Jerami Grant

Pacific Notes: Leonard, George, Allen, Warriors

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue has decided on his fifth starter if Kawhi Leonard isn’t available for Sunday’s series opener against Dallas, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Lue didn’t reveal the name, but Carr speculates it will be Amir Coffey, who started 13 games this season, often as Leonard’s replacement.

Leonard is still officially listed as questionable with inflammation in his right knee that has sidelined him since March 31. He was expected to take part in shooting drills at today’s practice with more movement than he did on Friday, but he still hasn’t participated in anything involving full contact since the knee began flaring up.

Lue said he’s not counting on any one player to slow down the high-powered Mavericks’ attack led by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

“It’s on all of us. It’s not just one player or two players, it’s all of us collectively doing our jobs and doing it the best we can do,” Lue said. “It’s not on one or two guys, it’s on everybody to produce, as well as me and the coaching staff.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Paul George believes bad injury luck has prevented the Clippers from reaching their potential in the playoffs, Carr adds. George is making his return to the postseason after missing last season’s series with Phoenix due to a sprained knee. “Injuries happen. That’s part of the game (and there’s) no way of really avoiding it,” he said. “So, as much as chemistry and being on the floor together and playing the best basketball you could possibly play at this point of the season, a lot of it has to do with luck, too.”
  • X-rays were negative for Suns guard Grayson Allen, who left today’s game with an ankle injury, tweets Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Coach Frank Vogel told reporters that Allen has been diagnosed with a sprain. His availability for Tuesday’s Game 2 will depend on how he responds to treatment.
  • The Warriors will need to be aggressive on the trade market to have another chance at a title during the Stephen Curry era, writes Ron Kroichick of The San Francisco Chronicle. Kroichick suggests making a run at Karl-Anthony Towns if the Timberwolves are knocked out of the playoffs early or possibly Dejounte Murray if the Hawks decide to break up their backcourt. He lists Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, Pacers forward Pascal Siakam and Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram as others who might be obtainable.

Trail Blazers Notes: Injuries, Sharpe, Henderson, Reath

At 19-52, the Trail Blazers don’t have much left to play for, but they don’t intend to shut down any of their injured players for the rest of the season, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Portland started five rookies Saturday night because of injuries to rotation members, but coach Chauncey Billups hopes to eventually have his regular lineup together.

“I think we have so much growth and development that needs to happen,” Billups said. “Obviously, we know we’re not going to the playoffs. But these dudes need to get better. They need to get to know each other while paying. The only way you get better at basketball is playing basketball.”

Jerami Grant is dealing with a hamstring issue that has sidelined him for the past two weeks, and Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t played since February 2 because of tendinitis in his elbow. Billups expressed hope that both players can return before the end of the season, along with Shaedon Sharpe, who has been out since January due to core muscle surgery, and Anfernee Simons, who had an MRI on Sunday after leaving Friday’s game with a knee injury. Simons is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest, which suggests that the injury isn’t that serious. Deandre Ayton, who missed the past two games with tendinitis in his left elbow, is also questionable.

The Blazers ended the past two seasons by sitting out players to improve their lottery odds, but Billups would rather see progress from his current group than focus on the draft. His teams have been hit hard by injuries since he took over as coach three years ago, but he hasn’t lost 60 games in a season and he wants to avoid reaching that total this year.

“I hate that I’m used to it,” he said of dealing with injuries. “But I’ve learned that it’s something that I can’t control, obviously. I try to always be positive and give whatever I have to whoever is playing the best I can. But it has been tough.”

There’s more from Portland:

  • Sharpe has been assigned to the organization’s G League team, marking an important step in his comeback, per Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report. Sharpe will practice with the Rip City Remix while the Blazers are on a two-week road trip and if he responds well, he may be back in the NBA during the final week of the season.
  • Scoot Henderson is sad to see the G League Ignite shutting down after it helped prepare him for the NBA, Highkin adds in a separate story (subscription required). “The coaches, they don’t get enough credit for having to get guys from high school, to get them up to speed in a few weeks to play some grown men that have children to feed,” Henderson said. “You don’t see that. You see them getting beat a lot and having a horrible record. You don’t see the things that they go through day-to-day. From my viewpoint, they helped me in a huge way to be where I am right now. I can’t thank them enough.”
  • Andrew Lopez of ESPN traces the remarkable journey of Duop Reath from his childhood in war-torn South Sudan to becoming an NBA rookie at 27. Reath was playing in Australia when he got a scholarship offer from Lee College in Texas. He eventually transferred to LSU, spent some time in Serbia, China and Lebanon, landed a spot on the Australian Olympic team and played four years in Summer League before getting his NBA opportunity. “I felt a sense of gratitude,” Reath said. “Reflecting on my journey, I feel like every experience played a major role to put me in the position I am today.”

