Marvin Bagley III

Trade Rumors: Ross, Harris, Dinwiddie, Mavs, Grant, Pistons

The Magic are widely expected to trade Terrence Ross and/or Gary Harris before the February 10 trade deadline, assuming they can get sufficient draft capital in return, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column.

Ross and Harris aren’t among the top tier of players on this season’s trade market, so it may not require massive offers to get the Magic to part with one or both of them. For that reason, Stein writes, some people around the NBA view Ross in particular as a “natural target” for a team like the Jazz or Lakers — Utah and L.A. are seeking upgrades on the wing but have already given up future first-round picks and may not have the assets necessary to make a run at a higher-end target.

Here are a few more trade-related updates from around the league:

  • Some executives who spoke to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report believe the Wizards are open to discussing point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who hasn’t meshed especially well with Bradley Beal. While it makes sense that Dinwiddie wouldn’t be untouchable, I’d be a little surprised if the Wizards gave up on their backcourt pairing this quickly.
  • Pincus adds within the same story that the Mavericks have been mentioned as a possible “dark-horse” suitor for Pistons forward Jerami Grant. A Dallas offer would likely start with Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell, says Pincus.
  • Grant may well be traded at the deadline, especially if the Pistons can acquire a player like John Collins or Patrick Williams, but we shouldn’t be surprised if he stays put, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Edwards believes there’s a “real possibility” that general manager Troy Weaver decides to hang onto Grant until the offseason if he doesn’t get an offer he loves.
  • Edwards also expects the Pistons to remain on the lookout for a deal that nets them a promising young big man after their acquisition of Bol Bol fell through. Edwards identifies Kings forward Marvin Bagley III and Suns center Jalen Smith as two players worth keeping an eye on.

Latest On Kings’ Pursuit Of Ben Simmons

After Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that Ben Simmons appears to be “front and center” in the Kings‘ trade deadline plans and said the team is open to acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a report with more details on Sacramento’s pursuit of the Sixers‘ star.

According to Pompey, sources have repeatedly stated the Sixers aren’t interested in a deal headlined by De’Aaron Fox, who would be one of the Kings’ best trade chips.

One source tells Pompey the Kings have considered offering Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and two first-round picks in exchange for Simmons, Harris, and Matisse Thybulle. However, that source also said the Sixers aren’t interested in that package; a second source tells Pompey that Philadelphia has yet to receive a formal offer from Sacramento.

Pompey hears from that second source that the Kings and Sixers haven’t discussed Philadelphia’s younger players like Thybulle, whom the source classifies as borderline untouchable. However, sources tell Pompey that Sacramento has done background work on Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, and Paul Reed.

Even if the Kings were willing to put the aforementioned Haliburton/Hield/Barnes offer on the table, they’d need to either reroute Harris to a third team or add at least one more player – such as Tristan Thompson or Marvin Bagley III – to make the deal work financially.

The Kings and Sixers haven’t yet gained any “significant traction” on a deal, Pompey writes.

Here are a few more noteworthy tidbits from Pompey’s report:

  • The Sixers have denied that they’re shopping Harris or want to attach him to a Simmons trade, but multiple teams and sources have told Pompey that’s the case.
  • According to Pompey, before sending Cam Reddish to New York, the Hawks considered offering John Collins, Reddish, and a first-round pick for Simmons, but the Sixers brought Harris’ name into discussions, ending those talks.
  • Pompey confirmed there are league executives who believe the Sixers would be comfortable hanging onto Simmons for the rest of the season. He also confirmed that the three-time All-Star is prepared to sit out the remainder of the season in that scenario.
  • Sources tell Pompey that the 76ers are continuing to fine Simmons for the games he misses, but not for more minor infractions.

Kings Rumors: Fox, Haliburton, Simmons, Harris, Hield, Barnes

De’Aaron Fox‘s name has surfaced more frequently in trade rumors as of late, after Sam Amick of The Athletic reported earlier in the month that the Kings don’t consider the point guard untouchable. Like other reporters, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has heard Sacramento’s internal plan is to continue building around Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, but Haynes also says the team has received an “abundance of interest” in its top two guards and doesn’t consider them entirely off-limits.

For his part, Fox is aware of the trade rumors and isn’t ruling out the possibility of being on the move by the February 10 trade deadline.

“You try not to think about it, but you know it’s a business and anything can happen,” Fox told Haynes. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Obviously, you see reports on Twitter. Am I worried about it? No. Can it happen? Yeah, it can definitely happen.”

