MARC STEIN: But I did hear enough chatter in various Vegas conversations to believe that the Raptors have given legit consideration to gambling on a trade for Leonard, with three obvious problems to contend with: 1) Leonard can leave in free agency at season’s end, even if the Raptors are fortunate enough to trade for him. 2) Leonard’s camp has given no indication to any interested team that he plans to sign anywhere but Los Angeles (with either the Lakers or the Clippers) in July 2019. 3) Leonard’s readiness for next season, thanks to the quadriceps injury that limited him to nine games last season, has to concern teams in Toronto’s position as much as the idea of trading for him and losing him months later.
July 23, 2021 | 5:54 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Today’s @Spotify Greenroom discussion about Kawhi Leonard was based on what I reported last Friday via Substack: https://marcstein.substack.com/p/bucks-cp3-got-what-they-wanted There are teams that no longer make the blanket assumption that Kawhi will stay with the Clippers and plan to pursue him if they get the chance.
After multiple reports suggested Lillard could ask out of Portland, he clarified last week that such rumblings were inaccurate. Simmons, currently the only All-Star known to be shopped by his team, is also unlikely to land with the Warriors. The 76ers are asking for a massive haul that includes an All-Star-level player. Per a league source, Golden State wouldn’t be willing to give up what it would take to get Simmons.
They might be better off zeroing in on a smaller move. A league source recently told The Chronicle that the Warriors are interested in packaging the Nos. 7 and 14 selections for a starting-caliber player, not necessarily an All-Star.
JD Shaw: Point guard Jeremiah Martin has committed to Vegas summer league with the Knicks, source tells @HoopsRumors.
Davion Mintz has become the first Kentucky men’s basketball player to reach an agreement with a shoe company during the name, image and likeness era of college athletics. While we’ve seen other players partner with smaller brands and companies – Dontaie Allen signed an apparel deal with The Players Trunk, while Kellan Grady partnered with iSlide for exclusive UK sandals, among others – Mintz announced a partnership with Reebok on Friday to become the first to UK player with a major shoe company agreement.
The partnership is expected to be an off-court deal, as NIL rules state players are not allowed to sign competing on-court apparel deals with rival companies. With Kentucky being a Nike school, Mintz’s partnership must be limited to time away from basketball.
July 23, 2021 | 5:30 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Denver Nuggets forward JaMychal Green has declined his $7.6 million player option for the 2021-22 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.