Jazz To Trade Rudy Gobert To Timberwolves

The Jazz are trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (all Twitter links), the Jazz will receive Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler, and four future first-rounders in the deal.

Minnesota will send Utah unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027, along with a top-five protected 2029 first-rounder and a pick swap in 2026, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A major shake-up had been expected in Utah this spring and Gobert has been mentioned in trade rumors since the Jazz were eliminated from the postseason since the spring. Still, the fact that he’s being sent to a division rival in Minnesota, where he’ll team up with Karl-Anthony Towns to form perhaps the NBA’s best frontcourt duo, comes as a surprise and represents a huge home-run swing by new Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.

The move will cost the Timberwolves a good amount of their depth, but will create a loaded starting five. Towns and Gobert figure to be joined by point guard D’Angelo Russell, rising star Anthony Edwards, and one of Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince, or Jaden McDaniels.

More to come…

Lakers Sign Scotty Pippen Jr., Cole Swider Via Two-Way Deals

JULY 1: The Lakers have officially signed Pippen and Swider to two-way contracts, the team announced today (Twitter links).

JUNE 23: The Lakers are set to add undrafted former Vanderbilt point guard Scotty Pippen Jr. to a two-way contract, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic (Twitter link). Los Angeles will also sign undrafted Syracuse rookie forward Cole Swider into their second two-play player slot, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

The 21-year-old Pippen, son of Hall of Fame Bulls small forward Scottie Pippen, played for three seasons with the Commodores. The 6’1″ guard was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2020, and was a two-time First-Team All-SEC selection in 2021 and 2022.

During his third NCAA season in 2021/22, the younger Pippen averaged 20.4 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.6 RPG and 1.9 SPG across 36 games, all starts. He posted a slash line of .416/.325/.749.

Swider spent his first three college seasons with Villanova before finishing his NCAA career with Syracuse. For the Orange in 2021/22, Swider averaged 13.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.4 APG and 1.0 SPG. The 6’9″ forward started all 33 games during his final NCAA season, with solid shooting splits of .473/.411/.866.

Pippen and Swider will log some time with L.A.’s NBAGL affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, but could also help contribute to the depth-challenged NBA club.

Eastern Notes: Cavs, Rubio, Tsai, Bucks, Papagiannis, Bridges

The Cavaliersagreement with Ricky Rubio remains flexible and could eventually become a sign-and-trade with the Pacers, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Rubio, who suffered a torn left ACL last December, isn’t expected to be able to play for the first two or three months of the season, so the Cavs want to explore other point guard options.

If they do a sign-and-trade with Rubio, they’d be able to use their $10.4MM mid-level exception to address that area, and Fedor suggests that another signing could be reported sometime this weekend.

Bringing back Rubio was “Plan A” for the team, Fedor adds, after he helped fuel a surprising rise to contention last season. Serving as a veteran component in a young backcourt, Rubio averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 34 games before the injury. Cleveland was 20-14 with Rubio last season, but only 24-24 when he didn’t play.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Nets owner Joe Tsai is fed up with the drama surrounding the organization and won’t mind parting with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Vardon notes that Tsai has been willing to pay the luxury tax in the three seasons since Durant and Irving arrived, but he hasn’t gotten much in return, with just one playoff series win in that time. Other distractions, such as the coaching change involving Kenny Atkinson, the trades to acquire and then unload James Harden, the addition of Ben Simmons when he wasn’t ready to play, and Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated have all tested Tsai’s patience, Vardon adds.
  • The Bucks have some interest in former first-round pick Georgios Papagiannis, tweets Dionysis Aravantinos of HoopsHype. The Greek center fizzled out quickly after being selected at No. 13 in the 2016 draft — playing 38 games for the Kings and one for the Trail Blazers — but he has been a star in Europe, earning a spot on the All-EuroLeague Second Team this year. Papagiannis is still under contract to Panathinaikos, so Milwaukee would have to arrange a buyout, but Aravantinos doesn’t see that as an obstacle.
  • The wife of Hornets forward Miles Bridges has posted several photographs showing injuries that she says were caused when he attacked her this week, as Amy Woodyatt and Jacob Lev of CNN write. Bridges was arrested on Wednesday and charged with felony domestic violence. His next court date is scheduled for July 20, per CNN’s report.

Warriors, Kevon Looney Agree To Three-Year Contract

The Warriors are bringing back a key member of their championship roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), who reports that that the team has agreed to a three-year, $25.5MM deal with center Kevon Looney.

