Patrick Beverley

Trade Rumors: Irving, Lakers, Walker, Rozier, Mavs, More

Many around the league believe Kyrie Irving‘s preferred landing spot is the Lakers, according to reports from Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports and Marc Stein at Substack, among others.

Count Lakers legend Magic Johnson, formerly the team’s president of basketball operations, as a supporter of acquiring Irving.

Personally, I’d love to see Kyrie in the purple and gold,” he said (via Twitter).

Irving, of course, won a championship with LeBron James while the two were on the Cavaliers in 2015/16. James also acknowledged Irving’s trade request, cryptically tweeting out an eye emoji and a crown.

However, the Nets are expected to be a buyer at the deadline, which could complicate matters, Stein notes. It’s hard to imagine getting equal value for Irving considering the market for him is reportedly pretty thin.

The Lakers do indeed have interest in Irving, sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic. The likely framework would be Russell Westbrook and their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in exchange for Irving and Joe Harris, per Buha’s sources.

L.A. would push to lottery-protect at least one of those picks, according to Buha, who suggests a third team might have to be involved, depending on Brooklyn’s goals. The Lakers don’t have interest in trading Austin Reaves or Max Christie in a potential Irving package, sources tell Buha.

Interestingly, Lonnie Walker and Patrick Beverley could be involved in an Irving deal or in another trade in order to upgrade the rotation, Buha reports. Beverley’s inclusion is no surprise, but this is the first time this season I’ve seen Walker’s name involved in trade rumors.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers have reportedly had preliminary talks with the Jazz regarding Westbrook, but they remain interested in Hornets guard Terry Rozier, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
  • Executives with knowledge of Dallas’ plans tell Goodwill that the Mavericks would definitely take Irving, the question is at what cost. Head coach Jason Kidd is a proponent of acquiring the star point guard, according to Fischer’s sources. Dallas has “confidence in Kidd’s coaching ability to connect with Irving,” Stein writes.
  • There isn’t universal agreement within the Mavericks‘ organization about adding Irving, however. Some front office members have concerns about Irving’s long-term fit with Luka Doncic, according to sources Tim Cato of The Athletic spoke to. The concern is centered on how they’d mesh in the locker room, as they have “drastically different off-court personas.”
  • According to Stein, the Nets are believed to be interested Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in a potential Irving deal, but the Mavericks “would surely insist” on trying to shed the contract of either Tim Hardaway Jr. or Davis Bertans. Dinwiddie played for the Nets from 2016-2021, so they’re very familiar with him as a person and player.
  • The Mavericks are also interested in Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, as “they’re desperate and determined” to get help for Doncic, says Goodwill.

Trade Candidate Watch: Veteran Guards

Leading up to the February 9 trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA. We’re continuing today with a handful of veteran guards.


D’Angelo Russell, Timberwolves

2022/23: $31.4MM

2023/24: UFA

Like many players on Minnesota’s roster, Russell had a slow start to the season, averaging 14.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.7 APG and 1.3 SPG on a sub-optimal .425/.318/.759 shooting line (53.1 true shooting percentage) through the end of November (22 games, 31.3 MPG).

However, he has been on fire ever since, averaging 20.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 5.9 APG and 1.0 SPG on .496/.441/.931 shooting (65.7 TS%) over his past 27 games (34.4 MPG).

Overall, he is averaging 17.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 6.2 APG and 1.1 SPG. He’s posting career-best shooting splits from all over the court, including 54.2% on twos, 39.1% on threes (46.6% from the field), and 87.1% from the free throw line, for a career-high (by far) 60.5 TS%.

Part of the reason he’s had so much success scoring lately is because the Wolves been using him more off the ball – he’s shooting 39.3% on catch-and-shoot threes, per NBA.com. It will be difficult for the Wolves to replace the former All-Star’s production, as they rank just 18th in 3PT%, and he has been the team’s second-leading scorer with Karl-Anthony Towns injured.

That’s not to say he’s a perfect player by any means, as he has always been a below-average defender and rebounder who can frustrate with lack of effort. His decision-making can also be questionable at times, which is why he’s best utilized as more of a combo guard than a traditional point.

