- Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News details how Patty Mills became the heart and soul of the Spurs, labeling his leadership, commitment and selfless style of play with the franchise over the past eight seasons. “It’s much bigger than me, much bigger than what all of us here today are,” Mills said. “It’s about the past, and about the future. I think it’s really important for the new guys to understand that.”
Whispers that the Spurs were making Pau Gasol available in trades prior to the deadline circulated and it’s possible that the big man had requested the team search for a suitor. Last week, an ESPN Deportes report suggested as much, but Gasol disputed that rumor today.
“What’s the source?” Gasol said of rumors of him requesting a trade (via Tom Orsborn of My San Antonio). “What’s the validity of that story? I don’t know. I didn’t request to be traded.”
The report did not cite a source, instead simply stating (translation from Spanish) that Gasol had asked the team for a trade. The 38-year-old did admit that the current situation is not what he expected it would be.
“I think people understand or can figure out that my situation is not what was expected for me,” Gasol said when speaking with the local media today. “My only wish and desire is to be able to contribute to the team and be able to be on the floor and do what I am supposed to do and do what I signed here to do, and kind of live up to what I am paid for.”
The Spurs re-signed the Spaniard to a three-year, $48MM deal back in the summer of 2017 with visions of continuing the Gasol-LaMarcus Aldridge pairing. However, this season, Gasol has struggled to find a consistent role. In his 26 games played, he has played no more than nine minutes in 10 of them, while seeing 20 minutes or more on just three occasions.
Only $6.7MM of Gasol’s roughly $16MM salary for the 2019/20 campaign is guaranteed and Orsborn writes that the Spurs have looked at ways to “rid themselves” of what’s left on the big man’s deal. Could that be via a buyout? Gasol was asked about the possibility.
“There are a lot of rumors, a lot of stories,” he said. “Who knows where that comes from. It would be great if people say, ‘Hey, this person has said this.’ OK, then let’s talk to this person…But I don’t know. It didn’t come from me. So ask whoever that source or that outlet found that information. Go ask them. I think that’s just fair. Or ask management, right?”
Gasol believes he can still contribute. “I love this game,” he said. “I love what I do. I work hard to be able to do what I do, and I want to continue to do it. I know I may not be in my prime, but I think I can still contribute at a very high level and be an important impact for my team and make my team better.”
Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Spurs recalled rookie forward Chimezie Metu from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. In 19 games with Austin, Metu has averaged 13.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 1.53 BPG in 28.4 MPG. He has appeared in 26 games for San Antonio and will be available when the NBA Spurs face Memphis on Tuesday.
- The Rockets recalled 7-footer Isaiah Hartenstein and forward Gary Clark from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Hartenstein has averaged 18.8 PPG, 14.8 RPG and 2.2 BPG in 32.4 MPG in 19 G League appearances. Clark has averaged 13.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 3.5 APG in 29.7 MPG over four games with the Vipers.
Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Thunder assigned rookie wing Hamidou Diallo to their G League affiliate for today’s game, according to a press release from the team. He was recalled later in the day after recording 21 points and eight boards for the Oklahoma City Blue. Diallo has appeared in 44 games for the Thunder this season, averaging 4.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
- The Spurs announced that they have assigned rookie big man Chimezie Metu to their G League affiliate in Austin. Metu has appeared in 26 games for the Spurs, averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.
The NBA confirmed today that 2019’s trade deadline set and matched some records. The 14 trades completed on Thursday were the most made on a deadline day in the last 30 years, and the 19 teams involved in those swaps was tied for the most over that same period.
In total, 34 players were involved in those 14 trades — and that doesn’t even count the eight deals completed during the week leading up to the deadline, as we detailed last night.
Needless to say, there has been plenty of roster upheaval around the NBA, so we’re going to use this space to take a look at all 30 teams’ roster situations to see exactly where they stand. Does your favorite team have a full roster? Or is their roster somehow only two-thirds full? Looking at you, Raptors.
Here’s a breakdown of all 30 clubs’ roster situations at the time of this post’s publication (more moves will be made in the coming days or even hours that won’t be noted here, so keep that in mind):
The Hawks entered the week with 15 players, but had to waive Daniel Hamilton to clear a spot to acquire Jabari Bird. They subsequently traded Tyler Dorsey for Shelvin Mack, then waived both Bird and Mack.
They currently have 13 players on their roster, leaving two open spots. They’ll have two weeks to get back to the league-mandated minimum of 14 players.
After carrying 15 players all season, the Celtics traded Jabari Bird to create an open roster spot. They’ll explore the buyout market for candidates to fill that opening.
