Raptors Rumors

Free Agent Rumors: Lowry, Caruso, Cavs, Trent, Batum, Bradley

The Pelicans are viewed as the most likely of Kyle Lowry‘s prospective suitors to guarantee a third year in their offer to the veteran point guard, sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. However, it’s the Heat that are considered the current frontrunners to land Lowry.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms as much in his latest report, suggesting that the Heat are ready and willing to attach assets to Goran Dragic to entice the Raptors to accept a sign-and-trade offer, with Precious Achiuwa and draft picks among the pieces that could be in play. According to Wojnarowski, the Pelicans and Mavericks – rumored to be two of Lowry’s most aggressive suitors – are beginning to consider other options as they look for a starting point guard.

Here are a few more updates on free agents, with the start of the 2021 free agent period less than 24 hours away:

Heat Rumors: DeRozan, Oubre, Gay, Ariza, Butler

The Heat, who are reportedly considered the frontrunners to land Kyle Lowry in free agency, may also be eyeing another longtime Raptors guard.

Multiple reporters and outlets, including Marc Stein, Five Reasons Sports, and The Miami Herald (all four Twitter links), have suggested that the Heat are exploring ways to add free agent guard DeMar DeRozan. Miami has pursued DeRozan multiple times over the years, even inquiring on him earlier this season, and the veteran holds the Heat in high regard, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

However, landing DeRozan won’t be easy, since Miami has no clear pathway to acquiring both Lowry and DeRozan via sign-and-trade.

There has been some speculation about the possibility of DeRozan taking a discount to play for the Lakers or Clippers — if he’s open to that idea, it would open the door for the Heat to make a similar path. However, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said on The Alex Kennedy Podcast that he’s not sure DeRozan – who earned $27MM this past season – would be willing to settle for the mid-level.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • The Heat tried to acquire Kelly Oubre at this year’s trade deadline and figure to be interested in him again as a free agent, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. However, Jackson views it as an unlikely match, since Oubre will likely want more than mid-level money.
  • Jackson also names Rudy Gay as a free agent forward who will receive interest from the Heat this week (Twitter link). Miami may look to re-sign Trevor Ariza too, Jackson adds.
  • There’s optimism that the Heat and Jimmy Butler will be able to reach an agreement on a contract extension this offseason, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Butler’s maximum extension would be a four-year deal worth up to a projected $181MM.

Heat Considered Frontrunners For Kyle Lowry

Chatter about the possibility of free agent point guard Kyle Lowry joining the Heat has increased significantly since the team announced this afternoon that it has picked up Goran Dragic‘s $19MM+ team option for 2021/22.

In the wake of the Dragic decision, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski stated (via Twitter) that the move was considered a possible precursor to a sign-and-trade deal that would send Lowry from the Raptors to the Heat, while Marc Stein (Twitter link) referred to Miami as the “favorite” to land the 35-year-old point guard.

Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) also hears that the Heat are viewed as the frontrunners for Lowry, and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald tweets that there’s “growing optimism” a deal will come together.

Meanwhile, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link) outlines a pretty specific scenario in which Dragic and Precious Achiuwa would be outgoing pieces in a sign-and-trade for Lowry, who would receive a three-year contract starting at about $26MM. Dragic would subsequently be bought out by the Raptors, Winderman adds. Technically, sign-and-trade discussions about a free agent aren’t permitted by rule until Monday night, but Winderman’s tweet sounds like more than just speculation.

Still, while momentum appears to be in Miami’s favor for now, we’re still 24 hours away from free agency and the Lowry sweepstakes certainly aren’t over yet. As Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter), the Raptors would have to be satisfied by the picks and/or young players they get for Lowry in order to accept a sign-and-trade deal, since they could open up a chunk of cap room by simply letting him walk.

The Pelicans, Mavericks, and Sixers all remain in the hunt for the six-time All-Star too, says Chiang. However, the Heat may be Lowry’s top choice for a handful of reasons, including his friendship with Jimmy Butler and his respect for the organization, per Jackson.

Free Agency Rumors: Lowry, Dragic, Ball, Lakers, DeRozan, McGee

Miami is a legitimate option for Raptors guard Kyle Lowry in free agency, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. A source tells Reynolds that the Heat “have his attention and have had it for a while.”

