Cameron Payne

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Oubre, Hield, Payne

The toughness that Joel Embiid displayed in Game 3 will have to continue for the Sixers to have any chance to win their series with New York, writes Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Despite dealing with the pain of a surgically repaired left knee and the difficulties brought on by a mild case of Bell’s palsy, Embiid set a career playoff high with 50 points in Thursday’s crucial victory.

With two days to rest before the series resumes Sunday, Embiid is embracing the challenges of playoff basketball, no matter what physical ailments he has to overcome.

“I want to play as much as possible. I only have about, maybe, eight years left. So I have to enjoy this as much as possible and I want to win,” he said. “I’m just trying to keep pushing. I’m not going to quit. If it’s on one leg, I’m still going to go out there and try, but that’s not an excuse. Got to keep playing better, and better, and better.”

After Game 3, Embiid called the Bell’s palsy “an unfortunate situation” and told reporters, including Tim Bontemps of ESPN, that it started with migraine headaches shortly before Philadelphia’s play-in game last week. He explained that the condition sometimes causes blurred vision, and he frequently has to put drops in left eye to keep it from drying out.

“It’s pretty annoying, you know, with the left side of my face, my mouth and my eye. So yeah, it’s been tough,” Embiid said. “But I’m not a quitter, so gotta keep fighting. But yeah, it’s unfortunate. That’s the way I look at it. But it’s not an excuse. Gotta keep pushing.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Kelly Oubre responded to the Knickscomplaints about officiating after Game 3, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. In addition to a free throw disparity, New York players were upset about a Flagrant 1 foul that Embiid committed when he grabbed Mitchell Robinson‘s leg, with Donte DiVincenzo calling it a “dirty play.” Oubre said he has been on the receiving end of that type of contact and doesn’t consider it dirty. He also called for a focus on basketball instead of threats of retaliation. “It’s like, let’s just hoop,” Oubre said at today’s practice. “Let’s go out there and play hard and nobody’s gonna fight. This ain’t WWE. So at the end of the day, stand on the stuff that’ll say so we’ll see tomorrow how they react.”
  • Philadelphia police are conducting an internal investigation into whether Oubre received preferential treatment following his auto accident early Tuesday morning, tweets Michael J. Babcock of TMZ Sports. Oubre, who is accused of running a red light and hitting another car, wasn’t cited or given a sobriety test or breathalyzer.
  • Buddy Hield played just four minutes in Game 3 and appears to have been replaced in the rotation by Cameron Payne, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Hield didn’t get off the bench after the first quarter, while Payne contributed 11 points and three assists in nearly 16 minutes. Hield has been a disappointment since being acquired from Indiana at the deadline, and Pompey suggests the Sixers would probably rather have Marcus Morris, who was shipped to San Antonio in the three-team trade.

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Oubre, Knicks Series

Sixers superstar Joel Embiid has been treated for a mild case of Bell’s palsy for the past week, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The condition began during the play-in game against Miami, but according to Wojnarowski, Embiid kept it a secret to not allow for distractions.

There’s been some speculation circling about why Embiid was wearing sunglasses and if that was related to an eye issue, but Wojnarowski (Twitter link) reports that it’s because of Bell’s palsy, which is an episode of facial muscle weakness or paralysis.

According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Embiid said dealing with the condition has been “pretty annoying” (Twitter link). “It’s unfortunate … got to keep pushing,” Embiid said.

Embiid hasn’t let it prevent him from making an impact in the series — he dropped a playoff career-high 50 points to lead the Sixers to a win over the Knicks in Game 3. As the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy writes, Embiid was physical and efficient in the game, connecting on 13 of his 19 shot attempts. He had 18 points in the third quarter.

