NBA Free Agency and Trade Review: Celtics Playing Musical Chairs, Nets Seek Lopez Deal
Whilst Boston continued their quest to be involved in every single trade completed up until the deadline and monopolize future drafts, it was a reasonably quiet week on the free agency and trade market. That being said, there was an inundation of trade rumours surrounding a number of players who could be shipped off in the coming weeks. On this front, Brooklyn were extremely close to accepting a deal that would have sent Brook Lopez to Oklahoma City and subsequently turned the Western Conference on it’s head yet again. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at what went down this week…
Boston and Denver Exchange Guards
Boston Celtics receive: Nate Robinson
Denver Nuggets receive: Jameer Nelson
If you’re a veteran and still sitting on the Celtics’ books, you need to prepare to be traded because Danny Ainge will find a deal for you, no matter if Boston doesn’t receive anything in return. This is exactly what happened to Jameer Nelson as Boston offloaded his $2.85 million player-option for next season to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Nate Robinson. The Celtics quickly negotiated a buyout of Nate Robinson’s $2.1 million contract, leaving him free to sign with a championship contender, of which the Los Angeles Clippers are said to be the favourite to land him. For the Nuggets, they’ve swapped heat-check shooting for a player with a high Basketball IQ and solid passing game who can better fill the void left by Ty Lawson (than Nate Robinson) to run the offense with the second unit.
The Clippers, Heat and Wizards also have joined Cavaliers in expressing interest in free agent point guard Nate Robinson, a source said.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 15, 2015
Austin and Doc Rivers Become First Father/Son Duo in the NBA
Los Angeles Clippers receive: Austin Rivers
Boston Celtics receive: Chris Douglas-Roberts, Shavlik Randolph and a 2017 second-round pick (LAC)
Phoenix Suns receive: Reggie Bullock
Is Austin Rivers really an upgrade over Jordan Farmar?
From the stats, Farmar is a better shooter from the line, field and deep whilst almost replicating Rivers’ stats in 7 less minutes per game. Nevertheless, maybe becoming the first player in NBA history to be coached in a regular season game by his father will significantly help Rivers’ live up to the expectations that he gathered by being taken 10th overall in the 2012 draft. So far, Rivers’ has been extremely disappointing, but at just 22 and with age on his side, can he turn it around under his father?
As for the other parts of the deal, the Suns swapped veteran role player Shavlik Randolph (to the Celtics – if he isn’t traded, he’ll probably be waived) for a look at ‘3 and D’ guy Reggie Bullock whilst the Celtics swindled a pick out of the Clippers and acquired Chris Douglas-Roberts to subsequently waive him. The Clippers waived Jordan Farmar in order to accommodate the deal financially.
In Denver, Coby Karl was on the roster and inactive under his dad @CoachKarl22. So technically Austin will be first when he plays for Doc
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 15, 2015
10-Day Contract Signings
- The New Orleans Pelicans signed Nate Wolters to a 10-day contract
- The Los Angeles Clippers signed Dahntay Jones to a 10-day contract
- The Philadelphia 76ers signed Larry Drew II to a 10-day contract
- The Utah Jazz signed Elijah Millsap and Elliot Williams to their second 10-day contracts
- The New York Knicks signed Langston Galloway, Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson to their second 10-day contracts
- The San Antonio Spurs signed JaMychal Green to a 10-day contract
- The Sacramento Kings signed Quincy Miller to a 10-day contract
- The Golden State Warriors signed James Michael McAdoo to a 10-day contract
- The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Miroslav Raduljica to a second 10-day contract
- The Milwaukee Bucks signed Kenyon Martin to a second-10 day contract
- The Boston Celtics may sign Andre Dawkins to a 10-day contract
I’d be stunned if Elijah Millsap isn’t retained by the Jazz for the rest of the season after his second 10-day deal expires. — Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 15, 2015
On my way out of town: ESPN sources say Celtics bringing Sioux Falls sharpshooter Andre Dawkins to Boston this week with view to a 10-day
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 19, 2015
- The Boston Celtics placed Nate Robinson and Chris Douglas-Roberts on waivers
- The Los Angeles Clippers placed Jordan Farmar on waivers
- The San Antonio Spurs placed Austin Daye on waivers
The Brook Lopez for Lance Stephenson Deal That Nearly Was
