Kyle Lowry

Scotto’s Latest: Reddish, Bucks, Holmes, Russell, Suns

After reporting earlier in the week that the Knicks had expressed interest in acquiring Bucks guard Grayson Allen in a possible Cam Reddish trade, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says Milwaukee continues to resist the idea of including Allen in any deal for Reddish.

According to Scotto, the Bucks have instead proposed a trade structure that would be centered around a 2023 second-round pick and salary filler. That “salary filler” could consist of veteran guard George Hill and big man Serge Ibaka, Scotto adds.

As for the second-round pick, the Bucks control both their own 2023 second-rounder and the least favorable of the Cavaliers’ and Warriors’ selections. Both Milwaukee and Cleveland currently have top-seven records, so those picks would both be in the 50s.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • Marc Stein previously reported that rival teams were monitoring Kings center Richaun Holmes as a potential buyout candidate if he’s not moved at the trade deadline. However, league sources tell Scotto that a buyout won’t happen for Holmes this season. That’s no surprise — as I previously noted, Holmes is still owed $12MM in 2023/24 and $12.9MM on a ’24/25 player option after this season, while buyouts typically occur when a player is on an expiring deal.
  • Rival executives still believe that the Timberwolves will explore trading point guard D’Angelo Russell before the deadline, says Scotto. There were rumblings in December that the Heat and Wolves had at least a conversation about a swap involving Russell and Kyle Lowry, according to Scotto, but with Miami playing better, the team isn’t looking to move Lowry at this point.
  • Former Thunder VP and chief of staff Paul Rivers and former NBA point guard Mateen Cleaves have been mentioned by multiple NBA executives as candidates to join the Suns‘ organization, Scotto reports. Cleaves played with incoming Suns owner Mat Ishbia at Michigan State.

Clippers Rumors: Mann, Lowry, VanVleet, Hartenstein, Covington, Kawhi

As the Clippers explore the trade market for potential backcourt or frontcourt upgrades, they continue to rebuff inquiries on fourth-year guard Terance Mann, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack story.

Entering the season, the decision on the Clippers’ starting point guard came down to Reggie Jackson vs. John Wall, but with Jackson’s role cut back and Wall injured, it’s Mann who has started the club’s last nine games at point guard.

One team source who spoke to Law Murray of The Athletic suggested that there’s a belief Mann could be the Clippers’ starting point guard beyond this season. However, it’s unclear how enthusiastic head coach Tyronn Lue is about using Mann in that role. As Murray explains, Lue views Mann as more of a small forward and barely used him in some first-half games. The Clippers’ coach also likes having a more traditional point guard in his rotation, Murray adds.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • In an article focused on the Clippers’ need to upgrade their roster, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer identifies Heat point guard Kyle Lowry, Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet, and Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein as some of the players L.A. has interest in. Lowry and VanVleet won a championship with Kawhi Leonard, while Hartenstein had the best season of his NBA career a year ago with the Clips.
  • According to Murray, there’s a sense that Lue would like to replace Robert Covington with a more reliable center, while the front office would like the team to find a way to make a “long lineup” (which includes Covington) work. Murray suggests the trade deadline may represent a “demarcation point” between Lue and the front office on Covington’s future in Los Angeles.
  • While this should come as no surprise, a team source confirms to Murray that the Clippers haven’t given any consideration to trading Leonard.
  • Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com explores whether or not the frequent absences of Leonard and Paul George from the Clippers’ lineup has created a sense of frustration within the organization due to the club’s inability to establish any chemistry or consistency.

Heat Notes: Lowry, Herro, O. Robinson, Cain

Kyle Lowry‘s numbers are down this season, but Sunday afternoon he reminded the Heat how valuable he can be in clutch situations, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The veteran guard scored nine points in the final 3:03 as Miami pulled out a tight game against the Pelicans.

It was a welcome breakthrough for Lowry, who had been sidelined with discomfort in his left knee and had scored just 12 total points on eight shots in his first two games since returning. The 36-year-old is in the midst of his worst season in a decade, but he’s still capable of taking over a game.

