Trade rumor rankings: Donovan Mitchell, Scottie Barnes and more

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Trade rumor rankings: Donovan Mitchell, Scottie Barnes and more

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Trade rumor rankings: Donovan Mitchell, Scottie Barnes and more

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The NBA offseason market has been ground to a halt as teams wait for a potential Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving trade to go down, neither of which looks all that close to coming to fruition.

The latest scuttle even indicates that both players may remain with the Brooklyn Nets next season.

Below, check out the 10 players who have appeared most often in trade rumors over the past week.

10
Jakob Poeltl (San Antonio)

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl quietly posted a career campaign last year, one that saw him average 13.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

That, coupled with the fact that he is entering a contract year with a high-value contract (the Austrian center is owed just $9.4 million in 2022-23), as well as considering San Antonio in the early stages of a full rebuild, led many to believe he’d be a trade candidate this offseason.

That, however, may not be the case, as the latest scuttle on the matter says that the Spurs aren’t shopping Poeltl:

There’s also the fact that Poeltl is 26 and is himself still developing. The Spurs would obviously not want to see him grow into something even more prominent elsewhere. “We looked into it,” another league exec said. “The sense we got is that they ain’t moving him.”

We’ll see if that tune changes anytime soon, but for now, it looks like Poeltl is staying put.

For the latest Jakob Poeltl rumors, click here.

9
Scottie Barnes (Toronto)

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Since the beginning of the Durant trade scuttle, reports out of Canada stated that although the Toronto Raptors are interested in the former league MVP, they aren’t as interested if it would mean losing reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.

That continued this week, with first, Jake Fischer reporting the following:

The Raptors are the most obvious team fitting that description. For Toronto to land Ayton, the Raptors would need to sacrifice valuable players or picks in a sign-and-trade that could be used for Durant instead. Of important note regarding Toronto: Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation say the Raptors are unwilling to part with reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.

That was backed up by our own Michael Scotto, who recently shared:

The Raptors remain hesitant to part with Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in any potential trade talks for Durant, league sources told HoopsHype. The Nets would push for Barnes to be included in any trade scenario involving Durant.

Still, the Nets appear to be holding steadfast in their position, one that states they want an elite young talent, such as Barnes, in exchange for Durant.

Will that change?

We’ll see, but for now, Barnes appears to be firmly in the Raptors’ future plans.

For the latest Scottie Barnes rumors, click here.

8
Buddy Hield (Indiana)

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The major report on the Buddy Hield trade front from this past week stated that there may be a rift within the Los Angeles Lakers, one that might be pitting LeBron James against the team’s front office.

Apparently, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, although James wants the team to go after his former teammate in Irving, L.A.’s front office might favor a cheaper deal for a player like Hield, the sharpshooting Indiana Pacers wing who the Lakers almost acquired last season:

Jovan Buha: I think there’s a slight divide right now where LeBron James wants Kyrie Irving and some people internally might prefer a Myles Turner/Buddy Hield type deal

Hield is coming off of somewhat of a down year where he split time between Indiana and Sacramento, but he still shot 36.6 percent from three in 2021-22. What’s more, that is likely an anomaly of a campaign, as for his five-year career prior to that, the Bahamian swingman hit 40.6 percent from his threes.

It’s clear how a player with that skill set would help the three-point-needy Lakers, it might just come down to the team giving up on the Irving sweepstakes and pivoting to Hield instead.

For the latest Buddy Hield rumors, click here.

7
Ben Simmons (Brooklyn)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons’ future in Brooklyn will likely come down to what the team ends up doing with Durant and Irving. If both players end up sticking around with the Nets, Simmons is almost assured not to be moved. But if Durant and Irving do get dealt, then anything can happen with regards to the Australian point guard.

Even so, Simmons has recently received assurance from the team that he’s not being shopped, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post:

While he did have surgery and is on schedule to be ready for training camp, according to a source, one league source said there was no chatter about the Nets actively shopping Ben Simmons, while two said there was little market for him. … Privately, Nets sources have intimated the latter option is unlikely. And when asked if Ben Simmons had gotten assurances he was in the Nets’ long-term plans and would not be traded, a source close to the young All-Star told The Post simply that “Ben is good.”

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst also recently mentioned that league executives are currently questioning whether Simmons’ contract (he’s signed through 2024-25 and will be owed $40.3 million in that final season) is a positive or negative asset.

(Hint: It’s pretty clearly the latter, at least right now.)

Nevertheless, Simmons appears safe in Brooklyn, unless things go haywire in the coming weeks on the Durant or Irving front.

