NBA TRADE RUMOR ROUNDUP: Love, Rubio, Melo, Blake Griffin & More
PAYING FOR LOVE
- Expect Kevin Love trade rumors to continue up until the final millisecond of Thursday's trade deadline because he's not going anywhere without the internet's NBA trade rumor think tank pooling all its resources to concoct a plausible scenario gives Cleveland what it's asking for (which is a lot). The Cavs appear to be committed to letting this current roster redeem itself in a Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors whether fans (or their players) like it or not.
Re: Kevin Love. League source says the Cavs have been shopping him around, but that the asking price is very high.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) February 13, 2016
A RUBIO-PORZINGIS EUROPEAN UNION?
- This ain't happening but it's a nice thought for Knicks fans, who are currently watching their team implode in a season when the Toronto Raptors have their first-round draft pick (you can thank the Danilo Gallinari trade for that).
[NY Daily News] Incumbent Ricky Rubio is readily available and the feeling is that the Spanish guard could be moved prior to Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
Phil Jackson is in the market for a point guard but it's hard to envision the Knicks having the assets to acquire the 25-year-old Rubio, whose season average in points (9.7), assists (8.6) and minutes (30.3) are down this year.
Jackson wants desperately to make the playoffs - as evidenced by his quick trigger decision to fire Derek Fisher 136 games into his tenure - but finding an upgrade in the backcourt is tricky.
Houston's Ty Lawson has been a bust with the Houston Rockets but perhaps he can turn his career and the Knicks season around over the last 27 games. Ditto for Brandon Jennings, who is also on the Knicks radar.
The Pacers have been reportedly looking for an upgrade at point guard, so don't be surprised if they start sniffing around for a way to bring Rubio to Indiana.
AINGE EYEING HORFORD
- If Danny Ainge can't land Kevin Love in that reported (and virtually impossible) three-team mega-deal involving Carmelo Anthony, a nice second option could be Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford, who has one of those names that would sound incredible in a New England accent. "Get the fawkin' rowck to Hooarfird!"
[USA Today] The Boston Celtics are widely believed to be a potential fit as a Horford trade partner, but the real level of interest from general manager Danny Ainge remains to be seen in the coming days. And while Horford continues to speak positively about the city and his situation, there’s an inherent uncertainty to this process that always acts as the driving force.
“I’m very happy in Atlanta,” Horford said when asked if the Hawks had reason to be concerned that he might leave. “I’ve said it repeatedly. I love the city. My family, we all live in Atlanta, we stay there in the offseason, so my focus is just to keep playing and taking it day by day and, right now, it’s to enjoy this weekend. … Just taking it day by day. That’s the only thing I can do. We really can’t worry about three or four months from now.”
If it sounds insane, you might want to consider the crossroad which the Hawks currently find themselves standing at. Preempting any potential losses in free agency by trading away their treasure trove of impact players now for assets and draft picks would be a difficult but prudent step toward improving their chances of winning their first NBA title at some point this century. You can read more about their impending rebuild, here.
BLAKE GRIFFIN BEING SHOPPED
- Nikola Jokic, Will Barton, Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried? Apparently that's what the Los Angeles Clippers requested from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Lance Stephenson and [drumroll] Blake Griffin. You can read more about the deal, here, but the numbers work.
- Despite the running narrative that Dwight Howard would be traded in what essentially is the final year of his four-year deal (he has a player option next season), NBA insiders haven't reached a consensus about how and where he'd be dealt, which has lead some to think he won't be going anywhere. Suffice it to say he's a particularly tricky player to trade because of injury and his constant dissatisfaction. Alas, the New York Daily News' Frank Isola floated my personal favorite Dwight-Howard-trade-scenario on Monday when he reassured the world that Pat Riley is still eager to get something for Hassan Whiteside, whom the Heat will not be able to afford this offseason. The swap, although complicated because of the $21 million discrepancy in their respective contracts, makes a lot of sense.
Dwight Howard could be moved by Thursday's trade deadline. Miami is talking with Houston about a deal that would include Hassan Whiteside.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 15, 2016
KNICKS DESPERATE FOR TEAGUE
- If Phil Jackson was Indiana Jones, the Atlanta Hawks would look like a hidden Inca temple and Jeff Teague would be a shiney little golden idol conspicuously place on a pedestal in plain view. The only problem is that it would take a small miracle for Phil to outrun the giant boulder (that would inevitably roll out of a wall if he tried to put Teague in his bag), so his time would probably be better spent looking for a more attainable keepsake (think Brandon Jennings), but the rumors continue to flow about the Knicks' interest in the 27-year-old point guard.
Via ESPN's Marc Stein...
The Knicks, who also strongly covet Teague in their search for a frontline point guard, are trying their best to get a team interested in Jose Calderon and the $7.7 million owed to the Spaniard next season. Sources say New York is talking up Calderon's leadership qualities and, in some cases, offering to include big man Kyle O’Quinn to sweeten proposals.
That last sentence kills me. "Offering to include big man Kyle O’Quinn to sweeten proposals." Wow. Kyle O'Quinn plays 11 minutes a game on the 11th-worst team in the NBA. He sweetens the deal like a cigarette butt enhances the taste of an old beer.
If he goes anywhere, my money is on the Pacers and Hawks doing a one-for-one deal, swapping George Hill's remaining two years, $8 million for Teague's remaining two years, $8 million. Budenholzer (a former Spurs assistant) gets to coach a former Spurs PG and the Pacers get a better scorer with a way better haircut.
TRADE RUMOR MILL
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