In our list of players likely to be traded this season, Jameer Nelson was right at the top. The Magic are rebuilding, Nelson is older (31) and only $2 million of his contract for next season is guaranteed, making it a virtual expiring deal.
The question was how much would the Magic ask?
The current request is a first-round pick, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.
The Magic, according to the latest rumbles, would surrender Nelson today if offered a future first-round pick for him. Orlando GM Rob Hennigan continues to chase draft picks and young assets above all else as he remakes the Magic.
The problem, of course, is that teams have never been more reluctant to surrender first-round picks — and the cap-friendly contracts they carry — than we see nowadays.
Nobody is giving up a 2014 first rounder for Nelson, we’re talking about a pick a couple years down the line — and as Stein notes, even then this may not be likely. An injury to a team that thinks it has a playoff chance could get them thinking about pulling the trigger.
Nelson still has value on the court — he is a solid pick-and-roll point guard who can score and create for others (at least when he’s being aggressive). He’s not a great defender, but for a team looking for a backup point guard to improve them for a playoff run, Nelson could be a good fit.
Just the price being asked right now may have to come down a little.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.