Monte Morris

Wolves Notes: Gobert, Morris, Ownership, Playoffs

Timberwolves players have developed a level of trust in center Rudy Gobert that they didn’t have last season, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

Gobert had a difficult adjustment to his new team after Minnesota traded for him in the summer of 2022. He wasn’t fully healthy after representing France in the EuroBasket competition, and he got off to a slow start as he adjusted to a new team and a new system. The difference has been obvious this season as the Wolves are tied for the best record in the West at 53-24 and Gobert’s scoring, rebounding and blocked shots have all increased.

“I think trusting Rudy,” Anthony Edwards responded when asked about the team’s most significant area of growth since the season began. “I think that’s the main thing. However many players on the team that plays — me, Nickeil (Alexander-Walker), Mike (Conley), SloMo (Kyle Anderson), Jaden (McDaniels), Naz (Reid), (Karl-Anthony Towns) — we all trust Rudy, like, together.”

According to Krawczynski, that level of trust began being built with the acquisition of Conley at the 2023 trade deadline. The veteran point guard had years of experience playing alongside Gobert in Utah and knew how to maximize his talents. Krawczynski states that Conley showed his new teammates the best ways to pass the ball to Gobert in the post and how to take advantage of the screens he sets.

“I think everybody pretty much has 100 percent trust in him now at this point,” Edwards added. “He makes the right play every time.”

There’s more on the Wolves:

  • Monte Morris is getting a chance to showcase his abilities as the team rests Conley in advance of the playoffs, observes Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. Minnesota picked up Morris at the trade deadline to add another point guard to the roster with postseason experience. “These next games are big for me getting ready for playoffs,” Morris said. “I’ve played in big playoff games, so I know the rhythm you need to be in. I’ve got to be more aggressive, so when the playoffs do come, I’ll be in good rhythm.”
  • The dispute over ownership will likely be decided in arbitration, according to Nick Williams of The Star Tribune. Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez claim they submitted the necessary paperwork to the NBA office to take over a majority stake in the team by the March 27 deadline, but current owner Glen Taylor argues that all conditions weren’t met on time. Lore and Rodriguez have vowed to fight “with all means possible” to make sure the sale goes through.
  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune examines the lower half of the Western Conference playoff picture to determine if there’s an ideal matchup for Minnesota in the first round. He notes that Phoenix and New Orleans are the only teams with two wins over the Wolves this season. “I don’t think as a competitor you’re supposed to allow doubt to set in because you lost twice,” Alexander-Walker said. “If anything, you should become more motivated to win. Have some more fire to you to want to play harder. Figure it out. I know for me, I want to figure it out. I know that whatever I can do in my role in helping other guys in there, just trying to win. I think in the playoffs, if we do have to play them, we have an ultimate goal.”

Wolves Notes: Point Guards, McLaughlin, Offense, Edwards

Point guard has become a position of strength for the Timberwolves, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune, who points out that Mike Conley, Monte Morris, and Jordan McLaughlin shared the court together during Friday’s victory over Cleveland.

Known more for their star frontcourt duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the Wolves have been forced to play smaller lately due to injuries to those big men and it has been working for the club, which also occasionally uses Nickeil Alexander-Walker in a ball-handling role.

“We’re spoiled for choice right there,” head coach Chris Finch said of his point guards. “And I love the fact they all like to play together and they can play together.”

Minnesota acquired Morris at the trade deadline in order to fortify its depth behind Conley at the point, but McLaughlin – who had shared backup duties with Alexander-Walker until that point – has made the case with his recent play that the addition of Morris was more of a luxury than a necessity.

“J-Mac is just playing otherworldly right now,” Finch said. “He has come in and changed the game for us. He’s shooting with so much confidence, making all the normal J-Mac plays, getting all the 50-50 balls, competing for the ball in the air, flying around, getting his hands on stuff.”

