Tyus Jones

Wizards Notes: Jones, Offseason, Coaching Search, Coulibaly

Most veteran free agents on rebuilding teams would prefer to play for a contender. Wizards guard Tyus Jones would rather stay put, according to Ava Wallace of the Washington Post.

Jones got a long-awaited opportunity to start for Washington after an offseason trade from Memphis. He started in all 66 games he played, averaging 12.0 points and 7.3 assists per contest.

“From the day I was traded, obviously, knowing that I’m on an expiring deal, just being in the league, anyone who pays attention to the NBA, you know what that can mean sometimes. But without saying what that means, that was never the plan from the front office with me,” Jones said. “They’ve said from the beginning: ‘We want you here. The plan is for you to be here long term, and when we get to that bridge, we’ll cross it.'”

We have more on the Wizards:

  • It will be a busy spring and summer in D.C., Wallace notes in her offseason outlook. The franchise is searching for a head coach, and while they only have two free agents, the Wizards will be evaluating their young roster and looking for ways to accumulate more assets.
  • Speaking of the coaching vacancy, The Athletic’s Josh Robbins reports that the front office plans to spend the next week or so mapping out and refining their search process before they begin the interviewing process. Interim coach Brian Keefe will receive consideration for the permanent position, per Robbins. The front office will focus on candidates who relate well to players and have a player-development focus.
  • Even though he didn’t post eye-popping stats, Bilal Coulibaly had a solid rookie season, Robbins writes in a separate story. Coulibaly played in 63 games until he suffered a season-ending fracture in his right wrist on March 16. Coulibaly showed a willingness to keep the ball moving rather than taking low percentage shots. “If you look back on young wings and young bigs getting on the floor, getting the minutes, getting the experience in Years 1 and 2, through our research, is the most important thing,” Washington general manager Will Dawkins said. “And he was able to get those consistently this year, which is very valuable for his future and predicted success.”

Southeast Notes: Poole, Banchero, Harris, Bridges

Wizards guard Jordan Poole has been a frequent target of criticism on social media for errors he makes, sometimes edited to make him look worse and sometimes not, but he understands that the platforms amplify outrage, and he doesn’t pay attention to it, writes Yaron Weitzman of Fox Sports.

I get what it’s for, but you can be overwhelmed with that stuff,” he said. “I can’t do anything about it, right? Just live with it. That’s our generation’s challenge.”

That doesn’t mean Poole is ignorant of what some people think about him. It has been a rough adjustment in his first season with Washington, which hasn’t gone as he or anyone else had hoped on the court. Yet Poole’s confidence remains unshaken, Weitzman notes.

Everything that I’ve done [in my career] has essentially worked,” Poole said of the outside criticism. “So there’s no need to change anything. Just find ways to get a little bit better, wherever I can.”

Martenzie Johnson of Andscape recently published an interesting profile of Poole as well, writing that the 24-year-old’s brash, flashy game stands in stark contrast to what he’s like off the court — an introspective, process-oriented person who’s a diligent worker and very private. Based on how he plays, you’d think Poole enjoys attention, but the opposite is true, according to Johnson.

Poole has been playing better since becoming the primary play-maker off the bench, both authors note, averaging 19.8 PPG, 4.2 APG, 2.9 RPG and 1.1 SPG on .434/.374/.884 shooting over his past 16 games (29.0 MPG), though he’s recently been starting at point guard in place of the injured Tyus Jones, who will miss his fifth straight game on Saturday with a back injury. Poole is questionable for Saturday’s contest vs. Toronto with a right hip contusion, the team announced (via Twitter).

