Andrew Wiggins

Pacific Notes: Wiggins, Suns, S. Lee, Fox, Huerter, Reddish

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins will miss his second straight game on Thursday vs. New York due to personal reasons, with Anthony Slater of The Athletic describing the absence as a “family matter.” It’s unclear when Wiggins will return to the lineup, though head coach Steve Kerr said the team expects him back at some point.

Don’t know,” Kerr said of a return timeline. “We’ll obviously respect Andrew’s wishes for this to remain private. Personal reasons.”

As Slater notes, Wiggins missed the final 25 games of the 2022/23 season due to personal reasons, returning just before the postseason began.

Here are a few more notes from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns have an open roster spot. Veterans Mike Muscala (Pistons) and Patty Mills (Hawks) were recently waived by their former clubs, with Muscala reaching a buyout agreement. Would Phoenix be interested in either of those players? John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 says the answer is no (Twitter links). The Suns are much more likely to convert Saben Lee‘s two-way contract to a standard deal, according to Gambadoro, who says (via Twitter) the odds of that happening are “very high.” It’s worth noting that Lee, who was the 38th pick of the 2020 draft, is in his fourth NBA season — he will not be eligible for two-way contracts in 2024/25 and beyond.
  • After building an early lead on Wednesday against the Nuggets, the Kings wound up being blown out in Denver without star point guard De’Aaron Fox, writes Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee. Fox, who sustained a left knee contusion in Monday’s loss to Miami, went through the team’s shootaround yesterday morning and his pregame shooting routine prior to being ruled out, which seemingly indicates the injury is relatively minor.
  • According to Biderman, guard Kevin Huerter was frustrated with his lack of playing time following Wednesday’s game, in which he played just 18 minutes. “I don’t know if I could put my finger on one (thing),” Huerter said of the Kings being outscored by 35 points over the second and third quarters. “I wish I was out there to help us more though.” Huerter declined to expand on those comments, but Biderman points out that the 25-year-old is playing a career-low 25.2 minutes per game and briefly lost his starting job in December before reclaiming it.
  • After missing the previous 14 games with a right ankle sprain, Lakers wing Cam Reddish returned to action in Wednesday’s win over the Clippers, per Khobi Price of The Southern Califnornia News Group. The former lottery pick played 20 minutes and supplanted second-year guard/forward Max Christie in the rotation, Price adds.

Warriors Notes: Paul, Wiggins, Moody, Rotation, Curry, Kerr

Playing on Tuesday for the first time since January 5 after recovering from a left hand fracture, Chris Paul helped lead the Warriors to a victory in Washington, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. In 22 minutes off the bench, Paul contributed nine points, six assists, four rebounds, and four steals. The Warriors, who won the game by 11 points, outscored the Wizards by 17 during Paul’s time on the floor.

“All season long, he’s been such a high performer,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the win. “All of our best lineups, he’s in.”

As Slater notes, the Warriors initially expected to finally have their full rotation available on Tuesday, but Andrew Wiggins missed the game for personal reasons. Kerr, who didn’t offer any specifics on when Wiggins might rejoin the team, inserted Moses Moody into the starting lineup in his place. Although Moody had been out of the rotation, Kerr didn’t want to alter his new second unit, which now features Paul playing alongside Klay Thompson.

When Wiggins returns, Golden State will have no shortage of rotation options, with Moody and Lester Quinones likely among those on the outside looking in. Slater suggests that Stephen Curry, Brandin Podziemski, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green, Gary Payton II, Wiggins, Paul, and Thompson will all be candidates for closing lineups, with Dario Saric, Kevon Looney, and Trayce Jackson-Davis vying for minutes too.

