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The NBA trade market has been sluggish so far this season (no surprise Noah Bonley to the San Antonio Spurs?). Trading deadline.
The Spurs and Indiana Pacers are two teams previously linked in talks with the Los Angeles Lakers, below the NBA’s lowest team salary line of $111.3 million. If so, the player receives the missing bonus. That’s similar to the $22.7 million the Oklahoma City Thunder kicked back last season to players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Guiddy, and Lou Dort.
Sources close to the Spurs are optimistic that the franchise has ample cap space (around $28 million), enough to make up around $15 million to reach the floor. That’s his $15 million they need to spend, no matter what. So there’s real motivation to add a player, and it shows why Vonley’s deal, which brought in $1.5 million in cash from the Boston Celtics, was an easy yes from San Antonio.
If the Lakers can get the good news as they breathlessly monitor every minute step of Anthony Davis’ recovery from his leg injury, the team will make Russell Westbrook a better player around LeBron James. You might consider exchanging it for a fit player.
Once available to players like Jacob Poeltl, Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson, Westbrook’s $47.1 million salary would go a long way to boosting San Antonio’s salary 3-4 in Los Angeles. months).
All Westbrook deals with the Lakers across the league start with a first-round pick, NBA sources say. Eastern According to his conference executives, if the Lakers wanted to add a valuable Spurs player like Poeltl, the cost would cost him first “and then some” second.
The Spurs may be confident they can reach the floor via a string of Vonley-like deals, but they need a bigger paycheck to make a dent, and many teams are aggressively trying to get big. I’m not trying to throw money at you.
For the Pacers, who are about $15 million below the team’s minimum salary, their approach may be different than the Spurs. After years of buying Myles Turner on the trade block and giving DeAndre Ayton an offer sheet (the Phoenix Suns were a quick match), Indiana considered extending Turner.
He is one of the few players whose contracts can be re-established with a team that can legally renegotiate. The Pacers have cap room that gives him an immediate bonus for the current season and a multi-year extension.
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“The Pacers could give him another $15 million this season, and maybe an extra three years at his current salary. [around $18 million on average]”It’s like a $23 million annual extension,” suggested one Eastern Conference executive.
Indiana may still trade, but the Pacers are focused on making the playoffs.
“They could still trade buddies [Hield]another Eastern Conference executive said, “It’s been available since they got him.”
The Lakers and Pacers had more serious talks about a Westbrook/Turner/Hiald swap before the season, but it ultimately didn’t work out and Indiana needed two first-round picks in any deal. . If Turner isn’t regrouped and extended, the Lakers could go after Hield, but LA would still be the first casualty away from Westbrook.
And it seems unlikely. The Lakers fully value Westbrook as a playmaker off the bench, and the team won’t be sacrificing a future starting player to get away from his paycheck. and that conversation cannot begin until Davis is declared healthy (if he is).
So a trade of Westbrook to San Antonio or Indiana takes other valuable considerations (from a Lakers perspective) that move the needle, like if the Chicago Bulls were willing to leave DeMar DeRozan and Nicola. It might only work in multi-team deals that involve Vucevic without facing Westbrook.
“The Bulls are stuck in a box. Their moves over the last few years have exploded in their faces,” an NBA source said. I think.”
Instead, the Lakers could go after Bojan Bogdanovic of the Detroit Pistons (assuming Davis proves to be healthy by the deadline), leaving Patrick Beverly and Kendrick Nunn at the salaries they need. But the Pistons are seeking a first-round pick for a team eager to add the veteran shooter, and the Lakers aren’t the only hopefuls.
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The Dallas Mavericks are on the list, but one source says the Pistons will seek a 2027 first-round pick from the Mavericks (perhaps a player like Davis Bertans that doesn’t work out). When).
Considering there are no teams looking to sell, the Spurs are counting on Poeltl for a first win of more than one, and the Houston Rockets still want a lot out of Eric Gordon, so the trade market remains open. The Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic have yet to show any willingness to trade veteran players, according to multiple sources.
“One of the unintended consequences of play-in tournaments is a chill in the trade market,” an Eastern Conference executive said. [through the play-in], there just aren’t that many sellers in December or January. The end of the month should see even more action heading into February. ”
Further slowdown in the trade market – Few teams are actively trying to secure salary cap space in July.
“No one wants cap space this summer,” said a Western Conference executive. [quality veterans] that too.No sales like last year [the] Portland [Trail Blazers]But [even] That was the purpose of the remodel. ”
The team hopes to bring more transparency to the trading market, but that may not happen until the end of the month. In the meantime, trade addicts may end up making a few more Vonleh-style money deals before the February fireworks start.
Email Eric Pincus at Eric Pincus (firstname.lastname@example.org) and follow him on Twitter. @Eric Pincus.