With just over a week until the NBA's trade deadline, teams are monitoring the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz as needle movers on the trade market.
Quietly, there's a hope among NBA executives that one of these teams, or another, will reset the trade market for marquee players following Minnesota's acquisition of Rudy Gobert, which has made it harder for bigger deals to get done due to an overpay of draft pick compensation.
Bojan Bogdanovic hints at Detroit's free agency plans
Ezra Shaw-Getty Images
Despite signing an extension after being traded to Detroit, several playoff contenders are still trying to pry Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic in trade talks. However, the veteran forward has been told by Detroit's ownership and management that he's considered a core member of the team's future and what the offseason plans are to compete next season.
"Having conversations with the club, Troy (Weaver), and the owners, they assured me that we're going to be great next year," Bogdanovic told HoopsHype. "We have a lot of cap space to sign great players. We're going to have a high pick again, so that's going to help us a lot. We have a great young group of guys. When Cade (Cunningham) went down, that kind of hurt us big time. We were thinking that maybe we'd be fighting for the play-in tournament, but when he went down, he was our main guy. All of our offensive strategies were connected to him. When he went down, our season, we've had a lot of ups and downs without him."
Despite the loss of Cunningham, Bogdanovic mentioned Jalen Duren's rapid development from a bench player to a starter capable of playing 30 minutes a night as a defensive anchor, Jaden Ivey, and Killian Hayes, who's averaging 12 points and 6.8 assists as a starter, as reasons for optimism looking ahead.
Detroit's struggles without Cunningham, nor constant trade rumors, have affected Bogdanovic, who's averaging career-highs in points (21.2) and assists (2.7).
"I heard the rumors, but I'm trying to stay away from those conversations," Bogdanovic told HoopsHype. "I don't even have any social media like Twitter. I don't read much about that. It's not in my control. It's about the franchises. I'm just going to try and stay focused and play as best I can. Then, we'll see what's going to happen at the end of the trade deadline."
- Michael Scotto
Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt trade talks
Stephen Maturen-Getty Images
Utah's Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt have been discussed in trade talks with several teams around the league. In those conversations, Utah has given the indication that it would take the equivalent of a first-round pick to acquire each player, league sources told HoopsHype.
Beasley - an Atlanta native - and Vanderbilt were most notably mentioned together in multi-team trade discussions for Hawks forward John Collins earlier this season. The Suns have also expressed interest in trading for the duo.
Utah has also monitored multiple wing players, including Dallas' Dorian Finney-Smith and Charlotte's Jalen McDaniels, HoopsHype has learned.
Utah could theoretically try to dangle Beasley and/or Vanderbilt to land Finney-Smith. As for McDaniels, the Jazz could wait to sign him with cap space. Phoenix and Toronto have expressed interest in trading for McDaniels and acquiring his Bird Rights. McDaniels is having his best season, averaging a career-high 11 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game, and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
In addition to the Hawks and Cavaliers, the Pelicans have also expressed interest in trading for Beasley, HoopsHype has learned.
With that in mind, it's worth noting New Orleans guard Devonte' Graham and center Jaxson Hayes are considered available on the trade market according to executives around the league. Graham is owed $24.75 million over the next two seasons, and Hayes is eligible for a qualifying offer and restricted free agency this summer.
It's also worth mentioning Knicks executive Gersson Rosas is a supporter of Beasley and Vanderbilt dating back to their days together in Minnesota. Rosas traded for both players in the same four-team deal and eventually signed Beasley to a four-year, $60 million deal and Vanderbilt to a three-year, $13.8 million contract with the Timberwolves.
The current Knicks regime expressed interest in Beasley just before he agreed to terms with Minnesota years ago. The Knicks have kept tabs on Beasley since, while Rosas has monitored both of his former players from afar.
Indiana, who has had interest in trading for Collins, has also expressed interest in trading for Vanderbilt, HoopsHype has learned.
Vanderbilt is signed for $4.7 million next season and Beasley has a $16.5 million team option for next season.
Exclusive: Malik Beasley hopes to remain with Jazz and have team option picked up
- Michael Scotto
What Myles Turner's renegotiation and extension means for the Pacers and trade market
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
As part of the three-year, $58.1 million extension for Myles Turner, the Pacers used their cap space to increase his $18 million salary for this season up to $35.1 million. His subsequent salary decreases by 40 percent, the maximum allowable salary drop following a renegotiation and extension. His cap hit for 2023-24 is $20.9 million, and 2024-25 is $19.9 million, making this a very team-friendly deal for the Pacers.
Indiana went into last offseason with over $30 million in cap space which was enough to sign Deandre Ayton to a maximum offer sheet. After the Suns matched it, the Pacers rolled their cap space into the season. As the year went on and no trade involving Turner materialized, the possibility of them using a portion of their cap space to renegotiate and extend Turner became apparent. They now have $10.7 million in cap space remaining for this season which is still plenty for them to make uneven deals where they take on more salary. The Spurs are the only other team with cap space this season ($26.9 million).
