Trail Blazers Rumors

Fischer’s Latest: Blazers, Pelicans, Collins, Bucks, Jazz

The Trail Blazers are still committed to building around Damian Lillard and intend to sign Jerami Grant to a long-term deal. One report also indicated that they view Anfernee Simons as “close to untouchable.

However, the remainder of the roster could be in play ahead of the trade deadline, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Starters Josh Hart and Jusuf Nurkic appear to be available — ESPN’s Zach Lowe said a couple days ago that Hart’s name “is very, very hot right now,” and Fischer hears the same.

Nurkic, 28, has been Portland’s starting center for six-plus seasons. He became trade-eligible on January 15 after re-signing with the Blazers this past offseason, inking a four-year, $70MM contract.

The Blazers are targeting players athletic players with size and 3-and-D wings, sources tell Fischer.

Here are several more trade rumors from Fischer:

  • The Pelicans are interested in John Collins, but their talks with the Hawks have yet to gain much traction, sources tell Fischer. New Orleans is said to be looking for offensive upgrades and shooting, while Atlanta is searching for defensive upgrades. Money concerns may dampen the Pelicans’ pursuit of Collins, Fischer notes, as ownership has long avoided the luxury tax.  Like Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Fischer hears Atlanta is comfortable hanging onto Collins if the team doesn’t find an offer it likes.
  • Jaxson Hayes, Devonte’ Graham and Naji Marshall are among the players the Pelicans have had preliminary discussions about, sources tell Fischer, though not necessarily for Collins.
  • As he has reported multiple times, Fischer continues to hear that the Bucks are shopping Grayson Allen and second-round picks in search of a “defensive-minded forward” who makes around $10MM, which is why they’ve been trying to land Jae Crowder for seemingly months now.
  • The Jazz continue to actively shop Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Mike Conley, sources tell Fischer. Other veterans are also considered available. Marc Stein reported last week that the Clippers are interested in Conley, but a source tells Fischer that an L.A. deal for the point guard appears to be “unrealistic.”

Blazers Reportedly Offered Jerami Grant An Extension

The Trail Blazers have offered Jerami Grant a contract extension worth $112.65MM over four years, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The veteran forward has yet to accept the offer, and it doesn’t sound like he plans to in the future. As Fischer writes, there’s no indication that Grant wants out of Portland — quite the opposite — so the reasoning is financial.

Four years and $112.65MM is the maximum amount the Blazers can currently offer due to the limitations of veteran extensions. However, they hold his Bird Rights, so if he waits until free agency, Portland would be able to offer him more years and more money than any other team — up to a projected $233MM over five years.

As Fischer notes, the “upper range” of that free agency figure probably isn’t realistic for Grant. It’s unclear how much money the veteran forward would seek, but it seems pretty evident that it will be north of $28MM annually, since that’s what the current offer amounts to.

Earlier this month, Grant spoke glowingly about his time in Portland and the team’s environment.

“I definitely like it here; love it here,” Grant told Jason Quick of The Athletic. “The guys have been very welcoming, it’s definitely a family environment, everybody is super cool, got good guys on the team, great organization — (GM) Joe (Cronin), (head coach) Chauncey (Billups), everything. I’m definitely enjoying it here.”

When told that his comments didn’t paint the picture of a situation a player would want to leave Portland, Grant laughed and replied, “I ain’t really plan on leaving.”

Through 46 games (35.7 MPG), Grant is averaging 21.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG and 0.8 BPG. He’s also scoring more efficiently than ever before, posting a traditional slash line of .488/.424/.796 and a career-high .615 true shooting percentage.

Trade Candidate Watch: Four Popular Wings

Leading up to the February 9 trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA. We’re continuing today with a handful of popular wing targets.


Gary Trent Jr., G, Raptors

Salary: $17.5MM in 2022/23, $18.8MM player option in ‘23/24

Trent is a legitimate 3-and-D player in a league constantly looking for players in that mold. I’ve read nothing but good things about his work ethic, and he was praised for his professionalism after being briefly demoted to a reserve role early in the season.

I’ve been a little surprised that his name keeps being floated as perhaps the most likely Raptor to be traded. He just turned 24 years old last week, is still improving, and is one of the only real threats from deep on a team that desperately needs floor spacing – Toronto is 28th in the league in three-point shooting (33.4%).