Lowry will be among the top point guards on the market when free agency begins Monday, with the Pelicans, Mavericks and Sixers all likely to be heavily involved. Toronto may also make a strong bid to hang onto Lowry, who has been with the organization since 2012.

There are plenty of rumors on the eve of free agency:

  • Many teams are expected to be interested in veteran guard Goran Dragic if the Heat turn down their $19.4MM team option and make him a free agent, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Charania doesn’t identify any of the potential suitors, but says they include “several NBA title and postseason contenders.” Miami has a deadline of 5:00pm Eastern Time today to reach a decision on Dragic, along with a $15MM option on Andre Iguodala.
  • William Guillory and John Hollinger of The Athletic break down sign-and-trade possibilities for the Pelicans involving Lonzo Ball. The Bulls, Pacers, Clippers, Celtics and Wizards are all mentioned as potential sign-and-trade partners.
  • Dwight Howard could return to the Lakers to provide help at center, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times suggests in a free agent roundtable on both L.A. teams. Howard helped the Lakers win a title in 2020 before signing with the Sixers last offseason. Turner names Patty Mills, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, Jeff Green, Iguodala, and Dragic as other possible targets. The Clippers may pursue DeMar DeRozan if he’s willing to take a pay cut, Andrew Greif states in the same piece.
  • JaVale McGee would “definitely” consider returning to the Nuggets, stating that a chance to win will be his priority in free agency, as Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post details.

Scotto’s Latest: Markkanen, Noel, Raptors, Pistons, L. Williams

The Bulls and Lauri Markkanen are open to working out a sign-and-trade deal that would send him to a new team, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Chicago issued Markkanen a qualifying offer this week that will ensure he’s a restricted free agent, giving the team some leverage in negotiations.

Scotto identifies the Timberwolves – who have long been on the hunt for a power forward – as one team to watch as a possible sign-and-trade destination for Markkanen. The Spurs and Thunder are also among the teams with Markkanen on their radar, per Scotto. San Antonio and Oklahoma City would have the cap flexibility necessary to issue Markkanen an offer sheet without giving up an asset in a sign-and-trade if they’re confident Chicago won’t match.

Here are a few more updates on free agency from Scotto:

  • Following a strong season in New York, free agent big man Nerlens Noel is expected to draw interest from the Raptors, Knicks, Pistons, and Kings, writes Scotto.
  • The Raptors and Pistons should have a little cap flexibility and will likely look to the free agent market to address the center position. Scotto reiterates that Jarrett Allen and Richaun Holmes are on Toronto’s radar, and names Kelly Olynyk as a potential Detroit target. Some people around the league believe Olynyk will end up signing a deal worth $10-12MM per year, Scotto adds.
  • Despite mutual interest in a new deal between the Hawks and Lou Williams, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year will receive interest from other clubs, including the Pacers and Bucks, says Scotto. Williams is seeking a multiyear deal.

Free Agent Rumors: J. Collins, Lowry, Z. Collins, Forbes, Celtics, More

In his latest rumor-packed article for Bleacher Report, Jake Fischer echoes a Marc Stein report from Friday, writing that John Collins is viewed as increasingly likely to return to the Hawks despite anticipated interest from the Mavericks and Spurs, among others.

Collins’ new deal may exceed $120MM in total value, Fischer notes, though it’s not clear if that’d be for four years or five. Collins’ projected maximum with Atlanta is about $126MM over four years (or $163MM over five), whereas his max with a new team would be approximately $121MM over four years.

Here are a few other rumors on 2021 free agents, including several more updates from Fischer:

  • With the Pelicans, Mavericks, and Heat all expected to make a strong push for Kyle Lowry, the point’s guard ultimate landing spot could come down to which team includes the most guaranteed money in the third year of its offer, says Fischer.
  • The Raptors, Pelicans, Thunder, and Spurs are among the teams known to have interest in big man Zach Collins, sources tell Fischer. Collins isn’t getting a qualifying offer from Portland, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
  • The Nets may be the leading candidates to sign free agent sharpshooter Bryn Forbes, according to Fischer, who also names the Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, and Pelicans as teams to watch.
  • Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) hears that the Celtics have a list of about seven or eight top free agent targets, including veteran Spurs guard Patty Mills.
  • Otto Porter‘s representatives have been targeting a mid-level type contract for their client, but that’s probably a long shot unless a front office bids against itself, says J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter links). The veteran forward is coming off a four-year, $106MM+ deal.
  • The Nuggets are expected to add a backup center in free agency, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post, who tweets that a new deal with JaVale McGee is one possibility to address that spot.

