Nerlens Noel

Pistons Rumors: Bogdanovic, Burks, Bey, Noel, Stewart, More

The Pistons‘ stance on Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Saddiq Bey doesn’t appear to have changed much in the last month, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic writes in his latest trade deadline preview.

According to Edwards, while Detroit is open to discussing and moving any of those three players if the price is right, the team is asking for a lot and seems happy to retain them through the deadline, given that all three are under contract at relatively team-friendly prices for next season.

While some league sources have expressed to The Athletic that they’d be surprised if Bey is moved, Edwards gets the sense that the third-year forward may be a more likely trade candidate than Bogdanovic or Burks. The Pistons’ asking price for Bogdanovic is very high, and Edwards believes the club is more likely to extend Burks (in the offseason) than to trade him.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Although the Pistons are high on Isaiah Livers‘ potential to develop into a solid three-and-D player, according to Edwards, they’re also prioritizing three-and-D wings in potential trades. First-round picks (ideally unprotected) and a three-and-D wing are two of the top items on the team’s wish list at the trade deadline, Edwards notes.
  • Edwards adds the Sixers and Celtics to the list of teams that have recently called the Pistons to inquire about center Nerlens Noel. He also mentions Miami, Denver, Dallas, and Sacramento, whose interest in Noel has been previously reported.
  • Of Detroit’s three 2020 first-round picks, Isaiah Stewart is the most likely to be extended during the coming offseason, in Edwards’ view. Bey and Killian Hayes are the other two players in that trio.
  • Edwards says he wouldn’t be surprised if veteran guard Cory Joseph is included in a deadline deal and advises not to rule out the possibility of a reunion between Jerami Grant and the Pistons in the offseason. Although Detroit will have significant cap space and Grant seems to be in no rush to accept a four-year extension offer from the Trail Blazers, the idea that he’d return to the Pistons seems like a long shot to me.

Mavs Targeting Pistons’ Bogdanovic, Noel In Package Deal?

The Mavericks have been linked to Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic multiple times, and have also expressed interest in his teammate, center Nerlens Noel. To this point, that interest appeared to be separate.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggested on NBA Countdown (video link) that the Mavs might pursue a package deal for both players.

I think the kind of players the Mavs are knocking on the door on, like a lot of other teams, look in Detroit,” Wojnarowski said. “Bojan Bodanovic, Nerlens Noel. That’s a tandem that could be in a package together. Certainly, the shooting of Bogdanovic, his ability to complement (Luka) Doncic, like he would a lot of contending teams.”

Woj added that, unlike some other trade candidates who are impending free agents, Bogdanovic holds appeal because he’s under contract for two more seasons beyond 2022/23 after signing a two-year, $39MM extension with Detroit. His $20MM salary for next season is fully guaranteed, but his $19MM salary for ’24/25 only has a small partial guarantee ($2MM).

As for Noel, he has a $9.7MM team option on his contract for next season, which seems likely to be declined, mostly due to injuries — he’s only played 37 games over the past two seasons. When healthy, he can be a difference-maker on defense, so it makes sense that Dallas might be interested — the Mavs are ranked 25th in the league on that end and have given up 130-plus points in three straight losses.

It’s unclear what it would take for the Mavs to pull off such a deal, but Tim Hardaway Jr. or Davis Bertans would likely be included for salary-matching purposes. They cannot trade their 2023 first-round pick, as it is owed to the Knicks (top-10 protected).

The Pistons are rumored to be looking for at least an unprotected first-rounder for Bogdanovic. They could also just hang onto him through the deadline — he’s their leading scorer and they hope to be more competitive next season.

Wojnarowski concluded by saying he expects the Mavs to be “really active” ahead of the February 9 trade deadline.

Pistons Rumors: Bogdanovic, Burks, Noel, Bey

The Pistons aren’t eager to trade Bojan Bogdanovic, but they’re willing to part with him for the right price, league sources tell James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Detroit is asking for an unprotected first-round pick at minimum, Edwards adds, and the front office is confident that offers in that range will materialize. That will lead to a difficult decision on whether to keep Bogdanovic in an effort to be competitive next season or to move him in exchange for draft help.

