Report: Suns, Lakers, Mavericks, Knicks all interested in Bojan Bogdanovic trade

Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz - Game Six
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
0 Comments

The blue light special sale is still going on in Salt Lake City — all the Jazz veterans must go.

While Jordan Clarkson could be the first one traded, there is considerable interest in Bojan Bogdanovic as well. The well-connected John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in Phoenix has the latest details.

Bogdanovic is the remaining Jazz veteran who could bring a first-round pick back to Utah in a trade. He averaged 18.1 points a game last season, shot 38.7% from 3, can do some secondary playmaking, and is versatile with the ability to play and defend the three and the four. Every playoff and contending team could plug him in and find a role for Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic is set to make $19.6 million on an expiring contract this season.

The Lakers have had a lot of interest, and Bogdanovic would be a great fit on the court, but would they give up their 2027 pick unprotected to do it? The protections they can put on that pick are limited. Also, matching salaries would be difficult without this becoming a larger Russell Westbrook trade (which would require both available Lakers picks). Dallas has some challenges matching salaries as well but the sides had talked before about a possible deal, now they have to find one without just-extended Maxi Kleber in the package.

There’s a good chance Bogdanovic is on a new team before training camp opens, and almost certainly before the season starts. The only question is which team will offer Utah that first-round pick for him (or will anyone).

Watch Rudy Gobert help France beat Turkey with putback dunk

0 Comments

Rudy Gobert may not be thought of as one the NBA’s clutch players, but it was his bucket late in the game that helped France survive in their first game of the Knockout Phase of EuroBasket 2022.

France led Turkey 49-38 during the third quarter before Turkey took over the game with a 19-0 run. Despite leading the majority of the game, it took some late heroics from Rudy Gobert for France to hold on. With 2.5 seconds left in regulation, Gobert tied the game with a putback dunk off of a missed floater from Evan Fournier.

France held on to win the game in overtime 87-86, thanks to a late 3-pointer from Fournier that put them up 86-83. Terry Tarpey’s steal with one second left gave them the win.

In regulation, Turkey was up two points with 12 seconds left with Cedi Osman at the free throw line. He missed both attempts, but Turkey came up with an offensive rebound. Fournier stole the ball from Bugrahan Tuncer, which led to Fournier’s missed floater and Gobert’s putback.

Along with the big play down the stretch, Gobert also led France with 20 points and 17 rebounds, which was by far his best game in EuroBasket this year. Gobert’s dominance down low helped France outscore Turkey 50-22 in the paint.

Gobert pointed out France’s resiliency down the stretch as a key piece to their victory.

“We just never stopped fighting,” Gobert said. “We always believed. It was obviously not our best game. But the thing I am really proud of is the fact that we never gave up. A lot of teams would have gave up in that position. They probably wouldn’t have tried to make the play and steal the ball. We didn’t, we kept fighting and we were rewarded for that.”

Fournier chipped in 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the win.

Tuncer led Turkey with a game-high 22 points, six 3-pointers, four assists, and three rebounds.

Osman didn’t show well for Turkey, finishing with just 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting. The other NBA player on Turkey’s roster, Alperen Sengun, had just eight points and five rebounds in 22 minutes. It was his first game not scoring in double figures during EuroBasket this year.

This isn’t the first disappointing loss for Turkey in recent years. In his postgame interview, Tuncer recalled losing to the United States in 2019 after being up two points late in the game before missing two free throws.

The victory sends France to the Quarter-Finals of EuroBasket 2022. They’ll await the winner of the Serbia-Italy matchup, which is at 12pm ET on Sunday, September 11th.

Serbia, a 1-seed in the tournament, is led by two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 19.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game in EuroBasket.

Italy is led by Simone Fontecchio, who signed with the Jazz earlier this summer. He’s averaging 19.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.

Poole, Herro, Brogdon early betting favorites for Sixth Man of the Year

0 Comments

Sixth Man of the Year is one of the most challenging awards to predict preseason for one simple reason: The players often best in this role get bumped up to starter (sometimes to cover an injury, sometimes to get more minutes).

That is the case with some familiar names at the top of this year’s preseason Sixth Man of the Year odds. For example, the reigning award winner, Tyler Herro out of Miami, wants to start this season and may well get a chance.

NBC’s partner at Points Bet has its preseason odds out for the 2023 Sixth Man of the Year award and there are a lot of familiar names at the top of the list with Herro. Here are the top 12:

Jordan Poole (Warriors) +400
Tyler Herro (Heat) +650
Malcolm Brogdon (Celtics) +1000
Bones Hyland (Nuggets) +1400
Jordan Clarkson (Jazz) +1800
Spencer Dinwiddie (Mavericks) +2000
Norman Powell (Clippers) +2000
Brandon Clarke (Grizzlies) +2200
Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers) +2500
Kevin Love (Cavaliers) +2500
Immanuel Quickley (Knicks) +2500
Bogdan Bogdanovic (Hawks) +2500

A few quick thoughts on that list:

• Poole deserves to be the favorite. He very well could take home the award.