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune takes a look at how the Timberwolves’ offense has changed since Towns went down with his knee injury earlier this month, observing that the team has been launching more shots from beyond the arc. Minnesota ranked 25th in the NBA in three-pointers per game up until Towns’ last appearance on March 4, but has jumped to No. 12 in the games since then. “We haven’t made a conscious decision to say, ‘Hey we need to shoot more threes because KAT’s not here.’ It’s a by-product of our spacing,” Finch explained.
  • It has been a tumultuous month for the Timberwolves on the whole — Towns’ injury occurred during the first week of March and was followed by the incoming ownership group’s push to secure the necessary financing in time for its payment deadline. The organization also reportedly fired an employee for stealing thousands of confidential files. However, as Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes, Minnesota’s players have done a good job blocking the outside noise and focusing on its performance on the court, having gone 6-3 with Towns unavailable.
  • Howard Beck of The Ringer hopes NBA pundits don’t make a habit out of comparing rising Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards to Michael Jordan – as some have recently – arguing that such comparisons have backfired repeatedly over the years and that “we should just enjoy the Ant.”

Wolves Notes: Edwards, Anderson, Finances, Sale Date

After Anthony Edwards helped the Timberwolves beat Memphis by shutting down Jaren Jackson Jr. on Wednesday night, he told reporters he deserves a spot on the All-Defensive Team, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Jackson had 29 points midway through the third quarter when Edwards volunteered to guard him, even though he’s about six inches shorter than his World Cup teammate from last summer. Jackson was limited to four points the rest of the way as Minnesota rallied for the victory.

“They just got to watch the games because this is not my first time doing this,” Edwards said, referring to media members who will vote for All-Defensive honors. “I have nights like this all the time where somebody gets hot, their best player gets hot and I go shut ’em down the rest of the game.”

Edwards also sparked the offense with 17 points in the third quarter, Hine adds, bringing some energy on a night when the Wolves were mostly lifeless in a matchup with a sub-.500 team. Edwards, who played nearly 40 minutes despite turning his ankle in Tuesday’s game, said every victory is important to him.

“I come from winning 20 games my rookie year, so I don’t care how we win,” he said. “… If we win the game, I’m happy. I have nothing bad to say.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Kyle Anderson sat out Wednesday’s contest with a sprained left knee, but coach Chris Finch is optimistic that it won’t be a long-term concern, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “I don’t know. It’s, I would say, more day to day,” Finch said. “I don’t think it’s super long, but you never know how these things respond over 48 hours.”
  • Success will be expensive for the Wolves, who are facing heavy tax bills and second-apron restrictions if they keep the current roster together, Keith Smith of Spotrac states in an overview of the team’s finances. They currently have nine players under contract for next season at a combined $183.7MM. Filling out the roster with five minimum-salary signings brings the total to $189.5MM, which is right at the second apron and $18.2MM above the tax line. If free agents Anderson and Monte Morris both re-sign for $10MM per season, Smith adds, the team salary will balloon past $207MM, which is higher than the Warriors or Clippers. Smith notes that the payroll will get even more expensive if Edwards receives All-NBA honors, which would increase of the first year of his new extension from 25% to 30% of the cap max, bumping it from $35.25MM to $42.3MM.
  • Owner Glen Taylor tells Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) that the sale of the franchise to Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez won’t be finalized today, which was originally the target date. Taylor said a new closing date will be set.

Northwest Notes: Hayward, Morris, Jazz, Strawther

Gordon Hayward has battled injuries for the past several seasons and is no longer playing at the same level as he was back in 2017 when he made his first and only All-Star game. But Hayward is the sort of big wing who has real value on a playoff roster, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman, who notes that the price the Thunder paid to acquire the veteran forward – three matching salaries and a pair of second-round picks – was relatively modest.

Hayward may end up being no more than an insurance policy for the Thunder, Mussatto acknowledges, but in a best-case scenario, he’ll become a regular rotation piece and perhaps even a player who could be part of closing lineups. And, as Mussatto points out, the three players Oklahoma City gave up for Hayward (Davis Bertans, Tre Mann, and Vasilije Micic) almost certainly wouldn’t have been playoff contributors.

Hayward, who has been sidelined since December 26 due to a calf injury, appeared to be nearing a return for the Hornets, but he won’t play until after the All-Star break for Oklahoma City, tweets Joel Lorenzi of The Oklahoman.