As early as last month it was reported that the Brooklyn Nets were exploring their trade options with Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Similarly for the Charlotte Hornets, it’s been well documented that they’re open to offers regarding Lance Stephenson, who wants to play for his hometown Nets at some point in his career. It was only a matter of time until talks began between the two clubs, and it almost resulted in a three team trade involving Oklahoma City. According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the potential deal would have sent Brook Lopez to Oklahoma City, Lance Stephenson and Kendrick Perkins to Brooklyn and Jarrett Jack, Jeremy Lamb and Grant Jerrett to Charlotte. It was reported that the Hornets and Thunder were ready to make the deal, however the Nets killed off the trade talks after deciding not to acquire Stephenson from Charlotte because it was “too risky”. Brooklyn have also received a number of other calls regarding Lopez from teams such as the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets, but nothing further has come out of those discussions thus far.
The most recent developments are not as serious (in terms of how imminent a deal is) as the initial trade talks, but indicate that Brooklyn are still willing to send Brook Lopez to Oklahoma City. In order to help make that happen, it’s been speculated that the Thunder would send Jeremy Lamb to the Nets, whilst the Minnesota Timberwolves would recieve Kendrick Perkins and future draft picks in exchange for Thaddeus Young, who would be shipped to Brooklyn. There hasn’t been any word about these discussions for a number of days, but it’s expected that Brook Lopez will be traded by the deadline and Oklahoma City appears to be the most likely destination for him at the moment.
More importantly: Sources say one option that strongly interests Nets, IF Brook L trade goes down, is trying to deal Perk for Thaddeus Young
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 16, 2015
ESPN sources say Wolves are willing to move Thaddeus Young as part of ongoing rebuild and Young said to be high on list players BKN covets — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 16, 2015
Boston Buyouts – Tayshaun Prince and Marcus Thornton
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops indicated that the Celtics were in discussions with Tayshaun Prince and Marcus Thornton about possible contract buyouts to clear salary cap space. However Boston are said to be exploring trade avenues with the newly acquired Prince before resorting to a buyout. The Los Angeles Clippers are rumoured to be interested in Prince if he is waived and made a free agent.
As Tayshaun Prince prepares to meet with Celtics to discuss future, the Clippers have registered interest in acquiring him, source says.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) January 17, 2015
New York’s Roster Clear Out – Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire
New York’s roster clear-out is well underway and as ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ian Begley have reported, the Knicks are actively looking to deal away the few remaining veterans on the roster, namely Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani. Amar’e Stoudemire won’t be traded and is rumoured to be having his contract bought out if he would like to have a shot at a championship with a contending team. Given that there may not be much of a market for Bargnani, New York are prepared to waive him before the deadline if they cannot find a landing spot, however with Calderon, the Knicks should have plenty of suitors willing to take him on to provide valuable minutes in a sixth man role. Yet, moving Calderon’s contract may not be as easy as it seems considering that he is due to be paid $15.1 million over the next two years. No potential deals have been rumoured as of yet, but the Houston Rockets spring to mind as a team in need of solid minutes off the bench at the point guard spot.
Denver Fire Sale? – Arron Afflalo,Wilson Chandler and Randy Foye
The Denver Nuggets currently sit 11th in the West at 18-23, but given the strength of the teams above them, it already looks as though their playoff hopes are all but over (barring a significant turnaround). With this in mind, much of their roster is being sought after by championship contenders as possible pieces who can add much needed bench depth. According to various reports, the Nuggets are receiving heavy interest from a number of teams regarding the availability of Arron Afflalo (Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets), Wilson Chandler (Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers) and Randy Foye (no specific teams mentioned).
