Matisse Thybulle

Trade Rumors: Spurs, Hawks, Murray, Collins, Thybulle, Thunder

The Spurs and Hawks began talking about Dejounte Murray and John Collins prior to the trade deadline in February and have resumed those discussions this offseason, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says the conversations remain very fluid.

As Fischer explains, while Collins appeared to be part of those trade talks leading up to the draft, word spread earlier this week that the two teams were discussing a new framework that included Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks going to San Antonio. However, one league source told Fischer that Collins was once again on the table on Tuesday. Fischer has also heard from sources that the Spurs’ asking price for Murray has gotten as high as four first-rounders.

While multiple reports in recent weeks have indicated Collins will likely be on the move this offseason, it’s unclear which teams represents his most likely landing spots outside of San Antonio. Fischer writes that the Kings, Trail Blazers, Celtics, and Nets all conveyed “some level” of interest around the draft, but adds that it doesn’t appear the Hawks have made progress in talks with any of those teams.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • As the Sixers continue to explore the trade market for possible deals, the two teams that have been linked most often to swingman Matisse Thybulle are the Trail Blazers and Mavericks, according to Fischer.
  • The Thunder still technically have unused 2021/22 cap space that could be used to absorb unwanted salary and they remain interested in exploring scenarios that use that space and net them assets, sources tell Fischer. That window will close in less than 48 hours when the NBA’s new league year begins.
  • With Russell Westbrook officially under contract for the 2022/23 season, a trade remains possible and would be the Lakers‘ preference, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic. However, the Lakers remain averse to attaching a first-round pick to Westbrook to move him, so they’re currently planning to have him start next season on their roster, sources tell Buha.

Atlantic Rumors: Tucker, Sixers, Knicks, Robinson, Nets

With free agency still two days away, rumors about P.J. Tucker landing in Philadelphia continue to percolate. After Marc Stein reported earlier in the week that multiple executives believe the Sixers will sign Tucker to a three-year, $30MM contract, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer conveys a similar sentiment today.

According to Pompey, three sources believe Tucker to the 76ers is a “done deal,” while a fourth source said he’d be shocked if the veteran forward doesn’t end up in Philadelphia. Sources tell Pompey that Tucker’s three-year deal with the Sixers, assuming it materializes, could be worth $27MM with incentives that increase the value to $30MM.

The Sixers still need to do some cap work in order to realistically make that kind of offer to Tucker. If James Harden turns down his $47MM+ player option and agrees to a lesser first-year salary on a new contract, the team could create the cap flexibility necessary to use its full mid-level exception on Tucker. But Harden is expected to opt in and then sign an extension, which means Philadelphia would have to shed some salary. Furkan Korkmaz ($5MM), Matisse Thybulle ($4.4MM), and Georges Niang ($3.5MM) are among the club’s potential trade candidates.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Knicks are considering converting Jericho Sims‘ two-way contract into a standard NBA deal, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. If that occurs, second-round pick Trevor Keels would likely receive a two-way pact. Both moves were considered likely as of Tuesday afternoon, Begley writes.
  • Within the same story, Begley says he expects the Knicks to give strong consideration to re-signing Taj Gibson if they waive him this week as part of their cap-clearing efforts.
  • The four-year, $48MM contract Robert Williams signed with Boston last fall is viewed by rival executives as a fair comparable for Mitchell Robinson, according to Steve Popper of Newsday, who suggests the Knicks likely wouldn’t want to go much higher than that to retain Robinson this summer.
  • The Nets are expected to give David Duke a prominent role in summer league games next month and will give him an opportunity to compete for a roster spot in 2022/23, sources tell Chris Milholen of NetsDaily. Duke received a two-way qualifying offer from Brooklyn, as we relayed earlier today.

Atlantic Notes: Tsai, Irving, Nets, Celtics, Thybulle

As of Thursday night, Nets owner Joe Tsai was supporting general manager Sean Marks‘ decision not to offer Kyrie Irving a max extension, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Irving has until June 29 to decide whether to exercise his $36.9MM player option for next season, and the two sides seem to be far apart in negotiations on an extension.

Should Irving leave, it could prompt Kevin Durant to further consider his situation with the Nets, as we previously relayed. Irving didn’t get vaccinated this season, so he only appeared in 29 games due to New York City’s vaccine requirement. He averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists during those outings, shooting 47%.