“Steve said he’ll try to figure it out,” Paul said of potentially playing a reduced role in a crowded rotation. “Said sometimes he might mess it up. But we got a really good group of guys on this team, and we’ll need different things every night. But one thing about me, though, is I know who I am and what I’m capable of. Ain’t no question about that. I’ll always be ready. I think he knows that.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • While Paul figures to spend a little time playing alongside Curry, the plan is to have him on the court for all of the non-Curry minutes, according to Slater. The two-time MVP has shot just 31.5% from the field over the past three games, including 21.6% on three-pointers, so CP3’s return should allow the team to reduce his workload and have him play off the ball a bit more. “Steph has looked tired to me the last couple games,” Kerr said after Sunday’s loss to Denver, per Slater. “It makes sense. He did the All-Star Game stuff, not getting much of a break — three games in four nights. He looks a little tired. These stretches happen.”
  • Kerr said on Tuesday after officially finalizing his two-year contract extension that he felt “very comfortable” signing a relatively short-term deal, writes Kendra Andrews of “We’re in a really unique situation where we have an era that’s winding down and another that’s coming,” Kerr said. “We’re trying to make them merge and make the most of that this year and next year … let’s keep it rolling for another couple of years and then reassess it.”
  • Asked during an appearance on the Club 520 podcast which of the Warriors’ four championship teams was his favorite, Green cited the 2021/22 squad, since it wasn’t viewed as a title favorite entering that postseason. “2022 wasn’t really a championship team (compared to) the championship teams I’ve been on,” Green said (hat tip to “After every series, me and Steph would be walking to do an interview after we won a series, and we’d walk and laugh like, ‘Yo, how are we winning these series right now?'”

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Quinones, Kuminga, Thompson, Green, Paul, Payton

Andrew Wiggins got his wish to stay with the Warriors past the trade deadline, so now he has to prove the team made the correct choice, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Golden State delayed its toughest roster decisions until the summer, Thompson notes, and one of them will surely involve Wiggins, who was spectacular during the run to the 2022 title, but has played a significant role in the team’s failure to meet expectations this season.

The Warriors were barely active at the deadline, with their only move being a trade of Cory Joseph and cash to Indiana for a second-round pick. Thompson points out that they didn’t acquire another wing, a rim protector or a reliable scorer to take some of the burden off Stephen Curry, which means Wiggins will be counted on to contribute in all those areas.

Wiggins was the subject of trade chatter heading into the deadline, and he understood there was a significant possibility that he might be moved. After a disastrous start to the season, he gave the front office a reason to hold onto him with improved play of late, Thompson adds, noting that Wiggins is back in the starting lineup and the unit that coach Steve Kerr uses to close out games.

“At one point,” Wiggins said, “I told myself, ‘It can’t get no worse than this. Keep swinging and you’re gonna get out of it. Sometimes in the NBA, in basketball itself, it can be a roller coaster. Roller coaster of emotions, doubt, uncertainty. But it can also be great things, success. It’s a roller coaster. I’m glad I’m feeling better. On the court, I’m in a greater rhythm.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Two-way player Lester Quinones looks like a strong candidate to have his contract converted and fill the roster opening left by Joseph, according to Andrew Slater of The Athletic. Quinones played regular minutes during the team’s five-game road trip, and Kerr cited the energy and ball pressure he brings to the defense.
  • The Warriors reportedly refused to part with Jonathan Kuminga in trade talks with the Bulls regarding Alex Caruso, and Slater asked general manager Mike Dunleavy if Kuminga is considered untouchable. “Virtually,” Dunleavy said. “I mean, as untouchable as guys can be in this league. He’s certainly at that level. I didn’t see a scenario where Jonathan wouldn’t be on our team after this deadline.”
  • Dunleavy also didn’t rule out the possibility of eventually trading Klay Thompson or Draymond Green despite their role in winning four NBA titles, Slater states in the same piece. “You know, for me personally in this situation, I’m always going to do what’s best for the organization moving forward,” Dunleavy said. “Based on that, that’s how we’re going to operate — whether it’s this deadline, this summer, in the future.”
  • Chris Paul‘s $30MM non-guaranteed contract for next season will give the front office plenty of flexibility this summer, Slater adds. The Warriors can either let Paul go, try to re-sign him at a lower price or work out a trade in which they would guarantee the amount of salary they’re taking back.
  • Gary Payton II, who has been sidelined since January 2 with a strained left hamstring, will return on Saturday, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Kerr told reporters that Payton won’t be on a set minutes restriction.