Northwest Notes: Trail Blazers, Henderson, Gobert, George

The Trail Blazers started five rookies in tonight’s game against Denver, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. The lineup consisted of Scoot Henderson, Kris Murray, Rayan Rupert, Toumani Camara and Duop Reath, marking only the second time that a team has started five first-year players since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970/71. The 2012 Warriors were the first, according to a tweet from the Blazers.

The move was necessitated by the team’s lengthy injury list, which grew even longer when guard Anfernee Simons had to leave Friday’s game in the third quarter after hurting his left knee. Coach Chauncey Billups told reporters that Simons will undergo an MRI on Sunday.

Deandre Ayton missed Friday’s game with tendinitis in his left elbow, which is also keeping him out tonight. Jerami Grant is already sidelined with a hamstring issue, and Malcolm Brogdon has been out of action since early February with elbow tendinitis. Billups expressed hope that Grant and Brogdon can return before the end of the season.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Friday marked Henderson’s best performance since suffering a groin injury during the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend, observes Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (subscription required). The No. 3 pick in last year’s draft, who posted 24 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in the Trail Blazers‘ loss to the Clippers, talked about his experience with the “rookie wall.” “It’s a longer season now, so you kind of get that wall a little later,” Henderson said. “After 50 games in the G League, you’re like, ‘OK, let’s play another one.’ But when you hit 50 or 60 [in the NBA], it’s a little tougher now.”
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is determined to not let the pain from a sprained rib keep him out of the lineup, per Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops“You got to embrace the pain sometimes. Sometimes the pain of watching hurts more than the pain of the injury itself,” Gobert said. “It is all about playing through that. As long as I can move, able to impact the game, I am going to be out there.”
  • The Timberwolves fired a team employee this week for stealing thousands of files, some of which contained “strategic NBA information,” according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN. Somak Sarkar was charged with felony third-degree burglary.
  • Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune examines the high turnover rate for Jazz rookie guard Keyonte George and how it might impact his NBA future.

Blazers Notes: Grant, Brogdon, Williams, Ayton

Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin told reporters on Thursday that he doesn’t have a firm timeline in mind for when he expects the retooling Trail Blazers to return to the playoffs, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. However, Brian Windhorst of ESPN suggested on the latest Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link) that one reason the team decided against trading any veterans at the deadline was a desire to push for the postseason next season.

“I actually think the Blazers are hoping, dare say, for a Rockets-like rebound, and I think they are hoping that next year they are competing for the playoffs,” Windhorst said. “I think that’s one of the reasons why you didn’t see Jerami Grant or Malcolm Brogdon (traded). Jerami Grant’s name wasn’t out there for an iota, that I heard, and Brogdon’s name never got serious.”

The Blazers had a handful of potential veteran trade candidates on their roster, including Grant, Brogdon, injured center Robert Williams, and swingman Matisse Thybulle, but ended up just making one minor deal, acquiring Dalano Banton from Boston. Cronin said he was “very content” with that outcome and that he wanted to give the current group more time to jell rather than just selling off players for draft picks.

“If there’s great value, we’ll add picks. If it’s great value, we’ll add players,” Cronin said. “But generally speaking, the deals we were pursuing were more player-oriented. Could we find a guy that provides immediate and long-term help? And is there proper value there?

“… We received lots of offers. I think it did make it somewhat more difficult to pry from us because we are happy with who we have and where we’re at. So, of course, we always want to be opportunistic and not just be thorough in this market, but have a great feel for what our options are and what’s available.”

Here’s more on the Blazers:

  • Head coach Chauncey Billups was happy the front office didn’t make any real changes to Portland’s roster, as Fentress relays. “A lot of people wanted Malcolm, and rightfully so, I’m one of them people,” Billups said. “So, I was happy that we were able to keep him. A lot of people wanted Rob, and rightfully so. I’m one of those people. I think when it’s our turn to actually really compete and be competitive, those are the type of dudes that you want to do it with. So I’m happy we didn’t let them slip away.”
  • According to Fentress, Cronin said one reason the front office stood pat was that he was encouraged by how the Blazers responded to an early-January stretch in which they lost six of seven games by an average margin of 33.2 points per contest. Portland won five of its next 10 after that brutal stretch and Cronin suggested he’s pleased with what he’s seen from both the veterans and youngsters: “I really like where we’re positioned. I like where we’re headed. I like what we’re capable of. I like our team. I like our staff. I like our organization. I think we’re well on our way to good things in the future.”
  • In a post-deadline column for The Athletic, Jason Quick argues that the Blazers should have made a bolder move this week, such as trading center Deandre Ayton. Ayton’s first several months in Portland were “defined by tardiness and tantrums,” according to Quick, who cites team sources. “The quicker the Blazers can move off Ayton,” Quick writes, comparing him to former Blazers center Hassan Whiteside, “the sooner I will believe this franchise is headed in the right direction.”
  • In case you missed it, the Blazers reportedly received $3MM in cash from Boston in the Banton trade.

