NBA Rumors Round-Up

Rumors: Jeff Green Trade Becomes Official Monday

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Check out the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Three-way deal agreed to

The Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans have agreed on a three-team, five-player trade that sends Jeff Green to the Grizzlies, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The trade will send the Grizzlies’ Tayshaun Prince, New Orleans’ Austin Rivers and a future Memphis first-round pick – likely coming in 2019 – to the Celtics, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Memphis will send forward Quincy Pondexter and a 2015 second-round pick to the Pelicans and the Pelicans will move guard Russ Smith to the Grizzlies, sources said. The Grizzlies held Prince and Pondexter out of Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.

The teams will have a trade call with the league on Monday to make the deal official, sources said.

Rivers is unlikely to play for the Celtics, sources said. Boston has discussed a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers to reunite Rivers and his father, Clippers president and coach Doc Rivers, league sources said.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

This concludes weeks of talks between the Grizzlies and Celtics over Green and finally provides the Grizzlies the upgrade they were looking for in order to keep pace with the ever-improving Western Conference. Although they have been among the best teams in the West so far this season, the Grizzlies knew they were due for an improvement at the small forward position. Green is certainly that, providing an ability to score the basketball that they desperately needed. He may not be the same caliber defender as Prince was, but he should be more than serviceable and benefit from the defensive foundation the Grizzlies have in place.

The Grizzlies have been too reliant on their big men to score, especially in the playoffs. Starting point guard Mike Conley Jr. has developed into the kind of player who can score when needed to, but what the Grizzlies truly needed was another shot maker/creator – someone they can run plays for outside of just Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. With Green, they should bring their most offensively potent and complete basketball team to the playoffs ever this postseason.

For the Celtics, this is one of the final moves of their veteran firesale. They’re out of quality pieces to pawn off for draft picks now, and Ainge is going to have to turn the stockpile of picks he’s collected into the next great Celtics team along with the young core he already has in place.

As for the Clippers, they become the team that Rivers is going to try to save his career with. It’s going to be interesting to see how he fares playing for his father and how that dynamic plays out, but there’s not going to be any favoritism for Austin. He’s going to have to earn everything under Doc, and if he doesn’t make it in L.A., his career probably doesn’t have many chances left in it. He’ll be D-League or overseas bound odds are if he doesn’t fully establish himself as a pro with the Clippers.

David Blatt blasts Kevin Love

Reporter: “Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love they are two max players, they’re here.”

Blatt responds quickly: “Kevin’s not a max player yet.”

Via Blake Ellington of Sactown Royalty

This is either brilliant or moronic by the highly-criticized Blatt, whose seat has already become dangerously hot despite recent votes of confidence from the front office. To prod a pending free agent like Love publically is probably the last thing his bosses were hoping he would do, yet Blatt did so unprovoked last night.

Love has had his issues fitting in alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, but make no mistake about it – he’s been playing on a max contract for years now and has been one of the most productive power forwards in the league during that time. In what many are classifying as a “down” year for him so far, Love is still very likely to be an All-Star, and is averaging 17.9 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. Most players would kill to average those kind of numbers, and there aren’t many third options capable of that either.

Blatt’s comments, fueled by whatever motivation, are hard not to take as flat out disrespectful. What he doesn’t realize is that the Cavaliers will accept that they missed on hiring him long before they make Love a less-than-max offer in free agency. Love is expected to decline his player option for next year and test the open market this season, with his mind set on potentially signing a short-term pact to capitalize on the projected cap increase with a new TV deal in 2016. Staying with the Cavaliers would help preserve his Bird rights and keep him in line for a big pay day once that happens, but if this season continues to go as disappointing as it is in Cleveland so far – many believe Love will seriously consider leaving. Teams will be lining up to make him a max offer this summer, and making sure he’s given the proper respect and touches offensively will be two of their main selling points.

LeBron returning this week?

LeBron James could return to action Tuesday in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ game against the Phoenix Suns, provided he has a strong practice on Monday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Cavaliers coach David Blatt said he is hopeful James will practice Monday in Phoenix. Two other sources said James definitely will participate.

Via Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports

This is what the Cavaliers need more than anything. They have really floundered without the King, albeit they were struggling before. However, they’re never going to hit their stride and start clicking on all cylinders without him. They need him on the floor and with him back in the lineup soon, hopefully they can get back on track. James has yet to play with the Cavaliers’ new additions, but was involved in all of their acquisitions and signed off on every move. With a supporting cast further tailored to his likeness, much of the responsibility to make things work falls on James now.