VIDEO: Highlights from games played Jan. 28
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Report: Kings willing to deal Gay — A mere 20 days and a handful of hours separate us from the NBA Trade Deadline and as we get closer, the chatter is starting to pick up. One name to keep an eye on, per ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, is Sacramento Kings swingman Rudy Gay. According to Stein, the Kings are willing to move the talented scorer … with some caveats, of course. He’s got that information and more in his roundup of trade chatter:
The Sacramento Kings are indeed willing to trade Rudy Gay, sources say, after fairly frequent speculation on that topic in recent weeks.
It’s conditional willingness.
Sacramento is said to be seeking a quality young player in return if it parts with Gay. Or a player they like with at least one year left on his contract after this season, which would give the Kings some insulation against trading for someone in February who turns around and leaves town in July. (Gay, 29, is scheduled to earn $13.3 million from the Kings next season before he’s forced to decide on a $14.3 million player option in 2017-18).
In short: Sacramento isn’t outright trying to move Gay but would be willing to do so in the proverbial “right deal.”
Sacramento, for example, rejected New Orleans’ recent offer of Eric Gordon and Alonzo Gee for Gay before Gordon suffered a fractured finger that will keep him out until after the deadline. They don’t want to move him just for the sake of it.
Much like the Atlanta Hawks are doing with point guards Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder, Memphis is doing the same with free agents-to-be Jeff Green and Courtney Lee.
Which is to say: not flat-out shopping them, but taking the temperature of the market for both players, since that’s what you’re supposed to do with players like Green and Lee who can leave Memphis without compensation in a matter of months.
What the Grizzlies aren’t looking to do, sources say, is break up what they like to call Mount Grizzmore. All of the latest signals suggest they have no interest in parting with either Zach Randolph or Tony Allen before the deadline …
First Joakim Noah was lost to a potentially season-ending shoulder separation. Now Nikola Mirotic is out until after the All-Star break thanks to emergency surgery this week to remove his appendix.
Those injuries, sources say, have greatly increased the likelihood that Taj Gibson will be staying put now, since Chicago suddenly doesn’t need to make a trade to create more playing time for promising rookie Bobby Portis.
The reality is that rival executives have maintained for some time that the Bulls preferred to deal Noah, in the name of making sure they got something for their longtime emotional spark in the final year of his contract, rather than parting with Gibson.