OG Anunoby

Trade Rumors: Bulls, Collins, Gobert, Lakers, Hield, More

The Bulls are among the teams that have shown interest in Hawks big man John Collins, sources tell Matt Moore of Action Network. Moore also confirms that Boston and Sacramento are two of the other clubs that have registered some level of interest in Collins, as Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said earlier today.

Chicago has been linked to a handful of frontcourt players so far this offseason, most notably Rudy Gobert. Moore writes that the Bulls remain in the mix for Gobert, but cautions that the Jazz‘s asking price will be “steep” and says any trade discussions involving the three-time Defensive Player of the Year could drag out, given Danny Ainge‘s reputation as a tough negotiator.

According to Moore, if Gobert is traded, the Bulls are probably the most likely landing spot, with the Timberwolves looming as a dark horse, but there’s no guarantee a deal will be made.

Here are a few more trade notes and rumors from Moore:

  • Moore reports that the Lakers have “circled back” to Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield after not trading for him a year ago. The Lakers have a clearer path to making an offer for Hield that doesn’t include Russell Westbrook‘s unwanted contract this summer than they did at the trade deadline, given that his salary declines from $23MM in 2021/22 to $21.2MM in ’22/23.
  • The Sixers are probably unlikely to find a taker for Tobias Harris, given the size of his contract, but Moore suggests the Kings are one team to watch on that front.
  • The Cavaliers aren’t looking to trade former lottery pick Isaac Okoro after drafting Ochai Agbaji, says Moore.
  • Moore suggests that the Raptors‘ asking price for OG Anunoby when the Trail Blazers pursued him around the time of the draft was believed to be the No. 7 pick, Josh Hart or Nassir Little, and a future first-round pick. Now that the draft has passed, Moore is skeptical that Anunoby will be on the move this summer.

Atlantic Notes: Durant, Harden, Anunoby, Koloko, Celtics

As rumors swirl that Kyrie Irving is entertaining an exit out of Brooklyn that could impact Kevin Durant‘s future with the Nets, Durant himself said on the ETCs podcast that he doesn’t plan to get involved in Irving’s free agency decision.

“This is this man’s livelihood. This is much bigger than me,” Durant said, according to NetsDaily. “Being a free agent, it’s one of the most important times in your career. That can’t be swayed by anybody else. I just do me and wait for the time.

“There’s nothing that can happen right now. I don’t think he can even make a decision on opting out until the 29th, I think. I just let things play out and see what happens, but keep the regular contact up with Kai and see what happens. It’s something that’s so much out of my control that I don’t want to be a part of it. We’ll see what happens though.”

Asked about this week’s reports about him and Irving, Durant downplayed them without dismissing them entirely.

“It’s just reports. You know, that go around this time, the draft, the Finals just ended. You just got to keep that dialogue going, keep that engagement going. So, obviously, it’s an interesting topic,” Durant said. “There’s a lot going on with our team. Uncertainty with Ben (Simmons) not playing with us, us being swept in the playoffs, Kyrie’s situation being a free agent. So there’s a lot of certainty with our team. I understand why there’s so much noise around us, but as individuals, you control what you can. If the time’s right, everything will work out for itself.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Asked about James Harden‘s contract situation on Thursday, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey didn’t offer up any specifics, but expressed optimism about the relationship going forward, writes Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “As you guys have heard, it’s a mutual lovefest, so we feel like we’ll work it out,” Morey said.
  • The Trail Blazers engaged in a “full-court press” this week in an effort to acquire OG Anunoby from the Raptors, but Toronto was unmoved, reports Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. While that doesn’t rule out the possibility of Anunoby being traded later in the offseason, head coach Nick Nurse said on Thursday that “guys like him are hard to find in this league.”
  • Within the same story, Grange writes that the Raptors‘ No. 33 pick – Christian Koloko – brings the sort of height and rim-protecting ability that the team had been lacking. “It’s something we don’t have,” general manager Bobby Webster said of Koloko’s skill set.
  • The Celtics have done their homework on the players that fit into their $17MM+ trade exception and have considered various scenarios, but haven’t found one they like yet, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said during his post-draft media session on Thursday. “If that thing vanishes because we don’t find the right deal, we still have two other (trade exceptions) that don’t expire until the trade deadline,” Stevens said, per Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links). As our tracker shows, Boston’s $17MM exception will expire on July 18, at which point the team will still have TPEs worth about $7MM and $6MM.

