Pascal Siakam

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Kings, Siakam, Gordon, Suns

While there was skepticism both inside and outside the Lakers‘ organization about how genuine the team’s pursuit of Dan Hurley earlier this month was, team owner Jeanie Buss was “highly motivated” to land the UConn head coach and was “genuinely disappointed” when it didn’t work out, sources tell Shams Charania, Sam Amick, and Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

After missing out on Hurley, the Lakers circled back to J.J. Redick, reaching a four-year deal on Thursday with the analyst and podcaster that will make him the club’s new head coach. According to The Athletic’s reporting, Redick had a phone call with Anthony Davis on Monday, which was viewed as an important step in the process, since the Lakers “prioritized Davis’ voice” throughout their coaching search. Davis and other key players were supportive of Redick’s hiring, sources tell The Athletic — while LeBron James isn’t specifically named, it’s safe to assume he approves of the choice to bring aboard his podcasting partner.

As has been previously reported, Scott Brooks, Rajon Rondo, Sam Cassell, and Jared Dudley are a few of the candidates on the Lakers’ wish list for spots on Redick’s new staff, per Charania, Amick, and Buha. However, league sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link) that the Mavericks will make a strong effort to retain Dudley, who has been an important part of Jason Kidd‘s staff in Dallas.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • A roundtable of ESPN writers discussed the Lakers‘ decision to hire Redick, sharing their thoughts on their former colleague getting his first NBA coaching job. All five panelists believe Redick will be the first Lakers head coach since Phil Jackson to remain in the position for more than three years.
  • The Kings pursued Pascal Siakam before he was sent to the Pacers, but ended those efforts after the forward reportedly conveyed that he likely wouldn’t sign with the team long-term. Appearing on The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross (YouTube link), Sam Amick of The Athletic explained why Siakam wasn’t enthusiastic about going to Sacramento. “There was an inference from his camp that over the years there were, behind the scenes, somewhat disparaging remarks made that came from the Kings about his game,” Amick said. “The way it was framed to me was that – in an attempt to drive down what it would to get him – some gossipy-type feedback on his game had gotten back to him. … That is the way it was put to me from his side.”
  • Responding to a report stating that Eric Gordon is “50-50” on exercising his player option with the Suns, plugged-in local reporter John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) says he doesn’t expect the veteran wing to be back in Phoenix next season.
  • Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports takes a look at five guards who might make sense as Suns targets in next week’s draft, with Marquette’s Tyler Kolek topping his list. Kolek reportedly visited Phoenix this week for a workout.

Pascal Siakam Intends To Sign Four-Year Max Deal With Pacers

JUNE 19: Siakam intends to sign a four-year, maximum-salary contract with the Pacers after the July moratorium ends, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). As outlined below, a four-year max deal would be worth $189.5MM based on the most recent cap projections.

JUNE 18: The Pacers and star forward Pascal Siakam are nearing an agreement on a long-term contract, reports Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link).

The No. 3 free agent on our top-50 list, Siakam was traded from Toronto to Indiana in January after spending the first seven-and-a-half seasons of his NBA career in Toronto, where he earned two All-Star berths, two All-NBA nods, a Most Improved Player award, and a championship.

In his first 41 regular season games as a Pacer, the 30-year-old averaged 21.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 31.8 minutes per game with a shooting line of .549/.386/.699. Siakam was Indiana’s leading scorer in both the regular season and the playoffs — he averaged 21.6 PPG on 54.1% shooting in the postseason and helped lead his new club to series victories over Milwaukee and New York, resulting in the franchise’s first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals in 10 years.

The expectation is that Siakam, who is coming off a four-year, maximum-salary rookie scale extension, will once again get the max or something very close to it on his new deal with the Pacers, though no terms have been reported yet. A max contract for Siakam projects to be worth approximately $189.5MM over four years or $245.3MM over five.

The NBA and NBPA agreed to a rule change that goes into effect this offseason, allowing teams to begin negotiating with their own free agents on the day after the end of the NBA Finals instead of on June 30.

Technically, the Pacers were allowed to talk to Siakam even before Tuesday, since he has been extension-eligible since arriving in Indiana. However, a player’s years and dollars in an extension are capped for six months after a trade, so Siakam will likely end up becoming a free agent and then signing a new contract instead of extending his current deal. That means that even if he and Indiana reach an agreement shortly, it’s unlikely to become official until July 6, after the moratorium ends.

