Jon Krawczynski: Some boos, some cheers for Jimmy Butle…

More on Jimmy Butler Trade?

Adrian Wojnarowski: "Houston, to me, is the one team in this entire process, the only team in this process, who can rightly believe, 'If we trade for Jimmy Butler, we think he helps us win a championship this year.' There's not another team who can say that who's really involved in this. The one team that has been on the periphery, and I still think could be heard from in this, is Philadelphia. Because I think they're a little like Houston right now in that they're evaluating themselves and they're saying, 'Not only are not sure we didn't improve from last year, I'm not sure we'll even be the same team.'"
Adrian Wojnarowski: "I still think Philadelphia may be heard from again in this, and Miami, I don't think they've given up on the idea of Jimmy Butler, but Houston is the one team who says, 'OK, we want to win it, this is our window, it's in the next couple of years, and right now we're probably not good enough to do it.'"
Taylor has tasked general manager Scott Layden with the focus of finding a trade, as Thibodeau concentrates on coaching the team. Miami and Philadelphia remain teams interested in potential deals for Butler, and Taylor has hoped that those teams would become more aggressive in their offers to pry Butler, league sources said.
Houston has offered four future first-round picks to Minnesota, but that package doesn't include guard Eric Gordon, who'd be mandatory for Minnesota in any proposed deal, league sources said. Thibodeau wants a maximum return on players able to help Minnesota get back to the playoffs.
Ira Winderman: Tom Thibodeau, at Minnesota shootaround today, on trade proposals for Jimmy Butler, "You just got to do what's right. To me, it's like, If something is a good deal and you think you're getting good value, you have to do what's right for the franchise."

http://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1055825625905315841
The Rockets' offer constitutes the maximum number of first-round picks allowable in a deal, factoring in league rules that necessitate no first-rounders can be conveyed in successive years, and no pick can be traded farther out than seven seasons. The lottery protections on picks in this proposed deal would be limited. Discussions on the players involved in the Minnesota-Houston talks remain fluid, league sources said.
So far, Minnesota has been unmoved on offers for Butler, who requested a trade in the preseason and has told the organization that he plans to leave in free agency this summer. The Rockets would be trading for Butler with a strong desire to re-sign him this summer to a long-term contract extension. Butler, 29, plans to become an unrestricted free agent.
Zach Lowe: Note going into the story -- Oct. 31 could be a key date here, league sources say. That's the 2-month anniversary of the Chriss/Knight trade, meaning HOU would be free to aggregate them into larger trades.
Sam Amick: “I still feel like the pressure that comes with a season - if I had to pick one side or the other, I would probably say he gets moved somewhere before the deadline. Because for the T-Wolves, you run into the thing where losing a guy like that for nothing is tough. Glen Taylor, eventually, has to go get through Tom Thibodeau and just be the owner and realize if you lose an asset for nothing, that's a terrible way to do business."
Jeff Goodman: "If you were a betting man, are you betting Jimmy Butler stays with Minnesota for the year? Until the trade deadline? What's your take on the whole situation? Do you have any info that would give people some insight to people on where he could end up now? I know the Miami thing was heavy and it kind of appears dead now." Sam Amick: "It is dead right now, by all indications.”
Sam Amick: "And then on the other side of that, you're just gonna have teams like Miami and Houston, who are gonna realize they need a little more. Houston's getting off to a tough start, and now these suspensions, it's even worse. So what does that look like down the line, if their record, if they're scuffling? This is a team, in terms of expectations, they are the ones talking about, 'We're the No. 1 contenders for the crown.' That's how they're talking. That's a pretty high bar. So maybe it's Houston putting more on the table than they had before. Maybe it's Miami."
Alex Kennedy: According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, in addition to the Miami Heat, the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are interested in Jimmy Butler. In this snippet from our weekend podcast (audioboom.com/posts/7053994-…), Brian explains why a trade hasn't happened yet: pic.twitter.com/2boyDTn5zP

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpPi6uPh7Pt/?hl=en&taken-by=jimmybutler
Gery Woelfel: NBA teams aren't exactly blowing away Minnesota officials with offers for ex-Marquette standout Jimmy Butler, Sources say the Heat offered Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk and a protected first-round pick. Twolves wisely took a pass.
