Terrence Ross

Stein’s Latest: Drummond, Agbaji, Magic, Ross, Wizards

Bulls center Andre Drummond is a good candidate to be on the move prior to the February 9 trade deadline, according to Marc Stein, who notes in his latest Substack story that the veteran big man hasn’t been a regular part of Chicago’s rotation as of late.

Drummond wasn’t playing big minutes early in the season either, but has seen his playing time decline further since then, having received a handful of DNP-CDs in January. He has played more than nine minutes in only two games since the calendar flipped to 2023. For the season, the 29-year-old averaging 6.1 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 13.0 minutes per game in 36 appearances — all of those numbers are career lows.

Drummond isn’t on a minimum-salary contract, but his modest $3.2MM cap hit makes him an attainable trade chip for just about any NBA team. He does have a $3.36MM player option for 2023/24, so a club acquiring him would have to be comfortable with the possibility that he’ll exercise that option.

Here’s more for Stein:

  • After having previously reported that the Jazz are willing to listen to inquires about anyone on their roster except for Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler, Stein adds a third name to that list, citing a source who says rookie wing Ochai Agbaji also appears to be off-limits.
  • The Magic are “welcoming” inquiries on Terrence Ross, Gary Harris, Mohamed Bamba, and R.J. Hampton, league sources tell Stein. Rival teams are keeping an eye on Ross as a possible buyout candidate if he’s not moved by February 9, Stein adds. Orlando hasn’t made a habit in recent years of buying out veterans in contract years, but it’s possible that Ross – who suggested last spring that he’d welcome a trade – could push for a change of scenery.
  • Having previously reported that the Suns turned down a trade involving Jae Crowder and Rui Hachimura, Stein corrects the record, writing that the obstacle in those discussions was actually the Wizards’ desire to flip Crowder to the Bucks — the three teams discussed a deal, but couldn’t work out an agreement that appealed to Washington more than the Lakers’ offer.

Cavs Rumors: Bey, Hayward, Love, Ross, Possible Targets

After discussing several possible Cavaliers trade targets on Jake Fischer’s podcast last week, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com expanded on the club’s hunt for a wing in a subscriber-only story on Tuesday, taking a closer look at why Mavericks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. appeals to Cleveland, why the club is reluctant to part with former lottery pick Isaac Okoro, and much more.

Here are a few highlights from Fedor’s story:

  • Pistons forward Saddiq Bey “has some fans” in Cleveland, but there’s still a gap between how the Cavaliers and Pistons value him, writes Fedor, noting that Detroit’s asking price would have to come down significantly for Bey to be a realistic target for the Cavs. That line of thinking applies to a number of other possible trade candidates on the market, including Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.
  • Although Gordon Hayward‘s skill set makes the Hornets forward a logical target for the Cavaliers, his $30MM salary makes him a long shot for Cleveland. Kevin Love ($28.9MM) would likely have to be included in a deal for Hayward, and trading Love isn’t a possibility the team has internally considered, according to Fedor, who has previously reported that there’s mutual interest between the Cavs and Love in continuing their relationship beyond this season.
  • If the Cavaliers liked Magic wing Terrence Ross, they could have acquired him “multiple times” in the past, Fedor writes, implying that the asking price was one Cleveland could have easily met. Fedor said on Fischer’s podcast last week that the Cavs don’t have much interest in Ross.
  • Fedor identifies Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith and Spurs veterans Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson as players worth monitoring in Cleveland’s search for wing help. He adds that the Cavs would have interest in Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson and Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate, but there’s no indication that either player will be available at this season’s trade deadline.

Cavaliers Eyeing Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Cavaliers have interest in Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr., Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com said during an appearance on Jake Fischer’s Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast. Fedor identified Hardaway as a possible target for Cleveland after Fischer discussed the team’s interest in Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

“I would add another name,” Fedor said (hat tip to HoopsHype). “The Cavs believe this player is available, and my sources tell me that he could be had. It’s, again, at the right price. And it’s a little bit tricky, because he’s on a team that’s fourth place currently in the Western Conference.

“Tim Hardaway Jr. is somebody that the Cavs have been watching and they’ve been keeping an eye on. And I think if the Cavs had their choice, it would be very, very close. And they’re not going to have their choice, it doesn’t work that way, but if they had their choice, it would be between Bojan and Tim Hardaway Jr.”

The Cavaliers have two All-Stars (Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell) in their backcourt, with All-Star center Jarrett Allen and last year’s No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley up front. The small forward spot is the only one in the starting five that remains a question mark, with players like Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens, and Dean Wade cycling through it this season.

Fischer, having reported earlier this week that the Cavs are in the market for a defensive-minded wing who is also an outside shooting threat, likes the idea of Hardway for Cleveland, especially since LeVert would probably have to be included in a hypothetical trade (his $18MM+ salary is within $1MM of Hardaway’s). The Mavs kicked the tires on LeVert before Cleveland acquired him from Indiana a year ago, according to Fischer, who also suggested that Dallas has been seeking another shot creator to complement Luka Doncic.