Eastern Rumors: Ball, Rose, Tucker, Portis, Allen, Williams, Fournier, Schroder, Horton-Tucker

The Bulls are looking to make to major additions to shore up their point guard position, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

The Bulls have been linked for months to Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball and there’s thought to be mutual interest between the two sides on a four-year deal worth more than $80MM. If the Pelicans extend a $14.36MM qualifying offer to Ball, he’ll be a restricted free agent — the Bulls would have to give him an offer sheet and hope New Orleans doesn’t match it, or work out a sign-and-trade with the Pels.

The Bulls may have some competition from the Celtics, who have been recently mentioned as a potential Ball suitor after dealing away Kemba Walker. There’s increasing speculation the Celtics will not look to re-sign unrestricted free agent Evan Fournier, says Fischer. That possibility increased significantly after the Celtics agreed to acquire Josh Richardson from the Mavericks.

Chicago is also considering another Derrick Rose reunion and there’s mutual interest. It’s uncertain if the Knicks and head coach Tom Thibodeau can convince Rose, an unrestricted free agent, to re-sign with them if the Bulls make a hard push. However, Chicago will likely need to shed salary in order to bring in both Ball and Rose and the Knicks have plenty of cap room to outbid the Bulls for his services. While that’s a best case scenario in the Bulls’ eyes, they’re intent on adding two point guards this summer, especially with Coby White out indefinitely after undergoing left shoulder surgery, per Fischer.

Fischer offers up a number of other interesting items:

  • The Bucks are interested in bringing back two of their prominent free agents. They’d like to re-sign defensive specialist P.J. Tucker on a contract in the neighborhood of two years and $20MM. They are also hoping to re-sign forward Bobby Portis and the feeling is mutual. Since the Bucks only have Non-Bird rights on Portis, they’d have to use their mid-level exception to give him a starting salary higher than about $4.3MM.
  • The Cavaliers view the Raptors as their main threat to re-signing restricted free agent Jarrett Allen. Toronto’s interest in Allen surfaced last weekend. However, Cleveland is likely to match any offer sheet for Allen. The Raptors are also eying Kings free agent Richaun Holmes.
  • League sources think Lou Williams, one of the league’s top reserves, could re-sign with the Hawks on a veteran’s minimum deal, sys Fischer.
  • The Knicks, who need to add scoring punch, have expressed interest in Fournier. They’ve also been linked to Lakers guards Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker. Schroder will be looking for a new home after the Lakers agreed to acquire Russell Westbrook. Previous reports have indicated the Knicks’ potential pursuit of Fournier and Schroder. Horton-Tucker is a restricted free agent after the Lakers extended a qualifying offer, though the team has the option of pulling it off the table.
  • According to SNY.TV’s Ian Begley, there’s support within the Knicks organization to pursue Nets free agent Spencer Dinwiddie and he’s interested in remaining in New York. Devonte’ GrahamKendrick Nunn, and Kyle Lowry are some other potential targets at point guard. At the wing, the Knicks have some interest in the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan and they’ve had discussions with the Magic this week regarding a potential Terrence Ross trade.

Western Rumors: Lakers, Pelicans, McDermott, Ja. Green, Holmes, More

After agreeing to acquire Russell Westbrook from Washington, the Lakers won’t have a ton of cap flexibility to add outside free agents this offseason. Los Angeles will likely be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum-salary contracts, since acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would create a hard cap that the team wouldn’t be able to stay under.

However, even with limited resources, that doesn’t mean the Lakers will have to wait until the second or third wave of free agency to go bargain hunting. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, people around the NBA believe that several veterans in search of a championship ring could be willing to pass on more lucrative offers elsewhere to join the Lakers. Fischer identifies DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Carmelo Anthony as some players who may fit that bill.

