Marquese Chriss

Shumpert To Rockets, Burks to Kings In 3-Team Trade

FEBRUARY 7, 11:33am: The trade is now official, the Cavaliers confirmed in a press release. Here are the full details:

  • Cavaliers acquire Knight, Chriss, the Rockets’ 2019 first-round pick, and the Rockets 2022 second-round pick.
  • Rockets acquire Shumpert, Stauskas, Baldwin, and the Bucks’ 2021 second-round pick (from Cleveland).
  • Kings acquire Burks and lesser of the Rockets’ and Warriors’ 2020 second-round picks.

FEBRUARY 7, 7:21am: The draft pick the Kings are receiving from Houston in the deal will be the lesser of the Rockets’ and Warriors’ second-rounders in 2020, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California.

FEBRUARY 6, 8:10pm: The Cavaliers will also receive a lottery-protected 2019 first-round pick from the Rockets, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who states that the front office is “thrilled” by what it was able to get in return for Burks.

7:25pm: The Kings, Rockets and Cavaliers have agreed to a three-team deal that will send Iman Shumpert to Houston, Alec Burks and a second-round pick to Sacramento and Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight to Cleveland, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

The Rockets will also receive Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin from the Cavs, adds ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Both guards were acquired Sunday when Cleveland shipped Rodney Hood to Portland. Houston hasn’t decided whether to keep both players for the rest of the season, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Because they were just acquired, Stauskas and Baldwin can’t be aggregated in the same trade, so the Cavaliers and Rockets will have to make two separate deals, tweets Keith Smith of Real GM. Burks will be traded for Knight, while Chriss’ $3.2MM salary will be absorbed with the TPE that Cleveland created by sending Hood to the Trail Blazers.

The Cavaliers had to include both guards to remain below the luxury tax, Bobby Marks posts on ESPN Now. They created a $1.5MM trade exception for each player and are now $1.2MM under the tax. Knight carries cap hits of $14.6MM for this season and $15.6MM for 2019/20, while Chriss has a $3.2MM expiring deal. Cleveland is dangerously close to tax territory for next season, Marks adds, hovering about $10MM below without accounting for a projected top five draft pick.

Houston will save $6.3MM in projected tax payments and bring its bill down to $6.1MM, Marks notes in a separate post. The total could drop even lower depending on what happens with $1.5MM in bonuses for Clint Capela, who is sidelined after thumb surgery. The Rockets will inherit Shumpert’s Bird rights and will sit about $4MM above the tax threshold with the addition of the three players.

The Rockets had been seeking veteran wing help and were hoping to unload the contracts of Knight and Chriss after acquiring them from Phoenix over the summer in a deal to unload Ryan Anderson‘s hefty salary. Shumpert has an $11MM expiring contract. Burks also has an expiring deal worth a little more than $11.5MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

O’Connor’s Latest: Gasol, Conley, OKC, Prince, More

As we relayed earlier today, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer hears that the Hornets‘ offer for Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick. That would be an underwhelming return for Gasol, but there hasn’t been much league-wide interest in the 34-year-old, O’Connor writes.

The Kings and Pistons were among the teams potentially in the mix for Gasol, according to O’Connor, but Memphis didn’t have any interest in Detroit center Andre Drummond and Sacramento was unwilling to part with promising young wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Grizzlies wanted.

The Raptors reportedly explored a potential Gasol deal, initially attempting to come up with an individual trade for one Grizzlies veteran before turning it into a package for both Gasol and Mike Conley, O’Connor writes. However, those talks didn’t advance and league sources tell The Ringer that it’s unlikely Toronto ends up with Gasol or Conley.

Elsewhere on the Conley front, the Jazz continue to make a strong push, with an offer that includes Ricky Rubio, Derrick Favors, and a first-round pick, per O’Connor. The sense around the NBA is that the Grizzlies won’t settle for a modest return for Conley, which is something we heard in relation to the Pistons’ offer earlier today.