Knicks Notes: Deadline, Bogdanovic, Burks, Hartenstein, Grimes

No team, including the Knicks, was certain whether Bojan Bogdanovic would be available via trade at the deadline, writes SNY’s Ian Begley. Decision-makers in Detroit were split on whether to keep him and guard Alec Burks, but ultimately decided to move off both.

New York managed to acquire both players, who had been on their radar during various time periods. The Knicks were interested in getting some scoring help off the bench and accomplished that by bringing in Bogdanovic and Burks.

Before figuring out which way the Pistons were leaning in regards to keeping or selling Bogdanovic and Burks, the Knicks checked in on Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins and now-Piston Shake Milton, according to Begley. Milton was ultimately traded from the Timberwolves to Detroit as part of a package for Monte Morris, but it’s clear the Knicks were eager to add scoring to their lineup.

We have more notes on the Knicks:

  • Knicks players were happy about the team acquiring both Bogdanovic and Burks, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post. “I think Leon [Rose] and the front office was cooking,Josh Hart said. While the Villanova trio of Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson and Hart were sad to see fellow alum Ryan Arcidiacono leave as part of the trade, they appear to be on board with what the front office is doing. The Knicks are 16-4 since the New Year but are dealing with a plethora of injuries — including long-term ones with Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. Those injuries left them with an eight-man rotation on Thursday after the deadline, with a bench rotation consisting of a 10-day contract player and a pair of two-way players. Bogdanovic and Burks are expected to provide an instant boost.
  • The Knicks traded their own 2028 and 2029 second-round pick to Detroit in the Bogdanovic/Burks trade, according to The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov (Twitter link). New York also sent $3MM to Detroit.
  • New York’s injury issues got worse on Thursday when center Isaiah Hartenstein exited with a recurring Achilles injury after only 15 minutes of play. He was ruled out for the Knicks’ game against the Pacers on Saturday, according to Botte. Hartenstein is averaging 8.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per agme as a starter this season. With Hartenstein out, Botte writes the Knicks may turn to two-way player Jacob Toppin, who would be squaring off against his brother Obi Toppin. “It was amazing having him on the court with me [in Indiana]. Hopefully we can do that again,” Obi Toppin said last time Indiana visited. “It would be even better if we are able to do that here in New York and at the Garden.
  • Grimes, who was drafted by the Knicks with the 25th overall pick in 2021, expressed his gratitude to the Knicks after being traded to the Pistons on Thursday. “It was an honor to be able to wear a Knicks jersey and represent the city!” Grimes tweeted. “Your love and support throughout the years has meant the world. Forever grateful to the entire Knicks organization, my teammates, and most importantly the fans. THANK YOU, NEW YORK.

Pacific Notes: Bridges, Russell, Thompson, Wiggins, Kings

The Suns continue to have interest in working out a trade for Hornets forward Miles Bridges ahead of Thursday’s deadline, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The problem, Rankin adds, is that Phoenix doesn’t have many assets available and hasn’t made much progress with an offer of Nassir Little and second-round picks.

Matching Bridges’ salary won’t be an issue because he’s making just $7.9MM this season after accepting Charlotte’s qualifying offer last summer. He would be a short-term rental, Rankin adds, because the Suns aren’t in a financial position to re-sign him when he reaches free agency in July.

Rankin notes that Phoenix is currently $21.5MM over the luxury tax line with an estimated $50.6MM tax bill and is projected to be a second-apron team next season. The Suns have trade exceptions worth $6.5MM and $5MM, but the deadline will present their final chance to send out cash and aggregate salaries in a deal.

