NBA Trade Deadline Tracker: All the trades, rumors, analysis, fun in one place

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It’s the one day on the NBA calendar you know is going to be like a roller coaster — rumors are going to fly, deals are going to appear close then fall apart, complete fabrications will fascinate a fan base who will then blame a GM for not making them reality, and in the end there will be a few trades. However, if you think your team trading for a big star is a lock to improve your team, you may want to think again.

Today may end up being light on actual deals getting done, but we will have everything going on here:

3:41 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The trade of the day snuck in at the wire — the Pacers have  traded Danny Granger to the Sixers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. Wow. Indiana is a title contender that just sent their sixth man away to gamble on Evan Turner in that role —  like the gamble, but it is one. Granger is averaging 8.3 points a game in 22.5 minutes a night, with a true shooting percentage of 49.1 — not that impressive and he was getting paid $13 million. Turner is scoring at a higher pace in Philly, 17.4 points a game, but he was forced into that role because of that roster. That said, taking on that higher scoring load Turner has a higher true shooting percentage (50.4) and he may well be an upgrade for the Pacers in that role. The question is can he blend in with the Pacers culture and second unit. It’s a gamble.

3:20 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Los Angeles Clippers are sending Byron Mullens to the Philadelphia 76ers. Not sure what is coming back to the Clippers yet. Not exactly earth shattering but Mullens gives the Sixers a floor spacing big as they traded Spencer Hawes away. For the Clippers, this move and the Jamison move save them millions, they are just over the tax line by a couple hundred thousand. That said, their front line depth is now DeAndre Jordan/Blake Griffin, then Ryan Hollins, after that…. nobody. (Ramona Shelburne)

3:12 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: One trade that did slip in under the deadline — San Antonio sends Nando De Colo to the Toronto Raptors for Austin Daye. That’s an exchange of guys at the end of the bench, although De Colo could get limited run in Toronto. I’d dismiss this move for the Spurs, but the way trades work for them he probably starts playing like an All-Star. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

3:02 pm: There is no deal between the Clippers and Knicks. It was too much to fit together under the pressure of the deadline, and the Clippers just did not want the Felton salary.  The Clippers did agree to send Antawn Jamison to the Atlanta Hawks at the deadline but that was not precursor deal.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

3:00 pm: THE DEADLINE HAS COME AND GONE. (Some deals submitted just before the deadline will trickle out in the coming hour.)

2:59 pm: Knicks/Clippers discussing Darren Collison, Willie Green and Matt Barnes for Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton. Right up to the deadline. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

2:57 pm: Jarrett Jack to Minnesota is dead, not gonna happen.

2:54 pm: The Denver Nuggets announce that JaVale McGee has had surgery on the stress fracture in his leg that has kept him out all season. This makes it official, no Pierre until next season.

2:46 pm: Lakers talking to Philadelphia about sending big man Chris Kaman east. For the Lakers this would be about saving cash, the Sixers have the cap room to take him on and if they can they want to get over the league minimum salary number. (Ramona Shelburne)

2:43 pm: With Iman Shumpert only having a sprain and likely to miss a couple weeks, the Clippers are reportedly taking one last look at a trade for him. The issue has been the Knicks want the Clippers to take Raymond Felton’s contract and Los Angeles has no interest.  I don’t see how that has changed. (Marc Stein)

2:41 pm: No, there is not going to be a last-minute deal for Pau Gasol. The Lakers will keep him, they will have his Bird rights, but know that there is little chance he is back next season. (Ken Berger)

2:28 pm: At the last minute the Golden State Warriors are shopping Jordan Crawford. Getting Steve Blake allows the Warriors to do this.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

2:20 pm: The Los Angeles Clippers are going to stand pat at the trade deadline. (Dan Woike)

2:14 pm: The Lakers have held out that they want more than just cash savings for Jordan Hill, teams have been reluctant to do that (some have suggested the Lakers should send out a second round pick since the other team will save them $7 million is salary and taxes). With nothing happening it is starting to look like Hill may be a Laker after the deadline. (Ken Berger)

2:10 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Denver Nuggets will send Jordan Hamilton to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Arron Brooks. Good deal for both teams — Denver wanted a backup point guard behind Ty Lawson, they get one. Hamilton gives the Rockets an athletic wing off the bench. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