Russell, who turns 27 next month, is not making it an easy decision for the Wolves to move him in his contract year. They have been winning lately, and he’s had a big role in that. Do they want to pay him in free agency if they don’t extend him, especially after last year’s poor playoff performance?

Mike Conley, Jazz

2022/23: $22.7MM

2023/24: $24.4MM ($14.3MM guaranteed)

Conley, on the other hand, is more of a traditional pass-first floor general, with an elite 4.73-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. At 35 years old, he is on the downside of his career, but the Jazz have been better (+2.0 net rating) when he’s on the court, going 21-19 when he plays and 5-7 without him.

While he isn’t scoring much this season (10.3 PPG), Conley is dishing out a career-high 7.6 APG, and his 36.6% mark from deep is above league average. He’s fallen off a little more on the other end – Conley used to be one of the better point-of-attack defenders in the league, but isn’t as quick as he once was.

The big thing with Conley isn’t whether he provides an immediate positive impact (he does), it’s more about paying a small, aging point guard $24.4MM next season. His large partial guarantee makes it impractical to waive him, because whichever team he’s on would still be on the hook for a substantial amount.

Patrick Beverley, Lakers

2022/23: $13MM

2023/24: UFA

As is the case with Russell, it’s been a tale of two halves for Beverley. Through 20 games (26.9 MPG), he was averaging just 4.5 PPG on a miserable .298/.234/.760 shooting slash line.

Over the past 21 games (26.7 MPG), that has completely flipped, as he’s averaging 8.2 PPG on an excellent .473/.434/.875 shooting line. He’s up to 34.7% from deep on the season, which isn’t great, but it’s respectable (his career mark is 37.6%).

Beverley’s fit with the Lakers has been a little more awkward than anticipated, but it’s probably not a coincidence that he’s been playing some of his best basketball while two other guards (Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker) have been injured (Walker just returned on Saturday against Boston). That’s more a product of poor roster construction than anything against the players individually.

The 34-year-old is a natural trade candidate because he’s the only player on the roster who makes more than $7MM and less than $37MM, plus his deal expires at the end of the season. Beverley’s improved play of late makes him more than just a salary-matching piece – the Lakers will need a legitimate upgrade if they move him, even if it almost seems inevitable.

Seth Curry, Nets

2022/23: $8.5MM

2023/24: UFA

Fun fact: Curry is the NBA’s active leader with a career mark of 43.9% from three-point range, good for third-best all-time. In ’22/23, he’s shooting 43.8% from deep.

Curry, who turns 33 this summer, is an impending free agent with an affordable expiring contract. He got off to a slow start following offseason ankle surgery, but he is a very good offensive player due to his elite shooting (he’s also great on mid-range pull-ups).

The problem is he’s only 6’2” and is definitely more of a two guard than a lead ball-handler. He has always been a negative defensively.

Curry would provide value on a lot of teams – the main issue is the Nets have multiple small guards who can shoot and struggle defensively, making his skill set a little redundant. Adding frontcourt size and depth seems like it should be a priority.


Note: This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive, just a brief overview. There are a number of other guards that have been in the rumor mill, including Kyle Lowry (though he seems unlikely to be traded), Russell Westbrook (ditto), Bones Hyland, Derrick Rose, R.J. Hampton, Grayson Allen and Gary Harris, among others.

Pincus’ Latest: VanVleet, Rozier, Russell, Conley, More

There’s a huge market for Fred VanVleet if the Raptors decide to trade him, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

The 28-year-old guard will be a free agent this summer if he turns down a $22.8MM player option, which Pincus says many league insiders expect to happen. VanVleet can negotiate an extension with Toronto through June 30, but the Raptors could try to move him before the deadline if they aren’t confident about reaching a new deal.

Pincus hears that the Heat, Lakers, Clippers, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Suns and Wizards would be among the most interested teams if VanVleet is made available. He also throws in the Magic, who are seeking an experienced lead guard to play alongside their young core.

The Raptors will want a premium price if they decide to part with VanVleet, Pincus adds, with some combination of young talent, draft assets and players on team-friendly contracts.

