Terrence Ross

Lowe’s Latest: Sixers, Mirotic, Hornets, Nets, More

The Buckstrade for Nikola Mirotic was made sweeter by the fact that the Sixers were in the hunt for the Pelicans‘ power forward before New Orleans opted to send him to Milwaukee, writes ESPN’s Zach Lowe in his post-deadline round-up.

According to Lowe, the Sixers offered a pair of second-round picks in their offer for Mirotic, which the Bucks bested by surrendering four second-rounders. Before the 76ers acquired Tobias Harris, they also discussed the general framework of a Mirotic/Markelle Fultz swap with the Pelicans, according to Lowe, who notes that it’s unclear whether those talks would have gotten serious if Philadelphia hadn’t completed its blockbuster deal for Harris.

Lowe’s article is packed with several more tidbits on the trade deadline, so we’ll round up the highlights here:

  • The Hornets came close to acquiring Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies for a package that would have included a lottery-protected pick, but the deal fell apart over “last-minute haggling” on the price, sources tell Lowe. Charlotte also pursued Harrison Barnes, but any offer that included a first-round pick would have also included multiyear salary the Mavericks didn’t want, Lowe reports.
  • Before the Grizzlies sent JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple to the Clippers, Memphis discussed a deal involving the duo for the Nets, according to Lowe, who says the return would’ve featured Allen Crabbe and Denver’s first-round pick. The Grizzlies, who had tax concerns, settled instead on L.A.’s offer, which didn’t include a draft pick.
  • At least one of the offers the Wizards received for Otto Porter featured a low first-round pick, but it would have been meant taking on multiyear money, per Lowe.
  • Kris Dunn probably could have been had at the deadline, but the Bulls likely wouldn’t have listened to inquiries on Zach LaVine unless someone had “overwhelmed” them, Lowe writes.
  • The Magic told teams in recent weeks that they wouldn’t part for Terrence Ross for anything less than a first-round pick, sources tell Lowe. Orlando ultimately kept Ross on its roster.
  • Jrue Holiday is a player worth keeping an eye on if and when the Pelicans eventually trade Anthony Davis. Sources tell Lowe that Holiday wants a chance to compete in the playoffs and is waiting to see what New Orleans gets in return for Davis.

Magic Acquire Markelle Fultz From Sixers

6:58pm: The Sixers have officially traded Markelle Fultz to the Magic for Jonathon Simmons, a protected 2020 first-round pick and 2019 second-round pick, the teams announced in press releases.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Markelle [Fultz] to the Magic family,” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “This is an incredible opporunity for us to add a former No. 1 draft pick to our roster and to add depth to our backcourt. We will provide Markelle with the best possible support at his own pace and look forward to his future contributions.”

1:45pm: The Sixers are trading former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz to the Magic, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). In exchange, Philadelphia will receive Jonathon Simmons, a future Thunder first-round pick, and a future Cavs second-rounder from Orlando, tweets Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

It’s a huge decision for the 76ers, just a year and a half after then-GM Bryan Colangelo sent the No. 3 pick (Jayson Tatum) and a future first-rounder to Boston in exchange for the right to select Fultz first overall.

The former Washington standout has barely seen the court since then, having been sidelined by shooting issues that some observers believe are mental. Fultz was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in December and continues his rehab process.

A source tells Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) that Orlando will be patient with Fultz, taking the long view and potentially sitting him out the rest of this season if needed. However, the club will continue pushing for a playoff spot in the East this season.

Smith suggests (via Twitter) that the Magic opted to include the Thunder first-rounder in the deal so they’d only part with Simmons rather than Terrence Ross — Ross will remain with Orlando and help the team’s efforts to make the postseason.

The Thunder pick involved in the swap is OKC’s 2020 selection, which is top-20 protected and will turn into 2022 and 2023 second-rounders if it’s not conveyed next year. The pick, which was originally traded to Philadelphia for Jerami Grant, was subsequently sent to Orlando in a draft-night trade in 2017 for Anzejs Pasecniks. Now it’s headed back to Philadelphia.

The second-round pick included in the deal is technically the most favorable of Cleveland’s, Orlando’s, Houston’s, or Portland’s 2019 second-rounders. For now, that projects to be the Cavs’ pick.

