Pascal Siakam

Nets Looking To Expand Irving Trade To Include Third Team

The Nets are looking for a third team to fold into the Kyrie Irving trade, which is why it hasn’t been made official yet, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Brooklyn is set to receive guard Spencer Dinwiddie, forward Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, a 2027 second-round pick, and a 2029 second-round pick in the swap. Those draft picks will all be the Mavericks’ own.

Marc Stein was first to report (via Twitter) that the Nets were considering trading Dinwiddie to a third team. It’s possible that Finney-Smith could be on the move as well, as he acknowledged in an interview with Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

According to Stein (Twitter links), the Nets are exploring a deal that would send Dinwiddie and unspecified draft picks to Toronto for Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. The Nets also have interest in forward Pascal Siakam, but the Raptors are reluctant to move the All-NBA forward.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst stated on The Hoop Collective podcast that the Nets were also intrigued by Raptors forward OG Anunoby, though they were uncertain if they would be able to land him (hat tip to RealGM).

I still don’t know what the Raptors are going to do,” said Windhorst.

The Nets are definitely calling the Raptors over the last 24 hours,” replied Zach Lowe.

If the Nets could flip some of this stuff that they got and pry OG Anunoby out of there, you may have something there with the Nets, but I don’t know if they’re going to be able to,” added Windhorst.

Wojanrowski reports (via Twitter) that several teams are speaking to the Raptors today, including the Nets.

The deal will be finalized on Monday regardless of if a third team is included, notes ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). Irving plans to join the team in Los Angeles for practice on Tuesday and intends to suit up on Wednesday versus the Clippers, so the Mavs need the deal completed by Monday.

Raptors Rumors: Trent, VanVleet, Siakam, Anunoby, Achiuwa

Most executives who have spoken to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype believe that Raptors wing Gary Trent Jr. will be able to at least match – and likely exceed – the value of his $18.8MM player option on a new contract, which is why he’s considered a strong bet to opt out and become a free agent this summer.

Scotto said during a podcast with Blake Murphy of Sportsnet that there are people around the league who think Trent will surpass $20MM annually on his next contract. Although Murphy mentioned the possibility of a deal in the neighborhood of $25MM per year for Trent, Scotto is skeptical that he’ll get that much — if he does, it would be based on his age and potential for further growth (he just turned 24 years old).

As for Fred VanVleet, Scotto has heard that the Raptors’ point guard could be seeking a contract in the range of $30-35MM per year when he’s eligible for free agency this summer. That would put him in the same ballpark as a fellow guard like Jrue Holiday, for instance, Scotto observes.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Executives around the NBA don’t expect Pascal Siakam to be on the move by February 9 unless the Raptors are blown away with a “crazy” offer, Scotto says.
  • According to Scotto, a number of rival executives have speculated about the possibility of the Grizzlies making a run at Raptors forward OG Anunoby. Memphis has exhibited plenty of patience in building its roster in recent years and hasn’t seemed eager to sacrifice future draft capital to take a big swing — still, Anunoby would be an ideal fit on the roster, and the team has an extra first-round pick (Golden State’s top-four protected 2024 selection).
  • Anunoby tells Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca that there’s no truth to the rumblings that he wants out of Toronto. Within the same story, Grange examines the recent emergence of Precious Achiuwa and considers whether the ascendant big man could help ease the loss if the Raptors trade Anunoby.

Raptors Rumors: VanVleet, Anunoby, Siakam, Trent, Achiuwa

Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet, who recently parted ways with his agency, is considered very likely to sign with Klutch Sports, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack story.

VanVleet’s agency change is coming at a pivotal time in his career. The seventh-year guard is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer if he and the Raptors don’t work out an extension before then — and if he turns down his player option for the 2023/24 season, which is viewed as a near-lock.

According to Stein, multiple teams around the NBA hope that the Raptors will start to become more receptive to trade inquires on VanVleet as the February 9 deadline approaches. The Magic have been mentioned more and more often in league circles as a “prime” VanVleet suitor this summer in free agency, Stein adds, though it’s unclear if Orlando would attempt to trade for him at the deadline.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • After having reported in December that the Knicks inquired about a possible deal for Raptors forward OG Anunoby, Ian Begley of SNY.tv follows up on that item by stating that New York was comfortable offering multiple first-round picks in exchange for Anunoby. While that’s notable, it’s worth adding a caveat — the Knicks control multiple heavily protected first-round picks, so being willing to offer a couple of those is much different than being willing to give up two or three of their own unprotected first-rounders.
  • In his aforementioned Substack article, Stein expresses skepticism that either Anunoby or Pascal Siakam is a legitimate trade candidate at this season’s deadline, with Gary Trent Jr. still looking like the Raptor most likely to be moved.
  • In his latest Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast (hat tip to HoopsHype), Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports also downplayed the likelihood of a Siakam trade, suggesting that the star forward wants to be in Toronto. Fischer says he’d be “shocked” if Siakam is on the move in the next couple weeks.
  • No matter what the Raptors do at the trade deadline, the development of big man Precious Achiuwa should be one of the club’s top priorities in the second half of the season, argues Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Achiuwa has been limited to 25 games so far this season due to injury, but has played some of his best basketball as of late, scoring double-digit points in eight of his last nine games, with a season-high 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting in Wednesday’s win over Sacramento.