1:56 pm: Iman Shumpert’s MRI came back showing just a sprain, nothing that requires surgery. That means it is possible he ends up in a trade in the final hour before the trade deadline.  (Ken Berger)

1:49 pm: Denver has come to terms to send Jordan Hamilton to Houston for Aaron Brooks. Nice pick up for the Rockets, who wanted a more athletic wing off the bench and really don’t need Brooks. Denver gets a solid backup for Ty Lawson, something they haven’t had since Andre Miller was banished to Siberia (or wherever Brian Shaw’s doghouse is). (Adrian Wojnarowski)

1:31 pm: Minnesota missed out on Andre Miller, so now they are talking to Cleveland about Jarrett Jack. (David Aldridge)

1:27 pm: If the Iman Shumpert MRI comes out negative and it is just a sprain he will be back in play for trades — and he may go to Oklahoma City for a first-round pick. Doc Rivers and the Clippers would still be interested but L.A. didn’t want to take on Raymond Felton’s contract and I doubt that changed. A first round pick will make Shumpert a part of the Thunder, if that report is accurate. (Chris Broussard)

1:23 pm: Among the massive amount of trades that died on the vine you can add the Kings/Cavs Jason Thompson-for-Jarrett Jack one.  (Sam Amick)

1:03 pm: It appears the Tyler Zeller to the Clippers for Reggie Bullock trade is DOA. (Ken Berger)

12:53 pm: With their taking on Eric Maynor and picks, the Philadelphia 76ers now have five picks in the second round of this year’s draft. Plus multiple ones in future years. That, my friend, is leverage for future deals.

12:46 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Charlotte Bobcats acquire Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal from the Milwaukee Bucks for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien. This move gives the Bobcats some quality backcourt depth that can help them hold on to one of the final playoff spots in the East.  (Rick Bonnell)

12:40 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Washington Wizards have added some veteran depth to go with John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt. In a three team-trade the Wizards will get Andre Miller — who should be a good fit with them, a veteran they could use in the locker room — while as part of the deal Denver gets Jan Vesely, while the Sixers will land Eric Maynor from Washington plus two second-round picks belonging to Denver — both reportedly 2014 ones. I like this for the Sixers, depending on the picks and protections on them. For Denver Vesely is a nice gamble but those two picks make it seem expensive just to dump Miller.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

12:34 pm: Looks like we are close to another trade — Denver and Washington are “close” to a deal sending Andre Miller to the Wizards for Eric Maynor and Jan Vesely, although the Nuggets would quickly flip Maynor to a third team.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

12:29 pm: It’s not likely, but the trade idea of Caron Butler and Gary Neal to Charlotte for Ben Gordon and another contract is not yet dead. Neal to Charlotte looks like it will happen, adding in Butler complicates matters.  (Gery Woelfel)

12:26 pm: The Knicks are working the phones hard, looking for a new point guard, but not making any progress. Remember, with Iman Shumpert spraining his surgically repaired knee, he is pretty much off the trade block. (Sam Amick)

12:22 pm: The Detroit Pistons are trying to shop Josh Smith around, but they want value back not just expiring contracts. That should provide other GMs a much-needed laugh on a tense day. (Zach Lowe)

12:18 pm: Here is your Andre Miller update — it looks as if Washington and Minnesota are the only two teams left trying to land him with the Wizards in the lead (if it is Washington don’t expect Eric Maynor to be part of the package heading back to Denver). However, most executives think no deal will be made and the Nuggets will just buy Miller out and make him a free agent. (Sean Deveney)

11:45 am: Gary Neal was always likely to be dealt by the Bucks today and they are now close to making a deal with the Charlotte Bobcats. Not a lot of details yet, but that’s a solid pickup for Charlotte, which wants to solidify its spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs (their sweep of a home-and-home with Detroit this week certainly helped that). (Ken Berger)

• The Clippers have been hesitant to part with Reggie Bullock, but they need front line depth desperately so have had talks about sending him to Cleveland for Tyler Zeller. (Brian Windhorst)

• Indiana has tested the trade market for Danny Granger but you were always going to have to blow them away with a deal because: 1) They liked the idea of the cap space they get with him leaving at the end of the season (or re-signing for much less); 2) He’s proven to be a good sixth man and they will need his offense come the playoffs. The Pacers haven’t found any deals for Granger they like and will probably keep him. (Brian Windhorst)

