Davion Mitchell

Suns Rumors: Harden, Lillard, Paul, Irving, Russell, More

There have been rumors linking James Harden to Phoenix. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM shut down that notion (via Twitter), writing that there’s a “zero percent chance” the Suns would pursue the former MVP.

Gambadoro also said it was “highly unlikely” the Suns would have interest in Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, pointing out that his large salary might be unpalatable for a roster that’s already top-heavy (Twitter link). On his Burns and Gambo radio show (Twitter link), the plugged-in local reporter stated in stronger terms that the Suns won’t pursue Lillard.

They’re not getting James Harden, and they’re not getting Damian Lillard,” Gambadoro said.

Here are more rumors on the Suns:

  • Gambadoro’s reporting on Lillard was seemingly in response to a new piece from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who hears from sources who say that the Trail Blazers have shown interest in Deandre Ayton in the past. However, Fischer also downplays Phoenix’s chances of landing Lillard, noting that the Suns don’t have the requisite assets to land a player of his caliber. The Blazers, meanwhile, still hope to build a contender around their all-time leading scorer, and remain intent on re-signing Jerami Grant, sources tell Fischer.
  • Fischer’s article focuses on Chris Paul‘s uncertain future with the Suns and how it might have a ripple effect around the NBA. Although Lillard and Harden might be unrealistic targets, Fischer writes that the Suns remain intrigued by Kyrie Irving, who is entering unrestricted free agency. As Fischer notes, Irving would basically have to ask the Mavericks for help in a sign-and-trade. Dallas hasn’t shown any interest in helping the Lakers land Irving in a sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell, but Fischer wonders if Paul might be more appealing.
  • Could the Lakers and Suns explore a sign-and-trade involving Russell and Paul? The Suns pursued the 27-year-old impending free agent ahead of the February trade deadline when he was still on the Timberwolves, sources tell Fischer. Big man Naz Reid, who’s also set to hit unrestricted free agency, was another player Phoenix desired in talks with Minnesota, Fischer adds.
  • Hornets guard Terry Rozier has been linked to Phoenix in the past, but the Suns didn’t pursue him ahead of the trade deadline, sources tell Fischer. Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, Celtics guard Payton Pritchard, Kings guard Davion Mitchell, and Heat guard Gabe Vincent are among the other backcourt options the Suns have monitored, per Fischer.
  • Agents that Fischer has talked to believe Paul could get at least part of — if not the full — mid-level exception if he’s waived and becomes an unrestricted free agent. While Paul has been linked to his former club, the Clippers, Fischer notes that they can only offer the veteran’s minimum, and there’s “mutual interest” in a reunion between Russell Westbrook and the Clips.

Kings Notes: Sabonis, Mitchell, Vezenkov, Draft

Kings star Domantas Sabonis told Sean Cunningham of FOX 40 Sacramento (Twitter video link) on Thursday that he was about to get another scan on his right thumb to assess how his avulsion fracture has healed following treatment. While there’s hope that Sabonis will be able to avoid undergoing surgery on the thumb this offseason, that possibility hasn’t yet been ruled out, according to the big man.

Asked about whether or not he’ll be able to play for Lithuania in this year’s World Cup, Sabonis said it will depend on the results of his latest scan and the treatment plan for his thumb going forward.

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Kings guard Davion Mitchell has new representation, having made the move from CAA to Octagon Basketball — Octagon posted a tweet welcoming Mitchell to the agency. The former lottery pick will be extension-eligible during the 2024 offseason and would become a restricted free agent in 2025 if he doesn’t sign an extension before then.
  • Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee takes a closer look at the Kings’ potential next steps with EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov, whose NBA rights are controlled by Sacramento. According to Anderson, the team’s offer for the 27-year-old will likely start in the neighborhood of $3-4MM. That would be roughly equivalent to the first-year salary for a player drafted between Nos. 15-21 in 2023.
  • In a separate story for The Sacramento Bee, Anderson examines a few prospects who could be targets for the Kings at No. 24 in this month’s draft. As Anderson notes, general manager Monte McNair has a track record of selecting older college players with Sacramento’s first-round picks, so forwards like Trayce Jackson-Davis and Kris Murray (Keegan Murray‘s twin brother) could be on the team’s radar.
  • In case you missed it, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez is believed to be one of the finalists in the Raptors’ head coaching search. Toronto is expected to make a decision is relatively soon.

Kings Notes: Sabonis, Fox, Barnes, Monk, Murray, Mitchell

Domantas Sabonis may need surgery for the avulsion fracture in his thumb, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee tweets. The Kings center had an appointment with hand specialists on Monday to discuss whether the thumb needs to be repaired.