Google the name Jimmy Butler and you're likely to come across Richardson's name as well, the two linked in the Minnesota Timberwolves' efforts to attempt to trade their disgruntled All-Star guard. "It's a business," Richardson said during a private moment. "It is what it is. It's a cutthroat business. I know that. I can't get too up or too down about situations like that."
"For like the first hour, I was hearing from everyone," he said of when his name initially was reported as the Timberwolves' trade focus. "But after that, it is what it is. I don't get too much into it. When it first came out a little bit, yeah, it was hard to ignore."
Nichols said she spoke with Butler during training camp about when he might want to talk publicly. “Honestly, at one point when it looked like things were going a certain way with Minnesota, Jimmy was in Los Angeles for a week and we thought he was going to come and be on the show,” she said. “That was the original plan, to come to the studio and be on the show and we had the beginnings of that setup. Then the trade conversations with Miami heated up and he and his agent —and this was smart on their part — thought Jimmy randomly going on TV and talking about stuff might not be the smartest thing.”
“As those days went by there was the casual, ‘Hey, are you going to go back to practice? Are you going to do media? What are you going to do?’” Nichols said. “The day before (his first practice), at 7 p.m. at night was one of those conversations. We learned that he’s ready to go back, he’s going to go to practice, he wants to talk. But as a lot of these guys do, if they want to say something complicated …. doing it in a scrum environment where you are leaning up against a wall and there are 10 cameras in your face and people are asking you questions where one question does not necessarily follow another question in terms of topic, or you start an answer and get interrupted or sidetracked, maybe you don’t say the whole thing that you wanted to say. I think a lot of athletes feel that sitting down and having an interview is the way they want to get that stuff out first.”
On the issue of whether she felt at all used by Butler’s camp as part of a media strategy, Nichols said, “When is it bad to have somebody get out what they think and what is going on with them? I think within the interview if people are not held accountable, that is when you have a problem, if the interview becomes fluffy. I have done a bunch of interviews lately including one with Anthony Davis where he came out in the opening answer and said, ‘I think I am the best player in the league,’ and he gives his general answer about why he thinks he is the best player in the NBA. I could have just let that pass. Instead, I said, ‘You want to tell me why you think you are better than LeBron James or Kevin Durant?’ If within the interview you don’t hold people accountable, that is where you can ask is someone using you to get their message (out).”
Just days before the start of the season, Pat Riley addressed the Jimmy Butler trade rumors with Heat players in a team meeting. According to a team spokesman, Riley acknowledged the trade discussions and apologized for players’ names surfacing in rumors. The message was, “I’m pulling the plug,” after talks continued for too long, but there was no guarantee that a trade will not happen down the road.
“It calms you down, for sure, a little bit,” point guard Goran Dragic said of the meeting. “Of course, everybody is talking, including me. I just want to focus on my job. But deep down, it affects you a little bit. I want to stay here. I like it, really. So when Pat came after practice and sat us down and we had a small meeting, he told us that and you can feel a little bit of relief. But that doesn’t mean, in the near future it can’t happen. So we still need to do our job. We still need to be professionals.”
Ira Winderman: Heat confirm that Pat Riley addressed his players about Jimmy Butler trade rumors and told them, "I'm pulling the plug." But he did not tell them anything about standing by his young players. Rather, made them aware of process.
For now, Minnesota’s talks with teams around the NBA are mostly dormant, league sources told The Athletic. The Miami Heat have long been the most aggressive team pursuing Butler, having advantages with a young, promising wing in Josh Richardson, being a team not in Minnesota’s conference and holding other assets to add in a package. Yet days before their own season opener Wednesday, Miami president Pat Riley had informed his locker room that the team would stick with the current roster to start the season and the loyalty the organization has for their current players, league sources said.
Timberwolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau raised the asking price for Jimmy Butler in trade talks after last week’s infamous practice incident, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on today’s edition of “The Jump.” The ESPN scribe adds that Thibodeau feels like he came away victorious in his struggle with owner Glen Taylor because Butler remains on the team and will play in tonight’s opener. “This is exactly what Tom Thibodeau wanted, which was him in the lineup on opening night,” Wojnarowski said. “The day that Jimmy came back and practiced, Thibs won. He waited out his owner, he waited out Jimmy, got him back on the court.”
