It’s Christmas in late June for NBA fans.
The 2022 NBA Draft is hours away, and the rumor mill is
churning. BasketballNews has compiled every major rumor to keep you
up-to-date on the latest rumblings around the Association.
If you missed yesterday's NBA Rumors Notebook with updates on
Malcolm Brogdon, John Collins, Gordon Hayward and more, check that out here.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the juicy intel.
Kevin Durant will request
trade if Kyrie Irving leaves Nets
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped this blockbuster
nugget in his ESPN+ story detailing the the
uncertainty surrounding the Nets and Kyrie Irving. Woj said that
the star point guard has a huge leverage play in negotiations:
Irving knows that if the Nets refuse to sign him to a long-term
extension, Kevin Durant will soon follow him out the door in
Brooklyn. Wojnarowski said the Nets are aware of this situation, so
their front office is trying to walk this tightrope.
Longtime NBA insider Marc Stein added on Substack that he’s
heard Irving and LeBron James have been in contact recently,
potentially about reuniting on the Los Angeles Lakers. Wojnarowski
relayed on NBA Today that the Lakers are considered "the biggest
threat" to acquire Irving outside of Brooklyn too. Also, Stein said
don’t rule out the Miami Heat as a possible suitor via
The Irving drama has already created a negative impact on the
Nets’ free-agency plans. Wojnarowski said on NBA Today that
Brooklyn is having a hard time retaining their own free agents,
plus Durant isn’t recruiting potential names to the Nets as
"In previous offseasons, rival agents and players would tell you
of Durant's eagerness in talking to potential free agents. So far,
that hasn't been the case with him, sources say," Wojnarowski
wrote on ESPN+.
Durant has also been putting pressure on the Nets to sign Irving
long-term, per Wojnarowski.
All of a sudden, the possibility of the Nets breaking up feels
very real. Could we actually be looking at a scenario where Durant
is requesting a trade over the next few weeks? If Irving's contract
situation isn’t resolved soon, it sure feels like it.
OG Anunoby joining Jerami
Grant in Portland?
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the
Portland Trail Blazers aren’t done trying to make massive moves to
improve their roster. After acquiring Jerami Grant for a bargain
price on Wednesday, Haynes relayed that Portland is offering the
Toronto Raptors the No. 7 overall pick in today's NBA Draft in
exchange for versatile wing OG Anunoby.
There has been persistent smoke surrounding Anunoby in trade
talks over the last few weeks, and now things have kicked into
If the Blazers are able to land Anunoby alongside Grant, it’s a
dream wing pairing to place alongside the high-usage backcourt of
Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons. Assuming Portland also re-signs
Jusuf Nurkic, they could become a playoff contender once again.
Deandre Ayton, Suns
heading for a split?
Deandre Ayton may have played his final game with the Phoenix
Suns. Even though things seemed to be heading in this direction
after the Suns' shocking postseason exit, Wojnarowski confirmed
Wednesday on NBA Today that the organization doesn’t view
their former No. 1 overall pick as a max-level player. Woj added
that Phoenix plans to engage in serious sign-and-trade discussions
Keep an eye on the Detroit Pistons as a potential landing spot
for Ayton, especially after the Grant trade went down. The Pistons
now have more than $40 million in cap space, which means they can
offer Ayton a max contract without any hiccups. According to
The Athletic’s James Edwards
III, Detroit is “heavily expected” to pursue Ayton.
Will James Harden opt
Wojnarowski mentioned on NBA Today that James Harden was likely
to exercise his $47 million player option for next season and sign
a short-term extension with the Philadelphia 76ers. Harden’s new
deal with Philadelphia will come in at a figure slightly below the
max, as Woj relayed on ESPN2. This lines up with a recent report from Jake
Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Philadelphia has already been linked to Eric Gordon
and PJ Tucker this offseason, so we'll see if the 2018 Houston
Rockets are planning a reunion. Would adding Gordon and Tucker be
enough to put Philadelphia over the top in the Eastern
The Sixers are also shopping the No. 23 overall pick, Matisse
Thybulle and Danny Green, per Fischer.
blockbuster trade to move up draft?
According to ESPN’s Jonathan
Givony, the Oklahoma City Thunder are aggressively trying to
trade up from No. 12, with their primary targets being Purdue’s
Jaden Ivey and Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe.
The Thunder are hoping to come out of this draft with two of the
top prospects; OKC also has the No. 2 and signs seem to point to
them taking Chet Holmgren.
Could you imagine Oklahoma City trotting out a core that
features Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Holmgren and either
Ivey or Sharpe? That’s simply unfair.
Hawks pursuing Dejounte
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake
Fischer, the San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks have discussed
a deal that would involve swapping Dejounte Murray and John
Collins. Fischer noted that the price for Murray to leave San
Antonio would be “Jrue Holiday-like” in terms of the return. If
that’s the case, the Spurs would likely have to part with multiple
first-round picks to land the versatile guard.