As Rylan Stiles of Locked on Thunder notes (via Twitter), head coach Mark Daigneault suggested Hayward is probably healthy enough to play today, but the Thunder want to put him through their return-to-play protocol and let him adjust to his new surroundings before he takes the court.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch is enthusiastic about having the opportunity to add newly acquired guard Monte Morris to his rotation, as Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes. “He’s a winner. He just kind of makes the right play. Super solid, low-turnover guy,” Finch said. “He’s used to playing off of a lot of star players really well. I think it’s a fairly seamless partnership with Mike (Conley). It’s not like this other type of guard that you have to adjust to. Just his high basketball IQ, you can’t have enough of those guys.”
  • Morris also expressed excitement about joining the Timberwolves and said on Friday that he’s still getting up to game speed after spending most of the season recovering from a quad injury, per Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. “I was out for a long period of time,” Morris said. “Realistically, I’d say just ramp up my strength and conditioning running. I’ve played in games. I’m not dead tired, but I know there’s another notice I can get to, and I’ll get to it really, really soon.”
  • The Jazz‘s moves at the trade deadline signal that they continue to prioritize the long term over the short term, despite the fact that they currently hold a play-in spot, writes Andy Larsen of The Star Tribune. As Larsen observes, the departures of Kelly Olynyk, Ochai Agbaji, and Simone Fontecchio should open up playing time for rookies Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh.
  • Nuggets forward Julian Strawther, who was sidelined for over a month due to a knee injury, played on Friday for the first time since January 4, scoring seven points on 3-of-8 shooting in 20 minutes. According to Bennett Durando of The Denver Post (subscription required), head coach Michael Malone said prior to Friday’s game that Strawther wouldn’t necessarily be assured of a consistent rotation role going forward.

Timberwolves, Pistons Complete Monte Morris Trade

FEBRUARY 8: The Pistons have officially traded Morris to Minnesota in exchange for Milton, Brown, and the Timberwolves’ 2030 second-round pick, according to announcements from both teams.

Danilo Gallinari was waived by Detroit to complete the transaction.

FEBRUARY 7: The Timberwolves and Pistons are finalizing a trade that will send point guard Monte Morris to Minnesota, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Charania (Twitter link), Detroit will receive Shake Milton, Troy Brown, and a second-round pick in the swap. The pick will be Minnesota’s own 2030 second-rounder, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune (Twitter link).

Morris was traded from Washington to Detroit during the 2023 offseason in exchange for a future second-round selection, but battled back and quad injuries that delayed his Pistons debut until late January. He has appeared in just six games so far this season and has made a limited impact, averaging 4.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 11.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .364/.182/.500.

However, Morris has a solid track record, having averaged 10.5 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 2.5 RPG on .480/.392/.829 shooting in 339 games across five seasons for the Nuggets and Wizards from 2018-23. He was a key contributor for many years in Denver under current Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.

The Wolves had been in the market for a ball-handler who could back up starter Mike Conley. Jordan McLaughlin, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Kyle Anderson have all gotten some reps in that role, but Morris is a more reliable option as a backup point guard, assuming he stays healthy and rounds into his usual form.

Morris is on an expiring $9.8MM contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he doesn’t sign an extension before then. As cap expert Yossi Gozlan observes (via Twitter), the 28-year-old will remain eligible until June 30 to sign an extension of up to two years, but Minnesota already projects to be well into tax territory next season, so it’s possible he’ll end up being a rental.

The Wolves will remain about $1.6MM below the luxury tax line after the trade and will have a pair of open spots on their 15-man roster, Gozlan adds (via Twitter). They’ll also be able to create a $4MM trade exception in the deal.

By acquiring a second-round pick for Morris, the Pistons will recoup the price they initially paid for him and won’t impact their projected summer cap room. Milton is earning $5MM this season while Brown is making $4MM, and both players have identical non-guaranteed cap hits for next season.

Assuming the Pistons hang onto both Milton and Brown for the rest of the season, they’ll have to decide by the end of June whether they want to guarantee either player’s 2024/25 salary.

Detroit will have to trade or waive a player to complete the deal, since the club currently has a full 15-man roster.

Knicks Rumors: Fournier, Brown, Burks, Grimes, Murray

As the Knicks consider potential trade opportunities for Evan Fournier‘s expiring $18.9MM contract, they’re unlikely to trade him in order to take back more players on expiring deals, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. For instance, a deal of Fournier and a handful of second-round picks for Detroit guards Alec Burks and Monte Morris likely wouldn’t appeal to New York, according to Katz, given the team’s longer-term goals.