Fedor believes a trade centered around Hardaway and LeVert would be a “logical stylistic swap,” though he acknowledged that there could be some obstacles. Hardaway is under contract for two seasons beyond this one, so the Cavs may be reluctant to make that sort of commitment before seeing how he fits (LeVert is on an expiring deal). Both Fischer and Fedor also agreed that the Cavs may want an extra asset as opposed to making a one-for-one trade.

Here are a few more Cavs-related notes from the podcast:

  • “I’ve been told that the Cavs are not going to trade Isaac unless they get a significant piece back in return,” Fedor stated, referring to Okoro. Fedor initially said he’s not quite sure what sort of player would fit that profile, but agreed with Fischer when he suggested Raptors forward OG Anunoby. It’s difficult to imagine the Cavaliers having enough ammo to land Anunoby even if they were willing to include Okoro, since they can’t currently trade any of their future first-round picks.
  • The Cavaliers are about $2.5MM below the luxury tax threshold and are unwilling to go into the tax this season, per Fedor. That will be a factor to watch as Cleveland consider possible deals.
  • Neither Fischer nor Fedor gets the sense that Suns forward Jae Crowder is a target for the Cavaliers, and Fedor said he also heard that the club is “not all that interested” in Magic wing Terrence Ross.
  • The Cavs won’t make a trade just to make one, Fedor said, adding that some people within the organization want to see what it looks like if Wade gets an extended shot at the starting small forward job. Wade made nine starts earlier in the season, but has been out since December 2 due to a shoulder injury.

Magic Rumors: Bamba, Ross, Harris, Hampton, Anthony

The Magic lost by a single point in Atlanta on Monday night, but prior to that game, Orlando had reeled off six straight wins, with many of them coming against tough opponents. The Magic won home games against the Clippers, Hawks, and Raptors (twice), then capped off the streak with a pair of victories in Boston.

Orlando is still just 11-21 on the season, but the team seems to be taking the sort of positive step forward that management wanted to see in 2022/23, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

“They have two of the premier positions in the league — play-making forwards — on rookie scale contracts, intriguing young talent around them on solid contracts, no bad money moving forward, and some veterans who could get them back even more draft capital should they choose to trade them,” an Eastern Conference team strategist told Fischer.

While the Magic haven’t been big spenders in free agency during their rebuilding process, league figures familiar with the club’s thinking tell Fischer that ownership will be prepared to open its check book when the time comes to invest in complementary pieces around those two young forwards, Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero.

Here’s more on the Magic:

  • Among potential Orlando trade chips this season, Mohamed Bamba may have the most value, according to Fischer, who says league sources believe the Magic will likely be seeking a first-round pick for Bamba and would settle for a protected or late first-rounder. Fischer notes that the Magic pursued Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency this past summer, which is perhaps an indication that Bamba was a fallback option and isn’t in the team’s long-term plans.
  • Although it’s unclear which teams might have interest in Bamba specifically, front office personnel expect teams like the Clippers, Lakers, Raptors, Kings, and Nets to explore the trade market for big men, Fischer writes.
  • Veteran wings Terrence Ross and R.J. Hampton, both in contract years, are also considered potential trade candidates, as is Gary Harris, who has a non-guaranteed salary for 2023/24. However, their appeal will probably be limited, given their modest production relative to their respective cap hits. Ross has previously drawn interest from the Lakers and Knicks, and the Magic have sought a first-round pick for him in the past, but it’s hard to envision them getting more than a second-rounder if they move him, says Fischer.
  • League personnel think there may be a “sizable gap” between Cole Anthony‘s asking price and what the Magic are willing to offer when the third-year guard becomes eligible for a rookie scale extension next offseason, per Fischer.

Paolo Banchero, Moritz Wagner Set To Return For Magic

The Magic will have a couple of previously injured big men available for Friday’s home game against Philadelphia, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required).

2022 No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero is slated to start (Twitter link) after a seven-game absence due to a left ankle sprain, while Moritz Wagner could make his 2022/23 regular season debut after incurring a right midfoot sprain during preseason.

Banchero had an excellent start to his NBA career, averaging a team-high 23.5 PPG along with 8.3 RPG, 3.6 APG and 0.9 BPG through 11 games (34.6 MPG). According to Price, the former Duke product said he’d never really dealt with an injury before.

I’ve just got to be patient,” Banchero said. “It’s my first time dealing with injuries. At first, I wanted to rush as quickly as possible trying to get back. I realized that wasn’t doing any good for me. I’m trying to learn to be patient and continue to be patient and listen to myself.”

