Podcast: CJ McCollum, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert trade scenarios

Podcast: CJ McCollum, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert trade scenarios

Podcast

Podcast: CJ McCollum, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert trade scenarios

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HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan discussed potential trade scenarios involving CJ McCollum, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, and Caris LeVert. Plus, the duo discussed two new candidates to monitor for Portland’s general manager opening on the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast.

This episode is brought to you by Sports Business Classroom. If you’re looking to jump-start your career in the business of basketball, sign up for Sports Business Classroom’s GM Academy from December 27-29. You’ll learn and interact with executives from around the league, including Tommy Sheppard, John Hammond, Calvin Booth, Chad Buchanan, Andy Elisburg, and former general manager Ryan McDonough. This one-of-a-kind program will allow you to experience what it’s like during the trade deadline, draft day, and more. To sign up, click here.

For more interviews with players, coaches, and media members, be sure to like and subscribe to the HoopsHype podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Listen to the podcast above or check out some snippets of the conversation in a transcribed version below.

:53 Pacers trade talks

Scotto: There’s been talk of the Pacers moving Myles Turner for three years, as he noted on a recent episode of the HoopsHype podcast with me. This is a podcast from Myles I think is pretty relevant. He said, “The organization is going to do what’s best for the organization. They’re not inclined to care about your feelings in a sense. Now that I see myself in these rumors all the time, it’s just like another day for me. It’s like, ‘Oh, what else is new?’”

Some scouts and executives have pointed out his fluctuating minutes under Rick Carlisle as a kind of a hint that he’ll ultimately be the one traded. Turner’s 25 (years old) and is signed through next season, as is Caris LeVert, who’s also signed through next season. Domantas Sabonis has two more years on his deal and has already been a two-time All-Star at 25.

When I look at the trade landscape, the team I think everybody in the league looks at right off the bat is the Warriors. They are positioned as the team in the league, who have the most assets and the ability to pull off a deal if they choose. On paper, Turner fits Golden State with his ability to stretch the floor and block shots. The question for me, and I think a lot of people, is if Golden State values him more than James Wiseman and as a better fit for their core. I don’t see a deal getting done between either of those teams without those players being involved. Charlotte has also flirted with the idea of trading for Turner over the years. I think he’d be a good fit alongside that young core if he ended up there. He’d be an upgrade over Mason Plumlee and PJ Washington at center.

I wonder how much of this is going to be a rebuild versus a retool? Rick Carlisle signing up for a rebuild after just taking the Indiana job doesn’t strike me as making a whole lot of sense. You can have more latitude with a franchise if you’re rebuilding, but Rick’s a guy that’s a playoff type of coach, not somebody coming in to rebuild a program.

MORE: Pacers center Myles Turner eyes All-Star, DPOY, All-Defensive honors

Gozlan: Regarding Carlisle, I’d have to assume he’s somewhat on board with this because he just started with them, and maybe he helped them get to this conclusion that maybe this team might not be good enough.

I spoke to Tony East of Locked on Pacers. He believes this will be more of a retool. A rebuild could imply sell-offs and acquiring mostly young players and picks. He isn’t sure that’s the route they’ll go.

Shams mentions the Pacers are open to trading one of Turner or Sabonis. That’s like Coke or Pepsi in Indiana. Which one do you prefer? Sabonis is already a two-time All-Star. I’d imagine you’d get bigger offers for him. At the same time, I think they might get more offers for Turner because, I think, you can plug in Turner so well with so many teams with his two-way ability.

For Turner, I’m keeping my eyes on the Warriors and the Hornets. I think if the Warriors want to get Sabonis or Turner, I think, they can get it done. They have to decide if they want to trade their young players. It’s tough. They might be good enough as they currently stand to win the title. If they get Turner, in my opinion, that’s probably it. The Warriors will probably win the championship and be the overwhelming favorite.

Charlotte is a team with the biggest need for a player like Turner. He’d be an awesome fit with their starting lineup. It won’t take much for them to match salaries. They can offer Mason Plumlee and then some combination of first-round picks and young players like James Bouknight, Kai Jones, JT Thor. They need to improve their defense.

12:16 Blazers GM Search

Scotto: In speaking with NBA executives and others around the league, some new names have come up as potential candidates to keep an eye on for Portland’s general manager opening, including Shareef Abdur-Rahim, the President of the G League, and Michael Winger, the general manager of the Clippers. Both names have come up recently, as Bleacher Report noted.

Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer had a relationship with the Allen family. Ballmer considered Allen a great friend and mentor. It could be good or bad for Winger’s candidacy. Would Jody Allen want to get a guy who’s doing a good job for a family friend? There’s a notable connection that would make sense for Winger when it comes to the Blazers. Winger had Chauncey Billups as an assistant coach with the Clippers. When you look at the potential pool of the candidates out there so far, outside of Danny Ainge, Winger has the most front office experience. He’s been in the league’s biggest market in LA with the Clippers for five years and the smallest with the Thunder for seven years. He also worked in Cleveland too.

Shareef is an interesting name due to his experience with the NBA league office, working with the G League Ignite, and he’s got ties to the Pacific Northwest from working with the Kings, playing for the Blazers briefly, and his time at Cal playing in college. He’s also got ties to Damian Lillard through Aaron Goodwin and that representation.

Some people would look at a guy like Winger and say he’s a general manager with the Clippers, so why take a lateral move and go to the Trail Blazers? It’s not. He’s the No. 2 guy behind Lawrence Frank.

I think what a lot of people are going to want to know in this potential candidacy is will the general manager have to report to Jody Allen and include and educate her on the decision-making process? It seemed like Neil Olshey had full autonomy there. I’m curious if that changes now.

Their interim general manager Joe Cronin has been around and is liked by people around the league.

Tayshaun Prince is a name to keep an eye on. He has ties to Billups as former Pistons teammates. With the contract they gave Billups, they’re going to need to find someone who can help him make it work there.

Ainge hasn’t been contacted yet, according to Dwight Jaynes. With his pedigree, he isn’t the kind of guy that’s going to interview for a position. He’s either going to be offered the job or not. He’s on a different tier than the executives compared to who’s out there based on his overall resume.

18:18 CJ McCollum trade possibilities

Scotto: I think it’s worth noting that LaMarcus Aldridge left. Brandon Roy had to retire early. Damian Lillard wanting to be in Portland for life is something that in their market they really have to consider. I think CJ, who’s been on the cusp of being an All-Star, I’d think he’d be more likely to go.

Gozlan: I don’t think they’re going to trade Lillard this year. If the Blazers are going to make a change to improve their defense and try and save their season, they’re going to have to move CJ largely because he holds a lot of value and has several years left on his deal with the salary to make a big deal. Everyone and their grandmother have plugged in CJ for Ben Simmons in the trade machine. If you’re Portland right now, and you’re weighing a rebuild versus trying one last Hail Mary to make things work, I think you’ve got to trade for Simmons, especially at the price Shams reported.

If things don’t work later (with Simmons), I think you’re in a better position to start a rebuild. Simmons would still be 25, so they can keep him or trade him for more than what they gave up for him.

MORE: The best trade packages for CJ McCollum

Scotto: I feel the Blazers have tried to win with Damian and CJ for so long. There are some executives I’ve spoken to who agree with my own opinion that if they were running the show in Portland, they’d start a rebuild. Norman Powell is 28 and in the prime of his career. He’s played well enough and is signed long-term for the future. Robert Convington and Jusuf Nurkic could interest playoff teams before they hit unrestricted free agency. CJ has plenty of value. Lillard would be the crown jewel of the market because Washington and Chicago have improved, and a lot of people around the league were hoping Zach LaVine or Bradley Beal would hit the trade market. That’s really unlikely at this point, given the success of their teams. Lillard or McCollum would be the most attractive trade piece a team could get out there overall.

MORE: Podcast: NBA trade candidates who could be moved after Dec. 15

30:10 Sports Business Classroom’s GM Academy

Scotto: What’s happening at the GM Academy event?

Albert Hall: Students that are interested in becoming part of a front office in basketball or professional sports in general. We have experts in their field who can provide a framework to get your foot in the door with everything from a curriculum like basketball operations, CBA, and coaching 101. We’re led by Ryan McDonough, the former GM of the Suns. We’re bringing in guys like Tommy Sheppard, Calvin Booth, John Hammond, Andy Elisburg, Rafael Stone, and guys who are living and breathing these front office positions right now to share insight for people who want to get a foot in this business. That’s what this virtual academy will do over Dec. 27-29.

Scotto: Why should students look into this program?

Hall: First and foremost, it’s the network you’re becoming a part of. The network is strong. We have a track record of putting people into positions, whether it’s in the sports business, agencies, networks, shoe companies, you name it. We have over 130 students who’ve transferred from this program into those types of positions since 2020 alone.

Scotto: What other events will Sports Business Classroom have in 2022?

Hall: We have another virtual experience coming up, which is our Draft Academy around the NCAA Tournament, most likely in March. We project and do player evaluations of the players in the draft that are participating in the NCAA Tournament. We do an event on-site at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas around July or August. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. We have our on-demand courses with Larry Coon’s CBA class by going to SportsBusinessClassroom.com.

You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) and Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) on Twitter. 

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