Jermaine O’Neal Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Free Agent

Now in need of frontcourt depth after reportedly shipping Brandan Wright to the Boston Celtics, the Dallas Mavericks are targeting free agent Jermaine O’Neal.    

MavsMoneyBall.com’s Tim Cato has the report:

According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Wright, Jae Crowder and Jameer Nelson are all on their way to Boston in exchange for Rajon Rondo and rookie Dwight Powell. 

Wright is quite clearly the most important departure of the bunch. The 27-year-old has served as the main backup to Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, averaging 8.8 points on a league-best 74.8 percent shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in just 18.7 minutes per game. 

Not only has he been incredibly valuable on both sides of the court, owning a spectacular player efficiency rating (PER) of 26.1 (via Basketball-Reference.com), but his absence also means Dallas’ primary frontcourt backups are now Greg Smith and Charlie Villanueva. That’s not going to cut it for a contender in the West, especially when Nowitzki in his 17th NBA season and Chandler has missed 43 games over the last two years. 

Enter O’Neal, who makes a lot of sense as an addition, as D210TV’s Tamara Jolee and KPRC-TV’s Adam Wexler explained:

Last season with the Golden State Warriors, O’Neal averaged 7.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 20.1 minutes per contest. Per NBA.com, opponents shot 59.2 percent from inside six feet against him, more than nine percentage points worse than the league average. 

O’Neal, 36, isn’t a flashy option, but he’s exactly what Dallas needs. He’s a veteran who can come off the bench, defend the rim, rebound and provide 18-20 minutes of reliable play. 

Of course, as Warriors general manager Bob Myers recently confirmed, via the Bay Area News Group’s Diamond Leung, the Mavs may have some competition:

Either way, Dallas’ sudden need for depth down low should expedite talks across the board, and it doesn’t sound like it will be long before O’Neal is back on an NBA roster.  

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Joe Johnson Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation on Nets Star

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly put small forward Joe Johnson on the trading block alongside point guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ohm Youngmisuk:

Johnson is currently dealing with flu-like symptoms and missed Monday’s game, according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. In Johnson’s 18 games this season, he is averaging 15.7 points, five rebounds and 3.8 assists.

While Johnson is a major cog in the offensive schemes for the Nets, he is 33 years old and his best years are likely behind him. According to Stein and Youngmisuk, Johnson “is making $23.2 million this season as the league’s third-highest player and is owed $24.9 million 2015-16.”

The Nets have an 8-11 record this season and are currently second in the Atlantic Division. They currently sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. 

There is still plenty of time left in the regular season to turn the fortunes of the franchise around, but there is no harm in gauging the waters for potential trades if the team continues to slide out of contention.

If Brooklyn can get a healthy return, making a deal appears to be something the team will at least consider.

 

*Stats via NBA.com.

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Lakers Rumors: Rajon Rondo Speculation Intriguing, Premature

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics play each other Friday, but a game between the NBA’s two most successful franchises is far from the only news surrounding each team. 

Baxter Holmes of ESPN passed along news of a very intriguing breakfast:

Had Holmes simply shared the picture without much commentary, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal, but he speculated about a trade. That is buzz-word territory because Rondo has been in trade rumors all season.

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report shared some earlier in the year:

“Rival executives say that Ainge has been firm in his stance that Rondo will not be dealt. But many of those same executives believe that Ainge has to trade Rondo, to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.”

There are a number of different angles to the Rondo and Lakers trade speculation, and they are all intriguing.

Let’s take a look at Holmes’ proposed swap from Boston’s side. The acquisition of two first-round picks and Steve Nash’s expiring contract makes some sense. Boston is not going to win the title or even contend in the watered-down Eastern Conference this season or probably next season without a drastic roster change.

Adding multiple first-round picks and then freeing up some cap space when Nash’s expiring contract comes off the books would accelerate the rebuilding process.

The Celtics already have Marcus Smart, Jared Sullinger, James Young, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley, who are all under 25 years old and could formulate a fairly solid core moving forward. There are big guys, point guards and wing players on that list, and the potential first-rounder or two that Boston would get in a swap with the Lakers would provide more young depth.

There is also the individual player storyline with this proposed trade.