“We had some really good execution down the stretch and Kyle was a major part of that,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They were bottling up some other stuff and he just kind of went vintage there and made a lot of big plays going down the stretch.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Tyler Herro is still one of the Heat’s youngest players at age 23, even though he’s in his fourth season with the team, Chiang notes in a separate story. Herro is now a mainstay in Miami after signing a four-year extension in the offseason, and he’s formed a pick-and-roll combination with Bam Adebayo that’s among the league’s best. “I think just being cool off the court plays a big role into that,” Herro said. “Having that connection and communicating with each other away from basketball helps when you get out here on the court. It makes it that much easier.”
  • Even though they won on Sunday, the game showcased the Heat’s lack of three-point shooting, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami was just 8-of-34 (23.6%) from beyond the arc , and Winderman states that the Pelicans focused on double teaming Jimmy Butler while daring the Heat to shoot threes.
  • Due to a rule preventing teams below the standard roster limit from using two-way players for more than 90 combined game nights, the Heat are down to 23 two-way days remaining in the season and will face difficult decisions soon regarding Orlando Robinson and Jamal Cain, Winderman adds in a separate story. Robinson, who has been seeing time at backup center, received a pro-rated deal after being signed on December 11 and only has 13 days remaining, while Cain has 28 games left. Once their two-way days expire, the Heat would have to sign Robinson or Cain to standard contracts to keep them active or waive them and hope to re-sign them to 10-day deals.

Southeast Notes: Kuzma, Fultz, Lowry, Thor

Kyle Kuzma has been a hot name on the trade market, though the latest reports have indicated that the Wizards would prefer to keep him through the deadline in an attempt to re-sign him in free agency. The 27-year-old forward says he loves playing with Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal, and that will factor into his decision this summer.

It plays into it a lot,” Kuzma told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter video link). “I love playing with those guys. I see how easy it is for me, but this is something I’m not really thinking about right now. I’m so far away from it.”

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Markelle Fultz has made a major impact on the defensive end since he made his season debut at the end of November, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link). “Just playing hard man,” he said. “Just giving all my effort while I’m on the court. Whether that’s ball pressure or trying to dive on the floor for a loose ball, I’m just trying to find any little way to give our team an advantage.” Fultz is averaging a career-high 1.7 steals per contest, per Price, who notes that the 24-year-old doesn’t gamble much while playing disruptive defense. The Magic have gone 12-12 in games Fultz has played and 5-16 without him.
  • Heat point guard Kyle Lowry recently returned from a four-game absence due to knee soreness. He says it’s been bothering him for a while, but hopes resting it resolved the issue, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “It was good to just get myself right,” said Lowry. “My knee has been a little bit bothering me for a while. So it was good to get back. …I feel good. I feel pretty good right now and hopefully it doesn’t re-occur, and we just kind of build on that. You keep the body right and keep the mind sharp.”
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford is a fan of JT Thor‘s team-first mentality and defense, but he admits his rotations have the second-year forward in an unenviable position, as Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer relays. “The guy to be honest with you, who to a certain degree is getting screwed, is JT Thor,” Clifford said. “I’m subbing him in a way — and he knows it and his teammates know it — just so we can keep more balanced lineups on the floor. He’s playing four minutes sometimes, three minutes sometimes. You can’t possibly be productive offensively with those minutes. He gets the minutes, but the way they are broken up, there’s no way. When I told him that, he said, ‘Hey, I know this isn’t about me.’ So, that’s why he has a chance to be a good player.”

Heat Notes: Trade Targets, Crowder, Collins, Lowry, Oladipo

The Heat are very active on the trade market, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reports. An obvious area to upgrade would be power forward, with the Hawks’ John Collins a potential target. However, there’s concern within the organization that Collins may not be a great fit alongside Bam Adebayo due to his perimeter shooting issues.

The Suns rejected an offer of Duncan Robinson for Jae Crowder, but Caleb Martin could be substituted for Robinson with center Dewayne Dedmon tossed in to make the salaries work and keep Miami under the luxury tax, Deveney adds.