Pincus looks at a few other guards who could be changing teams before the deadline:

  • With the Hornets near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, they may be willing to consider trading Terry Rozier, who has three more years and nearly $75MM left on his contract. Pincus notes that Charlotte discussed dealing Rozier to the Lakers last offseason and points out that Marc Stein recently identified the Suns as a possible suitor.
  • Pincus hears that the Heat, Suns, Mavericks and Clippers would all be interested in trading for D’Angelo Russell if the Timberwolves can’t reach an extension soon with the impending free agent.
  • Pincus lists the Lakers, Clippers and Timberwolves as teams in the market for Mike Conley if the Jazz decide to part with their veteran point guard. Conley has a $14.32MM guarantee on his $24.4MM salary for next season and would be much cheaper to acquire than Van Vleet.
  • Eric Gordon is attracting interest from the Suns, Lakers and Bucks, but Pincus believes the Rockets may not get the first-round pick they want in return. He suggests Houston might have to settle for a pick swap, using the 2023 first-rounder the team is owed from Milwaukee.
  • The Lakers haven’t given up trying to trade Russell Westbrook, but Pincus says they’re not willing to part with their two available first-round picks unless they get a star in return. He adds that L.A. may focus on smaller deals involving Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker in an effort to find wing depth or a backup big man.
  • The Hawks aren’t looking to move Trae Young now, but a source tells Pincus that it could be a consideration during the offseason. Young has clashed with coach Nate McMillan, and Atlanta’s overall turmoil may lead the team to seek a fresh start.

Lakers Rumors: Hachimura, Reddish, Beverley, Bogdanovic

The Lakers and Wizards discussed the Rui Hachimura trade for several days before reaching an agreement, with the level of draft compensation serving as the primary sticking point, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers were originally exploring the trade market to see what they could get for Kendrick Nunn and two second-round picks, and could have landed Knicks forward Cam Reddish for such a package. However, Los Angeles preferred Hachimura and ultimately reached a compromise with the Wizards – who originally sought a first-round pick for the former lottery selection – by adding a third second-rounder.

Hachimura is expected to command an eight-figure annual salary as a free agent, sources tell Buha, and Fischer has heard similar rumblings, writing that the current expectation is that the forward’s price will be around $10MM per year. That figure could increase though if Hachimura emerges as the Lakers’ third-best player behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis down the stretch though, Fischer acknowledges.

Either way, if the Lakers hope to re-sign Hachimura, which sounds like the plan, his new deal will significantly cut into the cap room they’ll be able to create this summer.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • It’s unclear if Hachimura will start immediately, but the expectation is that he’ll be part of the starting five once he gets acclimated and the rotation is settled, Buha writes. The former Wizards forward could make his Lakers debut as early as Wednesday, tweets Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.
  • With Davis on track to return in the near future, the Lakers want to continue evaluating their roster to determine whether to use their remaining assets to make a minor or major roster upgrade, according to Buha. While the team is willing to do something more substantial, the most likely move at this point is dealing Patrick Beverley and a lottery-protected first-round pick for a wing or frontcourt player, Buha adds.
  • Although the Lakers continue to be frequently linked to Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, there’s a gap between how the two sides view his value. League sources tell Buha that Detroit is seeking at least an unprotected first-round pick, while L.A. is thus far only willing to give up a lottery-protected first-rounder.
  • In a column for The Los Angeles Times, Woike says the acquisition of Hachimura is a smart, sensible move for the Lakers, even if it’s not a blockbuster. Zach Kram of The Ringer is underwhelmed by the move, arguing that Hachimura is a “single-dimensional scorer” and a subpar defender who won’t move the needle on L.A.’s playoff chances.

Lakers Notes: Davis, Trade Market, LeBron, Bryant, Christie

The foot injury that Anthony Davis suffered last week has decreased the chances that the Lakers will gamble on a major trade, multiple sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic. He adds that the only exception would be if the team can acquire a young star that it believes can succeed alongside Davis over the next few years.

Even before the Davis injury, the Lakers’ front office wasn’t confident that there was a trade available that would turn the team into contenders, Buha states. He suggests the most likely current scenario is a deal that would include some combination of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and a protected first-rounder in either 2027 or 2029 in exchange for a 3-and-D wing or a combo forward.