Acquired from the Jazz in September, the 33-year-old Bogdanovic is in the midst of his best NBA season, averaging a career-high 21.2 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the field and 41.5% from three-point range. He signed an extension in October that keeps him under contract through the 2024/25 season.

Bogdanovic may be the best shooter available heading into the February 9 trade deadline. The list of teams that have expressed interest in acquiring him has reportedly reached double digits, so the Pistons appear to be in a good position to get their asking price.

Edwards offers more insight into Pistons trade rumors:

  • Detroit hasn’t shown much interest in moving Alec Burks, who is also having his best offensive season, averaging 13.8 PPG as a reserve. The Pistons hold a $10.4MM option on the 31-year-old for next season and appear content to bring him back. Edwards believes a team would have to be willing to greatly overpay for Burks to get Detroit’s attention.
  • The Pistons and backup center Nerlens Noel have agreed that a trade would be the best option for both sides, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be moved before the deadline. Edwards hears that if Noel remains with the team past February 9, he won’t be looking for a buyout. Detroit isn’t expected to pick up its $9.6MM team option on Noel for next season, Edwards adds, unless the move would be part of an offseason trade. Edwards cites the Heat, Nuggets and Mavericks as teams that have been most active in trade talks for Noel.
  • Rival teams began monitoring Saddiq Bey when he lost his starting job in November, league sources tell Edwards. But the Pistons haven’t given up on the third-year small forward, who is only 23 and is coming off two productive seasons. Edwards believes it would take a significant offer for Detroit to part with Bey, who remains a steady part of the rotation.

And-Ones: NBAGL, Dunn, Noel, Klutch, CBA, 2023 Draft

The NBA G League will have an increased presence at this year’s NBA All-Star weekend, having introduced a new Next Up Game that will take place on Sunday, February 19 prior to the NBA’s All-Star Game.

As outlined in a G League press release, the game will feature 24 NBAGL standouts, with 10 of those players selected by fan vote.

Players on G League contracts or two-way deals who have appeared in at least four games this season will be eligible to participate in the game. However, players on standard NBA contracts won’t be — that means you wouldn’t be able to vote for, say, Warriors center James Wiseman, despite the fact that he has appeared in 10 games this season for Santa Cruz.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington take a closer look at Kris Dunn‘s efforts to “get back to the NBA the correct way.” The former No. 5 overall pick is playing this season for the Capital City Go-Go, the Wizards‘ G League affiliate, and is seeing his work on a revamped jump shot pay dividends. In 20 G League games, Dunn is making 58.2% of his shots from the field and 42.1% of his three-pointers.
  • Pistons center Nerlens Noel and Klutch Sports reached a settlement in their financial dispute this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who tweets that Noel has agreed to pay Rich Paul and Klutch the commission fees on his 2020 Knicks deal and has dropped his legal proceedings against the agency. Noel sued Paul and Klutch back in 2021 after the agency filed a grievance over $200K in commission that the big man hadn’t paid.
  • Although there’s still no agreement between the NBA and the players’ union on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, there’s too much money at stake to expect a work stoppage, Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com writes in a check-in on the league’s labor talks.
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic and Jeremy Woo of SI.com both published new 2023 mock drafts this week. There are plenty of differences between the two mocks starting at No. 3, where Vecenie has Amen Thompson of Overtime Elite and Woo has Arkansas’ Anthony Black. Woo has Thompson at No. 6 in his mock, while Vecenie has Black all the way down at No. 11 in his.

L.A. Notes: Pistons, Cousins, Lakers Frontcourt, Clippers

The Lakers have long been linked to forward Bojan Bogdanovic — back when he was still on Utah and in the months since he was traded to Detroit. In an article about potential deadline buyers and sellers with Chris Mannix, Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated hears that the Lakers and Pistons “have discussed a deal that would include both Bogdanovic and Nerlens Noel.”

Rumors last month indicated that the Lakers offered Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and a protected first-round pick for Bogdanovic, but this is the first time we’ve seen them linked to Noel this season. Adding his $9.24MM salary to that framework complicates a trade from a salary-matching perspective — the Lakers would have to add three players on minimum salaries.

Replacing Beverley and Nunn with Russell Westbrook‘s $47.1MM expiring deal would mean the Pistons would have to add more salary, so more players would have to be involved in either scenario.

