Thaddeus Young's time in Brooklyn may be coming to an end. The Nets are trying to get into the first round and will reportedly trade him to the highest bidder, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Young arrived in Brooklyn via trade in the 2014-15 season from Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Garnett and became an instant upgrade. He entered free agency the following summer and the Nets locked him up to a four-year, $50 million contract. It was hard to see Young being in their long-term plans, as he's 28 years old and the Nets will have to rebuild, but they simply couldn't let an asset walk away for nothing.
Now, new general manager Sean Marks is trying to cash in. Several Western conference teams are interested in trading for Young and the Nets are ready to move him to the one that presents the best offer, according to Wojnarowski. The Raptors were reportedly interested in Young during the past trade deadline, but the Nets were still trying to win a few more games and the offer was likely not as enticing as the ones they could get near the draft.
Moving Young now makes a lot of sense for Brooklyn, as he still has value despite a terrible season for the team. His contract will instantly rise in value as the cap rises and he is a solid all-around player who could start for a few good teams or bolster bench units. Young is not a traditional stretch big man, as his three-point shot has never been reliable, but he's quick enough to step outside to the perimeter on pick and rolls and is crafty around the rim.
It's not clear yet which teams are interested. The Suns seem like a natural fit, as they desperately need an upgrade at power forward and have three first-round picks. If they feel like there are no difference makers left at 13, they might pull the trigger and the Nets would have to accept the trade, as it would likely be the best offer they could get. The Grizzlies, picking 17th, could also make sense as a destination, as they could use a backup for Zach Randolph. There are other teams that could use Young, like the Spurs and the Clippers, but their late picks might not be enough to pry him away.
All signs point to Young being traded on draft night, which seems to be what's best for everyone involved. He gets to join a better team while still in his prime while Marks gets to jump start the rebuilding process with a young prospect. We'll see if a good offer presents itself.
The Suns are shopping Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight
It seems that the two-point guard experiment is about to end in Phoenix. The Suns are determined to move one of Eric Bledsoe or Brandon Knight before next season, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Phoenix has already been actively trying to make a deal. They failed to complete a trade with the Jazz for Gordon Hayward despite offering Bledsoe and one of their lottery picks, the report says. Instead, the Jazz decided to trade for the more durable George Hill, addressing their needs at point guard.
The ascendance of Devin Booker is likely the reason behind the desire to move one of the two productive guards. After Bledsoe went down for the season following knee surgery, Booker put together a very impressive season, showing star potential as a dead-eye shooter with a developing off-the-dribble game. It would make no sense to have him come off the bench next year, as he's clearly the player with the highest upside in the Suns' roster.
It seems like Phoenix would rather move Bledsoe, which is not surprising. There was some tension between the front office and the player before he signed his five-year, $70 million contract extension two summers ago, and he has had a hard time staying on the court. He's played over 2,000 minutes just once in his career and has missed 90 games in three seasons since joining the Suns.
There's clearly risk in trading for Bledose, but with few good options at point guard in free agency, some team might be willing to gamble on him.
Mike Conley considering Spurs and Mavericks in free agency
Grizzlies' point guard Mike Conley is weighing in his options, and two franchises seem to interest him the most as a potential landing destination in free agency: the Spurs and the Mavericks. For the Grizzlies to have a shot at re-signing him, they will have to offer the full five-year maximum contract, reports ESPN's Tim McMahon.
The Mavericks are one of the options because of the respect Conley reportedly has for coach Rick Carlisle and they have the cap space to max out Conley without having to trade anyone. Deron Williams did a solid job for Dallas last season, but he's entering free agency and Conley would be an upgrade if he's fully healthy after struggling with injuries last season. The Mavericks have struck out with top free agents in the past, so adding the best lead guard in the market would be a major win for the franchise.
For the Spurs to be able to accommodate Conley on a max contract, they would have to trade either Tony Parker or Danny Green. It's hard to imagine them moving Parker, as he's been with the franchise for 15 years and has left money on the table in the past in order to stay in San Antonio. He might be willing to come off the bench, but that would leave the Spurs with two point guards with big contracts and no shooting guard, if Green is indeed moved. It's hard to see Conley landing with the Spurs, but if Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retire, the front office has to consider all alternatives.
The Hornets are willing to move the No. 22 pick to cut salary
The Hornets are trying to clear their books in order to re-sign their many free agents and are willing to throw in the No. 22 pick if someone takes Jeremy Lamb or Spencer Hawes off their hands, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Charlotte seems to be trying to keep the core that won 48 games last season, but that's not an easy task, since many of those players will become free agents. Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lin, Marvin Williams, Courtney Lee and Al Jefferson all need to be re-signed and will all likely command a big raise. The problem for Charlotte is that it has over $50 million in committed salary on the books already and bringing everyone back could push them close to the luxury tax, expected to be set at $113 million. In addition, they do not have full Bird rights on Lin and Williams, making it impossible to go over the cap to re-sign them.
The Hornets acquired Hawes in a trade just to get rid of Lance Stephenson and have not used him much. He will make $6.3 million next season, which is a lot for a third-string center. Lamb received a three-year, $21 million extension last season after showing some improvement. Unfortunately, he regressed as the months went on and was out of the rotation late in the season, as Lee took most of the shooting guard minutes. He is slated to make $6.5 million next year, which is not bad for a young player with some untapped potential, but is a luxury Charlotte can't afford.