Matching Rondo with Kobe Bryant is intriguing in its own right, especially given Bryant’s older comments on the Boston point guard, via Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com:

You don’t want Rondo? Send him my way. I love everything about him. Everything. I love his attitude, I love his chippiness, his edge, his intellect, his know-it-allness. All of it. That’s what makes championship players. 

What guard have you seen at his size that will get you 18 assists, 17 boards and 20 points all in one game? That’s unheard of. I love that kid. I always make a point of talking to him during All-Star [Weekend]. He’s one of my favorites.

The ability of a Rondo and Bryant pairing to bring in the crowds and increase the excitement in Los Angeles is one thing, but this trade would be about more than just attendance for the Lakers.

Nash and Jeremy Lin will come off the books in the offseason, so there is a gaping hole at point guard that Rondo would immediately fill. What’s more, the addition of Rondo would give Los Angeles a much-needed boost into potential playoff contention in the future, which is a nice change from what we have seen the past couple of years.

The Rondo and Bryant pairing works from a basketball standpoint as well because Rondo is always looking to set up his teammates, while Bryant is more than ready to shoot on a moment’s notice.

While having a pass-first point guard like Rondo would be a boost to Bryant on the wing, it would also help the big guys on pick-and-rolls or simply on the low blocks. Rondo can get to the rim with an explosive first step, which forces the opposing rim-protector to shift over and open up the Lakers’ big men.

Perhaps most importantly from Los Angeles’ perspective is what Rondo would mean from a free agency standpoint. Playing with Rondo is an idea plenty of star players can get behind because he is always looking to get everyone involved. Grouping a potential signing like Greg Monroe or Marc Gasol with Rondo and Bryant would make the Lakers much more formidable in the loaded Western Conference.

While all of this is intriguing and enjoyable to think about, it feels incredibly premature.

Yes, Rondo has been in trade rumors already this year and likely will be all the way until the trade deadline in February, but the Lakers and Celtics are playing each other Friday. Rondo and Bryant are two competitors with plenty of respect for each other and simply spent some time together off the court. By no stretch does that mean there will be a trade in the immediate or even long-term future. 

It’s still an incredibly intriguing early-season discussion, though.

 

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation Surrounding Cavaliers and More

The NBA rumor mill is such an intriguing topic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it involves almost every team in the league.

After all, if we are talking playoff scenarios, it only involves those that are serious title contenders. If we are talking individual statistics and potential award winners, it only involves those teams fortunate enough to have individual superstars leading the way.

However, trade talk involves every team from the desperate ones trying to make a move to bolster their short-term title chances to the rebuilding ones that are looking to improve their long-term standing.

There were trade rumors surrounding both types of teams on Monday. Read on to find the latest.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 

Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio passed along an update on the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Entering play on Monday, the Cavaliers were 23rd in the NBA in rebounds per game and 25th in points allowed per game. Those are the two basic stats that immediately jump out when a squad doesn’t have enough size or muscle down low on the defensive end, but it gets worse with a deeper look.

The Cavaliers boasted the third-worst opponent shooting percentage inside of five feet entering play on Monday at 64.3, which was narrowly behind only the Charlotte Hornets (65.3) and Minnesota Timberwolves (64.4), via NBA.com. That means opponents have had an easier time converting shots at the rim against the Cavaliers than all but two teams in the entire league.

It is really no wonder that the front office is looking for help along the front line with rebounding and rim-protection numbers like that.

For all of Kevin Love’s talents, his weight loss and tendency to play outside of the paint don’t help protect the basket, and Anderson Varejao is a health risk at best.

Perhaps it is time for Tristan Thompson, who grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots in the victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday, to see more than his 23 minutes a night if the team can’t make a move in the near future.

The Cavaliers will need to protect the basket if they want to win an NBA title this season, so it will be interesting to see if they make any corresponding moves as the trade deadline approaches.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv provided an update on the Philadelphia 76ers:

“Several NBA sources said Philly could easily trade one of their current bigs if they opt to draft Okafor at No. 1 (assuming they get the No. 1 pick).”

The Okafor in question is Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, and he has already made an impression on NBA scouts and front offices with his ability to score on the low block with strength, formidable footwork and a tenacity that helps him crash the offensive glass.