In addition to those draft assets, the Sixers will acquire Simmons, a wing with some size who can immediately step into the club’s rotation. In 41 games this season for Orlando, Simmons averaged just 6.9 PPG on .364/.229/.778 shooting, but he was much better in his first year with the Magic, posting 13.9 PPG on .465/.338/.768 shooting in 2017/18.

Between this deal and their James Ennis swap with the Rockets, the Sixers were able to add two wings for depth purposes today while also replenishing their collection of draft picks that took a hit in Wednesday’s Tobias Harris trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lawrence’s Latest: Bucks, Mirotic, Sixers, Gasol

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.

Orlando’s Plan At The Trade Deadline Remains Unclear

The Magic, with a record of 21-31, remain just five games back in the loss column of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and most of the league doesn’t have a feel for what Orlando is going to do before the trade deadline, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes.

While many in the organization feel pressure to make the playoffs this season, the Magic’s front office doesn’t appear to be under a playoffs-or-bust mandate. Despite being within an arm’s length of a playoff spot, the team could consider making moves with the long-term in mind.

Aaron Gordon‘s descending contract was designed to make him a more attractive trade piece. With the Mohamed BambaJonathan Isaac looking like team’s frontcourt of the future, the 23-year-old combo forward, who’s best suited to play the four, may find himself on a new team. The Mavericks inquired on Gordon’s availability before pulling the trigger on Kristaps Porzingis, Lowe reports.

The Pacers had interest in signing Gordon to an offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent, though it’s unclear what Indiana’s position is on trading for talent before the deadline with star Victor Oladipo out for the year. Lowe speculates that the Jazz and Trail Blazers would be good landing spots for Gordon should Orlando ship him out.

The Magic would likely deal Terrence Ross, who will be a free agent after the season, for a future asset, Lowe adds, though he cautions that Orlando may not be able to get even a heavily-protected first-round pick for the swingman. If the team does deal Ross, it could be for a pair of second-round picks.

The Magic have to consider trading Nikola Vucevic, Lowe contends. The team drafted Bamba to man the five and with Vucevic’s looming free agency, Orlando will either have to sign him to a massive deal or watch him walk for nothing.

Lowe doesn’t anticipate a Vuvevic trade. though he touches on a pair of hypothetical deals with one involving Orlando shipping the big man to the Lakers for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Los Angeles’ first-round pick. The Lakers’ pick is expected to fall somewhere in the middle of the draft and that may not be more appealing than simply keeping Vucevic for the Magic’s front office.

The other hypothetical involves a swap of Ross and Markelle Fultz. While the deal would seem to benefit both the Sixers and Magic, it’s unclear whether Philadelphia would require an additional asset, such as a second-round pick. Lowe notes that Fultz’s injury and trade value remains a mystery.

Pacific Notes: Suns, Kings, Lakers, Warriors

A $230MM renovation deal for Talking Stick Resort Arena was approved by Phoenix City Council this week, with the city committing to $150MM of that figure, while the Suns will contribute $80MM. However, as Abe Kwok of The Arizona Republic details, a number of Phoenix residents aren’t thrilled about that decision, and have launched an effort to force a referendum that would allow the public to vote on the issue.

“This seems like a situation where the voters of Phoenix very well may want to weigh in,” said Drew Chavez of Petition Partners, a Phoenix group that runs many initiative petitions in Arizona. “If we can give them a chance to do so, it would be a public service. We’re talking about millions of dollars that could be spent on public safety or repairing our streets instead of fixing up the arena for the Suns and their billionaire owner.”

The issue of public funding for the Suns’ arena funding has been a contentious one, with backers of the deal arguing that the building is used for more than just basketball, while opponents have made the case that Suns owner Robert Sarver should put up the money for the renovations himself. According to Kwok, the group seeking a referendum on the issue would have 30 days to secure approximately 13,700 petition signatures to qualify for a public vote.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee takes a look at the Kings‘ options for the trade deadline, citing league sources who say that the club’s discussions with the Knicks about Enes Kanter “quickly broke down.” Based on various reports on those talks, it sounds like Sacramento wanted to include at least one more expiring contract and New York was unwilling to take another deal without an extra asset.
  • While the Lakers would love to acquire a second superstar that makes them a threat in 2018/19 and beyond, they’re more likely to make a smaller-scale move at the deadline, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic, who writes that the club is eyeing shooters on expiring contracts. Wayne Ellington, Terrence Ross, Garrett Temple, and Trevor Ariza are among the players Oram identifies as possible targets.
  • The Lakers have let a number of players walk in free agency or traded them away since Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka assumed control of the front office in 2017. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report revisits those decisions, arguing that the team likely gave up too early on Thomas Bryant and D’Angelo Russell, and probably should’ve made more of an effort to re-sign Julius Randle and Brook Lopez last summer.
  • How did Warriors teammates Kevin Durant and Draymond Green mend fences after a very public altercation earlier this season? Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the situation and explores the relationship between the two All-Stars.