11:21 am: REPORTED TRADE: The Sacramento Kings will acquire Roger Mason Jr. from the Miami Heat, then are going to turn around and waived the little-used veteran. This really is just teams shifting around a few dollars — it is virtually a straight cash deal. Technically the Kings will send a protected second round pick back to the Heat, but it will be so heavily protected that Miami will never really see it. Miami is doing this to clear out a roster space so when players get bought out after the deadline they can sign them. The Kings are doing it for the straight cash money.  (Ken Berger)

11:17 am: The Cavaliers are finding it hard to find anyone to dance with who wants Luol Deng — Detroit and Minnesota are lukewarm and the Suns are not willing to give Cleveland a first-round pick to rent him for 30 games. Nobody is going to give up much for a guy who wants to test free agency this summer. (Ken Berger)

• Speaking of Cleveland, it appears that Jarrett Jack still will be a Cavalier after the trade deadline. That’s good for their playoff hopes. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

11:07 am: The New Orleans Pelicans are shopping around D-League star Pierre Jackson. If they don’t find a deal he will go overseas to play for Fenerbahce in Turkey the rest of the season (and make more money). There should be interest in him around the league, however. (Marc Stein)

10:52 am: While the fact that Luol Deng refuses to sign an extension complicates matters considerably (he wisely for his sake wants to test the free agent market), the Wizards, Mavericks and Pistons are all reportedly still talking to Cleveland about a deal for him. However, any deal appears unlikely.  (Marc Stein)

• On a lighter, non-trade note: No, Blake Griffin did not beat up Justin Bieber in a Starbucks. We kind of all secretly wished it were true, but it wasn’t.

10:44 am: New Orleans is  backing away from the Lakers and Jordan Hill. That leaves the Nets and Hawks still in the mix, with the Nets the frontrunner. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

10:22 am:

COMPLETED TRADE: The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to move Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Earl Clark and Henry Sims (both expiring contracts) and two second round draft picks. Not a bad haul for Philly. The Sixers had been holding out for first round picks but have lowered their standards at the deadline to get a deal done and did pretty well. Cleveland, winners of six in a row, have upgraded their front line with trades when you look at Hawes and Luol Deng, but I still don’t see much of a master plan there.

• The Sacramento Kings are shopping Jimmer Fredette hard, looking for a 2014 second round pick. His stock has fallen that far, but he might be worth a gamble at that price. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

• Lakers are talking with three teams who have a disabled player exception — Pelicans, Nets, Hawks — about Jordan Hill. Lakers trying to get one of them to throw in a second round pick to get the deal done, teams are hesitant. (Marc Stein)

• Denver still talking to teams about Andre Miller, who is deep in coach Brian Shaw’s dog house. Minnesota and Washington appear the frontrunners. (Sam Amick)

• For those of you thinking Kevin Love is going to get moved today, you can give up on that dream.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT FROM WEDNESDAY:

The Lakers traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.

• Iman Shumpert sprained his knee on Wednesday night, which turned a trade of him from unlikely to nearly impossible.

• The Sacramento Kings agreed to trade Marcus Thornton to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans.

Team USA keeps top spot in FIBA men’s world rankings, Spain No. 2

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USA Basketball has kept its No. 1 spot in the FIBA world men’s rankings, even after a disappointing seventh-place showing in the World Cup that ended earlier this week.

It’s now nine-years-and-counting in the top spot for the U.S., which has held the No. 1 ranking since winning the 2010 world championship. World Cup champion Spain stayed No. 2, Australia leaped eight spots to No. 3, World Cup finalist Argentina rose one spot to No. 4 and World Cup bronze-medalist France fell two slots to No. 5.

FIBA’s rankings take results from the most recent eight years into account – which means the U.S. is still reaping point benefits from the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medals and the 2014 World Cup title.

“In this day and age, basketball in other countries is not a secret,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said after the Americans completed their run in the World Cup. “So it’s not like there’s an epiphany or a revelation to be made. There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches all over the world. You go compete and the best teams win.”

It’s now expected that the U.S. will retain the No. 1 ranking going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Several top NBA players, including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Damian Lillard have said in recent days that they intend to play for the U.S. in Tokyo, where the Americans will try to win a fourth consecutive gold medal.

Most top U.S. players declined to be part of the World Cup team.

“I’m expecting them to be so strong next year,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.