As Katz explains, the Knicks still hope to get the opportunity to acquire a star this summer, and if they don’t have an expendable player earning in the $20MM range, they may have to include at least two of Mitchell Robinson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo in that sort of deal for salary-matching purposes, which they’d rather not do.

The ideal outcome at this week’s deadline, then, would involve the Knicks sending out Fournier and another asset or two in exchange for a player earning in the $20MM range who is under contract beyond this season. Raptors wing Bruce Brown is one such player, and Katz confirms that the two teams have discussed a deal. Those talks haven’t included Quentin Grimes, instead centering around Fournier and draft compensation, Katz reports.

If the Knicks don’t find a deal involving Fournier by the deadline, a buyout is unlikely, according to Katz, who says the club would strongly consider hanging onto the swingman until the offseason in case his $19MM team option for 2024/25 comes in handy for matching purposes. Given that Fournier’s value on the open market would be well below $19MM, New York would presumably have to line up a trade agreement before or around draft night in order to feel comfortable exercising that option.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • New York has “dipped and dabbled” in talks for Burks, per Katz, and Ian Begley of expects those discussions between the Knicks and Pistons to continue leading up to the deadline. Katz speculates that couple second-round picks might be enough to pry Burks away from Detroit.
  • Katz, like Stefan Bondy of The New York Post, has heard that a trade involving Grimes seems increasingly less likely as the deadline nears. The Knicks’ don’t want to simply trade Grimes to the highest bidder, Katz notes, but would like to use him to acquire a player who could be a valuable long-term contributor. The club has yet to find that player.
  • Although the Knicks have spoken to the Hawks about Dejounte Murray, those talks have been informal, per Katz, who doesn’t think they’ve advanced past the “concept” stage.
  • Teams in touch with the Knicks suggest that New York has cooled on the idea of adding another big man, according to Begley. Precious Achiuwa‘s strong play as of late has presumably factored into that stance, Begley adds.

Western Notes: Wolves, Graham, Suns, VanVleet, Rockets

The Timberwolves‘ front office has been scouring the trade market in the hopes of addressing a couple areas of concern on the bench and better positioning the team for a deep postseason run, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. According to Krawczynski, Minnesota would like to bolster its second unit by adding another ball-handler and/or a scorer or shooter.

Krawczynski confirms a number of previously reported point guard targets for the Wolves, including Tyus Jones and Monte Morris, while also naming Dennis Schröder and Kyle Lowry as a couple more players of interest. Lowry would have to be a buyout target, since Minnesota isn’t in position to match his $29.7MM salary on the trade market.

If the Wolves focus on a scorer rather than a point guard, Alec Burks and Bones Hyland are among the players who could be fits, Krawczynski writes.

Krawczynski doesn’t expect Minnesota to move Kyle Anderson, referring to him as a key part of the team’s defense and an important voice in the locker room. That’s notable, since hanging onto Anderson and their other five highest-paid players (Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, and Naz Reid) would leave the Wolves with no trade chips earning more than $5MM, limiting their ability to salary-match for players earning much beyond the mid-level.

Here are a few more notes and rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • Veteran point guard Devonte’ Graham hasn’t griped about not having a role with the Spurs this season and has enjoyed being in San Antonio, but he acknowledged that he wouldn’t be opposed to a trade if it gives him an opportunity to play more, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. “I mean, yeah,” Graham said. “Everybody wants to play.”
  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic previews the trade deadline for the Suns, noting that a potential package of Nassir Little and second-round picks hasn’t generated a ton of interest among prospective trade partners.
  • The Rockets will be without starting point guard Fred VanVleet on Tuesday in Indiana, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, who says VanVleet has been ruled out due to a left adductor strain. That injury often requires a multi-game absence, but Houston hasn’t issued an update on the guard’s status beyond Tuesday.
  • Rockets center Jock Landale and forward Jae’Sean Tate are trying to tune out the trade rumors surrounding them as Thursday’s deadline nears, Feigen writes in another story for The Chronicle. “Whether they choose to trade me or keep me is completely up to them. I signed here to play for (head coach) Ime (Udoka),” Landale said. “I signed here to help the Rockets to get back to their winning ways. It’s not a decision that’s in my power or my control. We’ll see what happens.”