The market for Bridges has been limited because of his legal issues, which include a domestic violence incident in 2022 that resulted in a 30-game suspension, as well as a pending court appearance next month for allegedly violating a protection order. He has been productive this season, averaging 21.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 38 games, and scored a career-high 45 points tonight in what could be his final appearance in a Hornets’ uniform.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Coach Darvin Ham believes the Lakers are in a “great space” heading into deadline day, per Khobi Price of The Orange County Register. The team is back home and brimming with confidence after going 4-2 on its annual Grammys road trip. Price shared a quote from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who said Wednesday on NBA Today that trade speculation surrounding the team, and D’Angelo Russell in particular, seems to have calmed down. “Their calculus has changed in recent weeks with the reemergence of D’Angelo Russell as their point guard,” Wojnarowski said. “Maybe three weeks to a month ago, he was very available. And I think the Lakers thought there might be some opportunities to upgrade on him. That isn’t the case right now. Players who the Lakers have had interest in: Dejounte Murray, Bruce Brown, specifically with Brown, it’s really hard for them to make the money work on a trade without putting D’Angelo Russell in. And that doesn’t make sense for them.”
  • Klay Thompson declined to address trade possibilities after tonight’s game, telling reporters, “I don’t partake in NBA discourse,” tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Asked if he still wants to remain with the Warriors long-term, Thompson responded, “That is correct. Good assessment.” Addressing his own trade prospects, Andrew Wiggins expressed his love for Golden State’s “fans, coaches, organization, teammates,” Slater adds (Twitter link).
  • James Ham of Kings Beat expects a quiet deadline in Sacramento as the Kings‘ rumored interest in Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant and Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma hasn’t led to productive negotiations.

Trade Rumors: Sixers, Wizards, Wiggins, Nuggets, Suns

Within a discussion about the trade deadline in the latest Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link), Brian Windhorst of ESPN identified the Bucks as one of the most active teams on the trade market, suggested the Nets have explored both buying and selling, and said that he expects the Sixers to make at least one trade by Thursday’s deadline. Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Furkan Korkmaz, and Danuel House are among Philadelphia’s most likely trade candidates, per Windhorst.

During that same Hoop Collective conversation, Windhorst stated he expects the Wizards to make at least one deadline deal, though he’s skeptical it will involve Kyle Kuzma, identifying Tyus Jones as the player more likely to be on the move. Windhorst added that Washington has also had talks involving Deni Avdija, though he’d be surprised if the fourth-year wing is dealt.

Here are a few more trade rumors from across the NBA:

  • In addition to joining the list of teams with interest in Bulls center Andre Drummond, the Sixers continue to scour the trade market for outside shooting, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack article. Buddy Hield is one potential target, as Jake Fischer reported on Tuesday, and Bojan Bogdanovic is another clear fit, Stein writes. According to Stein, however, the Pistons are seeking at least a first-round pick in exchange for Bogdanovic and have let teams know that their preference is to keep him.
  • After reporting on Tuesday that Dallas’ interest in Andrew Wiggins may be overstated, Stein says he has heard the same about the Bucks‘ reported interest in the Warriors‘ forward. Still, Golden State is expected to continue exploring trade possibilities for Wiggins up until Thursday’s deadline, Stein writes.
  • Appearing on 92.5 FM in Denver on Wednesday, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said he doesn’t expect the team to make a move at the deadline, per Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports (Twitter link).
  • Phoenix doesn’t intend to give up any of its few remaining trade assets for a mere insurance policy, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who tweets that if the Suns are going to acquire a player, they would need to view that player as someone who would be part of their eight- or nine-man playoff rotation.

Injury Notes: VanVleet, Brunson, Middleton, Robinson, GPII

Rockets point guard Fred VanVleet, who missed Tuesday’s loss in Indiana due to a left adductor strain, will be sidelined for at least three more games, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required). That means VanVleet will be out for Friday’s return to Toronto in addition to games vs. Atlanta on Saturday and New York next Monday.

“Probably around All-Star break,” head coach Ime Udoka said when asked when VanVleet might return. “We’ll see. Who knows if that’ll take into All-Star break or right before the break?”