Trade Rumors: Suns, Holmes, Reid, Raptors, Bamba

Suns point guard Chris Paul has missed 21 of 48 games this season due to injuries and has seen his production dip even when he’s healthy — his 13.4 points per game would be a career low, while his 42.7% field goal percentage is the second-worst mark of his career.

Paul’s limitations have prompted the Suns to begin considering their post-CP3 future at point guard, according to Marc Stein, who reports at Substack that Phoenix has identified the RaptorsFred VanVleet, the HornetsTerry Rozier, and the KnicksImmanuel Quickley as potential trade targets.

As Stein outlines, the Knicks are considered unlikely to move Quickley and it remains to be seen what Toronto’s intentions are for VanVleet, but Rozier is widely believed to be very much available for a struggling Hornets club that will likely be one of the deadline’s top sellers.

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

  • Teams with a need for frontcourt help are keeping an eye on Kings center Richaun Holmes as a possible buyout candidate if Sacramento can’t move him before the trade deadline, says Stein. That seems like a long shot, given that Holmes is still owed $12MM in 2023/24 and $12.9MM on a ’24/25 player option after this season.
  • Following up on Michael Scotto’s reporting on Naz Reid, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer cites league sources who say that the Nets are among the teams who have inquired on the Timberwolves big man. Scotto identified the Clippers and Nuggets as teams with interest in Reid.
  • League sources are skeptical that the Raptors will move Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby unless the return is massive, but view Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet as more viable trade candidates due to their contract situations, writes O’Connor. Both Trent and VanVleet have 2023/24 player options which they’re expected to decline.
  • Magic center Mohamed Bamba is considered “readily available” via trade, sources tell O’Connor. Bamba re-signed with Orlando in the offseason but has played a modest reserve role, averaging 17.4 minutes per game in 37 appearances. His $10.3MM salary for 2023/24 is non-guaranteed.

Raptors Notes: Trent Jr., Deadline Primer, Assets, Tiers

Shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. says he’s grateful for the opportunity to earn an expanded role with the Raptors, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Trent is averaging a career-high 18.5 points per night and boasts solid shooting splits (.438/.360/.831, including a .572 true shooting percentage).

It’s just a lot of things, factors of being consistent in the NBA,” Trent said. “It’s your role, your opportunity, your coach’s trust. Do they believe in you? Do they run plays for you? Do they put you in certain positions to succeed. Just different type of things. Coach (Nick) Nurse and his team has been there for me. They’ve helped me. Gave me a platform and opportunity of a lifetime.”

Multiple reports over the past month have indicated that Trent is likely to be on the trading block, primarily because he’s expected to turn down his $18.8MM player option for next season to become a free agent. The 24-year-old is aware of the rumors, but he’s no stranger to hearing his name pop up in trade speculation and plans to keep working hard.

I’ve been in trade rumors since I came into the league,” Trent said, per Hine. “With my contract and my situation, it’s almost complimentary to get off the books or to help a team or roster. But you can’t really focus on that. It is what it is. You continue to work. Somebody’s going to want you. Everybody is watching you, seeing how you work.”

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca recently released his in-depth trade deadline primer, including the team’s cap outlook for this season and beyond, player and non-player assets, and more. Murphy suggests the team might “prioritize young, rotation-ready players” rather than draft picks if they deal away Trent or Fred VanVleet, as that would allow Toronto to be more competitive next season.
  • Doug Smith of The Toronto Star spoke to multiple league sources who ranked the team’s most valuable player assets, in order of their value. OG Anunoby tops the list, followed by VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and Trent. I can sort of see having Anunoby over Siakam because he makes about half as much money and theoretically might be an easier fit on most teams, but having VanVleet over Siakam is…interesting. I assume Scottie Barnes isn’t included because he isn’t expected to be available.
  • Along those same lines, Eric Koreen of The Athletic breaks the players down into tiers, with Barnes in his own “almost untouchable” category. Anunoby and Siakam are in the “we’d rather not, but give us your best offer and we’ll think about it” tier, while Koreen thinks one of Trent or VanVleet will probably get traded.
  • At 20-26 and 1.5 games back of the Bulls for the No. 10 seed and the final spot in the play-in tournament, the Raptors don’t have the luxury of resting their best players, argues Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star. Nurse has been criticized at times for playing the starters heavy minutes, but Feschuk notes that group has been pretty healthy this season.
  • VanVleet is another player who hears the rumors swirling, Smith writes in another article for The Toronto Star. “The better you play and the better your team does, the lower the chance anybody getting shipped out of here,” VanVleet said. “If you (crap) the bed you set yourself up for anything to happen. So we’ve got to control the controllables.” As Smith notes, the Raptors have been wildly inconsistent this season, and have yet to “control the controllables,” as VanVleet put it, for a sustained period.

