With the 2022 NBA Draft in the rearview mirror, we're now less than a week away from free agency kicking off. With plenty of fireworks expected to occur, BasketballNews is tracking down every single rumor for your one-stop shop on the Association's latest rumblings.
Here's the latest intel from around the league:
Lakers, Nets discussion blockbuster trade centered around Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving
The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are actively engaged in trade discussions centered on a Russell Westbrook-Kyrie Irving package, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Haynes also included that the Nets want to include Joe Harris, but the Lakers prefer Seth Curry instead.
"Draft compensation is an ongoing talking point for the Nets and they want shooting guard Joe Harris — who is recovering from left ankle surgery — and his remaining $38.6 million owed over the next two years included in the deal, sources said.
"The Lakers have been disinclined to the inclusion of Harris, and are instead seeking the insertion of sharpshooter Seth Curry as part of the arrangement, sources said."
Zion Williamson signs max extension with Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has agreed on a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie extension that could earn him as much as $231 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Warriors sign Donte DiVincenzo
Free agent Donte DiVincenzo has agreed to a two-year, $9.3 million deal with the Golden State Warriors, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Utah Jazz are trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
"The Timberwolves will send Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, No. 22 pick Walker Kessler and four first-round picks to the Jazz, according to ESPN. "Utah will acquire unprotected picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027 and a top-five-protected pick in 2029, sources said."
This is an enormous haul from Minnesota, but Gobert is a four-time All-NBA selection, three-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year. This move gives the Wolves a generational defender to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt.
Last season, Minnesota was 46-36, finishing as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. Now, we'll see if they can make some more noise in the West given their new-look core.
Pacers trade Malcolm Brogdon to Celtics
The Indiana Pacers are trading guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Woj later added that the Celtics are sending Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and a 2023 first-round pick.
The Celtics definitely made it their mission to improve their squad after coming within two wins of their 18th championship. Even if Brogdon is a walking injury risk, this was a risk worth taking knowing what he could do for Boston on the court.
Hawks trade Kevin Huerter to Kings
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks are trading Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings for Justin Holiday, Mo Harkless and a future first round pick.
Celtics sign Danilo Gallinari
Danilo Gallinari is signing a two-year deal with the Boston Celtics after being released by the San Antonio Spurs and clearing waivers.
According to Italian reporter Davide Chinellato, it will be a two-year, $13M deal with a player option for the second year.
Blazers re-sign Jusuf Nurkic
Free agent center Jusuf Nurkic has agreed on a new four-year, $70 million deal to stay with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
NBA All-Star Zach LaVine has agreed to a five-year, $215.2 million maximum contract to return to the Chicago Bulls, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes, free agent forward Otto Porter, Jr. is signing with the Toronto Raptors on a two-year deal.
Playing with Devin Booker main motivation for Kevin Durant requesting trade to Suns
Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill dropped off a late-night bombshell related to the Kevin Durant situation. According to Goodwill, Durant wants to play alongside Devin Booker in Phoenix.
"Sources told Yahoo Sports wanting to play alongside Devin Booker is a main motivation, along with the possibility of being slated to next to Miami's resident hard-ass Jimmy Butler -- two players who attendance is rarely question."
As noted above, Goodwill also notes that Jimmy Butler is a favorite of Durant's. Both Booker and Butler would be picture-perfect fits alongside Durant on a bonafide championship contender.
Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes first reported the Suns as Durant's preferred destination as the dominoes continue to lead that direction following Thursday's shocking news.
Kyle Anderson signs with Timberwolves
Kyle Anderson has agreed to a two-year, $18M deal to join the Timberwolves, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes, free agent center JaVale McGee has reached an agreement with the Dallas Mavericks.
Shams Charania of The Athletic details that it's a three-year, $20.1M deal.
Nic Claxton re-signs with Nets
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, restricted free agent center Nic Claxton has agreed on a two-year, $20 million deal to return to the Brooklyn Nets.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Lonnie Walker IV is signing a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Free agent center Isaiah Hartenstein has agreed to a two-year, $16 million-plus deal with the New York Knicks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Free agent F Nic Batum has agreed to a two-year deal to return to the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Free agent guard Tyus Jones is returning to the Memphis Grizzlies on a two-year, $30M deal.