Deveney’s Latest: Sixers, Pelicans, Blazers, Lin

While most teams around the NBA are clutching tightly to their future first-round picks, a handful of clubs appear willing to move their 2019 first-rounders, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. Deveney identifies the Sixers as one of the teams, reporting that Philadelphia appears open to trading its own 2019 first-rounder to acquire shooting help.

Of course, the Sixers would get Sacramento’s first-rounder instead of their own if the Kings’ pick ends up at No. 1, but Philadelphia would certainly make sure the pick wouldn’t go anywhere in that scenario. Deveney also notes that the 76ers have thus far kept Miami’s unprotected 2021 first-rounder out of trade talks.

Deveney identifies Mike Scott, Frank Kaminsky, and Noah Vonleh as the sort of players the Sixers might have their eye on, though presumably the team wouldn’t part with its first-rounder straight up for any of those players.

Here are a few more notes and rumors from Deveney’s latest Sporting News article:

  • New Orleans is another team that would move its first-round pick for immediate help, particularly at small forward, according to Deveney, who says the Pelicans have had some interest in Terrence Ross. As we’ve heard previously, the Magic have indicated they’d rather move Jonathon Simmons than Ross, but Ross would have more value. If Orlando keeps slipping further from the No. 8 seed in the East, the team might become more inclined to shop Ross.
  • The Trail Blazers would also be willing to part with their 2019 first-rounder for help in the backcourt or on the wing, per Deveney. Sources tell Deveney that Portland has expressed some interest in Hawks point guard Jeremy Lin, whom the Sixers and Pelicans have also inquired on. Getting a first-round pick in return for Lin might be challenging, but the veteran guard has boosted his value with a solid season so far in Atlanta.
  • While they’ll likely have more first-round picks than anyone this June, the Celtics aren’t expected to make any of those selections available at the deadline, sources tell Deveney. Boston will presumably save those picks for the summer, when a bigger move could be in play.

Southeast Notes: Lamb, Magic, Ross, Green

Jeremy Lamb, who is on a very reasonable $7.5MM expiring contract, is having the best year of his career so far, averaging 15.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG with a .445/.356/.864 shooting line. While his play and his contract situation could make him an intriguing trade chip, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer says a deal is unlikely as long as the Hornets remain in position to make the playoffs. It’s possible that equation could change if Charlotte plays poorly in January, but for now Lamb is an important contributor on a club in position to make the postseason.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Even with an underwhelming 14-19 record, the Magic remain in the playoff hunt in the East, two games back of the No. 7 seed. However, a thin bench is hurting the club, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who notes that offseason acquisitions like Jerian Grant and Isaiah Briscoe have struggled to make an impact for the second unit.
  • Magic sharpshooter Terrence Ross has received a $25K fine from the NBA for throwing the game ball into the stands, the league announced today in a press release. The incident occurred at the end of Orlando’s overtime loss to Phoenix on Wednesday.
  • Since signing a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Wizards in the offseason, Jeff Green has proven his worth, emerging as one of the club’s most reliable rotation players. Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington takes a closer look at Green, who may be a key factor if Washington hopes to make a run at a playoff spot.

Magic Rumors: Fultz, Rozier, Russell, Ross, Simmons

As they cling to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Magic are said to be exploring the trade market in search of possible deals, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

According to Kyler, an ideal trade for Orlando would involve a starting-caliber point guard. While D.J. Augustin is having another solid season for the Magic, averaging 10.3 PPG and 5.0 APG with a shooting line of .450/.439/.875, the 31-year-old is almost certainly not the long-term solution at the position for the franchise.