Atlantic Notes: Irving, Knicks Rotation, VanVleet, Siakam

Kyrie Irving hasn’t been able to produce during the fourth quarter since Kevin Durant was sidelined by a knee injury, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. Against Boston on Thursday, the Nets star guard shot 3-of-10, missing all three 3-point attempts, in the last 12 minutes. Against the Thunder on Sunday, Irving had just two points on 1-for-4 shooting in the fourth quarter.

“I’m doing the best job I can. I wish I could make a few more shots within the minutes and be efficient,” Irving said of those Nets’ losses. “I know that’ll come, and I’ll continue to prepare the best way I know how and be a better example for the guys in the locker room.”

The Nets were without both stars on Tuesday. Irving missed the game against San Antonio with right calf soreness, Nick Friedell of ESPN tweets.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Immanuel Quickley have absorbed a vast majority of the minutes in Tom Thibodeau’s latest Knicks rotation, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. The Knicks could use another source of offense if they continue with that rotation, which means a trade to address that need is a possibility. Houston’s Eric Gordon or a wing player could be the target.
  • With Fred VanVleet likely to decline his player option in order to become a free agent this summer, the Raptors are in a tricky situation regarding their point guard, Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes. A hot streak by VanVleet could help them move him for a suitable package before the deadline. If the Raptors decide not to trade him, they had better be prepared to make a serious long-term commitment this summer, despite his off year.
  • If the Raptors can get an offer for Pascal Siakam like Utah did for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, they should strongly consider it, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype opines. Toronto could seek multiple unprotected first-round picks, prospects, and good veterans on team-friendly deals for Siakam. Teams like Dallas, Phoenix, and Atlanta would be great fits for Siakam and could all make strong offers for him, Gozlan adds. That would facilitate a reshaping of their core group without an extended rebuild.

Raptors Notes: Trade Returns, Porter, Barnes, Achiuwa

If the Raptors become sellers at the trade deadline, what could they get in exchange for Fred VanVleet or Gary Trent Jr.? How about Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby? Eric Koreen comes up with hypothetical trades for all four players in a pair of articles for The Athletic, and his colleagues evaluate whether opposing teams would accept them.

Jovan Buha believes the Lakers would agree to a deal for VanVleet if the Raptors wanted Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Max Christie and a 2027 first-round pick. As for the team’s All-NBA forward, Joe Vardon thinks the Grizzlies would package Tyus Jones, Danny Green, Jake LaRavia, Ziaire Williams, 2023, 2025 and 2027 first-round picks, a 2024 first-rounder (via Golden State), and a 2024 second-rounder (via Toronto) in exchange for Siakam.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • The Raptors’ current front office has generally drafted well, and they have done exceptionally well in trades, but they have not had success in free agency, and Otto Porter Jr. is the latest example of that, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Lewenberg points out that the Raptors have operated over the salary cap for several years, which limits their ability to sign pricier free agents, but the list of players the team has signed in the past several years is “uninspiring.” Porter is out for the season after undergoing foot surgery.
  • Scottie Barnes has had an inconsistent second season, but he’s played better of late, Lewenberg writes for TSN.ca. “He’s just settling in,” Siakam said after Thursday’s 124-114 win over Charlotte. “I see the confidence. He’s not forcing anything, he’s just playing basketball the way that he knows how to and it’s showing. I think that sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers and what people are expecting from [us]. You’ve just got to go out there and play, and I think he’s starting to understand that.” If Toronto is able to turn things around in the second half of the season, Barnes will likely be a big reason why, according to Lewenberg.
  • Precious Achiuwa missed a significant portion of the season with an ankle injury, but he’s helped stabilize the second unit since he returned to action, per Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. The third-year big man is still working on his conditioning, but head coach Nick Nurse praised his aggression on Thursday. “I really liked the way Precious took the ball to the basket,” Nurse said. “He didn’t get a ton out of it, but that will come. I mean, he got one (foul call), maybe. He got another one where he got clobbered but (didn’t get the call); I like it. If he keeps going in there, he’s going to get rewarded and get a dunk or get to the free-throw line a little bit. I like the aggressiveness.”

