Daishen Nix, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, Jae’Sean Tate and Usman Garuba. Iko notes that Tate, who has started 135 of his 148 NBA games to this point, will likely be the team’s sixth man and receive significant playing time. Noticeably absent from the projected 10-man rotation is Kenyon Martin Jr., who requested a trade last month due for that very reason, and Iko says rival teams continue to keep an eye on Martin’s situation with the Rockets.
  • Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal grades each of the Grizzlies‘ Summer League performances, giving undrafted rookie Kenneth Lofton Jr.who is signed to a two-way contract, an A. Lofton’s low-post scoring could provide something the current roster doesn’t have, Cole notes. On the other end of the spectrum is first-rounder Jake LaRavia, who received a C-minus from Cole due to his offensive passivity.
  • As we noted yesterday, the Grizzlies are among the teams facing a roster crunch entering training camp. In a separate story, Cole writes that Danny Green and Killian Tillie are likely to be the most vulnerable members of the roster at the moment, and if Lofton gets promoted to a standard deal, perhaps both of them could be traded or released.

Rockets Notes: Frontcourt, Tate, Gordon, Martin

Whether or not they hang onto Boban Marjanovic, the Rockets would like to add one more big man to their roster, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who says the club may use a two-way contract slot to add more depth up front. Trevor Hudgins currently occupies one of Houston’s two-way slots, but the other is empty.

Iko names Moses Brown, Freddie Gillespie, Bruno Fernando, and Mfiondu Kabengele as players who could be of interest to the Rockets as they look to add another frontcourt player.

According to Iko, Houston had some interest in Isaiah Roby after he was waived by Oklahoma City, but the Spurs ultimately claimed him off waivers. The Rockets were ahead of San Antonio in the waiver order and had a trade exception available to claim Roby, but they already have 18 players on guaranteed contracts for 15 spots, so they likely weren’t eager to bring in another.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • The $500K annual bonus in Jae’Sean Tate‘s new three-year contract are tied to the Rockets winning at least 35 games, Iko reports. So Tate would earn an extra $1.5MM if Houston wins 35 or more games in each of the next three seasons.
  • The Rockets were close to trading Eric Gordon on draft night, possibly to the Sixers, but the deal fell apart, according to Iko, who says the Heat, Bucks, and Suns also pursued Gordon before the draft. Sources tell The Athletic that Philadelphia re-engaged Houston on the veteran shooting guard at the start of free agency, but there’s certainly no guarantee he’ll be moved before the season begins.
  • The Rockets aren’t in any rush to trade Kenyon Martin Jr. either, says Iko, noting that Martin may “need to mend some internal relationships” if a trade doesn’t materialize and he remains in Houston.

Rockets Rumors: Draft, Gordon, Wall, Martin

The Rockets mulled the idea of trying to trade up from No. 3 in last Thursday’s draft, but given that the draft class featured three prospects (Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Chet Holmgren) considered top-tier options, they didn’t feel the need to give up the assets necessary to move up a spot or two, general manager Rafael Stone tells Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

“We thought about it a lot,” Stone said. “But it wasn’t clear who we’d be moving up to. You think about moving up in every spot of the draft. You always think about that, that’s part of the job. But one of the nice things — and we knew on lottery night — was that we were going to get somebody that we thought could be part of our organization for a long time and really help us take the next step in this process we’re trying to build.

“That doesn’t mean you foreclose conversations; you talk to everybody about everything, but we always felt comfortable picking where we were picking and were really excited.”

Here are several more Rockets-related notes and rumors from Iko:

  • The Rockets received calls when they were on the clock at No. 17 from teams looking to acquire the pick and would have been more inclined to entertain those offers if Tari Eason hadn’t been on the board, according to Iko.
  • Iko describes trade interest in Eric Gordon as having gotten more “fervent” within the last couple weeks and notes that teams were making offers during last week’s draft that included 2022 picks. The Sixers were one of the clubs that made a proposal, but the Rockets continue to value Gordon more highly than the packages they’ve been offered and aren’t desperate to move him, Iko writes.
  • Like Marc Stein, Iko has heard that the Rockets and John Wall may finally be gaining momentum toward a divorce, with a buyout considered more likely than a trade. The two sides are expected to meet this week, and Wall is hoping to come to a resolution by the start of free agency on Thursday, sources tell The Athletic.
  • The Trail Blazers and Nets are among the teams that have inquired on Kenyon Martin Jr., who reportedly wouldn’t be opposed to a trade.