OLYMPIC UPDATE

The new rankings confirmed that European champion Slovenia, which didn’t earn a spot in the World Cup field after many of its top players couldn’t take part in qualifying since those games conflicted with the NBA and Euroleague schedules, will still have a chance to compete in the Olympics – as will seven other teams that found out they’re headed to playoffs next year.

Angola, Senegal, Mexico, Uruguay, China, Korea and Croatia also still have Olympic hopes. Those last eight playoff spots awarded Thursday went to the top two teams from Africa, Europe, Asia-Oceania and the Americas regions who hadn’t either already clinched Olympic berths or spots in the last-chance playoffs.

Japan is automatically qualified for the 12-team Olympic tournament as the host country. The U.S., Argentina, Nigeria, Spain, France, Iran and Australia clinched Olympic spots at the World Cup by finishing as the best teams in their respective FIBA regions – the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

That leaves four unclaimed Olympic berths, and 24 teams to compete for them in playoffs next year. There will be four six-team tournaments held from June 23-28, 2020 – winner-take-all, all in this case meaning an Olympic berth. Bidding for sites is expected to begin shortly, FIBA said.

The other 16 playoff spots were awarded based on World Cup placing. They went to Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Russia, Brazil, Italy, Puerto Rico, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, New Zealand and Tunisia.

MOVING UP

Belize was the top mover in the new rankings, climbing 50 spots to No. 118. Kosovo rose 21 spots to No. 69, Togo went up 21 spots to No. 136, Tunisia climbed 18 spots to No. 33 and Ivory Coast went up 16 spots to No. 48.

STILL SWEEPING

FIBA has four sets of rankings – for men, women, boys and girls. The U.S. holds the No. 1 spot in all four of those rankings, though the race is tightest among the men.

The U.S. men hold a lead of 54.9 points over Spain in those rankings, while the rankings margins held by the U.S. women (310 points over No. 2 Spain), boys (291 points over No. 2 Canada) and girls (155 points over No. 2 Spain) are far more comfortable.

Report: NBA won’t allow Rockets to use Nene’s contract as $10M trade chip

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Update: Shams Charania of The Athletic:

This is a huge blow to Houston. The Rockets are now stuck with an over-the-hill center they can’t trade for value and can’t play much without triggering bonuses that’ll make him way overpaid.

If they had known how this would turn out, they would’ve signed Nene to a one-year minimum contract at most. At least that’d be partially subsidized by the league. Because this is is a two-year deal, Houston is on the hook for the full base salary.

 

 

The Rockets got a valuable trade chip with Nene’s contract.

At least if the deal goes through.

Bobby Marks of ESPN:

Although Nene signed with the Houston Rockets on Sept. 6, the NBA has yet to officially approve the deal. The 10-day delay is a result of the NBA discussing internally whether it should disapprove details in the contract, according to multiple sources.

Nene’s contract includes a low base salary with a massive amount of likely incentives. Houston could count Nene’s full $10 million salary (base plus likely incentives) in a trade. The acquiring team would then owe Nene his base salary plus only the bonuses he actually triggers.

It’s a workaround to the typical salary-matching rules.

The bonuses are tied to individual games played and team games won. Because Nene played 42 games for the 53-win Rockets last season, the bonuses are qualified as likely. Last year’s performance is the default way to determine whether incentives are likely or unlikely.

You can read more about the contract’s structure here.

The NBA’s apprehension is interesting. The Collective Bargaining Agreement specifies a procedure for challenging incentive classification when the league or union believes the prior season is not a fair predictor. Essentially, that side makes a case to an arbiter that the default assumption is “very likely” to be wrong.

However, in a funny quirk here, that challenge system lays out only how the NBA can challenge to turn unlikely incentives into likely incentives and how the union can challenge to turn likely incentives into unlikely incentives. There’s nothing about the NBA turning likely incentives into unlikely incentives, which the league is apparently considering here (and would make Nene’s contract invalid, as there’s a limit on unlikely incentives).

The CBA also prohibits circumventing the spirit of the rules. The league could rule Houston did that here. However, that’s a tough case considering not only does Nene’s contract meet all stated technicalities, there’s a section specifically on challenging these types of details. It just doesn’t apply.

The Heat opened the door for likely/unlikely-incentive shenanigans a couple years ago. We didn’t hear then about the NBA challenging those contracts, and that’s where the official challenge system would’ve applied.

It seems unfair to punish the Rockets’ creativity now.