The Kings haven’t come particularly close to ending their lengthy postseason drought since Fox joined the team in 2017. Still, the 24-year-old says he has “built a life” in Sacramento and wouldn’t be eager to join a new team, even if he recognizes it’s a possibility.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I want to get traded, but anything can happen in this business,” he said to Haynes. “You’ve seen the best players in the league get traded. You can’t think you’re safe. But I love being here because for years, the Kings were the only professional team in the city. Kings fans love the Kings. That’s what I’ve always loved about it. And me coming from Kentucky, that’s how it was. Even when we were good at football, no one cared. It was a basketball school. This is a basketball city and these fans have a genuine love for the Kings and the players, and it’s something that I love.”

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • In his discussion with Haynes, Fox also shared some thoughts on his offensive role: “I think I’m a scorer. Just with the work that I continue to put in and knowing what I do when the cameras are off. Just being one of the best scorers in the league, truthfully. I think I’ve proven that I can facilitate at times when need be. I was top five in assists before, but my game is more of being a scorer. Just being able to put all of that together and being one of the best scorers.”
  • According to Haynes, the Sixers “canvassed the prospect” of a Ben Simmons trade involving Fox in recent days, but those discussions were just exploratory. For what it’s worth, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com (Twitter link) continues to report that Philadelphia likely wouldn’t be interested in Fox as the centerpiece of a Simmons deal.
  • In his latest Substack column, Marc Stein says he has heard more than one rival executive classify the Kings as the closest thing to “favorites” in the Simmons sweepstakes, in part because there’s a sense they could be convinced to take on Tobias Harris‘ oversized contract.
  • Stein notes that the Kings are engaged with multiple teams on multiple scenarios, so their deadline could go in a number of different directions. According to Stein, there’s an expectation that Sacramento will trade Buddy Hield and there’s a “rising belief” that the team could also move Harrison Barnes. Marvin Bagley III remains a prime trade candidate too.
  • Sources tell Haynes that the Kings are expected to be “aggressively active” at the trade deadline.

Stein’s Latest: Simmons, Hawks, Ingles, Cavs, Blazers

Although it’s possible the Sixers will trade Ben Simmons before the February 10 deadline, their preferred scenario would be to convince him to rejoin the team and play as much of the rest of the season as possible, a source familiar with Philadelphia’s thinking tells veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Trading Simmons in the next month for the best available package would improve the Sixers’ chances of competing in the short term, but the team fears that taking that route may mean squandering an opportunity to land a true complementary star for Joel Embiid, says Stein. Convincing Simmons to play the rest of this season would improve the club’s short-term outlook while also leaving the door open for Philadelphia to make an offseason play for a star, should someone like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal become available.

One league source who spoke to Stein suggested keeping an eye on the Hawks as a potential suitor for Simmons. Atlanta badly needs to upgrade its defense and president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said this week that he plans to be active at the trade deadline in an effort to improve his struggling squad (Twitter link via Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

The Hawks don’t have the sort of trade candidate who would appeal to the 76ers as the centerpiece of a Simmons trade, but have several young players and draft picks they could put on the table, as Stein observes.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • The Jazz considered the idea of trading Joe Ingles during the offseason, but decided against it due to concerns about how it would affect the team’s culture, says Stein. However, Danny Ainge has been hired by Utah since then and may be less reluctant to move Ingles if his expiring contract is necessary to land a defensive-minded wing.
  • The Cavaliers continue to seek more play-making after acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Lakers, per Stein. Cleveland has lost two key guards – Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio – to season-ending injuries.
  • According to Stein, teams are keeping a close eye on how the Trail Blazers handle Damian Lillard‘s abdominal injury, since an extended absence for the star point guard would likely impact Portland’s approach at the trade deadline.
  • There has been an “undeniable uptick” in trade discussions around the NBA since the holidays, according to Stein, who identifies Myles Turner, Jerami Grant, Dennis Schröder, Eric Gordon, Terrence Ross, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III, Robert Covington, and Jusuf Nurkic as some of the players considered league-wide to be this year’s most likely trade candidates.

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Bagley, Davis, Clippers

The Warriorspostponed game Thursday in Denver allowed the team to hold a rare scrimmage, which served as a dress rehearsal for Klay Thompson‘s return, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Thompson teamed with backcourt partner Stephen Curry under game-like conditions for the first time since the 2019 NBA Finals, marking a significant step in his return to action after missing two full seasons with injuries.