We have more on the Heat:

  • There are plenty of other potential trade options for a power forward but the Heat may have to include an asset or two they don’t want to give up, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. They’d certainly be willing to move Robinson’s contract and Dedmon. They may also have to add Martin or Nikola Jovic into the package, as well one or two protected first-round picks, to get an impact player at that spot.
  • While a Kyle Lowry trade can’t be ruled out, the Heat aren’t actively looking to move him, Jackson adds in the same story.
  • After hovering around the .500 mark most of the season, the Heat are a season-best four games over .500. Better health has been a factor and Udonis Haslem believes the team can go on a run, he told Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “We’ve been right there. So many games coming down to the last shot even with a decimated roster,” the veteran big man said. “So sometimes you got to look within the lesson. The lesson is, I think, once we get healthy, we’re building some good habits and we’ll be able to put something together here. You look at how Boston started their first half of the season last year and it was similar. So if we get healthy, I think we’re still capable of putting something together here.”
  • Considering his past injury issues, Victor Oladipo is surprised he’s logged 30-plus minutes in eight of his last 10 games, he told Chiang. “A little bit, I can’t lie,” Oladipo said of playing extended minutes this season. “But sitting back and really reflecting, you see how much work I put in and how much I invest in my body. So it’s no surprise that I’m still feeling good, and I’m going to continue to keep feeling better as the year goes on.” Oladipo only played 25 minutes in a lopsided win over New Orleans on Wednesday.

Southeast Notes: Kuzma, Wizards, Hornets, Lowry

Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma probably won’t be an All-Star for the first time in 2022/23, but he’s at least on the list of players worth considering, and that’s a sign of progress. The 27-year-old was seventh in fan voting among frontcourt players last week when the NBA released it’s second update, writes Ava Wallace of The Washington Post.

To become an All-Star, you’ve got to win,” Kuzma said. “If you’re the 14th seed in the East and you’re killing, you’re not going to be an All-Star unless you’re an all-time great. So it’s a blessing, but I’m just working my way up.”

Kuzma, who plans to be come a free agent in the offseason, says he’s still adjusting to being a focal point of Washington’s offense with Bradley Beal sidelined for most of the past six weeks. The star guard has only appeared in six games since December 4, but he’ll be back in action on Wednesday.

This is all new for me. This is the first time in my career I really am having a role [with] this high of a usage, so I’m learning on the fly — I’m learning pretty fast, too,” Kuzma said, per Wallace. ” … I played with some great players, so watching them, understanding how teams guarded them, I’m kind of seeing those things now — especially when we have guys hurt.”

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • At 18-26, the Wizards have had a disappointing season, and they have some important decisions to make ahead of the February 9 trade deadline, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who breaks down the questions the team needs to answer in his deadline primer. The most pressing question is, can the team be successful in its effort to build around Beal? Is it even a viable strategy at this point? It’s worth noting that Robbins’ guide was released prior to his report with Shams Charania stating that the Wizards are discussing trades involving forward Rui Hachimura, who is set to his restricted free agency in the summer, which signals that they might be confident in their ability to re-sign Kuzma in the offseason.
  • Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer believes the Hornets should focus on playing their younger players instead of veterans, as “losses don’t hurt anything except their pride.” Coach Steve Clifford had a thorough answer to Fowler’s question regarding the balance of trying to be competitive and playing the youngsters, but the gist is that he believes players should develop by earning their minutes in practice, and some of them haven’t. At 11-34, the Hornets currently sit in last place in the East, and are only one win ahead of the Rockets for the worst record in the NBA.
  • Point guard Kyle Lowry will return to the Heat‘s starting lineup on Wednesday at New Orleans, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. The 36-year-old veteran had missed the team’s previous four games with left knee discomfort. It will mark the first time in two weeks — and just the 15th time this season — that the opening night starting lineup of Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin and Bam Adebayo has played together, Winderman adds. The Heat have been hit hard by injuries throughout the ’22/23 season.