Looney enjoyed an impressive bounce-back year in 2021/22 after his previous two seasons were marred by injuries and a reduced role. He started 80 of Golden State’s 82 regular season games and averaged 6.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 2.0 APG in 21.1 minutes per contest while playing solid defense. His role remained steady in the postseason — he started just 13 of 22 games, but logged 20.4 MPG during the Warriors’ title run.

The 26-year-old put a stamp on a sterling contract year with his play in the NBA Finals — in six games, the Warriors outscored the Celtics by 48 points when he was on the court and were outscored by 24 points when he sat.

According to Marc Stein (Twitter link), some rival teams believed Looney might return to Golden State on a three- or four-year deal worth $10MM per year, so bringing him back at $8.5MM annually looks like a good deal for the defending champions. Additionally, the third year is only partially guaranteed for $3MM, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

The Warriors still have some work to do on their roster after striking a deal with Looney. The team has lost a pair of key rotation players so far in free agency, with Otto Porter headed to Toronto and Gary Payton II on his way to Portland.

Golden State’s projected tax bill figures to be a consideration as the team weighs its options with the taxpayer mid-level exception. According to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link), the Warriors have a projected tax bill of at least $120MM so far, and that number would rise significantly if the team uses its MLE.

Bulls To Re-Sign Derrick Jones To Two-Year Deal

The Bulls and Derrick Jones have agreed to a new two-year contract that will keep the free agent forward in Chicago, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, Jones’ two-year deal will be worth $6.6MM, with a second-year player option.

Chicago held Jones’ Early Bird rights, but a deal completed using the Early Bird exception can’t include a second-year option, so the team is likely renouncing its Early Bird rights and making Jones a Non-Bird free agent. The Bulls would then be able to complete the signing without dipping into their mid-level exception.

Jones, 25, appeared in 51 games for Chicago in 2021/22 after being acquired from Portland in an offseason trade. He averaged 5.6 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .538/.328/.800 shooting in 17.6 minutes per contest.

While Jones hasn’t made a major impact on the offensive end since entering the NBA in 2016, his athleticism and his ability to guard multiple positions on defense have continued to earn him regular minutes.

The Bulls now project to be about $3.5MM below the luxury tax line with 14 players under contract, tweets Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype.

Rockets Sign Trevor Hudgins To Two-Way Contract

JULY 1: The Rockets have officially signed Hudgins to his two-way deal, the team announced today in a press release. It’s a one-year contract, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

JUNE 24: Trevor Hudgins, a two-time Division II Player of the Year at Northwest Missouri State, will sign a two-way deal with the Rockets, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The agreement was confirmed by Hudgins’ agent, George Langberg.

A 23-year-old guard, Hudgins averaged 23.0 points, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals as a senior. He’s an accomplished shooter, connecting at 48.2% from the field, 41.5% from three-point range and 90.1% from the foul line this season. He was named Most Outstanding Player in the Division II Tournament in both 2019 and 2022 and won three national titles with the Bearcats.

Hudgins had one year of eligibility remaining, but chose to forego it and enter the draft. He also declared for the 2021 draft before deciding to return to school.

ESPN ranks Hudgins 33rd on its list of best undrafted players.

Bucks Sign AJ Green To Two-Way Deal

JULY 1: Green’s two-way contract is now official, the Bucks confirmed today in a press release.

JUNE 24: Undrafted rookie AJ Green of Northern Iowa will sign a two-way contract with the Bucks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 6’4″ combo guard played four seasons with the Panthers and was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2020 and 2022. Green missed most of his junior year because of hip surgery, but he bounced back strong as a senior, averaging 18.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 38.8% from three-point range.

Green, who had one year of eligibility remaining, entered the transfer portal at the same time he declared for the draft. He ultimately decided to pursue a pro career rather than return to school.

Milwaukee’s other two-way slot currently belongs to Sandro Mamukelashvili.

Hugo Besson, whom the Bucks took with the final pick in Thursday’s draft, might have been a candidate for a two-way contract, but the team plans to keep him overseas next season, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Trail Blazers Sign Shaedon Sharpe

Shaedon Sharpe, the seventh pick in last week’s draft, has signed his rookie contract with the Trail Blazers, the team announced in a press release.

The 19-year-old Canadian was considered a wild card heading into the draft because he didn’t play college basketball. Scouts watched his practices at Kentucky, but hadn’t seen him in action in a competitive environment since he left high school.