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Magic forward Paolo Banchero had his second career triple-double in Thursday’s victory over New Orleans, and head coach Jamahl Mosley praised the former No. 1 overall pick after the performance, per Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter video link). “He reads what the defense is doing, he adjusts as the game is going on and then he finds his time to pick, time to attack,” Mosley said as part of larger quote. “That’s growth of a young man but it’s also what an All-Star does, it’s what great players do.”
  • Magic guard Gary Harris exited Thursday’s contest with right foot soreness and did not return, per the team (Twitter link). Harris had been questionable for Saturday’s game against Sacramento with a right plantar fascia strain, Beede tweets, but he was ruled out this afternoon, the Magic announced (via Twitter). Harris, who is on expiring $13MM contract, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 29-year-old veteran has been limited to 94 games over the past two seasons due to various injuries.
  • Forward Miles Bridges missed all of last season after pleading no contest to a felony domestic violence charge. He remains close with his college head coach, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, who believes Bridges has found a good home with the Hornets, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “I think it would be good for him,” Izzo said of Bridges potentially re-signing with the Hornets. “That’s what he is — he’s a pretty loyal guy and I don’t think he’s just chasing the money. He’s had a chance to leave already probably, you know? And I talk to him about it. It’s almost refreshing. He’s kind of an old school throwback, young school guy. And if he just gets everything else straightened out, which he will, I think it’s going to be special.” Bridges will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason after signing a one-year qualifying offer in 2023.

Wizards Notes: Poole, Jones, Losing Streak, Omoruyi, Coulibaly

Jordan Poole‘s recent move to a sixth-man role may not be in the Wizards‘ best long-term interests, writes David Aldridge of The Athletic. Aldridge admits that the inefficiencies in Poole’s game have been glaring since Golden State traded him last summer to a Washington team where he’s expected to be the best player. Poole is the Wizards’ most explosive scorer and has an ability to create his own shot when the offense bogs down, but he’s shooting just 40.1% from the field and 31% from three-point range this season while turning the ball over 2.2 times per game.

Point guard Tyus Jones is extremely efficient with the ball, but Aldridge notes that pairing him with Poole wasn’t working because they’re too small to play together and neither is a good defender. With Poole in the first season of a four-year, $123MM extension, Aldridge doesn’t expect the Wizards to be able to trade him any time soon. Jones is headed toward free agency this summer, which is why Aldridge believes the organization should commit to Poole as its starting point guard despite the flaws in his game.

Explaining the move, interim coach Brian Keefe said he’s a “huge believer” in Poole and expects him to have more offensive freedom coming off the bench.

“I want Jordan to be himself. And that was my message when I first took over,” Keefe said. “I want him to play in attack mode. And I think this is more of an opportunity for him to do that, because of the amount of time he puts into it. And what he can mean for our team when he does that.”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Players are doing their best to stay positive amid a losing streak that reached 14 games Friday night, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. They’re two losses away from the franchise record, but the locker room emphasis is on continued growth. “Right now, we understand a lot of things we’re doing … halfway through the year. Changing coaches, we’re also changing a lot of philosophies, we’re also changing to do a lot of things that these young guys, they haven’t necessarily been taught,” Kyle Kuzma said. “We have a learning curve right now. We understand that. It’s always tough to lose, especially when you’re a competitor, and everybody in this locker room is a competitor. But we understand that we’re searching and we’re fighting for growth every single day.”
  • Interim coach Brian Keefe said Eugene Omoruyi‘s effort level helped him earn a standard contract after he was a two-way player for most of the season, Wallace adds. “This is someone who has worked his tail off behind the scenes, and then you guys get to see it occasionally when he plays,” Keefe said. “Every time we put him out there, we’ve done well. I think it’s also a credit to our development program and the use of the Go-Go in the G League and their staff. But mostly, Gene deserves it. He’s a guy that represents stuff that we’re about as a culture and want to build. Thrilled for him.”
  • In an interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, rookie forward Bilal Coulibaly talks about the challenges of his first NBA season.