As Feigen writes, the Rockets’ final game before the All-Star break is next Wednesday in Memphis, then the team isn’t in action until the following Thursday (February 22) in New Orleans. Pushing VanVleet’s return until after the break would give him an extra eight days to recover, but if he’s able to play on Feb. 14, he’d also get those eight days of rest following his first game back.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the league:

  • One current Eastern Conference All-Star and one three-time East All-Star exited their respective games early on Tuesday due to ankle injuries. Knicks guard Jalen Brunson turned his right ankle in the fourth quarter vs. Memphis, but appears to have avoided a severe sprain, per Ian Begley of (Twitter video link). Meanwhile, Bucks forward Khris Middleton left the Footprint Center in Phoenix wearing a walking boot and using crutches after spraining his left ankle in the first quarter, per Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Head coach Doc Rivers said X-rays on Middleton’s ankle were negative.
  • Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, who has been out since mid-December after undergoing ankle surgery, will begin on-court shooting shortly after the All-Star break, head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Tuesday, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. There’s still hope that Robinson will be able to return before the end of the season.
  • The Warriors announced on Tuesday in a press release that Gary Payton II is making good progress from the left hamstring strain that has sidelined him since January 2 and is now considered day-to-day. However, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), Payton is unlikely to return during the team’s current road trip, which concludes with a back-to-back set in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Indiana on Thursday. Andrew Wiggins (left ankle contusion), on the other hand, is probable to play on Wednesday after missing Monday’s contest, says Slater.

Fischer’s Latest: Wiggins, Paul, Portis, Looney, Kuzma, Stewart, Beauchamp, Hield, Bogdanovic

The Mavericks and Bucks are mulling whether to make a serious run at the Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reports.

Wiggins’ name has been prominently mentioned in trade rumors, due to his subpar production, the Warriors’ disappointing record and a contract that runs through the 2026/27 season.

Dallas is willing to part with either Grant Williams or Tim Hardaway Jr. for salary-matching purposes to acquire a frontcourt player who can shoot and also make a difference defensively. The Mavs are also willing to include their 2027 first-round pick for the right player, Fischer adds.

As for the Bucks, they’d have to include Bobby Portis to cobble salaries to match Wiggins’ $24.3MM. It’s a tough call for the Bucks, considering Portis’ steady contributions in recent years. Fischer notes that Portis was one of Golden State coach Steve Kerr’s favorites during the FIBA World Cup run with Team USA.

Here are several more interesting tidbits from Fischer:

  • Chris Paul, whose $30MM contract for next season is non-guaranteed, is unlikely to be dealt by the Warriors. Jonathan Kuminga is off limits. However, Kevon Looney and his $7.5MM contract could be swapped out, depending what need Golden State ultimately wants to target. Looney’s contract for next season is only guaranteed for $3MM.
  • The Wizards are unwilling to deal Kyle Kuzma unless they get multiple first-rounders for him. The Mavericks and Kings have known interest but would likely need to find a third team to facilitate such a deal. Washington has made it known it’s looking for draft capital in any trade.
  • Along with previously reported interest in the Hornets’ P.J. Washington, the Mavericks have their eyes on Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart. The latter signed a four-year, $64MM extension last offseason. Dallas also showed interest in Magic big man Wendell Carter but Orlando doesn’t seem inclined to move its starting center.
  • The Bucks are willing to include MarJon Beauchamp and the 2024 second-round pick that the Trail Blazers owe them in trade discussions.  The Bucks and Sixers have also contacted teams that hold plenty of draft capital, such as the Thunder and Pelicans, regarding potential future first-round pick swaps or packages of second-round picks in exchange for extra first-round selections.
  • Speaking of the Sixers, they’re interested in Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield. Hield would upgrade their offense and his $18.5MM expiring contract wouldn’t impact their desire to have more cap space than any other team this summer. Picking up more first-round capital, as mentioned above, would facilitate their ability to acquire a wing like Hield or the Pistons’ Bojan Bogdanovic.
  • The Celtics are willing to use their $6.2MM trade exception for bench help. Otto Porter Jr. and Lonnie Walker are among the names Fischer has heard as potential Boston acquisitions.

Stein’s Latest: Wiggins, Mavs, Finney-Smith, Bucks, Wizards

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Mavericks and Warriors weren’t engaged in any active discussions about an Andrew Wiggins trade, Marc Stein reports within his latest Substack article.

Dallas has repeatedly been cited as a team with interest in Wiggins, but sources tell Stein that interest has been overstated. As Stein previously reported, the Mavericks have been prioritizing power forwards over small forwards. Wiggins has played at the four, but is more of a small-ball option there and is a more traditional three.

