But the NBA world is preparing a response: By Feb. 7, leagues sources tell me, there will be at least two NBA teams that will contact the Mavs about trying to acquire Barnes and/or Powell.
Or maybe the trade calls come sooner. Predicts one team executive: "(Dallas) will start getting calls on Wednesday.'' Wednesday is the day before the deadline. Wednesday is the day that Dallas, accepting of having to live with another year of Barnes and Powell (and I don't mean to have that sound more negative than it is), will be provided an escape hatch or two. Do the Kings or the Cavs or Jazz want Barnes because of his talent? Does another team like Orlando see Powell as a solid piece? Can Dallas get involved in a three-way if the Pacers, Wizards or Pels need help? And ultimately, is there a way to move Barnes and Powell without taking a cap clog in return?
Dallas will now have reinforcements to look forward to upon their return home to Dallas to take on the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, as the rest of the trade package sans Kristaps Porzingis should be ready for action in that game. Wednesday will also not only be a chance for the Mavs to string together their third win in four games but also, as our Mike Fisher teased on Saturday, serve as the last chance for a showcase for both Harrison Barnes and Dwight Powell, the pair of whom might have a chance to be moved Thursday's trade deadline. On the one hand, sources have made it clear to DBcom that the Mavs are prepared to be without cap room as a result of the KP trade and Barnes and Powell not opting out this summer, as we wrote in our scoop here. On the other hand ... Fish is reporting that there could be movement in this regard before the Feb. 7 deadline. ...
July 3, 2022 | 3:20 pm EDT Update
Brooklyn insists that talks are only preliminary at this point, but Chris Haynes’ report Saturday that the Nets and Lakers have discussed a Kyrie Irving trade only fueled what is already a widespread expectation that Irving is destined to end up with the Lakers. I certainly believe that, too. I know Irving has been in Los Angeles this week, but that’s not the source of my confidence. It stems from repeated rumbles in circulation that LeBron James is rooting hard for Irving’s addition to the roster. James, I’m told, wants to see Irving in Lakerland more than anyone. What other team, furthermore, has a LeBron-sized personality with the experience to cope with all the chaos that comes with adding Kyrie? James, remember, has often thrived in chaos.
The Kevin Durant Trade Sweepstakes should keep the NBA’s Transaction Game at the forefront of discussion far longer than this summer’s marketplace was projected to entertain us. Sixty done deals and 10 contract extensions, after all, were already reported entering Sunday’s Day 4. Everyone on the NBA map knows that Brooklyn is prepared to accede to Durant’s trade request in what is widely expected to pan out as a blockbuster involving three (or more) teams. It just might not come to fruition as quickly as the masses hope, with Durant under contract for the next four seasons and the Nets thus possessing almost all of the leverage. Brooklyn is incentivized to be a bit patient to ensure it secures the optimal trade package for the ages.
My pal Brian Windhorst became the darling of NBA Twitter on Friday for his dramatic burst of morning prognostication mere hours before Utah traded Rudy Gobert to Minnesota. Yet I suspect that Windy, when he was musing so irresistibly about the intrigue building in Salt Lake City, was thinking as much about the prospect of Donovan Mitchell landing in Brooklyn as part of a three-way deal sending Durant to the Suns as he was about what might happen with Gobert.
That’s because, on the surface, Mitchell appears to be precisely the sort of star that would appeal to the Nets as their part of their Durant surrender. Mitchell is a face of the franchise-level player with ties to New York. The Nets just acquired Royce O’Neale, his favorite teammate in Utah not named Eric Paschall. Launching a retooling around Mitchell, who has been coveted by the crosstown Knicks for years, makes so much sense for Brooklyn.
The problem is that Mitchell is unavailable to the Nets for the same primary reason as many top young stars: Brooklyn is ineligible to trade for Mitchell as long as Ben Simmons is on the roster. League rules preclude one team from employing two players on “designated rookie” contracts acquired via trade. Another considerable obstacle: Utah, for now, has been adamant that it won’t trade Mitchell. One nonetheless suspects that the Jazz, for all their messaging about wanting to reload around Mitchell, would eventually be willing to trade Mitchell in the proverbial “right” deal if the Nets suddenly no longer had Simmons (or were shipping him out in the same trade). Something to file away if a multi-team Durant deal doesn’t materialize immediately.
July 3, 2022 | 1:59 pm EDT Update
Second-year forward Sam Hauser has agreed to a three-year contract with the Celtics worth approximately $6 million, a league source told the Globe on Sunday. The first two years of the deal are fully guaranteed, the source said. The Celtics signed the sharpshooter from Virginia to a two-way contract last summer, and in February the deal was converted to an NBA contract after a collection of trades opened up several roster spots. Last week, Boston declined Hauser’s $1.6 million option for next season and made him a restricted free agent, making this multi-year deal possible.