NBA Rumor: Terrence Ross Trade?

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One of the teams most eager to move its first-rounder along for immediate help is the Pelicans, who have won two straight games as they’ve gotten Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic back from injury but are still desperate for small forward help. A source told SN that the Pels made a pitch for small forward Kelly Oubre before Washington traded him to Phoenix, and New Orleans has continued to look for a starting-quality wing. The Pelicans have shown interest in Orlando small forward Terrence Ross, who has had a career year, but is a free agent this summer and uncertain to re-sign with the Magic.

The same deal the Raptors gave the Orlando Magic for Ibaka — swingman Terrence Ross and a first-round pick (the lesser of the Raptors’ own pick and a pick the Clippers have to convey from a previous deal) — the Bulls had been discussed for Gibson last season, sources tell CSNChicago.com. The exact parameters of such a deal this time around were vague but the Bulls were discussing a deal involving Gibson for a first-round pick with the Raptors. However, league sources tell CSNChicago.com that Ross wasn’t involved in these discussions.

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have acquired forward-centre Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward-guard Terrence Ross and a future first-round draft pick. “Our organization is excited to add a player of this caliber to our team as we strive to reach the next level,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “Serge Ibaka brings valuable postseason experience and elevates our talent level in many different areas. We thank Terrence for his dedication and service to the Raptors organization. He is a wonderful young man who has helped our team grow the last few seasons.”

“It’s been a challenge because what the league has done over the last few years has been dramatic in terms of the style of play and the sophisticated offenses that you are seeing now,’’ Magic coach Frank Vogel said of his team’s struggles in trying to adapt to 3-point-heavy, “small-ball’’ lineups. “You see the offensive numbers just sky-rocketing league-wide. I don’t think anyone in the Eastern Conference has a defensive rating under 102 (points per 100 possessions). That just wasn’t that way a year or two years ago and it’s largely about the spread lineups that you are seeing. So it has been tough to play two bigs,’’ Vogel continued. “That’s why we went to putting (Biyombo) solely as the back-up center.’’

The Raptors will send guard/forward Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick to the Magic, league sources said. Toronto owns two first-round picks in the draft – including the Clippers’ pick – and will send Orlando the lesser in value of the two choices, league sources said. Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri has long been intrigued with Ibaka, and made the deal with the expectation that the Raptors will be aggressive in working to re-sign Ibaka this summer, league sources said.

But Toronto has played hardball when it comes to acquiring power forward help. Caboclo does not figure to be part of any trade discussions, as he has been a project the team wants to complete itself. A source also said that Toronto has also long resisted the idea of trading sixth man Terrence Ross. The Raptors have been loath to mortgage the future entirely for players such as Gallinari, Gibson or Ibaka, all of whom can be free agents next summer (Gallinari has a player option worth $16 million, and could opt in for that final season).

Raptors interested in Nerlens Noel

The Raptors will need to move at least one big deal to have any hope of retaining both DeMar DeRozan and Biyombo, and teams will call about DeMarre Carroll. Toronto has already approached Philly about a deal sending out a rotation player — perhaps Terrence Ross, and other goodies — in exchange for Nerlens Noel, who could then assume Biyombo’s backup center role, according to league sources. The talks haven’t gained much traction yet.
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Storyline: Hasheem Thabeet NBA return?

Anthony Davis returning against the Mavericks?

Marc Stein: The Lakers continue to list Anthony Davis as out for Monday’s home date with Utah. So Davis’ return to the lineup likely comes Thursday or Saturday in Dallas against a Mavs team that has lost four straight at home … including tonight after the Kings had lost nine in a row. pic.twitter.com/76TPnvFZ7w