East Rumors: Nets, Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Bulls, Zach LaVine


The Nets appear to be ready to make sure center Nic Claxton returns in free agency, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

“They’re making it seem like they’re preparing to pay him,” Scotto said on the HoopsHype podcast. “Claxton told me he wants to re-sign in Brooklyn when we did our interview. I have him somewhere in the $20-25 million range.”

  • Added Bobby Marks of ESPN, also on the podcast: “He’s probably at what (Jakob Poeltl) got somewhere around four years, $80 million with Toronto. I like Claxton better than Poeltl. They’re just in a weird spot because Houston controls their draft picks for the next four years. Normally, you’d want to have your own pick, tear it down, build around (Mikal Bridges), and go from there, but there’s no incentive to do that. On the other end, you do have all these expiring contracts and we talked about (Spencer Dinwiddie), so who’s your point guard next year?”
  • Meanwhile, Marks added that if Nets guard/forward Ben Simmons were to be a free agent, he likely would only garner a minimum contract. Simmons has not been “reliable,” Marks said.
  • Meanwhile, Scotto said that the Nets are flying under the radar in terms of trades. “The Nets have been a little too quiet. They’re a team that I would say knows what they are right now,” he said. “They are open for business and certainly taking calls. They’ve got a glut of wings, Dorian Finney-SmithRoyce O’Neale. It’s interesting because I feel like if they keep O’Neale, you almost wonder if they’re going to try to make a run at Donovan Mitchell because they’re very close friends.


Scotto and Marks both confirmed the multiple reports that the Cavs have zero intention of trading Mitchell.

“Any time I call Cleveland and I check in it’s like, ‘Hey, Mike. We’re not trading Mitchell. How’s everything going?'” Scotto said, laughing.

He then said that the Cavs are more focused on a deep playoff run.

“Yeah. Or else, why did you do the trade if you’re going to trade the guy a year and a half later?” Marks added. “You knew he wasn’t going to sign the extension this past offseason. There is a business part of it. Now, if we get into the 2024 offseason, there’s no extension, and he says he’s going to play out this year, then you have to have that hard conversation internally.”


Without a doubt, the Bulls are looking into a trade centered on guard Zach LaVine. And the Lakers are unquestionably interested. But a LaVine trade may not be so easy, Marks said.

“I think LaVine, especially after (the Lakers) went through the Russell Westbrook top-heavy roster with three max guys under the old CBA, you’d basically have to trade at least three players, maybe even four, to get the money to work,” Marks said. “You’re looking at a combination of Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, and another guy. They’ve got one first-round pick then can trade in 2029. From what I’ve been told, and certainly things change, there’s no appetite to add a third max guy.”

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