While he mends, Sabonis is open to hearing from the front office about potential moves. He said that if general manager Monte McNair and assistant GM Wes Wilcox have questions for him about roster construction, he will provide his input, James Ham of The Kings Beat tweets.

We have more on the Kings:

  • De’Aaron Fox will take lessons from his first playoff series, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. Fox feels he and his teammates have to improve in order to become true contenders. “I know there’s another level I have to get to as a professional and our team has to get as well,” he said. “I’m grateful for this experience. The playoffs are everything that I expected it to be.”
  • Harrison Barnes and Trey Lyles are among the players headed to unrestricted free agency. Malik Monk hopes the front office can keep the core group intact, Ham tweets. “I would love to have the same guys here because we’re all like brothers,’ Monk said.
  • Sabonis is eligible for an extension this offseason but it’s unlikely he’ll agree to one, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks explains. The big man could get an additional four years and $122MM without a renegotiation but the extension is $132MM less than the five-year deal he could sign with the Kings after becoming a free agent next summer. It would also be $65MM less than a four-year max with a rival team that has cap space.
  • In order to acquire another high-level player, the Kings may have to deal Keegan Murray and/or Davion Mitchell, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype opines in his offseason primer.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Draymond, Kings, Clippers

It seemed as though the Warriors had all the momentum after winning three straight games to go ahead 3-2 in their first-round series against Sacramento, which made their Game 6 home loss Friday night all the more stunning, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

Kawakami calls the 19-point defeat Golden State’s “most disappointing” performance since the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green started making the postseason in 2013. The locker room was understandably quiet and reflective afterward.

Still, the team remains confident it will be able to rebound and emerge victorious Sunday afternoon in Sacramento for Game 7.

It’s up to us to go to Sacramento and do everything we did tonight — but opposite,” Thompson said. “And I know we will respond. I just know this team. I know these guys. I’ve played at the highest level with them and I know what we are capable of, and we will respond like the champions we are come Sunday.”

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • It’s time for head coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors to re-insert Draymond Green into the starting lineup in place of the struggling Jordan Poole, argues Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area, who points to Green’s experience of winning in high-pressure situations and his defensive acumen as reasons why the change should take place.
  • The Kings made a “series-altering” adjustment in Game 6, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. They decided to go smaller and faster, with more shooting around De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, who both had terrific games. They went away from Alex Len as backup center and used Trey Lyles at the five, with Terence Davis, Kevin Huerter and Keegan Murray receiving more playing time, while Harrison Barnes and Davion Mitchell played less. “We knew we could run them a little bit and we took advantage of that tonight,” Monk said. “I felt it a little bit more on them. They were a little tired. We’re younger than they are. So we knew we could take advantage of that. We’re going to try to do the same thing Sunday.”
  • Confirming a recent report from Mark Medina, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank says the Clippers will “continue to build around” Kawhi Leonard and Paul George despite their injury troubles, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN relays. “Kawhi’s a ceiling raiser,” Frank said. “When you study past NBA champions, they have a top-five guy on their team, and Kawhi has shown that when healthy he can be the best player in the world. Paul is an eight-time All-Star now. So we’re going to continue to build around those guys and look for every which way [to improve around them].”
  • Both Leonard and George are eligible for pricey contract extensions in the offseason, and the Clippers will discuss the matter with their star players when the time comes, per Youngmisuk. “Those guys are great players and they’re great partners and we want to keep them as Clippers for a long time,” Frank said. “And so we’ll look forward to those conversations. And the No. 1 goal is how can we build a sustainable championship team? And those guys have been great partners, so at the appropriate time, we look forward to sitting down with them.”

California Notes: Powell, Thompson, Kings, Lakers

Clippers reserve guard Norman Powell appears to be rediscovering his fighting form of late. In his most recent contest, a 125-118 win over the Lakers Wednesday, Powell notched a team-high 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register.

“I think it’s like my fourth game back coming off injury after missing 11 games so it was just being prepared and just staying mentally locked in and as (head coach Tyronn) Lue says, not playing so angry,” Powell said. “It just shows how much I love the game and how much I commit to it, and my preparation every single day.”

Playing in his first full season with the Clippers, the 6’3″ swingman is averaging 16.7 PPG on .476/.404/.815 shooting splits. All but eight of his 58 healthy contests have come off the team’s bench.

