NBA draft, trade rumors roundup: Boston interested in Jrue Holiday

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With less than a week to go until the 2020 NBA Draft, rumors are flying — who teams will pick, who they want to trade for, and everything in between. A lot of it is smokescreens for teams’ real intentions, but deception is part of the fun.

Here is a roundup of some of the rumors bouncing around the NBA Thursday:

• The Boston Celtics want to trade their three first-round picks (14, 26, 30) to move up in the lottery, then flip that pick in a package to bring Jrue Holiday to Boston, according to Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer. There is some logic to this: It is known Danny Ainge and the Celtics have had talks about consolidating their picks to move up in the draft, and there have been rumors the Pelicans want a lottery pick. However, making this trade work is challenging unless the Pelicans want Gordon Hayward back. There are many questions about how this would work exactly (also, where does Holiday fit in a starting backcourt of Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown?). A number of contending teams are interested in a Holiday trade, but his $26.1 million contract next season makes matching salaries difficult.

• Speaking of Boston, there are rumors it — as well as Charlotte — have talked to Indiana about a Myles Turner trade, reports J. Michael of the Indy Star.

As noted, the Pacers like Turner and last season the Turner/Domantas Sabonis pairing worked fairly well together (the Pacers played teams basically even, +0.7 when they were on the court together. Indiana doesn’t feel pressure to trade Turner, which means it can be patient and extract a high price.

• Milwaukee needs to make some moves this summer and is rumored to be talking to Houston about an Eric Bledsoe for Robert Covington or P.J. Tucker trade, again via Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer. While it’s tempting to say, “Houston would never go for that,” if the reports of Russell Westbrook wanting out are true, the team will be looking for another point guard and ball-handler, and Bledsoe could fit the bill. That said, be careful investing too much in coming out of Houston right now; that situation could go a million different directions.

Holiday being traded to Atlanta — likely for the No. 6 pick and, of course, players to match salary — remains a hot rumor. Atlanta wants veterans to jump up into the playoffs and be more of a threat in the East, but there are legitimate questions about the Pelicans’ interest.

• Minnesota is still looking to trade down out of the No. 1 pick and The Ringer’s O’Connor says it may target Tyrese Haliburton if they do. He could step in as a playmaking backup guard with or behind D'Angelo Russell in the rotation (although he does not help the team’s defensive questions).

Also from The Ringer’s O’Connor: Orlando has the No. 15 pick and wants to move up, and they are kicking the tires on what No. 15 and Aaron Gordon can get them?

• Multiple sources have told NBC Sports (and other outlets) that Florida State’s Patrick Williams is rocketing up draft boards. The rumor is his floor is now the Pistons at No. 7, making the Hawks’ pick at six more valuable. Are the Magic trying to jump up to get Williams? Would Gordon really fit in Atlanta?

• For what feels like the 3,647th time, the Wizards GM says they want to re-sign Davis Bertans.

 

 

Warriors GM Myers reiterates he would like to extend Green, Poole, Wiggins

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Andrew Wiggins is entering the final year of his contract and the Warriors want to extend him. Jordan Poole is up for a contract extension and if it isn’t worked out by the start of the season he becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Draymond Green is eligible — and wants — a four years, $138.4 million extension (the max they can give him).

Bob Myers said again this week that he wants to keep all three of those players — all critical parts of the Warriors run to a title last season — but financial reality could intrude upon that dream. Here’s what Myers said Thursday, via Kendra Andrews of ESPN:

“We want all of those guys,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said at a news conference Thursday. “Can we get all of them? I don’t know.

“It depends on what the money ends up being. What the ask is what we can end up doing. We’re not at a point to make those decisions yet. Some of these decisions may be made in the next two weeks, some might be made in the next seven, eight months.”

The Warriors turned heads around the league paying more than $350 million in player salaries and luxury tax last season — and this season they will be in the same ballpark. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has said even with the cash cow that is the new Chase Center, this is not a team that can spend $400 million. Some expenses are locked in, such as Stephen Curry and his $215.4 max contract extension. Klay Thompson is at the max for a couple of more years.

Poole is part of the future in Golden State — along with Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and maybe Jonathan Wiseman — and they can’t let him go. Wiggins was the Warriors’ second-best player in the postseason last year. That has led to some speculation Green could be the odd man out — something Myers has denied. Green will make $25.8 million this season but is  expected to opt out of the $27.6 million player option he has next season. It leaves the Warriors and Green with a choice.