Wizards Notes: Kuzma, Gafford, Jones, Holmes, Arena Battle

After previously reporting that the Wizards nearly traded Kyle Kuzma to Dallas at last week’s deadline, Josh Robbins of The Athletic says head of basketball operations Michael Winger actually informed the forward that the general framework of a deal sending him to the Mavericks was in place. Winger didn’t necessarily love the return, so when Kuzma told him he’d prefer to stay in D.C., the Wizards decided not to move forward with it.

“There was a point in time, Dallas, they definitely did want me,” Kuzma told Robbins. “Winger presented me with what the trade was and obviously didn’t want to trade me and kind of left the decision up to me a little bit and asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to stay and continue to build something. And that was kind of the end of it.”

“… In my career, I won a championship,” Kuzma said in explaining why he opted against being traded to the Mavericks. “So, I understand that when we play this game of basketball it’s not about contending for a playoff spot. It’s about contending for an NBA championship. There’s only like three or four contenders — true contenders. I just felt like our timelines didn’t line up.”

As Robbins explains, Kuzma’s contract doesn’t include a no-trade clause, but the Wizards pledged to him and agent Austin Brown when re-signing him last offseason that unless they got a trade offer too good to refuse, they’d listen to his input when considering whether to move him. It’s unclear what the Mavericks offered for Kuzma, but it clearly didn’t blow Washington’s front office away.

“Kyle’s an important player for us and (a) significant contributor to our developing culture,” Winger told Robbins. “His commitment is necessary for us to achieve our competitive and environmental objectives. Under the circumstances, I wanted to check in with his belief to continue leading us. He reemphasized his desire to forge ahead, and we’re honored to have him.”

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • After failing to agree to terms on a Kuzma deal, the Wizards and Mavericks pivoted in their discussions and completed a trade sending Daniel Gafford to Dallas. The big man scored 16 points and matched a career-high with 17 rebounds in a victory for his new team over his old one on Monday, writes Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. “Gaff’s got the easiest job in sports now,” Kuzma joked after the game. “Everybody’s just going to double (Luka Doncic), he’s going to catch the ball in the middle of the key, and he’s just got to make the right play, either pass it or dunk it. 16 and 17 in 24 minutes, that’s tough. That’s tough. Happy for him, very happy for him.”
  • As with Kuzma and his representatives, the Wizards had ongoing conversations with Tyus Jones and his agent Kevin Bradbury in the days leading up to last Thursday’s deadline about possible trades, according to Robbins. Jones said he appreciated the “open and honest” approach from the franchise, which reportedly has interest in re-signing him this summer. “I take a tremendous pride in being a leader in this locker room and being a leader on this team and for this organization,” Jones said. “So, for the front office to continue to trust in me and believe in me, I appreciate that, and we’re going to continue to take steps forward here.”
  • Richaun Holmes, traded from Dallas to Washington in the Gafford deal, made his Wizards debut on Monday against his old team, scoring 10 points in 13 minutes. He spoke over the weekend about what he’ll bring to D.C., as Chase Hughes of the Monumental Sports Network relays. “Just toughness, especially on the interior,” Holmes said. “Whether that’s rebounding or scoring, protecting the paint. Trying to bring toughness and camaraderie. Talk to those guys, help them on the backline on defense as well as freeing them up with screens on offense, rolling to the rim and finishing.”
  • The Wizards’ plans to build a new arena in Alexandria, Virgina have hit a snag, according to reports from Sarah Rankin of The Associated Press and Laura Vozzella and Meagan Flynn of The Washington Post. Senator L. Louise Lucas said on Monday that she has serious concerns about the public financing involved in the proposed deal and considers the bill “dead,” while D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated that she intends to enforce the Wizards’ lease agreement with Capital One Arena in Washington.

Southeast Notes: Highsmith, Rozier, Jones, Wright, Magic, Forrest

Heat swingman Haywood Highsmith has been cited for careless driving after being involved in a car accident that left a man hospitalized, reports Angie DiMichele of The Sun Sentinel. The citation is not considered criminal, but Highsmith was described in a police report as driving in a “careless or negligent manner,” per DiMichele.