Wagner was productive last season for Orlando, appearing in a career-high 63 games (15.2 MPG) while averaging a 9.0 PPG and 3.7 RPG as a reserve. The 25-year-old should help the team’s frontcourt depth and has been a solid scorer in limited minutes.

Unfortunately, Wendell Carter Jr. (right plantar fascia strain), Chuma Okeke (left knee soreness) and Terrence Ross (illness) have all been ruled out for the Magic (Twitter link). As Price notes in his article, both Carter and Okeke had previously been listed as questionable but were later downgraded. Ross was a last-minute addition to the injury report.

Carter will now have missed four of the past five games with the nagging foot problem. Plantar fascia injuries can be very fickle and typically only respond to rest, so we’ll see how that plays out over the course of the season. Okeke had appeared in all 18 games for the 5-13 Magic but exited Monday’s loss to the Pacers early with the injury.

Southeast Notes: Ross, Wizards, Heat

Veteran swingman Terrence Ross is excited about the Magic‘s talented young core, but his own future with the team remains uncertain, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link).

I feel like everything we didn’t have a season or two ago, we have,” Ross said on The T. Ross Podcast. “Everything in bulk. I’m literally shooting in the middle of my workout, not even talking to the coaches or anything, and just in my head thinking. And halfway through, I’m like, ‘We could [expletive] go to the playoffs.’

We have a lot to play for this year. That kind of got me hype. And then to see all the youth we have and they’re ready to go out the gate. It’s going to make me optimistic about what we can achieve this season and moving forward. Granted, I’m still with the team.”

Ross said back in April that he’d welcome a trade out of Orlando, but he’s obviously still on the roster — at least for now. Part of the reason the Magic might not have been able to move Ross to this point is he had a down season in 2021/22, appearing in 63 games (23 MPG) while averaging 10 PPG and 2.6 RPG on .397/.292/.862 shooting.

Still, he’s an athletic scorer with a 36.1% career mark from three-point range, so the Magic might find a taker at some point, depending on their asking price. Orlando was reportedly looking for a first-round pick for Ross prior to the February trade deadline, but I’m pretty skeptical they’d get that much value for him right now.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Chase Hughes and Bijan Todd of NBC Sports Washington analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the Wizards‘ roster. According to Hughes and Todd, the Wizards have capable scorers at every spot in the projected starting lineup of Monte Morris, Bradley Beal, Will Barton, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. The center position, with a depth chart of Porzingis, Daniel Gafford, Taj Gibson and Vernon Carey Jr., looks like one of the strong points of the roster, Hughes and Todd note. Weaknesses include defensive question marks throughout the roster, whether Beal and Porzingis can stay healthy, and whether former first-round picks like Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert will develop their games, per Hughes and Todd.
  • In his latest mailbag article, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald covers a couple of Heat-related topics, writing not to expect a rookie scale extension for Tyler Herro anytime soon. If the Heat do offer Herro an extension, Chiang doesn’t believe it will be for a maximum salary, and it could come right before the deadline in October. Chiang also expects Miami to keep its options open and maintain flexibility to pursue stars, so dealing for a starting-caliber power forward likely won’t be a priority unless the player is part of a larger trade package.

Eastern Notes: Adebayo, Giannis, Oppenheimer, Ross

Despite not having won a Defensive Player of the Year award so far in his NBA career, Heat center Bam Adebayo expressed optimism about his chances next season, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

“I should have won it the last two years, and I will win it this year,” Adebayo told youth campers at a recent Heat clinic.

The 25-year-old has established himself as a versatile defender, enabling Miami to play a switch-heavy defense. He guarded players such as Trae Young, Jayson Tatum and Joel Embiid during the Heat’s latest postseason run.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will play for the Greek National Team in this year’s EuroBasket competition, Hellenic Basketball Federation president Vaggelis Liolios confirmed, per Christos Tsaltas (Twitter link). Antetokounmpo also recently hinted at the decision on social media.
  • As Tsaltas notes, Bucks assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer will also join the Greek National Team with Antetokounmpo. Oppenheimer has served as an assistant with Milwaukee since 2020 and was part of the team’s championship run last season.
  • Magic guard Terrence Ross is enthusiastic about the team’s roster entering next season, as relayed by Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel (video link). While Ross doesn’t know what his future holds with the franchise, it’s clear he thinks highly of Orlando’s young nucleus, which includes No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero.

Southeast Notes: Beal, M. Williams, Ross, Atkinson, Hornets Workout

Bradley Beal didn’t provide any hints regarding free agency during a public appearance today, but he revealed that “a lot” of players have been encouraging him to join their teams, writes Noah Trister of The Associated Press. Beal is facing a decision on a $36.4MM player option for next season that will have a huge effect on the Wizards‘ future, but he didn’t give any indication on which way he’s leaning.

The star guard did provide an update on his injured left wrist, which required surgery in February that brought his season to an early end. He said the recovery process is going well and estimates that 80-90% of his range of motion has returned.

