Trade Deadline 2015

Report: Heat expect to re-sign Goran Dragic to max contract

34 Comments

Goran Dragic wanted to go to Miami, and he got his wish in a six-player trade. But Dragic has an opt-out this summer, and the Heat wouldn’t have given up two first-round picks for him if they weren’t planning on re-signing him. And according to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, they’re expecting to pay a lot of money to keep him around:

Dragic absolutely makes the Heat better, and making this trade was the right thing to do. He’s a borderline All-Star in the West, and Miami is upgrading from the dumpster fire that was the Mario Chalmers/Norris Cole rotation in the backcourt. Playing with another guard as dynamic and ball-dominant as Dragic could also extend Dwyane Wade’s career, which is a major concern for the Heat given his health concerns in recent years.

But a five-year max deal worth upwards of $100 million seems steep, even with the salary cap expected to rise in 2016 with the influx of new TV money. He went to one of only a handful of teams (the Knicks and Lakers being the others) that isn’t already set at point guard, so he could command that kind of money. But even if the salary cap in two years is north of $90 million, the Heat will be paying Chris Bosh $22.1 million that season, meaning Dragic and Bosh together could equal almost half the cap.

That’s before you take into account big-man sensation Hassan Whiteside, who is under team control next year for under $1 million, but will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016. If he keeps playing anywhere close to the level he has been since signing in Miami this season, he’s going to command a max or near-max deal of his own. And they’ll have to take care of Wade, who left money on the table this summer after LeBron James left to return to Cleveland.

The Heat don’t have much room to add young talent, since they gave their next two tradable first-round picks to Phoenix for Dragic, and they don’t have much else that would be of interest to other teams in trades. This is their team for the foreseeable future. And if everyone is healthy, a starting five of Dragic, Wade, Luol Deng, Bosh, and Whiteside is incredibly dangerous. But there’s zero depth, and that caveat of health is a big one given the injury histories of Deng, Wade and Bosh.

Keeping Dragic around for the long term is smart. Paying him what he thinks he’s worth may not be.

Report: Jazz expected to buy out Kendrick Perkins; Cavs, Bulls and Clippers interested

18 Comments

Now that the trade deadline is done, buyout season begins in earnest. One of the strongest candidates to get bought out and join a contender is former Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, who was traded to the Jazz as part of a three-way deal that sent Enes Kanter to Oklahoma City and Reggie Jackson to Detroit. The rebuilding Jazz don’t have much use for Perkins, even as an expiring, but Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is hearing that a couple of other teams do.

It’s tough to see where Perkins would get minutes in Cleveland. They just traded for the much younger and better Timofey Mozgov and already have a frontcourt rotation that includes Mozgov, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, plus some smaller lineups that feature LeBron James at the four. Even Brendan Haywood is probably more useful than Perkins at this point.

The Bulls are also not a logical fit, even though head coach Tom Thibodeau was an assistant on the Celtics team that won the title with Perkins in 2008. They already have a crowded frontcourt rotation with Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic. Adding someone else to that mix doesn’t make any sense, especially with Perkins’ limited skill set replicating Nazr Mohammed, the end-of-bench big the Bulls already have. If they are looking at the buyout market, a wing like Gary Neal would be a better move. Plus, Perkins and Noah don’t like each other.

The Clippers pursuing Perkins, meanwhile, is the most obvious thing in the world. Doc Rivers and Perkins go back to the Celtics’ 2008 title run, and Rivers still hasn’t gotten over his fixation with players who were valuable in the late 2000s. This is a roster that already features Glen Davis (also a member of that 2008 championship team), Hedo Turkoglu and Dahntay Jones. Perkins doesn’t have much value in 2015 beyond setting some hard screens and picking up some hard fouls, but Rivers loves his veterans. Don’t be surprised if this happens.

As limited as Perkins is as a player now, he was a beloved teammate in Boston and Oklahoma City, and contenders looking for veteran experience could do worse than adding him to the locker room. But that’s about it.

Report: Timberwolves hope to sign Kevin Garnett to two-year extension

16 Comments

Kevin Garnett coming home to Minnesota was the feel-good story of the bonkers 2015 trade deadline. But now that the dust has settled, the question has to be asked: sentimental value aside, what’s the point of trading 26-year-old Thaddeus Young—whom the Wolves just traded a first-rounder for this summer—for a 38-year-old who’s years past his prime in his 20th season, whom everybody assumes is going to retire at season’s end?

The Associated Press‘ Jon Krawczynski has some insight into their long-term plans:

That’s unexpected. Given Garnett’s age and declining skills, it seemed like the move was just a way to build goodwill with the fans and grease the skids for the future Hall of Famer’s future role in ownership, which he reportedly wants. Apparently not.

Any extension hinges on Garnett’s desire to play beyond this year, which until today was assumed to be nonexistent. But even if he agrees to it, he’s making $12 million this season, in the final year of a three-year extension he signed with the Celtics in 2012. A new deal he signs would have to be for significantly—and I mean significantly—less than that to make sense. Garnett is a franchise legend and one of the greatest players of all time, but he is not an everyday player anymore. By the end of a hypothetical extension, he’ll be a glorified assistant coach.

Which, if that’s what he wants, is fine. Trading a young, productive player for him is still a questionable move, but all of this could just be a bridge to a future in which Garnett owns the team.

Report: Thunder trade Reggie Jackson to Pistons, get Enes Kanter from Jazz in three-team deal

24 Comments

The Thunder wanted Enes Kanter.

The Pistons wanted a guard.

Reggie Jackson wanted to be traded.

Everyone got their wish – and then some.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/568499324054839296

David Alrdridge of NBA.com:

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

This is a nice haul for the Thunder, who didn’t want to overpay Jackson in free agency this summer. Kanter is solid and still has plenty of untapped potential, and D.J. Augustin is a very good backup point guard who’s under contract for a cheap $3 million next season.

Jackson is an exciting young upgrade in Detroit, where Brandon Jennings will complicate matters once he gets healthy. For now, Jackson is the clear starter. The Pistons are weaker on the wing, but Jackson is worth losing Kyle Singler. Jonas Jerebko wanted out, and Luigi Datome had no real value. Tayshaun Prince mitigates the loss, but he’s over the hill. At least he – like Jerebko and Datome – is on an expiring contract.

Expect the  Jazz to get a draft pick, but details are still trickling in.

Report: Pelicans acquire Norris Cole from Suns (via Heat) for John Salmons

7 Comments

Add another one to the pile of trades that are still trickling in after the deadline, this one between Phoenix and New Orleans, swapping guards:

Cole had started the day as a member of the Heat but was moved to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic trade. Then the Suns flipped him for Salmons.

This deal accomplishes something for all the teams involved. The Heat have been trying to unload Cole, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. The Suns didn’t need another point guard on the roster with Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. The Pelicans need a short-term point guard while Jrue Holiday recovers from a leg injury that will sideline him at least the next three weeks. Cole isn’t having a good season, but they gave up practically nothing to get him.

And the annual trade deadline requirement that John Salmons has to be moved at least once has been met. Everyone wins.