“Being out there, going up and down with the first unit, that was a big moment for me,” Thompson said. “A silver lining in the NBA canceling the game.”

Thompson has been physically ready to play for about a month, Slater adds, but the team has been cautious to avoid any setbacks. His first game will take place at home, but it’s unlikely to happen Monday, and Slater notes that a January 9 contest against the Cavaliers seems to be emerging as the target date. Thompson will return to the starting lineup right away, but he’s not expected to be used in back-to-backs and will begin with a restriction of about 18 minutes per night.

“Somewhere around there,” he said. “We got such a great, deep team. I don’t need to come back and shoulder a huge load. We’re so deep and talented that I can ease into things, which I’m very grateful for.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • After beginning the season out of the rotation under former coach Luke Walton, Kings forward Marvin Bagley appears to have a secure spot in the starting lineup as long as he keeps playing well, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Bagley will make his fourth straight start today as interim coach Alvin Gentry looks for rebounding help. “We’ve been struggling with rebounding,” Gentry said. “We’re a small team when we play the way we’ve been playing. Marvin’s rebounding numbers have been really good, so we stuck him in there and I think his numbers continue to be good. … We’ll continue to play that group and hopefully our rebounding will get better because we’ve got more size out there.”
  • Terence Davis started six games in December while the Kings were short-handed, but he’ll be removed from the rotation now that other players have returned, Anderson adds in the same story. “It’s a tough situation, but I think it’s tough to play 10 guys. I think it’s tough to play 11 guys,” Gentry said. “You have to make a decision. That doesn’t mean he won’t play or won’t be in the lineup again, but right now I think it’s very difficult.”
  • The Clippers picked up a tough road win against the Nets Saturday despite having to rely on three players who weren’t on their roster at Christmas, notes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.

COVID-19 Updates: Osman, Lyles, Maxey, Kings, Aldridge, Mavericks

If the Cavaliers are able to host the Raptors Sunday afternoon, both teams will have a shell of their normal lineups. Cavs forward Cedi Osman has become the team’s eighth player in the league’s health and safety protocols, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. He joins Jarrett Allen, Ed Davis, Evan Mobley, RJ Nembhard, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler.

Toronto’s roster is even more strained, with 10 players currently in protocols. Khem BirchIsaac Bonga, and Justin Champagnie were placed in the protocols earlier today, joining Precious AchiuwaOG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Malachi Flynn, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet. Toronto will have to finalize 10-day hardship contracts with at least one more player before game time to reach the league roster minimum of eight.

There’s more COVID-19 news from around the league:

  • Pistons forward Trey Lyles entered the protocols Saturday, becoming the team’s sixth player this week to do so, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Lyles is coming off his best game since signing with Detroit in the offseason, posting 28 points, eight rebounds and four blocks Thursday night. Sankofa expects rookie Luka Garza and possibly Jamorko Pickett to see more playing time while Lyles is unavailable.
  • Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey has also been placed in the protocols, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Maxey has taken over as point guard in the absence of Ben Simmons and has started 28 of the 29 games he has played in his second NBA season.
  • Kings forwards Marvin Bagley III and Louis King have cleared protocols and should be available Sunday, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Terence Davis has been cleared as well, Anderson tweets.
  • Nets coach Steve Nash said veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge has either exited the protocols or is close, but will need time for conditioning before he can resume playing, relays Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Josh Green has joined his Mavericks teammates in Utah after clearing protocols, but won’t be active for tonight’s game, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). He’s expected to be able to play during the rest of the team’s road trip.
  • Mavericks assistant coach Kristi Toliver tweeted on Christmas that she contracted COVID-19.

Kings Cancel Practice, Concerned About COVID-19 Outbreak

The Kings have canceled Thursday’s practice and shut down their facility amid growing concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that Sacramento was preparing for multiple coaches and players to be placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Head coach Alvin Gentry, forward Marvin Bagley III, and guard Terence Davis all entered the protocols on Wednesday, and Charania indicates both Gentry and Bagley have tested positive for COVID-19. According to Wojnarowski, the Kings continue to test and retest their players and staffers, and there’s some concern that the team’s game vs. Memphis on Friday could be in jeopardy.

The NBA is currently in the midst of its most challenging week of the fall in terms of COVID-related issues. The league had to postpone games for the first time this season due to a Bulls outbreak, and a handful of other teams have multiple players unavailable due to positive tests. By our count, there are more than 30 NBA players currently in the protocols, plus two head coaches (Gentry and Rick Carlisle).

