Trade rumor rankings: Russell Westbrook, OG Anunoby and more
We’re just two days away from the trade deadline now and things seem to be heating up on the market, so we decided to come back with another edition of our trade rumors rankings series, where we ranked the 10 players who have appeared most often in trade rumors in the last 24 hours, as judged by appearances on our trade rumors page.
We already saw one superstar get dealt in Kyrie Irving. Will we see another major domino fall in the next 48 hours?
With so many players to discuss in such little time, let us jump right into the action.
Kevin Durant (Brooklyn)
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
We are now days removed from the Irving deal and we have still heard nothing but silence from Kevin Durant’s camp about either being happy with the haul the Brooklyn Nets got in exchange for the mercurial point guard or about wanting out.
Jake Fischer reported today that there’s no indication Durant is going to request a trade at this point.
Zach Lowe mentioned the same yesterday, saying on an episode of the Hoop Collective podcast:
Either way, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the Hoop Collective podcast Monday (7:30 mark) that he believes people around the NBA would be surprised if Durant was traded before the Feb. 9 deadline this season: “I’ve been saying since the James Harden trade [last season] that it just feels like the inevitable end of this is that [Durant] asks for a trade a second time, having already done it for the first time. I just don’t know how likely that is, or when it would happen. Around the league, I think there would be some surprise—even within the Nets—if it happened in the next four days. Because that’s an avalanche of stuff happening in a very short amount of time that all of the league needs to prepare for if it becomes a thing.”
Durant did decline comment on his way out of Barclays Center after last night’s Nets defeat, though that he attended the game might speak well to Brooklyn’s hopes in getting him to stick around for the remainder of at least this season.
For the latest Kevin Durant trade rumors, click here.
Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)
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It’s still very unclear what the future holds for Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers, but there have been more bits of news on that front over the past day.
ESPN reported that the Lakers and Utah Jazz had discussed a Westbrook trade that would net Los Angeles Mike Conley and Malik Beasley for the former league MVP and major draft capital:
For example, sources said the Jazz have had discussions about a deal in which a combination of rotation players including Conley and Beasley would go to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for 2027 and 2029 first-round picks and Russell Westbrook, who would likely receive a buyout instead of joining the Jazz
In addition, we learned that the Chicago Bulls are not interested in Westbrook, though the same can probably be said for a good amount of the teams in the NBA right now. At least not with how much Westbrook is earning this season.
For the latest Russell Westbrook trade rumors, click here.
Pascal Siakam (Toronto)
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Though it could very well amount to a whole lot of nothing, it is interesting to note that just after speaking to the media today about a variety of topics, including hearing his name discussed in trade rumors, Pascal Siakam was pulled aside by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri to talk in a separate office:
Pascal Siakam's comments on the approaching trade deadline are ⬇️ "… I don't know what's going on."
However … a few minutes after Siakam spoke to media at practice, Raptors president Masai Ujiri motioned for Siakam to join him in an office adjacent to the practice floor. pic.twitter.com/vOUnesgj9Y
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) February 7, 2023
It’s rare we get that kind of behind-the-scenes look at players and teams in the midst of trade-deadline madness, so if nothing else, that was at least a fun peak behind the curtains in Toronto.
More pressingly, though, our own Michael Scotto reported last night that the Nets have expressed interest in Siakam, which was first reported by Marc Stein while listing out what Toronto would want in return for their All-Star forward:
The Brooklyn Nets have expressed interest in trading for Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, league sources told HoopsHype. Brooklyn’s interest in Siakam was first reported by Marc Stein. Toronto covets Nets starting center Nic Claxton and has expressed interest in acquiring him in trade discussions with Brooklyn, league sources told HoopsHype. At last year’s trade deadline, the Raptors offered a first-round pick in an attempt to acquire Claxton and have since kept an eye on the rising center. Nets forward Ben Simmons and several first-round draft picks have also been discussed in trade conversations with the Raptors, league sources told HoopsHype.
It might not be a perfect fit but a Siakam-Durant tandem would surely be exciting to watch.
For the latest Pascal Siakam trade rumors, click here.