Scotto’s Latest: Jones, Wright, Hayes, Grizzlies, Okoro, More

He may not be a splashy name, but veteran point guard Tyus Jones is drawing interest from a variety of teams on the trade market, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

The Lakers and Timberwolves have previously been linked to Jones, which Scotto confirms. However, he also adds three new possible suitors to the list: the Magic, Spurs and Nets.

As Scotto previously reported, the Wizards want a first-round pick back for Jones, preferably one beyond the 2024 draft, with a chance at being a top-20 selection. However, rival executives are reportedly confident that Washington will ultimately accept multiple second-rounders for the 27-year-old, who likely wouldn’t be a starter in certain situations and is on an expiring $14MM contract.

Jones has been the NBA’s assist-to-turnover leader for several years running and is posting career highs in several categories as a full-time starter for the first time in his NBA career, averaging 12.2 PPG, 6.3 APG (against 0.9 TOV), 2.8 RPG and 1.2 SPG on .491/.392/.758 shooting in 49 games (28.5 MPG). He has limitations too of course, namely size (he’s listed at 6’1″, 196 lbs.), which limits his defensive versatility.

It’s worth noting that San Antonio currently deploys Jones’ younger brother, Tre Jones, as its starting point guard, though the Spurs are reportedly on the lookout for a long-term fixture at the position, viewing Tre as more of a strong backup.

The Magic seem like an odd fit for Jones, since they have Markelle Fultz (another impending free agent), Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Anthony Black as backcourt players who can initiate offense, though those duties are frequently handled by Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. Jones would obviously help on the turnovers front, but he’s small as opposed to rangy and athletic, which is the mold of the rest of Orlando’s roster, and he isn’t a high-volume long-range shooter (3.7 three-point attempts per game), which is a team weakness.

Here’s more from Scotto’s latest rumor round-up:

  • The Celtics, Kings and Timberwolves are among the teams with interest in Wizards guard Delon Wright, sources tell Scotto. Washington is looking for second-round picks for the veteran guard, who had a previous stint with Sacramento back in 2020/21. Known for his excellent defense, Wright is on an expiring $8.2MM contract.
  • Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required) reported on Sunday that Killian Hayes‘ camp preferred a change of scenery, and sources tell Scotto the Grizzlies are among the teams to show interest in the fourth-year Pistons guard. Hayes has fallen out of Detroit’s rotation of late and could be a restricted free agent if given a qualifying offer this summer. As for players rivals teams are monitoring from Memphis’ side, Scotto hears Xavier Tillman, Ziaire Williams and Jake LaRavia are all considered potential trade candidates. Tillman will be an unrestricted free agent, while former first-rounders Williams (third year) and LaRavia (second) are still on rookie scale deals.
  • Forward Danilo Gallinari is another Pistons trade candidate, Scotto adds, with the Lakers checking in on the asking price for the Italian veteran.
  • Cavaliers wing Isaac Okoro is considered a trade candidate by rival teams, Scotto writes. One GM who spoke to HoopsHype speculated that Okoro could get $14MM annually in free agency this summer — right around the projected mid-level exception for 2024/25. As with Hayes, Okoro will be a restricted free agent if he’s tendered a qualifying offer, otherwise he’d be unrestricted and free to sign with any team. According to Scotto, the Knicks, Hawks, Pacers, Suns and Bucks are all worth watching, as they all have an interest in two-way wings.
  • In addition to Tyus Jones, Monte Morris, Bones Hyland and Wright, the Timberwolves also have interest in Pistons guard Alec Burks, Scotto reports. As Sankofa reported, the Pistons value Burks and “aren’t eager” to part with him. Sankofa suggested it would take a “strong offer” for Detroit to trade the 32-year-old, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. As for players Minnesota might move, rival executives are eyeing Wendell Moore, Shake Milton and Troy Brown, according to Scotto.
  • The Timberwolves are “hopeful” about their chances of re-signing veteran point guard Mike Conley this summer, Scotto adds. Conley, 36, has started all 45 of his games this year for Minnesota, averaging 10.6 PPG, 6.4 APG, 2.8 RPG and 1.0 SPG while shooting 43.6% from long distance. He’s making $24.4MM in the final year of his deal.
  • The Celtics continue to look for bench upgrades, with minimum-salary players and draft picks the likely outgoing pieces in a deal, according to Scotto.