Draft Rumors: Pistons, Duren, Dieng, Mavericks, Raptors, Anunoby

The Pistons, who already made news this week with their impending trade of Jerami Grant to Portland, could make another significant move this evening. They are holding ongoing conversations to acquire another lottery pick, with Memphis center Jalen Duren believed to be the target, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets.

Detroit already holds the No. 5 selection in the draft. A report earlier today indicated Pistons GM Troy Weaver is a big fan of Duren.

  • Ousmane Dieng seems destined to be chosen higher than any other international prospect. The French big man, who played for the New Zealand Breakers, has been surging up draft boards and could go as high as No. 8, where the Pelicans are picking, Marc Stein tweets.
  • The Mavericks are covering all their bases, even though their first-round pick is headed to Houston and their second-rounder is headed to Washington, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. GM Nico Harrison says they’re are not actively calling teams to trade into the draft, but have done the prep work needed in case they end up with a draft pick in either round.
  • The Raptors are unlikely to move into the lottery and trade forward OG Anunoby, Michael Grange of Sportsnet tweets. Most of the chatter surrounding Anunoby has come from the Trail Blazers, who are trying to add veterans around Damian Lillard, Grange adds, while Toronto remains in a ‘be patient and grow’ mode.

Trade Rumors: Suns, Jazz, Capela, Wolves, Russell, Fournier, Anunoby

The Suns don’t currently own a pick in the 2022 NBA draft, but there have been recent rumors that the team is interested in trading for a second-rounder. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix goes a step further, stating (via Twitter) that “while a second-round pick is more likely, I cannot rule out (the Suns) trading into the first round.”

Gambadoro reports that Phoenix has its eyes on eight-to-10 prospects that the team would consider making a deal for. He points to the Spurs, Hornets and Hawks as teams who could be trade partners, though he doesn’t clarify which of those teams’ picks might be in play.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Like Phoenix, Utah doesn’t currently control a pick, but the Jazz are dangling core players to try and acquire some, multiple sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic. Jones reports that the Jazz are very active on the trade market, with the odds increasing that the team’s roster could look significantly different by the end of today. The Jazz have a “lengthy list” of potential undrafted prospects they hope to entice with Exhibit 10 contracts once the draft concludes, sources tell The Athletic.
  • The Timberwolves remain interested in potentially pairing Karl-Anthony Towns with Clint Capela in the team’s frontcourt, but sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that the Wolves and Hawks haven’t made any real headway on that front.
  • Sources suggest to Dane Moore of Bring Me The News (Twitter link) that there’s a greater than 50% chance that D’Angelo Russell will be traded by the Timberwolves in the coming days. Russell is viewed as a trade candidate due to his poor playoff showing despite having a solid season with Minnesota. The guard is extension-eligible this summer and his $31.38MM contract expires after next season.
  • The Knicks offered to trade Evan Fournier to the Celtics to create cap space in order to sign Jalen Brunson, but Boston has no interest in the deal, according to Gambadoro (Twitter links). The Celtics have a large trade exception that was ironically created by signing-and-trading Fournier to New York, so the Knicks theoretically wouldn’t have needed a player in return, but he’d still count against Boston’s cap, which would push the team deep into the luxury tax.
  • Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says (via Twitter) that he has “consistently heard” the Raptors are only interested in trading OG Anunoby if they can get an “elite center” in return. Toronto is still linked to Rudy Gobert and inquired about Jarrett Allen in February, sources tell Bleacher Report.

Trail Blazers Pursuing OG Anunoby

After agreeing to a deal for Jerami Grant, the Trail Blazers are now targeting Raptors forward OG Anunoby, tweets Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports. Haynes adds that Portland is willing to part with the No. 7 pick in Thursday’s draft in a potential trade.

A report emerged late last month that Anunoby had grown frustrated with his role in Toronto’s offense, as much of his ball-handling duties had been taken over by Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.

However, there was no indication that Anunoby had asked to be traded, and subsequent reports have suggested the Raptors are unlikely to move him unless the return is substantial.

The 24-year-old is coming off a career-best scoring season, putting up 17.1 PPG in 48 games. He also averaged a career high in assists with 2.6 per game and took more shots (14.5) and three-pointers (6.6) than in any previous season while playing his usual strong, versatile defense.

Anunoby would be another solid building block for the Trail Blazers, who are hoping for a quick turnaround following an injury-plagued 27-55 season. He has two more two more guaranteed years left on his contract, plus a $19.9MM player option for 2024/25.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Mills, Kyrie, Knicks, Burks, Celtics

Asked on Tuesday about what the Raptors‘ offseason might look like, general manager Bobby Webster suggested it might be a fairly quiet summer in Toronto, but didn’t rule out the possibility of that changing if favorable trade opportunities arise.