O’Connor’s latest piece for The Ringer features several more trade-related tidbits, so we’ll round them up here…

  • The Thunder are believed to be among the teams with interest in Cavaliers guard Alec Burks, league sources tell O’Connor. However, Burks wouldn’t fit into OKC’s $10.88MM trade exception. The Thunder, along with the Sixers and Trail Blazers, have expressed interest in Hawks wing Taurean Prince, O’Connor adds.
  • Following up on his report from last week about the Rockets and Grizzlies discussing a Brandon Knight trade, O’Connor suggests that Marquese Chriss and a first-round pick would also go to Memphis in that proposed deal. Houston would be targeting JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple in the swap, though it remains in the discussion stage for now.
  • The Kings have made calls about veteran forwards Harrison Barnes (Mavericks) and Otto Porter (Wizards) but have found no traction on a Porter deal, writes O’Connor.
  • While DeAndre Jordan looks like an obvious trade candidate, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if the Knicks keep him around as a potential recruiter for Kevin Durant, according to O’Connor, who notes that Durant and Jordan are good friends. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News wrote about this subject on Tuesday.
  • League sources don’t expect the Celtics to do anything at the deadline with Terry Rozier, since he could serve as potential Kyrie Irving insurance or a sign-and-trade sweetener for Anthony Davis in the offseason, says O’Connor.
  • According to O’Connor, the Pacers remain open to moving one of their two veteran point guards, Cory Joseph or Darren Collison. Both players are on expiring contracts.

Lowe’s Latest: Rockets, Prince, Blazers, Heat

The Rockets and Cavaliers had discussions about sending Brandon Knight to Cleveland along with a first-round pick in exchange for Alec Burks. However, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com hears that those talks have ceased. Houston has also spoken with the Grizzlies about potential Knight deals.

Cleveland is selling Burks, Rodney Hood, and any other “indispensable asset” prior to the deadline, Lowe writes. The team is willing to take back future salary in exchange for picks.

Houston is expected to scour the market for deals leading up to the deadline with an eye on attaching a future first-rounder to Knight and Marquese Chriss. The Rockets would likely push for lottery protections on any picks that would convey past James Harden‘s prime.

Lowe’s latest piece contains trade nuggets from several teams in the league and we’ve already passed along news from the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley and Marc Gasol sweepstakes as well as the Magic’s pre-deadline plan. Here are the rest of the newsworthy notes from the ESPN piece:

  • The Hawks have made Taurean Prince available in trade talks, sources tell Lowe. Atlanta hasn’t received a ton of traction on Prince deals because of its asking price. The organization wants a young prospect and a pick in exchange for the small forward.
  • The Blazers have put their first-rounder on the table in trade talks, sources tell Lowe. Portland has reached out about Otto Porter Jr.‘s availability, though Wizards owner Ted Leonsis previously announced that the team would not be trading Porter before the deadline.
  • Porter has drawn interest from several teams. In addition to the Blazers, the Mavericks and Jazz have kept an eye on the situation. Dallas was interested in swapping Harrison Barnes for Porter prior to the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
  • Miami appears to be willing to move anyone but Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo for cap relief. Lowe expects the Heat to try to get at least a second-round pick for Wayne Ellington.
  • Lowe confirms a previous report that JaMychal Green, Justin Holiday, and Garrett Temple are all available. Holiday, who was acquired from the Bulls earlier this year, cost the Grizzlies two second-round picks.
  • The Kings have approximately $11MM in cap space available and they want to use it to pick up an asset. Lowe writes that it could be a draft pick or a player who will help them win this season.
  • Sacramento is willing to engage in trade talks about Willie Cauley-Stein, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. The Kings may simply let the center walk should he receive too high of an offer this offseason.
  • The Bulls are expected to listen to offers for anyone but Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter. Lowe doesn’t expect Chicago to deal either Kris Dunn or Zach LaVine though, as the team’s asking price is anticipated to be too high.
  • The Nuggets own a pair of trade exceptions and have slightly less than $7MM in breathing room under the tax. They are open to taking on a salary dump if another team calls and has to shed a player in that price range.

