Scottie Barnes

Atlantic Notes: Layman, J. Jackson, Celtics, Raptors, Sixers

When they signed with the Celtics, Jake Layman and Justin Jackson both received one-year, minimum-salary contracts that are non-guaranteed. However, the terms of those agreements are slightly different — Layman got an Exhibit 10 clause in his contract, while Jackson’s deal is an Exhibit 9, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Both Layman and Jackson are ineligible to have their contracts converted into two-way deals because they have too many years of NBA service under their belts. But Layman’s Exhibit 10 contract makes him eligible to receive a $50K bonus if he’s waived before the season and then spends at least 60 days with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League team.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

And-Ones: Top Under-25 Players, Wade, EuroLeague, More

Fifteen NBA executives polled by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype unanimously picked Mavericks star Luka Doncic as the NBA player under 25 years old whom they’d most want to build a team around. While Doncic’s selection comes as no surprise, there are some interesting picks further down Scotto’s list, which was derived from asking those 15 NBA execs to name the five players under 25 they’d most want to build around.

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant ranked second and third, with Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley following them at No. 4. Former first overall picks Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves) and Zion Williamson (Pelicans) came in at Nos. 5 and 6, with last season’s Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes (Raptors) rounding out the top seven. You can check out Scotto’s full story to see the other seven rising stars who received votes.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • After spending three years in an analyst role with the network, Dwyane Wade won’t return to TNT for the 2022/23 NBA season, reports Andrew Marchand of The New York Post. According to Marchand, TNT made an offer to retain Wade, but he decided to leave his position to focus on other business ventures.
  • Euroleague Basketball has appointed Dejan Bodiroga as its new president and Marshall Glickman as acting CEO, per a press release. They’ll replace Jordi Bertomeu, who served as president and CEO for 22 years and was a co-founder of Euroleague Basketball, which operates and oversees the EuroLeague and EuroCup, two of the world’s biggest non-NBA basketball leagues.
  • Former NBA star Baron Davis and ex-NBPA executive director Michele Roberts are among the backers of the new Fan Controlled Hoops league, which is scheduled to launch in February of 2023, as Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic outlines. The league, which will follow in the footsteps of Fan Controlled Football, will feature 4-on-4 games played on an LED floor, with fans getting the opportunity to illuminate parts of the court to create zones where players get extra points when they score.

Grizzlies Among Teams Inquiring On Kevin Durant

The Grizzlies are showing interest in Kevin Durant and have made “new inquiries” on the Nets‘ star forward, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

As Charania writes within his round-up of the latest Durant-related rumors from around the NBA, the Grizzlies could include up to five first-round picks in a package for the two-time Finals MVP (their own 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029 selections, plus Golden State’s top-four protected 2024 pick). The team also has a bevy of young talent on its roster beyond star guard Ja Morant, including Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler, and David Roddy.

However, according to Charania, Memphis hasn’t appeared inclined to offer Jackson or Bane (or, of course, Morant) in a deal for Durant, preferring to build an offer around their draft picks. Given that the Nets are reportedly seeking a win-now return for Durant, that sort of offer is unlikely to pique their interest, even if the picks are unprotected — those first-rounders may have to be rerouted to a third team that could send Brooklyn the kind of impact players the team is seeking.

While the Grizzlies are an intriguing new suitor for Durant, there are still a number of other teams in the mix. The Celtics, Raptors, and Heat remain among the most significant threats to land the 33-year-old, Charania says, though Toronto has continued to resist including Scottie Barnes and Miami has “yet to seriously engage” in any discussions involving Bam Adebayo. Boston, meanwhile, has been unwilling to include Marcus Smart or Robert Williams in addition to Jaylen Brown, Charania says.

The Suns also remain involved, offering up Mikal Bridges and a series of draft picks, according to Charania, but they appear to be behind those Eastern teams among Durant’s most serious suitors.

Charania identifies the Sixers, Bucks, Nuggets, and Pelicans as some of the other teams that have expressed interest in Durant, though he confirms that New Orleans deemed Brandon Ingram untouchable.

According to Charania, the Hawks also made an offer for Durant, putting John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, and a draft pick on the table. The details of that pick are unclear, but Atlanta could trade its own 2023 and 2029 first-rounders or Sacramento’s lottery-protected 2024 pick.

Although Charania doesn’t specify exactly how the Nets felt about the Hawks’ offer, he says none of Brooklyn’s discussions have gained any serious traction. There are still five weeks before training camps get underway, which could be a fraught week for the Nets, assuming Durant remains on the roster — it’s unclear whether or not he’ll show up to camp if his trade request hasn’t been granted.