Along with the players who have already been linked to the Lakers in trade talks, Buha’s sources point to the SunsJae Crowder, the RocketsEric Gordon, the PistonsAlec Burks, the HornetsTerry RozierP.J. Washington and Kelly Oubre Jr. and the SpursJosh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl as players to watch.

There’s more on the Lakers, all from Buha:

  • LeBron James has posted four straight 30-point games, but his playing time is starting to become a concern. He’s averaged 39.2 minutes over the past five games, and the Lakers need to be careful that they don’t rely too heavily on him. Buha notes that James, who will turn 38 next week, ranks sixth in minutes per game among players with at least 50 total games over the past two seasons.
  • The loss of Davis has been eased somewhat by the emergence of Thomas Bryant. Buha states that Bryant was considered “almost unplayable” before Davis got hurt, but he’s averaging 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in the last three games while shooting 61.1% from the field and 55.6% from three-point range. The 25-year-old center joined the Lakers during the offseason on a veteran’s minimum contract and will be a free agent again next summer.
  • Rookie shooting guard Max Christie recently moved into the rotation and may be playing well enough to stay there. The second-round pick provides a much-needed 3-and-D option for coach Darvin Ham, and he’s one of the best rebounders among the team’s guards.
  • The starting backcourt of Beverley and Dennis Schroder hasn’t performed well, and Buha wonders why Ham keeps playing them together. The Lakers are minus-50 in 161 minutes when they’re on the court at the same time, and their skills seem to be redundant.

Pacific Notes: Sabonis, Kings, Suns, Booker, Beverley

Before Kings center Domantas Sabonis racked up 28 points, 23 rebounds, and seven assists in Sunday’s loss to Charlotte, head coach Mike Brown said there’s “no question” that the big man should be an All-Star this season, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Sunday’s performance increased Sabonis’ season-long averages to 18.0 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and 6.4 APG. He’s also shooting a career-best 62.7% from the floor.

“If you don’t vote for him to be an All-Star, in my opinion, you don’t know basketball because what he’s doing, it’s almost on a historic level, and I’m not just talking about his ability to score or his ability to pass,” Brown said.

As impressive as Sabonis has been, the Kings are still seeking a reliable backup at the center position. The team began the season with Richaun Holmes playing that role, then turned to Chimezie Metu. On Sunday, two-way player Neemias Queta got a look, playing seven minutes in just his second appearance of the season. Brown said on Sunday that Holmes and Queta will get more opportunities, per Anderson, and that he expects to continue experimenting until he finds a reliable option in that spot.

“I can’t run Domas 40 minutes every night,” Brown said, according to Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee. “So I need to find a guy in that spot who’s going to defend, run the floor, spell Domas for six, eight minutes a half, and play as hard as he as can while following the game plan. Not fouling, boxing out, doing all the little things that need to keep that group solid for those six to eight minutes. We’ve found it in spurts. But I want to get to a point where it can be a little bit more consistent, so I’m going to keep searching until I feel like that person is there.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Although Suns owner Robert Sarver was suspended and fined by the NBA and is now planning to sell the team, a number of current and former Suns employees are still wondering whether other executives who contributed to creating a toxic workplace will face any punishment, reports Baxter Holmes of ESPN. CEO Jason Rowley is among those accused of mistreating staffers. As Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports tweets, the club put out a statement claiming that there are “factual inaccuracies” in Holmes’ report and that the franchise’s leaders have taken accountability for the allegations found to have merit.
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams blamed himself for the groin injury that sidelined Devin Booker on Monday. “Let’s be straight, I played him way too many minutes,” Williams said (Twitter link via Bourguet). “I can’t look at anybody else when I put players in harm’s way.”
  • Suns point guard Chris Paul brushed off a taunt from Lakers guard Patrick Beverley on Monday, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Beverley made a “too small” gesture when he converted an and-one against CP3 that cut L.A.’s deficit from 26 points to 23. “You can’t pay attention to that stuff,” Paul said. “That ain’t new. He ain’t come up with it. But just play basketball, man.” Beverley was suspended three games for shoving Deandre Ayton the last time the two teams faced one another.

Lakers’ James, Suns’ Booker Out For Monday’s Matchup

Lakers star LeBron James has been ruled out for Monday’s contest in Phoenix due to left ankle soreness, tweets Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group.

