“Do you see the Grizz trying to sign ZBO if he is bought out by Sacramento? Then retire at the end of the season.” Nothing has changed on this front since I last dismissed it. I continue to think a portion of the fan base hungers for it much more than the Grizzlies do. But it’s also worth noting that as long as Randolph is accepting of the status quo in Sacramento – and he seems to be – there’s no reason for the Kings to buy him out until after the trade deadline. They don’t have their draft pick this summer and really want to win this year. Randolph’s $11.7 million expiring contract could be a trade chip.
Five-star forward Akok Akok is considering bypassing college and entering the NBA Draft, he tells 247Sports. “I’ve been thinking about it since July,” Akok said. “I knew I was eligible and it could be potential option.”
What does the future hold for Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota? That’s the most prevalent question in league coaching circles after Thibodeau, Minnesota’s coach and team president, was forced to trade away an unhappy Butler just 16 months after going all in to pry Butler from the Chicago Bulls on draft night in 2017. The growing assumption, of course, is that Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden will pay for the implosion of the all-too-brief Butler Era at season’s end. It’s the natural conclusion in the wake of Butler’s departure, as well as the perception that Thibodeau was unwisely devoted to his disgruntled superstar at the expense of Minnesota’s young cornerstone duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Yet as sensible as all that may sound in the wake of the eight-week Butler circus, don’t forget to file away what we just witnessed. As he just reminded us all, Minnesota’s owner Glen Taylor tends to move with great (as in snail-slow) deliberation.
After Butler plays 39 minutes in a loss to the Clippers that dropped the Wolves to 0-3 on the trip, the Wolves have conversations with the Heat about a possible trade. But the Heat inform the Wolves that Richardson is no longer on the table after his stellar start to the season, and the Wolves move on. Minnesota begins to engage seriously with Philadelphia, New Orleans and Houston. New Orleans’ package is headlined by Nikola Mirotic and an unprotected first-round draft pick and the Rockets’ proposal has Eric Gordon, Nene and two first-round picks, sources said. The 76ers come with their proposal around Robert Covington and Dario Saric, leaving the Timberwolves to deliberate.