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.