NBA rumor and transaction tracker: Warriors granted $9.3 million exception for injured Klay Thompson

Yahoo Sports Staff

Welcome to the Yahoo Sports 2020 NBA rumor and transaction tracker. In this post, we’ll break down all the draft, free agency and trade talk ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Top free agents: Point guards | Shooting guards | Small forwards | Power forwards | Center

Though it feels like just yesterday the bubble season wrapped up, the new NBA season is scheduled to tip off Dec. 22.

Warriors get exception for Klay Thompson

The Golden State Warriors were granted a $9.3 million disabled player exception Wednesday because of Klay Thompson’s season-ending Achilles injury, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.

That money, which is based on the price of a mid-level exception player, allows the Warrior to sign a replacement player without a salary cap penalty.

The news comes on the same day Thompson had successful surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Hassan Whiteside returns to Kings

After one of the unlikelier rises to NBA stardom during his time with the Miami Heat, Hassan Whiteside is headed back to where his NBA career started.

The former Portland Trail Blazers center has agreed to a one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The deal is for the veteran’s minimum, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s James Ham.

Whiteside began his career with the Kings back in 2010 when the team drafted him 33rd overall. He eventually left the team after averaging 1.5 points per game in sporadic action, and spent stints playing in the G League, Lebanon and China before the Heat took a flier on him.

From there, Whiteside broke out and won rebounding and blocks titles, eventually receiving a four-year, $98 million deal. He spent last season with the Portland Trail Blazers, leading the league in blocks and offensive rebounds.

With the Kings, Whiteside figures to fill out a big man rotation that also includes Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes.

Suns, Dario Saric agree to three-year deal

The Phoenix Suns are bringing back Dario Saric on a three-year, $27 million deal, Saric’s agents told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday.

Saric, 26, has spent just one season with the Suns, averaging 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds. He blossomed in the NBA bubble, helping the Suns to an 8-0 record by averaging 14.8 points and 7.6 rebounds He also shot 57.4% from the field, including 52.4% from 3-point range.

JaVale McGee to Cleveland, Marc Gasol signing with Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers traded center JaVale McGee to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Cavaliers will also get a future second-round draft pick. In exchange, the Cavs sent Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie to Los Angeles.

The deal, per Wojnarowski, will help the team in its quest to sign veteran big man Marc Gasol. That two-year deal is reportedly being finalized.

McGee averaged 6.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last season while helping the Lakers to their 17th franchise title. The 32-year-old is preparing to enter his 13th season in the league, and the Cavaliers will mark his seventh team.

Gasol, 35, averaged 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds with the Toronto Raptors last season — his 12th in the league. He was initially drafted by the Lakers, but was traded to Memphis instantly. His brother, Pau, played for the Lakers for more than six seasons, too.

Timberwolves trade Spellman, Evans to Knicks

The Minnesota Timberwolves sent both forward Omari Spellman and guard Jacob Evans to the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange, the Timberwolves received forward Ed Davis and a future second-round draft pick.

The Timberwolves acquired both Spellman and Evans in a trade with the Golden State Warriors earlier this season that swapped D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins. Spellman averaged 7.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season with the Warriors, while Evans averaged 4.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 29 games.

Davis, 31, averaged 1.8 points and 3.8 rebounds last year with the Utah Jazz, his 10th season in the league. He was traded to the Knicks last week.

Austin Rivers joins Knicks

The New York Knicks have signed shooting guard Austin Rivers to a three-year, $10 million deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The move adds needed backcourt depth in New York.

Rivers, 28, averaged 8.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists off the bench for the Houston Rockets last season. The eight-year NBA veteran will join his fifth team in New York.

Bucks add wings Bryn Forbes, Torrey Craig for depth

The Milwaukee Bucks may have failed in their attempt to land Bogdan Bogdanovic in free agency, but they secured deals with two of the more underrated players on the market on Sunday.

In addition to striking deals with guard D.J. Augustin and Bobby Portis on Saturday, Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst agreed to terms with Bryn Forbes and Torrey Craig a day later, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Horst revamped the rotation of a title contender behind two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, two-time All-Star Khris Middleton and newly acquired All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.

Forbes, 27, averaged 11.2 points on 42/39/83 shooting splits in 25.1 minutes per game for the San Antonio Spurs last season. He signed in San Antonio as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and has steadily improved.

The 6-foot-7, 221-pound Craig, 29, was a versatile defensive specialist for the Denver Nuggets last season. He averaged 5.4 points (46/33/61 shooting splits) and 3.3 rebounds in 18.5 minutes, mostly off the bench.

Blazers continue to make moves in free agency, add Harry Giles

Under pressure from star guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to improve the rotation around them, Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey has been busy this offseason.

After acquiring Robert Covington and Enes Kanter via trades and re-signing forwards Rodney Hood and Carmelo Anthony, Olshey has agreed to a one-year deal with 22-year-old former prep phenom Harry Giles, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Giles is a low-risk and potentially high-reward signing.

