Rumor Roundup: Knicks Still Chasing Russell, Suns Listening on Oubre, Lakers, Clippers, Kuzma, More

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Rumor Roundup: Knicks Still Chasing Russell, Suns Listening on Oubre, Lakers, Clippers, Kuzma, More

Chicago Bulls

Tick tick tick…

The hours are flying by before the 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline on Thursday. For the most part, trade action has been quiet. But considering things normally get real crazy on the actual day of the deadline, let’s go through the biggest rumors still out there.

One Big Trade

  • Late Tuesday night, the NBA tipped-off trade deadline week with a massive four-team transaction. The Rockets, Timberwolves, Hawks, and Nuggets swapped a total of 12 players for the largest trade in nearly 20 years. While it’s hard to label the done deal as a “blockbuster” it could potentially have a pretty big impact on several teams moving forward. We discussed that and a couple more details in our prior post, so give it a read if you need to get caught up:

  • The main storylines for Chicago still revolve around Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine. The news on Young hasn’t heated up yet, but yesterday we learned the 76ers and Grizzlies could be interested in acquiring Denzel Valentine. At the end of the day, the Bulls may not have any super exciting trades in the works, but they need to get involved somehow.
  • While many of the same team names have circled the trade market over the past several weeks, it’s always possible a new organization decides to throw itself into the ring during the final hours. Whether a team seeks out a trade or not, every team is technically in a position to make one. For a great look at where all 30 teams stand as the deadline nears, check out Bobby Marks’ latest at ESPN+.

The Heavily Involved

  • The Timberwolves and Rockets aren’t done yet. Both teams sacrificed a vital position yesterday as part of the four-team trade. Houston got rid of starting center Clint Capela and back-up big man Nene. Without those two bodies, the team would be forced to play ridiculously small, so it’s not surprising to hear the Rockets are in conversations with two Eastern Conference teams about adding a center, per The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves traded away one of their only true point guards on the roster in Shabazz Napier, leaving them with only two-way player Jordan McLaughlin at the position. Yahoo Sports Contributor Kevin Smith reported that the Timberwolves are pursuing a new guard and mentioned the team’s recent link to the New York Knicks’ Dennis Smith Jr.
  • Who will strike first in Los Angeles!? The Lakers and Clippers keep trading rumors like two petty high schoolers on a mission to prove they’re worthy of the cool kids’ love. Have you seen Larry O’Brien? When we get a big man, he’ll be all mine. Both teams have been tied to Darren Collison and, more recently, the New York Knicks’ Marcus Morris. Collison unexpectedly retired during the offseason despite being in line for a nice sized contract. Only a few short months of retired life later, Collison has decided to return to the NBA and will announce his decision after the All-Star break. Another veteran, Morris, has been playing extremely well this season (career-high 19.6 ppg, shooting 40+ percent from the field and downtown) and is on a friendly expiring contract. The New York Times’ Marc Stein said it’s only a matter of time before Morris is headed out of New York City.
  • According to the LA Times’ Brad Turner, the Knicks have eyed Kyle Kuzma, a player the Lakers are reportedly willing to deal. SNY’s Ian Begley also said the two teams have “touched base” about Kuzma, but reaching a deal “would be complicated.” Interestingly enough, Begley also mentioned the two teams have discussed Allonzo Trier and Alex Caruso. Could you imagine Caruso in New York!? #CarusoSavesTheKnicks

  • #CarusoSaves[InsertOtherTeamHere]

  • To keep adding to the Knicks plate, they’re also trying to land All-Star D’Angelo Russell. Although, much like Minnesota, they’ve struggled to lure the Warriors in with their proposed deals.

Will they make a move?

  • Huh? According to Stein, the Phoenix Suns are interested in possibly trading Kelly Oubre Jr. The small forward has put together a nice breakout campaign, averaging 19.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. It’ll be interesting to see what his market is as the deadline looms, it’s likely the 24-year-old could gain some interest from contenders, but he’s also in the first year of a two-year $30 million contract.

  • Jrue Holiday was one of the hottest names on the trade market earlier this season, but as the time goes by, the less and less likely he is to be moved.

  • The Philadelphia 76ers are experiencing some locker room tension … could that force a possible trade? Also, the team is rumored to be keeping an eye of Collison.

  • The Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets were two Eastern Conference teams that many thought could be extremely active around the deadline. Although, TSN and the New York Post wrote about how each of their respective teams might be a lot quieter than initially thought. The Raptors are fighting to say atop the Eastern Conference, while the Nets are barely hanging on to a playoff spot. No move from either team would be a bit surprising, but anything is possible between now and 3:00 p.m. ET tomorrow.


Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.