Mo Bamba re-signs with Magic
Free agent center Mo Bamba has reached an agreement with the Orlando Magic on a two-year, $21 million deal, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Victor Oladipo re-signs with Heat
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, free agent Victor Oladipo has agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal to return to the Miami Heat.
Thunder, Lu Dort agree to $87.5 million extension
Free agent guard Lu Dort has agreed to a five-year, $87.5M deal to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dort was previously one of the best valued contracts in the entire NBA and now gets rewarded for his play.
Joe Ingles signs with Bucks
Free agent forward Joe Ingles reached an agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to his wife.
Sixers, PJ Tucker agree to 3-year, $33 million deal
Free agent PJ Tucker is finalizing a three-year, $33.2 million fully guaranteed deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tucker had been looking for a guaranteed three years and he gets it from Philadelphia.
Kings sign Malik Monk
Free agent guard Malik Monk is signing a two-year, $19M deal to join the Sacramento Kings, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Monk had a breakout season with the Los Angeles Lakers and now cashes in with a move to the Kings.
Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets, Suns reportedly preferred destination
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant officially requested a trade at the beginning of free agency.
One of Durant's preferred destinations is the Phoenix Suns, per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.
The potential bidding war for Durant could soon reach historic levels.
Pacers, Timberwolves mystery teams on Deandre Ayton pursuit?
In the latest episode of The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN's Brian Windhorst threw out two teams who are flying under the radar as potential Deandre Ayton destinations.
"I would keep an eye on Indiana. Indiana had some interest in him at the trade deadline last year. They ended up doing a different trade, Sabonis for Tyrese Haliburton. I did check on this back then, Indiana was interested. Phoenix didn't want to touch their core. They thought they had a potential championship team then and the Ayton thing was hanging over. They knew they were nowhere close on contract negotations last fall for an extension."
The Pacers circling back around on Ayton makes sense, because he fits right into their young core's timeline. Ayton would also be the No. 1 scoring option for the Pacers leading a group featuring Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte.
The Timberwolves are another team to watch closely on Ayton, who continue to poke around about any potential big man to pair alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.
"Another team to watch would be Minnesota," Windhorst said. "Minnesota is looking for a shot-blocker."
Suns reluctant to offer Deandre Ayton max contract, both sides want to move on
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on NBA Today, the Phoenix Suns are reluctant to offer former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton a max contract.
"Most teams around the league, and those who would like to acquire Deandre Ayton, expect that this is going to end up in a sign-and-trade scenario," Wojnarowski said. "The Suns have been reluctant to offer a full max deal. They allowed Ayton to get into restricted free agency. In the end, they can find a deal somewhere and get some assets back for Ayton. There's max money in the marketplace for Deandre Ayton."
Ever since the Suns' season ended, they have been unwilling to throw much public support in Ayton's direction. Now, it seems very likely the two sides are heading for a split.
"It's clear I think both sides I think are ready to move on, especially if it's going to be at a max number," Wojnarowski said.
Knicks pursuing Dejounte Murray?
According to Marc Stein, the New York Knicks could look to make a run at San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray to pair alongside their big free-agent signing Jalen Brunson. With the Knicks adding multiple future first-round picks in a draft-night trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, they have the assets to pursue the All-Star in a potential blockbuster.
If the Knicks are able to pull this off, they would become a real playoff contender overnight. Adding Murray and Brunson alongside Julius Randle and RJ Barrett could certainly help them make noise in the Eastern Conference.
Stay tuned, because New York feels like a team ready to make a serious offseason splash or two.
Mavericks will engage Knicks for sign-and-trade on Jalen Brunson
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Dallas Mavericks will engage the New York Knicks on sign-and-trade scenarios around free agent guard Jalen Brunson. Over the last week, momentum has continued to build toward Brunson signing in New York, which now seems like a formality.
As Stein noted, the Knicks do not have to comply with Dallas. If New York is able to shed more salary in advance of free agency, they can outright sign Brunson without any hiccups.
Spurs embracing full-scale rebuild?
