June 27, 2022 | 11:02 am EDT Update
There were some trade talks involving a few teams on draft night, but none of those deals materialized. With the draft now behind them, the Rockets plan to reassess things with Wall. Sources say a breakup between Wall and the franchise is gaining momentum, with both sides expected to meet this week with Wall’s hope of a resolution — a trade or, more likely, a buyout — by the June 30 start of free agency.
That’s also the Lakers’ only tool to improve in free agency, and they may have greater needs, particularly a 3-and-D wing with size who can complement James and Davis in the frontcourt, according to league sources. Monk would likely have to take a discount, as he could command a multi-year deal worth $10 million to $12 million annually on the open market, according to multiple league sources. And that projection could be on the low end. The Athletic’s John Hollinger’s BORD$ valuation of Monk has him worth $16,511,722 for the 2022-23 season (fourth among free-agent shooting guards and 14th overall).
The team had called the Thunder and Magic about potentially moving up to No. 2 or even No. 1, but they were more so inquiries to gauge either team’s willingness to even consider trading down. Ultimately, the Rockets didn’t feel a sense of urgency to give up a substantial package or premium asset to make that jump, especially when they were fine picking any of the top three players. “We thought about it a lot,” Stone told The Athletic in a recent phone interview. “But it wasn’t clear who we’d be moving up to. You think about moving up in every spot of the draft. You always think about that, that’s part of the job. But one of the nice things — and we knew on lottery night — was that we were going to get somebody that we thought could be part of our organization for a long time and really help us take the next step in this process we’re trying to build. That doesn’t mean you foreclose conversations; you talk to everybody about everything, but we always felt comfortable picking where we were picking and we’re really excited.”
“He gives us versatility, first and foremost,” Silas told The Athletic. “He can guard multiple positions. He gives us length and athleticism that we needed. But most of all, he gives us a defensive disposition, a mindset. That’s usually the most important part, a guy willing to defend, and is it something that he hangs his hat on — and that’s him. He has a gift as far as being long, athletic and quick and versatile, but he also has the mindset that goes with it. That’s super important.”
June 27, 2022 | 10:24 am EDT Update
Sam Amick: Joe, there are sources very close to the situation who strongly believe Irving is trying to make his way to the Lakers here and everything else is just (necessary) noise. The sense I get is that James is very open to the idea, but the dynamics are somewhat delicate too.
Sam Amick: Is the relationship between Irving and the Nets too far gone at this point, or is this just a case of tough negotiations? How does Durant see the Nets organization at the moment, not only in regards to the Irving situation but the James Harden mess that came before it as well? As for the Knicks, Alex, I’m also told from folks who would know that the (Brunson-focused) franchise has no real interest in Irving at the moment and fully expect him to return to Brooklyn on the contract of his choosing. As for the Clippers, I think they’re in wait-and-see mode (like a lot of teams right now) and trying to get a better understanding of all the dynamics at play here. We’ll know a whole lot more by week’s end.
Joe Vardon: Durant, meanwhile, is a different situation. He has four years left on his contract, starting at $43 million this year. At that big of a number, the return on such a trade would be so lucrative for Brooklyn that it would likely be able to turn around whatever “rebuild” it was undertaking very quickly. To your point, Alex, Tsai and Marks recognize this, and it’s working into their math. All of the grumbling about Durant considering his options … well, he doesn’t really have any. I mean, like other NBA stars, Durant could force his team to trade him, but when, where and for whom is totally up to the Nets. And league rules regarding trades being what they are, they would get a huge return for one of the very best players in the sport.