With a new deal for Siakam on the books and Tyrese Haliburton‘s own five-year, maximum-salary extension taking effect in 2024/25, the Pacers won’t have any cap room available this offseason, barring cost-cutting moves. They’ll have some breathing room below the luxury tax line for now, but will have a few more contract decisions to make after they work out a deal with Siakam — Obi Toppin will be eligible for restricted free agency, Jalen Smith holds a $5.4MM player option that he may decline, and T.J. McConnell will be extension-eligible beginning in July.

Stein’s Latest: Lakers’ Coaching Search, Nembhard, Siakam, Mitchell

J.J. Redick and James Borrego have emerged as the top two names in the Lakers‘ coaching search, but there’s increased speculation about Monty Williams if the Pistons let him go, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column (subscription required). Detroit is going through an organizational shakeup after Trajan Langdon took over as head of basketball operations, and it’s possible that Williams could be replaced along with general manager Troy Weaver, even though Williams still has five years remaining on the $78MM contract he signed last summer.

Stein points out that the Lakers have pursued Williams before. Prior to hiring Frank Vogel in 2019, L.A. first reached out to Tyronn Lue, then turned to Williams after negotiations with Lue fell apart. Williams chose an offer from the Suns over the Lakers.

Signs still point to Redick as the favorite to be the next head coach, with the Lakers hoping to add Borrego as an assistant. However, Stein hears skepticism around the league that the Pelicans would agree to release their associate head coach from his contract for a lateral move.

There could be a small source of conflict if Redick is the selection, Stein adds, noting that Redick, who’s an awards voter due to his role as a broadcaster with ESPN, didn’t put Anthony Davis on his ballot for first or second team All-Defense honors. Davis finished fourth in the DPOY voting.

Stein shares more inside information from around the league:

  • The PacersAndrew Nembhard raised his value with a stellar postseason performance and some teams are now convinced that he can be a successful lead guard, sources tell Stein. That could eventually result in offers greater than what Indiana can give him in an extension this summer. Nembhard is only owed $2MM next season, so a four-year extension that replaces his 2025/26 team option would be worth about $75MM. Without an extension, the Pacers could make Nembhard a restricted free agent next summer by turning down their option for ’25/26 and issuing a qualifying offer. That would allow them to match any offer he gets on the open market.
  • Pacers forward Pascal Siakam is still considering whether to represent Cameroon in an Olympic qualifying tournament next month, Stein adds. One complication is that Siakam is expected to verbally commit to a new contract with Indiana before the start of free agency on June 30. However, the moratorium prevents that deal from being finalized until July 6, which is after the start of the international competition. Siakam may be reluctant to risk injury before his new deal is official.
  • A source tells Stein that the Cavaliers have reasons to be optimistic about their chances of an offseason extension with Donovan Mitchell. There has been repeated speculation that Mitchell might be moved this summer if he doesn’t make a long-term commitment.

Pacers Notes: Siakam, Turner, McConnell, L. Jones

A new contract with free agent forward Pascal Siakam will be one of the Pacers‘ priorities this summer, writes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star, who adds that the options to replace Siakam may be limited if they can’t re-sign him. The two-time All-Star was a valuable addition for Indiana after being acquired from Toronto in January and played a major role in the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals. He was the Pacers’ leading scorer at 21.7 PPG in the 41 regular season games he played, as well as their top scorer in the playoffs at 21.6 PPG.

“Pascal was a great fit,” general manager Chad Buchanan said. “Obviously, we targeted him in the trade. I’ve liked him for a long time and I thought he came in and was a tremendous piece to the puzzle for us and had major impact on the team both on the court and in the locker room. He seems to be happy here and we’re obviously happy with him and hope this is something long-term for both sides.”

If Siakam and the team are unable to out a new deal, Dopirak points to former Pacers star Paul George as a potential target. He and the Clippers haven’t been able to reach an extension agreement, with L.A. reportedly unwilling to give George the four-year contract he desires. Dopirak also names the Knicks’ OG Anunoby, the Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan, the Hornets’ Miles Bridges and the Sixers’ Tobias Harris as other free agents who could replace Siakam, but Indiana would face competition for all of them and wouldn’t necessarily have the cap room necessary to pursue some of them.