Highsmith’s agent Jerry Dianis issued a statement describing the circumstances of the accident.

“At approximately 11:20 pm, Haywood struck a pedestrian pushing an unlit disabled car down the middle of a dark road,” Dianis said. “Haywood immediately rushed to help the person pushing the car who had been injured. Haywood assisted a bystander who applied a tourniquet to the injury and stayed on the scene talking to the injured man offering words of comfort until an ambulance took him to the hospital.

“Mr. Highsmith had not consumed alcohol or drugs and was not speeding. This was an unfortunate accident. We have been notified that the person sustained significant injuries but is in stable condition. Haywood and his family are praying for him. Haywood is of course shaken by this and appreciates the support and prayers he has received from the Miami Heat and fans.”

Highsmith returned to Heat practice on Friday after missing Wednesday’s game in the wake of the incident.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Terry Rozier was acquired by the Heat on January 23, but due to the nature of the team’s in-season schedule, he didn’t take part in a full practice with his new club until Friday, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. “It feels good just to get up and down with these guys and put a lot more things in that we can get better at in the game,” Rozier said after the session.
  • Josh Robbins of The Athletic takes a look at why the Wizards‘ trade deadline was quieter than anticipated, with guards Tyus Jones and Delon Wright among the trade candidates who stayed put. Teams were only willing to offer second-round picks for Jones, Robbins reports, so Washington decided to hang onto him and will strongly consider re-signing him in free agency this summer. Robbins adds that the offers for Wright were “underwhelming” and would’ve required the Wizards to take on salary beyond this season.
  • Franz Wagner has no problem with the Magic opting to stand pat at the trade deadline, telling Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link) that he views it as a sign of trust from the front office.
  • The Hawks will have to make a decision soon on guard Trent Forrest, tweets Brad Rowland of Locked on Hawks. As Rowland explains, despite only appearing in 19 games so far, Forrest has been active for 49 — players on two-way contracts are limited to a maximum of 50. Atlanta would have to promote Forrest to its standard roster, which is currently full, to allow him to exceed that limit.

No Deadline Deals Involving Lakers, Cavs, Hawks, Bulls, Others

While we certainly saw a flurry of activity prior to today’s trade deadline, seven teams didn’t make any moves at all over the past week, observes Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). That group features the Lakers, Cavaliers, Hawks, Bulls, Magic, Heat, and Pelicans.

Miami and New Orleans made previous trades this season, but the other five teams did not.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links), the Lakers were actively involved in trade talks, but decided any deal would have been a “marginal upgrade” with a prohibitive cost. L.A. plans to be “aggressive” in the buyout market, however, and will have up to three first-round picks to trade this summer, versus the one it had available during the season.

As Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times writes, Dejounte Murray and Alex Caruso were among the players the Lakers were interested in, but they decided the Hawks’ and Bulls’ asking prices were too steep.

The Cavs — the league’s hottest team — “believe strongly” in the roster they’ve constructed, and they also have a pair of standard roster spots open to peruse the buyout market, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).

The Hawks were reportedly aggressive in proposing trade concepts, yet decided to keep the roster they have, despite their mediocre 22-29 record. Murray was the player most prominently featured in rumors from Atlanta’s roster.

The 24-27 Bulls also decided to stand pat, with center Andre Drummond among the players they retained, confirms Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (via Twitter).

According to Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel, the Magic’s front office “did its due diligence” in evaluating the market, but it likes the current roster and wanted to maintain continuity ahead of a potential postseason push. Orlando is currently 27-24.