“You look at it two ways: We have a couple free agents, we have a mid-level (exception). Maybe in that sense it’s just adding to the group,” Webster said, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. “Obviously if you have trade discussions, it’s different. There are kind of just two different paths you can go.”

OG Anunoby has been at the center of some trade rumors this offseason, with one report indicating the Raptors forward wants a bigger role on offense going forward. Asked about Anunoby, Webster dismissed the idea that there’s any real tension between the team and the 24-year-old, but he also didn’t exactly slam the door on the idea that Anunoby could be traded.

“We have great communication with OG,” Webster said. “He’s even up here (in Toronto) now. For one, it doesn’t make sense to comment on all the trade speculation. If we talked about every call we got or every player we discussed we’d be here for hours, so I don’t think it’s all that noteworthy.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Nets guard Patty Mills still hasn’t decided whether or not he’ll pick up his $6.2MM player option for 2022/23, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Insider link). In a story for NetsDaily, Collin Helwig looks at what Mills could bring to the table for Brooklyn next season if he returns and is slotted into the role the team envisioned for him last year, before Kyrie Irving‘s extended absence resulted in him being thrust into the starting lineup.
  • Speaking of Irving, both Fred Katz of The Athletic and Ian Begley of SNY.tv explored whether the idea of the Nets guard joining the cross-town Knicks this offseason is realistic. A Shams Charania report on Monday linked Irving to the Knicks, but New York is believed to be more focused on Jalen Brunson and Malcolm Brogdon, while there’s a belief that Kyrie and the Nets can still work out a deal.
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News provides a few more details on Alec Burksfoot surgery, reporting that the affected left foot had been bothering the Knicks guard for a while. Burks, who previously underwent procedures on his left ankle in 2015 and 2016, has seen his trade value negatively affected by the surgery, league sources tell Bondy.
  • The Celtics brought in Michigan State forward Gabe Brown on Wednesday, just a day before the draft, for a second workout, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Brown, the No. 78 prospect on ESPN’s big board, could be a target for Boston with the 53rd overall pick or as an undrafted free agent.

Fischer’s Latest: Ayton, Nurkic, Anunoby, Dort, Turner, Sharpe

The Trail Blazers are no longer viewed as a suitor for restricted free agent Deandre Ayton, sources tell Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. According to Fischer, Portland plans to re-sign starting center Jusuf Nurkic, who is an unrestricted free agent, and hopes to acquire Raptors forward OG Anunoby in exchange for a package headlined by the No. 7 overall pick of the 2022 draft.

However, Anunoby might not be the only target for the Blazers. It’s been rumored that the Thunder are trying to move up in the lottery, and Fischer reports that “there has been increasing talk” about Portland sending the No. 7 pick to OKC in exchange for No. 12 and a “package that could include” Luguentz Dort.

The three most realistic landing spots for Ayton, aside from re-signing with the Suns, appear to be the Hawks, Pistons and Raptors, says Fischer, adding that all three clubs have interesting pieces to dangle in a possible sign-and-trade for the center.

Echoing a report from Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Fischer states that the Pacers could also be a possibility for Ayton in a sign-and-trade deal involving Myles Turner. The two players are both represented by agent Bill Duffy, Fischer notes (hat tip to RealGM).

According to Fischer, Shaedon Sharpe may be a candidate to fall in the lottery after a series of underwhelming workouts ahead of the draft. Fischer says Sharpe’s range might begin at No. 8, but he could also be a target of teams who try to acquire the No. 7 pick from Portland. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported yesterday that the Thunder are high on Sharpe.

Atlantic Notes: J. Brown, Sixers, Raptors, Anunoby

Now a crucial part of a Celtics team vying for a championship, Jaylen Brown recalls seeing club owner Wyc Grousbeck get booed by fans on draft night in 2016 when Boston used the No. 3 pick to select and keep Brown rather than using it in a trade for Jimmy Butler or another established star.

“(Wyc) had to defend, like, ‘This is who we’re going with. You guys just gonna have to live with it.’ And I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ These guys have never seen me play before or, you know, I haven’t even got the opportunity,” Brown said, per Michael Pina of SI.com.

As Pina writes, Brown’s development into an All-Star-caliber player has been a major part of the Celtics’ return to the NBA Finals. And at age 25, the standout swingman isn’t necessarily a finished product, meaning his best could be yet to come.