There’s more on the Pacers:

  • In a separate story for The Indianapolis Star, Dopirak looks at each player on the roster and examines their prospects for next season. He states that the team and center Myles Turner have both expressed interest in another extension before he becomes a free agent in 2025.
  • T.J. McConnell went from being out of the rotation on opening night to playing crucial minutes in the conference finals, Wheat Hotchkiss of notes in a player review. The veteran guard’s value to the Pacers became more apparent as the season wore on, and he looks like a bargain for next season at $9.3MM in the final year of his contract. “Getting this franchise back into the playoffs and making a run to the Eastern Conference Finals when not a single person had us going there, it was really fun just to play alongside the group and in games like that,” McConnell said.
  • After participating in a pre-draft workout with the Pacers on Tuesday, Purdue’s Lance Jones talked about the prospect of staying in Indiana for his NBA career (video link from the Indianapolis Star). “It’s very exciting,” Jones said. “I love Indiana. They’ve accepted me with open arms, and it just feels like another home for me.”

And-Ones: Top Free Agents, Cousins, Ayayi, Barkley

Lakers star LeBron James is the top name on a list of possible free agents compiled by Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Even as he nears age 40, James has the potential to shake up the league if he turns down his $51.4MM player option and decides to test the market this summer.

Pincus acknowledges that James is likely to remain in L.A. no matter what he does with the option. He can either opt in and extend his contract for two more seasons or opt out and negotiate a new deal starting at $49.4MM. Either way, Pincus expects James’ next contract to run through the 2026/27 season.

Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey is second on Pincus’ list, but he’s almost certain to reach a maximum extension with Philadelphia, which can pay him significantly more than any rival team. Pacers forward Pascal Siakam, Clippers forward Paul George and Clippers guard James Harden round out the top five.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA center DeMarcus Cousins earned Finals MVP honors as he led the Taiwan Beer Leopards to the Taiwan T1 league title, according to ClutchPoints (Twitter link). The six-time All-Star, who hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2021/22 season, joined the Taiwanese team in mid-April.
  • Shooting guard Joel Ayayi, who appeared in seven games with Washington during the 2021/22 season, has signed with JL Bourg in France. The French native played his college ball at Gonzaga, then spent two years in the G League before joining Nanterre 92 this season.
  • As Charles Barkley laments the possible loss of Inside the NBA, he’s also publicly negotiating his next contract, according to Bryan Curtis of The Ringer. Curtis notes that the show’s demise will make Barkley the most in-demand free agent in TV sports history. He adds that Barkley is doing a masterful job of promoting himself by being extremely quotable and appearing on a large number of shows to increase his visibility. Curtis states that Barkley’s approach to the business can be summed up by something he said on a podcast when he was negotiating with LIV Golf two years ago: “I love my job at TNT. I love the people. But you have to take all meetings.”

Pacers Notes: Haliburton, Title Contention, Siakam

If Tyrese Haliburton was given the choice of playing in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, he would have suited up. However, the Pacers star isn’t upset with the team over its decision to hold him out as the Celtics completed a sweep, according to Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star.

Haliburton suffered a hamstring injury in Game 2. He could barely walk after the contest.

“There was obviously an organization-wide meeting with our front office, with agents, with everybody,” he said. “They did what their job is, to protect me from myself and wouldn’t allow me play Game 3. I understand the long-term implications of the chances of re-hurting my hamstring. I’m just very thankful for this organization from protecting me from myself.”

Haliburton said this hamstring strain was different from the one he suffered during the winter, which caused him to miss 10 games.

“It’s a whole new thing,” Haliburton said. “Same hamstring. Just a different spot. It’s definitely frustrating. Anyone who watched me play understood that I was never really 100% after the first time dealing with that. But I wanted to be on the floor. I wanted to play. The 65-game rule (to qualify for postseason awards) was obviously a thing, but I wanted to play. I wanted to play basketball.”

We have more on the Pacers:

  • Haliburton says he’ll hang around Indianapolis and rehab the injury to get ready for the Paris Olympics, Dopirak adds. “I have no concern,” Haliburton said of the injury potentially affecting his Olympic status. “Basically, I have six weeks until I have to report to camp. I’ll be in Indy for the majority of my treatment and rehab. Six weeks is a pretty long time. I didn’t have that ever during the year with the previous injury, so there’s no concern. The organization will be sending medical staff with me the whole time. I don’t really have concern.”
  • Despite getting swept, they are closer to being championship contenders than some experts may believe, according to Seerat Sohi of The Ringer. They will have the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception to acquire another impact rotation player, plus plenty of draft capital along with a relatively young roster than will continue to develop. The Athletic’s Eric Nehm expresses a similar view, noting the Pacers were without Bennedict Mathurin during the postseason due to shoulder surgery and that seven of their top eight players in minutes played could be back next season.
  • The Pacers’ biggest priority this offseason will be re-signing Pascal Siakam and coach Rick Carlisle says it’s essential that the franchise retains the veteran power forward, Dopirak relays. “The first very important step is to begin recruiting Pascal Siakam in earnest,” Carlisle said. “That will start today with exit meetings. He’s a great player. He was tremendous for us. The acquisition of him in late January really was a key enabler for us to not only make the playoffs but be able to advance in the playoffs. That’s something you simply cannot take for granted.” The Athletic’s Shams Charania stated on FanDuel’s Run It Back program (video link) that the Pacers are prepared to offer Siakam a max contract and “there’s mutual interest in getting a deal done.”

