VIDEO: Breaking down Tuesday’s three-team trade
NEWS OF THE MORNING
Report: Clippers, Magic talking deal | Report: Wizards pursuing Anderson | Report: Rockets, Hornets had Howard trade talks | Prokhorov pens open letter | Report: Nets offer GM job to Marks | Future unclear for Bucks’ Carter-Williams | Griffin apologizes publicly for incident
No. 1: Report: Magic, Clippers talking deal; Wizards pursuing Anderson — We’re a day away from the trade deadline, which means talk is bubbling up everywhere and anywhere. How much of what is discussed vs. what happens in reality remains an unknown, but the latest from overnight is that several teams are knee-deep in trade discussions. The targets du jour include Channing Frye, Lance Stephenson, Kevin Martin and Ryan Anderson. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski gets us started with the latest from Orlando and some other outposts:
The Los Angeles Clippers are pushing closer on a deal to acquire Orlando Magic forward Channing Frye but want to finish exploring a larger trade scenario before finalizing an agreement, league sources told The Vertical.
Frye is enthusiastic about the chance to join the Clippers, league sources said. Nevertheless, Cleveland also has been discussing a deal for Frye, and could still be aggressive in pursuing him prior to completion of a Clippers trade.
The Clippers need to include Lance Stephenson‘s contract into the package for Frye, and told the Magic they need until Wednesday to finish pursuing what it is a long-shot larger deal, league sources said. As part of the deal for Frye, the Clippers would include Stephenson, C.J. Wilcox and a future second-round pick, league sources said.
The New Orleans Pelicans are pushing hard to find a trade for forward Ryan Anderson, whom they expect to lose in summer free agency, league sources said.
Teams trading for Anderson believe he’ll command a starting salary of $16 million-$18 million a season in free agency.
New Orleans and Detroit had serious talks on an Anderson deal in the past few days, sources said, but the Pistons ultimately reached an agreement with Orlando on a trade for Tobias Harris on Tuesday.
The issue for the Pistons – and several teams around the league interested in Anderson – remains this: How much will it cost to re-sign Anderson this summer in free agency? With Harris, the Pistons have cost-certainty on the three-years, $48 million on his deal through the 2018-’19 season.
Minnesota hasn’t been actively searching for a trade for point guard Ricky Rubio this week, but that is likely to change this summer, league sources told The Vertical.
Minnesota may start canvassing the market for a better shooting point guard to pair with young stars Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. One NBA coach who has long been enamored with Rubio, league sources said: Milwaukee’s Jason Kidd. The New York Knicks’ desire to find a point guard could lead them to Rubio, too.
Minnesota has wanted to move guard Kevin Martin, but a deal is unlikely unless he’s willing to forgo the $7 million player option on the final year of his contract in 2016-2017, league sources said. That is unlikely, given that Martin would be hard-pressed to recoup that money on the market.
BasketballInsiders.com’s Steve Kyler reports the Washington Wizards may also be hot on the trail of Ryan Anderson:
If the Clippers cannot consummate a deal with the Pelicans for Ryan Anderson, expect the Washington Wizards to return to the front of the line for Anderson in trade. The Wizards have made several passes at New Orleans on Anderson but are unwilling to include draft picks in their offer.
The Charlotte Hornets are among the teams to have expressed trade interest in Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Hornets and Rockets have held exploratory talks on a potential Howard deal since Houston made him available last week. But one source close to the talks expressed pessimism Tuesday that the sides will be able to find common ground on a deal.
The Rockets are believed to be seeking at least one future first-round pick for Howard, who is earning $22.3 million this season and is expected to exercise his right to decline next season’s $23.3 million player option to return to free agency in July.
No. 3: Prokhorov vows to learn from mistakes as owner; Report: Marks offered GM job — From the moment he took possession of the team in 2009, Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov promised big things for the franchise, including a title within five seasons. That obviously hasn’t come to pass as the team has just one playoff series win since then and has gone roster change after roster change in just about every season. In an open letter on Yahoo’s The Vertical website, Prokhorov opens up about his mistakes and vows to be a better owner going forward:
In 2012, the Nets relocated from New Jersey to a sparkling new arena in the heart of Brooklyn, and we wanted to make that move as splashy and fun as possible. So we went with the idea that no money was to be spared. Get high-value star players, whatever it takes. Bet on the quick win and throw everything we’ve got at it.
This got us to the playoffs three years consecutively, but not far enough. And, as the person who signed the checks, lemme tell you, it cost a boatload. We had been told that you can’t buy a championship. Truer words were never spoken.
Getting everyone pulling in the same direction, working toward a single goal is not easy. I’ve seen over these years that personalities can strongly affect results. There can be differences of vision and opinion, and everyone should be heard, but, once we have a strategy, we all need to work together to fulfill it and put our individual is-sues behind us. It also means we need to have the cour-age to say, “We’ll not go for that player because, as much as he’s talented, he doesn’t fit into the culture we are building.” It takes guts to say “no” as much as it does to say “yes.”
Not everyone is made to play in Brooklyn. One of the very important things we’ve learned. The fans are rightfully de-manding, the market is high pressure and the media is do-ing their job and paying attention. We need coaches and players who reflect this, who are tough, and have a win-ning attitude with total commitment.
For three seasons, we made the playoffs and gave fans some fine moments. And, for me as an entrepreneur, the team has been a stellar investment. We must not stop with this, though. The final goal has always been and will always remain a championship.
The Nets may be taking a step toward that better future after The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the team has offered its GM job to San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Sean Marks:
Marks, 40, has emerged as the Nets’ choice through a two-month process, but there’s no assurance they will come to terms on an agreement.
