We’re getting deeper into the offseason now with Summer League set to culminate this week, and with that, comes some peace and calm in the NBA transaction world… everywhere except on the trade market.
Just on Sunday, we got a report of a relatively noteworthy trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies that would send Eric Bledsoe back to the team that drafted him, Los Angeles, in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu.
Beyond that deal, we’re also starting to see a steady stream of trade rumors involving players outside of the major names we’ve been hearing for months now.
Below, check out the latest installment of our Trade Rumor Rankings series, which ranks the five players who have appeared most on our Trade Rumors Page over the previous seven days.
Joe Ingles (Utah)
Despite talk of the Utah Jazz shopping Joe Ingles over the past month-plus, a report out of ESPN this week denied any such scuttle.
Zach Lowe wrote the following early last week regarding the Ingles trade rumors (via ESPN):
The Jazz remain way over the luxury tax, but as of now do not plan to dump any of their mid-salaried rotation guys – Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale – for tax relief, sources said.
That’s great news for fans of the Jazz, as Ingles has become a key piece for Utah over the past few seasons thanks to his three-point shooting, playmaking and defensive toughness, and trading him just to lighten a billionaire’s tax load would be frustrating for the Jazz fanbase.
For the latest Joe Ingles trade rumors, click here.
Damian Lillard (Portland)
Things have been somewhat quiet on the Damian Lillard trade front recently, with the superstar floor general reportedly willing to give the Portland Trail Blazers another shot this season, but his name did pop up in that same report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
Lowe wrote last week that we haven’t heard more about a potential Ben Simmons trade recently because Philadelphia 76ers shot-caller Daryl Morey is keeping the southpaw point guard in his back pocket as the key piece in a potential move for Lillard (via ESPN):
Several teams – including the Warriors, Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves – have discussed Ben Simmons with varying degrees of interest, sources said, but one reason talks haven’t gone far is that the Sixers likely view Simmons as their path to Lillard.
However, Lowe followed that up by throwing cold water on the idea of a potential Lillard trade happening any time soon, reporting:
They have a temporary time advantage no one is talking about. There is a good chance the Lillard trade war, should it ever happen, comes down to the Sixers and New York Knicks. (And to be clear: Lillard is not available, and has not asked for a trade, sources said.)
So it looks like at least until around the upcoming league year’s trade deadline, Lillard will be staying put with the team that drafted him and helped turn him into an All-NBAer.
If Portland is struggling in the brutal Western Conference around that time, however, don’t be surprised to see Lillard go all-in with a trade request that would rock the NBA.
For the latest on the Damian Lillard trade front, click here.
Pascal Siakam (Toronto)
One of the hottest names on the trade market recently is Pascal Siakam, who has seen his name connected to a variety of teams league-wide, despite insistence out of Canada that he’s not being shopped.
First came a report out of Sacramento early last week listing the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers as interested parties in a potential Siakam deal.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 9, 2021
That same report, however, indicated that Siakam does not want out of Toronto and that a deal for the All-Star swingman is unlikely at the moment:
A source with knowledge of the situation in Toronto said the Raptors are receiving numerous calls about Siakam and team president Masai Ujiri is “listening like a good negotiator.” The Kings, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are said to be particularly “enamored” with Siakam. A trade is possible, but not likely, the source said, adding Siakam has no desire to be moved despite the possibility of a rebuilding situation in Toronto.
That report was backed up by The Athletic’s Sam Amick earlier today, who wrote:
Do the Raptors actually want to move Siakam? Based on conversations with several people close to the situation in Vegas, I’d venture to say no – at least for now. They will continue to listen to the calls that come their way, which is no different from what the recently re-signed Masai Ujiri (now president and vice chairman) and general manager Bobby Webster have always done.
But sources say Ujiri has recently made it clear to Siakam’s side that he’s not being shopped, and that there’s a clear basketball vision here for how these pieces – old and new – can work. Nonetheless, the combination of the changing Raptors landscape and that well-chronicled friction with coach Nick Nurse last season had led many to believe Siakam’s days were numbered there.
