- If the Jazz are still interested in acquiring Knicks forward RJ Barrett in a trade involving Donovan Mitchell, a third team would most likely have to get involved, per Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. Barrett and the Knicks agreed to a four-year contract extension, and the Jazz don’t have the cap space to absorb the new deal, Gozlan wrote.
- Given that Barrett is realistically off the table in a Mitchell trade, the Jazz may be focused on a deal involving Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin and some of the Knicks’ future first-round picks, per Tony Jones of The Athletic.
- As we relayed earlier, Jazz CEO Danny Ainge is seeking four unprotected picks as part of a Mitchell deal. Clearly, the Knicks don’t want to give up that much.
- In case you missed it, the Wizards could be another team that is a major player in the Mitchell sweepstakes. You can read that full post here.
- Despite the Barrett contract extension, the Knicks have not given up on a possible Mitchell trade, and even remain hopeful a deal can still be reached, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks would not have extended Barrett’s deal if they felt it would kill their shot at Mitchell, a source told Berman.
- Once coaching source told Berman that Mitchell could end up with the Knicks “as soon as they come to an agreement on how many No. 1 draft picks are included.” Knicks president Leon Rose is hesitant to surrender more than two unprotected picks, but may be willing to give up three conditional ones in addition.
- While all the talk is focused on Barrett and other members of the Knicks, but Julius Randle could also be involved in a trade before the season. “Randle can’t be a wanna-be equal of Mitchell or RJ in terms of touches, shots,” a source told Berman. “His game is a ball-dominant scorer who can pass willingly and make plays for his teammates but only when he feels like it. He’s become a difficult teammate to play with.”
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss told Sam Amick of The Athletic that she saw a definite bright side to having Russell Westbrook on the team last season. This despite the widespread criticism of his clunky fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“All I can say is that, from my point of view, [Westbrook] was our best player last year,” Buss told Amick. “He played pretty much every single game, showed up, worked hard. You know, I would have loved to have seen what this team would have looked like if they stayed healthy. It’s really tough to win when Anthony Davis isn’t on the court. LeBron was hurt a lot of the season. But Russ showed up every game and played hard every night. And, you know, I just really appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the team.”
Amick followed up with Buss, who clarified her comments.
“The word I should have used was ‘consistent,'” she wrote in a text message to Amick. “He played 78 games last season.”
That said, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka remains determined to move Westbrook before the season, multiple sources have told Hoops Wire.
- In case you missed it, Buss also spoke to SiriusXM NBA radio and explained why the Lakers refuse to tank. You can read that full post right here.
- The Lakers could get involved as a potential third team in the Jazz and Knicks talks, utilizing their first-round picks in 2027 and ’29 as bait. LA remains interested in Knicks forward Cam Reddish, Berman reported.
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