For the latest Ben Simmons rumors, click here.

6
Myles Turner (Indiana)

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The other player mentioned in the report about the potential rift between the Lakers and their best player was Myles Turner, who might also be on the trade block for the Pacers and could be a player of interest for Los Angeles.

Windhorst recently reported that there’s a ‘good chance’ Turner is not with the Pacers next season, further fueling the belief that the former Texas standout could be had on the trade market right now:

In his newest podcast, the ESPN NBA reporter discusses potential trades and free agent moves (mostly involving the Brooklyn Nets), but Myles Turner’s name pops up at about the 45-minute mark. The Indiana Pacers big man has been the subject of trade speculation for years, so Windhorst adds a disclaimer (“I’m trying to wiggle out of aggregation here”), but Windhorst added: “There’s a good chance he’s not going to be a Pacer next year.”

Unfortunately for the Pacers, however, it appears Turner isn’t generating much interest on the trade market at the moment, according to Fischer:

Pacers center Myles Turner has not generated significant traction on the trade market this offseason, sources said. A theoretical trade return of Turner, multiple Suns wings and draft capital still wouldn’t appear to satisfy the Nets, according to sources.

Despite his flaws as a rebounder and inconsistencies as a scorer, Turner can still space the floor and protect the rim, a valued archetype for the modern big man. Once the Durant/Irving dust settles, interest in the 26-year-old shot-blocker could very well pick back up.

For the latest Myles Turner rumors, click here.

5
Eric Gordon (Houston)

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Eric Gordon may not be the player he was in his prime, at least not athletically, but the veteran 2-guard’s game has aged quite well, as he averaged 13.4 points and shot 41.2 percent from three, making him quite desirable to contenders ahead of next season.

Two ESPN reporters, Zach Lowe and Tim MacMahon recently discussed how Gordon is a lock to be traded:

Zach Lowe: Eric Gordon will get traded at some point for whatever they get. Tim MacMahon: I thought it’d be by now but they’ll get a first round pick for him at some point.

The Houston Rockets, despite being in the early stages of a rebuild, still very much value Gordon and won’t be dealing him for cheap. That was evidenced by Houston turning down a bevy of interested parties, namely from the Heat, Bucks, Sucks and 76ers, who were after Gordon this offseason (via The Athletic):

Eric Gordon, the subject of repeated interest around the league, was close to being traded on draft night, with the Philadelphia 76ers presumed to be the landing spot before talks ultimately fell apart, The Athletic was told. But in addition to the 76ers, the Rockets received offers from no less than six teams before the draft, including the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, who offered packages including first-round picks. Houston turned all of those down.

The Lakers are another team mentioned as having an interest in Gordon, and with good reason, as his bench shooting would provide a big boost for a shooting-deficient L.A. lineup.

In the case of Gordon, it appears to be a matter of when, not if, he gets dealt. We’ll just have to wait and see what contender he ends up on.

For the latest Eric Gordon rumors, click here.

4
Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

We have reached a stalemate on the Russell Westbrook trade front. it seems, at least with regards to Irving, as despite back-and-forth leaked reports from both sides, neither appears to have any leverage.

Where we stand appears to be: Lakers want Irving but don’t want to lose future first-round picks in order to offload Westbrook to get him while the Nets appear to be fine holding onto Irving until they sort through their Durant drama.

According to our own Scotto, the Lakers have no interest in losing multiple first-round picks to trade Westbrook:

Currently, the Lakers don’t want to give up multiple first-round picks to trade Russell Westbrook, league sources told HoopsHype.

If Westbrook does stay put, things could get awkward for the Lakers, something we already saw at summer league recently when Westbrook and James sat as far from each other as possible.

For what it’s worth, and it may not be much, the Lakers behind the scenes are reportedly taking the same route that new head coach Darvin Ham is taking publicly. That’s to say the team supposedly plans to have Westbrook in the fold next year and is directly telling him just that:

Says a third source close to the situation: Communications between Westbrook and the Lakers this offseason have taken the same tone as Ham’s public commentary. Which is to convey, insists the source, that the messaging has focused on ways to make Russell Westbrook’s second season as a Laker much better than the first rather than bracing him for a potential trade exit.

Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but we could be in store for an awkward few weeks at Lakers training camp if Westbrook doesn’t ultimately get dealt in exchange for Irving or whoever else.

For the latest Russell Westbrook rumors, click here.

3
Donovan Mitchell (Utah)

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

All of the latest scuttle on the Donovan Mitchell trade front indicates that the New York Knicks should be considered heavy favorites to land the star shooting guard based on their need for a star to build around and their host of future first-round picks to trade.

