The Cleveland Cavaliers appear willing to listen to offers for guard Collin Sexton, and several teams may be prepared to do what it takes to land the young scorer.
According to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, the Heat, Knicks, Lakers, Pelicans, Pacers, and Thunder are among the teams considering making a run at Sexton. Talks are said to be in the “exploratory stage,” and no real offers have been made yet.
Amico adds that several of these teams would be willing to take on Kevin Love’s contract in order to facilitate a Sexton trade. This is something Cleveland may look to do if it decides to move Sexton, as the 32-year-old has two years and $60.2 million remaining on a deal that has become quite cumbersome for the rebuilding Cavaliers.
The 22-year-old Sexton is clearly available. He averaged 24.3 points per game last season, but there remain questions about whether he can coexist with Darius Garland. The Cavaliers also hold the No. 3 overall pick, and with a potential max extension looming for Sexton, trading him may be the team’s preference.
Chris Paul to the New York Knicks may be a dream scenario for some, but it does not appear likely to come true for one big reason.
Via Marc Berman of the New York Post, ESPN cap expert Bobby Marks pointed out that the obscure “over-38” bylaw in the league’s CBA gives the Phoenix Suns a significant advantage in keeping Paul if he opts out of his current deal. The Knicks can only offer Paul a three-year contract due to over-38 restrictions, while the Suns could use Paul’s Bird rights to secure a fourth year. That essentially means that the Suns can make Paul an offer, and if the Knicks or any other team moves to match it, the Suns can add a fourth year.
Paul has a $44 million player option for 2021-22. After his outstanding season with Phoenix, there is a growing expectation he will decline it in order to seek a longer deal while his value is high.
The Paul-to-New York links have emerged recently, with the Knicks growing in stature as a free agent destination. That may be true, but at least in this possible pursuit, the team would be at a clear disadvantage.
Chris Paul probably has little reason to leave the Phoenix Suns. But if he does, there is one team some view as a top option for him.
SNY’s Ian Begley published a story on Friday centered around the possibility of the New York Knicks landing CP3. Paul has a $44.2 million player option for next season. A recent report said the veteran point guard was expected to decline the option to pursue a longer-term contract.
Paul would likely only decline his option if he knew he could sign for a significant amount guaranteed in free agency.
Begley says several agents fear the Knicks as a landing spot for Paul if he goes the free agent route. They cite Paul’s relationship with current Knicks executive Leon Rose as the motivating factor. Rose used to be Paul’s agent.
The Knicks would make sense in that context. But you have to ask why Paul would want to leave Phoenix.
In his first season with the Suns, he reached the conference finals and NBA Finals for the first time in his career. If Paul prioritizes winning, it would be hard to imagine him leaving the Suns.
Kawhi Leonard is eligible to become a free agent once again this summer if he declines his player option, which he is all but certainly going to do. There has been no real reason to think he will leave the Los Angeles Clippers, but at least two teams are waiting to pounce if he does.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer was told by sources that the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks are both planning to make a “hard push” to sign Leonard if he tests free agency. Some executives reportedly believe that the Mavericks are the biggest threat to pry Leonard away from L.A., as they have salary cap flexibility and can offer Leonard the opportunity to play with a fellow top-10 player in Luka Doncic.
As O’Connor notes, Leonard tried to recruit Jimmy Butler to the Clippers before L.A. landed Paul George. That means Leonard wanted to play with Butler at some point and still might, which is why the Heat can’t be ruled out. Though, they do not have the necessary salary cap space to sign Leonard and would need to get creative with a sign-and-trade.
The New York Knicks are also monitoring the Leonard situation. It is common knowledge that they are in the market for a star player.
The thought of Leonard winding up in Dallas is intriguing. The Mavericks have already undergone significant changes this offseason by bringing in a new head coach and general manager. There also appears to be some tension between their two biggest stars.
George signed a five-year max extension with the Clippers last year, so he is committed to the team. Recent reports have indicated that Leonard is as well, but we know better than to rule anything out during an NBA offseason.
Kelly Oubre is coming off a disappointing season with the Golden State Warriors, but it appears to be doing little to diminish interest in him around the league.
According to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and New York Knicks are among the teams set to have interest in Oubre, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The expectation is that Oubre will have a decent amount of interest, and may be able to cash in as other wing players have in recent offseasons.
Oubre has flashed signs of what he is capable of, but his year with Golden State was disappointing. He was limited to 15.4 points per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field. Much of that was down to a bad start to the season, as things improved somewhat later in the year.
There are some indications that one of these three teams may be of particular interest to Oubre, too. That might be one to watch.