“The rest is going to be strengthening and stuff,” he said. “I’m cleared to do stuff on the court now, which is good.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After working out for the Wizards today, Mark Williams said it’s the last one on his schedule before Thursday’s draft, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The Duke center also had sessions with the Hornets, Knicks, Spurs and Bulls.
  • The Magic are still trying to find a taker for Terrence Ross, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Prior to February’s deadline, Orlando was asking for a first-round pick in exchange for the 31-year-old swingman, but Scotto says teams are hoping the price will fall to multiple second-rounders, just as it did when the Magic traded Evan Fournier. Ross has an expiring $11.5MM contract for next season.
  • Before changing his mind about becoming the Hornets‘ next head coach, Kenny Atkinson called all the team’s current assistants and had planned to meet with every staff member before the draft, tweets Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
  • The Hornets hosted six players in a pre-draft workout today, the team tweeted. On hand were Keve Aluma of Virginia Tech, Jamaree Bouyea of San Francisco, Yoan Makoundou of Cholet Basket in France, Wendell Moore of Duke, Scotty Pippen Jr. of Vanderbilt and Jaden Shackelford of Alabama. Charlotte owns the 13th, 15th and 45th picks in the draft.

Southeast Notes: Beal, Capela, Ross, Bouknight

Bradley Beal is making progress after undergoing left wrist surgery in February. The Wizards star guard has been cleared to begin rehab work, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Beal’s cast, as well as the pins in his wrist, were removed on Wednesday.

Beal has not yet announced whether he’ll pick up his $36.4MM player option for the 2022/23 season. The expectation is that he’ll likely turn down that option in favor of free agency, even if he intends to sign a new deal with the Wizards.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks center Clint Capela won’t play in Game 3 of the team’s first-round series against the Heat on Friday, according to coach Nate McMillan, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets. Capela suffered a knee injury in the play-in tournament against Cleveland.
  • Earlier on Thursday, we noted that the Magic‘sTerrence Ross would welcome a trade. He has also changed his representation, rejoining CAA Sports as a client on and off the court, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal tweets. CAA’s Aaron Mintz, who negotiated all of his previous contracts, re-signed him after Ross left Klutch Sports. Ross will be a free agent next summer.
  • Lottery pick James Bouknight admits his rookie season didn’t go as he hoped, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. The Hornets guard appeared in just 31 games. “I feel like I would describe it as a roller coaster,” he said. “Having good moments, having moments I could have done better, took the situation and made it better. But I think overall I learned a lot.” Bouknight added he has no issues with James Borrego despite a public disagreement with his coach shortly before the All-Star break.

Magic’s Terrence Ross Would Welcome Trade

Magic swingman Terrence Ross initially expected to be traded in March 2021 when the team moved Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. However, Ross remained in Orlando through that trade deadline and through the 2022 deadline too.

With just one year remaining on his contract with the Magic, Ross hasn’t explicitly requested a trade, but he has made it clear he’d welcome a change of scenery, according to Price. Asked if he plans to talk to the front office about wanting to be dealt, Ross told The Orlando Sentinel that the Magic are “well aware of that, so there’s no point,” adding that it’s up to the team to make that decision.

“We’re definitely in different spots,” Ross said. “I feel like I’m a part of that old regime, and they’re going in a different direction. I don’t know what they’ve got in store for me. It’s hard to say. They don’t really let me know too much about what they’re doing. I’m kind of here just along for the ride.”

Ross averaged just 23.0 minutes per game in 63 appearances for the Magic in 2021/22, which was his lowest MPG average since he joined the team in 2017. He fell out of the rotation entirely at times down the stretch as Orlando leaned further into developing its young players.

Of course, Ross’ play this season didn’t help matters — his .397 FG% and .292 3PT% were both career lows. If his three-point percentage had been more in line with his career rate (36.1%), it presumably would’ve been easier for the Magic to move him at the deadline.

Now that he’s on a relatively reasonable ($11.5MM) expiring contract, it will be interesting to see whether there’s a team willing to send the Magic an asset or two this offseason to acquire Ross and bet on a bounce-back season. For his part, the 31-year-old wing says he’d like to be part of a team that’s not going through a rebuild.

“If I was younger (or) one contract before this, it would be a different story,” Ross said during an appearance on the Outta Pocket podcast. “… But I’ve kind of already done that, I’ve been through a few rebuilds already. I’m 10 years in. Time is kind of going against me at this point, so I don’t really want to stay in another rebuild.

Ross added that he’s had fun and had “some good runs” in Orlando, but that he’s prepared to transition into a new situation, preferably on a playoff team.

“At least being on a contender and just helping a team and bringing some of the knowledge I have of being a vet,” Ross said on the Outta Pocket podcast. “Coming off the bench and get buckets.”