The Nets entered the week with 14 players on standard contracts and one (Mitch Creek) on a 10-day deal. Creek’s contract was terminated a few days early to make room for Greg Monroe, who was waived after being acquired from Toronto.
Brooklyn now has 14 players under contract and could opt to re-add Creek (albeit on a full-season contract), sign another player, or leave that spot empty for now.
The Hornets had a quiet week and continue to carry 14 players, leaving one open roster spot.
Subsequently, Cleveland flipped Stauskas and Baldwin to Houston in exchange for Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight, with Alec Burks heading to Sacramento in that three-team deal. The 3-for-2 move left the Cavs with 14 players and an open roster spot.
They’re currently at 15 players, but will be releasing Randolph very soon to create an open roster spot.
The Nuggets didn’t make any moves this week and continue to carry a full 15-man roster.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors didn’t make any moves this week and still have 14 players under contract, leaving an opening for potential buyout targets.
The Rockets’ latest moves prior to the trade deadline were mainly designed to open up a roster spot and find another piece on the buyout market, GM Daryl Morey told the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen (Twitter link). The Rockets also wanted to “create flexibility now and down the road,” Morey said.
The Rockets were involved in a three-way deal with the Kings and Cavaliers in which they shipped out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss and acquired Iman Shumpert, Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin. They soon traded Stauskas and Baldwin to the Pacers and dealt James Ennis to the Sixers without receiving any players in return.
We have more on potential moves from around the league:
- The Spurs will be searching for a wing player via the buyout market, Jabari Young of The Athletic tweets. They have mainly relied on journeymen Marco Belinelli, Quincy Pondexter and Dante Cunningham as backups to leading scorer DeMar DeRozan and Bryn Forbes.
- Power forward Derrick Favors is glad he wasn’t traded by the Jazz, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Favors was reportedly part of the package Utah offered to Memphis in its failed attempt to acquire point guard Mike Conley. He is likely to be a free agent this summer since his $16.9MM salary for next season is not guaranteed unless he remains on the roster through July 6th. “I’m happy I’m still here,” he said. “I’m glad this is over, and now I can focus on basketball.”
- Bulls players were sad to see power forward Bobby Portis go to the Wizards, Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago reports. Portis was part of the package Chicago shipped to Washington for forward Otto Porter Jr. Though Portis had a much-publicized altercation with former teammate Nikola Mirotic early last season, he was regarded as an emotional leader by the players on the current roster. “Bobby’s pretty much the main glue of the team, a big-time voice,” shooting guard Zach LaVine said. “It (stinks). He’s one of my best friends on the team.”
The Pelicans remain on the lookout for potential trades involving players besides Anthony Davis, but Will Guillory of The Athletic suggests (via Twitter) that Julius Randle seems unlikely to be moved this week. According to Guillory, Randle has developed a strong bond with the coaching staff in New Orleans and the club has interest in keeping him around long-term.
Another frontcourt Pelicans player, Nikola Mirotic, remains a trade candidate, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who names the Jazz, Trail Blazers, Nets, and Spurs as clubs that have expressed interest in Mirotic. League sources tell O’Connor that New Orleans is seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Mirotic, with one source calling the club’s asking price “excessive.”
Of course, the Pelicans gave up a first-rounder for Mirotic a year ago, but at that time they got a year and a half of team control rather than just a a half-season, and also shed Omer Asik‘s unwanted contract in the deal.
Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:
- Although the Raptors have been linked to big names like Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca that a move around the periphery of the roster is far more likely than a major deal. Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca confirms that a move involving Kyle Lowry is “highly unlikely,” but says the Raptors have been aggressive on the trade market and would move anyone on their roster if they feel like it makes them a better team. On the other hand, Toronto has no intention of moving Pascal Siakam unless the club gets a superstar-level return, Lewenberg notes.
- Before Thursday’s trade deadline, the Celtics may try to attach cash to Jabari Bird in a trade to lower their projected tax bill, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. However, Bird’s legal issues complicate matters. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) has heard that Boston wants the NBA to expedite a decision on Bird, but the league is in no rush to set a precedent under the CBA’s domestic violence policy.
- While Nuggets guard Gary Harris has been cited as a potential trade candidate, Matt Moore of ActionNetwork.com hears from a source that Denver hasn’t engaged in any “substantive” trade talks involving Harris and doesn’t currently plan to (Twitter link). While it’s possible that stance could change, Moore thinks the Nuggets would only consider moving Harris in a deal that lands the club a clear upgrade.
