Wayne Selden

Bulls Notes: Portis, Dunn, Selden Jr.

Bulls forward Bobby Portis will return to the lineup on Sunday against the Nets, making the team the healthiest it has been since originally starting its rebuild, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Portis had missed the past seven games with a sprained right ankle and is expected to be on a minutes restriction against Brooklyn.

Chicago coped with several key injuries to start the season, beginning the campaign with a 5-19 record and ultimately ending the run of Fred Hoiberg as head coach. The team currently holds the third-worst record in the East at 10-29, with Kris Dunn (knee), Lauri Markkanen (elbow), and Portis (knee/ankle) all missing more than 20 games.

The next step for the Bulls, who now have one young player sidelined in Denzel Valentine, is putting forth a stronger effort to create better results as a unit.

“We’ve talked about [the offense], and the issue right now is we’ve got to get a little more pace to our game,’’ Bulls VP John Paxson said, relaying a discussion between him and coach Jim Boylen. “Jim, [special adviser] Doug Collins, we all talk about it together. I don’t think you can necessarily pay attention to everything all at once. You make a change in-season, it’s very hard for the coach. You didn’t have a training camp to establish things. Practice time is limited. This will be a good time for us to improve in that area. We’ve got a lot of games left.”

There’s more today out of Chicago:

  • Kris Dunn is making a strong impact with the Bulls so far this season, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes. Dunn added 16 points, five rebounds and 17 assists in a losing effort to the Pacers on Friday night. “I think I can do a little bit of everything,” Dunn said. “If my team needs me to be aggressive, I can be aggressive. If my team needs me to pass, I can pass. I play defense. That’s what I do. I can rebound. I just try to do what the team needs from me.”
  • Wayne Selden Jr. thanked the city of Memphis and the Grizzlies on social media, writing that “blessings await” with the Bulls: “Memphis, thank you to the organization for given me the opportunity after going undrafted. Thank you to my teammates, I learned a lot & we had great times. Thanks to BT! & special thanks to the the city & the fans for embracing me. But now new blessings await #
  • An entertaining second half of the season awaits the Bulls, with the organization continuing to work through the kinks of being a young, inexperienced group, Johnson writes in a separate story for the Chicago Tribune. The team is expected to explore trade scenarios for Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez as the Feb. 7 deadline nears, keeping a strong focus on the future while growing as a unit. “We need to see growth. We need to see how they play,” Paxson said of the young core. “We’ve got to find a way offensively to get some easier shots and get guys to find some comfort zone. That’s what the rest of this season is about.”

Leftover Cap Details On Bulls/Grizzlies Trade

On Thursday, the Grizzlies and Bulls completed the fifth in-season trade of the NBA’s 2018/19 campaign, with Chicago sending Justin Holiday to Memphis in exchange for two players and two second-round draft picks.

While this deal was hardly a blockbuster, it features a few salary cap related details worth noting, so we’ll round those up in this space…

The Bulls create a modest traded player exception:

The Grizzlies had no traded player exceptions large enough to absorb Holiday’s $4,384,616 salary, so they had to aggregate MarShon Brooks ($1,656,092) and Wayne Selden ($1,544,951) for matching purposes. As a result, they didn’t create a TPE as a result of the deal.

On the other hand, the Bulls were able to take on Selden using the minimum salary exception, since he’s earning his minimum. As such, Chicago essentially traded Holiday straight up for Brooks for salary-matching purposes, leaving the Bulls with a trade exception worth the difference between the two players’ salaries: $2,728,524.

Why flipping MarShon Brooks may not be as easy as it seems:

Brooks is earning more than Selden this season because he has more years of NBA experience, but he’s also making the minimum salary. So why were the Bulls able to use the minimum salary exception to absorb Selden, but not Brooks?

Well, even though Brooks is earning his minimum this season, the first season of his deal wasn’t worth the minimum, as cap expert Albert Nahmad notes (via Twitter). The Grizzlies signed Brooks to a two-year pact last April, with just six days left in the 2017/18 campaign. A minimum salary contract would have paid him just $49,877 for those six days, but because Brooks was drawing interest from other suitors, Memphis upped its offer using a portion of its mid-level exception, giving him $249,348. That’s five times the amount of his prorated minimum.

As such, Brooks’ contract isn’t technically considered a minimum salary deal, which is why the Bulls had to account for that $1,656,092 for matching purposes.