Butler said he made it be known early in the offseason that he was not long for Minnesota. Rather than take the Spurs approach of dealing their star at a time when the market was hottest, Thibodeau essentially decided he was going to go the Lakers route. Kobe Bryant requested a trade at one point, but the Lakers never gave in, made some roster moves and convinced him to stay.
ESPN 99.1: .@Jon Krawczynski on Jimmy Butler: "Miami has certainly been the most aggressive in getting him. Think HOU will be in for a while. BRO/PHI maybe come back into it. Hard to handicap it, but odds in favor of him landing in Miami"
Is Taylor committed to trading Butler? “Yes I think that he’s made it very clear that he would not re-sign with us at the end of the year and therefore it is in our interest to get a trade so that we can get a player or two to replace him that helps our team.”
Thibodeau has three years left on his five-year that deal that was worth about $40 million. Is he coaching for his job? “No, no, the only thing now is that we are starting to play games and I am asking him to concentrate on coaching and the GM Scott Layden will help to see if any trades are available,” Taylor said.
Q: Will Jimmy Butler ever get traded? I’m starting to feel bad for the guy. — @codylaws2 from Twitter. Marc Stein: I remain convinced that, yes, Butler will be traded — somehow. Things have gotten so farcical just since our last newsletter that the Timberwolves surely understand, deep down, that trying to hang onto Butler for a little longer, like the Denver Nuggets did with Carmelo Anthony in 2010 after a trade with the Nets collapsed shortly before training camp, is doomed to flop in the Twin Cities. Unless Wolves management are intent on emasculating their young cornerstones Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to an even more damaging degree than we’ve already seen, I would suspect that, at some stage, Minnesota Owner Glen Taylor will realize that the wisest course is to direct his coach and team president, Tom Thibodeau, to focus all his energies on prioritizing the two players whose long-term contracts are valued at nearly $340 million combined.
But the Warriors won't have four in-their-prime stars forever. Chris Paul is 33. Towns has a chance to be the most versatile scoring big man in history. You're gonna leave that dude to go to Miami and play with ... who? You're gonna move to Brooklyn, even though Irving scuttled the dream of teaming up there? Philly would be a different story, and Butler has eyes for them, sources familiar with the matter say. The Sixers have expressed almost no interest in trading for him, sources say. There is some theoretical road map to a Clippers team-up with Leonard.
This isn't to say Minnesota is blameless. Tom Thibodeau, Scott Layden, and Glen Taylor watched their team culture erode and did nothing, assuming it would repair itself. Taylor and the front office have sent contradictory messages to Butler suitors, sometimes within minutes of each other, league sources have said.
Three days before the start of the regular season, Taylor met with his disgruntled All-Star before practice, searching for some sort of understanding to calm the noise that has drowned out any sense of excitement for the upcoming season. In the meeting, Taylor and Butler came to an agreement, sources said: Taylor will continue to work diligently to find a trade as soon as possible. Until that happens, Butler will be a good teammate and play as hard as he always does.
There may have been some sort of accord reached, but the situation is “fluid,” as Thibodeau likes to call it, and could change at a moment’s notice. One thing was certain: Butler wasn’t walking anything back. Speaking carefully, and occasionally coyly, to avoid breaking any league rules about publicly discussing trade requests, Butler said there has been no change in his stance and no second thoughts about how he has handled things.
Barry Jackson: Per The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski:, Wolves owner Glen Taylor and Jimmy Butler "came to an agreement" Sunday that "Taylor will continue to work diligently to find a trade as soon as possible. Until that happens, Butler will be a good teammate and play as hard as he always does."
Ira Winderman: Pat Riley statement: "As to what has been reported in the past 24 hours, I have too much respect for Tom Thibodeau and all that he's accomplished in the league. Our conversations have been nothing but cordial and I have never used that kind of language in negotiations. But I do admit to telling Danny Ainge to . . ." (That reference to his "STFU" quote during the LeBron Era.)
Paul George, no stranger to uncomfortable situations with NBA management, said on Friday he's spoken with Jimmy Butler about what's happening in Minnesota and is firmly on his side. "Jimmy has a very valid point," George said. "I'm on Jimmy's side. It's not coming from a place where he's going against an organization."
