Phoenix Suns

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/23/17

Here are today’s D-League assignments and recalls:

Suns To Waive Jared Sullinger, Mike Scott

The Suns will waive Jared Sullinger and Mike Scott, both acquired in trades today, and plan to sign Ronnie Price for the rest of the season, tweets Doug Haller of AZ Central Sports.

Phoenix received Sullinger and two second-round draft picks from Toronto in exchange for P.J. Tucker. Sullinger missed most of the season after foot surgery in October and played in just 11 games for the Raptors.

Scott was acquired from Atlanta along with the draft rights to Cenk Akyol and cash considerations in exchange for a protected second-round pick. This was Scott’s fifth season with the Hawks, but he had fallen out of the rotation and appeared in just 18 games.

Price had signed two 10-day contracts with the Suns, with the last one expiring February 15th. The 33-year-old point guard saw action in just two games.

Suns Acquire Mike Scott

6:00pm: Phoenix received Scott, the draft rights to Cenk Akyol and cash considerations in exchange for a protected second-round pick, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

2:01pm: The Hawks will send Mike Scott to the Suns in exchange for cash compensation, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Although an initial report suggested that the Hawks would also receive a heavily-protected second-round draft pick, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (via Twitter) that no pick is involved — just cash.

Phoenix has 15 players under contract, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates, so an additional roster move will be needed. Phoenix entered the day with roughly $13.2MM in available salary cap space, though that was before the P.J. Tucker deal as well as this trade.

Scott spent his entire career in Atlanta after the team selected him with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2012 draft. The 28-year-old power forward has seen his role on the Hawks fluctuate this season. He’s seen action in just 18 contests where he’s averaged 2.5 points per game.

Raptors Acquire P.J. Tucker

5:42pm: The deal is official, according to a release from the Raptors (Twitter link).

2:21pm: The two picks heading to the Suns in the deal are the Raptors’ unprotected second-rounders in 2017 and 2018, tweets Gambadoro.

2:04pm: The Suns will trade P.J. Tucker to the Raptors, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. In return, Toronto will send Jared Sullinger and two future second-round draft picks to Phoenix (Twitter links).

Earlier today, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported Tucker’s asking price to be a first-round draft pick, which several teams balked at. Tucker fills an obvious defensive need for Toronto. According to Gambadoro, the team views him as an option to guard LeBron James in the postseason (Twitter link).

Phoenix’s return appears to fall short of their first-round pick expectations. Sullinger has struggled in 2016/17, making slow progress from a fractured right foot. The former Buckeye is signed through the season on a $5,628,000 deal, having received most of his playing time in the D-League. He looks like a buyout candidate.

As Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes, Tucker’s bird rights were a crucial element of this trade (Twitter link). Tucker, who is on the last season of a three-year, $16.5MM contract, presumably stands a chance of re-signing with Toronto following the season.

Trade Rumors: Sixers, Bradley, Tucker, Bogut

The Sixers are seeking deals for defensive-oriented guards capable of playing alongside Ben Simmons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia has targeted Celtics guard Avery Bradley, but hasn’t gained any traction.

With Marcus Smart playing well lately and Jaylen Brown viewed as a potential star by the Celtics, Bradley could be somewhat expendable in Boston, but Philadelphia and Boston aren’t necessarily a great match in such a trade. Both teams are loaded with future draft picks, which is likely what the Sixers would offer for Bradley — the Celtics don’t really need any more picks, unless they think they could use them in a package for a star.

Here’s more from around the NBA with the trade deadline less than a half-hour away:

  • At least three teams – the Pelicans, Cavaliers, and Celtics – have opted against meeting the Suns‘ asking price of a first-round pick for P.J. Tucker, reports John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers don’t expect to flip Andrew Bogut in another trade before the deadline, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides will immediately begin buyout discussions.
  • At this point, the Nuggets don’t expect to make any moves before the deadline, sources tell Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter link).
  • The Pacers are still trying to fortify their roster, and remain in talks with the Kings about Arron Afflalo, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.

Trade Rumors: Muhammad, Raptors, Collison, Mavs

The Timberwolves are “determined” to move Shabazz Muhammad today and hope to land a draft pick in return, reports TNT’s David Aldridge (via Twitter). One report earlier today suggested that Minnesota might attach Muhammad to Ricky Rubio, but Aldridge is unsure if Muhammad would be included in a potential Rubio/Derrick Rose swap.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) has heard that Raptors players would like to see the team acquire Suns forward P.J. Tucker, in the hopes of getting someone capable of defending LeBron James in the postseason.
  • Darren Collison, who is on an expiring contract, is drawing interest from many teams, but the Kings are holding firm on their asking price of a first-round pick, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. An earlier report identified the Bucks as a potential Collison suitor, but Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link) says Milwaukee hasn’t engaged in talks with the Kings.
  • Now that they’ve found a taker for Andrew Bogut, the Mavericks have shifted their focus to a possible Deron Williams deal, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Wizards are exploring the market for a possible deal for a point guard, sources tell Kyler (Twitter link).
  • The Warriors aren’t active today, and figure to focus on the buyout market if they want to bolster their bench, according to Kyler (Twitter link).

Suns Seek Expiring Deal, Second-Rounder For Knight

The Suns are seeking an expiring contract and a high second-round pick for combo guard Brandon Knight, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.

As we pointed out in our Trade Candidate series last month, Phoenix has been actively shopping Knight since the offseason, with the emergence of Devin Booker making him expendable. The Suns have talked to the Magic, Kings, Sixers and Bulls about Knight, who still has three years and nearly $44MM remaining on his contract after this season.

