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NBA Trade Rumors: Feb. 20–22

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We are now measuring time until the trade deadline in hours instead of days. Which stars could be on the move?

NBA: Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (1:08 PM): Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting via Twitter that the Wizards have acquired Bojan Bogdanovic from Nets.


Tomorrow is the last day teams can make trades this NBA season, and trade rumors are flying. There have been a couple trades already this week including the much discussed DeMarcus Cousins trade that sent the Sacramento Kings All-Star to the New Orleans Pelicans. The other less splashy, but still relevant, trade involved the Houston Rockets acquiring Lou Williams from Los Angeles Lakers for Corey Brewer and a future draft pick. Williams has averaged a career-high 18.6 points per game off the bench for the Lakers this season, while Brewer is averaging a career-low 4.2 points per game.

The biggest names still being discussed are Paul George and Jimmy Butler of the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls respectively. It seems unlikely that the Pacers will move Paul George. ESPN Senior Writer Zach Lowe reported on Monday that Indiana was rejecting any calls about the four time All-Star. Nate Taylor of the IndyStar reiterated that report on Tuesday, adding that the Pacers are looking to add a rotation instead:

The Pacers hope to add a rotation player to help solidify their place in the playoffs and boost their chances of climbing in the Eastern Conference standings. Team President Larry Bird and General Manager Kevin Pritchard could add depth in the frontcourt or on the perimeter.

Don't expect a blockbuster. Multiple sources told IndyStar the Pacers would not consider any trade discussion that involved Paul George.

The Pacers also do not plan to move Jeff Teague, their starting point guard, or Myles Turner, their 20-year-old phenom center. The Pacers want to see how this trio can build chemistry over time, and Bird wants to re-sign Teague, who is playing on an expiring contract, to a long-term deal this summer.

With those players off the market, the Pacers’ best asset is their first-round pick in June’s draft. Bird is willing to trade the pick if it allows him to add another veteran who could help the Pacers in the playoffs.

However, today, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Pacers are gauging the trade market on George:

The Pacers are working the trade deadline on parallel fronts: Pursuing deals that will bring talent into Indiana to sell George on signing a long-term extension – and soliciting deal offers on George that would signal a rebuild around center Myles Turner, league sources told The Vertical.

One player that Indiana is pursuing to add talent is Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor. On Tuesday, ESPN reported that the Pacers have reached out to Philly about Okafor. David Aldridge of TNT told NBA TV that the second-year player “will get moved” before Thursday’s trade deadline. Chris Mannix said on The Vertical podcast that the 76ers still value Okafor as a third overall pick while teams interested in him do not. Wojnarowski, in the same podcast, said that if Philadelphia cannot get a deal for Okafor done, they will look again at moving Nerlens Noel.

Just as with George, a Butler trade seems more unlikely than likely. The Boston Celtics continue to be the most probable destination for the versatile wing. On his Tuesday podcast, Wojnarowski said that Boston will reach out to the Bulls sometime this week. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that Chicago wouldn’t listen to a Celtics offer that did not include the 2017 Brooklyn Nets pick. Aldridge said on NBA TV that forward Jae Crowder was the sticking point for Celtics president Danny Ainge:

I think the Jimmy Butler stuff is real. They have been trying to get Jimmy Butler. [Ainge] does not want to give up Jae Crowder. That’s, I think, the main sticking point there—that he doesn’t want to give up Jae Crowder in a deal, and that’s the guy the Bulls are insisting on right now in any package for Butler.

The picks will work themselves out. Boston has about 600 first-round picks in the next five years, so they’ll make it work. That part I’m not worried about. I think it really comes down to Crowder. In terms of real, tangible players, I think Danny would like to go into the playoffs with Smart, Bradley, Crowder defensively along with Butler, Horford, Thomas offensively. I think he feels like that’s he only way they’re going to be able to compete with a team like Cleveland.

Chicago, I think rightly, is saying, “If you want our best player, we’re not going to just do it for picks. We’re not going to take guys you’re not going to keep on your roster. We want a guy that is going to be able to grow with us, along with one of those high picks.” They want a top half of the lottery type of pick for Jimmy Butler, along with a starting established player under contract. Again, I understand that from Chicago’s point of view.

Meanwhile, the Bulls are open to trading other players on their roster. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Chicago is more motivated to trade forwards Taj Gibson or Nikola Mirotic. Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports reported that the Bulls are willing to trade Gibson or Doug McDermott for the right draft pick.

Most trade rumors surrounding the New York Knicks in recent weeks has involved Carmelo Anthony. However, the most recent rumors involved point guard Derrick Rose. Wojnarowski said on The Vertical podcast that the Knicks “have been really aggressive trying to move Derrick Rose for almost anything.” One team showing interest in the former MVP is the Minnesota Timberwolves. A trade with Minnesota would reunite Rose with his former coach Tom Thibodeau:

Any potential Knicks and Wolves trade would likely involve Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Rubio is “one of the most likely players” to be traded before tomorrow’s deadline:

One of the most likely players to be traded between now and Thursday afternoon is Ricky Rubio. And that’s what the Knicks have been talking to the Wolves about is a Ricky Rubio for Derrick Rose swap. But it’s not just the Knicks that are an option here.

The Pistons have had talks with the Timberwolves about Ricky Rubio and Reggie Jackson, and if there’s a second point guard that I would bet to get traded by Thursday would be Reggie Jackson. Here’s the problem though, the Timberwolves don’t want Reggie Jackson, from sources telling me, and they’re looking for a third team.

Earlier rumors about Reggie Jackson of the Detroit Pistons had him potentially going to the Orlando Magic. That deal, however, appears unlikely:

Another point guard showing up in rumors is Dallas Mavericks Deron Williams. Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN reported Tuesday that the Utah Jazz have shown interest in re-acquiring the former All-Star. According to Stein, the Dallas Mavericks are willing to take on contracts for draft compensation. Williams played five full seasons with the Jazz who traded him to the New Jersey Nets during the 2010–11 season.

One of the players the Jazz received in that trade has also been the subject of recent trade rumors. On Monday, Lowe wrote that Utah has “tested the market for Derrick Favors over the last few weeks.” On Tuesday, however, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune wrote that Utah is hesitant to part with Favors:

But sources have told The Tribune that the Jazz are hesitant to trade Favors before Thursday's deadline unless they are overwhelmed by an offer. Sources have told The Tribune that the Phoenix Suns have inquired about Favors' availability.

In an unrelated trade rumor, the Denver Nuggets are open to moving either Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler. According to Lowe, the Nuggets are looking for a lottery-protected first round pick and swap rights on another pick for either player.

Lowe also wrote that both the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards want to add a rotation player. Today, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweeted that the Raptors are looking to add a big, small forward, or shooter on the wing.

Several teams are interested in Phoenix Suns defensive swingman P.J. Tucker according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Scotto lists the Raptors, Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Celtics and Jazz as interested parties.

ESPN’s Calvin Watkins is reporting that the Cleveland Cavilers, New York Knicks, and Chicago Bulls have all expressed interest in Rockets guard Patrick Beverly. However, Watkins added that Houston has no interest in trading the fifth-year point guard.

The Sacramento Kings may not be done trading. Brian Geltzeiler of Hoopscritic.com tweeted that the Kings are making Darren Collison, Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore, and Anthony Tolliver available.

With the trade deadline about 24 hours away, things remain in flux. We’ll keep this post updated with relevant news as it breaks.

Trade deadline on the horizon? Here are some options worth noting.

Posted by Blazer's Edge on Thursday, January 12, 2017