Now, with the Bulls reportedly looking to flip Brooks to another team, those same rules apply. Like Chicago, a new trade partner wouldn’t be able to use the minimum salary exception to acquire Brooks. That trade partner would need a trade exception big enough to absorb his salary or would have to send back a contract in return.

That could eliminate a number of potential landing spots for the veteran guard and make it a little more challenging for the Bulls to make a second deal.

The Grizzlies still have a small amount of breathing room below the tax line:

The Grizzlies were pretty close to the luxury tax threshold before this trade. Having taken on a little money in acquiring Holiday, they’re even closer now. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Memphis has approximately $463K in breathing room before becoming a taxpayer.

While the Grizzlies opened up a roster spot by making a two-for-one deal, using that roster spot on a rest-of-season contract right now would take them into the tax. A veteran player (at least two years of experience) signed to a minimum salary deal today would have a cap hit of $829K.

Teams can begin signing 10-day contracts as of Saturday, and the Grizzlies could fit one of those under the tax line — a veteran on a 10-day deal would cost about $85K. So Memphis could afford five 10-day contracts for the rest of the season. A sixth would take the team into tax territory.

The Grizzlies could make a separate cost-cutting move before the February 7 trade deadline to create a little more wiggle room to sign a player. If they don’t reduce their team salary, however, that 15th roster spot is probably a good bet to remain open for a good chunk of the second half.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Grizzlies Notes: Holiday, Temple, Casspi, Parsons

After attempting to send MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden to Phoenix last month in a three-team trade that would’ve netted them Kelly Oubre, the Grizzlies moved those same players in Thursday’s deal for Justin Holiday. While the deal isn’t as favorable as the one they thought they had for Oubre, that’s why this one was able to get done, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian writes in his breakdown of the swap.

Herrington isn’t overly bullish on the trade, noting that it reduces the Grizzlies’ flexibility to some extent — the team has an open roster spot as a result of the two-for-one deal, but probably won’t have enough breathing room under the luxury tax line to fill it right away. Herrington also isn’t sure that Holiday represents a meaningful upgrade over the younger Selden, and notes that Memphis will now likely be left without a pick in the 2019 draft.

Still, as Herrington observes, it’s possible that Brooks’ and Selden’s inclusion in that failed trade with the Suns and Wizards “poisoned the waters” and left those players unhappy. If that was the case, this new deal may help lift any lingering unease in the locker room, making it more worthwhile.

Here’s more out of Memphis:

  • In the wake of a Wednesday postgame meeting that involved a physical altercation between Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi, GM Chris Wallace apologized to Grizzlies fans and said the team would hand out internal discipline, per an Associated Press report. Wallace was also displeased that details of the incident leaked to the media so quickly, adding that the club would handle that internally as well.
  • Within that same AP report, Temple and Casspi both addressed the reported altercation, though neither player went into much detail. “Some things were said and some things happened,” Temple said. “At the end of the day we’re brothers. We’ve known each other since we were rookies. At the end of the day, we came out of that meeting … on the same page and we’re moving on from it.”
  • David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal wonders if the locker room incident speaks to a leadership void for the Grizzlies.
  • Chandler Parsons is healthy and wants to get back on the court, but it’s not clear which Grizzlies player(s) should be sacrificing minutes for the oft-injured forward. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian takes a closer look at the situation.

Bulls Trade Holiday To Grizzlies For Selden, Brooks, Picks

10:43pm: The trade between the Bulls and Grizzlies is now official, with both teams announcing the agreement in press releases. As expected, Chicago waived Payne to reduce its roster count to 15 players.

6:43pm: The Bulls are trading Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies in exchange for Wayne Selden, MarShon Brooks and two second-round picks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Memphis will send its own 2019 and 2020 second-round selections.

Chicago is likely to waive guard Cameron Payne following the trade, Wojnarowski reports.

The trade comes less than 24 hours after the Grizzlies held a postgame meeting that lasted roughly 30 minutes, a conversation which also reportedly included a physical altercation between veterans Omri Casspi and Garrett Temple. Memphis holds just a 18-19 record and is 6-14 since November 22, struggling to gain a strong rhythm on both ends of the floor.