Here’s more out of Los Angeles:

  • DeMarcus Cousinsaudition for the Lakers is scheduled for today, tweets Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. In case you missed it, the Lakers are also working out Meyers Leonard today. Both big men are unrestricted free agents.
  • LeBron James said earlier this week that he believes a frontcourt with himself, Anthony Davis and Thomas Bryant “could be extremely beneficial for our ballclub.” Head coach Darvin Ham agreed that it was worth looking into, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic (Twitter link). “They’re all highly skilled players. … They can all score at all three levels. They can defend. They all can have good activity, good instincts. So, yeah, that’s something we’ll definitely take a look at,” Ham said.
  • In an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Today, Richard Jefferson said there might be some interference from the Clippers‘ front office when it comes to coaching decisions. “This is pure speculation… I’m hearing grumblings that people up top are having opinions about who should be playing… There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen and that is never a good recipe,” he said (Twitter video link via Talkin’ NBA). Ordinarily, I wouldn’t put much stock into something that Jefferson says is “pure speculation,” but he does have connections to the Clippers — he played under head coach Tyronn Lue with the Cavaliers and under president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank when Frank coached the Nets.
  • Lue told reporters, including Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter video link), that Paul George (hamstring) and Luke Kennard (calf) would not practice with the Clippers on Thursday, but both players were working out and shooting prior to practice. George has been ruled out for Friday’s contest against Denver and Kennard seems unlikely to suit up.

Pistons Notes: Noel, Stewart, Deadline Approach, Livers

Pistons backup center Nerlens Noel has filled in admirably as an emergency starter, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. The 28-year-old had only made nine appearances for a total of 81 minutes leading up to Tuesday, but he started back-to-back games with Isaiah Stewart (shoulder), Jalen Duren (right ankle soreness) and Marvin Bagley III (hand surgery) all sidelined.

Ten years in, it’s a blessing. Nothing to take for granted,” Noel said after Wednesday’s victory over Minnesota. “I saw tonight we were playing against (Rudy) Gobert, so I definitely took it upon myself to try and be at my best as far as rim-protecting goes. This is what I’ve been doing and I’m going to continue to do it, especially with the steals. I know it changes the game. Just gotta stay consistent.”

Long known for his disruptive defense, Noel has averaged 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 2.0 steals in 21.0 minutes over the past two games, Curtis notes. Even though he hasn’t played much this season, Noel says he will be ready when his number is called.

I’ve always been a team guy, through everything,” Noel said, per Curtis. “It’s a great group of guys here, great young guys. With my veteran s–t, I just lend knowledge, whatever they want, let them pick my brain and help them out with experiences I’ve been through. We’ve got a young frontcourt, so I’m never tripping on that. I’m always here for them and when they call my number, I’ll be ready.”

There have been multiple rumors indicating that the Pistons are looking to move Noel — his recent play might help convince rival teams that he’s healthy and can still provide a defensive boost.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Head coach Dwane Casey said that Stewart underwent testing on his sore shoulder, tweets James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Casey added that the team doesn’t think it will be a long-term concern, but are still waiting for results from the exams. The third-year big man has missed the past two games with the injury.
  • Edwards doesn’t expect the Pistons to have a fire sale ahead of the trade deadline, as he writes in a mailbag article for The Athletic. Like Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, he hears Detroit is looking for a first-round pick and a “good young player” for veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic. He doesn’t think Alec Burks will be dealt, nor Saddiq Bey, though he does believe Bey might be more likely to be moved than the aforementioned veterans. The most likely player to be traded, according to Edwards? That would be Noel, but even he isn’t a lock — his $9.24MM salary might make him more of a buyout candidate.
  • Second-year forward Isaiah Livers made his return to the lineup on Wednesday, Edwards notes (via Twitter). Livers hadn’t played since December 1 due to a right shoulder sprain, missing 20 consecutive games in the process. The Pistons hold a $1.84MM team option on the former second-round pick for 2023/24.

Pistons Rumors: Noel, Bey, Bogdanovic, Burks

The Pistons are looking to move big man Nerlens Noel, sources tell James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Noel has been the subject of a handful of rumors already this fall, with one report indicating he’s unlikely to finish the season in Detroit and another suggesting the Mavericks have talked to the Pistons about a possible deal.

