NBA Trade Watch: Hernangomez to the Hornets

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Deadline Day is almost here! With the Feb. 8 Trade Deadline closing in, Basketball Insiders will be providing you daily rumor updates; Spencer Davies and David Yapkowitz started things off on Monday and Tuesday. Here’s Wednesday’s rumor roundup.

New York Knicks Trade Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets

The New York Knicks traded big man Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday morning for Johnny O’Bryant and two second-round picks, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

Hernangomez had been unhappy with his role after falling out of Head Coach Jeff Hornacek’s rotation, and requested the Knicks move him before the Deadline in order to continue his development. Hernangomez, just 23 years old, averaged 8.2 points, seven rebounds and 1.3 assists last season.

In Hernangomez, the Hornets get a young big man that they can mold to their likeness. However, with bigs Dwight Howard, Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky already on the roster, it’s unclear how much playing time Hernangomez will get right away. For the Knicks, this trade is all about the two second-round draft picks. O’Bryant hasn’t done much during his four season’s in the NBA, but he will certainly slide into the role Hernangomez had occupied: a big playing sparse minutes off the bench.

Race for Tyreke Evans Heating Up

Tade rumors have seemed to follow Tyreke Evans around since the beginning of the season. Now, with the Deadline forcing teams into action, the market for the 28-year-old with the 19.8 points, five rebounds and five assists stat line has started to heat up.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, multiple teams are still in talks with the Memphis Grizzlies to acquire Evans before the deadline; the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers are considered the frontrunners for Evans’ services while the Miami HEAT are still engaged in talks.

Evans has been a dynamic playmaker this season — perhaps his best throughout his NBA career — and would be a major force off the bench for any one of those teams in their respective pushes towards the postseason. Boston’s offensive struggles while Kyrie Irving is on the bench are well documented, Denver and Philadelphia could both make use of Evans’ shooting prowess in their second unit, and Miami’s roster isn’t talented enough to justify standing pat if they truly are looking to make noise come playoff time.

Memphis has been seeking a first-round pick for Evans, but if some general manager doesn’t blink, Evans could realistically remain with the Grizzlies past the deadline.

Lou Williams Off the Market?

Like Evans, Lou Williams’ name has often been brought up in trade conversations. After the Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Pistons completed the blockbuster trade that saw Blake Griffin shipped off to the Motor City, many expected Williams and DeAndre Jordan to be the next players out the door in Los Angeles.

However, that may no longer be the case.

According to Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, the Clippers and Williams have quickly gained “significant momentum” toward a contract extension. Like Evans, Williams — averaging 23.3 points and 5.3 assists per game this season — has had a career year and was likely in the sights of more than one contender. While his unavailability may put a damper on what was already predicted to be a slow deadline day, Williams’ absence from the market may promote investigation elsewhere, potentially boosting the competition over and increasing the value of players like Evans.

Hawks on the Move?

It has been reported that virtually anyone on the Atlanta Hawks could be had for the right price. As the deadline approaches, the one name that seems the most likely to be moved is shooting guard Marco Belinelli, according to Marc Stein.

Belinelli’s 2017-18 season hasn’t been his best, but he can certainly serve as an offensive spark off the bench and is a more than serviceable shooter. Belinelli is currently averaging 11.4 points on 9.3 field goal attempts per game while shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from three. With multiple teams interested, expect Belinelli to move quickly as a cheaper alternative to the high-priced Evans and others.

Another Hawk that could be moved, according to Stein, is power forward Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova can shoot the three and would certainly help any contender in need of floor spacing. However, Stein notes that Ilyasova can veto any trade and doesn’t seem all that interested in moving at the moment. Ilyasova is averaging 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season.

Other Trade News

There have been numerous other rumblings on the market. Windhorst has reported that the Washington Wizards are engaged in trade talks around center Marcin Gortat, with multiple teams interested. The Wizards are looking to improve in the immediate future while not taking on any extra long-term salary.

The Knicks are interested in Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Knicks General Manager Scott Perry drafted Payton during his time with the Magic and could look to reunite with the point guard without parting with major pieces, but Berman notes that it is unclear how the Knicks will proceed at the deadline in the wake of Kristaps Prozinigs’ torn ACL.

Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports has reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to pursue Sacramento Kings point guard George Hill. Mannix notes that Cleveland is willing to part with its own first-round pick to complete a deal, but that it insists on including the contracts of Iman Shumpert or J.R. Smith, something Sacramento is not interested in. Mannix also notes that the Phoenix Suns are willing to ship out center Tyson Chandler and point guard Jared Dudley.