We have more from the Sixers:

  • Kelly Oubre was involved in a car accident after Game 2, according to TMZ. The wreck happened in the earlier hours of Tuesday morning, with police saying Oubre “disregarded a red traffic signal” and ran into another car. No one reported any injuries, but both cars had to be towed from scene. Philadelphia Inquirer’s Gina Mizell confirmed the TMZ report (Twitter link).
  • Before Philadelphia’s Game 3 victory, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps explored reasons why the 2-0 deficit wasn’t as dire as it seemed. Bontemps identified several keys for the rest of the series, including the impressive play of Tyrese Maxey and Embiid’s ability to play through injuries. In addition, Cameron Payne delivered 11 points in 16 minutes off the bench in Game 3 after Bontemps pointed out Philly’s role players had been somewhat limited in the first two games.
  • Despite expressing displeasure with how Game 2 was officiating, Philadelphia didn’t file a formal protest and instead let the deadline pass, Bondy writes in a separate piece. In the playoffs, a protest “must be filed not later than midnight of the day of the game protested.” For what it’s worth, reporting after Game 2 didn’t indicate that the 76ers would formally protest the outcome of the game — just that they’d contact the league with their concerns about the officiating.
  • Embiid and Mitchell Robinson got tangled up in Game 3, resulting in Embiid being issued a flagrant 1 foul. According to the pool report, crew chief Zach Zarba said there wasn’t excessive contact, and that’s why it didn’t rise to a flagrant 2 (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Fred Katz). “The crew was unanimous along with the replay center official in Secaucus that this foul was unnecessary but did not rise to the level of a flagrant 2,” Zarba said.

Sixers Notes: Hield, Covington, Melton, Payne, Martin

Buddy Hield wasn’t surprised by the deal that sent him from the Pacers to the Sixers at last month’s trade deadline, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Philadelphia was in the market for shooters, also pursuing ex-Pistons marksman Bojan Bogdanovic, who wound up in New York, sources tell Fischer. Even though he hasn’t been on the court yet with Joel Embiid, who suffered a meniscus injury in late January, Hield is glad to be with the Sixers and believes they can become an effective combination.

“You want to go to a team that wants you. You don’t want to go to a team where you’re a piece and it’s like, ‘We’re gonna try this out,’” Hield said. “Other teams are trapping Embiid, so having a three-point shooter to keep guys honest, I know the reason why I was traded here.”

Hield is averaging 15.5 points per game since joining the Sixers while shooting 44% from the field and 42.2% from beyond the arc. He’s also landed a consistent role in the starting lineup, something that didn’t happen in Indiana as coach Rick Carlisle experimented with different backcourt starters alongside Tyrese Haliburton. Hield said he enjoyed the Pacers’ up-tempo approach, but he didn’t believe he had a future with the team after extension talks failed to produce a new contract.

“If a team doesn’t want to re-sign you, we asked them early and you know how it is. It’s the game,” Hield said. “They say they want to sign you and then after it doesn’t happen, the conversations don’t really keep going on the phone, and it’s like talking to a wall, and nobody’s responding back. But after that, you’re under contract, and you have to, like, honor your contract. So it’s one of those deals where you just gotta come in every day and be professional. But I know that the whole vibe was so different.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers say Robert Covington will be reevaluated in about a week for a bone bruise to his left knee and could resume on-court activities in seven-to-10 days, tweets Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. De’Anthony Melton, who is battling a lumbar spine injury, has started an “offloading” program and will be reevaluated in approximately two weeks.
  • Cameron Payne said he was at about 70% because of the flu Tuesday night, but he opted to play because Tyrese Maxey is in concussion protocol, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I was like, ‘I’m 30 years old. Get out there and play, sick or not,’” Payne said. “‘Just get out there and help your team.’”
  • KJ Martin has been effective in his new role as a small-ball big man, observes Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports. Martin was seeing an uptick in his playing time before missing three games with an injury last week.

Sixers Notes: Lowry, Hield, Embiid, Harris, Oubre

Kyle Lowry has quickly seized the starting point guard spot for the Sixers, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Lowry had 15 points and 10 assists against Charlotte on Friday. He didn’t shoot it well on Sunday in a four-point victory over Dallas but he dished out seven assists with no turnovers in 33 minutes.

Having Lowry in the starting five will allow reserves Cameron Payne and Kelly Oubre Jr. to play off each other.