Perhaps money is the sticking point. Trent has a $18.8MM player option for ‘23/24 that he’s expected to decline in search of a long-term deal.

Alec Burks, G/F, Pistons

Salary: $10MM in ‘22/23, $10.5MM team option in ‘23/24

Burks’ career trajectory is unusual, as he struggled with injuries and inefficiency for several years with Utah before bouncing around the league — he’s now on his seventh team in the past five years.

A former lottery pick becoming a journeyman doesn’t sound that intriguing on the surface, but Burks has played the best basketball of his career over the past three years with the Knicks and Pistons. He has always been able to get downhill and draw fouls, but he has evolved into an excellent three-point shooter, converting at least 40% of his looks each of the past three seasons (including a career-high 44.4% in ’22/23).

Part of the reason why the Pistons’ asking price is seemingly high for Burks (I haven’t actually seen a report indicating what they’re after) is because he has outplayed his current contract and has a team option for $10.5MM, making him an affordable asset. He would theoretically be the easiest player to acquire on this list from a salary-matching perspective.

Malik Beasley, G/F, Jazz

Salary: $15.56MM in ‘22/23, $16.52MM team option in ‘23/24

Beasley is only 26 years old, so there’s plenty of time for him to develop other parts of his game, but to this point in his career he has mostly been a high-volume shooting specialist. Nearly 70% of his field goal attempts have come from behind the arc in ‘22/23, and while he has been in a major slump in January (30.7%) to drop his season-long average to 35.9%, he is still a player who must be accounted for at all times (his career mark is 38.1%).

Utah runs a lot of three-guard lineups, which sort of makes Beasley the small forward by default, but he’s on the smaller side even at the two, and he doesn’t defend either position particularly well. He’s a very bouncy athlete, though he doesn’t get to showcase it much, and rarely drives or makes plays for others.

The Jazz are reportedly looking for a first-round pick for him — I only see that happening if the pick is protected (lottery?) and Utah takes on a multiyear contract in return. Having said that, the team option for next year makes him a little more appealing, as an acquiring team would have the flexibility to either keep him an additional year or trade him down the line.

Josh Hart, G/F, Trail Blazers

Salary: $13MM in ‘23/24, non-guaranteed $13MM player option in ‘23/24

Hart is one of the top rebounders in the game on the wing, pulling down 8.1 boards per contest. He’s also an unselfish passer (4.0 assists per game) and hard-charging fast break player who hustles all over the court.

He isn’t a great outside shooter (34.6% career, 33% this year), but he is a relentless worker whose energy and enthusiasm is infectious. He certainly gets the most out of his skill set.

Hart’s contract is a little odd. His player option for next season is non-guaranteed, so if he picks it up a team could release him without having to pay him. While he’s too good for that to happen, there’s also basically no incentive to exercise that option when he can opt out and seek a long-term, guaranteed contract.


Note: This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive, just a brief overview. There are a number of other wings that have been in the rumor mill, including Eric Gordon, Kelly Oubre, Terrence Ross, Josh Richardson, Doug McDermott, Saddiq Bey, Tim Hardaway Jr., and several others.

What Should They Do Ahead Of The Trade Deadline?

  • The Trail Blazers have had a rocky season, currently sitting at 23-25, the No. 12 seed in the West. While Damian Lillard has been as great as ever, scoring a season-high 60 points (on 21-of-29 shooting) in Wednesday’s win over Utah, there has been “little to zero” indication that Portland can make a legitimate playoff push, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Ahead of the trade deadline, Quick believes the simplest route to infuse more talent on the roster would be to land in the lottery again, as the Blazers will lose their 2023 first-rounder if they reach the playoffs. However, that’s complicated by the fact that Lillard wants to be “in the best position to win.”

Lowe’s Latest: Hart, Hachimura, Crowder, D. Green, T. Davis, More

Trail Blazers forward Josh Hart “is a name that is very, very hot right now,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said in the latest episode of his Lowe Post podcast.

In a conversation with ESPN colleague Bobby Marks about Portland’s possible approach to this season’s trade deadline, Lowe stated that there are “a lot” of teams around the NBA who would like Hart, specifically citing Miami as a possible suitor since the 27-year-old is a “Heat kind of guy.”

