Sources tell Heavy.com that among the ideas floated has been a deal centering on Rocket big man Christian Wood and Miami shooter Duncan Robinson. Involved people have downplayed there being anything substantive, and there would clearly be other moving parts involved. But others are saying there is at least some basketball sense to the talk. “I’ve got to think Houston wants more,” said one NBA GM. “And with the way they’ve been approaching things these last few weeks, I’d go as far as to say that’s for sure.
“Houston’s really been over-valuing Woods and Eric Gordon. They think they’re going to get back a major piece, but they’re unrealistic with their expectations. I’ve looked around the league at what they’re putting out there — and I know they have, too. And no one is willing to give up a cornerstone player.”
Two years ago, Robinson shot 46.6% when opponents were four feet or more away from him on 3-pointers, according to NBA.com stats. That is down to 39.5% this year. But while one league source said Miami wouldn’t feel bad about getting more shots for Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, a Heat source said the important factor with Robinson is that he gives Butler and Bam Adebayo more room to operate.
The same can be said of starting center Christian Wood. The 26-year-old has been subject to interest around the league, and sources say Miami has been one of the more persistent teams in engaging with Houston on the versatile big man. But barring a blow-me-away offer, Wood should remain in Houston past the deadline, sources tell The Athletic. He’s averaging 17.5 points and a career-best 10.3 rebounds per game.
Houston, obviously, is going to take calls on Eric Gordon and Christian Wood (it’ll take calls on John Wall, too, if only another team would make one). However, there’s no hurry since both are signed through next season. I badly want the center-less Hornets to take a run at Wood, although generating a matching salary could get tricky; Charlotte does have a lottery-protected future first from New Orleans to sweeten a deal.
Veterans D.J. Augustin, Danuel House Jr., Daniel Theis and Eric Gordon are all viewed around the league as viable trade candidates. Houston appears willing to listen to offers on Christian Wood, but that would require a first-round pick plus further capital.
Tim MacMahon on Christian Wood: The sense that I get is by no means are the Rockets looking to move him. Certainly there's potential for him to be in his prime when the young guys grow up, and maybe the Rockets are ready to be competitive again. But they're willing to listen and I think that you know, aside from Jalen Green, the Rockets should be willing to listen to every single guy on the roster.
With the Rockets focusing on developing young players, rival executives wonder how long it’ll be until Houston moves veterans, paving the way for Sengun to play more. There is an expectation around the NBA that Christian Wood, who’s in the second season of a three-year contract, will receive significant trade interest and that Houston will entertain offers. Wood is only 26, so Houston could keep him, but he’s no sure thing to stay come 2023; one of the reasons he signed with the Rockets over other interested teams was to play with James Harden, and Harden is long gone. Wood can offer a lot more to a team with playoff hopes than he can to the Rockets.
Mark Berman: Christian Wood (@Christian Wood) on being about as untouchable as a player can be at the trade deadline after being with six NBA teams in five years: “That’s crazy that actually you say that. I think this is my first time that you’re mentioning me being untouchable.” pic.twitter.com/f260dmcxRr
The Rockets of course have zero interest in dealing or even soliciting offers on Christian Wood. They will want to hang on to Jae’Sean Tate, who is reliably productive and defensively versatile at an inexpensive price.
Mark Berman: #Rockets make it official: acquired free agent forward/center Christian Wood from Detroit as part of a sign-and-trade. The Rockets traded forward Trevor Ariza, the rights to Isaiah Stewart (16th pick in 2020 NBA Draft), a future Houston second round pick, and cash... pic.twitter.com/zFnH6tVkQ2
James Edwards III: Wood is being added into the Ariza deal from draft night, per sources. That deal had not been made official yet.
The source said Kennard was never made available by Detroit, either, adding that he is the Pistons’ top asset, so the Pistons would need to be “blown away” by an offer for a player who would simply be added to Boston’s bench corps. According to the source, the Celtics were pursuing slightly lower-cost options, like Pistons big man Christian Wood, but nothing materialized.
James Edwards III: The #Celtics made an offer for the #Pistons’ Christian Wood. Detroit wasn’t interested in that offer, per a source.