As the No. 7 selection, Sharpe will receive $6,012,960 during his first season if he signs for the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale, which virtually all first-round picks do. He’s eligible to make $27,340,903 over the four-year contract, assuming the Blazers pick up his options.

Sharpe is expected to play for Portland’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, which starts next week.

Northwest Rumors: Wolves, Gobert, Murray, Beasley, Brown, Micic

Thursday’s agreement with Kyle Anderson will give the Timberwolves 15 players under contract, but they’re not done with offseason moves, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota remains in the market for another big man and has talked to the Jazz about Rudy Gobert, sources tell Krawczynski.

Although the Wolves used a first-round pick on Auburn’s Walker Kessler, they want to add a veteran center so there’s not too much pressure on Kessler to produce right away. They were interested in free agents JaVale McGee and Isaiah Hartenstein, but they both reached deals with other teams Thursday night.

Minnesota’s talks with Utah about Gobert began before the draft, but the Jazz are asking a lot in return for their perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate. If the Wolves can’t work out a trade for Gobert, Krawczynski cites the PacersMyles Turner and the HawksClint Capela as other options, although he adds that Minnesota’s talks with Atlanta haven’t gotten very far.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves talked to the Spurs about Dejounte Murray but weren’t willing to meet the asking price, Krawczynski confirms. There was also skepticism that Murray would re-sign with Minnesota once his contract expires in two years.
  • Teams have been making calls to gather background info on Timberwolves wing Malik Beasley, but no deal is imminent, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Beasley, who will make $15.45MM next season, carries a team option for his $16.52MM salary in 2023/24.
  • Bruce Brown possibly could have made more than the $13+ million he’ll receive from the Nuggets over the next two years, but he believes he’s entering a good situation in Denver, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). A source tells Reynolds that “fit” was more important to Brown than money.
  • Vasilije Micic‘s representatives are pressing the Thunder to trade him, but Oklahoma City isn’t willing to give the European star up cheaply, according to Aris Barkas of EuroHoops. The Nuggets, Bucks, Bulls and Spurs have all expressed interest in Micic, Barkas hears.

Pacers To Trade Malcolm Brogdon To Celtics

The Pacers have agreed to trade veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The deal will send center Daniel Theis, wing Aaron Nesmith, and a 2023 first-round pick to Indiana, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter). Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, and Juwan Morgan are also headed to the Pacers in the swap, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

The Celtics wanted to acquire a “true play-making guard,” Wojnarowski explains (via Twitter), and were able to do so without including any of their core players in the package. Brogdon has battled injuries frequently over the course of his six-year career, but has been effective on both ends of the court when healthy.

In 2021/22, the 29-year-old averaged 19.1 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 5.1 RPG in 36 games (33.5 MPG) for the Pacers. Brogdon’s three-point percentage dipped to 31.2% last season, but he’s still a 37.6% career shooter from beyond the arc.

Although Brogdon’s name has come up frequently in trade rumors this offseason, he was primarily linked to the Wizards and Knicks in the weeks leading up to the draft. Washington addressed its point guard hole by agreeing to acquire Monte Morris and sign Delon Wright, while New York landed Jalen Brunson in free agency. That opened the door for another Eastern Conference club to make a deal with the Pacers.

Brogdon will earn $67.6MM over the next three seasons, including $22.6MM in 2022/23. In order to match his salary and make the trade legal, the Celtics will have to include five players in their package — the priciest of those players, Theis, is making $8.69MM next season, while Nesmith will earn $3.8MM. Stauskas, Fitts, and Morgan were on non-guaranteed minimum-salary contracts, which will become guaranteed for matching purposes, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

The Celtics, who also reportedly agreed to sign Danilo Gallinari, now have about $167.5MM committed to 11 players, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link), so team ownership doesn’t appear worried about paying a tax bill in 2022/23. Depending on how deep into the tax Boston is willing to go, the club could also make use of its $17MM trade exception, which won’t be utilized in this deal.

The Pacers, meanwhile, had interest in Grant Williams, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), but were ultimately willing to accept for a Celtics’ 2023 first-round pick that could land pretty late in the 20s.

Indiana may also see value in Theis and Nesmith, but the deal is more about the first-rounder and the cap flexibility moving off Brogdon will create. In addition to clearing some long-term money, the Pacers now have about $31MM in projected cap room this summer, tweets Marks.

The two teams will have to wait until July 9 to officially complete the trade, Marks notes (via Twitter), since Morgan can’t be dealt until then.