Friday, April 23

2020 NBA trade and free-agency tracker: Latest news and rumors – The Athletic

In this compressed NBA offseason, the moves and the news are coming fast and furious. Trades, draft capital (we’re looking at you Thunder and Pelicans), contract extensions. We’ve already seen Chris Paul, Jrue Holiday and Dennis Schröder on the move. Is James Harden next? You name it, it’s happening. Follow our great staff of news breakers, reporters and insiders all offseason for the latest breaking news and rumors.

More NBA offseason, player features
John Hollinger:
Hollinger’s top free agents, introducing BORG and BORD$
Sam Vecenie: Top 100 draft prospects: Rankings, tiers and Big Board
Danny Leroux: CBA expert salary cap offseason previews
Hollinger: Predicting all 43 NBA player and team options
Seth Davis: 50 NBA prospects, 5 honest scouts
Seth Partnow: The top 125 NBA players


You can follow all of the NBA Draft news here: Live 2020 NBA Draft Tracker Results: Picks, grades, trades, team fits

Klay Thompson injured?

Shams Charania: Warriors star Klay Thompson suffered an apparent lower leg injury today and is undergoing tests to determine severity, sources tell The Athletic, Stadium.

Charania: Klay Thompson was unable to place weight on his lower leg injury leaving the gym today, sources said. Everyone is hoping for the best.

Presti, Thunder add Al Horford, more draft capital

The Philadelphia 76ers agree to trade Al Horford to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danny Green, a source told The Athletic, confirming ESPN’s initial report. Oklahoma City will also receive a first- and second-round pick for Green who was traded to the Thunder from the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week.

Rich Hoffman: Pick protections going from the Sixers to OKC in the Al Horford-Danny Green trade, per source:
— 2025: Protected 1-6
— If that doesn’t convey, 2026 and 2027 are protected 1-4
— If nothing conveys (and we do the Process all over again, I guess), becomes a 2027 second-round pick

Erik Horne: Thunder tried to get Al Horford back in 2016 to strengthen the team around Kevin Durant, but Horford signed with the Celtics after he couldn’t get assurances that KD would be around.

Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Bucks in jeopardy?

Sam Amick: As it stands, source says the Bogdan-to-Milwaukee scenario is off the table from his vantage point. The Bucks have been hopeful that it could be saved, but all signs point to him heading elsewhere ultimately.

Bucks-Kings trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic in peril: Sources

Bogdanovic never agreed to join the Bucks and that has become a major issue, sources told Amick. A high-ranking team official told Amick the deal has issues and the outcome is unclear. On Monday, the Bucks agreed to trade for New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday and to a sign-and-trade for Bogdanovic to strengthen their roster around two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee was set to send Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson to the Kings in exchange for Bogdanovic.

Sam Amick: Sources tell The Athletic the Bucks-Kings sign-and-trade which was expected to send restricted FA Bogdan Bogdanovic to Milwaukee for Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova is in peril, as there was never an agreement from the 28-year-old small forward to join the Bucks and that element has become a major issue. High-ranking team official says deal has issues and outcome is unclear.

Bucks acquiring more second-rounders in 2020 NBA Draft

Josh Robbins: Breaking, per an NBA source: The Magic have agreed to trade their second-round pick (45th overall) in tonight’s draft to the Milwaukee Bucks for two future second-round picks.

Seth Partnow: Second-round picks are very useful for a team up against the hard cap as it allows a roster spot to get filled for less than the veteran minimum salary, so the Bucks are acquiring this pick for a guy who will likely be on their roster next year.

John Hollinger: NBA Draft Storylines

Who’s No. 3? Okongwu medical and Celtics trade intrigue: While it’s still generally assumed the top three picks will, in some order, be LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards, the mystery begins after that.

More on the Knicks pick swap from Mike Vorkunov

How to make sense of Knicks trading up to No. 23 and why bigger moves might come: The Knicks did not wait to make their move on draft day. They traded the No. 27 and No. 38 picks Wednesday morning to Utah for the No. 23 pick and the rights to Ante Tomić. The deal positions the Knicks to be more aggressive in the draft Wednesday night.

By consolidating their last two picks into one, the Knicks have presented themselves a number of options, not least of all an increased ability to trade up higher in the lottery, something the Knicks are believed to be weighing.

Seth Partnow: NBA Draft: How to analyze incoming rookies and set expectations

The first point to address is the notion that there are players who are “NBA ready” available for selection. Especially after the first few picks most drafts, very few players have been able to provide competent let alone helpful minutes. Looking back at the 2000-2017 draft classes (ignoring the last few seasons for consistency with the next few bits of analysis), fewer than 1 in 3 draft selections has played at least 500 minutes with a Player Impact Plus/Minus (“PIPM”) of at least -2.0/100 possessions — a value genuinely used as an approximation for “replacement value.” Even if we only look at those players who actually appeared in a game to eliminate players who are injured or stashed overseas, only 35 percent of draft selections reach this minimum standard of competence.