He is the best low-post scorer in the country at the college level and is only a freshman, so there is plenty of improvement in his future, which is a scary proposition for both college and NBA players.

For as immensely talented as Okafor is, though, it is surprising to hear the possibility of Joel Embiid or Nerlens Noel being thrown into trade talks. Embiid is yet to set foot on an NBA floor, and Noel has not had nearly enough time to demonstrate what he is capable of as a low-post threat.

The 76ers still haven’t won a basketball game this season and are certainly the odds-on favorite to land the NBA’s top pick when they inevitably finish with the worst record in the league. However, they are far more than just one piece away, and trading one of the young big men to get another one would mean they still haven’t improved in a number of other areas.

Philadelphia must truly think highly of the Duke star if that is its planned course of action.

One person who has certainly taken notice of the losing in the NBA with his future at stake is Okafor himself, via Zagoria:

“Just when I get on Twitter, I get Sixers fans Tweeting me, Knicks fans Tweeting me, Lakers fans Tweeting me, so I see a lot of that stuff when I get on Twitter,” Okafor told me.

He has his own set of slogans already:

“Lose some more for Okafor”

“Forget how to score for Okafor”

“Fall on the floor for Okafor”

“Just some of the slogans, they’re all pretty funny,” Okafor said. 

They may just be amusing slogans but also serve as fairly good advice for teams that aren’t going to reach the playoffs this season. Okafor is worth the losing.

 

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NBA Trade Rumors: Analyzing Latest Speculation on Brandon Bass and More

While NBA teams across the league settle into the early going of the 2014-15 season, front offices are deciding what is a big enough sample size of games to start making some moves. 

After all, you don’t want to upset any potential chemistry before it can even develop, but if you rack up enough losses before the All-Star break, it can derail any hopes at landing home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Of course, there are also those teams that are rebuilding and looking for younger assets or draft considerations in place of the veteran players on the roster.

With all that in mind, it should come as no surprise that there is trade speculation circling around the Association in November. Read on to find out the details.

 

Brandon Bass

Steve Bulpett of BostonHerald.com passed along the latest on Brandon Bass:

Brandon Bass has continued to play very well for the Celtics, which means there’s a chance he may not be with the team this entire season.

Scouts and opposing front-office types have begun to speak and inquire about the 29-year-old forward, a practice that’s generally a precursor to discussing a trade.

Bass is on the final year of a contract that pays him $6.9 million, which is a fairly attractive number for a contending team looking to add frontcourt depth. Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo commented on these rumors in that same Bulpett piece:

If there’s a team competing for a championship and they could steal him, that’d be big. He’s one of the best mid-range shooters in the league.

He’s a professional. That’s why he’s here. That’s why he’s getting paid the big bucks. He does what it takes to stay at this level, and he’s playing at a high level. Regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench — you know, there are nights where he may play 30 (minutes) or play 10 — he’s consistent. He’s always been really consistent and ready to go.

The Celtics are not going to compete for a title this season and are in rebuilding mode with young pieces like Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger on the roster.

Bass is 29 years old and on the last year of his deal, so this could be an opportunity to get a solid asset or two in return for a player who won’t likely be contributing for the Celtics when the squad is ready to compete again.

He is still a solid scorer (8.9 points a game in his career) and can bang around down low if needed. What’s more, he can work in pick-and-pops with his shooting touch (as Rondo alluded to) and spread the floor for penetrators

Bass is a playoff-tested veteran who has experience on some of the league’s biggest stages. A contender could certainly find room for that as part of the rotation off the bench down the stretch of the season.

 

Andrei Kirilenko

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com provided an update on the Cleveland Cavaliers and any potential interest in Andrei Kirilenko: “The Cavaliers are monitoring Andrei Kirilenko’s state of affairs in Brooklyn, Northeast Ohio Media Group has been told – though it’s more due diligence at this point than anything else.”

To say this has been a disappointing start to the 2014-15 campaign for the Cavaliers would be a massive understatement. Instead of running rampant through the league with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the team has been crippled by defensive issues and is off to a 5-7 start.