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.

Lakers Rumors: Trade Market, Reaves, Russell, Vincent

After completing a 4-2 road trip with a victory in Charlotte on Monday, Lakers star LeBron James was asked if he thinks the team has enough to contend as is, or if an upgrade is needed on the trade market.

“It’s not a question for me,” James responded, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I love who we have in the locker room. And that’s all I worry about. … We’re going to go out and prepare ourselves every single night no matter what it is. No matter who’s out on this team. No matter what.”

A team source tells McMenamin that Lakers head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka has been “stuck on calls” all day recently in search of trades that would make sense for the club. As Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, Los Angeles would like to add another solid wing defender – ideally one who can shoot – and continues to seek a player who fits that bill.

Dejounte Murray, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jerami Grant, and Bruce Brown are still among the players who appeal to the Lakers, according to Buha, but Austin Reaves remains off limits in a deal for a trade target of that caliber, and veterans like D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, and Gabe Vincent aren’t nearly as coveted on the trade market. That means the club would have to add draft assets – including possibly its 2029 first-rounder and/or a first-round pick swap – in order to make a meaningful upgrade.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • The odds that the Lakers stand pat or just make a minor tweak along the edges of the roster have increased in recent days, writes Buha. There are a few reasons for that, Buha explains: L.A. has grown more confident in the possibility of internal improvement, the trade market favors sellers rather than buyers, and the team recognizes it could make a more significant move in the offseason when it has more first-round picks available to trade.
  • As trade rumors swirl around him, Russell was asked on Monday why he willingly gave up his right to veto a trade when he re-signed with the Lakers last summer. “I just thought it made sense,” Russell said, per McMenamin. “Obviously I’ve been here before, I played for the Lakers before, so I know what the requirements are to be successful here are. So, if you’re part of the future here you’ll be successful. If you’re not, you’ll get traded. And I’ve been traded before here. So, my approach is just a little different.”
  • Russell’s name has been mentioned in trade talks with the Nets, Hawks, and Raptors in recent weeks, sources tell McMenamin. Among players on those teams, Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale, Murray, and Brown have all been connected to the Lakers.
  • Vincent appears on track to return to the court in early March, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. It’s not a sure thing that the injured guard will still be a Laker by then – since his name has popped up in some trade rumors – but he was given a recovery timeline of about eight-to-10 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in late December and remains on that schedule, Fischer says.
  • The Lakers have used 15 different starting lineups this season. As Khobi Price of The Orange County Register writes, head coach Darvin Ham is hoping his latest one – James, Anthony Davis, Hachimura, Reaves, and Russell – will stick. Of course, if either Hachimura or Russell is traded this week, that starting five will have already played its last game together.

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.

Pacific Notes: Beal, Kings, Curry, Wiggins, Zubac

Bradley Beal had a long list of accomplishments during his 11 seasons with the Wizards, but he never got close to winning an NBA title. He hopes he has that chance with the Suns as he returns to Washington this afternoon, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

“Honestly, (Friday) is probably the first day it hit me, just getting closer to it,” Beal said. “Being back in the building, seeing familiar faces. I have no idea what to expect, to feel, but I’m kind of going in with just an open mind, open heart. Embracing all the feels, embracing the love. Whatever I get, you know, being thankful the moments that we had here and just take it all in.”

Beal has experienced a challenging season since waiving his no-trade clause and being dealt to Phoenix last summer. Back issues and a sprained right ankle sidelined him for 21 games early in the season, but he hasn’t been out of the lineup since late December. He’s currently dealing with a broken nose and trying to snap out of a shooting slump while adjusting to wearing a face mask.

