MARC STEIN: The Spurs’ asking price for a player regarded as the league’s most menacing two-way force when healthy, for the moment, is thus still said to be rather high. But I have little doubt Ujiri is willing to trade any Raptor on the roster if he finds a deal he likes — even after LeBron James’ departure to the Western Conference. The Raptors, I’m told, held exploratory discussions in the summer of 2017 with Minnesota on a deal that would have been headlined by DeRozan and the Timberwolves’ Canadian swingman Andrew Wiggins. No trade materialized, but it reaffirms the notion that not even DeRozan, at the peak of his career, is untouchable in Toronto.
December 11, 2018 | 8:17 pm EST Update
There is little doubt the Celts will be ringing the Pelicans’ phone next summer to investigate what it might take to extradite Davis from the Crescent City. But, as noted here before, no deal can be made this season that joins Davis and Kyrie Irving because both are under Rose Rule maximum contracts, and teams are allowed just one each. Irving presumably will be on a new deal next offseason when he opts out and signs here for more money and years.
The other relevant fact in all this is if the Pelicans do entertain offers for Davis, who cannot opt out and become a free agent until the summer of 2020, the Celtics will have the most to offer in terms of quality players and quantity of first-round draft picks. League execs have speculated that Irving and Jayson Tatum might be the only untouchables — and even that could be negotiable for a star who won’t turn 26 until March.
In between tipoff and the final buzzer, there were flashes of Wade turning back the clock and plenty of cheers. He received a standing ovation upon entering the game off the bench in the first quarter, and later was the subject of a tribute video.
“I thought it was incredible,” Wade said of the gesture. “I wanted to thank Rob Pelinka, Magic, Jeanie Buss. Just the whole Laker front office and Laker Nation for allowing that to happen. I did not expect that. That was so cool. I looked over and saw my wife beaming. It was great. I appreciate them for giving me that moment.”
December 11, 2018 | 6:56 pm EST Update
Q: What are the Knicks going to do with Frank Ntilikina? Are the Knicks really trying to move him? Marc Stein: My sense is that the Knicks, despite some recent Twitter chatter on this front, are not actively looking to find a new home for Ntilikina. Is the 20-year-old Frenchman theoretically available? Will the Knicks field calls from interested teams on Ntilikina? Certainly. But there is a difference between listening and shopping.