New Names Surface in Trade Rumors
With the NBA trade deadline less than one day away, there are a ton of rumors surfacing. Many of the talks involve the usual players who have been mentioned in talks quite a bit.
However, several reports have brought up some relatively new names that we haven’t heard all that much about until now. Here are some of the latest rumors and rumblings from around the league.
Pau Gasol/Taj Gibson
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Chicago Bulls are “aggressively shopping” Pau Gasol, who is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract this offseason to become an unrestricted free agent.
Gasol hadn’t been mentioned in many trade rumors until now, especially since Chicago’s frontcourt isn’t as deep as it once was with Joakim Noah out for the season and Nikola Mirotic sidelined until after the All-Star break.
Shortly after Wojnarowski’s report surfaced, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls have had conversations about moving Gasol as well as Taj Gibson and Tony Snell. He said that Chicago’s front office wants a first-round pick and a rotation player in exchange for either Gasol or Gibson, and added that there isn’t much interest in Snell at the moment.
However, other reporters (such as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst) have indicated that the Bulls are just listening to offers for Gasol, but not actively shopping him. That could change before the 3 p.m. EST deadline on Thursday, but this could suggest that Chicago is simply gauging interest in their big men.
It remains to be seen if either Gasol or Gibson will be dealt. The 36-year-old Gasol seems like the more likely player to be traded, especially if reports are true that he has decided to opt out and weigh his free agency options this summer. Gibson is under contract for next season, as he’s set to earn $8,950,000.
One of the most surprising rumors of the day had Mike Conley going to the Detroit Pistons with Reggie Jackson going to the Memphis Grizzlies in return. The rumor was reported by HoopsCritic.com’s Brian Geltzeiler, although a number of other reporters shot down the possibility of this happening shortly after it surfaced.
Conley is an unrestricted free agent after this season, while Jackson just signed a five-year deal worth $80 million this past summer to stay in Detroit.
One of the people who responded to Geltzeiler’s tweet was John Hollinger, who is the vice president of basketball operations for the Grizzlies. Hollinger tweeted: “lol keep trying bro you’ll get one of these by blind luck eventually.”
Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace also disputed this rumor, going on The Chris Vernon Show on ESPN 92.9 in Memphis to say that keeping Conley “long-term is major priority” and discrediting any reports that suggest otherwise.
Around the trade deadline, it’s always hard to tell who is telling the truth and who isn’t. Teams sometimes shoot things down to protect themselves and their relationships with players, just as players deny wanting out of a situation so that they don’t upset fans or hurt their image.
However, with how strongly Wallace and Hollinger have denied this, it doesn’t seem likely to happen.
The New Orleans Pelicans may trade Ryan Anderson because they are aware that he’s unlikely to re-sign with them this summer. This is something that I touched on last week in a CineSport video and on last night’s Trade Deadline Preview Podcast, although it has gotten more attention recently.
New Orleans has talked to many teams about a potential Anderson deal, including the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors among others.
The Pistons may no longer be interested in Anderson now that they traded for Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris, but they were engaged in serious talks with the Pelicans prior to making the Harris deal.
The latest team to show interest in Anderson is the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports. This lines up with Cleveland’s attempts to land a stretch-four (as they’ve also called the Magic about Channing Frye).
Anderson’s looming free agency seems to be scaring some teams away, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Woj writes that executives interested in trading for Anderson “believe he’ll command a starting salary of $16 million-$18 million a season in free agency.”
So not only do teams have to worry about Anderson potentially walking away as a free agent after the season, they have to decide if Anderson is worth that much money if he decides to stay.
Still, with the Pelicans likely wanting to get something back for Anderson as opposed to losing him for nothing this summer, a trade remains likely.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic have discussed a trade that would send Lance Stephenson, C.J. Wilcox and a future second-round pick to Orlando in exchange for Channing Frye, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
The Clippers asked the Magic for more time before completing this trade, as they want “to finish pursuing what it is a long-shot larger deal.” It’s unclear what this trade would entail, but it seems to involves Stephenson’s contract (which would be needed in any kind of larger move).
If this trade between the Clippers and Magic ends up happening, Orlando will reportedly try to flip Stephenson to another team or just waive the controversial wing player.
The 25-year-old has a $9,000,000 salary for this season and a $9,405,000 team option for next year.
It remains to be seen if any other teams have interest in Stephenson, since he was dreadful last year with the Charlotte Hornets and has fallen out of the Clippers’ rotation recently.
The Clippers traded for Stephenson over the offseason, but they are already looking to move on from him. They did something similar with Josh Smith, signing him this past summer but trading him to the Houston Rockets in late January when it had become clear he wasn’t a fit in Los Angeles.
For all of the latest trades and rumors, keep checking Basketball Insiders’ deadline diary. We’ll keep updating the diary with every transaction and rumor over the next 24 hours.
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