October 2020 Basketball Wiretap

NBA Insiders Fear Knicks Could Become 'Kentucky Pipeline Team'

Oct 28, 2020 6:17 PM

The New York Knicks hired Leon Rose, who was a longtime agent with CAA, to run their front office earlier this year and Bill Simmons of The Ringer suggests people around the league are monitoring the possibility of former Kentucky players could be funneled to the franchise.

Rose also hired William Wesley for a role in the front office, who was his colleague at CAA.

"There's also a real fear in the NBA," said Bill Simmons. "I'm fine talking about this. It's rumor, heresy stuff. But it's just a fact. Kentucky, Worldwide Wes had a great relationship with John Calipari. CAA's got multiple Kentucky guys and there's a real fear in the league that the Knicks are going to become the Kentucky pipeline team.

"Devin Booker is a great example of that, right? Even though he's on a big deal right now, at some point if he wanted to move out of there...

"The league is kind of watching the Kentucky factor with that team.

"I think even [Anthony] Davis, if the Lakers hadn't won the title this year, who knows? Right? Are we positive he would have stayed? I don't know. All of the signs, all of the dialogue was like 'LeBron and him love each other'. But who knows what would have happened?

"That Knicks thing is intriguing," replied Kevin O'Connor. 

"Also, if you're the Kentucky pipeline team, that's a good thing because that's the one true pipeline we have right now. All the Kentucky guys know each other, like each other. Every year they have top dudes."

Kentucky has the most former players currently in the NBA.

"All this stuff, follow the breadcrumbs. Rich Paul and Klutch, the same thing. The agents carry a lot more sway than people think."

Bill Simmons/The Ringer

Tags: New York Knicks, Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Clippers Plan To Pursue Rajon Rondo In Free Agency

Oct 28, 2020 2:02 PM

The Los Angeles Clippers plan on pursuing Rajon Rondo in free agency.

Rondo spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and played key rotation minutes during their title run. Rondo plans to test the open market in free agency after playing for the veteran's minimum. 

The Clippers are believed to be prioritizing a traditional playmaking point guard as that was an issue during their disappointing second round exit.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Tags: Rajon Rondo, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Victor Oladipo Would Like To Stay With Pacers, No. 1 Alternative Likely Heat

Oct 28, 2020 10:48 AM

Victor Oladipo would be happy to sign a contract extension with the Indiana Pacers if they could agree to terms, but a source says joining the Miami Heat would be No. 1 on his list should he leave as a free agent in 2021.

The level of interest from the Heat depends on how Oladipo returns from his injury and also the team's ability to sign a superstar free agent such as Giannis Antetokounmpo. Oladipo lives in Miami in the offseason.

The Pacers could explore trading Oladipo before he hits free agency, but it is doubtful the Heat would sacrifice significant assets in a trade for him at this point.

Oladipo suffered a ruptured quad tendon in January 2019.

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Tags: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Heat Still Consider Giannis Antetokounmpo No. 1 Target, Won't Compromise 2021 Cap Space

Oct 27, 2020 11:37 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo remains the top target for the Miami Heat in 2021 free agency and won't do anything between now and then to impede their chances of signing him.

The Milwaukee Bucks can sign Antetokounmpo to a supermax extension this offseason, but won't consider trading him if he rejects it.

There has been nothing to suggest Antetokounmpo has any specific interest in signing with the Heat. Miami eliminated the Bucks in the second round of the 2020 playoffs.

Antetokounmpo shares an agent with Bam Adebayo in Alex Saratsis

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Mavericks Had Trade In Place With Thunder At Deadline For Danilo Gallinari

Oct 27, 2020 11:08 PM

The Dallas Mavericks had a trade in place with the Oklahoma City Thunder at the trade deadline for Danilo Gallinari, but the deal fell through when he signaled he would test free agency and not agree to an extension.

The Miami Heat were also interested in trading for Gallinari at the deadline. 

Gallinari is unlikely to re-sign with the Thunder and they could agree to a sign-and-trade with Dallas. Sign-and-trade agreements must be for a minimum of three seasons. 

Brad Townsend/Dallas Morning News

Tags: Danilo Gallinari, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Warriors Interested In Jeremy Lin

Oct 26, 2020 8:12 AM

The Golden State Warriors have interest in Jeremy Lin, according to a source.

Lin last played in the NBA in 18-19 with the Toronto Raptors, only playing sparingly. Lin received little free agent interest in 2019 and eventually signed in China.

Lin began his NBA career with the Warriors.

Weixin (via Hoopshype)

Tags: Jeremy Lin, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, International

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Pacers Offered Four-Year, $80M Extension To Victor Oladipo Before 19-20 Season

Oct 22, 2020 1:52 PM

The Indiana Pacers and Victor Oladipo discussed an extension before the start of the 19-20 season.

Sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv that a four-year, $80 million extension was broached but talks didn't progress much from there.

Oladipo signed a four-year, $84 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 prior to becoming an All-Star, but before a significant quad injury. 

Many teams across the league believe Oladipo could become available in a trade over the coming months.