Marquese Chriss Gives Rockets Ultimatum

Marquese Chriss‘ camp has spoken with the Rockets about the big man’s desire to see more playing time. If the team can’t find more minutes for Chriss, the preference would be a trade, Chriss’ agent Aaron Goodwin tells Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“Marquese didn’t ask to be traded to Houston,” Goodwin tells Haynes. “The Rockets are a great organization and the kid has done everything they’ve asked of him to get on the floor. If it’s not going to happen there, we just want him to be treated fairly.”

The former No. 8 overall pick came to the Rockets in the Ryan Anderson deal along with Brandon Knight. Houston declined to pick up Chriss’ fourth-year option and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“I would hate to see a career derailed because teams feel he cannot play at the level he did before the trade,” Goodwin said.

Chriss seemed like a candidate to see more playing time with Clint Capela sidelined, though the team brought in Kenneth Faried and placed another frontcourt player ahead of Chriss on the depth chart. Nene and Isaiah Hartenstein, who was the team’s 2018 second-round pick, have seen more action than Chriss this season.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southwest Division:

Wesley Matthews, Mavericks, 32,  SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $70MM deal in 2015
Matthews got off to a strong start, reaching the 20-point mark in six of the first 10 games. An injury set him back as a mild hamstring strain kept him out of four games. He’s shot 33% from 3-point range in the last two games since returning to action. There’s always a market for players who can make the long ball but at his age, Matthews is probably looking at a short-term deal in his next contract and might have to settle for a second-unit role.

Marquese Chriss, Rockets, 21, PF, (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $9.2MM deal in 2016
Chriss received a fresh start when the Suns traded him to a contender. So far, Chriss has failed to take advantage of the situation, even after the club decided to part ways with Carmelo Anthony. Chriss has only appeared in seven games and hasn’t played more than eight minutes in any of them. It’s hard to believe he was chosen with the No. 8 overall pick in 2016. Chriss is still younger than many college players, so he’ll get another chance somewhere else, but he’ll have to settle for a modest contract.

Shelvin Mack, Grizzlies, 28, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2018
The Grizzlies brought in Mack on a veteran’s minimum deal to back up Mike Conley. Mack has been a steady presence in the rotation, averaging 9.9 PPG and 3.6 APG while keeping his turnovers down (1.3 per game). He’s also shot it well from long range (41.8%). Mack isn’t flashy but he’s a competent second-unit floor leader and he might get more than one year on the open market next summer.

Nikola Mirotic, Pelicans, 27, PF (Up) — Signed to a two-year, $15MM deal in 2017
Mirotic made national headlines last season when Bulls teammate Bobby Portis slugged him during a practice dispute. Far removed from that incident, Mirotic is enjoying a career year with the Pelicans. He’s averaging 19.2 PPG and 10.5 RPG in 31.6 MPG. His 3-point percentage is down from last season but is still a solid 37%. Mirotic should receive plenty of attention on the open market as a stretch four who can also pound the glass.

Rudy Gay, Spurs, 32 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $10MM deal in 2018
Gay had an ugly outing against Minnesota on Wednesday (three points in 19 minutes) but otherwise he’s been quite efficient this season. He’s shooting 49.2% from the field and 46.7% outside the arc and has also been a factor on the boards (7.1 per game). Gay has been thrust into a starting role with the injury-riddled Spurs but he’ll probably be looked upon as a second-unit contributor when he returns to the open market. He’s showing he still has something left in the tank.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lawrence’s Latest: Rockets, Butler, Stotts, Suns

The Timberwolves didn’t show much interest in the Rocketstrade offer for Jimmy Butler that featured four first-round picks along with Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss, Mitch Lawrence of The Sporting News confirms. According to Lawrence, Tom Thibodeau views Knight and Chriss as “dead weight” and would prefer a deal that includes Eric Gordon and/or P.J. Tucker.