Hart is playing a crucial role this season for the Blazers. In addition to starting all 45 games he has played, he’s averaging 34.0 minutes per contest and ranks third on the team in total minutes played (1,530). However, his contract situation has made him the subject of trade speculation — he holds a player option on his contract for 2023/24, so he could become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Here’s more from Lowe and Marks:

  • Both Marks and Lowe have heard rumblings that the Wizards and Rui Hachimura had discussions prior to the season about a rookie scale extension worth in the neighborhood of $12MM annually, but Hachimura opted to play out his contract year. The forward was traded to Los Angeles on Monday, so the Lakers will have to find common ground with him in free agency if they intend to keep him beyond this season.
  • A source from a team with interest in Jae Crowder told Lowe that the Suns are seeking two of the following three things in exchange for the veteran forward: A first-round pick, a good young player, and a solid rotation player. Both Marks and Lowe are skeptical about Phoenix’s chances to get that sort of return, with Lowe remarking that the asking price is why Crowder is still a Sun.
  • Lowe keeps hearing that the Grizzlies love Danny Green‘s locker room presence and don’t want to trade him. Green is on track to make his season debut next Wednesday.
  • In a discussion about possible deadline moves for the Kings, Lowe said that he’s not sure guard Terence Davis is “loving his playing time” this season and suggested that Davis could be a trade chip. The fourth-year guard is averaging a career-low 12.7 minutes per contest.
  • Echoing a recent report from Marc Stein, Lowe indicated that the Hornets appear motivated to hang onto forward P.J. Washington and re-sign him as a restricted free agent this offseason rather than moving him at the deadline.
  • Lowe believes the Clippers are a good bet to make a deadline move, but suggests it might be more around the edges than anything major, since the team is reluctant to move Terance Mann and doesn’t have many movable first-round picks left.

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

Haynes’ Latest: Pelicans, Collins, Blazers, Celtics, VanVleet

The Pelicans are among the teams to reach out to the Hawks about forward John Collins, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. Haynes hears from sources that those discussions were merely preliminary, however.

A report earlier this month stated that Atlanta had previously pitched the idea of a Collins trade involving Trey Murphy and one of New Orleans’ many first-round picks. It’s unclear whether the Pelicans are open to that sort of package — if so, they would need to add more outgoing salary, with Devonte’ Graham looking like a prime candidate to be dealt.

According to Haynes, the Hawks remain comfortable with the idea of keeping Collins on their roster beyond the trade deadline if they don’t get an offer they like.

Here’s more from Haynes:

  • The Trail Blazers are “intensely engrossed” in seeking further upgrades for their roster and are open to listening to a wide variety of ideas, league sources tell Bleacher Report. Portland has struggled since getting off to a hot start, but remains focused on making the playoffs this season and has no plans to tank, Haynes adds.
  • The Celtics are in the market for another frontcourt player and will try to add a big man in the buyout market if they’re unable to trade for one at the deadline, Haynes writes. Boston isn’t necessarily seeking an impact player, but Robert Williams has dealt with injuries in the past year and Al Horford is 36 years old, so the team would like a reliable insurance policy.
  • Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet has parted with his representatives at Par-Lay Sports & Entertainment and will hire a new agent soon, league sources tell Haynes. The timing of the move is noteworthy, since VanVleet is likely headed for unrestricted free agency this summer and has been mentioned as a possible trade candidate.

Spurs Rumors: Poeltl, Free Agency, McDermott, Richardson

The Spurs are in the midst of discussing trades oriented around starting center Jakob Poeltl with over half a dozen clubs, reports LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk. Ellis previously stated in December that Poeltl, an unrestricted free agent in 2023, had been San Antonio’s most popular player on the trade market. With just a few weeks left until the February 9 trade deadline, interest appears to be heating up.

Two sources inform Ellis that the Raptors are interested in reacquiring Poeltl, whom Toronto initially traded as part of its deal for All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard in 2018. A three-team deal that includes the contract of Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. has been discussed.

The Celtics are interested in shoring up their front line with Poeltl, and are reportedly prepared to move an unprotected future first-round pick in 2028.

Because Poeltl is less concerned with low post touches than their incumbent starting centers, the Trail Blazers and Pelicans are reportedly also potentially intrigued by the Spurs’ big man. The Mavericks view a hypothetical addition of Poeltl as an improvement on their current big men, a Western Conference scout tells Ellis.

Conversations with the Warriors have stalled, as the Spurs don’t have much interest in acquiring either James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga in a Poeltl deal, per Ellis.