A year ago, when Forbes released its annual NBA franchise valuations, the Knicks were reeling from the news that Kristaps Porzingis has suffered a torn ACL, but still earned the top spot on Forbes’ list of the league’s most valuable teams.
This time around, Knicks fans are reeling from the trade that sent Porzingis to Dallas. Once again though, the franchise is still considered the most valuable of any of the NBA’s 30 clubs, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen and Mike Ozanian of Forbes.
For the first time, all 30 NBA teams have a perceived worth of $1.2 billion or more, per Forbes’ annual report. While all 30 teams’ valuations cracked the $1 billion threshold for the first time last year, 10 franchises were below $1.2 billion.
The league-wide average of $1.9 billion per team in 2019 is also a new record, with franchise valuations up 13% in total over last year’s figures. NBA franchise values have once again tripled over the last five years, according to Badenhausen and Ozanian.
Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:
- New York Knicks: $4 billion
- Los Angeles Lakers: $3.7 billion
- Golden State Warriors: $3.5 billion
- Chicago Bulls: $2.9 billion
- Boston Celtics: $2.8 billion
- Brooklyn Nets: $2.35 billion
- Houston Rockets: $2.3 billion
- Dallas Mavericks: $2.25 billion
- Los Angeles Clippers: $2.2 billion
- Miami Heat: $1.75 billion
- Toronto Raptors: $1.675 billion
- Philadelphia 76ers: $1.65 billion
- San Antonio Spurs: $1.625 billion
- Portland Trail Blazers: $1.6 billion
- Sacramento Kings: $1.575 billion
- Washington Wizards: $1.55 billion
- Phoenix Suns: $1.5 billion
- Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.475 billion
- Utah Jazz: $1.425 billion
- Indiana Pacers: $1.4 billion
- Denver Nuggets: $1.375 billion
- Milwaukee Bucks: $1.35 billion
- Orlando Magic: $1.325 billion
- Atlanta Hawks: $1.3 billion
- Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.275 billion
- Detroit Pistons: $1.27 billion
- Minnesota Timberwolves: $1.26 billion
- Charlotte Hornets: $1.25 billion
- New Orleans Pelicans: $1.22 billion
- Memphis Grizzlies: $1.2 billion
The Sixers are this year’s big riser, moving from 21st on the 2018 list to 12th in 2019. Conversely, the Cavaliers fell the most. After losing LeBron James, Cleveland was the only franchise to see its valuation dip from year to year, as it decreased from $1.325 billion (15th) in 2018 to $1.275 billion (25th) in 2019.
No one seems convinced that the Bucks are a viable suitor for Anthony Davis, given their dearth of first-round picks and the fact that most of their best players are on expiring contracts. However, co-owner Marc Lasry is still encouraged by the fact that Davis’ four-team list of preferred destinations includes Milwaukee, as he tells Sporting News’ Mitch Lawrence.
“I saw that report, and I think it’s great,” Lasry said. “It’s a little bit of what we want. We want players to come and play in Milwaukee. And part of it is, when you’re winning and you’re setting a standard for excellence, people see that. People want to win. It doesn’t make a difference if you’re in Milwaukee, New York or L.A. The whole goal is winning. So we hope it would be players like Anthony Davis and others who want to come to Milwaukee.”
Lasry, who may be bordering on tampering territory with his comments to Lawrence, acknowledged that it would be tricky for the Bucks to make a deal for Davis using the club’s current assets.
Here’s more from Lawrence:
- The Bucks are working on a smaller trade or two, according to Lawrence, who identifies Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic as one potential target for Milwaukee. “He’d be the perfect fit for the Bucks,” an Eastern Conference general manager said of Mirotic. “Another guy who can knock down threes would make them even more dangerous.”
- The Sixers are another team interested in Mirotic and have offered the Pelicans a pair of second-round picks for him, per Lawrence. For salary-matching purposes, Wilson Chandler would likely have to be involved in any 76ers deal for Mirotic. Philadelphia has also looked at Terrence Ross (Magic) and Wesley Matthews (Knicks), Lawrence notes.
- An Eastern Conference GM tells Lawrence that the Spurs are making an effort to move Pau Gasol. Gasol is on a pseudo-expiring contract, as only $6.7MM of his 2019/20 salary is guaranteed.
- Lawrence suggests that the trade market for Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol may be negatively impacted by Gasol’s desire to get a contract extension this summer. If he doesn’t feel as if he’ll get a lucrative multiyear deal in the offseason, the 34-year-old could pick up his $25.6MM player option.