You look at the trade exception possibilities, and I think there are some realistic ones like Harrison Barnes. The Kings have been very bad lately. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if the Kings decided to move on from Barnes. I don’t think the price for him would be what it would be to get Grant or Vucevic.
Given Toronto has raw but intriguing Chris Boucher, who has seen an uptick in minutes and production, it’s fair to wonder how much his recent rise could alter the Raptors’ view of their center spot. A source with knowledge of the Mavericks’ thinking suggested Kevin Love as a much better fit given the team’s 3-point woes and desire to surround MVP candidate Luka Doncic with shooters. Love would also help boost Dallas’ problematic defensive rebounding metrics. Still, the Mavericks have two appealing expiring contracts — Tim Hardaway Jr. ($18 million) and James Johnson ($16 million) — that would help facilitate a deal.
The Rockets have no interest, according to an individual familiar with the team’s thinking, in pursuing their version of “The Process,” by trading off veterans to collect assets and losses that could help lottery chances.
There is significant interest in P.J. Tucker, who would not seem to fit in long-term plans. Because of the trades of James Harden and Robert Covington, the Rockets have restocked their supply of draft picks and won’t have to look to make any deal available to get picks back as they might have — and probably would have — when they had control of so few. Even more so with Victor Oladipo, the Rockets would not make a move unless it would be a trade that they would have made regardless of their situation in the standings or how they got there.
Unless something drastically changes over the next three weeks or Cleveland gets completely blown away by an offer it can’t refuse, don’t expect any of those five to go anywhere — even though calls keep coming and strong offers have been made for Nance, including one package with multiple late first-round picks, sources tell cleveland.com.
Nance would help a lot of teams and he’s on a multi-year bargain deal that makes it easy to come up with matching salaries. He’s the kind of versatile piece that contenders covet because of his defense, playmaking, shooting and impact on winning. According to sources, Nance is the player the Cavs have received the most calls about. Sources say the Minnesota Timberwolves have been aggressively pursuing him since the offseason. Nance’s old teammate and buddy D’Angelo Russell is a strong Nance advocate. Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami and Dallas have also shown interest.
Oladipo, however, remains in play for the Knicks as the Rockets are expected to trade him at the deadline as they slide into oblivion. Oladipo will be a free agent in 2021 and reportedly wants to sign with the Heat. That would make Oladipo a rental as the Knicks look to boost their bid to snap a seven-year playoff drought.