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer appearing on Dunc'd On Prime with Nate Duncan, he's hearing around the league the San Antonio Spurs are seriously considering pivoting towards a rebuild. As Dejounte Murray trade talks with the Atlanta Hawks continue to heat up, San Antonio might be ready to embrace the tank.
"A lot of people I have talked to around the league from other teams have certainly started to say that they are under the impression the Spurs are ready to pivot to full rebuild," Fischer said.
If San Antonio trades away Murray, they are setting themselves up to secure a top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak says they will re-sign Miles Bridges
During the Charlotte Hornets' introductory press conference with head coach Steve Clifford, GM Mitch Kupchak ended a lot of rumors surrounding wing Miles Bridges. According to Kupchak, Bridges isn't going anywhere as a restricted free agent.
"We love Miles. We're going to bring him back," Kupchak said.
Bridges, who is the No. 6 ranked free agent on BasketballNews, looks very likely to stay in Charlotte for the long run.
Warriors prioritizing Kevon Looney
According to The Athletic's Anthony Slater, the Warriors are priortizing re-signing big man Kevon Looney. After playing an instrumental role on their run to a championship, Looney's value on the Warriors is immense.
As Slater wrote, the Warriors' front office plans to meet with Looney shortly after free agency begins on Thursday. Many teams were planning on pursuing Looney, but now he seems very likely to stay put with the champions in Golden State.
No interest in D'Angelo Russell?
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been gauging trade value around the league on point guard D'Angelo Russell. However, there seems to be little to no interest out there in the former No. 2 overall pick.
"I have definitely heard that the Minnesota Timberwolves have been calling around to see what D'Angelo Russell's trade value is," Fischer said on the latest episode of Please Don't Aggregate This. "I've not heard a team that is interested in acquiring D'Angelo Russell."
Russell is entering the final year of his contract, but a bloated salary over $30 million simply doesn't add up to the on-court value. Minnesota could be stuck riding it out with Russell potentially through next season.
Jalen Brunson 'more likely than not' joining Knicks
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, momentum is building towards Jalen Brunson leaving the Dallas Mavericks for the New York Knicks. The Knicks are rumored to be preparing to offer Brunson at least $100 million on a four-year contract.
On the latest episode of Please Don't Aggregate This, Fischer added the latest on Brunson to New York discussions:
"I really don't have a ballpark on it, but everything I've heard, it really does sound like things have shifted and (Jalen Brunson) is more likely than not to become a member of the Knicks as opposed to the Dallas Mavericks. It really does sound like things have shifted in that direction."
Will Brunson help solve the Knicks' woes? That's up for debate, but it seems likely now Brunson will be heading to New York later this week.
John Wall secures buyout, will join Clippers
Five-time NBA All-Star John Wall will secure a buyout with the Houston Rockets, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Then, he'll sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wall showed flashes of his immense talent during the 2020-21 season, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists for Houston, but he hasn't set foot on an NBA court since April of 2021.
John Wall buyout gaining momentum
According to The Athletic's Kelly Iko, the Houston Rockets and John Wall are gaining momentum on a contract buyout. Wall opted-in to the final year of his contract paying him over $47 million during the 2022-23 season.
Wall will become one of the best available point guards on the open market, even with the serious injury concerns.
After Kyrie Irving fooled everyone on Monday opting-in with the Nets, could the Los Angeles Lakers instead pivot to Wall? The Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat also stand out as strong fits for Wall.
Kyrie Irving opts-in with Nets
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is opting into his $37 million player option for the 2022-23 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
After Kyrie's opt-in was announced, he sent out the following message: “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”
Well, all of that hoopla was for nothing. It appears for now Kyrie will remain a Net, at least for now.
Hawks closing in on Dejounte Murray trade?
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, who confirmed an original report from WSB's Zach Klein, the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs are progressing on serious trade discussions centered around Dejounte Murray.
Klein tweeted that John Collins wouldn't be involved. Instead, the Spurs would receive a bevy of future first-round picks. With Fischer confirming this report, Murray to the Hawks could be approaching the finish line soon enough.
How would Murray fit on the Hawks? Murray and Trae Young could form an outstanding one-two punch, as we detailed here.
Massive betting odds shift forecasting Kevin Durant for Deandre Ayton trade?