That stance may explain why one recent report suggested that Dallas also hasn’t shown serious interest in Dorian Finney-Smith, another player who would be a smaller four. According to Stein, P.J. Washington of the Hornets and Kyle Kuzma of the Wizards are two of the players who remain on the Mavs’ radar.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Speaking of Finney-Smith, Stein and Ian Begley of each confirm that the Bucks have shown interest in the Nets forward. However, Brooklyn has sought at least one first-round pick in return for Finney-Smith and Milwaukee doesn’t have one to trade, so it’s unclear whether the two sides would be able to find common ground. The Nets have been signaling that they’re willing to hang onto Finney-Smith beyond the deadline if their asking price isn’t met, Stein writes.
  • After reporting that the Bucks and Mavericks had exploratory talks about Bobby Portis and Grant Williams, Stein says those discussions didn’t advance any further because Milwaukee isn’t interested in a one-for-one swap and would want additional compensation from Dallas to make a move. Stein doesn’t specify what sort of additional compensation the Bucks sought, but given that they’re in win-now mode, presumably they wanted another rotation player or the sort of draft assets that could be flipped for one.
  • Among potential Wizards trade candidates, Tyus Jones and Delon Wright are “increasingly” viewed as more likely to be moved than Kuzma, says Stein.
  • Like Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Stein has heard that Kuzma, Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon, and Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic could all stay put this week, though he acknowledges there’s a chance one or more of those teams is posturing to gain leverage.

Trade Rumors: Wiggins, Pacers, Brogdon, Lakers, More

While the 21-25 Warriors have had a disappointing season to this point and are once again projected to have a record-setting payroll and luxury tax bill, ownership hasn’t given a mandate for the front office to do anything but try to improve the roster, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says Golden State won’t be looking to simply offload the large salaries of players like Andrew Wiggins or Chris Paul.

Charania includes Klay Thompson in that group as well, though ESPN’s Brian Windhorst previously stated the Warriors aren’t interested in moving Thompson.

Charania confirms the Mavericks are interested in Wiggins, and adds the Pacers to the list of teams intrigued by the former No. 1 overall pick. Any deal sending Wiggins to Indiana would likely have to include Buddy Hield for salary-matching purposes, though that’s just an observation, not reporting.

According to Charania, unless the Warriors are blown away by an offer, they’re unlikely to trade any of those three veterans, particularly with their values at low points for various reasons. To this point, Charania says Golden State hasn’t received an offer that “moves the needle.”

Here are some more trade rumors from around the NBA, all courtesy of Marc Stein at Substack:

  • Once viewed as a strong trade candidate, Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon may have swung in the opposite direction. He has publicly said he’s happy in Portland and would prefer to stay, with Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports later reporting there was skepticism Brogdon would be moved. According to Stein, there have been “recent rumblings” that Brogdon is actually hoping to sign an extension with the Blazers. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is not eligible for an in-season extension, but will become extension-eligible during the 2024 offseason, when he will make $22.5MM in the final year of his deal. Given Portland’s place in the standings and the presence of Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson, Stein wonders whether the Blazers will actually consider an extension for a 31-year-old veteran like Brogdon, but says the idea of a “longer stay than anticipated” has “gained credence.”
  • Given their limited asset pool — they can only trade one future first-round pick right now — the Lakers appear more likely to make a minor trade than a major one, Stein says. They continue to be linked to the RaptorsBruce Brown, but Jarred Vanderbilt‘s injury weakened the roster, and Stein suggests Los Angeles may not see a major difference-makers in the market, particularly for what it can offer. Waiting until the offseason would free up more options, as the Lakers could then trade as many as three first-round picks.
  • According to Stein, Bulls guard Zach LaVine (foot surgery), Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga, Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, and the CavaliersDonovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen are among the “marquee players” who won’t be moved this season. Dejounte Murray and Kyle Kuzma are “two of the most coveted players” ahead of the February 8 deadline, but because they’re on long-term contracts, the Hawks and Wizards, respectively, might need to be patient to receive the assets they want in return, as first-round picks are hard to come by at the moment, per Stein.