We’ll have more updates on the Kings’ situation as they become available.

COVID-19 Updates: Bagley III, Davis, Kuzma, Lakers, Raptors, Testing

Following interim head coach Alvin Gentry‘s positive test earlier today, a couple of Kings players have entered the league’s health and safety protocols as well. Marvin Bagley III will miss at least Wednesday’s game after being placed in the protocols, as will Terence Davis, per James Ham of ESPN 1320 and Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). Anderson notes that Davis told reporters on Oct. 15 that he had recovered from the virus just before training camp opened.

It’s not clear whether Bagley and/or Davis tested positive, but if they did, they’d have to sit out at least 10 days or return two consecutive negative coronavirus tests at least 24 hours apart before being cleared to exit the protocols.

Here are some more updates relating to COVID-19:

  • Starting power forward Kyle Kuzma will be available for the Wizards Wednesday after returning two negative tests 24 hours apart, Josh Robbins of The Athletic reports (Twitter links). Kuzma attended the team’s shootaround on Wednesday morning.
  • The Lakers have been testing everyone around the team after having three players test positive. Play-by-play announcer Bill Macdonald is asymptomatic and isolating after returning a positive test, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group tweets that assistant coach Phil Handy has also entered the protocols. A team spokesperson said that other “staff members” have entered the protocols as well, but did not disclose the number, per Bill Oram of The Athletic (via Twitter).
  • As a result of rising cases in Ontario, the province will be re-instituting limits on fan capacity in large venues. Thus, the Raptors will be limited to 50% fan capacity at Scotiabank Arena, beginning on Saturday vs. Golden State, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced. The Raptors, who are owned by MLSE, will also launch “Operation Mask Up (or out),” which will require all attendees to strictly adhere to all mask-wearing protocols or risk ejection from the building, per the announcement.
  • With cases rising throughout the league, the NBA and NBPA are in talks to increase player testing to include all game and practice days, The Athletic’s Shams Charania writes.

Kings Shopping Hield, Bagley But Not Pursuing Sabonis, Turner

The Kings are still shopping a package including Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III in hopes of getting a quality player but are not actively pursuing Pacers’ big men Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports.

The Kings have not engaged the Pacers in talks for Sabonis or Turner since last week, when a report surfaced that Indiana was open to dealing its top big men, as well as guard Caris LeVert. Sacramento had displayed interest in Sabonis in the past.

It’s somewhat curious that Sacramento wouldn’t target those big men for its guard-heavy roster. Sabonis is a two-time All-Star and the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, though, as Anderson notes, he’s a 31% 3-point shooter and is not considered a strong defender. Turner is the league’s top shot-blocker and would help space the floor with his 3-point shooting.

Kings GM Monte McNair is looking to make a big move and the Sixers’ Ben Simmons could still be a target. The Kings were one of several teams named as having continued interest in the disgruntled Philadelphia star, who has not played this season.

Hield is averaging 15.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 2.1 APG. Bagley, who will be a free agent (restricted or unrestricted) next summer, was benched earlier in the season but was moved into the rotation last month. The No. 2 pick of the 2018 draft is averaging 7.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG.

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Hield, Wainright, Davis, Bagley III

Following a strong start to the season, the Clippers have lost seven of their last 10 games and currently own a 12-12 record. Los Angeles has seen good and bad moments this year, but head coach Tyronn Lue believes the team can still improve its play-making, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes.

“We had the plays that were there to be made,” Lue said after the team lost 104-99 to Sacramento on Saturday. “We just didn’t make them.”

Los Angeles, playing without Kawhi Leonard (torn ACL rehab), hoped to address its play-making issues by re-signing Reggie Jackson and acquiring Eric Bledsoe this past summer. Nevertheless, the franchise clearly has some work to do if it hopes to make the playoffs for a fourth straight season.

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • James Ham of The Kings Beat examines whether the Kings can survive the Buddy Hield experience. Hield, who’s averaging 15.9 points on 39% shooting this season, has played noticeably better during the team’s wins and worse during its losses.
  • The Suns‘ packed early-season schedule and injuries prompted head coach Monty Williams to give Ishmail Wainright a little playing time, notes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (video link). Williams hadn’t planned on giving players on two-way contracts minutes entering the season.
  • The Kings defeated the Clippers in its most recent game behind strong performances from Terence Davis and Marvin Bagley III, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes. Davis finished with 28 points and four rebounds (6-of-11 from deep), while Bagley recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds in just under 20 minutes off the bench.