Edwards confirms that the Mavericks have been one of the teams engaged in discussions on Noel, but names a handful of other potential suitors as well, reporting that the Trail Blazers, Kings, and Heat have also talked to the Pistons about the veteran center.

Noel has appeared in just 31 games since the start of the 2021/22 season due to a combination of injuries and a crowded Pistons frontcourt, so he’s unlikely to have much trade value. Still, his contract isn’t onerous — he’s earning $9.24MM this season and has a team option for 2023/24 that could be declined without his team owing him any additional money.

According to Edwards, Noel’s camp and the Pistons have agreed that a deal is in both sides’ best interests.

Here’s more on the Pistons from Edwards:

  • The Pistons have received inquires on Saddiq Bey and had discussions about the third-year forward, league sources tell The Athletic. Based on his conversations with people around the NBA, Edwards believes Bey is “gettable” at the right price, but he’s unsure of what the “right price” would be. Presumably, Detroit would still value the 23-year-old highly as a trade asset despite his struggles and his demotion from the starting lineup this season.
  • Following up on Monday’s Bojan Bogdanovic rumors, Edwards reiterates that the idea of keeping the forward beyond this season is appealing to the Pistons, who extended Bogdanovic in the hopes of retaining him, not increasing his trade value. Detroit hopes to turn a corner by next season, so the team isn’t enthusiastic about simply selling off a productive veteran like Bogdanovic.
  • Similarly, the Pistons like having veteran guard Alec Burks around, according to Edwards, who says “current signs point toward” the 31-year-old staying in Detroit beyond the trade deadline. Burks has a $10.5MM team option for next season, which is a reasonable price to pay based on his current production, and would give the club some flexibility if cap room needs to be created in the summer.

Mavs, Pistons Have Reportedly Discussed Nerlens Noel

The Mavericks and Pistons recently “touched base” on trade talks in which Nerlens Noel was among the players discussed, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Begley adds that Noel has drawn interest from multiple playoff teams in need of rim protection.

Noel was traded from the Knicks to the Pistons over the summer in a salary-dump deal and isn’t part of Detroit’s regular rotation in a crowded frontcourt that features Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III, and rookie Jalen Duren. Noel has appeared in just six contests this season and hasn’t played more than six minutes in a game since November 4.

Still, the former lottery pick is only 28 years old and has some solid seasons on his NBA résumé, including his first year in New York in 2020/21. He averaged 5.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 2.2 BPG in 64 appearances (24.2 MPG) that season, providing energy and athleticism in the middle.

Since Noel has a team option for 2023/24, he’s essentially on an expiring contract, but his $9.24MM cap hit is sizable enough not to make him a positive asset. So if the Pistons hope to move him for anything of value, they may have to either attach another trade chip or take back some unwanted multiyear salary.

Dallas would be an interesting trade partner for the Pistons given that offseason signee JaVale McGee hasn’t gotten off to a great start as a Maverick, falling first out of the starting lineup, then out of the rotation entirely.

A report earlier this week suggested that the Mavs could explore the trade market for another center, with a preference for a defensive specialist who is a contrast to Christian Wood — Noel fits that bill. Plus, even though he earns more this season than McGee ($5.46MM), Noel’s expiring deal looks more team-friendly than McGee’s three-year contract, which will pay him $5.73MM next season with a $6MM+ player option for 2024/25 (he’ll turn 37 that season).

Noel had a previous stint in Dallas that began in February 2017 when he arrived in a trade from Philadelphia. That experience may have left a sour taste in his mouth, given that he turned down a $70MM offer from the Mavs as a free agent that summer, played on a $4.1MM qualifying offer during the 2017/18 season, and left Dallas in 2018 to sign a minimum-salary contract with Oklahoma City. Noel later filed a lawsuit against Rich Paul for the advice he received during that 2017 offseason; the case has since been redirected to NBA arbitration.

Trade Rumors: Collins, Jazz, Clarkson, Fournier, Robinson, More

Many around the NBA thought it was a foregone conclusion that John Collins would be moved ahead of the draft this past summer, and Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that the Hawks power forward was “very nearly” dealt to the Kings in June.

Sources tell Stein that there’s “momentum building on all sides” for Collins to be traded during the 2022/23 season, so his name should be “right at the top of the list” of players most likely to be dealt before the February 9 deadline.