"Jimmy's a guy, his whole career, he made it into the league off work, off him having to grind and scratch and claw to get to where he's at," George said. "And then he sees the potential he has around him and he just wants guys to match that because if guys are skilled and have that 'it' like KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) has, like Andrew Wiggins has, they have that 'it' that a lot of guys don't have, now they just have to match it with what Jimmy's bringing to the table. I'm all for what Jimmy is trying to do over there."
George said he talked to Butler "a little bit" and that Butler's demonstrative behavior is "not coming from a bad place." "He wants the best for that organization and is trying to bring out everything for that organization to get to where they want to get to," George said.
An NBA source familiar with the Miami Heat's involvement in trade negotiations with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler on Friday downplayed a report of contentiousness. The Heat, according to a source familiar with the dealings, "are not trying to re-engage" in the talks. The process, however, seemingly remains fluid in light of Butler's recent behavior and comments.
"So they finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving them Josh Richardson. Then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler, and then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which, really, generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally -- I was told -- called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone." A NBA source familiar with the Heat's dealings with the Timberwolves said Riley insists he did not offer such a reaction.
The Heat do not publicly comment on trade negotiations and numerous times since Butler's trade request became public three weeks ago have, through their media-relations department, stressed that players, coaches and team officials would not be made available to comment on the matter. The Heat, according to a source familiar with the dealings, "are not trying to re-engage" in the talks. The process, however, seemingly remains fluid in light of Butler's recent behavior and comments.
Here’s the audio from Sedano’s ESPN Los Angeles radio show today, in which he describes the almost-trade between the Heat and the Wolves: Here it is transcribed: There’s been a couple of different incarnations of this deal. The first one, the Heat didn’t want to take back Gorgui Dieng. Then, the next incarnation of the deal was ‘OK forget it, let’s just do it straight up, just for Jimmy on your end.’ They finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving them Josh Richardson, then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler, and then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally—I was told—called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone.
Shams Charania: Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler called a players-only meeting today, airing his feelings toward situation and management, per league sources. Butler expressed to players he would compete with them, as signs pointing to him staying with the franchise into the regular season.
Jimmy​ Butler walked​ into​ practice on​ Wednesday in time​ for the​ scrimmage​ to start. He had​ not been on​​ the court with his Timberwolves teammates since Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against Houston in April, but it didn’t take him long to take over, just like old times. “Y’all better hurry up,” Butler woofed, according to three people in the gym at the time. “I’m only here for an hour.”
He jumped into the fray, grabbing several members of the third team such as Luol Deng, James Nunnally and two-way player Jared Terrell to go against Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and some of the higher-profile Wolves players. He challenged them, like he has so often since he first came to town. He talked trash to the young Wolves and the old Wolves, spewed venom toward head coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, as ESPN first reported.
I agree with Britt that the wise move would be to pay him to stay away from the team. But before Wednesday, Thibs clearly didn’t believe that his presence in the locker room and on the court would be a problem.

http://twitter.com/BernieoLee/statuses/1050168543306756097
Adrian Wojnarowski: After talks fell apart over weekend, Miami's still pursuing discussions with Minnesota on a Jimmy Butler trade, sources tell ESPN. Butler has been in Timberwolves locker room with teammates this morning before practice, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll join them on floor.
While teams trying to deal with the Timberwolves as the Jimmy Butler saga drags have expressed frustration with the asking price — Miami’s offer was centered around solid, young two-way guard Josh Richardson and a draft pick, but the Wolves sought to add deadweight salary into the mix — there’s also a good deal of trepidation about acquiring Butler, league executives told Sporting News. "As good as Jimmy is, I think you have to be concerned about the impact he is going to have in the locker room, on your younger guys, on your coaching staff, all of that," one general manager said. "He has gotten the benefit of the doubt, but if you look at his history, he’s had trouble getting along in Chicago and now in Minnesota.