The Athletic's Chris Kirschner joined BasketballNews' Twitter
Spaces last night and confirmed that these talks are ongoing, but
added that a deal isn't close. He has also heard that the asking
price for Murray is significant.
With this coming out of nowhere, it wouldn’t be a surprise to
see the Spurs be a very aggressive team during tonight's NBA
Knicks all-in on Jalen
Stein reported on Wednesday that the
New York Knicks are viewed as a real threat to sign Jalen Brunson,
if they can clear the necessary cap space. The Knicks are trying to
offload the expiring contracts (if you count their 2023-24 team
option) of Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel. Wojnarowski
added later in the day on ESPN2 that New York will be aggressive in
clearing said space.
Stein dropped another Knicks-related note involving underrated
rim protector Mitchell Robinson. According to Stein, the Knicks
are expected to re-sign Robinson, which may close the door on
potential draft options like Memphis’ Jalen Duren or Duke’s Mark
Williams at No. 11 overall.
Yesterday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned on NBA Today that
New York has been unwilling to include No. 11 in any trade talks
involving Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon. The availability of
Brogdon continues to be a hot topic, which included Fischer reporting that league
executives believe Brogdon is the Knicks' backup option after
On ESPN's NBA Mock Draft Special on Tuesday, Wojnarowksi said
that the Pacers plan to reshape their roster and move toward a
rebuild under head coach Rick Carlisle. Woj added that Indiana is
hopeful to add a second lottery selection since there are multiple
prospects they like in that range.
The full expectation is that Brogdon will be moved soon.
However, when it comes to Myles Turner's future, the Pacers may
wait for better offers or hold onto him long-term. Both Brogdon and
Turner have constantly popped up in trade rumors, and that likely
isn't changing until there's a resolution.
Indiana deciding on a full-scale rebuild opens up a lot of
roster possibilities, and it further suggests that Brogdon, Turner
and maybe even Buddy Hield could be on the move. Leading up to the
draft, Indiana continues to be one of the most active teams on the
Fischer mentioned on Wednesday
that the following teams have shown interest in a Turner trade: the
Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets.
D’Angelo Russell staying
Speaking of the Timberwolves, another interesting tidbit was
shared on Wednesday morning by The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski:
Minnesota has not come close on any potential trades involving
D’Angelo Russell or any other players. Russell is on the final year
of his contract, but his season ended with some fourth-quarter
benchings in favor of Jordan McLaughlin during the playoffs.
Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly
told reporters on Wednesday that
the organization is “super open” to trading the No. 19 pick.
Connelly added that they would welcome a win-now piece in exchange
for the top-20 selection.
Cavs open to trading
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com,
the Cleveland Cavaliers are open to trading back from No. 14
overall. This lines up with what HoopsHype's Michael Scotto
reported earlier this week. Scotto added that the Minnesota
Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks have called
about the No. 14 pick.
Holding the final pick in the lottery, Cleveland could fetch a
solid return on the trade market. The Cavs are reportedly hoping
for a future first-round pick, but they’re open to adding a win-now
role player in a trade-back scenario as well.
If the Cavaliers are able to move back while also improving the
top of their rotation, it would be a huge win for the up-and-coming
Suns shopping Jae
According to Fischer, the Suns
have reached out to rival teams to gauge Jae Crowder's trade value.
Over the last two seasons, Crowder has played a pivotal role in the
Suns’ historic turnaround. However, with a looming extension for
Cameron Johnson, it could make sense to clear more playing time for
he and Mikal Bridges on the wing.
Phoenix has no picks tonight, but they are rumored to be
interested in getting into the draft. While they have looked into
buying a second-round selection, perhaps trading Crowder could get
them into the first round.
If the Suns send Crowder to Philadelphia for the No. 23 pick and
Danny Green’s non-guaranteed salary, would that make sense for both
Wizards listening on Kyle
Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
According to Fischer, the
Wizards are open to discussing Kuzma and KCP in deals. Earlier in
the week, Wojnarowski listed Washington as one of the most active
teams in trade discussions.
After a strong season with the Wizards, Kuzma could provide a
strong return. KCP’s expiring contract would be a strong match with
Indiana for Malcolm Brogdon, which has been rumored for several
Blazers, Pelicans draft
Closing out the notebook, here are two draft-related notes.
First up, if the Portland Trail Blazers stay put at No. 7, they are
reportedly fans of Dyson Daniels and Shaedon Sharpe, per The Athletic’s John Hollinger.
Both Daniels or Sharpe could be real complements on the wing
alongside Lillard, Grant and Simons. If Portland nails their
lottery pick, they are set up to potentially rebound in
The New Orleans Pelicans’ top choices at No. 8 are Daniels and
Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin, per Fischer on his podcast. If
neither Daniels nor Mathurin are on the board, New Orleans would be
more inclined to listen on potential trade-back scenarios.
Buckle up, folks, as this is going to be a crazy day!
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