Pacers Notes: Siakam, Toppin, McConnell, Nembhard, Turner

The Pacers entered the Eastern Conference finals as massive underdogs, played without their best player (Tyrese Haliburton) for more than half the series, and were ultimately dispatched by the top-seeded Celtics in four games. However, as Jamal Collier of ESPN writes, it feels like a missed opportunity for the team, which had at least a 90% win probability in the fourth quarter of Games 1, 3, and 4, per ESPN Stats & Information.

“It’s still very fresh for all of us,” starting center Myles Turner said following Monday’s Game 4 loss. “Very frustrating to have all these games in your grasp and let it slip through.”

As disheartening as the outcome was, the Pacers recognize they exceeded preseason expectations by making the playoffs for the first time since 2020 and winning two series. Starting guard Andrew Nembhard referred to the postseason experience as “second to none,” while reserve forward Obi Toppin said a “lot of good” came out of the season, adding that “we grew as a whole culture.” Still, there was frustration about not better taking advantage of the opportunity they had this year, since there’s no guarantee that opportunity will arise again.

“I can tell you like, yeah, we’re going to learn from it and it’s going to happen, but it’s not guaranteed,” Pascal Siakam said, per Collier. “I know how hard it is to get to this point. It’s unfortunate. You want to give credit to the other team because they took advantage of every mistake that we made. They did well.

“But for us, it’s been hard, like heartbreaking losses after heartbreaking losses. Yeah, you’re going to be encouraged by it and you hope to put the right amount of work to continue to get better. Because we need to be a lot better if you want to compete with those teams. And understand it doesn’t matter how good we played, we didn’t get it done.”

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • An unrestricted free agent this summer, Siakam declined to specifically address his contract situation but spoke glowingly about the half-season he spent in Indiana after being traded from the Raptors to the Pacers in January. “It’s been a blessing,” Siakam said (Twitter video link via Michael Scotto of HoopsHype). “I’m really appreciative of everything. Coming from where I come from, it means a lot. The support that I’ve received here is something I was kind of missing. Having all that and seeing how the city just breathes basketball and how much support they give to the team…it’s incredible. How would you not be a part of that? I’m just really blessed and happy how this has been.”
  • Re-signing Siakam will be the Pacers’ top priority this summer, as Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) and Mark Deeks of HoopsHype write in their previews of the club’s offseason, though it seems unlikely to be a drawn-out process, Marks observes. Re-signing Toppin and perhaps extending T.J. McConnell could be more challenging negotiations, Marks notes, and improving the defense will be another major offseason goal.
  • While the Pacers would certainly have preferred to have a healthy Haliburton available for Games 3 and 4 vs. Boston, the performances Nembhard submitted as the starting point guard were bright spots in the final days of Indiana’s season, writes Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star. Nembhard averaged 28.0 points, 9.5 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game on .564/.538/1.000 shooting in those two tight losses and “defended at a high level,” per head coach Rick Carlisle. “He could be a starter on any team in this league,” McConnell said of Nembhard, who does typically start alongside Haliburton at the two. “He’s proven that night in and night out. What he’s done in the playoffs is truly remarkable, where defenses are game-planning even more for you. He just rose to the challenge every night.” Nembhard will be extension-eligible this offseason but is still under team control on a minimum-salary deal for two more seasons, so there’s no urgency to get a deal done right away.
  • Making it this deep in the postseason was special for Turner, who said he’s never been beyond the first round of the playoffs in his life, even in high school. As James Boyd of The Athletic details, few NBA players have been with their current teams longer than Turner has been a Pacer, which made this year’s success more rewarding for the veteran center, who has been the subject of trade rumors multiple times over the years and seemed on the verge of being replaced when Indiana signed Deandre Ayton to a maximum-salary offer sheet in 2022. “It’s a rarity that one player is with an organization as long as I’ve been, so I definitely don’t take it for granted. I have a lot of love for the city, and I try to express it as much as I can,” Turner said. “But to be frank, I have dealt with a lot of bullsh–t since I been here. Honestly, just battling sometimes with non-believers, having to deal with all of the trade rumors, having another big man signed right in front of my eyes. … No matter what was thrown in front of me, I’m gonna continue to be the consummate professional and the man that I am. It’s very easy to be like, ‘This happened, so I’m gonna up,’ or, ‘They gave up on me, so I’m gonna give up on them.’ That’s not my M.O.”