Stein’s Latest: Conley, Beasley, Collins, Kuzma, Russell, Walker

The Clippers are looking for point guard help and have interest in acquiring Mike Conley from the Jazz, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack column. After a strong start, Utah has fallen to 10th in the West at 22-24 and there’s a growing belief around the league that the team may try to sell off some of its veteran assets, according to Stein.

Conley has remained effective at age 35, averaging 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 34 games while shooting 38% from the field and 34.9% from three-point range. The Clippers will be without John Wall for at least two weeks with an abdominal strain, and Reggie Jackson was recently demoted out of his starting spot. Conley is making $22.68MM this year and has a $14.32MM guarantee on his $24.36MM salary for 2023/24.

League sources tell Stein that the Clippers are also seeking another big man to back up Ivica Zubac, who is averaging a career-high 29.1 minutes per game.

Stein shares more trade rumors from around the league:

  • The Cavaliers have considered a three-way trade to acquire Malik Beasley from the Jazz and send the HawksJohn Collins to Utah. Stein reported in November that the Jazz had interest in Collins, but he states that a deal is being held up because the team is asking Atlanta for extra draft compensation for taking on Collins, who still has three full seasons remaining on his five-year, $125MM contract. Stein cites Caris LeVert, who has an $18.8MM expiring deal, as the most likely Cavalier to be involved in the rumored trade.
  • The Wizards are denying that they have interest in moving Kyle Kuzma, with sources telling Stein that the team plans to meet Kuzma’s asking price after he turns down his player option for next season. Stein states that many league executives believe Kuzma would like to move on from Washington, but he cautions that rumor may be coming from teams that are hoping to sign him.
  • Stein confirms a recent report from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports that the Heat have expressed interest in Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell, who has an expiring $31.4MM contract. However, the Wolves would likely have to take back Kyle Lowry unless another team can be added to the trade, and Minnesota doesn’t want to take on Lowry’s contract.
  • Kemba Walker, who was waived by the Mavericks prior to the leaguewide salary guarantee date, is focused on finding another NBA opportunity. Stein says a weekend report in Italy that Walker was close to signing with Olimpia Milano was mistaken.

Heat Notes: Lowry, Dedmon, Robinson, Vincent

The Heat picked up a win over the Bucks Saturday afternoon in a game that was short on star power for both teams, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. While Milwaukee was without two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Miami was missing three starters, including Kyle Lowry, who sat out his third straight game due to lingering discomfort in his left knee. Coach Erik Spoelstra wasn’t able to offer much insight into Lowry, who also missed two games because of the knee in December.

“We’re still treating him day to day and continue to be on that protocol until he’s ready,” Spoelstra told reporters.

When healthy, Lowry has remained the Heat’s starting point guard at age 36, but his shooting numbers have dipped significantly this season to 39.8% from the field and 33.6% from three-point range. Lowry has been the subject of trade speculation, but his age and contract, which has another full year remaining at $29.7MM, make it difficult to move him.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Dewayne Dedmon returned from his one-game suspension, but he didn’t see any playing time, Chiang adds. Orlando Robinson continued in the backup center role, as he has for the past week. If he remains in the rotation, the Heat will likely convert him to a standard deal at some point to make him eligible for the playoffs. Dedmon, whose contract is non-guaranteed for next season, faces an uncertain future in Miami and will become trade-eligible on Sunday.
  • Taking Lowry’s place in the starting lineup, Gabe Vincent made 11-of-14 shots today and fell one point short of the career high of 28 he set Thursday. Vincent will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN, but the Heat own his Bird rights and can go over the cap to re-sign him. Miami is unbeaten in Vincent’s four games as a starter, and he’s averaging 20.0 PPG in that role.
  • The Heat are changing the name of FTX Arena to Miami-Dade Arena, the team announced in a press release. Work will begin soon to replace signs and other branding elements at the facility. Miami-Dade County sought the approval of a bankruptcy judge to have FTX’s name removed after the cryptocurrency company collapsed. The new name may be temporary, as the organization seeks a new naming-rights sponsor.