“I’d be naive if I said it doesn’t have a little effect,” Beal said. “Still got to go hoop. Plenty of guys who have hooped with a mask and had success and done well. I got to step it up and be better. I know it’s tough. I got hit in it. Can’t control that, but I can control my play, my change of pace, not turn the ball over. I’ve got to be better, man. I’ve got to be a lot better.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings have interest in trading for Jerami Grant, but he prefers to stay in Portland and the Trail Blazers aren’t eager to move him, a source tells James Ham of Kings Beat (subscription required). Ham also hears that Sacramento has considered acquiring Kyle Kuzma on several occasions and could be in the market again if the Wizards are lowering their asking price.
  • After Saturday’s loss at Atlanta, Warriors guard Stephen Curry said the players can’t afford to get distracted by Thursday’s trade deadline, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (video link). “Until it’s said otherwise or decisions are made, it’s up to us to go out and perform and hold our ground as a legitimate team that can win,” Curry said. “If you’re not, then you approach things differently when the opportunity presents itself.”
  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins left Saturday’s game with a sprained foot, but X-rays were negative and he didn’t need crutches or a walking boot afterward, Slater adds (Twitter link).
  • Clippers center Ivica Zubac has been upgraded to questionable for today’s game at Miami after being sidelined since January 12 with a strained calf, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

Fischer’s Latest: Carter, Brogdon, Smart, Hawks, Jones, Hornets

While there will likely be plenty of trades completed between now and next Thursday’s deadline, many of the players whom rival teams had hoped would hit the market aren’t expected to be available this season, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer details, that list of players who are believed to be off-limits includes several current and former All-Stars, such as Lauri Markkanen, Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Karl-Anthony Towns. It also features talented forwards Mikal Bridges and Jerami Grant, as well as rising talent Jonathan Kuminga.

Fischer isn’t the first to report that those players likely won’t be on the move at the deadline, so no names in that group come as real surprises. However, Fischer adds a few more players to the list of unlikely trade candidates, writing that Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. is no longer considered available and citing league personnel who are skeptical that the Trail Blazers will part with Malcolm Brogdon.

Additionally, while a handful of clubs – including the Bucks and Lakers – have called the Grizzlies to inquire about Marcus Smart, according to Fischer, Memphis has shown no interest in moving the veteran guard, who remains in the team’s plans beyond this season.

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors from Fischer:

  • The Hawks are viewed by rival executives as the most “active and aggressive” team in the trade market, with Dejounte Murray, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and AJ Griffin among the players who could be moved. While previous reports have indicated that Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are Atlanta’s only two untouchable players, Fischer says the club values Bogdan Bogdanovic as highly as any player on its roster outside of Young and Johnson.
  • Even though the Wizards are seeking a first-round pick for Tyus Jones, rival executives are confident that Washington will ultimately accept a package consisting of multiple second-rounders for the veteran point guard, per Fischer. Jones is on an expiring contract and wouldn’t be a starter on many teams, so a first-rounder would be a high price to pay.
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington and center Nick Richards are generating a good deal of interest from potential trade partners, league sources tell Fischer. Kyle Lowry, Gordon Hayward, and Miles Bridges are among Charlotte’s other trade candidates.
  • We also passed along several of Fischer’s trade rumors related to Western Conference teams in a separate article.

Mavericks Notes: Irving, Williams, Prosper, Kuzma, Grant

So far, the Mavericks’ decision to re-sign Kyrie Irving is paying off, Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes. The Mavs currently rank sixth in the Western Conference standings and are considered a dangerous playoff matchup due to their dynamic backcourt.

“I feel like a lot of people misjudged me,” Irving told MacMahon. “Dallas gave me a chance to just focus on the main thing, which is being the best basketball player when I stepped foot here, and then off the court still support me.”

Irving has often come through in the clutch in close games this season, MacMahon notes. Irving feels an on-court connection to Luka Doncic.

“He’s a winner. I’m a winner,” Irving said. “He’s a big gamer. I’m a big gamer. We like going against the best. That’s where I feel like we connect.”

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Grant Williams doesn’t like talking about it, but injuries could be the cause of his inconsistent first season with the club, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. Acquired in a sign-and-trade with Boston, Williams lost his starting job after missing one game with a right knee bruise and two more with soreness in the same knee. He also missed a game early this month with a right ankle sprain. “You’ve got to stay disciplined, keep the work and keep being mindful of every little thing that’s going on. No matter the health, no matter what’s going on off the floor, you have to approach every single day like it could be your last,” Williams said. “No matter if I’m 100%, 60% or 50%, I’m gonna give this team all I have. If it’s 50, hopefully that 50 was valuable enough to help us get a win.”
  • First-round pick Olivier-Maxence Prosper could be the answer to the team’s defensive issues, Noah Weber of argues. The team could use his rebounding and positional size, Weber writes, noting that Prosper is 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and solid frame. “I want to guard the best players in the world,” Prosper said. “This is just a stepping stone towards that. I believe I will be that [a defensive anchor] for the Mavs.” Prosper has appeared in 23 games but none since Jan. 5.
  • Breaking down the roster and the team’s assets, ESPN’s Bobby Marks explains in his video trade guide (Twitter link) why it’s unlikely the team can put together a package for a starting power forward like the Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma or the Trail Blazers’ Jerami Grant.