After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN.
Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.
The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July, and are emerging as a front-runner for Toronto’s All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent in July, league sources said.
Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.
The Brooklyn Nets’ ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: NBA Submit Proposal to Lower Draft-Eligible Age to 18
The NBA has submitted to the National Basketball Players Association a formal proposal that will lower the draft-eligible age to 18 from 19, a person with knowledge of the proposal told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss discussions between the league and the union.
The NBPA and its executive director, Michele Roberts, planned to review the proposal Monday at a post-All-Star weekend meeting in the Bahamas.
The league and union have had informal discussions about lowering the age limit, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver is on record saying the current 19-year-old age limit is not working for the league or college basketball.
This is the first step in formal negotiations to lower the age limit by the 2022 draft. The issue is collectively bargained between the NBA and NBPA, and both sides need to agree to any rule change.
Sources: Bucks Interested in JR Smith, Buyout Unlikely
The Milwaukee Bucks have interest in JR Smith, sources said, though Smith and the Cavs are not close on a buyout. There is very little incentive for Cleveland to buy him out, and at this stage in his life, NBA money is important to Smith.
Smith is guaranteed $3.9 million for next season and $15.7 million if he’s on Cleveland’s roster July 1. What this means for the Cavs is — there is great reason to hold on to him for the rest of the season, and then try to trade him before July 1. If they fail, then they either waive him by June 30, paying him the $3.9 million to walk, they take on his full contract with the hope of being able to trade it by the February deadline next season, or they keep him past July 1 in an effort to trade him by a late August deadline to “waive and stretch” his contract. In essence, this would be risking $12 million for an extra two months to trade him.
Source: Joe Vardon of The Athletic
Report: Zion Williamson Day-to-Day with Right Knee Sprain
NEWS: Zion Williamson was diagnosed with a Grade 1 right knee sprain. He is progressing as expected, and his status is day-to-day.
NEWS: Zion Williamson was diagnosed with a Grade 1 right knee sprain. He is progressing as expected, and his status is day-to-day. pic.twitter.com/H8YUZGnOyc
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) February 21, 2019
Source: Duke Basketball on Twitter