With the August heatwaves upon us, NBA executives and several free agents are waiting for a blockbuster trade domino to fall with. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, and Russell Westbrook as potential candidates for relocation.
Several notable names remain in the free agent market, including Collin Sexton, Montrezl Harrell, Denis Schroeder, carmelo anthony, The Marcus Aldridge, Jordan Nwora, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Blake Griffin, Tristan Thompsonand Lou Williamsaccording to our HoopsHype Free Agent Rankings.
As these free agents await a successful trade to open up potential roster spots, here’s the latest HoopsHype Intel report on the Knicks’ trade talks with Jazz for Mitchell, Westbrook’s future with the Lakers, the future of Turner with the Pacers and several updates on the Houston Rockets.
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According to several NBA executives who spoke to the Jazz about the Donovan Mitchell, Utah is looking for as many draft picks as possible and is not prioritizing winning players now. Utah is looking to land a bigger booty for Mitchell than the Rudy Gobert trade that scored four first-round picks and the first round of 2022 Walker Kesler Minnesota, league sources told HoopsHype. We believe it will take five or even six first-round picks to land Mitchell.
Should Mitchell be traded, rival NBA executives believe a fire sale will take place immediately in Utah, signaling the start of a long-term rebuild. Playoff-caliber teams are watching Bojan Bogdanovic and Patrick Beverlyboth players entering contract seasons, league sources told HoopsHype.
Mike Conley owes $47 million over the next two seasons, which has made him a tougher trade candidate in the immediate future.
The New York Knicks have the draft pick compensation necessary to acquire Mitchell, including a maximum of eight first-round picks over the next seven years that they can include. However, New York has been reluctant to give up a treasure chest of draft picks so far as trade talks have stalled for the past few weeks. Utah and New York haggled over the number of choices, whether protected or not, young workers (Obi Toppin, Emmanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes), and which salary filler player(s) will be used to close the deal.
Despite the haggling, New York remains the presumed favorite to land Mitchell should Utah ultimately trade him. The Knicks sought to land a star in the Leon Rose era, and Mitchell would fill that void while entering his prime to fit in well with today’s New York core.
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As noted on the latest HoopsHype podcast, the mainstream thinking in the league is any three-team trade involving Russell Westbrook should include the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks with as few protections as possible.
The Lakers had conversations about joining the Jazz and Knicks a few weeks ago in a potential three-team trade, league sources told HoopsHype.
The proposed three-team trade scenario included Westbrook going to Utah and getting bought out. Utah would send Donovan Mitchell at the Knicks, a combination of two players, including Patrick Beverly and Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic Where Malik Beasley to the Lakers, and the Jazz would receive significant draft compensation from the Knicks and Lakers. The Knicks also should have parted ways with veteran salary fillers, such as Derrick Rose to help make salaries work.
The Lakers also had an interest in trading for the Knicks forward Reddish cam, which could also be part of a trade. Last season, the Lakers came close to acquiring Reddish in a blockbuster three-team trade deal between the Lakers, Knicks and Raptors at the time.
Another potential twist to watch is whether the Knicks would benefit from acquiring Beasley. The Knicks previously expressed interest in signing Beasley when he was a restricted free agent and former Timberwolves executive. Gersson Rosaswho signed Beasley to a four-year, $60 million contract in Minnesota, now works for the Knicks as a senior basketball consultant.
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Indiana Pacers Center Myles Turner has heard his name in more rumors than a high schooler down the hall in the past five seasons. He recently explained that he had become “numb” from the rumbles in an interview with Andscape.
Although he hears his name in trade rumors, Turner loves Indiana and is excited to play with it. Tyrese Haliburton, who would represent the first true point guard he played with on the Pacers, league sources told HoopsHype. Turner also remained active in the Indiana community this summer.
If Turner stays with the Pacers, he is expected to have a solid role as a starting center with more potential offensive opportunities now than Domantas Sabonis no longer shares the frontcourt with him.
Turner, 26, is young enough to fit into Indiana’s rebuilding schedule. However, the question is whether the Pacers will want to pay the league’s top tackle potentially more than his current salary of $18 million when he becomes a free agent next summer.
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While the Houston Rockets veteran keeps Eric Gordon attracted commercial interest around the draft, there is no rush to trade him currently. Houston views Gordon as an asset on the court and a veteran mentor to the young core. His $19.5 million salary can be used in a big trade before the deadline, and his skills as a shooter, playmaker and defender remain attractive enough for the playoff teams he should retain a commercial market for its services.
Teammate in the backcourt Kevin Porter Jr. has been a topic of discussion lately regarding a possible expansion. Any extension scenario for Porter Jr. would likely require a team-friendly deal, league sources told HoopsHype. Houston is prioritizing cap space for next summer. Considering Porter Jr.’s potential starter criteria qualifying offer would be around $8.5 million, it’s unlikely the Rockets will want to offer much more than that when they can enter restricted free agency with him next summer. It’s also worth noting that the Rockets gave Porter Jr. a second chance after the Cavaliers waived him, and he went unclaimed following a locker room explosion.
Finally, another Rockets player that teams are watching in the trade market is KJ Martin, which sparked interest following a reported trade request from Houston, according to The Athletic. Given Houston’s glut of forwards with rookies Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Reasonand Jae’Sean Tate getting a significant pay rise in his new contract, there seems to be little playing time for Martin.
You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) on Twitter.