Meanwhile, Lawrence is also the latest reporter to identify the Sixers as a potential dark horse in the Butler sweepstakes. Lawrence suggests Philadelphia had hoped to trade the Heat’s unprotected 2021 first-rounder in a deal for Kawhi Leonard and could offer that pick to the Timberwolves in a Butler package.

Here’s more from Lawrence:

  • According to Lawrence, league executives think that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor will bring in someone with strong ties to the franchise to run the front office next year. Lawrence identifies Chauncey Billups as one possible candidate.
  • Although Terry Stotts appears safe as the Trail Blazers‘ head coach for now, there are rival GMs and scouts that view his position as “tenuous,” says Lawrence. Stotts, whose contract runs through 2019/20, sought an extension in the offseason but was turned down by owner Paul Allen, according to Lawrence. Allen has since passed away and his sister Jody has always been more involved with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks than the NBA club, resulting in speculation about a Blazers sale, Lawrence notes. That could create further uncertainty for Stotts.
  • One Western Conference president on the Suns, according to Lawrence: “The minority owners are furious that [owner Robert] Sarver decided on his own to fire [GM Ryan] McDonough.”
  • Lawrence echoes an earlier report, writing that the Wizards are showing no inclination to break up their team or to fire head coach Scott Brooks. However, one Eastern Conference executive cautions that could change. “Brooks’ seat could get hotter if they don’t win and management thinks the team is better than it really is,” the exec tells Lawrence.

Rockets Won’t Pick Up Option On Marquese Chriss

The Rockets have declined their fourth-year option on Marquese Chriss, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Houston hasn’t seen Chriss in action much since acquiring him two months ago in a trade with the Suns. An ankle injury sidelined him for most of the preseason and the start of the regular season, and he just made his official debut with the team last night.

Chriss, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, would have earned $4,078,236 next season, which is now the maximum the Rockets can offer him in the first year of a new contract. Houston is hovering near the luxury tax with $131.5MM already committed for 2019/20, which likely factored into the decision on Chriss.

The Suns were intrigued enough with Chriss’ potential to make a deal with the Kings and take him with the eighth pick in the 2016 draft. After a promising rookie year, he regressed last season, averaging 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 72 games while shooting just 42% from the field.

Chriss was sent to Houston at the end of August along with Brandon Knight in a deal for Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton. He and Knight have reportedly been offered to the Timberwolves along with four draft picks in exchange for Jimmy Butler, but the Wolves don’t appear likely to accept that deal.

Today marks the two-month anniversary of the Rockets acquiring Chriss and Knight, which means both are now eligible to be aggregated in a trade. Any team that deals for Chriss would also be limited to $4,078,236 as a starting salary in a future offer.

Jimmy Butler To Sit Out Wednesday As He Continues Push For Trade

1:24pm: There’s a belief within the Timberwolves that Butler could target specific games to sit out, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, he’s unlikely to miss high-profile matchups like Friday’s game against the Warriors, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that Butler is expected to play in Golden State.

According to both Wojnarowski and Krawczynski, Butler’s camp remains frustrated with the Wolves’ inaction on his trade request and wants owner Glen Taylor to speed up the process. There’s a “collective belief” among Butler’s suitors that Thibodeau isn’t looking to seriously negotiate a trade yet, sources tell Woj.

Addressing the Rockets’ offer specifically, Krawczynski notes that Minnesota isn’t interested in taking on Knight’s contract. The Rockets have made “no progress” on a Butler deal with the Wolves, tweets Sam Amick of The Athletic.

12:34pm: The situation remains fluid, according to Krawczynski, who tweets that Butler could very well return to the Timberwolves’ lineup for Friday’s game. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that there’s an expectation Butler will fly to Golden State with the team for Friday’s game, adding that it was the Wolves that suggested the 29-year-old rest on Wednesday. Teams talking to Minnesota about Butler say the asking price remains high, per Woj.