Here’s more on the Magic’s hunt for a point guard, along with a couple other rumors out of Orlando:

  • While the Magic have been named as a team with interest in former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, team sources have downplayed the seriousness of any talks they’ve had with the Sixers, Kyler reports.
  • The Magic have begun to do due diligence on some of 2019’s free agent point guards, with Terry Rozier and D’Angelo Russell among the players on their radar, sources tell Kyler. Rozier is considered Orlando’s top potential target, Kyler adds. However, he’ll be a restricted free agent and figures to attract interest from several other teams too.
  • Although many teams believe the Magic are “open for business,” the front office won’t be willing to make any deals that compromise their long-term outlook, says Kyler. In other words, players on expiring or short-term contracts are Orlando’s most likely trade candidates.
  • Marc Stein of The New York Times suggested on Tuesday that the Magic are more inclined to move Jonathon Simmons than Terrence Ross, but league sources have repeatedly told Kyler that Ross would have more value on the trade market, even though he’s on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2019. Ross’s name is the one that comes up most frequently from teams that have been “poking around” Orlando’s roster, per Kyler.

Stein’s Latest: Melo, Bazemore, Ross, Davis

The Rockets continue to search for a taker for Carmelo Anthony, Marc Stein of The New York Times reports in his latest newsletter. Moving Anthony’s $2.4MM salary – which has a cap hit of $1.5MM, would afford the team roughly $2.6MM in luxury tax savings.

Stein notes that the Sixers and Lakers—two teams often mentioned as potential landing spots for Melo—appear uninterested in bringing the prolific scorer aboard. The Hornets have also resisted the idea of adding Anthony despite the connection between team owner Michael Jordan and Anthony through the Jordan Brand.

Anthony became trade-eligible on the weekend and perhaps as NBA clubs gather in Las Vegas for the G League showcase, a rival team will strike a deal with Houston.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest newsletter.

  • Kent Bazemore is generating interest from contending teams looking for a swingman, Stein reports. Bazemore has one more year and $19.3MM left on his deal with the Hawks after this season and the interest in the wing at that price speaks to how highly he’s regarded in the marketplace, Stein writes.
  • Hawks veterans Jeremy Lin and Dewayne Dedmon are also receiving interest from around the league. Both players are on expiring deals.
  • Terrence Ross is the Orlando wing who is generating the most interest. However, the Magic would prefer to trade Jonathon Simmons over Ross, who is on an expiring $10.5MM contract.
  • It’s unlikely that the Pelicans deal Anthony Davis this season but a critical point is approaching. New Orleans can offer Davis a massive contract extension worth over $200MM in total value this summer and should the big man decline it, the Pelicans will realistically have to trade him.

Lakers Eyeing Wayne Ellington, Terrence Ross

Trevor Ariza isn’t the only veteran trade candidate the Lakers have looked into acquiring, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. As Deveney details, the Lakers have also been eyeing players like Wayne Ellington and Terrence Ross as they look to shore up their depth on the wing.

Rival executives tell Deveney that the Lakers have been among the “most aggressive pursuers” of trades in the early going this season. While the front office doesn’t want to give up its top young prospects for a short-term fix and likely won’t make a deal that compromises the team’s 2019 cap flexibility, the Lakers want to fortify their rotation in order to give this year’s club a chance to make a deep playoff run, writes Deveney.

Ellington, who signed a one-year, $6.27MM deal with the Heat during the 2018 offseason, has the power to veto any trade, but might welcome a move to a contender if Miami continues to struggle. Sources tell Deveney that the Heat would be open to sending the veteran sharpshooter to a playoff team for a first-round pick — that’s a lot to ask for a role player on an expiring contract, but if the pick has protections and Miami takes back an unwanted contract, it may not be unrealistic.

Meanwhile, although Deveney identifies Ross as another potential target, he concedes that the 27-year-old Magic swingman may have too much value to be a realistic option for the Lakers, given what Los Angeles is willing to surrender in a potential trade. Ross, who is also in a contract year, is enjoying the best season of his career, with career highs so far in PPG (14.1) and FG% (.453), among other categories.

There has also been chatter that the Lakers may pursue another big man, per Deveney, though he acknowledges that’s unlikely. There aren’t as many viable frontcourt targets on the trade market, and after signing Tyson Chandler earlier this season, L.A. probably has a stronger need for wing depth.