Guard Austin Reaves will also be sidelined with a right ankle sprain, while fellow guard Patrick Beverley is questionable with right calf soreness.

It will be James’ eighth missed game thus far in 2022/23, and the timing isn’t great since Anthony Davis is reportedly out for at least a month after injuring his right foot in Friday’s win over Denver. However, it’s the second game of a back-to-back — the Lakers defeated the Wizards on Sunday night — so the team is likely being cautious with its star forward, who will turn 38 on December 30.

Losing Reaves is a big blow as well. His counting stats are fairly modest — he’s averaging 10.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 2.1 APG through 29 games (29.5 MPG) — but his efficiency is elite: his shooting slash line is .521/.391/.915, including a .680 true shooting percentage. It will be the 24-year-old’s first missed game of 2022/23.

The Suns will also be without their best player, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Shooting guard Devin Booker, who was previously listed as questionable with groin soreness, has been downgraded to out for tonight’s game against the Lakers.

Booker scored a season-high 58 points in Saturday’s victory over New Orleans, but he’d been dealing with left hamstring tightness early last week, which caused him to miss a couple games. It’s unclear if the two injuries are related or how long the 26-year-old might be sidelined, but the fact that he was initially deemed questionable seems to indicate that he should be back in action fairly soon.

Lakers Notes: Davis Injury, LeBron, Westbrook

The Lakers haven’t issued an official statement on the status of Anthony Davis, but a weekend report indicating he will miss at least a month with an injured right foot could alter the course of their season and their approach to the trade deadline, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

Specialists were still evaluating Davis as of Sunday night, and coach Darvin Ham suggested the team may release more information on the injury on Monday. L.A. is 12th in the West at 13-16 and is entering a tough part of the schedule with seven of its next eight games on the road.

Davis’ injury and how it might affect management’s approach to upgrading the roster were among the topics at Sunday’s post-game press conference.

“Not a question for me,” LeBron James said. “I have no idea. When I’m playing, I show up, prepare, go to work and get my guys ready to go win a basketball game. I play the game, I’m not in the front office, so we’ll see. But I’m focused on the game and us trying to win basketball games, especially when I’m out on the floor.”

As James left the media session, Buha adds, he told a reporter, “Go ask (general manager) Rob (Pelinka) those questions.”

There’s more from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers are already facing inflated prices on the trade market as rival teams understand they’re under pressure to make a deal, reports Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. As an example, he states that the Jazz asked L.A. for a first-round pick in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic before the season began, but ultimately traded him to Detroit without getting a first-rounder in return. Pincus notes that the Lakers were “conflicted internally” about risking their future on any trade that didn’t make them an obvious contender, even before the Davis injury. If Davis is lost for an extended stretch, Pincus suggests L.A. might focus on smaller moves such as adding a free agent center (maybe DeMarcus Cousins) and seeing what it can get for Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and second-round picks.
  • James’ situation is unprecedented for a player of his age and talent, per Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated. Although he’s still performing at an all-NBA level as he nears his 38th birthday, James faces the prospect of another non-playoff season.
  • While Davis is sidelined, James will likely see some time at center, which was effective last season, according to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. There will also be an increased focus on James’ pairing with Russell Westbrook, as Goon notes that with Westbrook’s move to a reserve role they have shared the court for just 17.2 minutes per game this season.

Timberwolves Notes: Reid, Beverley, Ryan, Anderson

With Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert unavailable on Friday night, Timberwolves center Naz Reid got his first start of the season in Oklahoma City and delivered in a big way. The big man’s 28 points were easily a season high, and he also chipped in nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals. The Wolves outscored the Thunder by 21 points with Reid on the floor in a game they won by just two points.

The performance was a reminder of why the Wolves have been trying to lock up Reid to a contract extension for several months, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter links), who says the 23-year-old’s best play might be to wait for unrestricted free agency.

As we noted when news of Reid’s extension negotiations with the team first broke, Minnesota could offer up to about $58MM over four years, and I’m skeptical he’ll do better than that as a free agent. But perhaps it makes sense for him to see what else is available on the open market, especially if the Wolves’ offers have been modest.