The Clippers have been in contact with the Wolves, too, but LA won’t include forward Tobias Harris in a deal. Instead, the Clippers have juggled offers that include Danilo Gallinari as the centerpiece, or some combination including guards Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic and others. "The Wolves want to get fair value on Jimmy, but that is not going to happen," one executive told Sporting News. "It’s not just that. If you’re the Nets or Clippers, you know you could sign the guy next summer without giving up anything. It’s also, is this the right fit with what we are doing? The Nets have been trying to build up a certain culture, but you add Butler and that dynamic changes.
Stefano Fusaro: Jimmy Butler update: According to a league source, The Wolves contacted the Rockets again Tuesday morning, after their failed deal with Miami this past weekend. Minnesota was still adamant on receiving Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, but Houston will not put Tucker on the table.
Jimmy​ Butler has​ returned​ to Minnesota and​ reiterated his desire​ to be​ traded​ in a meeting with president​ and coach Tom​​ Thibodeau on Monday, league sources told The Athletic. Barring a change in the dwindling trade market between now and the season opener in San Antonio on Oct. 17, the Timberwolves are making preparations to start the season with Butler on the roster, league sources said.
Butler has not practiced with the team since training camp opened on Sept. 25, just over a week after he first met with Thibodeau to personally deliver his trade request. He was at the facility on Monday, sources said. The Wolves have had conversations with a number of teams — most notably with the Miami Heat, who have discussed frameworks around the promising Josh Richardson — but have yet to close a deal.
Several teams around the league have privately questioned whether the Wolves are truly interested in finding a trade for a player that was the central figure in Thibodeau’s plans to rebuild the team. Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden have driven a hard bargain for their four-time All-Star, not wanting to give him up for pennies on the dollar and take a massive step back heading into a season that could be make-or-break for their regime.
Players have tired of the constant questions about Butler’s status. The cloud has hung over the franchise for three weeks now, and it’s clear that they have enough to worry about with their performances in the preseason. “It’s tough but you have to just circle the wagons like Thibs said,” Gibson said. “I’m just focusing right now on whoever is here because you have to understand we have a strong group of guys that come in here, put a lot of time and work in.
Teague has said Butler is a “good friend” but doesn’t want to get involved in what he has going on off the court. “I really don’t pay attention to much,” Teague said. “Just kind of stick to myself and do what I’m supposed to do. Stay out of everybody’s way and I just enjoy the process, I honestly do.”
That the talks collapsed twice in such a short span should be surprising to no one who has followed the Wolves throughout Taylor's quarter-century of ownership. The same Taylor who held onto Kevin Garnett and then-General Manager Kevin McHale for too long. Who allowed himself to be talked into hiring the thoroughly ill-prepared David Kahn as McHale's replacement. Who could have escaped his Butler nightmare by accepting a package from Miami that would have been headlined by the promising Heat swingman Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick.
Numerous teams have complained in recent days that Thibodeau and Layden are acting like two men who really don’t want to make a deal. But that hasn’t stopped the Heat from engaging in numerous rounds of talks with the Wolves and presenting them with what appears to be a pretty palatable offer given Minnesota’s distinct lack of leverage. Miami, Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Clippers are the teams known to most interest Butler in the long-term. The fact that one of those three is willing to furnish a young player as highly rated as Richardson, along with a potential first-round pick, would enable the Wolves to recoup a good bit of what they gave up (Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the draft pick that became Lauri Markkanen) to acquire Butler.
As lifeless and distracted as the Wolves have looked during the exhibition season, can you imagine Butler, Towns and Wiggins trying to co-exist long enough for Taylor to find a trade he’s willing to sanction? Toronto, Houston, Boston, San Antonio, Philadelphia and, of course, LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers — there are so many teams, for so many intriguing reasons, we should be obsessing over as opening night draws near. There’s also the small matter of the Golden State Warriors preparing to work in the mercurial DeMarcus Cousins as they chase a fourth championship in five seasons.
Multiple reports have the Rockets eliminated from contention, despite offering a package rumored to be as big as Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, and several draft picks. The reasoning for Houston being ruled out isn’t because of the deal, but because, reportedly, Minnesota doesn’t want the Rockets to become the kind of juggernaut the Western Conference already has in Golden State. “We already are at [that level],” Feritta says in a phone call. “We’re an improved team over last year based on who we’ve acquired this offseason. And last year, obviously, we’re a game away from the Finals. “We would love to see Jimmy come home to Houston. It’s not a financial decision, it’s an assets decision on our part. We’ve got a great basketball team. We think we’re as good as anybody in the league. We’re not going to give up unreasonable assets, to break up this team, to get Jimmy Butler. But we would love to have him.”