Plagued by knee injuries in high school and college, Giles — once the top player in his class — fell to No. 20 in the 2017 draft and did not make his NBA debut until October 2018. He averaged 6.9 points (55.4 FG%, 77.6 FT%) and 4.1 rebounds in 14.5 minutes last season, mostly off the bench for the Kings.

Warriors add Kent Bazemore, pursuing Marc Gasol

The Golden State Warriors reached a one-year deal with Kent Bazemore, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Bazemore, 31, played for the Warriors as a rookie in 2012-13 until being traded in February 2014.

Bazemore adds depth on the wing after the Warriors lost All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson to a season-ending Achilles injury. Golden State also traded for Kelly Oubre Jr. on Thursday. He and Bazemore, who has a good relationship with Warriors star Stephen Curry, will be tasked with replacing Thompson.

Bazemore averaged 8.8 points (on 38/34/77 shooting splits) and 4.3 rebounds in 24.8 minutes over 68 games split between the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings last season.

The Warriors are also among several teams pursuing veteran center Marc Gasol on the free-agency market, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Toronto Raptors and both the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers are also reportedly interested in the 35-year-old former Defensive Player of the Year.

Clippers reach deal with Serge Ibaka, join Marc Gasol sweepstakes

The Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly found their Montrezl Harrell replacement.

Free agent big man Serge Ibaka agreed to a deal with the Clippers on Saturday, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The deal is a mid-level exception pact for two years and $19 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The second year of the deal will reportedly be a player option.

According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, the team is also pursuing veteran center Marc Gasol.

In addition to Harrell, the Clippers also lost backup power forward JaMychal Green to the Denver Nuggets in free agency. The Clippers retained Marcus Morris in free agency and still have starting center Ivica Zubac.

Gasol would give the Clippers an older and likely cheaper center who would be a defensive plus on the team’s second unit. He has also drawn reported interest from the Lakers, Raptors and Warriors. Ibaka has been more productive in recent years as he and Gasol split center duties in Toronto the past two years.

Per Stein, the Lakers are also in the market for another big man even with Harrell aboard, but face larger financial constraints.

Warriors apply for Klay Thompson’s Disabled Player Exception

As expected, the Golden State Warriors are trying to recoup some cap space lost with Klay Thompson’s season-ending Achilles tear.

The team has applied for a $9.3 million Disabled Player Exception, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

With the Warriors are hoping to return to the ranks of the NBA elite this season, that extra money should help fill out a roster with a gaping hole at shooting guard. The Warriors have reportedly acquired Kelly Oubre from the Oklahoma City Thunder (at great cost), and even more moves could be coming now.

Paul Millsap returns to Nuggets

Paul Millsap’s tenure in Denver will continue for another year after agreeing to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Nuggets, according to Shams Charania.

The 35-year-old Millsap was one of three of big men in Denver’s rotation to hit free agency this offseason, and he will be the only one to return after Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee both signed with the Detroit Pistons.

In 24.3 minutes per game last season, Millsap averaged 11.6 points and 5.7 rebounds on .591 true shooting.

Millsap and Grant filled most of the minutes at power forward alongside Nikola Jokic last year. Now it appears that former Los Angeles Clippers forward JaMychal Green will fill Grant’s slot.

Nerlens Noel lands with Knicks

A New York Knicks roster that already had plenty of big men is getting one more.

Free agent center Nerlens Noel has agreed to a one-year, $5 million with New York, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Noel has spent the last two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he averaged 6.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 15.8 minutes per game. He’ll likely share minutes with the likes of Mitchell Robinson and Ed Davis.

Celtics get another veteran in Jeff Teague

Less than two hours after agreeing to a deal with Tristan Thompson, the Boston Celtics added another veteran in Jeff Teague on a one-year deal, per the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.

Teague spent last year split between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks, averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 assists per game. In Boston, he will likely come off the bench in the backcourt behind Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart.

Rajon Rondo signs two-year deal with Hawks

Rajon Rondo is leaving the Los Angeles Lakers. Rondo agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

With the move, the Hawks have revamped their backcourt. The team also signed Kris Dunn to a two-year deal Saturday.

Rondo hinted his time with the Lakers was done in an Instagram post Saturday. Rondo thanked the organization and the fans in the post, and hinted he would be moving on.

Rondo, 34, averaged 7.1 points and 5 assists with the Lakers last season.

Jeff Green signs deal with Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are bringing in veteran big man Jeff Green, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Green, 34, has reportedly agreed to a deal with the team, though details are scarce at this time.

Green spent last season with the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets. He averaged 9.4 points and 2.8 rebounds.

Magic sign Gary Clark to two-year deal

The Orlando Magic have signed forward Gary Clark to a two-year, $4.1 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Clark joined the Magic last season after getting released by the Houston Rockets. With Orlando, Clark averaged 3.6 points while playing 14.8 minutes per game.

Suns ink Jae Crowder to three-year, $30 million deal

The Phoenix Suns have reportedly signed Jae Crowder to a three-year, $30 million contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Crowder, 30, spent time with both the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat last season. He averaged 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds.