Chris Paul (Phoenix)
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Ever a pro, Chris Paul was asked about finding out along with the rest of us that his name had been shopped as part of Irving trade packages before the latter got shipped to Dallas, saying that he understands it’s business and that he had seen crazier things happen in the NBA:
"Just keep going to work. Also understanding teams are always going to do what's best for them. That's why players have to do the same. Show up, got a job to do and it is what is it." Chris Paul #Suns #Nets
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) February 6, 2023
For those unaware, Chris Haynes reported Phoenix had offered Paul, Jae Crowder and unspecified picks for Irving:
Sources: Brooklyn Nets received Los Angeles Lakers’ proposal that did include team’s two first-round picks (2027, 2029) and Phoenix Suns’ offer of Chris Paul, Jae Crowder and unspecified picks: @NBATV pic.twitter.com/cJuABbaYGy
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 6, 2023
Will that be the last we hear of Paul on the trade-rumors mill ahead of Thursday’s deadline? Only two days left for us to find out.
For the latest Chris Paul trade rumors, click here.
Kyle Lowry (Miami)
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Multiple reports now state that the Miami Heat are open trading to Kyle Lowry after originally opposing the idea.
That was reported most recently by Fischer:
In Miami, after initial resistance to the idea of moving Kyle Lowry, the Heat are said to be willing to part with the 36-year-old point guard, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lowry has missed multiple games this season due to lingering left knee soreness. Lowry’s efficiency has also declined as he’s connecting on just 33.3% of his triples — the worst mark of his career since the 2009-10 campaign. Finding a deal structure that benefits both Miami and any trade partner, while Lowry is still owed $29.6 million next season, will prove to be a task in this final stretch of conversation around the league.
That came on the heels of the Miami Herald reporting the same just yesterday:
The Miami Heat has been receiving inquiries about point guard Kyle Lowry, and he’s now among several Heat players in play as Thursday’s NBA trade deadline approaches. The Heat initially had no interest in dealing Lowry. But the team’s position has softened recently, and Miami is now open to trades involving Lowry if the team is offered a deal it views as advantageous, according to a source in contact with the team.
Complicating matters for the Heat is the fact Lowry is currently dealing with a knee issue that will keep him out for at least the next three games. Might be tricky to get a team to take on that contract now with Lowry’s short-term health looking cloudy at best.
For the latest Kyle Lowry trade rumors, click here.
Ben Simmons (Brooklyn)
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
As discussed in the Siakam section, Ben Simmons was offered up to the Raptors as part of a potential deal for the star swingman, according to our own Scotto.
It’ll take a whole lot more than that for the Nets to get Siakam, however, as it is believed Simmons has basically no value as a trade chip right now…
A couple of Nets notes from @BobbyMarks42 on @KeyJayandMax:
1. Ben Simmons has no value around the league right now in any potential deal.
2. If the Nets decide to move KD — their return would be greater this summer than it would be before Thursday’s trade deadline.
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) February 6, 2023
…and with good reason, considering his recent injury history and 7.4-point-per-game average.
Durant himself is said to be less-than-enthralled with Simmons:
Teams have been far more interested in trading for Durant than they have had interest in Irving. The phone lines are hot in Brooklyn, where every team will make its best offer to poach the NBA’s 14th leading scorer in all-time history. Yet whether or not Durant wants to remain in Brooklyn with Irving — the only other star on the roster — out of town is unclear. Ben Simmons has missed the last four games with left knee soreness, but sources familiar with Durant’s thinking tell the Daily News the star forward has been less than enthralled with Simmons, who is averaging just 7.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and six assists per game on a max contract in Brooklyn.
If Simmons is moved, it’ll likely be part of a much larger deal, as it’s unlikely teams will be going out of their way to pick him or his preposterous contract up.
For the latest Ben Simmons trade rumors, click here.
Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn)
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re wondering why Spencer Dinwiddie is on this list considering he just got traded, it’s because it’s unclear if Dinwiddie will be staying in Brooklyn past Thursday’s trade deadline.
Woj on Get Up raised the possibility that the Nets could move Spencer Dinwiddie as well as the picks before Thursday.