The Raptors made a handful of trades this season, including two on Thursday, yet one player who many expected to be on the move remains on the roster. Toronto decided to hang onto Bruce Brown past the deadline, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The rebuilding Wizards were viewed as sellers ahead of the deadline, and they did trade Daniel Gafford to Dallas. But they also decided to keep veteran guards Tyus Jones and Delon Wright, two players featured in plenty of trade rumors, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Trade Rumors: Sixers, Wizards, Wiggins, Nuggets, Suns

Within a discussion about the trade deadline in the latest Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link), Brian Windhorst of ESPN identified the Bucks as one of the most active teams on the trade market, suggested the Nets have explored both buying and selling, and said that he expects the Sixers to make at least one trade by Thursday’s deadline. Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Furkan Korkmaz, and Danuel House are among Philadelphia’s most likely trade candidates, per Windhorst.

During that same Hoop Collective conversation, Windhorst stated he expects the Wizards to make at least one deadline deal, though he’s skeptical it will involve Kyle Kuzma, identifying Tyus Jones as the player more likely to be on the move. Windhorst added that Washington has also had talks involving Deni Avdija, though he’d be surprised if the fourth-year wing is dealt.

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

  • In addition to joining the list of teams with interest in Bulls center Andre Drummond, the Sixers continue to scour the trade market for outside shooting, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack article. Buddy Hield is one potential target, as Jake Fischer reported on Tuesday, and Bojan Bogdanovic is another clear fit, Stein writes. According to Stein, however, the Pistons are seeking at least a first-round pick in exchange for Bogdanovic and have let teams know that their preference is to keep him.
  • After reporting on Tuesday that Dallas’ interest in Andrew Wiggins may be overstated, Stein says he has heard the same about the Bucks‘ reported interest in the Warriors‘ forward. Still, Golden State is expected to continue exploring trade possibilities for Wiggins up until Thursday’s deadline, Stein writes.
  • Appearing on 92.5 FM in Denver on Wednesday, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said he doesn’t expect the team to make a move at the deadline, per Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports (Twitter link).
  • Phoenix doesn’t intend to give up any of its few remaining trade assets for a mere insurance policy, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who tweets that if the Suns are going to acquire a player, they would need to view that player as someone who would be part of their eight- or nine-man playoff rotation.

Stein’s Latest: Wiggins, Mavs, Finney-Smith, Bucks, Wizards

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Mavericks and Warriors weren’t engaged in any active discussions about an Andrew Wiggins trade, Marc Stein reports within his latest Substack article.

Dallas has repeatedly been cited as a team with interest in Wiggins, but sources tell Stein that interest has been overstated. As Stein previously reported, the Mavericks have been prioritizing power forwards over small forwards. Wiggins has played at the four, but is more of a small-ball option there and is a more traditional three.

That stance may explain why one recent report suggested that Dallas also hasn’t shown serious interest in Dorian Finney-Smith, another player who would be a smaller four. According to Stein, P.J. Washington of the Hornets and Kyle Kuzma of the Wizards are two of the players who remain on the Mavs’ radar.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Speaking of Finney-Smith, Stein and Ian Begley of SNY.tv each confirm that the Bucks have shown interest in the Nets forward. However, Brooklyn has sought at least one first-round pick in return for Finney-Smith and Milwaukee doesn’t have one to trade, so it’s unclear whether the two sides would be able to find common ground. The Nets have been signaling that they’re willing to hang onto Finney-Smith beyond the deadline if their asking price isn’t met, Stein writes.
  • After reporting that the Bucks and Mavericks had exploratory talks about Bobby Portis and Grant Williams, Stein says those discussions didn’t advance any further because Milwaukee isn’t interested in a one-for-one swap and would want additional compensation from Dallas to make a move. Stein doesn’t specify what sort of additional compensation the Bucks sought, but given that they’re in win-now mode, presumably they wanted another rotation player or the sort of draft assets that could be flipped for one.
  • Among potential Wizards trade candidates, Tyus Jones and Delon Wright are “increasingly” viewed as more likely to be moved than Kuzma, says Stein.
  • Like Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Stein has heard that Kuzma, Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon, and Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic could all stay put this week, though he acknowledges there’s a chance one or more of those teams is posturing to gain leverage.

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.