After the success they had this season with Julius Randle, the New York Knicks could be taking on another veteran reclamation project of sorts.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Monday that the Knicks have mutual interest with free agent swingman Kelly Oubre. Berman adds that the Knicks are one of the few teams with enough cap room this summer to offer the 25-year-old more than the $9.5 million midlevel exception.
The former first-round pick Oubre is coming off a fairly average year with the Golden State Warriors. He put up 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds a game on 31.6 percent from three before a wrist injury ended his season early.
The Knicks ran with RJ Barrett and Reggie Bullock as their starters on the wing this season. But Bullock is an unrestricted free agent himself, just like Oubre is, while Barrett is capable of playing either the 2 or the 3.
Oubre does seem pretty doubtful to return to Golden State, especially after the feathers he ruffled in recent months. But the Warriors’ loss could very easily end up being the Knicks’ gain.
The New York Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday night after they lost to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5. Derrick Rose had a rough night shooting, and there is a chance it may have been his last with the Knicks. He is hoping that is not the case, however.
After the 103-89 loss, Rose was asked by a reporter if he thinks he will be back with the Knicks next season. He said that decision is out of his control but made it clear he would love to return.
“That’s up to the front office. They’ve got big plans,” Rose said. “Who knows if I may be back. … It’s really not up to me at all, but I would love to come back. Who wouldn’t want to play for the Knicks and be in New York? I would love it, but at the same time I know it’s out of my hands and they may have bigger plans.”
Rose averaged 14.9 points and played 26.8 minutes per game in 35 games with the Knicks after they acquired him in a trade with the Detroit Pistons. While New York is looking to upgrade at point guard this offseason, Rose has a strong relationship with head coach Tom Thibodeau. There should be mutual interest in him coming back if the cost is reasonable.
Rose is 32 and has had multiple knee surgeries, but he has some fairly new methods for staying healthy. He’s still capable of being a productive player and should draw plenty of interest on the free agent market.
As for the “bigger plans” Rose alluded to, the Knicks appear to be firmly in the market for a star player or two this offseason.
The Atlanta Hawks put together a big performance against the New York Knicks on Friday, posting a 105-94 win that wasn’t even as close as the score would indicate. It seems there was a motivating factor behind the Hawks coming out and playing the way they did.
Hawks guard Kevin Huerter revealed that two key incidents from the second half of Game 2 made the team angry when watching film, and the team focused on not letting the Knicks beat them physically in Game 3.
Physical play has been a hallmark of the series. Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan has made it a key point publicly, too.
There was one moment where the Hawks seemed to be setting the tone early in Game 3. It definitely worked out, as they’re up 2-1 in the series and the Knicks look badly off on offense. Now it’s up to New York to mount a response.
Atlanta Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan has been willing to stir the pot about the officiating in his team’s series against the New York Knicks. After Friday’s win, he indicated that he’s still not pleased with how games are being called.
The Knicks attempted 30 free throws in Friday’s game, while the Hawks got to the line only eight times. That disparity wasn’t lost on McMillan, who made postgame comments that pretty clearly signaled his unhappiness with it without actually taking aim at the referees.
McMillan has already been fined once by the league for remarks about the NBA’s treatment of the Knicks. He doesn’t particularly want to pay any more, but he’d like to signal his displeasure anyway.
The Hawks’ complaints have continued throughout the series. They’re up 2-1 anyway, so it hasn’t completely thrown them off their games.
The Atlanta Hawks feel like their first-round opponents are taking a page out of the book of the Andrew Bogut-era Golden State Warriors.
After Tuesday’s Game 2 loss to the New York Knicks, Hawks coach Nate McMillan spoke out on what he saw as questionable screens by the Knicks.
“I thought they were setting some screens that need to be looked at,” McMillan said, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. “That’s a part of this game. Certainly in the playoffs you have to set screens with [defensive] pressure that teams and guards will be applying, and we have to do a better job of setting screens. But I thought [in Game 2] they set some screens that the league has to look at.”
Hawks big man John Collins also expressed a very similar sentiment.
“The screens that have been made and the elbows that have been flying the first two games are illegal,” said Collins. “They are not basketball plays. That’s how I feel. Obviously, the officials have the ability to make their calls and we have to live with that. I wasn’t vulgar or disrespectful in any way when those calls were made. But they are illegal.”
Dunleavy points out one example in Game 2 where Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic got slammed by a Julius Randle screen that led to a basket.
The series, which is now even at 1-1, has already gotten pretty personal. As play now shifts over to Atlanta, the Hawks are looking to balance the scales any way that they can.