An interesting wrinkle to how the Magic pulled off their Tobias Harris trade has surfaced. Our own cap guru Eric Pincus revealed that prior to the Brandon Jennings/Ersan Ilyasova trade with the Detroit Pistons, the Magic renounced rights to free agents Willie Green and Jeremy Richardson, which dropped them below the salary cap and negated the Traded Player Exception the team received this summer for trading Moe Harkless.
By dropping below the cap prior to the trade, the Magic have the option to immediately re-trade either of the players they acquired in a package deal.
While Magic general manager Rob Hennigan spoke highly of both players after the trade and praised how well both would fit into the situation in Orlando, they do have the option to pack either of those guys into a deal to make a splashier move if it surfaces.
It is highly unusual for a team to renounce player rights prior to a trade unless there is the possibility of something bigger where those restrictions could be a factor. This is likely a case of keeping your options open, but it's an interesting wrinkle for the Magic.
via Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard reiterated Wednesday that he wants to finish the season with the team despite reports of a pending trade.
The Rockets have talked to several teams about trading Howard for a variety of players, though nothing has been finalized. The Rockets have spoken to Charlotte, Atlanta, Boston and Toronto about trading Howard, sources told ESPN's Marc Stein and Zach Lowe.
Source: Calvin Watkins of ESPN
Anything can happen in the hours leading up to the NBA trade deadline, but the New York Knicks weren’t on the verge of making any major deals as of Wednesday evening, according to head coach Kurt Rambis.
“Anything that comes up, I’m sure [Phil Jackson and Steve Mills] will address it with me and ask the opinion of the coaching staff and what they think, but nothing’s come out,” Rambis said after Wednesday’s evening practice.
Don't count on the Los Angeles Lakers entering Thursday's trade-deadline frenzy, according to general manager Mitch Kupchak.
"I think it's unlikely that something will happen between [Wednesday] and [Thursday], but [it's] possible," Kupchak said at the team's practice facility on Wednesday.
Source: Jovan Buha of ESPN
[A] source said general manager Sam Hinkie is "gauging interest in [Jahlil] Okafor" around the league heading into Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline.
Coach Brett Brown is trying to figure out a way to make it work with natural centers Nerlens Noel and Okafor, but it's been difficult with the natural centers who each want to be close to the basket.
A report in the Miami Herald, citing "an official who has spoken to the Heat," claimed Miami "expressed interest" in Okafor earlier this season.
via Tom Moore of The Intelligencer
The Bulls have discussed deals with multiple NBA teams on Gasol, but one discussion lingered on Tuesday, league sources told The Vertical’s Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix: Gasol and Tony Snell to the Sacramento Kings for Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore and a lowering of the lottery protections on the 2016 first-round pick that Sacramento owes the Bulls.
The pick is protected Nos. 1-10, but the Bulls and Kings discussed lowering the protections further to give Chicago a better chance of obtaining use of the pick in 2016, league sources told The Vertical.
The Kings reached out to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, too, league sources said, because the Sixers have the right to swap picks with the Kings’ on the 2016 pick. The Kings wouldn’t be able to complete the deal involving the pick with Chicago unless they could reach an agreement with Philadelphia. The Sixers were preparing to ask for a further sweetener to allow the Kings to move on a deal with Chicago, league sources said.
via Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical
Cleveland’s growing interest in New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson bodes well in Boston’s seemingly never-ending quest to acquire Kevin Love in what's shaping up to be a potential three-team deal that would include the Boston Celtics.
The particulars of the deal are still in the discussion phase, but the end result if it comes to pass would send Love to Boston, according to a league source.
via A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet NE
Frank Isola of the NY Daily News also tweeted that a three-team trade involving Anderson and Love is a possibility.
Sources say Houston, well aware Utah has been on the hunt for a veteran point guard for the stretch run, is pitching Ty Lawson to the Jazz.
Ty Lawson talks are serious and Jazz have committed to ship out Trey Burke ... 12 hours and change left for someone to trump Houston's offer.
With plenty of cap space, the Sixers would consider helping teams make a trade work, according to a league source. The source said the Sixers were sending out feelers on Wednesday about being a third team in any deal that is looking to dump contracts. The source said that Sixers would take on the salaries to receive draft picks.
via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer
According to Brian Geltzeiler of HoopsCritic.com, the Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons are discussing a deal centered around point guard Mike Conley Jr. We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Both Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace and Grizzlies Vice President of Operations John Hollinger have gone to great lengths to squash this rumor. Hollinger took to Twitter to shoot it down.
Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee is reporting that Iman Shumpert is available, should the Kings be interested.
One potential snag in this scenario is general manager Vlade Divac may not want to part ways with Kosta Koufos or Marco Belinelli. Jones goes on to say that Koufos or Belinelli aren't being treated as untouchable, but Divac is simply looking for the right deal in return.
Shumpert is attractive to the Kings because they're looking to win now, instead of collecting assets.
League sources told Basketball Insiders' Steve Kyler on Monday that most of the Shumpert-related talks were incoming in nature and that the Cavaliers have not initiated any discussions to move Shumpert. The Cavaliers seem unwilling at this point to add payroll, so in order to make a major deal a large salary may have to go out, hence why Shumpert's name has come up.
The Chicago Bulls are aggressively shopping All-Star forward Pau Gasol, league sources told The Vertical.
Gasol, 35, can opt out of his contract this summer and become an unrestricted free agent, and Bulls general manager Gar Forman seems determined to move him before Thursday's trade deadline with the hope of bringing back value.
via Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical
Pistons General Manager Jeff Bower told Matt Shepard of WDFN in Detroit that his team was still actively looking at deals and would go all the way up to the deadline if necessary after obtaining Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic yesterday.
"We'd like to find one more move. The Harris trade makes us a higher-level team now and in the future," Bower said.
The trade involving Harris makes the Pistons a little thin at point guard, since they shipped out Brandon Jennings. However, Bower said that would not be the only position the team looks for a talent upgrade
"We're still looking at every position, but Stan [Van Gundy] has great confidence in Steve Blake at the point guard position."
via Jeff Bower with Matt Shepard of WDFN