“I think the organization has known the type of ability that I’ve had for a long time; even when casual fans thought they were crazy for not trading me for X, Y and Z, Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens knew,” Brown said. “They seen me every single day, knew what I was capable of. Not to say I’m anywhere close to those guys yet, but I’m continuing to work and I’m excited that we’re here in the Finals now, going through this journey.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

Raptors Rumors: Anunoby, VanVleet, Boucher, Young, More

The Raptors aren’t actively looking to trade forward OG Anunoby, Michael Scotto said in the latest episode of The HoopsHype Podcast. According to Scotto, it would require a “substantial” return for Toronto to consider moving Anunoby, along the lines of a significant upgrade at center or a top-10 draft pick. That’s similar to what Jake Fischer has recently reported.

Scotto’s guest, Blake Murphy of Sportsnet 590 The Fan, agrees that it would take “a lot” for the Raptors to seriously considering moving Anunoby, noting that assistant GM Dan Tolzman recently expressed skepticism when asked if the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft would develop at the same rate and with the same ceiling as Anunoby.

While Murphy acknowledges that Anunoby would be an obvious trade candidate if the Raptors attempt to trade for an impact player, he believes the team would rather enter the 2022/23 season without a traditional center than include Anunoby in a trade for a center who isn’t as well-rounded and versatile a player as the 24-year-old forward.

Murphy and Scotto also point out that Toronto is high on Precious Achiuwa, whose role would be cut back if the team added a starting center to play 30-35 minutes per night.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Fred VanVleet and the Raptors are expected to discuss a possible contract extension this offseason, league sources tell Scotto. If VanVleet were to decline his 2023/24 player option, he could extend for up to four years and $114MM this summer. However, Murphy doesn’t think there will be a rush to get anything done, since Toronto will hold VanVleet’s Bird rights and would be in the driver’s seat to re-sign him if he opts out in 2023.
  • The Raptors have interest in re-signing both Chris Boucher and Thaddeus Young in free agency, according to Scotto. Murphy observes that the team should have about $31MM in wiggle room below the luxury tax line, which could be used to bring back Boucher and Young and fill out the roster, possibly using the mid-level exception. A deal in the mid-level range ($10MM) might make sense for Boucher, Murphy adds.
  • Addressing Boucher’s free agency in his own story today, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report suggested that it seems safe to “pencil in” the big man’s return to Toronto.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk‘s decision on his $1.88MM player option may go down to the wire, according to Scotto, who says June 22 is the deadline for Mykhailiuk to opt in.
  • Murphy would be shocked if two-way restricted free agent Justin Champagnie doesn’t remain with the Raptors, perhaps on a two-year, minimum-salary deal.

Southwest Notes: Wood, Spurs, Anunoby, Pelicans

Rival executives who have spoken to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype anticipate the Rockets will gauge the trade market for Christian Wood this offseason as the big man enters the final year of his three-year contract. However, it doesn’t sound as if Wood is preparing for his exit.

According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, Wood expressed this week that he believes the Rockets are capable of taking a real step forward in 2022/23 after finishing with the NBA’s worst record in each of the last two seasons. He also said he has spoken to the team about a possible contract extension.

“I just want to win, try to get to the playoffs,” Wood said when asked if he wants to remain in Houston. “I haven’t been to the playoffs yet in my career. That’s what I’m focused on.”

Wood could sign an extension worth up to about $77MM over four years this summer. However, doing so would make him ineligible to be traded for six months. If he preferred to maintain his trade eligibility while signing an extension, he’d be limited to a deal worth up to $31.3MM over two years.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Spurs are one of the teams mentioned consistently as a potential trade partner for the Raptors if Toronto moves OG Anunoby, writes Matt Moore of Action Network. The Raptors were frequently cited as possible suitors for San Antonio center Jakob Poeltl prior to the 2022 deadline, but seem unlikely to part with Anunoby in a deal for Poeltl.
  • The Pelicans have received some calls about the No. 8 pick in this year’s draft and are open to listening to offers for it, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. New Orleans unexpectedly received that Lakers pick due to L.A.’s dismal season — it would have gone to Memphis if it had landed outside of the top 10.
  • William Guillory of The Athletic considers what a Zion Williamson contract extension might look like and explores the role the former No. 1 overall pick could play with the Pelicans next season, while Christian Clark of NOLA.com takes a look at five Pelicans offseason storylines to monitor, starting with a possible extension for Williamson.