Eastern Notes: Barnes, Flynn, Heat, Schedule, Haslem

Young Raptors players Scottie Barnes, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Malachi Flynn, were able to really strut their stuff at a Toronto pro-am game on Saturday, writes Gilbert Ngabo of The Toronto Star. Flynn scored 54 points and Barnes poured in 34 of his own at Mattamy Athletic Centre, during the first pro-am contest in almost three years due to COVID-19-related delays. The Raptors players’ team would ultimately win the contest, 143-131.

Nbago adds that the pair showcased plenty of chemistry and highlight-reel-worthy output. Barnes, a 6’9″ forward out of Florida State, made several athletic dunks and connected on flashy no-look dishes. Though Flynn started off the game slowly, he eventually showed off an excellent shooting stroke as the contest got cooking.

There’s more out of the East:

  • While the Heat’s starting lineup remains a bit in flux, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is fairly confident about who will close games for Miami. In addition to starters Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry, Winderman considers guards Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo likely to round out the team’s closing five.
  • Winderman also goes on to unpack how he anticipates the Heat will allocate minutes. He expects Butler, Adebayo, Lowry, and Herro to be guaranteed to receive major run this season, with Oladipo, Max Strus, and Caleb Martin also likely to receive significant rotation roles. He thinks either Dewayne Dedmon or Omer Yurtseven will crack the rotation as a reserve big man option, and believes the shooting of Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, or Haywood Highsmith on any given night could dictate which of those three wings sees the floor.
  • The NBA is aiming to curb road travel in the hopes of limiting load management for star players. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that, as a consequence, 12 of the Heat‘s 41 home games at FTX Arena will feature pairs of back-to-back contests against the same team, including playoff-level clubs like the Bucks, Raptors, Hawks, Cavaliers and Hornets. Winderman writes that this approach could impede just how much Miami fans will get to see rival teams’ star players, noting that an injury or illness could ultimately mean local fans will miss out on seeing Giannis Antetokounmpo or Trae Young during the regular season. Winderman adds that, in general, the NBA has lowered its travel mileage tally to 41,000 miles per club, 2,000 miles less than the 2021/22 season’s former record low of 43,000.
  • Longtime Heat power forward Udonis Haslem announced earlier today that he will re-sign with Miami for his 20th, and last, NBA season. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes that the three-time champ hopes to join the team’s ownership group, led by Mickey Arison, after he retires. Chiang notes that the Heat are just $200K beneath the league’s luxury tax, and expects the team to field a 14-man standard roster, leaving one roster spot available. By avoiding the luxury tax for the third straight season, the Heat would be working towards avoiding the repeater tax, which penalizes clubs that exceed the luxury tax thrice during a four-season window.

Atlantic Notes: Toppin, Reddish, Rose, Warren, Barnes, Durant

Obi Toppin averaged 17.1 minutes per game in his second season with the Knicks and it’s unlikely his playing time will increase, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag. With Julius Randle at power forward and the duo of Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein at center, along with the presence of Jericho Sims, Toppin won’t have a big role unless there’s an injury or trade, Katz opines.

In Katz’s view, Toppin is still likely to play more minutes than Cam Reddish, who won’t be in the rotation if the current roster stands. Reddish projects as the 11th man and Tom Thibodeau won’t have that many players in the rotation.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks guard Derrick Rose should be “good to go” by training camp, Katz reports in the same piece. Rose underwent two surgical procedures on his ankle last season, limiting him to 26 games. He’s expected to be Jalen Brunson‘s primary backup.
  • The Nets took a low-risk flier on forward T.J. Warren, who hasn’t played since December 29, 2020, but he could be a significant factor no matter how the roster shakes out, according to The New York Post’s Brian Lewis. Warren can be a complementary piece to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, assuming the superstar duo isn’t traded. Alternatively, he could be at or near the top in individual scoring for the club if Durant and Irving are gone. Warren was signed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal early in free agency.
  • The Raptors have thus far refused to give up potential All-Star forward Scottie Barnes in trade discussions regarding Durant. However, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on Brian Windhorst’s podcast (audio link) that an executive he respects said he’d give up Barnes to land Durant. That same exec told MacMahon he wouldn’t trade Barnes for Donovan Mitchell.
  • In case you missed it, here’s the latest on a potential Irving trade with the Lakers.

Latest On Kevin Durant

The Nets are finding it difficult to deal Kevin Durant in part because suitors are unwilling to “gut their roster” to acquire the perennial All-Star, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter (video link).