“As I said to you [Friday], it was heading that way anyway for the time being,” coach Nick Nurse said. “Trying to get a different combination. And I think that maybe the combination of Cam Payne and Kelly off the bench is a good duo to pair there together. So that’s what I’m trying to get to.”

Lowry signed with Philadelphia in mid-February after being bought out by Charlotte.

We have more on the Sixers:

  • The 76ers prepared for their win over the Mavericks in a unique way. They held a practice on Saturday at Buddy Hield‘s spacious workout gym at his house in Dallas. “I stay in Dallas in the offseason,” Hield told Pompey. “This is where I work out. This is where my family stays. It’s nothing better to bring the guys to the house and let’s shoot around. You know it’s an early game. So team bonding, you know, see where I stay. … It’s fun.”
  • Joel Embiid has “started on-court workouts and began lifting 100% of the weight he lifted prior to the injury,” ESPN’s Katie George reported during the broadcast on Sunday (hat tip to Austin Krell). An update on Embiid’s progress from the team is expected at some point this week. The reigning MVP, who underwent knee surgery in early February, expressed optimism during a recent interview that he would return before the end of the season.
  • Tobias Harris led the offense against Dallas with 28 points and Oubre provided the spark off the bench with 21 points, all but two after halftime. Harris has 59 points in the past two games. “Everybody’s kind of figuring out our chemistry overall as a group,” Harris said, per Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press. “We knew it was going to take some time … figuring out ways to be successful out there. We’ve just got to stay at it.”

Sixers Notes: Melton, Bazley, Payne, Rubin

Sixers guard De’Anthony Melton was sidelined for Friday’s contest vs. Charlotte and won’t be with the team for its upcoming two-game road trip, tweets Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports. The Sixers will play in Dallas on Sunday and in Brooklyn next Tuesday before returning home for Wednesday’s game vs. Memphis.

Melton has been battling a lumbar spine injury for the past few months, which caused him to miss 18 consecutive games before returning last Friday vs. Cleveland. However, in his third game back — on Tuesday vs. Boston — the 25-year-old experienced back spasms, limiting him to nine minutes of action and now at least three more missed games.

The former USC guard will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason if he doesn’t sign an extension with Philadelphia. Melton is earning $8MM in 2023/24, the final season of his current contract.

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Darius Bazley, a former first-round pick who has spent most of the season playing for the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s NBA G League affiliate, was on a 10-day contract that expired Thursday night. It doesn’t sound like a second 10-day deal is imminent, as he has rejoined the Blue Coats, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The fifth-year forward/center played 10 minutes across three appearances with the 76ers, who now have 13 players on standard contracts and will need to sign another player within 14 days.
  • Cameron Payne‘s role with the Sixers has been changing along with the team’s post-deadline roster. Payne went from starting with Tyrese Maxey out to serving as a backup to moving to the third string with the addition of Kyle Lowry. The ninth-year guard knows what’s being asked of him in order to establish himself in the rotation, according to Pompey. “I’ve needed to be more aggressive, more offensive, from where I came from,” Payne said. “That wasn’t needed from me. So just honestly having the ball in my hand is the change.
  • Former Sixers minority owner and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said he feels more connected to sports now that he’s no longer a part-owner of the Sixers, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Gina Mizell. Rubin joked he was “violating every rule the NBA had” while owning a stake in the Sixers, Mizell writes, which included taking bets on Philadelphia players after Fanatics entered the space. “If you look through the rules of the leagues, it didn’t work for me to own part of a team,” Rubin said. “It was holding back Fanatics. It was a great privilege and honor to be a part of.

Tristan Tucker contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Brunson, Knicks, Olynyk, Agbaji, Brown, Sixers

The Knicks appear to have avoided an injury scare with Jalen Brunson, as the All-Star point guard returned to the lineup on Saturday following a one-game absence due to an ankle sprain. Brunson showed no ill effects from the injury, scoring 39 points on 14-of-25 shooting, per Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post.

Despite Brunson’s return and the debuts of newly acquired role players Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, the Knicks remained shorthanded due to injuries and lost on Saturday to Indiana, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. The team is especially banged up in the frontcourt, where Precious Achiuwa was forced to play 43 minutes vs. the Pacers. With Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Jericho Sims all inactive, Taj Gibson logged 19 minutes on the first day of his second 10-day contract with New York.