It may seem desperate to go after Kirilenko since he has taken a leave of absence from the Brooklyn Nets and has averaged a whopping 0.4 points a game in 5.1 minutes this season, but the Cavs have allowed 102.7 points a game this season. There is a glaring need for potential defenders, even if those defenders are 33 years old.

Cleveland needs a wing defender who can help James stop penetration from shooting guards and small forwards. Of course, it could also use a rim protector.

If nothing else, Kirilenko could hypothetically give James a few extra minutes of rest a night as a 6’9” stretch forward. He could also provide a lengthy body as part of the perimeter defense’s rotation and at least challenge outside shooters on a nightly basis.

It is worth noting that Haynes said the interest was diligence more than anything else, and Kirilenko is certainly not the ultimate answer to get the Cavs over the eventual NBA title mountaintop, but something may need to be done in Cleveland if James is going to win his third ring. 

Even if that something is taking a flier on Kirilenko.

 

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation on Corey Brewer and Eric Gordon

If you thought the rumor mill stopped when you graduated high school, think again. 

Rumors and speculation are ever-present in the NBA, even if the actual trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 20.

Read on to see the latest whispers surrounding Corey Brewer of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Corey Brewer 

Marc Stein of ESPN noted that the Houston Rockets could be moving in on Brewer:

It should come as no surprise that the Rockets and possibly the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in Brewer for his defensive prowess on the wing (he was averaging 2.2 steals a game and 2.3 allowed field goals made coming into Saturday’s game, via NBA.com). He could also help spell LeBron James in Cleveland or James Harden and Trevor Ariza in Houston. 

However, a trade takes two sides, and it is certainly intriguing to look at this from Minnesota’s perspective as well. Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press provided some context to the Timberwolves’ side of things from head coach Flip Saunders:

To make matters even more interesting, things recently took a turn for the worse in the health department for the team, which could impact the decision-making process with Brewer, via Stein:

Stein touches on the two possibilities now available to the Timberwolves. In terms of winning now, they’ll need Brewer for depth purposes. However, Minnesota is in a daunting and loaded Western Conference and probably won’t be making the playoffs this season. 

Trading the 28-year-old Brewer could expedite the rebuilding process because it would lead to more losses and a better draft pick. That mindset could certainly come into play closer to the trade deadline if and when the Timberwolves have completely fallen out of playoff contention.

 

Eric Gordon

Nakia Hogan of NOLA.com provided an update on the possibility that the New Orleans Pelicans could trade Gordon:

“Although, at times, it appears as if Eric Gordon is an odd cog with the Pelicans, the front office and coaching staff still believe Gordon is a key piece to the team. … Don’t expect the Pelicans to make a move simply to rid themselves of Gordon’s salary.”

Gordon was scoring less than 10 points a game and shooting 38.6 percent from the field entering Saturday’s contest, so he isn‘t exactly dominating for the Pelicans. However, with 17 points on Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings and 13 against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, he could be turning the corner.

There is also something to be said for letting the roster develop together in the early going because the Pelicans have playoff hopes in the deep Western Conference.

Hogan noted that if the team could find an attractive deal that bolstered those playoff chances and allowed it to move that unfavorable contract, it would jump all over it, but that should come as no surprise. Finding a trade that improves your team on the court in the immediate future and alleviates salary-cap concerns is not easily done.

If Gordon’s comments during the offseason, when the team was deciding whether to use him as a starter or sixth man, were any indication, he still sees himself as a leader, via John Reid of NOLA.com: ”I won’t get into that because I thought they brought me here to lead and set the tone for the team. I’ve got a lot to prove in my career and I’m still young (25). So the more durable I am will really show what I’m capable of.” 

The only way he can serve as a leader is if he is still on the roster, even if he is making more money than any other Pelican.

 

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation Surrounding Rajon Rondo and More

The NBA season can be broken into three acts—the pre-trade deadline, the post-trade deadline and the playoffs.

While the actual trades will likely come closer to the Feb. 20 deadline, there are always plenty of rumors circulating around the league in that pre-trade deadline period. The 2014-15 campaign has been no different.

With that in mind, read on to see the latest speculation concerning the Houston Rockets and Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics.

 

Houston Rockets

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle passed along an update on the Rockets’ personnel plans:

The Rockets have been actively seeking to deal the $8.34 million trade exception that came with the Lin trade in a change to their original strategy, according to a person familiar with their trade talks around the league.