Giving Turner an additional $17 million now in exchange for keeping his salary fixed over the next two years at the same range of his current salary will immensely help with their cap space situation. They are still projected to generate a little over $30 million in cap space this offseason, a figure which could decrease if they fall further in the standings since it would mean a higher draft selection with a higher salary. They already are set to have 15 players on the roster for next season, so it's possible their cap space goes unused again. As mentioned in HoopsHype's trade guide, the Pacers could utilize renegotiation again with Buddy Hield with a portion of their cap space this offseason.
Turner's cap hit for next season will be roughly 15 percent of next year's cap and smaller than that in 2024-25. This could help keep the Pacers in the cap space derby in 2024 when Tyrese Haliburton's next deal would kick in, presumably a maximum contract. By then, the Pacers could be ready to take the next step and pursue veterans to help make a playoff run.
Turner remains trade-eligible despite renegotiating and extending his contract. This is because the extension doesn't extend his current contract beyond three years (including this one), and he didn't receive raises larger than five percent. While a trade seems unlikely after coming to terms, this deal could significantly increase his trade value ahead of the deadline. More buyers could emerge with Turner no longer set to become a free agent and extended at a very reasonable rate.
- Yossi Gozlan
Why the Nuggets could trade Bones Hyland
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
The Nuggets have begun gauging trade interest on Bones Hyland, according to Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer. He notes Denver's desire to acquire a defensive-minded forward and occasional clashes with head coach Mike Malone as motivating factors to potentially trading Hyland. If the Nuggets don't plan on keeping him long-term, it would make sense to trade him now while his value is relatively high, and is only owed $6.5 million over the next two seasons.
While this development could surprise those who are bullish on Hyland's potential, trading him is really Denver's only way to improve the roster this season. As mentioned in HoopsHype's trade guide, they have all but two second-round picks and one conditional 2029 first-round pick to trade this season. Further complicating a potential trade is their lack of large tradeable salaries outside of their rotation for salary matching, which could mean they'll have to use one of their trade exceptions to facilitate a deal. The Nuggets also don't want to give up draft compensation in any trade involving Hyland, league sources told HoopsHype's Michael Scotto.
Fischer also notes Bruce Brown's impending free agency as another motivating factor for them to pursue a wing for Hyland. Brown has a $6.8 million player option for next season, which he could decline to pursue a raise. If he opts out, Denver will have his non-Bird Rights and will be limited to re-signing him for up to four years, $33.4 million, featuring a $7.8 million starting salary. Acquiring another wing now would be a hedge against Brown walking if they are priced out of re-signing him.
- Yossi Gozlan
Is the trade deadline the spiciest time in the NBA?
Tim Nwachukwu-Getty Images
For many NBA fans and front offices, the days leading up to trade deadline bring excitement levels akin to a child waiting for Christmas. It's only natural to wonder whether the hype is worth it. After years covering the deadline, let's examine if that level anticipation is warranted.
If we focus recent times, the answer is yes. 2022 was one of the most thrilling trade deadlines in memory, if not the most. For the first time, three All-Stars from the year before were moved, with Ben Simmons and James Harden being swapped in a blockbuster move between the 76ers and Nets. Meanwhile, Domantas Sabonis was sent to Sacramento in the textbook win-win trade that brought Tyrese Haliburton to Indiana, setting the stage for a potential All-Star Game meeting between the two.
Those trades came one year after the Nikola Vucevic to Bulls deal, so that was two trade deadlines in a row the Bulls in which an All-Star from the previous year was moved. That had never happened in NBA history.
The trade deadline buzz isn't limited to high-quality player movement, though. Last season saw an unprecedented 58 players traded during the week before the deadline, breaking the previous record from 2019. In the last four seasons, an average of 51.3 players have been moved during that period, compared to just 36.9 players on average in the 10 years prior. And going a bit further in time, in 2006-07, just four at-best rotation players switched teams at the trade deadline: Alan Henderson, Anthony Johnson, Fred Jones, and Juan Dixon.
There's little doubt front offices are taking February more seriously now than ever, and there are several reasons for that. For starters, there are more buyers at this point than in other years due to a couple of recent changes. First, moving the trade deadline to the second week of February instead of the fourth, and then creating the play-in tournament that gives four additional teams a shot at the playoffs. At this point in the 2022-23 season, only five of the 30 teams are positively giving a deeper look at their chances of drafting Victor Wembanyama than at playing basketball in late April.
The CBA changes geared at favoring contract extensions are also a big factor. The quality of free agent talent decreases each year, and the blockbuster moves are trades. Valuable veterans in mediocre teams like Bojan Bogdanovic and Myles Turner, who in other times would be waiting to free agency to flee to contenders, now prefer to sign lucrative extensions knowing there's a strong trade market for them.
The best chance to improve every aspect of the roster with proven talent is now via trade, and teams are looking forward to giving us the craziest and spiciest time of the year very soon.
- Alberto De Roa
You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto), Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan), and Alberto De Roa (@TikotDeRoa) on Twitter.
Story originally appeared on HoopsHype