Spurs president and coach Gregg Popovich and general manager RC Buford hold Marks in high regard, and the organization has been grooming Marks to eventually to take over a more significant role in the organization.
Nevertheless, Nets ownership and top officials are enamored with the Spurs way and Marks’ candidacy rose quickly in the process. Marks is a native of New Zealand who played 12 years in the NBA. He has worked as a front-office executive and an assistant coach with the Spurs since returning to the organization in 2013.
No. 4: Future unclear for Bucks’ Carter-Williams — It has been known for the better part of this month that the Milwaukee Bucks may be willing to make a trade — and willing to trade a key youngster such as Michael Carter-Williams or Greg Monroe. But as we inch closer to tomorrow’s trade deadline, it appears unclear whether or not Carter-Williams is actually on the trading block. Gery Woelfel of RacineSportsZone.com reports Carter-Williams is on the market, but another report says he’s not. First, here’s Woelfel’s report:
Not coincidentally, the Bucks have been linked in trade chatter with both the Pelicans and Hawks. It’s no secret the Bucks’ front office has an affinity for Jeff Teague. In fact, the Bucks gave Teague an offer sheet a couple of years ago when he was a restricted free agent and many in the Teague camp thought he was Milwaukee bound, until the Hawks matched the four-year, $32 million offer at the last minute.
You can safely assume the Bucks’ interest in Teague hasn’t waned. They’re making a concerted effort to find a new starting point guard to replace Michael Carter-Williams, whom they acquired from Philadelphia last February in a multi-trade deal that sent Brandon Knight to Phoenix.
Carter-Williams has been in and out of the starting lineup this season and it’s well known in NBA circles he is available. The truth of the matter is the Bucks have quietly been open to dealing Carter-Williams for some time.
Carter-Williams apparently is well aware of shaky status in Milwaukee. A source said Carter-Williams has been told he could possibly be dealt and, after the Wizards game, he hardly looked like a happy camper.
Carter-Williams left the locker room shortly after the Wizards game and walked directly to the team’s parking lot, saying he was “going on vacation.’’
Carter-Williams has been rumored in a deal with the Houston Rockets for Ty Lawson, an extremely talented point guard who has been battling off-court issues. There has also been speculation Carter-Williams could be part of a package to obtain Holiday, who is injury prone but considered by one NBA exec as “one of the top 10-to-12 point guards in the game.’’
Furthermore, the prevailing feeling among several NBA officials is the Bucks aren’t opposed to dealing anyone on their roster with the exception of Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
Most Bucks players claim they aren’t bothered by the incessant trade rumors surrounding the team, but Parker isn’t one of them.
“Yeah, it’s affected me personally because you build so many relationships (with his teammates),’’ Parker said. “You don’t want to see guys leave.
“But at the end of the day, it’s a business. Anyone, at any time, can get traded … even myself. So you have to prepare for the worst.’’
Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears tweeted last night that Carter-Williams’ future seems anything but certain:
No. 5: Griffin ‘truly, truly sorry’ for off-court incident — Little has been seen and heard from Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin since his off-court punching incident with a team equipment manager in Toronto a month ago. That changed on Tuesday evening as Griffin addressed the media for the first time since then and issued a heartfelt apology for his actions that led to a broken hand, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County Register:
In his seven years with the organization, Griffin has matured into a person who can sit on the podium after a win or loss and offer genuine, calm thoughts about what happened on the court.
But faced Tuesday with talking about something that happened off the court on Jan. 23 in Toronto, Griffin appeared rattled.
His voice shook like a freshman in a public speaking class as he apologized for punching assistant manager Matias Testi and breaking his hand in the process.
“I just want to say that I have had a lot of time to reflect, and that I am very truly, truly sorry for what happened,” Griffin said. “It was a situation between two friends that kind of got out of hand and I exercised poor judgment. I have spoken to Matias about it. I have spoken to my teammates about it … coaches. The last people to apologize to are the fans and to show them how sorry I am for this situation.
“It is something that I feel awful about.”
“I’ve told you we’re not trading Blake,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “But I guess everyone else wants to keep doing that, so we’ll let them do it. Not from us at all.”
“… It is what it is, nothing we can do about it. Obviously, it frustrates you when you know nothing’s going on, but what can you do?”
“It was a situation, like I said, between two friends that escalated and again, I exercised poor judgment,” he said. “It is something that I think about every day and wish I could take it back and I have told Matias that. It is one of those things that you cannot take back, so now I am focused on moving forward and doing the best I can from here on out.”
Griffin and Testi both attended Tuesday’s practice. Griffin said the two men have spoken a “ton of times.”
“(Testi) actually said it best, ‘Stuff happens,’” Griffin said. “‘We are like brothers and we just have to move on.’”
“It has been tough to know that I let my teammates down, let our organization down and let the fans down, let my family down, all of that,” Griffin said. “That has probably been the hardest part. Like I said, now that everything is kind of out there and I know my punishment, I am looking forward to kind of just moving forward now.”
Griffin’s hand still needs to heal. Tuesday it was partially bandaged, and the Clippers haven’t offered an updated timetable beyond the original 4-6 weeks. Rivers also said Griffin’s injured quad still isn’t 100 percent.
VIDEO: Dan Woike discusses the Griffin apology and more
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: It will apparently take a ‘Godfather’ offer to pry either Jeff Teague or Al Horford from the Atlanta Hawks before the trade deadline … The jury is decidedly out in Los Angeles about whether or not coach Byron Scott will be back for a third season … The New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly only exploratory discussions about acquiring Greg Monroe … Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio may not be on the trading block after all … Atlanta Hawks big man Tiago Splitter needs season-ending hip surgery …