Holiday, 29, has averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 38 starts with the Bulls this season. He’ll provide the Grizzlies with backcourt depth as they seek to turnaround an underwhelming last month of action, capable of playing both shooting guard and small forward.

Brooks, 30, earned a spot on the Grizzlies’ roster this season after averaging 20.1 PPG in seven games down the stretch in 2017/18. However, he didn’t play a major role in Memphis in 2018/19, posting 6.6 PPG in 13.3 MPG (29 games). The Bulls are expected to work with his agent and find a new destination for him after the trade, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Selden, an intriguing third-year player who has also seen his production slip a little in a part-time role for the Grizzlies this season, will report to Chicago as a young asset off the bench.

Interestingly, the package of Brooks, Selden, and a pair of second-round picks is exactly what the Grizzlies believed they were giving up for Kelly Oubre in a failed three-team trade with the Suns and Wizards last month. That deal fell apart because the Suns were under the impression they was getting Dillon Brooks rather than MarShon.

The Bulls received interest from multiple teams on Holiday, according to Charania (Twitter link), but ultimately settled on this trade with the Grizzlies. Chicago has the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference at 10-28 and has lost six of its past 10 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Grizzlies Notes: Bickerstaff, M. Brooks, Selden, Carter

As bizarre as the circumstances were surrounding Friday’s failed three-team trade, it’s not the first time Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff has experienced that type of situation, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Bickerstaff was serving as interim coach of the Rockets in 2016 when the team traded Donatas Motiejunas to the Pistons, who later voided the deal because of injury concerns.

“The guy we brought back, D-Mo, was a high character kid so there wasn’t concern about him having a negative impact on the locker room or anything like that,” Bickerstaff said. “The emotion that they feel is more of a personal emotion. I don’t think it’s necessarily something that’s aimed at the team or a group of guys. But there’s thoughts in your mind that you go through.”

Bickerstaff offered an apology yesterday to Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks, whom the organization intended to move to Phoenix in the deal. The trade collapsed over apparent confusion over whether the Suns were getting MarShon or Dillon Brooks.

“It’s a difficult situation for people to be put in,” Bickerstaff said. “Guys who have shown up and worked every day and did everything we asked them to do. Felt bad for them. From the coaching side, I thought the right thing to do was apologize and let them know we understand how it feels, how we appreciate in the last 24 hours how they handled it because they could have handled it in a much worse way.”

There’s more today from Memphis:

  • MarShon Brooks’ mother learned of the trade on social media during Friday’s game and tried to tell her son about it from the crowd, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. However, she was too far away for Brooks to figure out what she was saying. “I’m not frustrated with the situation,” Brooks said about the canceled deal. “It’s a business. I understand that. I will say this though: When guys like a Jimmy Butler or Kevin Durant go to different teams and want to play where they want to play, you see why. It’s a business, on both sides.” (Twitter link)
  • Memphis may have found a gem in second-round pick Jevon Carter, Herrington writes in a full story. Carter had 11 points and two steals in his NBA debut Saturday and displayed the defensive prowess the Grizzlies were counting on when they drafted him. “It’s just a part of the game. It’s a process,” Carter said of starting his career in the G League. “Every day I come in here, I work, and I just wait. I just give my best effort — being a good teammate on the bench for these guys. I love these guys, so whatever I can do to help is what I’ll do.”
  • Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace gave his thoughts on the trade fiasco last night, insisting his team wasn’t responsible for any confusion.

Grizzlies GM Speaks Out On Failed Trade

The Suns traded Trevor Ariza to the Wizards this morning without any involvement from the Grizzlies after last night’s three-team deal collapsed because of confusion over whether Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks was being sent to Phoenix.

Memphis GM Chris Wallace spoke to reporters today about the drama and denied that his team had any role in making the Suns think they were getting Dillon instead of MarShon, writes Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian.

“We were very clear about who was in the trade,” Wallace said. “Contrary to reports, it was not Dillon Brooks. It put us in a very difficult situation with our players when individuals from one or both of those teams leaked the deal while we were playing last night. That forced me to do something I’ve never done in 30 years in this league working for seven teams: To drag two players out of the locker room to tell them they’d been traded and then come back and tell them, no, you haven’t been traded.”

