Rudy Gay is available, multiple league sources tell SheridanHoops.com.
And the list does not end there.
Ryan Anderson is on the wish list of several teams. Josh Smith can be had … again. Markieff Morris is playing again in what looks like a showcase. Terrence Jones’ name is resurfacing again, along with Houston Rockets teammate Corey Brewer — who is eligible to be dealt as of 12:01 a.m. EST Friday.
The NBA trade deadline is a month away, and GMs are working the phones more diligently. Teams are either looking to land a difference maker for a playoff push, or spur a rebuilding effort by shedding salary and veterans blocking the development of younger players on the rise.
The Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans are two of several teams that have aggressively worked the phones. The Kings called the Pelicans and offered Gay for Anderson, league sources tell SheridanHoops.
The Pelicans have been searching for help on the wing, including potential D-League call-up options such as Orlando Johnson. Starting small forward Quincy Pondexter has missed the entire season thus far and is scheduled for left knee surgery.
At 29, Gay is a proven scorer in the prime of his career who can create his own shot and play both forward positions. Gay is on the books for $13.3 million next season and has a $14.2 million player option for the 2017-18 season.
Anderson is the type of stretch-4 who would provide needed floor spacing with Rajon Rondo as the floor general and DeMarcus Cousins – the league’s best center – anchoring the post. Anderson, a career 38 percent 3-point shooter in the final year of his contract, will be one of the NBA’s most coveted unrestricted free agents.
However, the Pelicans – who are in contention to land top lottery picks Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram – have declined Sacramento’s proposal for now.
Looking ahead, one team that is expected to make a run at Anderson this summer is the Detroit Pistons, league sources tell SheridanHoops. Stan Van Gundy paired Anderson with Dwight Howard in the frontcourt when the two were with the Orlando Magic together. Van Gundy has a younger version of Howard in Andre Drummond who needs shooters around him to be effective. Last season, the frontcourt pair of Drummond and Greg Monroe failed because two big men clogged the paint and both needed the ball on the block to post up.
Anderson was also the subject of trade discussions with the Phoenix Suns, who offered Markieff Morris earlier this season.
However, the Suns would now prefer a package of young players or draft picks in any trade for Morris, league sources tell SheridanHoops. Phoenix currently holds the sixth-worst record in the league at 13-27 with point guard Eric Bledsoe out for the remainder of the season. The playoffs look out of reach, even in the weakened Western Conference, and Morris is back in the rotation, having played 27 minutes while jacking up a team-high 18 shots in Tuesday night’s 19-point loss to the Pacers.
The Houston Rockets were also seen as a potential trade partner for Morris earlier this season. The Rockets discussed a proposal of Terrence Jones and Corey Brewer for Morris a month ago, as I previously reported in a column on SheridanHoops.
Jones remains available, while Brewer’s no-trade restriction lifts Friday. Houston originally dangled Donatas Motiejunas as trade bait along with Jones, but the organization has now prioritized keeping Motiejunas. The Rockets are unlikely to pay both Jones and Motiejunas as restricted free agents this summer. Motiejunas is considered the better of the two, making Jones more expendable.
Former Rockets forward Josh Smith remains available for the taking from the Los Angeles Clippers. Smith has only played in three of the last 11 games. On Wednesday, he played 20 minutes with both DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin out. Smith played more minutes in that game than from December 19 through January 12 in total.
Another veteran who could use a change of scenery is Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin. The Timberwolves want to move Martin to give more playing time at the wing spots to youngsters Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad.
Teams that expressed exploratory interest in Martin include the Milwaukee Bucks (as I previously reported), the Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks. However, teams interested in Martin are hesitant on pulling the trigger on a deal due to his $7.4 million player option.
Since then, candidates such as Bryan Colangelo and Danny Ferry have surfaced to fill King’s shoes, and Mark Jackson and Tom Thibodeau have been mentioned to replace Hollins.
Colangelo, a two-time winner of Executive of the Year, has been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers as well after ownership brought in his dad, Jerry, as chairman.
Ferry was a candidate for Broklyn’s GM position before King was hired. Since then, he built a contender with the Atlanta Hawks. The major concern regarding Ferry is his comments regarding Luol Deng, which led to his departure in Atlanta. Nonetheless, the talk of Ferry as a candidate should be taken seriously, league sources tell SheridanHoops.
John Calipari would want a dual role similar to Stan Van Gundy in management and coaching responsibilities. Heck, he might even want a partial ownership stake.
It will take a king’s ransom for Brooklyn to pry Calipari – the organization’s top target – away from Kentucky. If you’re Calipari, you might as well ask for a king’s ransom if Brooklyn offers the throne.
Another name to keep in mind is Orlando Magic assistant GM Scott Perry. The team is on track with a lot of young talent after losing Dwight Howard and rebuilding for three years. Brooklyn is in a similar boat since it will take possibly three years to get the team pointed in the right direction thanks to a dearth of draft picks and trade assets.
Perry was Detroit’s director of player personnel from 2002-07 and part of the 2004 championship squad. Before that, he was coach at Eastern Kentucky from 1997-2000 and spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan, California and Detroit Mercy.
Having experience in all phases of basketball operations, Perry is worthy of consideration for the job.