We have more notes from the Atlantic Division to pass along:

Sixers Pursuing Eric Gordon, Talking To Blazers About Thybulle

The Sixers are making an effort to acquire guard Eric Gordon from the Rockets, league sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

As Pompey outlines, the 76ers are dangling defensive standout Matisse Thybulle in their talks for Gordon and are looking to involve a third team. According to Pompey, the Trail Blazers have interest in making a straight-up trade for Thybulle, but Philadelphia wants to turn it into a three-team deal in order to land Gordon (Twitter link).

There are some missing details here, including which other players the Sixers would send out in such a trade — even fully guaranteeing Danny Green‘s $10MM contract for 2022/23 and attaching him to Thybulle wouldn’t quite get the team into salary-matching range for Gordon, who will earn $19.6MM next season. But presumably the 76ers’ thinking is that if there’s a team willing to give up a first-round pick for Thybulle, that selection could be rerouted to Houston for Gordon.

The Sixers’ interest in Gordon was first reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst earlier this week. Gordon and P.J. Tucker have been the targets most frequently linked to Philadelphia in recent days, which perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that both veterans played key roles on Daryl Morey‘s most successful squads in Houston.

If they can land Gordon, the Sixers would secure a solid outside shooter and ball-handler who can hold his own and handle switches on defense. The Suns are among the other teams said to have interest in the 33-year-old.

The Blazers, meanwhile, are known to be in the market for strong wing defenders, even after agreeing to acquire Jerami Grant from Detroit. Portland has been connected to players like OG Anunoby and Luguentz Dort, but the asking price for Thybulle would likely be more reasonable.

Fischer’s Latest: Turner, Sixers, Thybulle, Jazz, Micic

As the Pacers continue to weigh the possibility of trading center Myles Turner, the Timberwolves, Raptors, and Hornets are among the teams believed to be interested, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

According to Fischer, the Knicks have showed interest in Turner in recent years too, but the expectation is that they’d only be a serious suitor for the big man if Mitchell Robinson leaves in free agency.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Sixers have called “a healthy portion” of the teams around the NBA in an effort to gauge their interest in Tobias Harris, Danny Green, and Matisse Thybulle, sources tell Bleacher Report. Fischer suggests Philadelphia has been trying to find teams that would give up a first-round pick for Thybulle as part of a three-team trade that would send an impact veteran rotation to the 76ers.
  • The Jazz are seeking a first-round pick in exchange for any of their rotation players besides Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, according to Fischer, who adds that Royce O’Neale is generating significant trade interest around the NBA.
  • Nikola Jokic is thought to be a “driving factor” in the Nuggets‘ interest in Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic, a draft-and-stash EuroLeague star whose NBA rights are held by the Thunder. The Spurs, Bucks, and Bulls have also been mentioned as potential suitors for Micic, Fischer reports.

Sixers, Other Contenders Expected To Pursue P.J. Tucker

10:59am: The Nets and Hawks are among the other teams likely to pursue Tucker, reports Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. While Tucker and Kevin Durant are friends off the court, Brooklyn would be limited to offering the taxpayer mid-level exception, so Tucker would have to take a pay cut to join the Nets.


10:13am: With P.J. Tucker set to decline his player option and reach unrestricted free agency next week, multiple contending teams will pursue him, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), who says those clubs are expected to be willing to offer the full mid-level exception in an effort to land the veteran forward.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that Tucker would turn down his option with the Heat, which would have paid him $7.35MM for 2022/23.

Despite having turned 37 years old this year, Tucker is in position to earn a raise after a strong season in which he averaged 7.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 2.1 APG with a .415 3PT% in 71 regular season games (27.9 MPG) and was just as good in the postseason, playing tough, versatile defense for a Miami team that got to within one game of the NBA Finals. This summer may represent his last chance at a big payday.

Although Haynes doesn’t name any specific teams that are expected to be in the mix for Tucker, he’d be an ideal fit for virtually any team with playoff and/or championship aspirations.

Of course, it’s worth noting that using more than the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception hard-caps a team at the tax apron for the rest of the league year. That means projected taxpayers such as the Warriors and Clippers will only have access to the taxpayer mid-level (projected to be worth $6.39MM) rather than the full MLE (projected to be worth $10.35MM), limiting their ability to make a competitive bid for Tucker.

One team that has been linked to Tucker already is Philadelphia — ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the Sixers‘ interest during a TV appearance and Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has since shared more details, writing that the club is shopping several players, including Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, along with the No. 23 pick as it looks to create cap flexibility to pursue Tucker.

Unless James Harden takes a massive discount in free agency or they can move Harris in a salary-dump deal, the Sixers are unlikely to actually open up any cap space, but shedding some salary would help create breathing room below the tax apron, allowing them to use the full mid-level exception. Pompey hears from multiple sources that Philadelphia intends to make Tucker a three-year, $30MM offer, which would fit within the non-taxpayer MLE.

Because the Heat only hold Tucker’s Non-Bird rights, they wouldn’t be able to offer him a starting salary higher than $8.4MM without using their mid-level exception. They should have enough room below the tax apron to offer Tucker their full $10MM+ MLE if necessary, though that would reduce their options when it comes to re-signing Caleb Martin or pursuing outside free agents.

James Harden Expected To Re-Sign With Sixers On Short-Term Deal

“All signs point toward” James Harden re-signing with the Sixers on a short-term extension, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

The two sides are aligned on a reunion, but Philadelphia’s ownership is reluctant to offer Harden the full four-year, maximum-salary extension he’d be eligible for if he opts into his 2022/23 player option worth $47.4MM, which he’s expected to do, according to Fischer.

Fischer notes that a two-year extension would give Harden significant financial security while allowing more flexibility if things don’t work out with the Sixers. Harden could earn approximately $1.5MM more in a theoretical three-year contract if he waits until August 10, which is six months after he was traded to Philadelphia, Fischer adds.

It’s also possible that Harden could take less than the max to create more roster flexibility to build around star center Joel Embiid, who finished second in the MVP race for the second consecutive year. For that to make sense, the team would have to move off some long-term salary.

Fischer’s sources confirm a report from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor stating that the Sixers are dangling the No. 23 pick and Danny Green in trade talks, but as we previously mentioned, using Green’s expiring contract as a salary-matching piece would also be a little tricky, since it’s currently non-guaranteed, meaning it would count as $0 for outgoing purposes.

The Sixers could guarantee some or all of Green’s $10MM salary to make it more useful in a trade. But the more money they guarantee, the less appealing it will be as an asset to a potential trade partner, since Green is expected to miss most or all of next season after tearing his ACL.

Fischer also confirms a report from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer that the Sixers are dangling Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris in trade talks. However, Philly values Thybulle’s strong defense and believes his poor performance in the playoffs may have been a result of being ineligible to play in Toronto due to his vaccination status, Fischer writes.

The Sixers would require “a significant upgrade to their rotation” in the form of a starting-caliber player in order to move Thybulle, according to Fischer.

While Fischer doesn’t specify what Philadelphia would be looking for in exchange for Harris, he does note that “Harris’ representation has made it known that the veteran would like more on-ball opportunities within the Sixers’ offense, particularly in pick-and-roll action.”

Sixers Gauging Trade Interest In Harris, Thybulle, Others

The Sixers are exploring the trade market to gauge rival teams’ interest in forwards Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, as well as guards Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton, multiple sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pompey also previously confirmed that the 76ers are considering potential trade scenarios involving the No. 23 pick and Danny Green‘s expiring contract.

As Pompey writes, Philadelphia is committed to keeping Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, and there’s an expectation James Harden will be back as well. However, the front office realizes the rest of the roster isn’t championship-caliber and is weighing possible ways to upgrade it.

As we noted on Tuesday when we previewed the Sixers’ offseason, Harris’ contract – which will pay him $37.6MM in 2022/23 – would be the team’s most logical trade chip in any major deal involving multiple veteran players. However, Harris was the third or fourth option for the Sixers and his exorbitant cap hit will likely make potential trade partners view him as a negative – or, at best, neutral – asset.

Most of the other possible trade candidates mentioned by Pompey aren’t earning significantly more than the minimum, so their salary-matching value would be limited. Korkmaz will make $5MM next season, while Thybulle is on the books for $4.4MM.

The 76ers hold a $2MM team option on Milton for ’22/23, and Pompey suggests there’s a belief around the NBA that the Sixers won’t pick it up. However, it would need to be exercised in order to make Milton trade-eligible — if it’s declined, he’d become an unrestricted free agent. I’d be surprised if that option isn’t exercised, but the fact that there’s even a question about whether or not that will happen means Milton probably isn’t a very valuable trade asset.

Korkmaz, Thybulle, and Milton were all part of Philadelphia’s regular rotation this past season, but all come with some red flags. Kokmaz made a career-worst 28.9% of his three-pointers, Thybulle failed to take a step forward as an offensive player, and Milton also saw his three-point rate dip (to 32.3%).

Sixers Rumors: Draft Pick, Maxey, Thybulle, Green, Rivers

Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com has been told it’s “relatively likely” that the Nets will take advantage of their ability to defer their acquisition of the Sixers‘ first-round pick a year and will opt to acquire Philadelphia 2023 first-rounder instead of 2022’s No. 23 overall selection.