11:57am: Jimmy Butler won’t play for the Timberwolves on Wednesday night against Utah, the team confirmed today. While the club cited “general soreness and precautionary rest” as the reasons for Butler’s absence, the four-time All-Star made the decision himself, informing head coach Tom Thibodeau of his plan this morning, according to Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Charania and Krawczynski report (via Twitter) that Butler’s decision to sit tonight represents the “next step” in his continued efforts to push the Timberwolves to trade him. According to The Athletic’s duo, Butler’s absence could turn into an extended one.

If Butler is healthy enough to play and is opting to sit out against the Wolves’ wishes, the team would have grounds to dock his salary for each game he misses. It’s not clear if that’s where this is headed though — when Thibodeau initially announced the news on Butler, there was no indication that the club wasn’t on board with having him sit out Wednesday’s game.

This is just the latest development in a saga that has had its fair share of dramatic twists and turns since word of Butler’s trade request broke a week before training camps got underway. The All-NBA wing looks like a lock to be traded before February’s trade deadline, but he’s clearly hoping to force Minnesota to make a move well before then.

The Heat and Rockets have been the teams most frequently identified as suitors for Butler, though Marc Stein of The New York Times wrote on Tuesday about “steady rumbles” around the NBA that the Sixers will eventually make a push too. Miami appeared close to landing Butler at one point during the preseason with a package centered around Josh Richardson and a first-round pick, but couldn’t finalize a deal.

As for Houston, the Rockets reportedly offered Marquese Chriss, Brandon Knight, and four first-round picks for Butler. Since it has been two months since Chriss and Knight were acquired from Phoenix, those two players can now have their salaries aggregated together in a trade for salary-matching purposes, meaning that – as of today – such a deal would be allowed. However, the Wolves reportedly showed little interest in Houston’s offer, preferring a package that includes Eric Gordon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rockets “Leaning Against” Picking Up Chriss’ Option

The Rockets are leaning against picking up Marquese Chriss‘ fourth-year option, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.

Chriss came to Houston along with Brandon Knight in a deal that sent out Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton. The former No. 8 overall pick has yet to play this season because of an ankle injury, though he is expected to make his debut tonight against the Blazers.

Chriss won’t be the only young prospect from the 2016 draft to have his option declined. Dragan Bender and Henry Ellenson are among those who will see the same fate. Jahlil Okafor and Wesley Johnson are among the other recent top draft picks who have not made it through year four of their rookie deals.

Chriss has seen action in 154 games in his NBA career. He’s averaging 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest.

Wolves Showing No Inclination To Accept Rockets’ Butler Offer

The Timberwolves are showing “no inclination” to move on the Rockets‘ latest trade offer for Jimmy Butler, reports Shams Charania in a video for Stadium.

Charania confirms that Houston’s offer features four first-round picks, along with a pair of injured players — Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss. As I noted earlier today when I broke down the details of a potential Rockets offer, Knight and Chriss will become eligible to be traded in a package next Wednesday.

Even when they eventually get healthy, Knight and Chriss aren’t the sort of players who will come close to approximating Butler’s impact for the Timberwolves, so – as Charania suggests – there’s little incentive for Minnesota to jump on that offer right away. According to Charania, teams around the NBA expect the Wolves to continue to survey the market, perhaps waiting for clubs like the Heat or even the Sixers to get involved again.

The appeal of that Rockets offer to the Wolves may ultimately come down to who is making the final decision and what their top priorities are. We know that president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden have been seeking a package that features some combination of veteran talent, young prospects, and cap relief, so a pick-heavy offer may not do the trick.

The Spurs’ trade of Kawhi Leonard over the summer could be a good reference point for what the Wolves want for Butler. San Antonio sought an impact player who could help the club right away and ultimately accepted Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan-centric offer instead of, say, a Celtics offer loaded with draft picks. Of course, everyone with the Spurs seemed to be on the same page in that scenario — it’s not clear if that’s the case in Minnesota, where owner Glen Taylor may have different priorities than Thibodeau and Layden.

It’s also worth noting that, as the Spurs did with Leonard, the Wolves may prefer to send Butler to the Eastern Conference. Marc Stein of The New York Times has reported multiple times that Minnesota isn’t eager to help the Rockets create another Western Conference super-team.