Nuggets coach Brian Shaw has responded to the rumours, indicating that the team isn’t actively shopping these players, but they are fielding calls from the rumoured teams. With the level of talent on offer in Denver and championship contenders will to pay a high price for depth (E.G Mozgov to Cleveland for 2 first-rounders) I’d expect the Nuggets to make a number of moves before the deadline including the players aforementioned and others like Danilo Gallinari, Alonzo Gee, Darrell Arthur and JaVale McGee.
— NBA In The Know (@NBAITK) January 15, 2015
After being waived by Boston, Nate Robinson is hot property for championship contenders who are looking for bench depth at the guard spots. According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, the Cavaliers, Clippers, Heat and Wizards were all interested in signing Robinson, however further developments have seen Washington and Cleveland’s interest dwindle. As it stands, the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be the favourites to sign Robinson, further questioning the front office (and Doc’s) thinking over the Austin Rivers trade.
I'm told the Los Angeles Clippers are looking like the frontrunners to land free agent Nate Robinson. Nothing imminent, but mutual interest.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 16, 2015
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports, the Miami Heat have put Norris Cole on the trading block and are expected to move him before the deadline. Cole is aware of Miami’s efforts to move him and was reportedly part of the Heat’s offer to the Nets for Brook Lopez. With Miami recently re-signing Mario Chalmers and drafting Shabazz Napier, Cole has faced declining minutes and has only twice played over 20 minutes in a game this season.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports has reported that the Sacramento Kings are willing to trade Nik Stauskas for another forward to pair with DeMarcus Cousins in the frontcourt. Berger speculates that the Kings could also include any combination of Reggie Evans, Jason Thompson or Derrick Williams in a possible deal, pushing the potential salary of an incoming player into the $10 to $11 million range. Whilst there have been no further reports, one player who fits the profile is Thaddeus Young, who is rumoured to be a player that the Minnesota Timberwolves are willing to part ways with in order to accelerate the development of their young core.
ESPN’s Chad Ford indicated in a SportNation Q&A that the Philadelphia 76ers are open to trading Michael Carter-Williams, but want multiple first-round draft picks in return. Ford indicated that many teams have had exploratory discussions with the Sixers regarding the availability of Carter-Williams, however, the high asking price of multiple first-rounders is deterring teams from engaging in serious talks and making trade proposals. Despite being the reigning rookie of the year and averaging 15.5 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds per game this season, Ford made it clear that many teams are unsure whether Carter-Williams is the real deal or just a player who puts up numbers on a bad team. Evidently, many teams around the league a unwilling to take the gamble to find out.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Phoenix Suns are looking to offload third-year center Miles Plumlee for a future first-round pick. After the Suns acquired Brandan Wright from the Celtics, Plumlee has faced dwindling minutes as the third choice center on the depth chart, averaging just 13.5 minutes per game this month as opposed to 24.5 minutes per game prior to the trade. He started all but 1 game (that he played, 79 starts) for the Suns last season, averaging 8 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block per game, however lost the starting position at the beginning of this season to Alex Len, who has bounced back from an injury-hampered, but disappointing rookie year. There is yet to be any word on which teams (if any) are interested in trading for Plumlee.
Latest trade rumble from the @nbadleague Showcase: ESPN sources say Suns actively shopping young big man Miles Plumlee
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 18, 2015
As Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports has reported, Tyrus Thomas is close to signing a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. Thomas has recently been playing in the D-League with the Iowa Energy in an attempt to make a comeback to the NBA after a near 2 year absence. At 28, the 4th pick in the 2006 draft believes that he can still carve out a solid career in the NBA after receiving surgery last year to remove a cyst from his spinal cord. So far this in the D-League season he has averaged 14 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and impressed many of the scouts present at the D-League showcase.
The Grizzlies are in "serious discussions" with free agent forward Tyrus Thomas about signing him to a 10-day contract, a source told Yahoo.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 20, 2015
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