While Houston continues to explore its options in the Jimmy Butler saga and has significant interest in landing the disgruntled Minnesota star, strong skepticism remains that the Timberwolves are seriously dedicated to finding a deal. So long as that remains the case, with so many executives convinced that president of basketball operations/coach Tom Thibodeau still wants Butler to stay despite the uncomfortable nature of it all, then these Rockets will have to prepare as if there is no more help on the way. Translation: The prospect of Anthony playing like a legitimate star again would be welcomed. He has plenty of personal incentive, too, as he’ll be a free agent again next summer after signing a one-year, $2.4 million deal with Houston (Anthony was traded by the Thunder to Atlanta in a three-team deal with Philadelphia, then bought out by the Hawks; he’s still slated to earn the $27.9 million he was owed for next season between the buyout and his Rockets deal).
Jon Krawczynski: Butler had been away from the team while the Wolves were on the West Coast, and was still not in town when they returned last week. As trade talks have slowed, there is still no change in his desire to move.
The Heat, Clippers, 76ers and Nets are among other teams to have expressed privately their misgivings about the Wolves’ intentions, league sources have said. But they also could have expected Minnesota to fold much more quickly on a deal given the circumstances.
It may seem obvious, but this is the first place to start. Butler has never wavered on his stance that he wants to be traded from the Timberwolves, league sources told The Athletic, even after several attempts by Thibodeau to convince him to rejoin the team and play this season out.
He has been working out on his own while the team has excused him from practices and preseason games, but the conditioning that comes from playing in games is on a different level.
Although the Butler drama has seemingly put the organization in a bind, Thibodeau warned against letting it become more of a distraction than it already is. "Focus on the people that are here and get ready to play. That's it," Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. "We've got a long season, and if you look you can get distracted very easily, so focus is very important. This team has been through a lot in the last year. I think they're ready to handle whatever is thrown our way."
Talks between the two teams could restart again, but it appears there would need to be a resetting process between Miami and Minnesota, league sources said. Minnesota has been engaged with no serious talks elsewhere on Butler, with teams believing that a Miami deal was inevitable and the Timberwolves steep asking price often remaining a non-starter in talks, league sources said. Butler is a four-time All-Star who has told Minnesota that he'll leave in free agency in July -- and wants a trade now.
Asked what the Wolves are seeking, a Heat source said: “The first born of all our kids.” Still, the source declined to rule out the possibility of a deal still happening if Minnesota lessens its demands.
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Trade?
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July 26, 2021 | 10:15 pm EDT Update
Darren Wolfson: Talked w/ #Timberwolves POBO Rosas. Asked him if we can read into the posted pics of Bolmaro’s recent MN trip being a sign he’s coming this summer. “I think it’s fair.” On Ant rehab, “Things are positive.” 1 more: “Way we build this team will be through trade this offseason.”
July 26, 2021 | 7:35 pm EDT Update

Thunder offered Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, No. 6 pick to Pistons for No. 1 pick?

Cade Cunningham has been the public favorite to go No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons since the lottery. While Detroit is surely doing its due diligence, is there any reason to doubt that Cunningham will be the first name we hear on Thursday night? Matt Babcock: I expect Cade Cunningham to be the top overall pick in this draft, selected by the Detroit Pistons. However, I’ve been told that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocking the Pistons’ door down. Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 — the Pistons declined. If the Pistons receive an offer better than that one, they may need to seriously consider it.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 547 more rumors
However, two other names also are swirling around. Moses Moody has been someone league sources have said the Grizzlies are very interested in. He’s one of the most intriguing 3-and-D guys in the draft. In his one year at Arkansas, he made 35.8 percent of his 3-pointers, and nearly 50 percent of his shots came from beyond the arc. Nobody is blown away by 35.8 percent, but scouts/executives believe in his shot and are encouraged by the 81.2 percent he shot from the free throw line. Free-throw percentage is often an indicator of someone discovering long-distance accuracy.