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Toppin, Sims, Durant, Harris, Harden

The Raptors aren’t shopping any of their core players but they’re willing to listen to any offers, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports writes.

Scottie Barnes remains the Raptors’ only untouchable, though a source told Lewenberg it would take a “king’s ransom” to trade either Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby. The rotation player most likely to be moved is Gary Trent Jr., since he could become a free agent this summer and his next multi-year contract could top $100MM.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks forward Obi Toppin returned to action on Monday night after missing a month due to a leg injury. Jericho Sims was the odd man out of the rotation, as he never left the bench, Greg Joyce of the New York Post notes. Sims has appeared in 32 of the team’s 41 games this season. Toppin only played eight minutes.
  • Even before knowing that Kevin Durant would be out for approximately a month, Nets forward Joe Harris said it would be a “massive blow” to the team if he missed significant time, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “Obviously [it changes] a lot. He’s a focal point for us, offensively, defensively he’s been an elite rim protector this year. He guards the best players. [It would] be obviously a massive blow for us,” he said. “But at the same time, it presents opportunities for everybody else, and we have a lot of depth for reasons like this for everybody just to step up and collectively try and fill that void.”
  • Sixers guard James Harden admitted to Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill that he misses the days when he was counted on to be the primary scorer and posted huge stats, but indicated that winning a championship is his top priority. “I would love that, but not as much — if that makes sense,” Harden said. “In Houston, I was doing that every single night. It was expected. It’s a lot of times I feel like I can have that same impact on games. But you see the bigger picture. I’m just focused on one thing, man. That’s all that matters.”

Stein’s Latest: Raptors, Hardaway, Clarkson, Turner

The Raptors appear unlikely to tear down the foundation of their team before the trade deadline, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column. Sources tell Stein that Toronto is open to parting with Gary Trent Jr., who has an $18.56MM player option for next season and could be headed for free agency, but it would take a significant offer to pry away OG Anunoby or Pascal Siakam.

The player to watch might be Fred VanVleet, according to Stein. VanVleet reportedly received a four-year, $114MM extension offer before the start of the season, and he and the team decided to delay any further extension talks. Stein believes that if the Raptors keep VanVleet past the deadline, it’s an indication that they plan to commit to a longer deal.

Toronto has slipped into a tie for 11th in the East at 17-23 and could be headed for a spot in the lottery. A source indicated to Stein that the team might be content with taking a shot at Victor Wembanyama or another elite draft prize rather than trying to reconfigure its roster on the trade market.

There’s more from Stein with the deadline just one month away:

  • The Mavericks are making Tim Hardaway Jr. available, and the Cavaliers can get him if they’re willing to take on his contract, which has two years remaining at a total of $34.1MM. Stein points out that Hardaway has been shooting much better since moving into the starting lineup, which would make him a valuable asset for a Cleveland team that’s in the race for the best record in the East. Caris LeVert‘s expiring $18.8MM contract is an easy way for the Cavs to match Hardaway’s current $19.6MM salary, Stein notes.
  • After reporting on Saturday that Jordan Clarkson turned down an extension offer from the Jazz, Stein clarifies that he doesn’t expect the shooting guard to be traded. Stein explains that Clarkson is significantly underpaid at $13.3MM with a $14.3MM player option for 2023/24, and CBA rules limit what Utah can offer him before the current season ends. Stein hears that Clarkson wants an annual salary in the $18-20MM range, and the Jazz appear willing to give him that when they’re able to.
  • The Pacers are in a much better position to work out an in-season extension with Myles Turner, since they can restructure his current-year salary up until a March 1 deadline, Stein adds. He says the team has discussed an extension with Turner’s representatives, but they haven’t been able to reach an agreement.

Luka Doncic, Pascal Siakam Named Players Of The Week

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Raptors forward Pascal Siakam have been named the NBA’s players of the week, the league announced today (via Twitter).

Doncic, the Western Conference winner, led Dallas to a 3-1 week with averages of 31.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 9.0 APG and 2.3 SPG on .494/.429/.818 shooting. The highlight performance of his stellar week was Friday’s victory in Houston, when he recorded 50 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists and three steals on great efficiency (.567/.500/.833 splits). Doncic has accumulated eight player of the week awards since 2019/20, the most in the West over that span, per the Mavs (Twitter link).

Siakam, the East’s winner, led Toronto to a 2-1 week while averaging 38.7 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 7.3 APG and 1.3 SPG on .527/.368/.838 shooting. In Wednesday’s victory in New York, he racked up 52 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and one steal on .680/.333/.889 shooting.

According to the NBA (Twitter link), the other nominees in the West were Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nikola Jokic, Lauri Markkanen and CJ McCollum, while Jarrett Allen, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Haliburton, Franz Wagner and Trae Young were nominated in the East.