The proposed deal would have sent Ariza to Washington, Kelly Oubre to Memphis and Austin Rivers, Wayne Selden and Brooks — either Dillon or MarShon — to Phoenix. It’s obvious why the Suns would prefer the 22-year-old Dillon Brooks, who was a second-round draft pick in 2017 and is coming off a promising rookie season. MarShon Brooks, 29, is with his fifth NBA franchise and was out of the league for more than three years before Memphis signed him last season.

The trade was virtually finalized before the Grizzlies and Suns realized they were talking about different players, which Wallace admits was an unprecedented turn of events.

“”Fortunately MarShon and Wayne are pros and after I explained it to them they’re both OK with the situation and we’re all moving forward,” Wallace said. “But what happened last night was unfathomable. From our standpoint, and we made this very clear, it was not Dillon Brooks.”

Wallace believes much of the confusion came about because the Grizzlies and Wizards were both occupied with games. News of the deal leaked before those games concluded, which may help to explain the contradictory reports. Herrington notes that original reports had Dillon Brooks as part of the deal, so it’s unlikely they came from Memphis.

Wallace explained that the trade began to come together Thursday afternoon, but most of the work was done Friday through “multiple discussions” with Washington. He adds that the three teams could probably have worked out the confusion behind the scenes if news of the deal hadn’t been leaked. He also suggested that the incident may make him wary about future dealings with the Suns and Wizards.

“I don’t carry grudges, but I’m not happy about what happened last night,” he said. “We were put in a very difficult position with our players, a position we take great pains not to get into, and we were forced to talk to them (about a trade) right after a loss in the locker room. This should all have stayed in house, and it didn’t, and that started the avalanche going downhill.”

Latest On Failed Three-Team Trevor Ariza Trade

In what was a whirlwind few hours on Friday night, a three-team deal centered around Suns’ swingman Trevor Ariza fell apart.  As it was reported, the deal would have sent Trevor Ariza to the Wizards and Austin Rivers to the Suns, and allowed the Grizzlies to acquire Kelly Oubre for Wayne Selden, two second-round picks, and one other player.

The confusion came over the identity of that other player as the Grizzlies believed they were dealing MarShon Brooks while the Suns thought Dillon Brooks was headed their way. We outlined in a pair of stories how the deal fell apart, particularly with the Grizzlies and Suns using the Wizards as a conduit in lieu of direct communication. The deal was scrapped after all three teams spoke directly and the Brooks-related confusion became apparent.

In his latest report, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added new tidbits of information in regards to the scrapped trade and where Ariza may be headed.

  • After the original deal fell apart, several other teams began to push Phoenix to enter the fray for Ariza’s services. The Lakers and Rockets were both engaging the Suns for Ariza, Wojnarowski noted. Along with the Wizards, this marks three of Ariza’s former teams being in contention to reacquire him.
  • The Suns privately insisted they had direct conversations with Grizzlies officials on Dillon — not Marshoon — Brooks and Memphis denied that, per Wojnarowski. The Grizzlies viewpoint is that Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld negotiated the deal and that a miscommunication with interim Suns GM James Jones led to the gaffe.
  • All the parts in the three-team swap were finalized until the Grizzlies and Suns saw conflicting reports on which Brooks was included in the deal. That led to a direct conversation in which the Suns informed Memphis that a deal would not happen unless it included Dillon Brooks.
  • Ariza and his agent are hopeful that he finds his way back to the Lakers. However, that seems unlikely at this point as Suns owner Robert Sarver is wary of dealing him to the Lakers after criticism that Tyson Chandler‘s buyout created an easy path to Los Angeles.  For what it’s worth, Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers were eager to acquire Ariza.

Recapping Friday’s Drama And Resetting The Ariza Market

With the calendar having turned to December 15, Suns forward Trevor Ariza is now officially eligible to be traded. However, it appears the veteran forward won’t be going to the Wizards in a three-team trade that included the Grizzlies and was seemingly on the verge of completion on Friday night.

As we explained in updates to our story on those Ariza trade talks, a deal sending the Suns forward to D.C. was about to cross the finish line when Memphis and Phoenix realized they weren’t on the same page on one of the players involved in the proposal — the Suns thought they were receiving promising young forward Dillon Brooks from the Grizzlies, while Memphis believed journeyman guard MarShon Brooks was the player involved in the deal. With the Grizzlies unwilling to include Dillon and the Suns unwilling to trade for MarShon, the potential swap fell apart.