The Nets have until June 1 to finalize that decision, so nothing is set in stone yet, but the Sixers are preparing as if they’ll have this year’s No. 23 pick, says Neubeck.

Assuming the 76ers do control that pick, it could be used to add a young, inexpensive draftee to the roster or included in a trade package for a veteran. Neubeck points to Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell and Baylor’s Kendall Brown as long, switchable forwards who may be available at No. 23 and who might appeal to Philadelphia.

Here’s more from Neubeck:

  • Even if the Sixers attempt to pursue another star player this offseason, don’t expect the team to dangle guard Tyrese Maxey to make it happen, says Neubeck. “Maxey is as close to untouchable as you could be,” a source told PhillyVoice.
  • Matisse Thybulle is a more realistic trade candidate, but the Sixers won’t move him just to get off his contract, according to Neubeck, who suggests that Danny Green‘s ACL tear has made Thybulle’s defense even more important to the team. If he’s traded, expect it to be for a roster upgrade, Neubeck writes.
  • No decisions have been made yet on Green, who is expected to miss at least half of next season and whose $10MM salary for 2022/23 is non-guaranteed. Green’s $10MM would have to be partially or fully guaranteed in order for it to count for outgoing salary-matching purposes, so he seems to me more likely to be waived than traded. According to Neubeck, it’s possible that if Green is released, he could eventually return on a smaller salary.
  • There are suspicions in league coaching circles that the Lakers haven’t given up on the idea that Doc Rivers could become available for their head coaching job, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article. Neubeck doesn’t dismiss that idea, but observes that the Sixers have been “remarkably consistent” in their messaging – both publicly and privately – that Rivers isn’t going anywhere.

Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges Head All-Defensive Team

Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges, Rudy Gobert, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jaren Jackson Jr. comprise the 2021/22 All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced in a press release.

Smart, who was voted Defensive Player of the Year, received the most points with 198 (99 first-place votes), but he was left off of one voter’s ballot. It’s his third All-Defensive nod, all First Team.

DPOY runner-up Bridges was second with 193 points (it’s his first All-Defensive team), followed by third place finisher Gobert (171), a three-time DPOY who has now been voted to the First Team for the sixth straight season.

Antetokounmpo, the ’19/20 DPOY, was voted to his fourth consecutive First Team. He was also selected to the Second Team in ’16/17, so it’s his fifth nod overall.

Jackson, who led the league in blocked shots per game at 2.27, makes his first All-Defensive Team, edging Bam Adebayo by just one point (153 to 152) for the First Team. It’s the third straight season Adebayo has been selected to the Second Team.

Jrue Holiday earns his fourth All-Defensive honor, now owning two Firsts and two Seconds. He also earned a $120K bonus for his efforts, per Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), which will increase the Bucks‘ luxury tax payment to about $52MM.

Matisse Thybulle was selected to the Second Team for the second straight year, while Robert Williams earns his first nod. Williams has a $223,215 bonus attached to his rookie scale extension, but he won’t earn it for his efforts this season because he’s in the final season of his rookie contract. However, the award will change his cap hit for ’22/23 (up to $10,937,502), because he’s now considered likely to achieve an All-D nod again next season, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks relays (via Twitter).

Draymond Green, the ’16/17 DPOY, was the final selection to the Second Team. It’s his seventh All-Defensive Team overall (four Firsts, three Seconds). Green is now second among all active players in All-Defensive Team awards, only trailing Chris Paul (nine). He was previously tied with LeBron James at six.

Here are both All-Defensive teams in full, with their voting point totals noted in parentheses. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

2021/22 All-Defensive First Team:

2021/22 All-Defensive Second Team:

A total of 24 other players received votes: 10 guards, 11 forwards and three centers. Among the group that missed the cut, Fred VanVleet was the top guard with 41 points, Evan Mobley was the top forward with 13, and Joel Embiid was the top center with 33. The full results can be found here.

One thing worth noting, which I personally disagree with: media members with ballots are asked to select two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, and vote for players “at the position they play regularly,” which is counterintuitive in the modern NBA, where positions increasingly matter less and less. “Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position at which they received the most voting points,” per the release.

Forcing voters to shoehorn players into positions is a poor process. For example, Adebayo starts at center, but is listed as a forward; Bridges is listed at guard, but starts at small forward. I’m not saying those players were undeserving, far from it — but it’s an irritating and outdated inconsistency.

In my opinion, the best defensive players should be on the All-Defensive teams, regardless of position. I’d also like to see a third All-D team so more recognition is given to players for their efforts on the less glamorous end of the court.