There’s more out of San Antonio:

  • A team insider tells Ellis that, should San Antonio not find a deal it likes, it would try to re-sign Poeltl. League sources tell Ellis that Poeltl could earn “at least” a four-year, $80MM contract as a free agent, far above an extension offer the Spurs could offer him this season, which would be worth up to $58MM.
  • The Lakers have stayed somewhat engaged in potential trade conversations with San Antonio as well, Ellis reports. L.A. may still want to offload the $47.1MM expiring contract of reserve point guard Russell Westbrook, and could be interested in adding sharpshooters Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott, in addition to Poeltl.
  • San Antonio wants solid returns for both McDermott and Richardson, a source informs Ellis. The Spurs are seeking a first-round draft pick for Richardson, while also hoping for solid value out of McDermott. “Dougie won’t be traded for a second round pick, I can tell you that,” the source told Ellis.

Scotto’s Latest: Reid, Allen, Reddish, Poeltl, Anunoby

The Clippers and Nuggets are among the teams that have expressed interest in Timberwolves center Naz Reid, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype writes in his latest roundup of trade rumors.

Reid will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Scotto says there’s a belief around the league that he could land a contract worth the full taxpayer or non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Although he’s primarily a backup, Reid has been effective amid injuries to Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, averaging 15.4 PPG in seven games as a starter this season.

The Wolves are also exploring offers for D’Angelo Russell, and Scotto suggests that both Minnesota players might be moved in deals involving L.A.’s Terance Mann or Denver’s Bones Hyland, whom Connelly drafted during his time with the Nuggets.

Scotto offers more insight into the trade market with the deadline nearing:

  • The Knicks would like to acquire Grayson Allen from the Bucks as part of a deal involving Cam Reddish, although Scotto notes that might not be realistic given Allen’s inclusion in other trade rumors. Allen is a starter in Milwaukee and is a valuable shooter, connecting at 39.5% from three-point range, while Reddish has been benched in New York for the past 25 games. Allen has been mentioned in deals involving the Suns’ Jae Crowder and the Rockets’ Eric Gordon, which Scotto sees as more likely. However, he adds that the Bucks and Knicks have talked about a Reddish deal that doesn’t involve Allen, so the fourth-year forward could still wind up in Milwaukee.
  • The Spurs may be able to land a first-round pick and a young player in exchange for center Jakob Poeltl. That’s probably the limit, Scotto adds, because Poeltl will be a free agent this summer and will likely get a new contract starting around $20MM per season. If they don’t trade him by the deadline, Scotto expects the Spurs to give him that deal so they don’t lose him without getting something in return.
  • Two other Spurs are also in demand, with Scotto viewing one or two second-round picks as the price for Doug McDermott and one second-rounder enough to land Josh Richardson. McDermott is under contract for $13.75MM in 2023/24, while Richardson is headed toward free agency.
  • The Grizzlies are an interesting team to watch if the Raptors decide to part with OG Anunoby, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype adds in the same piece. Memphis owns all its first-round picks, along with a Warriors first-rounder in 2024 that’s top-four protected. Gozlan believes the Grizzlies might offer Danny Green and a young asset like Ziaire Williams in addition to draft capital, although Toronto might insist on Dillon Brooks. Other teams that could get involved in the Anunoby bidding, according to Gozlan, include the Trail Blazers, who reportedly offered the No. 7 pick to Toronto for Anunoby before last year’s draft, along with the Knicks, Kings and Suns.

Justise Winslow Describes The Mistakes He Made Early In His Career

  • Justise Winslow has become a reliable veteran since being traded to the Trail Blazers last February, but he had a difficult journey through most of his NBA career. He talks about those challenges, including high expectations after being drafted by Miami and the difficulty of overcoming injuries, in an interview with Jason Quick of The Athletic. “I was very selfish; I thought the world was centered around me, especially when basketball was taken away,” Winslow said. “I didn’t know how to fill myself up. That’s when a lot of the negativity and darkness started to creep in.”

Haynes: Blazers' Simons Close To Untouchable

  • Appearing on the Rip City Radio 620 show in Portland, Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said he hasn’t heard anything so far about the Trail Blazers dangling players in trade talks, though he acknowledged that could change within the next three weeks (story via Matthew Legros of Blazer’s Edge). Haynes added that the team considers guard Anfernee Simons close to untouchable.