Ian Begley/SNY.tv

Tags: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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NBA Offseason Could Have Fewer Dollars Spent But Sizable Amount Of Player Movement

Oct 21, 2020 1:55 PM

The Athletic spoke anonymously to a number of agents to get their opinions on what to expect in what will be the most unusual offseason in modern NBA history given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on league revenues.

“My fear is there will be a lot of teams and ownership groups that sit out free agency," said one agent. "In terms of player movement, I think there will be a lot. Not just signing guys. Nobody wants to pay the tax. Everybody is going to try to clear space for 2021. I can definitely see a sizable amount of player movement. But not a lot of dollars spent.”

Another agent countered that theory because most players with options on the contract will opt-in and delay their free agency until 2021.

“I assume that every player, almost every player is going to opt-in," said the second agent. "That’s not common. I think it’s uncommon that almost every player opts in, and I assume everyone opts in. I assume there is reduced player movement because of that. There’s only a half dozen teams with cap space. … And there are questions amongst those teams. Are they going to spend to the cap or are they not going to spend to the cap? … I think there’s going to be significantly less player movement than a normal year.”

A third agent believes centers will find very limited offers and that some teams will be more inclined to sign rookies or minimum contract veterans.

“Big effect," said the agent. "Salary cap lower. Centers will get hit the hardest. Teams putting the most value on those who can play 1-4. As for movement, we’ll see. Teams might go with rookies or minimum contracts to keep their books low while dealing with cap uncertainty.”

Ben Standig, Mike Vorkunov, Michael Lee/The Athletic

Tags: NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks Believed To Be Prepared To Take Situation To 2021 Free Agency

Oct 20, 2020 5:49 PM

Neither the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo are expected to position themselves in a way during the 2020 offseason that would lead to a trade, similar to the path taken during the 15-16 season by Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"All of the intel I've gotten for years is Giannis is not going to do that with Dallas or any other team," said Zach Lowe on his podcast. "And the Bucks, as a result, will take it to the end as the Thunder did with Durant. If he doesn't sign the supermax, you just live in this world all year. If he doesn't sign the supermax and he doesn't say 'I'm leaving', then the Bucks are not trading him. And they're going to try to win the championship and convince him to stay. Or get to The Finals and convince him to stay. Get to The Finals and make a trade that convinces him... Whatever. Somehow convince him to stay.

"I think they take it to the end and that only changes if Giannis tells them now 'I want to go to this place' or 'I'm not re-signing.' Which I don't think will happen."

Lowe also anticipates Antetokounmpo won't sign the supermax this offseason. 

Antetokounmpo has publicly said he won't request a trade this offseason.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Joe Harris Will Receive Significant Interest Beyond Nets

Oct 20, 2020 5:27 PM

Joe Harris will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason at the age of 29 after shooting better than 40 percent on three-pointers in each of the past three seasons.

The Brooklyn Nets would like to re-sign Harris, but they will receive significant competition from other teams.

"I have news for the Nets," said Zach Lowe on his podcast. "They're going to have competition for Joe Harris. These teams with cap room all view Joe as a potential very good fit on the floor and a good culture guy."

Davis Bertans will also be a coveted free agent

"I think Harris may have even more of an market because teams trust their defense more. He's more sort of positionally fluid on defense. I think the Nets are going to have to pay like $15 million per year to keep Joe Harris."

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Lakers Apply To Have Luol Deng's Stretched Salary Removed From Books

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Raptors Need Fred VanVleet Contract Below $80M Over Four Years To Keep Max Slot For 2021

Tim Bontemps, Bobby Marks/ESPN

Bucks Emphatic They Won't Trade Giannis Antetokounmpo If He Passes On Extension

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Christian Wood Could Command Full Midlevel In Free Agency

Bobby Marks/ESPN

Derrick Jones Jr. To Receive Interest From Cavaliers, Hornets, Hawks

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Jerami Grant To Receive Interest From Nuggets, Pistons, Suns, Mavericks

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Bucks To Pursue Bogdan Bogdanovic

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Heat 'Preparing To Go All In' To Sign Giannis Antetokounmpo In 2021

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Warriors To Join Lakers With Interest In Signing Dwight Howard

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Likely To Become Free Agent, Could Have Interest Beyond Lakers

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Anthony Davis To Opt Out, Re-Sign With Lakers

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Rajon Rondo Will Opt Out Of Contract With Lakers

Chris Sheridan/BasketballNews.com

NBA To Reopen Transaction Window Before Nov. 18th Draft

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Mavericks Will Be 'At Head Of Line' Pursuing Giannis Antetokounmpo

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Anthony Davis Not Sure How He'll Approach Free Agency

RealGM Staff Report

P.J. Tucker Still Seeking Extension With Rockets

Kelly Iko/The Athletic

Gerald Green Interested In Signing With Rockets

Kelly Iko/The Athletic

Jae Crowder Hopes To Re-Sign With Heat

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Execs Believe Heat Have Become Top Destination For Next Star Who Wants Exit

Kevin O'Connor/The Ringer