NBA Rumor: Dario Saric Trade?

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Ethan J. Skolnick: “So I don’t think there’s a market for Jimmy Butler right now because the teams that I thought could get really involved here—Philadelphia, I’ve heard they haven’t put Dario Saric on the table, they haven’t put Markelle Fultz on the table. You’re not making a deal without putting those two guys on the table. … The Clippers, I’ve heard, have not put Tobias Harris on the table, and I don’t know what else they’re front-lining a deal with. I’ve heard all along [the Clippers/Butler stuff] is overstated.”

The photo surfaced on Twitter on Monday after the Magic signed Patricio Garino out of the D-League. Garino’s agent took a picture of his client signing the contract. In the background, a wall-mounted dry-erase board listed potential Magic off-season trade and free-agency targets. The column devoted to trade targets included Saric’s last name and “for AG?” in parentheses next to Saric’s last name. “Typically, with rumors and stuff like that, we don’t really address them,” Vogel said today when asked about the photo. “But this is a unique situation, and I talked to him a little bit this morning, and everybody’s good. We’re ready to move on.”

“It’s ok,” Saric said after seeing a photo of the whiteboard. “Every team got rights to think about their future, to put it on board. But to comment, I don’t have something. It’s ok. To me, you are doing good if they have you on [their] mind like an option.” The irony is that Magic once had the rights to Saric. In the 2014 draft, the Sixers used the 10th overall pick on Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton. Two picks later, the Magic drafted Saric. Then the Sixers traded Payton to the Magic for Saric, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2015 second-round selection.
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May 26, 2022 | 10:36 am EDT Update

Ivica Zubac: 'I want to stay and I think the Clippers want to keep me'

The Clippers have until June 29 to exercise a $7.5 million team option on Zubac’s contract and they are widely expected to do it after the big man’s displays this last year and justified projections that he can improve further. “I want to stay and I think they want to keep me,” Zubac said. “I think I should be there and they’re going to pick it up. I like Los Angeles a lot and I like the Clippers. It’s like a family to me. Hopefully, everything is going to work out.”
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Zubac is fresh off his most productive run in his NBA trip so far. The 25-year-old center averaged career-highs in all statistical categories with 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 blocks over “I think I did better than the previous year,” Zubac, 25, said on his 2021-22 performances with the Clippers. “I think that I improved on some stuff. There was more opportunity for me offensively and I think I took advantage of that. We didn’t make the playoffs in the end but considering all the injuries and missing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard throughout the season, I think we did a pretty good job in the regular season. Fighting and finishing with a winning record.”
For those who want the Knicks to be a solid, respectable, playoff team a lot sooner than that, let me introduce you to Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon. The University of Virginia alum averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds last season. He shot 44.8 percent overall (31.2 percent from 3) and is a terrific free-throw shooter. Now 29, Brogdon is set to make $22.6 million next season in the final year of his contract. And according to NBA sources, he is available in a trade for the right package, a possibility that has some members of the Knicks front office intrigued if they strike out on free agent Jalen Brunson.

Nikola Jokic comfortable with direction of Nuggets

Nuggets management has been in touch with Nikola Jokic in the days following Tim Connelly’s stunning departure, and the team’s franchise superstar is comfortable with the direction of the team, a league source told The Denver Post. The two parties have spoken over the phone, allaying concerns over Connelly’s exit for Minnesota, which became official Monday.
Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth is widely expected to assume responsibilities running the team, although nothing’s been made official from the organization. Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke is scheduled to address the media for the first time in years on Thursday. Jokic is close with Connelly, who helped orchestrate the Nuggets’ impromptu trip to Serbia two weeks ago to present him with the MVP trophy. Typically laidback and reserved, Jokic has generally deferred questions about roster decisions to team management. He’s often said he has trust in those tasked with filling out the roster around him.