The NBA is a sea of rumours right now. Who wants who? Who is staying, who is leaving? And the season schedule continues on toward the playoffs. Read about it here:
Seven-way frenzy for $45m star; title heavyweight eyes two big names: NBA Rumour Mill
Staff Writers from Fox Sports
March 16th, 2021 12:30 pm
The NBA trade deadline is inching closer and the noise is only growing surrounding the future of a host of the league’s most in-demand names.
Here is the rundown on all the key players who could be on the move.
Welcome to the latest NBA Rumour Mill.
SEVEN-WAY CHASE FOR $45M MAGIC STAR
The Orlando Magic are one of the more intriguing teams to monitor ahead of the deadline.
The Magic have the second-worst record (13-26) in the East and there have been growing calls for them to blow it all up, having kept Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic together for seven years now.
They have just two playoffs appearance to show for it.
The Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reports that “some rival teams believe Orlando can set the one for this year’s trade market”, not that Fournier, Terrence Ross and “to a far lesser extent” Nikola Vucevic have all been perceived as available in some sense.
It comes as The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania revealed that the Magic “have been open” to calls from rivals on Gordon, with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers named as two teams taking interest.
Fischer reported that the Timberwolves and Magic were actually close to an agreement on a package for Gordon which included Ricky Rubio and future draft capital.
That was until Gordon was sidelined by a left ankle sprain.
He adds that the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors have shown “notable interest” in Gordon “dating back to November’s draft.”
Meanwhile, Haynes also named the Nuggets, Trail Blazers and Rockets as three teams who have inquired about Gordon while adding the Detroit Pistons to total seven franchises publicly named.
As for what the Magic would be after now in exchange for Gordon, Haynes adds they are understood to have put a “substantial price tag” on him.
Gordon is set for $18.1 million ($A23.4m) this season and $16.4 million ($A21.2m) in 2021-22, which is the last year of his existing deal.
NETS NOT DONE YET
They may have added Blake Griffin but the consensus among NBA insiders is that the Brooklyn Nets are far from finished making moves.
Charania reports that there are “whispers around the league” that Brooklyn have interest in Mason Plumlee, a passing big who already has two triple-doubles this season for Detroit.
He is earning $8 million ($A10.3m) this season, which increases slightly to $8.1 million ($A10.5m) next year and has a partial guarantee in 2022-23.
Meanwhile, the Nets are also understood to be a leading contender for Andre Drummond should he receive a contract buyout after the trade deadline, per Charania.
The Lakers and Knicks are also reported to be key challengers to Brooklyn but the Cleveland Cavaliers are favouring finding a trade for Drummond.
Charania adds that Cleveland want an asset such as a second-round pick for the center but that rival teams doubt it will happen via trade.
One name the Nets had been linked to in the past is P.J. Tucker but the report also claims Brooklyn are no longer interested.
Instead, the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Lakers remain in the hunt although Houston’s hopes to secure a young talented piece in exchange has complicated matters.
BOSTON’S BIG THREE TARGETS
One of the other teams to monitor in the lead-up to the trade deadline are the Boston Celtics.
With a $28.5 million ($A37m) traded player exception from Gordon Hayward’s move to the Charlotte Hornets, Boston could go after a big-name player.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge did previously say it was “most likely” that the franchise would wait until the off-season to use the money and would not use it on a single player.
Still Boston have been linked to three top targets – John Collins, LaMarcus Aldridge and Harrison Barnes.
On Collins, Charania reports he is a “player of interest” but that the Atlanta Hawks want a “high-level first-round draft pick and/or talented young player” in return.
Averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds, Collins would be a valuable addition alongside Robert Williams but he may cost too much.
The Celtics are also reportedly among “leading suitors” for the 35-year old Aldridge, who is shooting a career-best 38.9 per cent from beyond the arc.
The Blazers and Heat are also circling although he could also be a buyout option after the deadline.
Barnes though is the “more logical and likely target” according to Charania and Boston could work out a deal with the Kings given they have shifted to “seller mode” ahead of the deadline, per Sam Amick.
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