Teams have inquired with the Pistons about both Christian Wood -- a free agent this summer -- and Svi Mykhailiuk, sources say. Given Wood's free agency, the Pistons might engage on that front. I'd be surprised if they dealt Mykhailiuk for future assets. Detroit is thin in young perimeter talent, and Mykhailiuk -- shooting 43% from deep this season on heavy volume -- has been a pleasant surprise. Detroit holds a small team option on him for next season. The Pistons should keep him.
League sources said Thon Maker, who makes $2.8 million this season, D.J. Wilson, who makes $2.5 million, or Christian Wood, who makes $1.5 million. would be potential candidates in a Korver-Dellavedova deal. Like Dellavedova, Maker, Wilson and Wood are buried on the Bucks’ depth chart. The Bucks aren’t the only team interested in Korver’s services. Sources said Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles Lakers are also among the Korver suitors.
August 14, 2022 | 3:06 am EDT Update
Brian Windhorst spent much of his Friday episode of “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast talking about Durant’s situation. Windhorst said he felt the Nets won the recent showdown between Durant and team owner Joe Tsai. But Windy doesn’t necessarily think that means all is over between the sides. In fact, Windhorst says he now could see a world where Durant holds out of training camp. “A week ago, if you had asked me, ‘Will Kevin Durant hold out of training camp if he is not traded?’ I would have been like, ‘eh, I can’t see it.’ Now I can see it. That is what we are headed towards,” Windhorst said.
Some analysts speculated that the Nets would play hardball with Durant. Brooklyn’s calculation would have depended upon Durant’s love of basketball. The thinking was that KD loves playing too much to sit out a season in order to get his way. Now Windhorst says he thinks a scenario of Durant sitting out could be on the table.
Longtime basketball writer Marc Stein reported on Saturday that a matchup between the Grizzlies and the rival Golden State Warriors is on the NBA’s preliminary schedule for the 2022-23 season. Morant, the Memphis star, responded to the news with some trash talk for Warriors counterpart Draymond Green. “we got what we wanted dray. @Money23Green,” Morant tweeted along with a photo of a heated moment he had on the court with Green last year. Green was actually fairly muted and deferential in his response to Morant, tweeting back, “That’s the power of your voice Young! Let’s gooooo! Bring the fam to the crib for dinner after.”
The lawsuit says that by sharing the photos, those involved — including the deputy at the bar and firefighters weeks later at an awards banquet — violated the victims’ families’ constitutional rights to control images of their loved ones’ remains. “Mrs. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online,” Bryant’s lawyers wrote in a complaint. “Many social media users have claimed to have seen photos of the victims’ remains, and their accounts are plausible given the number of deputies who took photos, the ease with which cellphone pictures are transmitted and saved in cloud storage, and the Sheriff’s Department’s egregious failure to take reasonable steps to prevent dissemination of the photos.”
Surveillance video inside the bar showing Cruz and Gutierrez interacting and appearing to look at Cruz’s cellphone together played throughout his testimony. At times, it appeared that Cruz and Gutierrez were smiling and laughing after viewing the photos — but Gutierrez disputed that interpretation. “What type of human being would laugh at photos of other human beings like that?” he said. Bryant, sitting in the courtroom, repeatedly wiped away tears and, at times, held her head in her hands. At one point, while Gutierrez testified about the photos, she asked the judge for permission to leave the courtroom. She stood up and walked out, wiping tears from her eyes. The trial is expected to last at least another week, with 52 total witnesses slated to appear. Villanueva and Bryant are among those scheduled to testify.
August 13, 2022 | 9:32 pm EDT Update
Draymond Green: That’s the power of your voice Young! Let’s goooo! Bring the fam to the crib for dinner after
USA Basketball has picked its 12-man roster for the opening second-round window of World Cup qualifying, as the Americans look to move closer to clinching a spot in the field for next year’s event. Jim Boylen will return as coach, assisted again by Ty Ellis and Othella Harrington.
The roster will include six players — Michael Frazier II, Langston Galloway, David Stockton, DaQuan Jeffries, John Jenkins and Eric Mika — who were with the Americans for the previous qualifying window in July. The other six players for games Aug. 25 in Las Vegas against Uruguay and at Colombia on Aug. 29 are Tyler Cavanaugh, Malik Ellison, Dewan Hernandez, Mac McClung, Robert Woodard II and McKinley Wright IV.