Sam Vecenie’s NBA Mock Draft, Live Updates: Anthony Edwards now No. 1, LaMelo Ball down to No. 3

Sources have told The Athletic that the Wolves have not made a decision yet on what they’re going to do at No. 1. The players in the mix here are LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards if they keep the pick. James Wiseman seems much less likely as the team is worried about the pairing with Karl-Anthony Towns. Over the last 24 hours, the tide has shifted a bit to where I think Edwards is a bit more likely than Ball. Essentially, the conversations boil down to this: do they take the guy who fits better on this roster in Edwards, who can clearly slide into the 2-guard spot? Or do they take Ball, who probably has a bit more upside? One thing worth noting: this front office led by Gersson Rosas will absolutely consider the idea of which player they believe will retain trade value best going forward as they develop this roster around Towns and D’Angelo Russell.


Movement on the Russell Westbrook front?

Shams Charania: The Rockets and Wizards have discussed a deal centered on Russell Westbrook for John Wall, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. No traction yet, Rockets are seeking more assets.

Kelly Iko and David Aldridge: Beyond counseling: Why James Harden and the Rockets are on the verge of divorce

The Rockets don’t want to trade Harden. He’s been the best thing to happen to the franchise in a long, long time. But that’s no longer the same as being adamant about not trading him at all.

The team is well aware of how much Harden now wants to leave. It will take a substantial package and an impact player. But there is a combo out there that will get them to yes. While this has been the stance Houston has taken for years, sources tell The Athletic, past inquiries about the former MVP in seasons past have been discarded, with Houston simply not entertaining the notion of moving the 2018 league MVP.

Notes on when players return to their markets

Shams Charania: NBA teams will be able to begin group practices on Dec. 4 or 6, depending on arrival track of players.

“What about a Bradley Beal tra—”

Fred Katz: Tommy Sheppard reasserts for the 472nd time: “Bradley Beal’s not going anywhere.”


Bucks trade for Jrue Holiday, Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Milwaukee Bucks reshaped their roster around two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo Monday night, agreeing to trade for New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Bucks are sending Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, three first-round picks and two future draft pick swaps to New Orleans, sources told Charania.

Later Monday, the Bucks agreed to a sign-and-trade for Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, The Athletic confirmed, as first reported by ESPN. Milwaukee will send Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Illyasova and D.J. Wilson to the Kings in exchange for Bogdanovic.

John Hollinger: Bucks did what they had to do for Giannis, but road ahead still bumpy
Sam Amick: Bucks roll out their Giannis plan
Will Guillory: Jrue Holiday trade allows Pelicans to cash in on player empowerment once again
• Eric Nehm: Trades took a lot but are worth it to Bucks
• Zach Harper: Trade grades for Bucks, Pelicans, Kings
Jason Jones: Bogdan Bogdanovic trade reaction: Kings trying not to repeat past mistakes

Suns acquire Chris Paul from Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns for four players and a first-round draft pick on Monday. The Suns sent Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick to Oklahoma City. The first-round pick is protected from the first 12 picks in 2022, the first 10 picks in 2023, the first eight selections in 2024 and is unprotected in 2025.

John Hollinger: Rebuilding Suns push chips in with Chris Paul. Is the timing right?
Erik Horne: Chris Paul trade reaction: His Oklahoma City legacy won’t be forgotten
Zach Harper: Chris Paul traded by Thunder, will join Devin Booker on the Suns: Trade Grades

Trail Blazers acquire Robert Covington from Rockets

The Houston Rockets agreed to trade veteran forward Robert Covington to the Portland Trail Blazers, The Athletic confirmed Monday night, as first reported by ESPN. The Rockets will receive Trevor Ariza, the No. 16 overall pick in Wednesday’s NBA draft, and a first-round pick in 2021, a source told The Athletic’s Kelly Iko.

John Hollinger: 2020 NBA trades and transactions: Blazers’ plan is clear, unlike Rockets or Bulls
Zach Harper: Robert Covington traded from Rockets to Blazers for Trevor Ariza, pick: Trade Grades

Pistons trade Bruce Brown to Nets for Dzanan Musa

From John Hollinger: Initially, I was pretty surprised that Detroit traded Bruce Brown to the Nets for Dzanan Musa, cash and a 2021 second-round pick. The more I studied it, the more I came around to like it okay for Detroit, even without much draft equity coming back. The second-round pick is from Toronto, which means it’s likely to be in the 50s. The hit rate on those picks is about a 10% shot of a back-end rotation player.

Alex Schiffer: Who are the Nets getting in guard Bruce Brown?
James Edwards III: In trading Bruce Brown, Troy Weaver shows he’ll build the Pistons his way


Los Angeles Lakers acquire Dennis Schroder from Oklahoma City

The Los Angeles Lakers have an agreement in principle to acquire Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schröder, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Lakers would send the No. 28 pick in Wednesday’s NBA Draft to the Thunder as part of the deal, sources said. Guard Danny Green is being discussed as the player going to Oklahoma City in return.

John Hollinger: Lakers needed Dennis Schröder, but allowed Thunder to cash in on Danny Green
Anthony Slater: What will Schröder bring to the Lakers?
Erik Horne: After trading Dennis Schröder, what’s next for the Thunder?
• Zach Harper: Lakers to trade Danny Green and No. 28 pick for Dennis Schröder: Trade grades

(Top photo: Stephen Lew / USA Today Sports)

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