As we saw he night before the 2022 NBA Draft with Paolo Banchero going No. 1 first being projected there, a significant movement on the sportsbooks is usually indicative of something behind the scenes. The best advice is always Vegas knows something is up.
On DraftKings, a massive betting swing occurred on Monday revolving around Deandre Ayton's next destination. Brooklyn entered this past weekend at +6000 odds (29th), but it has since climbed in rapid succession to +4000 and now +700 trailing only the Phoenix Suns (+115) and Detroit Pistons (+225).
UPDATE: Here's the new odds as the Nets continue to climb as a potential Ayton destination: Suns (+130), Nets (+250), Spurs (+500), Pistons (+550).
As the Nets prepare for a potential future without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Phoenix becomes a very logical trade partner. Durant has long been a fan of Devin Booker's, plus the Suns have the right amount of assets to make it happen. Would Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson along with mulitple future first-round picks be enough to land Durant?
Stay tuned, because the Nets saga is just now beginning to unfold publicly.
Nets prepared to lose Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst appearing on ESPN Monday afternoon, the Brooklyn Nets seem prepared to blow it all up. With rumors running rampant of Kyrie Irving's potential exit, Kevin Durant could soon be leaving Brooklyn as well.
"The Nets are putting ou there right now that they are prepared to lose both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant," Windhorst said.
If Irving leaves, Durant could become the NBA's most coveted trade chip since Anthony Davis. Buckle up, everybody.
Nets grant Kyrie Irving permission to seek sign-and-trade
The latest Kyrie Irving news is a bomshell from the New York Daily News' Kristian Winfield. According to Winfield's latest intel, Irving has been successfully granted permission to pursue sign-and-trade scenarios away from the Brooklyn Nets.
As previously reported here are Irving's preferred destinations away from Brooklyn: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said last week the interesti isn't mutual between some of these teams and Irving.
The relationship between Irving and the Nets is seemingly sinking in real time. Also, Kevin Durant still hasn't spoken to the Nets' front office throughout the offseason.
Buckle up, everyone. Brooklyn might be making the NBA offseason even spicier soon.
Pistons chasing Deandre Ayton 'appears less likely' after NBA Draft
According to The Athletic's James Edwards III, the Detroit PIstons are set to move to the next stage of their rebuilding plan following a very successful 2022 NBA Draft. As Edwards laid out, Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton might not be atop their wish list anymore.
"However, while all signs have pointed to Detroit making a serious run at Phoenix's Deandre Ayton over the last few days, that appears less likely after the Pistons walked away with two of the players highest on the organization's big board. Per sources, Detroit is eager to continue to build back toward playoff contention with the aforementioned young core, and the Pistons are expected to use the majority of their remaining cap space to add multiple veteran pieces rather than just one big swing this offseason, per sources," Edwards wrote.
That last line from Edwards is massive related to Detroit and Ayton. If the Pistons would rather pursue more flexibility, spending most of their cap space on Ayton makes little sense. Especially with Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart, does Ayton even fit with the Pistons anymore?
The market for Ayton might already be drying out before free agency even begins, which would be a huge win for the Suns.
Hawks only interested in Deandre Ayton for less than max money
According to The Athletic's Chris Kirschner, the Atlanta Hawks are interested in Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton. However, not at the price Ayton wants as a restriced free agent.
"Sources tell The Athletic that the Hawks' interest in the 23-year-old would be contingent on lading him for less than a max contract," Kirschner wrote.
This is a game-changer, especially after the Pistons' aggressive draft night moves led to Memphis big man Jalen Duren joining their enticing young core. With the Hawks now ruled out on the max for Ayton, will the former No. 1 overall pick even get a lucrative offer sheet?
For the Suns, who didn't value Ayton on a max contract, this is playing right into their hands perfectly.
Heat, Clippers, Lakers linked as potential John Wall destinations
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets and John Wall could be approaching an official buyout aggreement following his $47 million opt-in. Wall is on an expiring contract now, so both sides coming to a buyout makes the most sense for both sides.
Stein dropped off that three teams have been linked to Wall around the Assocation: Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat and Clippers have been bandied about for months as potential Wall suitors. Meanwhile, if anything happens with Russell Westbrook, the Lakers could jump to the top of the list for Wall.
For more, check out Stein's Substack here.
