The Suns have third-team All-NBA guard Goran Dragic under contract for at least one more year at a very reasonable $7.5 million (he has a player option for the season after that, he’s likely looking for a healthy raise then). Dragic and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe were at the heart of a surprisingly resurgent Suns team last season.
So they’re going to trade Dragic?
You’d be right to have been skeptical of a recent report that the Indiana Pacers wanted to trade for Dragic, maybe in a big three-team deal. Not that the Pacers wouldn’t have interest in such a deal, but getting all the other parties on the same page is highly unlikely at best.
Starting with the Suns, who want no part of it, reports Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.
“No, no, no,” the source said. “Nothing to that. The team and Goran, they’re still committed to each other.”
The Pacers should be looking at upgrading the point, it’s a way they can add needed shot creation to the roster quickly and easily. Dragic would be a great fit. But to concoct a trade the Suns would like is going to be hard — Roy Hibbert is not going to cut it. You can bring in the Celtics as a third team, but three-team trades are rare because they are very hard to pull off. And by the way, the Suns don’t really want to trade Dragic.
This time of year you should take every rumor with plenty of salt — teams talk to other teams about everything. A lot of trial balloons are floated, few stay up in the air long. This one has landed with a thud.
Before signing with the Bucks, Jason Terry said he reached out to multiple contenders.
He also spoke with the Lakers.
Terry tried to leverage his relationship with Lakers coach Luke Walton, who also played at Arizona (though their time there didn’t overlap).
Terry on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
I called my good friend Luke. I told him if he needed any help, veteran leadership, in that capacity – Lakers – with an ability to coach at the end of my deal, then that was something I would be looking forward to. He utterly declined, and I respect him for that.
Gotta love a guy who announces to the world his pitch of providing veteran leadership was “utterly declined.”
The Lakers should be just fine with Jose Calderon and Luol Deng.
The Nuggets already had too many quality young big men who won’t easily mesh in Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic.
Joffrey Lauvergne only complicated the issue.
So, Denver is moving him.
Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post:
Oklahoma City already had 15 players – the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries plus Semaj Christon (who’s likely headed to the D-League). Lauvergne’s salary is only partially guaranteed, but given his ability and cost, the Thunder surely plan to keep him.
The bigger question is how they use him. They’re already loaded with big men: Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, Nick Collison and Mitch McGary – though perhaps McGary, facing a five-game suspension for drugs, gets waived to make room for Lauvergne.
The 6-foot-11 Lauvergne runs the floor well, and he can score in the pick-and-roll and on post-ups. He’s an impressive passer for his size, and he crashes the glass hard. But he’s not much of a rim-protector defensively. At age 24, he should produce well over the next several years – though he’s headed toward restricted free agency next summer.
Depending on the second-round picks, this might have just been a value play by the Thunder. They can figure out the rest later.
The Bucks hope Xavier Henry is just another thing Byron Scott is wrong about.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Henry – the No. 12 pick in the 2010 draft – never found his footing in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets or Los Angeles Lakers. He made some strides with the Lakers in 2013-14, but he tore his Achilles early the following season. That compounded the knee injuries that made Scott doubt Henry could meet the expectations placed on him coming out of Kansas.
Milwaukee now has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit. If Henry’s deal is unguaranteed, he’s obviously not a lock to stick. But the Bucks could use another wing. I’m guessing they’ll add more players to compete with Henry for that final spot.
Phil Jackson said he warned the Lakers they’d regret passing on Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 2 pick.
The Lakers are getting another swing at stretch big Jackson liked – though this time with far lower stakes.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Travis Wear spent 2014-15 with the Knicks and last season in Spain.
He’ll compete with recently signed Zach Auguste for a regular-season-roster opening that doesn’t exist – until the Lakers ditch Nick Young. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers add more players to the mix.
Both Wear and Auguste are eligible to have their D-League rights assigned to the Lakers’ affiliate if they’re waived before the season.
The 6-foot-10 Wear went undrafted out of UCLA in 2014. He has the makings of a stretch four, but he must become more comfortable beyond the arc rather than just in the mid-range.