Those bidders want to ensure they still “have enough left” after a Durant deal to win a championship, Wojnarowski adds. However, the Nets front office isn’t in any rush to get a deal done.

“Brooklyn does want to trade Kevin Durant,” Wojnarowski said. “They’re serious about it, but they want to do it on their terms.”

We have more regarding Durant trade chatter:

  • Echoing Wojnarowski’s report, executives told’s Steve Bulpett that any team acquiring Durant has to be sure it can win the championship immediately. “KD’s going to be 34 at the start of next season, and he’s still a superstar,” one executive told Bulpett. “But depending on what you give up, if you’re a contender now, you’d have to be pretty damn sure you were going to win more in the window with KD than with the people you trade away.”
  • Why did reports about the Celtics’ interest in Durant surface this week? According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, the Nets are looking for stronger offers in order to avoid the possibility of Durant being a no-show for training camp.
  • In a much different take, unnamed executives suggested to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer that the Nets’ demands are so significant because they have no real desire to move Durant.
  • There has been no traction in talks between the Nets and Raptors in a potential Durant deal, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. That’s due to Toronto’s continued refusal to trade forward Scottie Barnes.

Latest On Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving

The Raptors are a logical trade partner for the Nets in a potential Kevin Durant blockbuster due to their assets and attractive trade pieces. However, Toronto is unwilling to part with forward Scottie Barnes after his stellar rookie campaign and Brooklyn has insisted Barnes be part of the package, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on the “Get Up” morning show (video link).

“Toronto doesn’t want to part with Scottie Barnes. That’s their stance,” he said. “Brooklyn, right now, wouldn’t consider a deal (with the Raptors) without Scottie Barnes.”

Barnes averaged 15.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 3.5 APG as a rookie while flashing All-Star potential.

We have more on the Nets’ efforts to trade Durant and Kyrie Irving:

  • Durant and Irving know that neither will be dealt any time soon and have accepted that reality, according to Adam Zagoria of Quoting a source, Zagoria writes that the duo “know behind the scenes that it’s difficult, that it’s unlikely to happen” due to the Nets’ high asking price for each player. The source added that the duo “plotted” their exit and “realized very quickly” that a quick resolution wasn’t in the cards.
  • Durant requested a trade before his four-year extension kicked in. That’s one of the reasons why the market for his services has been lukewarm at best, Marc Stein writes in a Substack article. Clubs interested in Durant are worried more about keeping him happy over the next few seasons to avert another trade demand than they are about any decline in his skills. Durant turns 34 next month.
  • Guard Langston Galloway is one of many free agents still looking for an NBA offer. Galloway told Robin Fambrough of the Baton Rouge Advocate that the Durant-Irving saga has impacted him and other players on the market. “Right now (Durant) and (Irving) are holding things up,” Galloway said. “Once what those guys do is decided, things will fall into place for the rest of us.”

Kevin Durant Rumors: Leverage, Raptors, Bridges, Suns

Appearing on NBA Today on Wednesday (video link), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said the Nets have been been “really turned off” by the offers they’ve received for Kevin Durant thus far.

If some of the trade packages that have been floated to me are true, I agree with them, I think that they should expect more for Kevin Durant with four years left on his contract,” Windhorst said. “But the other teams in the league just don’t believe that the Nets have a lot of leverage here… and the offers they are making are reflective of that belief.”

As Windhorst details, the Nets are acting as though they’re fine with holding onto Durant into the season if acceptable offers aren’t presented. As of yesterday, Windhorst said that he wasn’t “sensing any traction” on a potential trade.

A source tells Josh Lewenberg of that Brooklyn has an “unreasonably high” asking price for the star forward, and the Raptors have been unwilling to include Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes or the maximum amount of first-round picks in any Durant offer to this point. The two sides have had preliminary discussions regarding Durant, but nothing serious.

Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic reports that there has been talk during Summer League indicating that the Suns have been reluctant to include Mikal Bridges in a package for Durant, which is part of the reason why there has been no headway on a deal. Those around the league refer to Bridges as the “key piece” in any offer.

Frankly, if those rumors are true, it sounds like Windhorst might be right about the lack of suitable offers for Durant.

If Bridges hasn’t been included, then the Suns aren’t serious about acquiring Durant at this stage. Bridges is a high-quality role player and a very good defender, but Durant is an all-time great.

The Raptors have other possible pieces to dangle, like Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. and Precious Achiuwa — so their reluctance to include Barnes or the full complement of future first-rounders is more understandable. I don’t include Fred VanVleet in that group because I don’t think Toronto would consider moving him — he’s too important to the team’s culture, plus his on-court production improves nearly every season.