Pacers Notes: Haliburton, Carlisle, Bench, More

After Tyrese Haliburton left Game 2 early due to left hamstring soreness on Thursday, the Pacers have listed the star guard as questionable to play in Saturday’s Game 3 (Twitter link). While Haliburton was also said to be dealing with a chest issue in Game 2, the hamstring soreness is his only ailment mentioned on the official injury report.

Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) explores how the Pacers might try to make up for Haliburton’s absence in the event that he’s unable to play in Game 3. As Dopirak notes, the team has solid alternatives at point guard in Andrew Nembhard and T.J. McConnell but might have to dig deeper into its rotation at other positions to cover Haliburton’s minutes. Nembhard and McConnell also wouldn’t be able to replicate the play-making and outside shooting that the All-NBA guard provides.

“He does so many things for our team where everyone just has to move the ball more and get in the paint more,” McConnell said. “The ball movement, like I said, just has to be at another level. He gets 10 assists in his sleep. It’s hard for another person on our team to replicate that. It’s a group effort when he goes down to kinda get people the ball and get moving.”

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • Whether or not Haliburton is healthy, the Pacers won’t have any hope of beating pulling off a comeback and beating Boston in the Eastern Conference finals if they play like they did on Thursday, Gregg Doyel writes in a column for The Indianapolis Star (subscription required).
  • Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle raised some eyebrows in Game 2 by leaning on little-used bench players like Doug McDermott, Jarace Walker, Kendall Brown, and Jalen Smith in the fourth quarter while sitting Myles Turner, Aaron Nesmith, and Pascal Siakam for most or all of the final period. Carlisle explained why he went to his bench so early despite facing a deficit that didn’t seem insurmountable. “To look at some guys that I thought needed a look,” Carlisle said, per Dopirak. “McDermott went in there and played well. Isaiah Jackson brought a lot of fight to the game. Jalen Smith hasn’t had much of an opportunity to play in the playoffs, so I wanted to see where he was at. We weren’t giving up, but it was an opportunity to get some energetic fresh guys in there to fight. They did some good things. … The guys who had played to that point, Pascal was very tired. Aaron had four fouls and he was tired. That was it.”
  • Prior to Game 2, Haliburton told reporters that Indiana has the “best bench in the NBA,” Dopirak writes in another Indy Star story (subscription required). McConnell, Obi Toppin, and Ben Sheppard are the Pacers reserves who have seen the most action this postseason, leading a second unit that ranks No. 1 in the playoffs with 33.4 points per game.
  • While many NBA fans didn’t assign much meaning to the league’s first in-season tournament earlier this season, making the championship game in that tournament benefited a Pacers team that hadn’t made the playoffs since 2020, says Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “There were some real playoff simulations — our quarterfinal game at home, on a Monday night, against (the Celtics), had the feel of a conference finals-matchup atmosphere,” Carlisle said. “The part about going to Vegas and playing there, that was different, but there was certainly the exposure, the stage, all that. So, all those experiences help a young team.”

Fischer’s Latest: Sixers, George, Mitchell, LeBron, Butler, Kuzma, More

With Joel Embiid at center and Tyrese Maxey heading up their backcourt, the Sixers will enter this offseason with significant cap room and a desire to fill the gap between their two incumbent stars with an elite two-way wing, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. According to Fischer, Philadelphia views its opportunity as something similar to the one Golden State had in 2016, when a huge single-year cap spike allowed the Warriors to create the room to add Kevin Durant to a core that already featured Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Whether the 76ers will be able to add a player anywhere near Durant’s level is unclear. Paul George – who has been on Daryl Morey‘s radar since he worked in Houston’s front office, per Fischer – has frequently been cited as the most logical target for the club, but the Clippers remain hopeful they’ll be able to lock up the star forward to a new contract.