Pacers, Pistons out on Jalen Brunson post-draft
With the chase for Jalen Brunson seemingly known around the league down to the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks, two teams with potential interest have backed off a free agency pursuit. According to longtime NBA insider Marc Stein, the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons are no longer being mentioned as pursuers of Brunson.
After the draft, this makes a lot of sense for both Indiana and Detroit. Each organizaiton's backcourt is officially formed for years to come, and there's no reason why they shouldn't be enthused about it.
Imagine the potential rivalry now in the Central Division between Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin going up against Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey? I can't wait.
In the meantime, as the Brunson chase goes on between New York and Dallas, make sure you subscribe to Stein's Substack for some great exclusive intel.
Bradley Beal 'very likely' to decline player option and re-sign with Wizards
Bradley Beal is 'very likely' to opt out of his $36.4M player option and re-sign with the Wizards on a five-year max contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Beal doing this will earn him more money. The question is, is it in Washington's best interest to pay top dollar for someone who hasn't taken them to the playoffs once since taking the reigns from John Wall?
If Beal were to re-sign with the Wizards on a five-year, $248 million supermax extension, it would signal the clock starting on the organization once more on improving rapidly around him.
Malcolm Brogdon still linked to Wizards, Knicks
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks are still potential landing spots for Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon.
"I never thought that either of those teams were going to give up their lottery picks for Malcolm Brogdon, but I do think Malcolm Brogdon is a trade possibility for both those situations," Fischer said Friday on Please Don't Aggregate This. "If the Knicks strikeout on Jalen Brunson, for Washington I think he's a legitimate trade candidate. (The Wizards) were never going to be paying a lot to get Malcolm Brogdon, as I understand it."
Brogdon would be a wise Plan B for the Knicks if Brunson re-signs with the Dallas Mavericks. The Wizards feel like the most logical destination for Brodgon, especially with his pricepoint seemingly lowering by the day.
Spurs collecting intel on John Collins
As the Spurs mull over potentially trading away Dejounte Murray, John Collins is a rumored return package from the Hawks. And at this point, it seems like talks between San Antonio and Atlanta are real enough where intel gathering has begun on both sides.
"The Spurs are definitley doing intel on John (Collins), like I know that," Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer said on Please Don't Aggregate This. "They're calling around, asking about him."
Collins has been rumored to San Antonio since being a restricted free agent last year. If the Spurs add Collins, he would help fortify a massive long-term need in their frontcourt. However, would a package around Collins and multiple picks be enough for the Spurs to bite on giving away Murray?
Tyus Jones to Wizards?
According to HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, the Washington Wizards have Tyus Jones on their offseason radar. Jones, one of the most underrated guards in the Association, is well overdue for a full-time starting role somewhere after thriving with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Washington has been linked to seemingly every starting-caliber point guard on the open market, sans the star tier of free agents. Malcolm Brogdon continues to be a strong trade candidate, so Jones could be their top choice to chase once free agency begins next week.
Whether it be Brogdon or Jones, both of these players feel the most likely to be Washington's starting point guard on opening night alongside Bradley Beal (if he stays).
Teams preparing for Kevin Durant trade
With the Brooklyn Nets' future seemingly hanging in the balance over the next week, many teams around the Association are circling like vultures. If Kyrie Irving does indeed leave Brooklyn, Kevin Durant would soon follow him out the door.
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, teams are beginning to prepare for Durant's potential availability:
"I can tell you this. This is what teams are doing. Teams are already operating under, not the assumption, but 'we need to prepare for the contingency that Kevin Durant is available via trade in six days or seven days,'" Lowe said. "...The whole league is right now."
Durant could soon start one of the biggest NBA feeding frenzies in recent memory. Our Nekias Duncan looked at six potential trade destinations for Durant.
Knicks offloading Cam Reddish?
As the Knicks prepare to chase Jalen Brunson in free agency, they still need to create the necessary salary cap space. Some veteran names have been thrown out there like Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Evan Fournier, but HoopsHype's Michael Scotto dropped off another candidate to be dealt.