Something’s got to give, but the Myers and the Warriors seem ready to kick that financial can down the road until next summer, and for this season get the band back together and chase another ring.

Poole would be the first up (there is an Oct. 17 deadline to extend him). Whatever happens, this will be an undercurrent of a story all season long in the Bay Area.

C.J. McCollum inks two-year, $64 million extension with Pelicans

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After helping New Orleans return to the playoffs for the first time since Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers, C.J. McCollum earned a two-year, $64 million extension with the Pelicans. He will remain under contract with the team through the 2025-26 season, and there isn’t a player or team option in the deal. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news Saturday afternoon.

New Orleans traded Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, a 2022 protected first-round pick (turns into 2025 first-round pick that is top-4 protected), and two future second-round picks for McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell.

New Orleans now has their core of McCollum, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram under contract for the next three seasons.

The expectations will be high for the Pelicans for the next few years. After starting last season 1-12, first-year head coach Willie Green helped turn the team around, and they finished 36-46 before beating the Spurs and Clippers in the play-in tournament. Their season ended after losing to the Suns 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs.

McCollum averaged 24.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.7 triples per game after the trade to New Orleans.

The return of Zion this season, along with the success of last year’s team, has the team expecting a return to the playoffs. Locking up their star guard in McCollum emphasizes that their rebuild is over. After missing the playoffs during their first three seasons in the post-AD era, they don’t expect to return to the lottery for a long time. The big question surrounding their potential success will be Zion’s health.

Reports: Suns push for Jarred Vanderbilt derailed Bojan Bogdanovic trade

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Utah traded Bojan Bogdanovic not to one of the contenders pushing for him — Phoenix, Miami, even the Lakers — but to rebuilding Detroit. It’s a move that caught the NBA off guard.

News has come out now that part of what hung up the Suns’ effort to land Bogdanovic was their push to make promising young forward Jarred Vanderbilt — who the Jazz got from the Timberwolves in the Rudy Gobert trade — as part of the deal. The well-connected John Gambardoro first had the report.

If the Suns had not pushed for Vanderbilt it doesn’t mean they would have landed Bogdanovic using a Jae Crowder-based package ( with another player, maybe Landry Shamet, and some picks). Reports have also suggested the draft package that was part of the Suns offer was not impressing the Jazz, so Utah moved on to a cost-cutting move rather than one where they took back more salary than they preferred.

The Pistons may decide to trade Bogdanovic again closer to the February deadline and maybe the Suns can get in the mix then. But for now, the Phoenix target is in the Motor City to start the season.

 

 

Knicks’ Leon Rose plays it safe with media, Mitchell trade: ‘We’re thrilled with where we are’

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Leon Rose continues to play it safe.

He’s played it safe with the New York media since he arrived — he doesn’t meet with them. Instead, he again turned this week to the MSG Network — owned by Knicks governor James Dolan — so he doesn’t have to face hard questions or defend decisions.

He also played it safe in the Donovan Mitchell trade talks, not going all-in to get the All-Star out of Utah. Mitchell is now in Cleveland and we will see over the course f the next 12-24 months if playing it safe was the right call. Here’s Rose’s explanation of the situation in that MSG interview (hat tip Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News).

“We went through that process and at the end of the day we made a decision to stay put. And we’re thrilled with where we are. Taking a look at the summer, we feel great about what transpired.”

As every GM does this time of year, Rose said he likes his team and its chances this season.

“One of our main goals has been to create internal stability. Signed RJ Barrett, first extension of a player since Charlie Ward. We retained Mitchell Robinson. He’s a player who has developed the last few years and we feel very fortunate that we were able to keep him. We got the No.1 point guard in free agency this summer in Jalen Brunson. So we feel really good about the summer.”

In the interview, Rose also defended Tom Thibodeau and his decisions as coach, despite rumors of him being on the hot seat. Rose said Thibs is not under pressure.

The Knicks should be better this season with Brunson, plus Barrett should take another step forward. New York’s problem is much of the East got better — Cleveland, Atlanta, Washington and others — and this roster likely still leaves the Knicks fighting to make the play-in.

Rose deserves credit for being patient, trying to build culture and foundation, and not just throwing Dolan’s money at an aging superstar. He hasn’t done anything stupid, which is a step forward in New York. But he also hasn’t done anything bold yet, he’s just played it safe.

At some point, Rose and the Knicks will have to push their chips in and make a bold, all-in move. But for now, they are playing it safe.