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) February 6, 2023
However, Fischer reported more recently that the Nets’ plan is to keep Dinwiddie:
The Raptors have shown interest in Spencer Dinwiddie in the past, sources said, and the concept of moving the draft capital plus the combo guard to Toronto for Fred VanVleet became a popular idea among league executives by Sunday night. But sources said the Nets do not intend to move Dinwiddie, although Brooklyn and Toronto remain engaged in trade conversation as Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline looms.
We’ll see about that. The Nets could easily change their minds if they believe they can acquire a star to place alongside Durant and need Dinwiddie’s contract to match salaries.
For the latest Spencer Dinwiddie trade rumors, click here.
Mike Conley (Utah)
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Along with other Jazz players, there is reportedly a lot of interest out there for veteran point guard Mike Conley, according to The Athletic:
According to these sources, the Jazz have multiple offers on the table for more than one of their veterans, with a robust market for forward Jarred Vanderbilt, shooting guard Malik Beasley and point guard Mike Conley.
However, even if the Jazz do skew on the younger side, Conley would reportedly be happy to stay in Utah through the trade deadline and isn’t pushing his way out to a contender:
At least one Western Conference team offered a significant expiring contract for Conley earlier in the season, sources say. But the Jazz weren’t interested. Conley has been a rock to lean on for a young locker room. He’s happy in Utah, and the Jazz are happy with him. According to sources, if he is moved, he would like to be moved to a contending team. If not, he wants to stay with the Jazz, as he and his family are happy and established in the community, and Conley is happy with his current basketball situation.
For the latest Mike Conley trade rumors, click here.
OG Anunoby (Toronto)
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Another player attracting a lot of interest ahead of the trade deadline is Toronto’s OG Anunoby, as multiple big teams have been linked to the Raptors swingman recently:
The Pelicans, Grizzlies, Knicks, Pacers, Trail Blazers, Lakers, Suns and Nets have all been linked to Anunoby in recent days. Although the Raptors, sources said, have communicated asking prices for Anunoby that rival front offices feel are quite steep.
However, Fischer, in that same article, would mention that giving teams pause is the potential of a Durant sweepstakes this summer, the logic there being: Why ship out major assets for Anunoby when you might need those to go after a former league MVP in a few months?
What’s more, ESPN shared that the Nets and Raptors have talked about the potential of an Anunoby contract, though the possibility of it happening still doesn’t seem that high:
ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst stated on the Hoop Collective podcast that the Nets were also intrigued by Raptors forward OG Anunoby, though they were uncertain if they would be able to land him. “I still don’t know what the Raptors are going to do,” said Windhorst. “The Nets are definitely calling the Raptors over the last 24 hours,” replied Zach Lowe. “If the Nets could flip some of this stuff that they got and pry OG Anunoby out of there, you may have something there with the Nets, but I don’t know if they’re going to be able to,” added Windhorst.
We’ll see how this one turns out, though a contender picking up Anunoby has to be a scary notion for contenders out there.
For the latest OG Anunoby trade rumors, click here.
D'Angelo Russell (Minnesota)
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Stein reported on the latest episode of #thisleague UNCUT podcast that the Los Angeles Clippers are taking a long look at D’Angelo Russell ahead of the trade deadline:
“From what I’m told, the Clippers have been looking hard at D’Angelo Russell,” said Stein on the #thisleague UNCUT podcast. “I think they have interest in Naz Reid as well, but all the signals from Minnesota have been that Naz Reid is not going to be moved.”
Minnesota Timberwolves shot-caller Tim Connelly recently discussed the possibility of Russell being the Wolves’ point guard of the future, though he didn’t firmly commit to the idea, either:
What I’ve seen is the guy put in a huge summer. He was in the gym all the time. I don’t think it’s coincidental he’s having such a good shooting year. Every time I looked up, he’s down there working out. He knew the expectations were risen this year. He challenged himself to have a better year. He’s such a basketball-obsessed guy. Nobody watches more college or NBA. He’s had a great year, a tremendous summer where he worked his tail off and certainly there’s plenty of scenarios where he’s our point guard not just now but for the future as well.
Russell could be a good pickup for teams lacking scoring and playmaking, though it’s unclear what kind of haul the Timberwolves would want or even get in return for the confident floor general.
For the latest D’Angelo Russell trade rumors, click here.