For now, it looks like Siakam is staying put, but that could always change based on Scottie Barnes’ growth as a first-year player, the rookie swingman who impressed mightily in Summer League already and could make Siakam expendable over the coming campaigns.
For the latest on the Pascal Siakam trade front, click here.
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia)
It’ll be a surprise to approximately no one that Simmons made our list again this week, as he seems to be the likeliest All-Star-level player to get dealt this offseason, even if scuttle surrounding his name on the trade market seems to have cooled recently.
That same report out of Sacramento talking about Siakam, for example, also listed Simmons as a player the Kings have interest in due to pressure being felt on their front office to make a big move. There was also the Lillard report we already discussed that mentioned Simmons as a key piece in a potential Lillard trade.
In addition to all that, local Philadelphia beat reporter Keith Pompey reported last week that he believes by the end of the offseason, Simmons will be traded by the Sixers:
Pompey gave an interesting look at the ordeal, including information sourced from people close to the situation: “I think he’s gonna get moved. “[…] “I felt like, talking to people I spoke to and sources, they all thought it was going to happen in the preseason. Happen maybe right before training camp, in training camp, what have you. Maybe right before the final rosters. But the belief is that he is still going to get traded. I think that’s right.”
That wouldn’t be a very big surprise after all the smoke regarding his name on the trade market, though at this point, it’s difficult to pinpoint where exactly the offensively challenged lead guard could find himself next season.
For the latest Ben Simmons trade rumors, click here.
Goran Dragic (Toronto)
A big name that has come up in our Trade Rumor Rankings series this week is a player who was just dealt when free agency opened up, Goran Dragic, now of the Raptors.
Dragic actually got himself into some hot water with Raptors fans (and likely their front office, too), when he made the following comments in Slovenia about being with Toronto now (via SportsNet):
Goran Dragic was asked about being traded from Miami – his NBA home for the past seven seasons – to the Raptors where a quality 35-year-old point guard in the final year of a contract for $19.5 million could quite reasonably expect to be traded from at some point between now and the trade deadline. In the clip that makes the rounds Dragic says “Toronto is not my preferred destination, I have higher ambitions, we’ll see.”
Dragic would explain his comments:
Dragic isn’t trying to pretend he was misquoted, just that the broader context was missing. “I was in the centre of the city and the journalists were there and I was asked about Toronto and it was basically taken out of context. I told them that I had spent seven years in Miami and that would be the preferred destination for me because my family is there and everything, not Toronto.”
As far as the Raptors moving Dragic to another team now, something they might be even more willing to do after the Slovenian point guard made those comments, Dragic’s $19.4 million salary has been a hindrance, as it’s been reported by ESPN that the team rumored to have the most interest in him, the Dallas Mavericks, don’t want to pay him that much in 2021-22.
In addition to that, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein said the following recently…
Do you see a deal for Dragic coming together between the Mavericks and the Raptors? Marc Stein: I think it’s gonna be tough. They’ve already tried, based on everything I’ve been told. Toronto has been resistant to it.
…adding that there’s “no way” the Raptors buy him out, as Dragic is seen by the organization as a valuable trade chip.
The Dallas Morning News also reported on the Dragic-to-Dallas possibility late last week, saying:
Mavericks fans have expressed concern on social media that Dallas is done with roster-maneuvering. The potential acquisition of Goran Dragic from Toronto remains a possibility, though sources say that possibility is far from imminent.
So there you have it.
All of the smoke points to a potential deal between the Raptors and Mavericks for Dragic at some point (the Slovenian connection between the veteran and burgeoning superstar Luka Doncic makes the potential fit all too sensical), but Toronto isn’t willing to be lowballed on such a transaction, either.
We’ll see where this goes – perhaps it takes months to see Dragic get traded out of Toronto, or maybe it happens tonight. Such things can be difficult to predict.
For the latest on the Goran Dragic trade front, click here.