There’s more out of California:

  • Starting Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson has been dealing with a sore back of late, but head coach Steve Kerr said on Friday that the 6’7″ vet is feeling better and was a full practice participant today, Kendra Andrews of ESPN tweets.
  • The 48-32 Kings could be without several notable players against the Warriors tonight, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee tweets. All-Stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are both questionable with ankle injuries. Shooting guard Kevin Huerter is managing his own injury, while rookie power forward Keegan Murray has a foot ailment. The statuses of forward Trey Lyles and guards Davion Mitchell and Malik Monk are also up-in-the-air. If Sacramento wins out and the Grizzlies lose out, the Kings would be able to secure the West’s second seed by benefit of a tiebreaker, but it appears the team is happy with its current No. 3 seed.
  • Despite a clean injury sheet, the healthy Lakers‘ loss against a Clippers team missing All-Star forward Paul George exposes the club as being less than title-caliber, opines Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times. Plaschke notes that stars Anthony Davis and LeBron James were clearly playing through ailments, and the rest of the team failed to step up to meet the moment.

Trade Market Heating Up For Kyle Kuzma

There’s plenty of interest in Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma as the NBA’s unofficial trade season begins this week, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Pincus cautions that Washington hasn’t decided to move Kuzma, but there’s a risk he’ll leave in free agency next summer if he declines his $13MM player option for 2023/24 as expected. General manager Tommy Sheppard recently indicated that the Wizards intend to re-sign Kuzma, but Pincus points out that the team already has two established scorers in Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis and is off to an 11-16 start.

Pincus adds that Kuzma could be one of the five best players on the free agent market and may become too expensive for Washington to keep.

“He wants out,” an NBA source said told Pincus. “He’s looking for over $20 million a season and in a big market (or with a contender).”

Pincus cites the Kings, who tried to trade for Kuzma in 2021 before the Lakers sent him to the Wizards, as a team to watch. Sacramento can’t unconditionally offer a first-rounder earlier than their 2028 pick, but Pincus believes a deal could be constructed around Harrison Barnes and either that future pick or a young prospect such as Davion Mitchell.

The Suns may see a Kuzma trade as a chance to finally unload Jae Crowder, Pincus notes, suggesting Crowder and Cameron Johnson, who is recovering from knee surgery, may be enough to get a deal done. Johnson will be a restricted free agent next summer, which would allow the Wizards to match any offer he might get.

Pincus also believes the Knicks have interest in Kuzma, who is represented by CAA, the former agency of team president Leon Rose. Obi Toppin could be the centerpiece of a deal, according to Pincus, who adds that New York has young players such as Immanuel Quickley and Cam Reddish to offer, along with a wealth of draft assets.

Kings Pick Up Davion Mitchell’s Option For 2023/24

The Kings have picked up their 2023/24 team option for guard Davion Mitchell, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Mitchell will earn a guaranteed $5,063,640 in ’23/24, his third season.

The No. 9 overall pick in 2021 after helping Baylor win the NCAA Tournament, Mitchell had a big role as a rookie, averaging 11.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG and 4.2 APG on .418/.316/.659 shooting in 75 games (19 starts, 27.7 MPG). He ranked 10th among rookies in both PPG and MPG, and fifth in APG, the team noted in its press release (Twitter link via James Ham of TheKingsBeat.com).

A talented defensive player, Mitchell also posted a solid 2.75-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in ’21/22. He is part of a revamped backcourt that includes De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, with the latter two being offseason acquistions (via trade and free agency, respectively).

The Kings are trying to break their 16-season playoff drought, which is an NBA record. They have some talented players on the roster to aid in that effort, including the aforementioned backcourt rotation, this year’s No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray, veteran Harrison Barnes, and two-time All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis.

California Notes: Lakers, LeBron, Hield, Turner, Klay, DiVincenzo, Mitchell

While it’s still early in training camp, Lakers first-year coach Darvin Ham revealed a surprise starting lineup he’s been using in practices, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. The group around Anthony Davis and LeBron James includes Russell Westbrook, Damian Jones and Kendrick Nunn. Westbrook has heard his name mentioned often in trade rumors, Jones has never been a regular starter in the league, and Nunn missed all of last season due to injury.