Keep an eye on Cam Reddish, a former lottery pick from the 2019 NBA Draft, who the Knicks could dangle in trade talks to free up space for Brunson. Reddish was recently acquired by New York, but never fell into favor with head coach Tom Thibodeau. Reddish's salary isn't large, but it would go a long way toward getting off other deals in the process.
Dejounte Murray and Trae Young want to play together
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer on Please Don't Aggregate This, San Antonio Spurs star Dejounte Murray has a strong interest in joining Trae Young on the Atlanta Hawks:
"I know that Dejounte and Trae want to play together, or at least have interest in doing it," Fischer said.
Well, this makes these proposed talks between San Antonio and Atlanta even more interestings. Fischer also mentioned that the Spurs would only be willing to deal Murray for at least three future first-round picks, a package similar to what the New Orleans Pelicans received from the Milwaukee Bucks for Jrue Holiday.
Stay tuned to the Murray rumors, because this seems to be picking up steam behind the scenes.
Knicks prioritizing Jalen Brunson
The connections between Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks aren't slowing down anytime soon, especially after the 2022 NBA Draft. New York traded away the No. 11 pick to preserve cap space, presumably to make an all-in free agency move on the Dallas Mavericks' guard.
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Knicks will aggressively pursue Brunson:
"The Knicks' offer is almost assuredly going to be four (years), $100 (million). And, at least, and I know people around the league who are preparing for his offer to end up being for $110 (million)," Fischer said on Please Don't Aggregate This.
This should not come as any sort of surprise, especially with the constant flirtation from the Knicks toward Brunson. If New York is prepared to pay Brunson upwards of $27.5 million per year, you have to wonder if Dallas may seriously second-guess matching.
Chet Holmgren bailed Magic workout early
According to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo, Chet Holmgren prioritized going to the Oklahoma City Thunder over being chosen No. 1 overall by the Orlando Magic.
"According to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, Holmgren bailed early on the last day of his Orlando visit, conducting a brief on-court shooting workout that he cut short," Woo wrote.
If this is the case, it's not that surprising based off Holmgren's potential fit in Orlando versus Oklahoma City. The Magic already have Wendell Carter Jr. and Jonathan Isaac in their frontcourt compared to no real competition on the Thunder's roster.
Pacers reportedly offered Chris Duarte + No. 6 pick to Kings
According to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo, the Indiana Pacers were rumored to be offering the No. 6 pick alongside Chris Duarte to move up to No. 4 overall for Iowa's Keegan Murray.
"The one Kings rumor I heard from several rival teams on the day of the draft surrounded a possible swap with the Pacers, who sat at No. 6 and were rumored to be offering Chris Duarte in addition to that pick," Woo wrote.
Woo also mentioned that the Pacers were insistent on not including Duarte in any trade talks with Sacramento at the trade deadline, which of course feaured a blockbuster swap of Domantas Sabonis and Tyrese Haliburton.
The simple reason why this likely never went down was due to the Kings' own prioritization of Murray. If the Pacers were indeed chasing Murray, Sacramento was going to be stuck with none of their preferred options two spots later.
Duarte, who is five years older than No. 6 overall pick Bennedict Mathurin, could become a long-term piece for Indiana or used down the road as a trade chip.
Pistons trying to secure second lottery pick for Jalen Duren
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Detroit Pistons are having ongoing conversations about adding a second lottery selection. Fischer notes the Pistons' primary target is Memphis center Jalen Duren.
This is very, very interesting because Duren's arrival in Detroit could signal they aren't seriously pursuing Deandre Ayton in free agency.
Paolo Banchero under serious consideration for Magic at No. 1
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Duke's Paolo Banchero has joined Auburn's Jabari Smith Jr. as a top candidate to be selected No. 1 overall. Orlando has kept their choice close to the vest, and it could soon blow up all draft boards.
Early on Thursday morning, Banchero was the brief consensus betting favorite before Smith took back he top spot.
Expectation now is Kyrie Irving will opt in and be traded from Nets
According to Shams Charania, who is on Stadium's live NBA Draft Show, he said the new expectation is that Kyrie Irving will opt into the final year of his contract and be traded from the Brooklyn Nets as he seeks a new team.
All of a sudden, the Nets could be looking at all of their superstars leaving. Charania also mentioned Kevin Durant is seriously mulling his future in Brooklyn.