Knight, 25, has seen his playing time diminish this season and he briefly dropped out of the rotation. He’s averaging 11.0 PPG and 2.4 APG in 21.1 MPG this season, after posting a career-high 19.4 PPG and 5.1 APG in 36.0 MPG last season.

Celtics Rumors: Butler, George, Bogut, Fultz

The Celtics remain hopeful of acquiring either Jimmy Butler or Paul George before the trade deadline but it’s more likely they’ll hold onto their main assets, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports.

One sticking point is that GM Danny Ainge is reluctant to part with the first-round pick the Net owe them this summer via a swap of positions, Bulpett continues. An agent with connections to the potential deal between the Bulls and Boston informed Bulpett that Ainge’s unwillingness to deal the pick scuttled preliminary discussions. The Pacers would likely want that same pick as part of any deal involving George, Bulpett speculates.

Unless a blockbuster deal is worked out that would give them a serious chance of supplanting the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics have no real incentive to move their most prized assets, the thinking goes in the Boston front office. According to another league executive, teams have offered solid veterans to Boston but Ainge only wants to a “real star” for those assets, Bulpett writes in a separate column.

Other nuggets involving the Celtics possible moves:

  • Andrew Bogut, whom the Mavs agreed to trade to the Sixers today, could be re-routed to the Celtics, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. However, ESPN’s Chris Haynes tweets that Philadelphia is expected to engage in buyout talks with the veteran center.
  • Ainge wants to remain a player in this summer’s free agent market unless he can obtain a franchise cornerstone today or via the draft, according to Bulpett. If the Celtics end up holding onto the Nets pick, Washington freshman Markelle Fultz could be the player they’re coveting.
  • A lesser trade involving a forward such as the Grizzlies’ JaMychal Green or Suns’ P.J. Tucker remains a possibility, Bulpett adds.

Trade Rumors: KCP, OKC, Afflalo, Knight, Ezeli

While the Pistons have been open to listening to inquiries on anyone, few – if any – players on their roster have received as much interest as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Speaking to reporters, including Rod Beard of The Detroit News, Stan Van Gundy confirmed that KCP’s future has been one of the main topics discussed as of late by the Pistons, who will have to make a big long-term commitment to the shooting guard this summer if they keep him.

“That’s something you have to make decisions about and deal with. I’m not getting into specifics at this point, but that has been a significant part of what we’ve talked about,” Van Gundy said of the RFA-to-be. “He was probably the most urgent decision because of that and the money coming and what it means in terms of the cap and the (luxury) tax. We’ve talked about it internally and we’ve talked about it with (team owner) Tom (Gores). We know exactly what’s coming and we’re making informed decisions.”

Here are several more trade rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • The Thunder are being aggressive as the trade deadline nears, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter links), who adds Doug McDermott to the list of players on Oklahoma City’s radar. OKC was linked to another Bulls forward – Taj Gibson – earlier today.
  • League executives believe the Kings will move Arron Afflalo today, says Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee adds (via Twitter) that Afflalo is more likely to be dealt than Ben McLemore, who has impressed some people within the organization lately. Afflalo has been linked to Indiana and Oklahoma City this week.
  • Brandon Knight wouldn’t mind a change of scenery, but the Suns have set their asking price too high in the past in talks with the Magic, Kings, Sixers, and Bulls, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. As Amick observes, it remains to be seen whether that will change today.
  • The Trail Blazers continue to try to find a taker for Festus Ezeli‘s contract, per ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link).
  • Although Bucks general manager John Hammond likes to make trades, league executives say Milwaukee has been “low key” in trade talks this week, according to Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • The Cavaliers continue to work on deals that could fortify their roster, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team ultimately rely on the buyout market instead, tweets Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Deveney’s Latest: Tucker, Favors, Gallinari, Anthony

P.J. Tucker‘s expiring, affordable contract makes him the player most likely to be dealt before today’s trade deadline, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. The Suns are holding out for a first-round pick for the veteran small forward, even if it’s a future first-rounder that they can use down the road as an asset, Deveney continues. The Jazz, Celtics, Clippers, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Hawks and Bulls have all shown interest in Tucker, giving the Suns hope they can get a first-round pick for him, Deveney adds.

Deveney touched on a number of other players who could be wearing a different uniform by the end of the day:

  • Luxury-tax concerns have the Jazz exploring the market for power forward Derrick Favors. Rudy Gobert‘s extension kicks in next season and Utah is hopeful of re-signing Gordon Hayward in the likelihood he opts out of the final year of his current contract this summer. That makes Favors expendable but his nagging knee injury has tempered the market for him.
  • Danilo Gallinari is drawing more interest on the market than fellow Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler. Denver is seeking a first-rounder for either player but Gallinari’s ability to opt out of his contract after the season makes it more difficult for the Nuggets to get value for him.
  • Carmelo Anthony is likely to stay put unless Knicks president Phil Jackson can revive talks with the Clippers. Jackson is also trying to deal free agents he signed last summer — Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah — for draft picks.
  • The Hawks, Hornets and Bucks have shown interest in point guard Darren Collison as the Kings continue their latest rebuild in the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins blockbuster.
  • The Bulls, Pacers and possibly the Mavericks are still in play as potential suitors for Sixers power forward Jahlil Okafor but Philadelphia is not determined to move him unless it gets the right package.
  • The Mavericks are hopeful of getting a first-rounder for either Andrew Bogut or Deron Williams but may be willing to settle for a couple of second-rounders.
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