Windhorst reported today that Mitchell to New York is seen as an inevitability by many around the league:

The New York Knicks have eight tradable first-round picks and a need and a desire for a star player like Donovan Mitchell, who is from the New York area. Some people believe this is an inevitability. It’s just a matter of what price can be negotiated. Other teams are interested in Mitchell and it can go in a different direction. They can keep Mitchell, or at least posture they’re going to keep Mitchell. But I think we’re going to hear a lot about Mitchell and the New York Knicks in the coming days. … People feel that everything the Jazz are doing right now is just an effort to elicit the best offer they can get from the Knicks.

Fischer further reported as such, stating the following today:

New York would seem to be the clear front-runner to land Mitchell. The Knicks’ interest in the New York native has been obvious for awhile, best illustrated this past spring when members of the front office attended Utah’s opening game of the playoffs in Dallas. And after a series of trades beginning on draft night, the Knicks are now armed with 11 first-round picks in the next seven drafts plus intriguing young talent that could suit Utah’s rebuild.

Still, Fischer also said in the same report that a Mitchell report isn’t expected anytime soon as the Jazz will be patient in dealing with their All-Star.

One team that reportedly won’t be a suitor for Mitchell are the Boston Celtics, according to Brian Robb:

The Celtics are not expected to have interest in dealing for Mitchell per league sources given the high price tag and their recent offseason moves. However, a number of Eastern Conference rivals are expected to make plays for Mitchell. Let’s take a closer look at some of the possibilities in play on that front and what they could mean for the Celtics.

Look for the Mitchell-to-New-York smoke to continue over the coming days as the New York City media machine continues to do its job.

For the latest Donovan Mitchell rumors, click here.

2
Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of speculation about when Irving might get traded, the latest on the matter is pulling us in the opposite direction, with the latest reports indicating the Nets could be planning to enter training camp with both Irving and Durant on the roster:

With every day that goes by without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving being traded, there is increasing sentiment among league personnel that one or both stars could still be on the Nets roster come training camp. A source close to the team confirmed that the organization has been in contact with Durant since his trade demand stunned the NBA. Another source close to Irving told The Post that the All-Star point guard not only never asked for a trade, but has had every intention of playing for the Nets — with or without Durant.

There was also a report stating that Irving never asked to be traded, but merely just requested the option to seek sign-and-trade partners after contract negotiations with the Nets stagnated:

In all, we know the Lakers are heavily interested in Irving, but the Nets wisely don’t want to take on Westbook’s contract, even if it is expiring, without some sweetener added to the pot. And with the Durant situation still looming over the franchise, we appear no close to finding a resolution than we were a week ago.

For the latest Kyrie Irving rumors, click here.

1
Kevin Durant (Brooklyn)

The Rudy Gobert may have actually been a bad thing for the Nets, as it set a very unrealistic bar for what the Brooklyn franchise should get back for Durant. As such, the Nets are reportedly asking for the moon and then some in negotiations for Durant.

One NBA general manager told Heavy as much recently:

In any case, a Kevin Durant deal, if one comes to pass, is bound to be complex. “Everybody would love to have him,” one general manager told Heavy Sports, “but almost no one has enough to get him. And I’ll bet you right now that the team that does get him will have to get a third team involved to make the trade work. Brooklyn is asking for more than really anyone can give. I’m not if anyone will meet their price, but I guess they’re hoping someone will get creative and get them the quality player — or players — and picks they want.”

Stein even recently reported that the Nets are actually hoping some time will help soften Durant’s stance on wanting to get traded:

Whispers have increasingly circulated in recent days that Brooklyn, in response to an underwhelming array of Durant offers to date, is prepared to hang on to the superstar forward in hopes that Durant’s desire to leave could soften between now and the start of training camp in late September. How much stomach Nets officials have to uphold that position — or if it proves to be a mere negotiating ploy — is a matter of debate.

Stefan Bondy reported similarly hopefully things for Nets fans, stating that Durant and his agent have been in contact with Brooklyn lately after reportedly leaving them in the dark for weeks.

Our own Scotto also shared that one reportedly interested team in Durant, the New Orleans Pelicans, may not be a team the superstar forward wants to end up on while also sharing that a league executive told him Durant would warrant a James Harden-level package in a trade.

We’ll see how this drama sorts out, but reports on the matter are dropping hot and heavy daily this summer, so click on the following link and bookmark it to stay up to the moment on the subject.

For the latest Kevin Durant rumors, click here.

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