D’Angelo Russell Rumors: Extension Talks, Heat, Lowry, Suns

Prior to a blockbuster trade to acquire Rudy Gobert in the offseason, the Timberwolves explored the possibility of acquiring Dejounte Murray instead, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

According to Fischer, extension talks between the Wolves and guard D’Angelo Russell went nowhere in the offseason, and there’s a belief among rival teams that Minnesota is open to moving him. It’s unclear if those extension talks came before or after the team’s interest in Murray, but clearly there was a difference of opinion on value.

A couple weeks ago, Brian Windhorst of ESPN floated a hypothetical on his Hoop Collective podcast wondering if the Wolves would consider calling the Heat about Kyle Lowry in exchange for Russell’s $31.4MM expiring contract. Lowry has one more year on his deal at $29.7MM, and Windhorst thought Miami might be open to moving him due to future luxury tax concerns, though he admitted he wasn’t sure how the Heat would view Russell’s fit.

A couple days later, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype wrote about Russell’s situation and explored the idea of Russell-Lowry swap. Russell unfollowed the Wolves on social media the same day, which raised some eyebrows.

Yeah, it’s my life,” the Russell told Fischer of paying attention to rumors. “That’s it. Just be conscious of it.”

While neither of those instances were actual rumors, Fischer hears from sources that the Heat have actually shown interest in Russell, but says a “direct deal for Lowry would appear unlikely.” Fischer suggests the Wolves might be hesitant to acquire Lowry due to his contract and the possibility of having to extend him or risk losing him for nothing, much like their current situation with Russell.

Fischer writes that there isn’t much of a market for lead guards with large salaries, but rival executives are watching the Clippers and Suns as teams looking for backcourt upgrades. The Suns were linked to Russell a handful of years ago, and he’s close with star Devin Booker, per Fischer.

Southeast Notes: Robinson, Dedmon, Lowry, Clifford, Krejci

Two-way player Orlando Robinson may have passed Dewayne Dedmon on the depth chart as the Heat‘s backup center. Robinson finished Sunday’s one-point loss to Brooklyn with six points, nine rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes, while Dedmon didn’t play due to coach’s decision for the first time this season. The Heat outscored the Nets by 24 points with Robinson on the court, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald notes.

“I thought he just gave us great minutes,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Even when we had to take (Bam Adebayo) out in the fourth quarter, that could have been an emotional downer, like a real buzz kill. But O had been playing really well and when I turned to him, everybody else was like: ‘Yeah, let’s do this.’ He’s earned the minutes and I think the way he was really sprinting to the rim on some of the pick-and-rolls and creating a little bit of confusion, really helped us generate some clean looks.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Kyle Lowry has been downgraded to out for Tuesday’s game against the Thunder, Chiang tweets. The Heat have a number of injury concerns. Rotation players Caleb Martin (left quadriceps strain) and Duncan Robinson (finger surgery) have also been ruled out, while Tyler Herro (left Achilles soreness) and Adebayo (right wrist contusion) are questionable.
  • Steve Clifford returned for a second stint as the Hornets’ head coach to take them to the next level. The way the season has played out, he now has the task of developing the young players during a rough season. Clifford spoke of trying to strike that balance in a Q&A with Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer in a subscriber-required story. “We need to win and develop these young guys. And definitely this is really a different roster than what we thought it would be, particularly when I first got here,” Clifford said. “But at the end of the day being adaptable as a coach is a big deal, and you want to be the right coach for the team that you are coaching.”
  • Vit Krejci had his contract for this season guaranteed by the Hawks over the weekend when he remained on the roster. Krejci is grateful the front office decided to keep him around, as he told Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Yeah, it’s a good feeling,” Krejci said. “You know, I worked really hard to be in this position. And I’m glad that the team trusts me and the coaches and the staff, everybody trusts me. So, I’m really happy for that.” Krejci has appeared in 17 games this season.