Pistons Rumors: Harris, LaVine, Morris, Bogdanovic, Burks

With Zach LaVine out for the season, Sixers forward Tobias Harris may be the Pistons‘ top trade target, James L. Edwards of The Athletic writes in an overview of the team’s options ahead of Thursday’s deadline. Edwards has stated since December that the Pistons have interest in Harris, who spent time in Detroit early in his career and has connections with members of the front office and coaching staff.

Harris has been a reliable scorer throughout his career and is averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists this season while shooting 51.2% from the field and 34.4% from three-point range. The 31-year-old can handle either forward spot and would give the Pistons a frontcourt weapon to team with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.

Edwards cautions that Detroit might not be overly aggressive in pursuing Harris this week because of his upcoming free agent status. The front office may be reluctant to part with a significant asset when it will have plenty of cap room to sign him this summer.

Edwards has more on the Pistons:

  • Detroit seems to have paused trade talks regarding LaVine, but Edwards isn’t certain that the team was ever very committed to acquiring him. While he reports there were “many discussions” between the Bulls and Pistons in recent weeks, sources in the organization tell Edwards that Detroit would have only gotten serious about such a move if Chicago was willing to attach other assets like draft compensation or another player such as Patrick Williams. Edwards also speculates that the Pistons may have been willing to take on LaVine’s contract if the Bulls would have accepted expiring deals in return, but he’s not certain of that. Chicago was asking for Bojan Bogdanovic and another young player, according to Edwards, who doesn’t believe Detroit would have ever agreed to that price.
  • League sources tell Edwards that numerous teams have inquired about Monte Morris. He cites the Timberwolves as one of the most interested parties, noting that they tried to deal for the veteran guard when he was still with Washington. Morris recently returned after being sidelined by injuries for the season’s first 43 games, and Edwards suggests that Detroit might prefer to hang onto him.
  • Edwards hears that rival teams have “strong interest” in Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, but the Pistons are leaning toward keeping both players unless the current offers improve.

Western Trade Rumors: Wolves, Kings, Mavs, Vincent, Suns, Tillman

The Timberwolves are exploring the point guard market and considering making a trade for a player who could back up Mike Conley, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

While Fischer suggests that a reunion with Tyus Jones may be an option for Minnesota, he hears from league sources that the team is also eyeing a pair of guards who have connections to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly: Monte Morris of the Pistons and Bones Hyland of the Clippers.

Both Morris and Hyland played for Connelly’s teams in Denver before he left for the Wolves, and both players are considered potential trade candidates. Morris is on an expiring contract on a lottery-bound team, while Hyland has fallen out of the regular rotation in Los Angeles.

Here are a few more Western Conference rumors from Fischer:

  • Fischer, like Marc Stein, hears that the Kings have interest in Kyle Kuzma. However, outside of the Wizards forward, Sacramento hasn’t really been actively pursuing other targets that would require the team to part with Harrison Barnes, so Barnes could remain with the Kings through the trade deadline, Fischer says. Conversely, the Mavericks – who have also been connected to Kuzma – are known to have interest in several other forwards, including Dorian Finney-Smith and Andrew Wiggins.
  • Although D’Angelo Russell has been cited more frequently as a trade candidate, the Lakers are also including Gabe Vincent in various trade talks, sources tell Fischer. Vincent hasn’t been healthy this season and is under contract for one more year than Russell is, so his value will be limited, but his lower cap hit ($10.5MM) may make him a better fit in certain scenarios than D-Lo ($17.3MM).
  • The Suns continue to be the team linked most frequently by league personnel to Hornets forward Miles Bridges, Fischer writes, noting that both Bridges and Suns owner Mat Ishbia are former Michigan State Spartans.
  • Grizzlies big man Xavier Tillman has generated “a wealth of interest” from playoff contenders, according to Fischer. Tillman will reach unrestricted free agency this summer if he doesn’t sign an extension before then.