Even if he’s entering his age-34 season, Durant performed at an MVP-caliber level when he was healthy last season, averaging 29.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 6.4 APG on .518/.383/.910 shooting in 55 games (37.2 MPG). He’s a 12-time All-Star, a four-time scoring champion, has been named to 10 All-NBA teams, is a former MVP and a two-time Finals MVP — a résumé doesn’t get much more stacked than that.

Kevin Durant Rumors: Price Tag, Raptors, Pelicans, Warriors

Reporting from the Las Vegas Summer League, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says there’s skepticism among league insiders that a Kevin Durant trade will happen anytime soon, and a sense that the situation could linger into training camp.

According to Scotto, five executives he spoke to in Vegas felt as if Minnesota overpaid to acquire Rudy Gobert and increased the Nets‘ asking price for Durant in the process, creating a larger gap between what Brooklyn wants and what potential suitors are willing to give up. One GM told Scotto that he believes Durant is worth “a James Harden-type package.” It’s unclear if that’s a reference to the price paid for Harden by the Nets or the 76ers.

Scotto suggests it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Nets hang onto Durant for a while and wait for a “Godfather offer.” If that offer doesn’t come, the Nets may hope the former MVP changes his mind about wanting a trade and is satisfied to remain in Brooklyn at least for the time being.

Here’s more on the Durant market from Scotto:

  • The Raptors are still “hesitant” to include Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in any offer for Durant, league sources tell HoopsHype. Scotto speculates that a package centered around Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. could be Toronto’s starting point, but notes that the Nets would want more. Scotto is unsure how willing the Raptors are to put OG Anunoby in a package for Durant.
  • According to Scotto, multiple executives are skeptical that the Pelicans will make a strong push for Durant instead of seeing how a healthy Zion Williamson meshes with the promising roster that made the playoffs in 2021/22. Scotto adds that some execs also believe Durant wouldn’t want to be dealt to New Orleans.
  • The Warriors wouldn’t be inclined to give up all of their promising young players – Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody – in a trade for Durant, says Scotto.
  • According to Scotto, some rival executives think the Spurs and Pacers are preserving their remaining cap room to see if they can be a salary-dumping ground in a multi-team Durant trade, netting draft assets in the process.

Fischer’s Latest: Ayton, Durant, S. Barnes, Kyrie

Deandre Ayton appears to have been the free agent most directly affected by the ongoing Kevin Durant sweepstakes, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

As Fischer outlines, Ayton’s restricted free agency has been stalled in part because he could theoretically be an outgoing piece in a Suns deal for Durant and also because teams with interest in both players – including Toronto – won’t want to give up assets in a sign-and-trade for Ayton before seeing what happens with Durant.

According to Fischer, the Pacers and Raptors have been the teams most frequently linked to Ayton, with the Jazz described as a less likely destination for the young center. The Pacers and Spurs are the only teams that have the cap flexibility necessary to realistically extend an offer sheet to Ayton. It’s unclear whether he’d rather try to pursue a deal with one of them or wait for a possible sign-and-trade opportunity to a team closer to contention, Fischer says.

One hypothetical scenario is a multi-team trade that sends Durant to Phoenix; Ayton to Indiana in a sign-and-trade; and Myles Turner, multiple Suns wings, and draft capital to Brooklyn. However, Fischer hears from sources that such a package is unlikely to meet the Nets’ high asking price for Durant.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • League personnel have begun to discuss the possibility of the Nets simply hanging onto Durant and Kyrie Irving into the regular season, according to Fischer. Rudy Gobert getting traded for an arm, a leg and two mountains is helping their cause. There’s no way the Nets will ever trade Kevin Durant for anything less than what Rudy Gobert got Utah,” a Western Conference executive told Fischer. “If nothing comes, I can see them saying (to the players), ‘We just all have to come back.’ If I’m them, I just try to string this out as long as possible.”
  • As has been previously reported, there’s skepticism that the Suns will be able to build a package that appeals to the Nets without getting at least one more team involved. “Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and five picks still isn’t enough to me for KD,” one GM said to Bleacher Report.
  • Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell Fischer that the Raptors remain unwilling to part with Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.
  • Fischer’s league sources “strongly discounted” the idea that either the Mavericks or Sixers is a serious suitor for Irving. The Lakers remain Brooklyn’s most obvious trade partner for Kyrie, but there’s a sense that they may need to involve a third team to meet the Nets‘ asking price — a package of Russell Westbrook and draft assets wouldn’t maximize Brooklyn’s chances of contending in the short term, Fischer explains.