Doc Rivers: I told Steve Ballmer, if Kawhi Leonard signed with Lakers, Clippers moving to Seattle

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We know what happened: The Clippers traded for Paul George, signed Kawhi Leonard and became championship favorite.

But at one point, Clippers coach Doc Rivers thought the George trade with the Thunder would fall through and Leonard could sign with the Lakers.

Rivers, via Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times:

“The day of the trade at 12 noon the deal was off,” Rivers said. “I was at home in Malibu and Lawrence called me and told me, ‘It looks like he’s either going to Toronto or the Lakers.’ The Lakers part just threw me over. I told him that can’t happen. … I remember I kept telling him, ‘We cannot allow that to happen!’

“I actually told Steve jokingly that if that happens, we’re moving the team to Seattle. It was a joke, but I was actually serious about it. I really believed that.”

Kawhi Leonard cost us the SuperSonics returning!

I don’t know how serious Rivers really was. Leonard joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis on their cross-arena rival would’ve been disastrous for the Clippers.

I’m convinced Ballmer will keep the franchise in Los Angeles. Ballmer’s ties to Seattle through Microsoft are well-established, and he previously tried to buy the Kings to move them to Seattle. But I can’t see him moving the Clippers from such a prime market, especially after going so far to get a new arena built in L.A. At every turn, he has maintained he’ll keep the team in Los Angeles.

Then again, Ballmer also phrased that guarantee as, “I will die owning the L.A. Clippers.” Now, he’s open to changing the nickname. Hmmm…

To be clearer than Rivers: That’s a joke I’m not actually serious about don’t really believe.

Stephen Curry responds to Kevin Durant: We all want to iso, but I’d rather win titles

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After the Warriors lost to the Jazz in December, Steve Kerr said his team didn’t move the ball enough. Kevin Durant said Golden State passed too much.

That public disagreement sure looks more significant now. Not only did Durant leave for the Warriors, he cited offensive style as a reason.

Durant, via J.R. Moehringer of the Wall Street Journal:

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” he says. “We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play. We’ve got to throw teams off, because they’re smarter in that round of playoffs. So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create my points for me.” He wanted to go someplace where he’d be free to hone that sort of improvisational game throughout the regular season.

Stephen Curry clearly viewed things differently.

Curry, via ESPN:

“Well, I don’t really care what plays we ran,” Curry said. “We won two championships. And at the end of the day, we had a lotta talent and there was an expectation of us figuring out how to balance all that. And we talked a lot about it throughout the three-year run. It wasn’t always perfect, but I think in terms of, you know, the results and what we were able to do on the floor, that kinda speaks for itself. We all wanna play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I’d rather have some championships, too.”

There’s truth to what Durant said. Defenses tighten deep in the playoffs, both because good defensive teams are more likely to advance and scouting committed to a single opponent tends to favor the defense. At that level, elite isolation scorers like Durant are particularly valuable. They can render schemes moot.

The Warriors learned that the hard way in the 2016 NBA Finals. They lost to the Cavaliers, who turned up their defense that postseason. Golden State scored fewer points per possession in its series against Cleveland than the Pistons did in the first round against the Cavs.

Adding Durant made the Warriors’ offense nearly unstoppable in every round. They leaned on their movement-heavy system when possible then turned to Durant isolations in moments of need.

Assessing playoff output is tricky because of varying opponents. But in three years with Durant, Golden State faced nine teams that played multiple postseason series. Eight of those teams had their worst defensive series against the Warriors, each by at least 2.6 points per 100 possessions. Only the 2019 Trail Blazers fared worse defensively against another team. They allowed just 0.2 more points per 100 possessions against the Nuggets than against Golden State.

Of course, Durant missed last season’s Western Conference finals against Portland. His absence was a big reason the Warriors’ didn’t meet their usual offensive standards.

Still, Golden State’s base offense was elite. Infallible? No. But it won multiple big playoff series before Durant arrived. He just took the Warriors to an even higher level.

Though he sometimes chafed at how the Warriors played, Durant also did his part to fit with them. He played his part in running Kerr’s preferred style.

It just seems Durant no longer wanted that safety-valve role. He holds immense respect for individual scoring as a skill. He’ll have a better chance to spread his wings in Brooklyn.

Durant will have a harder time winning a title without the incredible supporting cast he left behind. Curry might have wanted to point that out.

But everyone did their part in Golden State the last few years. That’s why they won those championships.