As Fischer writes, there are two major factors worth keeping an eye on in regard to George’s situation. One is a belief from rival teams and agents that the Clippers aren’t inclined to commit guaranteed money beyond the three-year window that begins in 2024/25. If that’s the case, a four-year offer from the Sixers or another club could appeal to George.

The second consideration to monitor is whether the Clippers’ ability to give George a no-trade clause could be a difference-maker in negotiations. That would only be an option if George turns down his player option and reaches free agency, but it’s something Philadelphia wouldn’t be able to offer, since a player must have spent at least four years with a team to qualify for a no-trade clause.

In considering other potential suitors for George, Fischer mentions the Magic and the Pacers, though he acknowledges that chatter about the possibility of George returning to Indiana predated the team’s acquisition of Pascal Siakam. The Knicks and Heat are among the other teams expected to go star-hunting, Fischer notes.

For what it’s worth, multiple player agents suggested to Fischer that they’d advise their clients to consider Embiid’s injury history and inconsistent playoff availability before committing to Philadelphia in free agency.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Sixers are willing to sacrifice draft capital and commit future money in order to chase a title next season, Fischer states. If Philadelphia is unable to land an impact player this offseason, the team will likely focus on shorter-term commitments with little to no guaranteed money beyond this season in order to retain flexibility for when another star becomes available. Sources tell Yahoo Sports that the 76ers “took note” of the two-year, $45MM deal the Pacers completed with Bruce Brown last summer, which was only guaranteed for one year and was ultimately used to accommodate the Siakam trade. Warriors swingman Thompson and Nuggets wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be among Philadelphia’s potential free agent targets for similar one-plus-one deals, Fischer reports.
  • The Sixers would be one of the potential suitors for Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell if he’s made available this offseason, but Cleveland has expressed confidence about extending Mitchell, according to Fischer, who says that firing J.B. Bickerstaff is widely viewed as a move toward the team keeping Mitchell long-term.
  • Discussing other possible Sixers trade or free agency targets, Fischer says there’s been no indication from league personnel that LeBron James is seriously considering leaving the Lakers. League executives also believe that Jimmy Butler – who may be the player Morey tried to acquire most often in Houston – will stay with the Heat, Fischer continues. Bulls guard Zach LaVine is another possibility for Philadelphia, but likely only if Chicago or another team is willing to attach draft assets to dump salary, Fischer adds.
  • Kyle Kuzma is expected to be back on the trade block this summer, Fischer writes, though he cautions that the Wizards‘ asking price at this year’s trade deadline was too high for most interested suitors.
  • While rival executives around the NBA have praised the Celtics and Timberwolves for the rosters they’ve built, many of those execs also believe that tax apron concerns could result in those teams being unable to keep all their core pieces over the long term, per Fischer.

OG Anunoby To Hear Rival Offers In Free Agency?

People around the league are convinced forward Pascal Siakam will re-sign with the Pacers in free agency, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, but the situation for Siakam’s former teammate OG Anunoby may not be as “cut and dried.”

Executives left last week’s draft combine believing that Anunoby could end up testing his value on the open market by listening to offers from rival teams in addition to the Knicks, sources tell Fischer.

Fischer acknowledges it could end up being a ploy for negotiating leverage, but the Sixers are among the teams with interest in the 3-and-D standout, who could receive $30-40MM annually on his next deal in free agency. Anunoby holds a $19.9MM player option for 2024/25 that he’s “widely expected to decline,” Fischer writes.

One change in the new CBA that will take effect this summer is that teams are officially permitted to negotiate with their own free agents the first day after the NBA Finals conclude. The latest that could occur would be June 24, a couple days before the draft.

That theoretically gives incumbent teams an advantage, as teams can begin negotiating with outside free agents on June 30 at 5:00 pm CT. Everyone knows negotiations often begin weeks in advance though, which is why so many deals are reported shortly after 5:00 on June 30.

Anunoby retained his Bird rights when he was traded from Toronto to New York at the end of December. That will allow the Knicks to go over the salary cap to offer him a five-year deal up to his maximum salary for ’24/25. The 26-year-old just finished his seventh NBA season, so his max over five years is projected to be worth $245.34M. The most a rival team could offer him would be $181.89MM over four years.

While he is undoubtedly extremely valuable — including the playoffs, the Knicks went 26-6 in games he played and just 13-14 without him — Anunoby has also missed extended time due to injuries throughout his career. He has only averaged 52 regular season games over the past four seasons, including 50 this season after undergoing elbow surgery. A hamstring injury in Game 2 of the Eastern semifinals essentially ended his season, though he attempted to play in Game 7.