The Rockets have talked to teams about 10 to 12 players, the individual familiar with the trade talks said. 

Feigen also mentioned that Houston is looking to add a player to strengthen the overall rotation instead of someone to simply bolster one position, but it is hard to ignore the fact that Terrence Jones is out with injury, and the power forward depth is lackluster at best.

Houston is fresh off a 98-92 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in which it was outrebounded, 47-38. Granted, a major reason for that discrepancy is that Dwight Howard didn’t play, but the Rockets could certainly use another frontcourt option to help the big man down low on the glass and as an interior defender.

Houston could wait until closer to the deadline when more players will theoretically be available in potential trades, but Feigen pointed out that a smaller deal now involving the trade exception could actually improve its options in February in any possible larger deal for a more marquee player. 

It remains to be seen how this situation unfolds, but it is fairly clear that the Rockets are going for a title this season.

 

Rajon Rondo

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report noted that the Celtics could have a Rondo predicament on their hands:

These are the questions that may come to define the Celtics’ season, or at least the period between now and the Feb. 20 trade deadline. Rival executives say that Ainge has been firm in his stance that Rondo will not be dealt. But many of those same executives believe that Ainge has to trade Rondo, to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.

Beck also passed along a quote from a general manager: “They’re definitely bravely saying they won’t trade him at this point. I definitely think it’s the right thing to trade him. I think Danny knows it.”

The Danny he is referring to is Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge.

This is the question that is going to dominate any and all talks about the Boston Celtics all season. They are not a serious contender even in the watered-down Eastern Conference, and they would probably be better off in the long term losing more games than they win this season to improve future draft positioning.

Getting rid of Rondo in a trade would certainly increase Boston’s chances at losing the rest of the 2014-15 campaign and would also open up more playing time for rookie point guard Marcus Smart. If nothing else, it would provide an opportunity for Smart to pick up critical confidence and experience as a potential leader of the team.

Rondo also represents Boston’s best chance to get a number of assets in return in any potential trade, be it draft considerations or young players.

The flip side of that is that Rondo is a unique talent who doesn’t come around very often. He is still only 28 years old, and Boston could re-sign him as a franchise cornerstone and build a winner around his abilities. If it could add another young piece or two to a core of Rondo, Smart and Jared Sullinger, Boston could have a possible playoff team within a year or two.

Re-signing Rondo would in all likelihood require the Celtics (or any team) to give the point guard a max contract.

Regardless of the strategy the team takes, Rondo’s early play has strengthened arguments for both positions.

He is spearheading a Boston attack that is third in the NBA in points per game with nightly averages of 10.4 points, 11.8 assists and eight rebounds. He is not exactly doing it with a team of All-Stars surrounding him, either. 

His impressive play will help the team land more in return in any potential trade or help lure other players and free agents in if Boston decides to build around him in the future. Since there are multiple ways in which this situation could unfold, the Rondo saga will certainly be one of the most intriguing NBA storylines to follow for the rest of the season.

 

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Corey Brewer Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation on Timberwolves Swingman

Minnesota Timberwolves guard-forward Corey Brewer has been a consistent player since returning to Minnesota. However, the franchise is reportedly looking to move Brewer to a playoff contender.

Two of the teams in the discussion for the veteran are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets. Marc Stein of ESPN passed along the report Sunday:

Stein noted more information for both the Cavaliers and Rockets:

Brewer, 28, was initially drafted by the Timberwolves in the 2007 NBA draft with the seventh overall pick. After three-plus seasons with the team, he had stints with the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets before coming back to Minnesota in the 2013-14 season.   

Zach Lowe of Grantland.com shared his thoughts on the reports:

After starting 81 games and posting 12.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game last season, Brewer has seen his role reduced this year. His minutes have gone down from 32.2 to 22.9 per game and he’s only averaging 9.8 points.

If he does head to a contender like the Cavs or Rockets, Brewer would immediately add depth at the guard position. The veteran has also played in 19 playoff contests, so he would bring experience in the postseason.

Kevin Martin has been the main shooting guard for Minnesota this season, so the team would simply lose some depth if he is dealt away. The franchise is looking to get young with Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Anthony Bennett on the roster, so a trade might further benefit the team moving forward.