Here are a few more rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans, Suns, and Nuggets are believed to be among the teams interested in pursuing Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott in free agency, according to Fischer. A recent report from The Indianapolis Star suggested Indiana may lose McDermott this summer.
  • A return to the Nuggets is a possibility for JaMychal Green, but the power forward is also expected to draw interest from the Pelicans and Timberwolves, says Fischer.
  • Following up on a Marc Stein report linking Daniel Theis to the Rockets, Fischer confirms Houston is eyeing the veteran big man and suggests the team’s $8.2MM trade exception could be used to land Theis in a sign-and-trade.
  • According to Fischer, sources expect Richaun Holmes to remain with the Kings. That’s a bit of a surprise — Sacramento only has Holmes’ Early Bird rights and has been linked to several other centers, having agreed on Friday to acquire Tristan Thompson. But the Hornets, one of Holmes’ presumed suitors, are no longer expected to go big for a free agent center after drafting Kai Jones and agreeing to trade for Mason Plumlee, per Fischer. The Raptors, Mavericks, and Knicks may still be possibilities for Holmes, Fischer adds.
  • The Mavericks are viewed as the favorites to sign Sterling Brown in free agency, league sources tell Fischer.

Trade Rumors: Raptors, McCollum, SGA, Celtics, Wolves

As long as Ben Simmons remains in Philadelphia and Kyle Lowry hasn’t reached an agreement in free agency, league sources aren’t ruling out the possibility of a deal between the Sixers and Raptors that would send Lowry to his hometown via sign-and-trade, says Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. However, with several suitors expected to pursue Lowry aggressively in free agency, that doesn’t appear to be a likely outcome for the time being.

According to Fischer, one intriguing trade framework that the Raptors have discussed with the Trail Blazers would involve Pascal Siakam and CJ McCollum. But those talks haven’t gathered any real momentum yet, Fischer cautions.

Here are a few more trade-related rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • Although Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s name popped up in trade rumors leading up to the draft, the Thunder never offered him to the Cavaliers in negotiations for the No. 3 pick, according to Fischer, who reports that Oklahoma City only made present and future draft assets available in those discussions. The expectation is that the Thunder and Gilgeous-Alexander will reach an agreement on a maximum-salary contract extension this offseason, Fischer adds.
  • Before agreeing to a deal to acquire Josh Richardson from Dallas, the Celtics also expressed trade interest in Grizzlies wing Kyle Anderson, sources tell Fischer.
  • The Timberwolves, who have long been in the market for a power forward, inquired on Danilo Gallinari before agreeing to send Ricky Rubio to Cleveland, says Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The Hawks turned down Minnesota’s offer for Gallinari.

Windhorst’s Latest: Grizzlies, Kings, Pelicans, CP3, Siakam, Simmons

Before they agreed to a deal with the Pelicans that sent Jonas Valanciunas to New Orleans and the No. 10 pick to Memphis, the Grizzlies made it “pretty far down the road” in talks with the Kings about a similar trade, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his latest Hoop Collective podcast.

According to Windhorst, the deal the Grizzlies and Kings discussed would’ve involved Marvin Bagley III and the No. 9 pick going to Memphis, with Valanciunas heading to Sacramento. It’s not clear what other pieces were included in those discussions.

Here are a few more items of note from Windhorst’s podcast:

  • Kyle Lowry has frequently been cited as the Pelicans‘ top point guard target in free agency, but the team would also be interested in making a run at Chris Paul, believing his connection to former Phoenix assistant Willie Green could help sell him on a return to New Orleans, says Windhorst. However, according to Windhorst, the feeling around the NBA is that Paul will ultimately stick with the Suns.
  • Discussing the Raptors‘ decision to select forward Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 pick, Windhorst suggested that Toronto has “offered Pascal Siakam around” this offseason. An earlier report indicated that some teams believe the Raptors will become more inclined to pursue a Siakam trade with Barnes in the fold.
  • Confirming some other reports that have surfaced in recent days, Windhorst says the Sixers‘ asking price in Ben Simmons talks has been extremely high. Windhorst’s take on the offers he has heard about: “(They’ve been) so aggressive and outlandish that it makes you walk away saying, ‘They’re not really trying to trade him.'”