Although Reid is in a contract year, Wolfson doesn’t expect Minnesota to seriously consider trading him before the February deadline, arguing that it would be hard to get fair value for him and noting that the Wolves still have “lofty” goals for this season that Reid can help them achieve (Twitter links).

Here are a few more Timberwolves notes:

  • Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic discusses a bevy of Timberwolves-related topics in his latest mailbag, addressing the team’s apparent leadership void, D’Angelo Russell‘s trade value, and Anthony Edwards‘ development, among many other topics. Krawczynski also responds to the recent report that said Patrick Beverley would welcome a return to Minnesota if he’s traded and then bought out, suggesting a reunion this season looks like a “long shot.”
  • New Timberwolves sharpshooter Matt Ryan, who signed a two-way contract with the team last Thursday, said earlier this week that everyone in Minnesota has made him feel welcome and that he’s hoping to get more of an opportunity to play than he did with the Lakers. “I thought that I was one of the better shooters on the (Lakers), but the opportunity wasn’t there for whatever reasons,” Ryan said, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “Now coming here, from the feedback I’ve gotten, their three-point shooting is struggling and it’s just, ‘Be ready.'”
  • Britt Robson of MinnPost.com takes a look at the “near-comprehensive competence” of forward Kyle Anderson and explores what he has brought to the Timberwolves. Minnesota used most of its mid-level exception to bring in Anderson over the summer.

Fischer’s Latest: Poeltl, Vucevic, Beverley, Bey, More

Spurs center Jakob Poeltl will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in 2023, and he’s looking forward to having more say in his future.

I’ve never been in this situation where unrestricted free agency is coming up. It’s a cool situation for sure, because in the NBA, a lot of times you are — I don’t want to say stuck — but it feels like you’re a little bit of a pawn. They can just trade you around wherever they want,” Poeltl told Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. “It’s not the mentality you should have while you’re playing, but it’s the reality of it. Your contract can get passed around, more or less, whenever and however they want. So it’s nice to be in this situation where you can kind of decide your own fate and evaluate what’s going to be the best situation for me.”

Assuming Poeltl remains a Spur past the trade deadline, which certainly is not a given, Fischer writes re-signing with San Antonio “appears to be an option he will strongly consider.” Fischer polled league executives to gauge how much the 27-year-old might fetch on the open market, and the range was between $15-25MM annually.

The Raptors continue to be listed as a potential trade suitor for their former player, sources tell Fischer.

Here are some more trade rumors from Fischer:

  • The Bulls are not currently discussing a contract extension with center Nikola Vucevic, sources tell Fischer. He adds that Chicago never seriously considered renegotiating his deal. According to Fischer, the Bulls have been telling rival teams inquiring about trades that “they believe they can make the playoffs when healthy.” However, the latest report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski might damper that prospect.
  • The first-round pick the Lakers offered the Pistons for Bojan Bogdanovic was “heavily protected,” according to Fischer, who hears from sources that Patrick Beverley hopes to rejoin the Timberwolves if he’s dealt to a rebuilding club like Detroit and reaches a buyout agreement. Beverley and Kendrick Nunn were included in L.A.’s offer for salary-matching purposes.
  • Multiple rival teams tell Fischer that the Pistons are seeking an unprotected first-rounder for forward Saddiq Bey. The 23-year-old still has one additional year left on his rookie scale contract after being selected with the No. 19 pick of the 2020 draft. He’s having a down season from three-point range, but is getting to the free throw line at a career-best clip.
  • The Knicks were “eager” to make a deal before December 9 so they could have potentially aggregated incoming salaries again before the February 9 deadline, sources tell Fischer. One of their early targets was Rockets guard Eric Gordon, per Fischer. Houston continues to seek a future first-round pick for the 33-year-old, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reported earlier on Wednesday.
  • Sources tell Fischer that the Pacers are looking for an upgrade at power forward to join their young core, and he believes Indiana could be a potential destination for Hawks big man John Collins. Fischer hears from sources that the Pacers are giving the impression that they’re open to extending Myles Turner, though there hadn’t been any recent talks on that front prior to Turner switching agents. However, Fischer says Turner “would certainly be amenable” to continuing his career in Indiana.