James plans to play more often this preseason, when he only saw action in two games, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

We have more from the California teams:

  • The Pacers would almost certainly trade Buddy Hield and Myles Turner to the Lakers if Los Angeles is willing to include its 2027 and 2029 first-rounders without any protections, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the Lowe Post podcast (hat tip to HoopsHype). “My best intel right now is if the Lakers called Indiana right now and said ‘Both picks unprotected,’ the Pacers would do that deal, would probably do that deal.”
  • Klay Thompson was held out of playing in Tokyo this week because he didn’t do any scrimmaging this offseason after the Warriors won the title, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “I didn’t play much this summer,” Thompson said. “With what I went through the last summer, I was healthy, popping my Achilles, it was really hard for me to get out of it, mentally. It’s hard to explain. It’s a mental block or something.”
  • During the preseason opener in Tokyo, Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo played 17 minutes off the bench, contributing nine points, seven rebounds and two assists. He also didn’t commit any fouls or turnovers. Those types of contributions are why the Warriors added him, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. DiVincenzo signed a two-year, $9.3MM contract early in free agency.
  • Davion Mitchell‘s defensive prowess, paired with his budding talent as a creator, could lead to a breakout season for the Kings’ second-year guard, Ethan Fuller of Basketball News writes.

Pacific Notes: Beverley, Westbrook, Saric, Kings

Since the Lakers traded for veteran point guard Patrick Beverley, the future of 2021/22 starter Russell Westbrook has seemed murky. Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register wonders if the duo can actually share the floor together, or at the very least both stick around on the team this season.

Swanson reads tea leaves in recent public statements from head coach Darvin Ham and team owner Jeanie Buss that seem to suggest they appreciate Westbrook and his contributions to the club last year. Swanson writes that, because Beverley can function so well off the ball as a catch-and-shoot long range sniper, and can defend at least both guard positions, he could theoretically play alongside Westbrook, who tends to be significantly more ball-dominant.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • With Donovan Mitchell headed to the Cavaliers, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times opines that the Lakers could look to move Westbrook (and draft compensation) to the Jazz, who have already offloaded four of their best veteran players in separate deals this summer, including both their All-Stars. Woike writes that combo forward Bojan Bogdanovic should be L.A.’s top priority, and also floats the possibility of adding some combination of Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley and Rudy Gay into such a deal.
  • Suns reserve big man Dario Saric missed all of the 2021/22 season while he recovered from a ruptured ACL in his right knee suffered in the first game of the 2021 Finals. The 6’10” big man played well during the Croatian national team’s FIBA EuroBasket 2025 pre-qualifiers in August, writes Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.
  • Three reserve point guards will be duking it out during the Kings‘ training camp later this month. James Ham of Kings Beat assesses each player in terms of their relative strengths and weaknesses on the current Sacramento roster. As a former lottery pick, defensive-oriented second-year guard Davion Mitchell seems guaranteed to get some run behind pricey starter De’Aaron Fox. Ham predicts that Quinn Cook could have an edge over Matthew Dellavedova as the team’s third point guard option.

Kings Notes: Gentry, Jones, Metu, Mitchell

Alvin Gentry will likely coach his final game with the Kings today, but he didn’t want to talk about his future Saturday night, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. In a pre-game meeting with reporters, Gentry brushed aside the topic when asked if he wants to remain with the organization beyond this season.

“I’ve not talked to anybody about that and I’m sure that’s going to come quickly after the season is over, so I’ll leave it at that,” Gentry said. “I’m sure that’s something that’s going to happen pretty quickly after the season.”

Gentry, who started the season as the team’s associate head coach, was promoted to interim coach in November when Sacramento decided to fire Luke Walton 17 games into the season. Gentry was previously able to remain as head coach of the Pistons and Suns after taking over those teams on an interim basis, but it doesn’t appear that will happen with the Kings, who are reportedly looking at established names such as Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts, among others.

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • More changes are expected after another losing season, and they could include Damian Jones, who is headed for free agency after spending his first full season with the Kings. The 26-year-old center played 55 games this year, starting 14, and averaged a career-high 7.9 points per night. “We’ll see what happens in the summer,” he said Saturday when asked about his free agent plans. “… I’ve gained more chemistry with the guys and we see eye-to-eye on some things, so we’ll see what happens when that time comes.” (Twitter link from Anderson)
  • Chimezie Metu is also uncertain about his future, tweets James Ham of ESPN 1320. Metu became a regular part of a rotation this season for the first time in his four-year NBA career, playing 59 games and averaging 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per night. However, his $1.91MM contract for next season is non-guaranteed. “The one thing I learned about this league really fast is that situations can change really fast,” Metu said. “You can’t fall in love with your situation, whether it’s good or bad. Wherever I end up, whether it’s here, another team, it is what it is.”
  • Losing has been an adjustment for Davion Mitchell, who won an NCAA title last season at Baylor, but he believes things are going to improve, Anderson adds in a separate story. Before setting the franchise mark for assists by a rookie in a single game earlier this week, Mitchell addressed Sacramento fans and promised, “This offseason we’re going to get better and make you guys proud.”