“I thought for the first game (with the new additions), there were some obviously good things and obviously there’s a lot for them to adjust to. As a team, I think we have to do a lot better,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We’re shorthanded. We’re going to have to play a lot harder and a lot tougher.”

While their first game with the Knicks didn’t go as planned, both Bogdanovic and Burks expressed excitement about the opportunity to join a playoff team after spending the first half of the season with the league-worst Pistons. According to Botte, Burks – a former Knick – didn’t want to leave New York in the first place and said repeatedly that he’s “glad to be back.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • As Josh Lewenberg of details, new Raptors Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji both have connections to the franchise — Olynyk grew up in Toronto rooting for the Raptors, while Agbaji’s father is old friends with team president Masai Ujiri. The two former Jazz players expressed excitement about their new circumstances, with Agbaji suggesting it feels like a “fresh new start” and Olynyk noting that he and the Raptors have had mutual interest in the past. “It’s always been on our radar, both of our radars,” the big man said. “I think maybe it’s been close [before], but it’s hard for me to know [for sure]… But [now that] it did happen, it’s pretty awesome.”
  • Raptors wing Bruce Brown was considered one of the top trade candidates on the market leading up to the deadline, but he ended up staying put. He’s happy with that outcome, as Michael Grange of tweets. “It feels great, it feels great,” said Brown, whose contract includes a $23MM team option for 2024/25. “Obviously it’s nice to have some stability. … I”m glad to be here for the rest of the season and then try and work things out.”
  • Although the Raptors were enthusiastic about the moves they made on the trade market, they’ve completed a full-fledged overhaul of their roster in the past six weeks or so, and their lack of continuity showed in Saturday’s blowout loss to Cleveland, Grange writes at “Obviously, it’s really tough,” Olynyk said. “You don’t know really what’s going on on both ends of the floor. I think that was probably pretty evident in the first half.”
  • Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at a “whirlwind” couple days for Sixers trade deadline additions Buddy Hield and Cameron Payne, who played significant minutes as starters for an injury-depleted Philadelphia team on Friday, then helped lead their new club to a victory in Washington on Saturday.

Bucks Acquire Beverley From Sixers For Payne, Second-Rounder

8:38pm: The Bucks and Sixers have each put out a press release officially confirming the deal.

12:43pm: The Bucks are acquiring Patrick Beverley from the Sixers, he announced (via Twitter). Philadelphia will receive Cameron Payne and Milwaukee’s 2027 second-round pick, according to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic (All Twitter links).

Both players are on expiring minimum-salary contracts, so neither the Bucks nor the 76ers will have financial commitments to the veteran guards beyond this season.

The Bucks have reportedly been scouring the trade market in search of help on the defensive end. The team is currently 33-18, but Milwaukee ranks just 18th in the league in defense.

Beverley, 35, is a three-time All-Defensive team member, and while he’s no longer in his prime, he still ranks as a positive contributor on that end. It’s worth noting that Beverley previously played under new Bucks head coach Doc Rivers while they were employed by the Clippers.

As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets, sending out a defensive-minded veteran like Beverley might mean Philadelphia is confident about signing Kyle Lowry via buyout. Lowry is currently on the Hornets after being traded by the Heat.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported (via Twitter) on Thursday afternoon that Milwaukee was looking at Jazz guard Kris Dunn and Pelicans wing Naji Marshall to improve its defense. Perhaps the asking price for Dunn was too steep, and the Bucks decided to pivot to Beverley.

Payne, 29, is a former lottery pick who didn’t find much success over his first four seasons, but he resurrected his NBA career after a solid multiyear stint with Phoenix. Payne was traded to San Antonio in the offseason, waived, and then signed a one-year deal with Milwaukee. He has averaged 6.2 points and 2.3 assists while shooting 39.7% from three-point range in 47 games this season (14.9 minutes).

