ROCKETS HEADLINE DEAL: The Houston Rockets agreed to a major trade late last night, one that involved 12 total players and four teams. If the deal goes down as agreed upon, it will be the third-largest trade ever based on number of players, and the largest since 2005-06 when the Heat acquired Antoine Walker, James Posey and Jason Williams.
The trade, as agreed upon on Tuesday night, breaks down as follows:
Atlanta gets: Clint Capela, Nenê
Denver gets: Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh, Keita Bates-Diop, Gerald Green, Houston’s first-round pick
Houston gets: Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, Atlanta 2nd round
Minnesota gets: Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt, Evan Turner, Nets 2020 first-round pick (lottery protected)
Atlanta acquires the center they badly coveted, Denver acquires some decent bench pieces and a major draft asset, Houston gets an elite 3-and-D wing and a serviceable backup big man with playoff experience and the Wolves get draft capital and solid young role players.
MILLS OUT IN NEW YORK: After five fruitless years as Knicks team president, Steve Mills was surprisingly fired yesterday, just days ahead of the 2020 trade deadline. Rather than get rid of him over the offseason after the team’s failures to land a marquee free agent despite having loads of cap space and a major market to pitch them, New York waiting until now to make such a huge change at the top of their front office is so very Knicks.
For now, New York’s front office will be led by general manager Scott Perry, Mills’ right-hand man for the last three years, but the Knicks have higher hopes for who could run the basketball operation. Their top target continues to be Raptors team president Masai Ujiri, but that would require New York sending out as many as two first-round draft picks, per a report, something the Knicks might be hesitant to agree to. Besides Ujiri, the Knicks reportedly could follow the Warriors/Lakers model and hire a big-name agent, though that would be a good bit riskier than Ujiri.
💼 For your perusal, here’s a ranking of the top NBA agents based on client income.
LATEST TRADE SCUTTLE: The trade rumors continue to roll in on deadline week, so let’s get right into the nitty-gritty. (For a closer look at every single reliable piece of scuttle over the past few days, check out our full Trade Rumors page.)
The D’Angelo Russell smoke isn’t going away, but the latest reports indicate talks between Golden State and Minnesota have fallen apart. We’ll see if that changes today or tomorrow.
It looks like Kevin Love is staying put in Cleveland, as many have previously speculated since his contract is an albatross and the Cavs don’t want to be forced to give up an asset in an attempt to move their former All-Star big man.
The Knicks have explored a Kyle Kuzma trade. It’s almost as if New York forgot they signed four power forwards last summer and feel like they need more.
Then again, one of those power forwards, Marcus Morris, is now on the block after Mills’ firing. He won’t have a shortage of suitors among contenders.
Tristan Thompson wants out of Cleveland, a reverse in course from earlier scuttle that he was perhaps interested in an extension with the Cavs.
THE WORD ON RUSSELL: We talked to various league executives to see what they perceive to be D’Angelo Russell’s trade value, and where they think he could end up if he does get traded.
ALL-STAR SNUB: Bradley Beal has the highest scoring average (29.2) of an All-Star snub ever. The modern NBA’s high pace might have something to do with that, but even so, that’s crazy.
UPCOMING FESTIVITIES: The NBA announced the respective fields for the upcoming skills challenge, dunk contest and three-point shootout, and there’s some pretty fun first-time challengers. The league also made changes to some of those contests’ formats, which should make them even more exciting.
MORE AWARDS: LeBron James surprisingly beat out Damian Lillard for Player of the Month out West (the first Laker to win the award since Kobe) while Giannis won the award in the East.
FOR A GREAT CAUSE: The scorecard from the evening Kobe Bryant dropped 81 points, autographed by the fallen legend himself, is going up for auction, with the proceeds going to the crash victims’ families.
TWO IMPORTANT ROLES: Hornets head coach James Borrego is doing his best to balance being an NBA head coach and being a father, and he’s doing a pretty great job of it.
WHAT A JOURNEY: The Athletic details how Kenny Atkinson arrived to where he’s at, and the journey includes being an assistant coach in France prior to reaching the NBA.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
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