 

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Jimmy Butler Contract: Latest Buzz and Speculation on Negotiations with Bulls

Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls‘ talks regarding a new contract have ended without a deal, and he’s set to enter restricted free agency after the 2014-15 season.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported the news, adding Butler rejected the final offer Chicago made on Friday before the midnight deadline. He’ll remain on for the fourth year of his rookie-scale contract at $1.3 million per year.

Butler is banking on a big year to up his stock in the open market.

“It came down to me deciding that I want to bet on myself,” Butler told Wojnarowski in a text message. “It was about me believing that I put the work in this summer to become a better player with the hope that my improvement will give the Bulls a better chance to win a championship.”

It will be a lucrative bet for Butler to say the least, but he has to like his chances. He’ll start at shooting guard in a new-look Bulls lineup that looks the part of the Eastern Conference favorite entering the season.

He’s also quite popular with Tom Thibodeau and his coaching staff for his excellent two-way play, emerging as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders and a great on-ball matchup for Chicago against rival LeBron James. 

Shooting is unquestionably one thing the Bulls hope to see improve this season, with Butler regressing to an under 40-percent clip from the field last year after shooting 46.7 percent from the floor in the prior season.

Despite being a big piece to the puzzle for 2014-15, the Bulls couldn’t reward Butler with a much-needed extension. That means when the offseason comes, Chicago may be forced to match a sizable offer from another team or let him go.

Either way, it appears Butler will be on his way to a big payday if he continues his ascension into 2014-15. 

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Marquis Teague Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation on Nets Guard

For the second time in his three-year NBA career, 2012 first-round pick Marquis Teague appears to be on the precipice of being shipped out of town. The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are closing in on a deal that will send the former Kentucky star to Philadelphia, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Brooklyn is not expected to receive “anything of significance” in return. NBA rules prohibit assets to be traded without compensation, so the likeliest outcome is a conditional or highly protected draft pick or a non-guaranteed contract that can be easily waived.

Teague, 21, was drafted No. 29 overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2012. He left after only one up-and-down season at Kentucky, with the Bulls hoping Tom Thibodeau could mine the talent that made Teague a highly touted prep star.

The relationship did not work out. Teague struggled mightily on both ends of the floor and was excised from the Bulls rotation to the point he was relegated to D-League duty. He played in only 67 games with Chicago before the team cut bait, sending him to Brooklyn in exchange for Tornike Shengelia.

“It just wasn’t clicking with Thibs the right way,” Teague told reporters in January. “Just trying to figure out the system was kind of tough for me. The way they play isn’t really my style, so it’s kind of difficult for me.”

The Nets experience went a little better for Teague, as he averaged 3.0 points and 1.4 assists per game on 41.5 percent shooting in 21 appearances. But Brooklyn’s offseason acquisition of Jarrett Jack leaves Teague without much chance at playing time.

His only extended preseason audition came in Wednesday night’s loss to the Boston Celtics, where he scored 10 points and made four assists (with six turnovers) in 24 minutes. In four other appearances, Teague had a total of 13 points in 37 minutes played.

Moving on allows Brooklyn to shave Teague‘s $1.12 million salary and its subsequent luxury tax costs off the books. The Nets have well north of $90 million in guaranteed contracts on their books, per Sham Sports, putting them well above the $76.83 million luxury tax. In 2013-14, Brooklyn paid an NBA record $90.57 million in luxury taxes.

The Sixers, far under the salary cap as they continue their rebuilding effort, can absorb Teague‘s contract without sending salary in return. Philadelphia is likely willing to give Teague a shot due to Michael Carter-Williams’ expected absence. The reigning Rookie of the Year has set a Nov. 13 target date for his return following offseason shoulder surgery, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

Tony Wroten will likely start at point guard while Carter-Williams is injured. Adding Teague may spell the end in Philadelphia for Casper Ware, a second-year guard who is on a non-guaranteed contract. Ware was impressive during his summer league run, but Philly’s flirtation with adding a point guard may signal a dissatisfaction with the guard rotation.

Or it may just be Sam Hinkie rolling the dice on a former first-round pick available for pittance. You never know with this team.

 

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