Trade Rumors: Bucks, Wright, Suns, Mavs, Hornets, Knicks, Magic, Bulls

The Bucks remain committed to upgrading their roster in the hopes of contending for a championship this season and are “shopping hard for help,” one league source tells Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Milwaukee doesn’t have a ton of trade assets on hand to offer, so the team’s most likely outgoing package would consist of Pat Connaughton, Cameron Payne, and Portland’s 2024 second-round pick (currently projected to be No. 35), says Fischer. Connaughton and Payne only make up $11.4MM in outgoing money, so Bobby Portis and his $11.7MM cap hit would need to be included if Milwaukee targets a higher-salary player, Fischer notes.

One potential target who has been linked to the Bucks is Wizards guard Delon Wright, sources tell Fischer. Wright would be a logical fit for a Milwaukee team looking to improve its perimeter defense, though it’s unclear how high he ranks on the Bucks’ list of targets, Fischer writes, adding that the veteran point guard has a wide-ranging market.

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

  • The Suns are still viewed as the leading suitor for Hornets forward Miles Bridges, league sources tell Fischer. Phoenix’s offer would likely consist of Nassir Little, Josh Okogie, and two second-round picks, per Fischer, though Charlotte is holding out hope of landing a first-rounder for Bridges. The Pistons and Jazz also continue to be linked to the Hornets forward, who has the ability to veto a trade, but the Mavericks – who are seeking forward help – haven’t shown interest in Bridges or Nets forward Dorian Finney-Smith as of late, Fischer reports.
  • The Hornets are fielding more trade inquiries on forward P.J. Washington than any other player, though they aren’t necessarily actively shopping him, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Fischer confirms a previous report stating the Mavericks are among the teams with interest in Washington, but hears that the Clippers are an unlikely landing spot.
  • Although the Knicks are among the other clubs with interest in Washington, sources tell Fischer, New York is believed to prefer Raptors wing Bruce Brown. Fischer adds that Quentin Grimes continues to generate interest from teams like the Hawks and Jazz, while Tony Jones of The Athletic said during an appearance on ESPN 700 in Utah that he believes Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson would welcome a trade to the Knicks (hat tip to Patrick Byrnes of
  • There have been some whispers around the league about the Magic targeting an experienced point guard such as Kyle Lowry (Hornets) or Chris Paul (Warriors), but Fischer doesn’t believe Orlando has trade interest in either player. Additionally, while the Magic could use some more outside shooting, the club isn’t thought to be pursuing upgrades in that area unless there’s a player who would be a positive on defense as well, according to Fischer, who cites Kings sharpshooter Kevin Huerter as one example of a player who is not on Orlando’s wish list.
  • Bulls guard Coby White is considered off limits in trade talks and Chicago’s asking price for Alex Caruso is very steep, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. With Zach LaVine out for the season, center Andre Drummond now appears to be the Bull most likely to be dealt, Fischer adds.

Fischer’s Latest: Point Guard Rumors, Sixers, Rockets, More

After Charlotte was able to secure a first-round pick from Miami in this week’s deal for Terry Rozier, teams with quality guards available are expected to use that return as a benchmark, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who suggests that the Wizards, Trail Blazers, and Raptors want “at least a first-round pick” for Tyus Jones, Malcolm Brogdon, and Bruce Brown, respectively.

It will presumably be more difficult to extract a first-round pick for a player headed for free agency in 2024 and 2025 than it was for Rozier, who has two more years left on his contract beyond this one. Still, as Fischer notes, there will be no shortage of teams in the market for backcourt help at this season’s deadline.

Sources tell Yahoo Sports that the Lakers are “chief among backcourt buyers” as they seek a point guard upgrade on D’Angelo Russell. The Knicks, Bucks, and Sixers are among the other potential buyers at that position, while the Nets have “poked around” the market too, per Fischer.

