A memorable All-Star weekend has come and gone, and now it’s back to business as usual.
With the trade deadline just days away, teams will look to do whatever they can to improve their current situation. Without wasting any time, lets get right to what’s going on around the league.
TIMBERWOLVES AND GRIZZLIES LOOKING TO DEAL?
Both teams are currently out of the playoff picture in the West, but the Memphis Grizzlies are just 1 1/2 games behind the Golden State Warriors for the eighth seed. Looking to bolster their roster, they are in discussion with the Minnesota Timberwolves about a deal involving Chase Budinger, Tayshaun Prince and perhaps some other moving parts, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
The Memphis Grizzlies are discussing a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves centered on forward Chase Budinger and guard J.J. Barea, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Memphis wants to include forward Tayshaun Prince into the package and the deal could be expanded to include guard Tony Allen, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Components of a proposed deal are still fluid.
Memphis has been furiously trying to unload Prince and the remaining $7.2 million (2013-’14) and $7.7 million (2014-’15) on his contract, league sources said.
Minnesota general manager Flip Saunders is believed to want to add defensive toughness to his roster, and that would make Allen a natural to fill the Wolves’ void.
NETS HAVE INTEREST IN JORDAN HILL AND JARRETT JACK:
After struggling for much of the season, the Brooklyn Nets have been on the right path since the beginning of January. The fact still remains, however, that they are still missing a huge part of their lineup in Brook Lopez. To compensate, they may have interest in acquiring the services of Jordan Hill, according to Woj:
The Los Angeles Lakers have had discussions on a deal to send forward Jordan Hill to the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Nets have a $5.25 million disabled player exception that they can use in a trade or free-agent transaction until March 10, and could use a portion to absorb the remaining $3.5 million on Hill’s expiring contract.
Nevertheless, the luxury tax penalty on absorbing Hill’s contract would be extraordinary for Brooklyn: Nearly $17 million. Hill could give the Nets a capable power forward and center replacement for a run at the postseason, but ultimately ownership would have to be willing to sign off on expanding its record $190 million-plus combined payroll and luxury tax.
Hill would provide instant improvement in helping the second-worst rebounding team in the league with what would be a team-leading seven rebounds in just 19 minutes of play.
Another player of interest for the Nets is Jarrett Jack, who has been wasting away in Cleveland this season after a stellar run with the Golden State Warriors last season, from Marc Stein and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, eager to add a proven ballhandler and backcourt scorer to their bench rotation, are willing to take on the two remaining guaranteed seasons worth in excess of $12 million left on Jack’s contract despite the luxury-tax implications.
But it’s believed that the Cavs, if they decided to go ahead with such a move, would try to find a third team to absorb Terry’s contract. Terry, 36, has one season left on his deal after this one at $5.85 million and is averaging just 4.5 points on 36.2 percent shooting in 16 minutes per game.
This would be a fantastic move for the Nets, given their need for a legitimate backup point guard with Shaun Livingston now playing shooting guard alongside Deron Williams.
KNICKS STILL INTERESTED IN LOWRY:
Despite recent reports stating that the Toronto Raptors essentially no longer have any interest in dealing Kyle Lowry, the New York Knicks are still looking to acquire the point guard. If they can’t acquire him, though, they may look for a possible three-team deal to bring in Jeff Teague, according to Ian Begley of ESPN NY:
With the NBA trade deadline three days away, the Knicks continue to try to engage the Raptors in an attempt to acquire point guard Kyle Lowry, according to league sources.
The Knicks are offering packages including Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Beno Udrih, sources say. They have been reluctant to include sharpshooting rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. or a future first-round draft pick in any deal. One of those two pieces is believed to be a prerequisite for Toronto to consider giving up Lowry.
“It comes down to, can they talk themselves into getting rid of a first-rounder or Hardaway Jr. for Lowry?” one league source said.
One scenario to keep an eye on, though, is the possibility of a three-team deal involving the Hawks and point guard Jeff Teague. Atlanta has all of its first-round picks in the next four drafts and could conceivably send one to Toronto to satisfy the Raptors’ demand for a draft pick.
League sources say a scenario in which Teague ends up in Toronto, Shumpert goes to Atlanta and Lowry winds up in New York has been discussed. Another scenario could have Teague ending up in New York. The conversations are believed to be preliminary.
Whether is Lowry or Teague, if the Knicks can pull off a deal to bring in one of these guards, it would be a big win and a certain upgrade from the disappointing Raymond Felton.
RAJON RONDO STILL CARRYING PLENTY OF VALUE:
Check out the discussion the Sacramento Kings had with Boston Celtics about acquiring Rajon Rondo, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Source said Kings and C’s discussed a deal involving Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore and a pick for Rajon Rondo, but Rondo wasn’t interested in re-signing with Sacramento and the Kings strongly value McLemore.
That’s an awful lot of value for a point guard coming off a major knee surgery.
CLIP OF THE DAY: