One of the many NBA draft rumors floating around Twitter came to fruition on Thursday night as Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Although one of the biggest names is off the block, that doesn’t mean rumor season is over, as a few players could still change teams.
Here’s a look at three recent trade rumors involving some of the game’s biggest names that developed over the past 24 hours.
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It’s a matter of when, and not if, Paul George is traded at this point. The question is to whom.
On Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers were in negotiations regarding George, but that the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement:
The C’s seem out of the George race at this point after picking Duke forward Jayson Tatum with the third overall selection.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders threw out the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs as possibilities:
However, Jason Quick of CSN Northwest said Portland’s offer didn’t intrigue Indiana enough:
Indiana Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard went public in regards to the George talks. Here are some comments per Fox 59 in Indianapolis: “We have a lot of things still ongoing. Multiple things came up tonight that we looked at, including draft picks, but at the end of the day, there’s so much other stuff that don’t include draft picks that we decided to stay put and look at everything that is on the board in the future.”
The gist is that it doesn’t seem like the Pacers are going to make a panic move and trade George for pennies on the dollar.
The problem is that Indiana doesn’t have much leverage with George’s contract running out after next season.
Still, the Pacers are going to look to make the best out of a bad situation. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess as to where George goes.
New York Knicks fans were in full-on panic mode after president of basketball operations Phil Jackson said that the team was taking calls on Porzingis after he skipped an exit interview following the end of the season.
Some rumors floated around on Thursday, with Wojnarowski reporting that the C’s were involved:
However, Wojnarowski (h/t Adam Kaufman of WBZ News Radio) later said the C’s had retreated:
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News got the particulars on the Knicks’ demands:
“According to a Knicks source, Jackson is asking for the third overall pick in Thursday’s draft as well as next year’s Brooklyn pick along with the Celtics’ 2016 first-round pick Jaylen Brown (3rd overall) and Jae Crowder. This version of the deal would not include Boston taking on Joakim Noah‘s contract. The Celtics feel the price is far too high but they are open to tweaking the deal to include just one draft pick, either this year’s No. 3 or next year’s Brooklyn pick.”
In regards to Joakim Noah, it looks like the Knicks have tried to package his contract away with KP, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com: “Joakim Noah’s name has come up in multiple discussions about possible Kristaps Porzingis trades with the Knicks looking to send out Noah’s contract, sources told Ramona Shelburne and I. Noah signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Knicks last summer.”
After all this drama, it looks like KP is going to stay put, which will make Knicks fans very happy. Barring a trade for a young superstar on an All-NBA team, any Porzingis deal was not going to be worth it.
Now the Knicks can (hopefully) focus on building around the 7’3″, 21-year-old big man who averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in the midst of a season filled with entirely too much drama. Bringing in point guard Frank Ntilikina is a good start.
The Minnesota Timberwolves point guard is on a short list of players who seem to be involved in rumors every year. Of course, those rumors never come to fruition.
Perhaps this year will be different, though, as more rumors are circulating surrounding the T-Wolves floor general.
Before the draft, Wojnarowski reported that Rubio was still on the trading block:
Later in the day, Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today noted that he was hearing a similar sentiment:
Rubio seems like a good fit (on paper, at least) for the current Timberwolves roster. The team needs a pass-first distributor to dish the ball off to Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, all of whom should average over 20 points per game next year at minimum. Minnesota doesn’t need another ball-dominant player hogging up the usage.
Therefore, a switch at the point guard position seems a bit curious, but maybe head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has someone else in mind.
Perhaps he wants an old Chicago Bulls reunion in Minnesota with free agent Derrick Rose running the point. Begley noted the interest in late May.
However, Rose is a bad fit for this team, as he’s a score-first point guard who is going to take his 15-17 shots per game. That’s not going to mesh well with the Wolves’ Big Three.
The T-Wolves should give Rubio a chance to run the point next year. If it doesn’t work out, then move on.
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