• Jordan Clarkson has won Sixth Man of the Year before and is always a good bet to be in the mix as a volume scorer off the bench, but his chances to win will depend on where he gets traded. He may be the next Jazz veteran on the move.

• As noted above, Herro wants to start and likely will get the chance in Miami.

• Kevin Love finished second in the voting last season, and his team is about to be in a much bigger spotlight and win a lot more games. He has accepted his role and is a real threat to win this award.

• Bones Hyland is a sneaky good call if he can make a leap in his second season. He certainly is going to get the opportunity.

• Norman Powell might be my pick, leading a good Clippers bench on a team that will win a lot of games, but how many games will he start this season? It could be a lot of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard can’t stay healthy.

Reports: Maxi Kleber near three-year, $33 million extension with Mavericks

Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
0 Comments

In the playoffs last season, the Mavericks’ best lineups had Maxi Kleber on the floor — he can defend well and spaces the floor as a pick-and-pop big, knocking down 43.6% of his 3-pointers in the postseason. His game fits well with Luka Doncic (the Mavs were +1.9 when they were on the floor together in the playoffs).

Which is why the Mavericks are keeping him around. The sides are closing in on a three-year, $33 million contract extension that runs through the summer of 2026. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news, with Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News confirming.

This contract kicks in after this final year of his current deal, paying him $9 million. The contract is fully guaranteed, Charania adds.

Kleber will be splitting time up front with veteran Dwight Powell and signed this summer Christian Wood. Kleber, with his shooting, brings something different to the table that fits with Dallas.

This is a good deal for both sides. Kleber will make right around the league average/mid-level exception money over the course of this contract, which feels about right. He has real value for the Mavericks, but battling injuries and a shooting slump after the All-Star break last season he shot just 32.5% from 3. A salary average of $11 million a season feels fair.

It’s also a salary size that is easily packaged with others if Dallas gets the chance at a trade for another star (although, after signing this, he will not be eligible to be traded until next summer). Other teams would welcome Kleber in a deal for the same reasons he fits so well in Dallas.

After a couple of seasons where injuries limited him on the court during the NBA season, Kleber chose not to play for his native Germany this summer in EuroBasket to rest his body.

Wild stat: Eight teams control 85 first-round picks over next seven years

NBA Draft lottery
Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images
0 Comments

Years before Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead saying “f*** them picks” went viral, GMs of NBA contenders had started living that mantra.

The Lakers traded three first-round picks plus the swap rights to another to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis (a trade that won the Lakers a ring). Brooklyn sent four unprotected first-round picks and four first-round pick swaps to Houston for James Harden. Oklahoma City has been stockpiling picks, including a few from the Clippers in the Paul George trade. This summer, we saw Utah tear it down by trading Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell for a combination of seven first-round picks and some first-round swap rights. Those are just the big names. Teams like San Antonio, Orlando and Indiana are stockpiling picks as well.

The result is a wild stat from Bobby Marks of ESPN: eight teams control 85 first-round picks over the next seven years. That’s 40% of all the first-round picks in the next seven years.

The Jazz and Thunder each have 14 picks first-rounders under their control when you count their own picks plus trades and swaps. While the added picks and swaps are nice, their own picks are generally the most valuable for these teams — Utah is not going to win a lot of games this year and if they get a high draft pick in a stacked class it is most likely their own. That pattern follows with other teams.

Two things are driving this trend.

One is teams using draft capital to go all-in on roster upgrades. That’s not totally new, but it used to be reserved for moves like the Lakers made to get Davis — trades that vault teams into contender status. The Milwaukee Bucks gave up a lot to land Jrue Holiday, but that move resulted in a ring. This summer we saw Minnesota give up four unprotected picks to land Rudy Gobert — a center who makes them good, a playoff team, but not a contender. (You can argue that trading for Gobert was the right move for the Timberwolves, but that was an overly steep price they paid to do it, the market was not that intense for his services.) Cleveland went all-in on Donovan Mitchell with three picks, again a trade that does not make the Cavaliers an instant contender (it could, in a few years, if things go right). Teams are willing to use picks and swaps in trades to be better now, even if that is not contender-status better.

The other is part of Sam Hinkie’s philosophy with “the process” in Philadelphia — get as many swings as you can take. The idea is that, even with the best scouting and eye for talent, the draft is a crap shoot. The 76ers landed Joel Embiid, the cornerstone of a title contender, through the process, but also drafted Jahlil Okafor, Markelle Fultz, and Ben Simmons (to be fair, Simmons was an All-Star level player who may not have fit in Philly but they were able to trade him for James Harden). Not every top draft pick will be a home run or even a solid single, so get as many swings as possible. Rebuilding teams have taken that to heart.

The result is that 40% of all first-round picks over the next seven years belong to eight teams.