How exactly does something like this happen? Well, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Grizzlies and Suns never spoke directly during the negotiations, using the Wizards as a conduit. However, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who is one of the most plugged-in reporters on the Suns’ side, tweets that Phoenix had “multiple conversations” with Memphis over the last 24 hours, and even checked Dillon Brooks‘ medicals.

The Suns never had any discussions about MarShon Brooks with either team, according to Gambadoro, who strongly suggests (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies appear to be the team at fault here.

Conversely, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic (via Twitter), the Grizzlies say they “never” discussed Dillon Brooks with anyone and were always talking about MarShon Brooks, adding that they’re “at a loss” to understand the mix-up. However, Wojnarowski tweets that the Wizards believed in conversations with Memphis that they were talking about Dillon.

As Howard Beck of Bleacher Report observes (via Twitter), in the days before details of potential deals leaked immediately to Twitter, this is the sort of mix-up that would have killed a trade well before word broke publicly. Given how today’s media landscape works though, we learned about the failed deal in real time, rather than seeing it reported as a humorous “what-if” anecdote months or years later.

The ramifications of today’s drama shouldn’t be overlooked — Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers will presumably remain Wizards, knowing that their team had reached an agreement to trade them. It’ll be interesting to see if that has an impact on them going forward, or if Washington is motivated to work out a new deal to move them to avoid locker-room discomfort.

In Memphis, MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden are in the same boat. According to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (via Twitter), both players were told when leaving the floor tonight that they were being traded, but they’ll report back to the Grizzlies tomorrow.

Meanwhile, before the Brooks-related drama reached its climax -when it still appeared the deal would get done – an interesting detail was reported about Ariza. A source told David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link) that Suns owner Robert Sarver was adamantly opposed to sending the 33-year-old to the Lakers, prompting Phoenix’s front office to pivot to other options. Will Sarver stick to that stance now that today’s deal fell through? Can we essentially rule the Lakers out of the Ariza sweepstakes going forward?

Today’s failed deal also provides a hint of what sort of return the Suns are looking for in exchange for Ariza. Gambadoro tweets that the deal was all about Dillon Brooks for Phoenix, rather than Rivers or Selden. So despite their depth on the wing and their need for a point guard, the Suns appear willing to move Ariza for a promising young player at any position — not just one who fills a position of need.

The Wizards and Suns could still try to find a third team to make an Ariza deal work, with potential trade partners knowing now that Oubre could be had. Of course, reports earlier this week suggested that at least eight teams had expressed some interest in Ariza, and now that we have a sense of what it might take to get him, perhaps some new opportunities will open up for the Suns.

It’s not even out of the realm of possibility that these three teams revisit the framework of today’s deal in an effort to find a compromise, according to Aldridge, who notes (via Twitter) that one source said Sarver and Grizzlies owner Robert Pera talked to each other and discussed Dillon Brooks. In a follow-up tweet, Aldridge notes that Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace strongly denies that Sarver and Pera spoke about this proposed trade.

Whatever happens next, tonight’s Ariza/Brooks drama is just the latest reminder of why the NBA’s rumor mill is so much fun.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Three-Team Trevor Ariza Trade Falls Apart

10:09pm: The deal is now considered dead, according to reports from Wojnarowski and Tom Habestroh of NBC Sports (Twitter links).

The Grizzlies and Suns didn’t communicate directly during the three-team negotiations, using the Wizards as a conduit, which led to the Brooks-related confusion, sources tell Wojnarowski and Lowe (Twitter link). Memphis pulled out after the three clubs all talked directly, according to Woj, who tweets that the Suns and Wizards would have to find a new third team to complete an Ariza trade.

9:55pm: The trade is now in jeopardy due to confusion over which Brooks the Suns they believed they were getting in the deal, according to Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN (Twitter link). Sources tell Woj that the Grizzlies won’t put Dillon Brooks in the deal.

9:40pm: There’s some confusion over which Brooks is going from the Grizzlies to the Suns in this proposed deal.

As detailed below, Wojnarowski and Gambadoro first reported that it was Dillon Brooks, but Woj issued a clarification to say it was MarShon Brooks. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter links) has also cited sources who say it’s MarShon. However, Gambadoro has insisted multiple times (via Twitter) that it’s Dillon and says the MarShon reports are inaccurate.

We’ll have an update as soon as there’s confirmation one way or the other.

