With four days until the NBA draft, rumors are flying fast and furious around the NBA – there is a lot of smoke and misinformation in the air about trades and potential draft picks.
Let’s look at some of these rumors and try to break down fact from fiction by gathering rumors from around the NBA.
Wizards don’t want to commit long-term money in Beal trade
As things move relatively quickly towards one Bradley Beal trade, a pattern has emerged among the rumors: The Washington Wizards do not want to take back any long-term salary.
Reports say the Suns’ Deandre Ayton (three years, $102.2 million) and the Heat’s Tyler Hero (four years, $120 million) is off the table in any trade for Beal. Instead, the Wizards will have expiring contracts as Kyle Lowry and Chris Paul (The Suns would have to pick up his $30.8 million for next season to make the trade work, but the $30 million he’s owed for 2024-25 is non-guaranteed and can be waived). There is still a lot of smoke surrounding this trade clouding the picture, and don’t forget that Beal has the ultimate say due to his no-trade clause (watching the Beal situation play out, it will be a long time before a team shake hands another one of them out). Things may not be moving as quickly as the Wizards want, but the pattern of them looking to cash in on the long-term salary seems clear. New team president Michael Winger intends to clear the books and get some flexibility.
The Suns are also reportedly targeting John Collins, Malcolm Brogdon
Would the reigning Sixth Man of the Year help? The Suns are interested in Celtics’ Malcolm Brogdon and Hawks’ John Collins, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
The Suns acquiring one of those veterans could require a third team to accept Paul’s outgoing salary — such as the Houston Rockets with their $60 million in cap space and counting — but Brogdon and Collins are a couple of players Phoenix has registered interest for during trade talks with Boston and Atlanta, respectively, dating back to the trade deadline, sources said.
Brogdon and Collins could be options if the Suns miss out on Beal, otherwise it would be expensive. The Celtics are a treasure trove and have an abundance of guards, which means a middle Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Payton Pritchard (who wants a trade) or Brogdon will have to go. Brogdon, owed $45 million over the next two seasons, is the most likely to be traded.
For his part, Collins has been on the trade block for a few seasons and is still owed $78.5 million over three more seasons (the third year is a player option. We’ll believe he’s traded when we see it.
The Mavericks don’t want Collins, they want Capela
Dallas desperately wants to trade out of the No. 10 pick to add depth around Luka Dončić, and thus Yahoo’s Fischer said there were initial talks about Atlanta sending Collins and No. 15 to Dallas for pick No. 10. However, the Mavericks would prefer to land Clint Capela in that agreement. It makes sense for Dallas, as Capela is both a solid back-line defender and a proven screen setter and roll man who could find some success with Dončić. We’ll see if this deal goes anywhere, but it would be a surprise to see Dallas hold onto the No. 10 pick.
Nikola Jokić doesn’t care about all your rumours
He is back with his horses on the track in Serbia and is a happy man.
🏇 🃏 🏇 NBA champion Nikola Jokić arrived at the City Hippodrome in Sombor! pic.twitter.com/mvrrC0gq9l
— Arena Sport TV (@arenasport_tv) 18 June 2023
Hornets bring back Henderson, Miller for second practice, meet with Jordan
The Charlotte Hornets aren’t shy about their willingness to trade the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. Still, if they decide to use it, the team brings them both back Scott Henderson and Brandon Miller for another practice – and they will be overseen by Michael Jordan, who will also meet with the players (ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony had the story).
Jordan is heading out the door as the majority owner, but it makes more sense for him to meet with the potential draft picks than some hedge fund guys.
Fred VanVleet to get more than 30 million dollars a season?
The market for quality point guards shot through the roof in the last few years. Last July when Jalen Brunson signed with the Knicks for four years, $104 million, my thought was, “good pickup, but it’s an overpayment.” I was wrong about the second part of it, Brunson was a steal at that price. Out of that deal, Tyler Herro was able to sign a four-year, $120 million extension.
Look for Raptors free agent Fred VanVleet to be in the ballpark of $30 million per season or more, several managers told Michael Scotto of Hoopshype. VanVleet is one of the most in-demand free agents out there, Toronto wants to re-sign him (it couldn’t extend him by the number the maximum allowed was $114 million over four years), but the Rockets, Suns, Magic (a good sleeper in this race) and the Lakers (a longshot) are also known to be in the mix. VanVleet wants options.