Stein confirms that the Jazz have shown interest in Collins, and that’s a noteworthy pivot for a team that many believed would be tanking and a frontrunner for a top lottery pick after dealing away Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and other veterans.

Speaking of Utah, a rival executive tells Stein that he thinks the Jazz are more likely to extend Jordan Clarkson‘s contract than trade him. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype hears similarly, saying there’s “palpable buzz” about a potential Clarkson extension.

Here are a few more trade rumors from Scotto, who takes a look at the top trade candidates for each NBA team:

  • The Knicks are reluctant to part with a first-round pick to move off Evan Fournier‘s contract, sources tell Scotto. Fournier has fallen out of New York’s rotation after a prolonged shooting slump and is owed $18MM this season and $18.9MM in 2023/24. In addition to Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley, rival executives also believe that second-year guard Miles McBride is available due to the team’s backcourt logjam, per Scotto.
  • The Heat have made Duncan Robinson available in trade talks, sources tell Scotto. That’s hardly surprising since Robinson, like Fournier, has struggled and fallen out of the rotation at times in ’22/23. The problem is Miami would almost certainly have to attach assets to deal Robinson, who is owed $57.5MM over the next three seasons, and it remains to be seen whether the Heat are willing to do so.
  • Echoing a previous report, Scotto writes that the Lakers were trying to offload Russell Westbrook to the Spurs for Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson before the season started. While LJ Ellis of SpursTalk.com stated that the Lakers were only willing to attach two second-round picks to Westbrook’s enormous expiring contract, Scotto hears the Lakers offered a lottery-protected first-rounder and the Spurs wanted that pick to be unprotected, which caused the talks to stall.
  • Center Nerlens Noel is not expected to finish the ’22/23 season with the Pistons, according to Scotto. It’s unclear if Scotto means he’ll be bought out at some point or moved in a trade, since Noel’s $9.2MM contract doesn’t have positive value given how many injuries he’s dealt with the past couple seasons.

Fischer’s Latest: Bogdanovic, Lakers, Crowder, G. Allen

When the Pistons unexpectedly beat out rival suitors to acquire Bojan Bogdanovic in September, some executives around the NBA viewed it as a signal that Detroit was accelerating its timeline and making a push for the play-in tournament, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. However, it’s unclear if the Pistons are ready to take that step forward, having gotten off to a 3-9 start this season.

If the Pistons continue to struggle and Bogdanovic (19.3 PPG on .487/.457/.917 shooting) keeps playing anywhere near the level that he has in the early going, it could put the team in a good position to flip the veteran forward for value at this season’s trade deadline, Fischer notes.

The Pistons did sign Bogdanovic to a two-year, $39MM extension last month, but that contract shouldn’t hurt his trade value and might even improve it for some suitors, especially since the second year of the extension is only lightly guaranteed, Fischer writes. And even if the Pistons hang onto Bogdanovic through this season, he’ll now be movable in the 2023 offseason and beyond.

“What it really does is it gives them contract control so it’s easier to trade him in July, when a team that needs him is far more likely to have cap space and wiggle room,” an assistant general manager told Yahoo Sports.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Lakers inquired on Bogdanovic when he was a member of the Jazz and could still have interest if the Pistons were to make him available, according to Fischer, who points out that a package of Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel would be enough to match Russell Westbrook‘s expiring deal. If the Lakers are hesitant to make an all-in move, a package like that could hold some appeal, since it shouldn’t cost them both of their tradable first-round picks, says Fischer.
  • The Suns were another team with interest in Bogdanovic before he was traded out of Utah and could still put together a package built around Jae Crowder‘s expiring contract, Fischer writes, adding that there’s no indication that Crowder and the Suns will reunite even after starting forward Cameron Johnson went down with a knee injury.
  • It’s unclear whether the Bucks have interest in Bogdanovic, but they’re among Crowder’s potential suitors and could hypothetically offer Grayson Allen for him, according to Fischer, who hears from sources that Milwaukee has been calling teams to gauge Allen’s trade value.
  • While Allen looks like the kind of rotation piece the Suns are known to be seeking in exchange for Crowder, Fischer wonders if Phoenix might become more inclined to wait until closer to the trade deadline to see if any higher-impact players shake loose — Crowder’s expiring contract could be an important piece in any offer for a player of that caliber.