The NBA trade deadline is just 24 hours away and, because I had the gall to step out of the house for like a minute, there was a minor WojBomb. WojBomb even overstates it. WojCherryBomb? WojSparkler? In any case, we’re one day away from the buzzer going off.
Before we get into the well-sourced rumors that are floating around, former ESPN Insider and current Memphis Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger provided a reminder to be careful of whose information you’re running with. He absolutely ethered a reporter for, allegedly, throwing garbage at the wall to see what sticks.
@hoopscritic lol keep trying bro you’ll get one of these by blind luck eventually.
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) February 17, 2016
At the national level, there are only a few names you can trust completely: Woj, Stein, Lowe, Shams, and Amick. Windhorst, Spears, and Berger probably make up the next tier. There are also great beat writers for each team who can be trusted with their information, just make sure you take a good look at who it is. Other people will get news, too – Michael Scotto broke a trade yesterday – but for the purposes of rosterbating, it’s better to be too cautious with who you trust than too trusting. (And sorry if I missed any good, reliable folks, I probably did.)
Also, try to keep in mind that the Toronto Raptors run a tight ship and Masai Ujiri operates in the shadows. That means any Raptors information is probably coming from another team or an agent. It might still be legitimate, but it’s not coming from the ACC (or the BioSteel Centre).
With that said, let’s get on with the latest. Here’s yesteday’s rumor roundup, as a refresher of what’s out there.
Pau Gasol is on the block
In a bit of a surprise piece of news given how much they may need him with Jimmy Butler sidelined over the next month, the Chicago Bulls are shopping Gasol, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Gasol’s expected to opt out of his way-too-reasonable contract this offseason, and the Bulls “seem determined” to move him.
But they’re going to want value back. I can’t see this front office, fresh off of a controversial coaching change, accepting a season outside of the playoffs, and Gasol will be a major piece of their offense over the next few weeks. Nikola Mirotic should be back soon and Bobby Portis is great, but Joakim Noah is down for the season and the Bulls’ offense is pretty woeful. I’d be pretty shocked if they sell Gasol for anything less than a starting-caliber wing or stretch four.
As far as the Raptors are concerned, I know he’s a popular name around here. And that’s totally understandable – Gasol owns certified O.G. status, is one of the best humans in basketball, and would bring some terrific passing and post scoring to the Raptors’ frontcourt. He’d also be a horrible two-way fit with Jonas Valanciunas, though, and he’d probably cost Patrick Patterson and a pick. That’s a big price and a defensive sacrifice to fill what’s not necessarily a major need.
For what it’s worth, Brian Windhorst of ESPN counters Woj by saying the Bulls are listening but not shopping where it pertains to Gasol.
Speaking of Patterson-to-the-Bulls
Yesterday’s note from Zach Lowe that the Bulls had inquired about a Patterson-Taj Gibson swap got a little extra color today. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bulls “haven’t budged” from asking for a player and a first-round pick for Gibson.
That’s probably why talks of a swap haven’t gained traction, and it should give an idea of what the asking price for Gasol is, too.
Gibson’s expected back from a sore foot on Thursday, by the way.
So, what of the Hawks?
Head coach and president Mike Budenholzer is warning that “you never know what’s gonna happen,” per Paul Newberry of the AP. There’s nothing new on the Al Horford front or the Boston Celtics front, but I remain absolutely terrified of Danny Ainge cashing in his “Nets unprotected pick” chit and landing Horford, a beautiful two-way fit in Boston (at least for this year).
The Celtics are one of the favorites if Horford gets moved, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.
And Thad Young?
Frank Isola of New York Daily News continued to say yesterday that the Raptors, as well as the Clippers, are interested in Young. Complicating matters is that the Nets still don’t have a GM, and while Sean Marks was beleived to be the frontrunner, he apparently doesn’t want the job (probably because Mikhail Prokhorov claims to not even know who he is). Prokhorov said Wednesday that they may not have a GM for another week still, which, you know, probably really complicates the Raptors making a move for Young.
Speaking of the Clippers
All these Lance Stephenson rumors are killing me. If the Clippers ARE interested in Young, sending Stephenson out helps the Nets clear money (he has a team option for next season), adds some hilarity to the final months (or saves them even more money through a buyout), and would conceivably net the Nets a pick. The Raptors could offer a better pick and prospects, but maybe the Nets like C.J. Wilcox better than Delon Wright.
It’s all hard to figure, because Nets gonna Nets and Doc Rivers gonna do whatever it is he thinks he’s doing.
Channing Frye is likely heading to L.A. if not Young, per Woj, so your (silly) dreams of landing him are out the window, where you should have thrown them a long time ago, anyway. (That’s not a Frye dig, his salary is just too prohibitive
Gore, gore, gore
The Pelicans still want to move Ryan Anderson. Woj passes along estimates that RyNo could gore teams to the tune of $16-18 million per-year this summer, which would render him exclusively a rental for the Raptors, I think. The Raptors aren’t even mentioned as a suitor within (nor did Lowe mention them as one yesterday).
But hey, maybe the Pelicans give up on getting value back and put him out there just to save a few dollars? Would be a waste of Bird rights, but hey, the Pelicans are managed terribly, so who knows!
This one’s for Will
A final note from Woj: Randy Foye is drawing interest as a veteran guard/locker room guy. There would be, like, no minutes for him in Toronto, and he’s not actually any good this year, but for Will, at a low cost, sure. But only for Will.