Fischer names the Cavaliers and Timberwolves as two other clubs expected to peruse the market in search of backcourt depth and notes that the Spurs will always be a team to watch for point guards until they find a long-term answer at the position to pair with Victor Wembanyama.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • Veteran point guard T.J. McConnell was viewed as a possible target for teams looking for backcourt help, but the Pacers have indicated to potential trade partners that they don’t want to move him, Fischer reports. Some of the backup point guards who are available around the NBA, per Fischer, are Davion Mitchell (Kings), Cameron Payne (Bucks), Cory Joseph (Warriors), and Devonte’ Graham (Spurs).
  • Kyle Lowry isn’t expected to join the Hornets prior to the trade deadline as Charlotte looks to flip him to a new team. If he’s still a Hornet once the deadline passes, Lowry will be a strong candidate for a buyout, and the Sixers appear to be a “real possibility” for the Philadelphia native, says Fischer.
  • The Sixers are prioritizing fit alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey as they consider their trade options. They don’t appear to have significant interest in Bruce Brown and will have to seriously consider whether Dejounte Murray is the right piece next to Maxey, given the Hawks‘ high asking price for Murray, Fischer writes. Atlanta is reportedly seeking two first-round picks and a starting-caliber player for the guard.
  • The Rockets have their eye on a pair of Trail Blazers, according to Fischer, who says Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams have both drawn interest from Houston. The Lakers and Knicks are among the other teams that have been connected to Brogdon.
  • The Pelicans and Magic are two teams that rival executives expect to be in the market for a point guard in the summer, though New Orleans is focused more on the center spot for now, per Fischer.

Trade Rumors: Bucks Targets, Payne, Allen, Suns, Hornets, Kuzma

The Bucks don’t have a ton of trade assets left after completing blockbuster deals in recent years for Jrue Holiday and then Damian Lillard, but they’re perusing the market in an effort to upgrade their perimeter defense, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

According to Fischer, the Bucks have contacted teams to gauge the value of Portland’s 2024 second-round pick, which Milwaukee controls — it currently projects to be 35th overall, making it more valuable than a typical second-rounder. The team is exploring deals that would package that pick with wing Pat Connaughton and guard Cameron Payne, sources tell Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer explains, Payne fell out of Adrian Griffin‘s rotation earlier this month, but it’s possible new head coach Doc Rivers will want to use him more. If not, the veteran point guard would be “amenable” to a change of scenery, Fischer writes.

While the Bucks would love to acquire a player like Hawks guard Dejounte Murray or Raptors wing Bruce Brown, Bobby Portis‘ $11.7MM cap hit would almost certainly need to be includd in order to match their salaries, Fischer notes. Additionally, Atlanta and Toronto are seeking the sort of packages – two first-round picks and a starter-level player for Murray and a first-round picks for Brown – which the Bucks may not be able to offer, given their lack of tradable first-rounders.

Chicago guard Alex Caruso is likely also out of Milwaukee’s reach, given that the Bulls aren’t inclined to move him and would seek multiple first-rounders if they did, says Fischer. Players like Trail Blazers wing Matisse Thybulle and Clippers forward P.J. Tucker may be more attainable, Fischer suggests. However, Tucker’s appeal is limited, and Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report points out (via Twitter) that Thybulle has veto rights and may not be eager to play for Rivers again.

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

  • The Suns are no longer considering the possibility of trading Grayson Allen at the deadline, league sources tell Fischer. Fischer reported last week that Phoenix was gauging what a package of Allen and Nassir Little could bring back, but that seemed like it was more about due diligence, given how well the former Duke star has played this season.
  • Responding to reports from Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports and Trevor Booth of Clutch Points stating that the Suns have interest in Miles Bridges and Nick Richards of the Hornets, John Gambadoro of Arizons Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) throws cold water on the Richards speculation, but suggests Phoenix could be in the mix for Bridges if the price is right.
  • While Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has been viewed as a potential in-season trade candidate, he’s under contract for several more years and Washington appears to be in no rush to move him, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Woj Pod. “Washington’s been very reticent with Kyle Kuzma,” Wojnarowski said (hat tip to RealGM). “… Teams tell me they call them and they’re not getting counters from Washington. If you want to register an offer for Kuzma, fine, you can do it. But they’re not at the point now where it seems like they’re really active in seriously trying to move him. It could change by the deadline, but I know (Wizards executives) Michael Winger and Will Dawkins like Kuzma, like having him there. I think they’ll be particular about what they might do.”