8:57pm: The Wizards are in advanced talks to acquire veteran forward Trevor Ariza from the Suns, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Wojnarowski, Washington is making an effort to finalize a multi-team trade agreement involving Ariza tonight. He’ll become officially trade-eligible on Saturday.

Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies will be the third team involved in the deal. In the proposed trade, which is moving toward completion, Kelly Oubre would head to the Grizzlies and the Suns would receive Austin Rivers and two Memphis role players, according to Wojnarowski. Woj adds (via Twitter) that the Wizards would also receive a conditional 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 second-rounder from the Grizzlies.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 follows up on Wojnarowski’s report with more details, tweeting that Wayne Selden would head to Phoenix as part of the deal. While Gambadoro and Wojnarowski both originally had Dillon Brooks as part of the package, Woj clarifies (via Twitter) that it’s actually MarShon Brooks, not Dillon, who would be sent to the Suns.

Ariza signed a one-year, $15MM deal with the Suns during the 2018 offseason after a productive four-year run in Houston. Before joining the Rockets, he spent two seasons with the Wizards, including perhaps his best season as a pro in 2013/14, when he averaged 14.4 PPG and 6.2 RPG with a .456/.407/.772 shooting line.

Ariza’s numbers so far this season have been somewhat modest — 9.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and .379/.360/.837 shooting. Still, the three-and-D wing would be a seamless fit into virtually any playoff contender’s lineup, and would provide the Wizards with a reliable defender in the frontcourt – at the expense of some backcourt depth – as they look to get back into the playoff picture in the East. His expiring contract wouldn’t create any added cap flexibility for the Wizards next summer, since Rivers ($12.65MM) and Oubre ($3.21MM) are also in the final year of their respective deals.

The deal figures to reduce the likelihood of an Otto Porter trade, since Oubre was viewed as a potential insurance policy for Porter. The Wizards probably couldn’t have realistically paid big bucks to Oubre as a restricted free agent in 2019 if the maximum-salary contracts for John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Porter all remained on their books. It seems they’ll no longer have to worry about re-signing Oubre.

Oubre instead would be on track to reach restricted free agency next summer for the Grizzlies, who are poised to add the promising 23-year-old small forward to their lineup as a result of this move. Oubre has showed steady improvement over his four NBA seasons, and is posting career-highs in several categories in 2018/19, including PPG (13.0) and FG% (.433).

As for the Suns, their NBA-worst 5-24 start reduced their need for a veteran contributor like Ariza, which made him a popular trade target. Reports earlier in the week suggested that at least eight teams had expressed some interest in the 33-year-old, with the Lakers among them. However, a source tells David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link) that owner Robert Sarver was adamantly opposed to sending Ariza to the Lakers, prompting the Suns to pivot to other options.

Phoenix had reportedly been seeking a play-making guard in return for Ariza, and would receive a couple of players in this deal who could fit that bill. While Rivers and Brooks aren’t traditional point guards, they’re both capable of assuming some ball-handling duties for the Suns. Selden, meanwhile, is a swingman who figures to slot in at the two or three in Phoenix.

The Suns currently have 14 players on their roster, so they’d need to waive someone to complete the deal. Eric Moreland, who signed a non-guaranteed contract earlier this week, appears likely to be the odd man out.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Daniel Theis, Wayne Selden Get Salary Guarantees

When center Daniel Theis signed a two-year contract with the Celtics last summer, the second year of that deal was non-guaranteed. However, Theis would be assured of his full 2018/19 salary guarantee if he remainder under contract through July 10.

According to multiple reports, including one from Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter link), the C’s had no intention of waiving Theis by Tuesday. As such, his $1,378,242 salary for next season is now guaranteed.

It was an easy decision for Boston after Theis enjoyed a solid rookie year as a regular part of the team’s rotation. In 63 games (14.9 MPG), the German big man averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.3 RPG, providing crucial depth in the Celtics’ frontcourt. His season came to an early end in March when he underwent surgery to repair his left knee lateral meniscus, but he should be ready to go for training camp.

Meanwhile, another player – Grizzlies shooting guard Wayne Selden – also had a July 10 guarantee deadline on his salary for 2018/19. However, Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com recently indicated (via Twitter) that Memphis elected to guarantee Selden’s full $1,544,951 salary prior to the start of Summer League.

Theis and Selden will both be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2019.