Heat sign Avery Bradley to two-year $11.6 million deal

The Miami Heat have reportedly signed Avery Bradley to a two-year, $11.6 million deal Saturday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Bradley, 29, spent last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 8.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 49 games with the team. After winning a championship with Los Angeles, Bradley will look to take home a second-straight title with the Heat, who made it to the NBA Finals last season.

Bobby Portis signs two-year deal with Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly signed forward Bobby Portis to a two-year deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Portis’ deal includes a player option for his second season.

Portis — who was originally drafted in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls — spent last season with the New York Knicks. He averaged 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds with the Knicks.

Grizzlies sign De’Anthony Melton to four-year, $35 million deal

De’Anthony Melton is staying in Memphis. The guard reportedly agreed to a four-year, $35 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Melton, 22, returns to Memphis after averaging 7.6 points and 2.9 assists with the team last season. The deal gives Melton the highest net salary from his draft class for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Kris Dunn signs two-year deal with Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly signed Kris Dunn to a two-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The deal is worth $10 million and contains a player option for a second season.

Dunn, 26, spent the last three seasons with the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 10.7 points and 5.1 assists per game in Chicago.

Maurice Harkless signs one-year deal with Heat

Maurice Harkless wants a shot at a championship. Harkless, 27, reportedly turned down more lucrative offers in order to sign a one-year deal with the Miami Heat, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Harkless’ deal with the Heat is worth $3.6 million. Harkless took the deal so he could re-enter free agency next season, when teams might have more money available to pay players.

Last season, Harkless averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds with the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks.

JaMychal Green heading to Nuggets

Free-agent forward JaMychal Green is heading to the Denver Nuggets on a reported two-year, $15 million deal.

Green will help offset the loss of forward Jerami Grant, who has agreed to sign with the Pistons. Green’s deal includes a second-year option.

Green spent the past two seasons with the Clippers. Last season he averaged 6.8 points and 6.2 rebounds and shot 38.7 percent from 3-point range, down from his 41.3 percent shooting from deep in 2018-19.

The Nuggets will be Green’s fourth NBA team with previous stops with the Spurs (2014-15), Grizzlies (2015-19) and Clippers (2019-20).

Denzel Valentine returns to Bulls on one-year deal

Denzel Valentine is staying with the Chicago Bulls. Valentine reportedly signed his $4.7 million qualifying offer Saturday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Valentine, who was selected by the team with the No. 14 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 6.8 points and 2.1 rebounds last season.

Michael Carter-Williams returns to Magic

Veteran guard Michael Carter-Williams apparently enjoyed his time in Orlando. Carter-Williams reportedly agreed to return to the Orlando Magic on Saturday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Carter-Williams spent the past season and a half in Orlando, where he averaged 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds with the franchise. Carter-Williams has also spent time in Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Milwaukee and Philadelphia over his career.

Nov. 20: Steven Adams traded to Pelicans in four-team deal

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired big man Steven Adams in a four-team trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Adams, 27, will head to New Orleans in exchange for George Hill, Darius Miller and two 2023 draft picks. Both the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets have been looped into the trade, which is part of the same deal that sent Jrue Holiday to the Bucks.

Adams averaged 10.9 points and 9.3 rebounds last season.

Gordon Hayward wants return to Indiana

With Gordon Hayward on his way out of Boston, the Celtics forward reportedly has one destination in mind. And it’s a familiar one.

Hayward is focused on reaching a deal with the Indiana Pacers in the neighborhood of four years and $100 million, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein. That would require a sign-and-trade deal between Boston and Indiana. Per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn, Pacers center Myles Turner would be part of a potential return package, but the two teams are at odds regarding additional compensation.

Hayward was born and raised in the state of Indiana and attended Butler, so this would represent a homecoming for the 30-year-old.

Hayward has also drawn interest from the New York Knicks, according to Stein. They could sign him into cap space without having to send sign-and-trade compensation back to the Celtics. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the door on the former All-Star forward returning to Boston also is not fully closed.

Jakob Poeltl gets three-year deal

A solid big man is getting a solid contract in San Antonio.

Free agent center Jakob Poeltl has agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal to return to the San Antonio Spurs, according to Shams Charania.

Part of the Spurs’ return in the Kawhi Leonard trade, Poeltl has been a dependable big man in his two years with the team. The former ninth overall pick has averaged 5.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, shooting 62.4 percent from the field and delivering strong defense in the paint.

Justin Holiday staying with the Pacers

Two of the NBA’s three Holiday brothers will be sticking together.

Free-agent wing Justin Holiday will return to the Indiana Pacers on a three-year, $18 million deal, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. His brother Aaron Holiday is still on his rookie contract with the Pacers.

Justin Holiday averaged 9.5 points (on 43/41/79 shooting splits), 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 25 minutes per game off the bench last season.

John Wall wants off the Wizards

All-Star point guard John Wall has made clear to the Washington Wizards he wants off the team, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Wall’s contract is arguably the most difficult to trade in the NBA.

The 30-year-old Wall is owed $133 million over the next three seasons and has not played since December 2018. He has been cleared to return from the Achilles injury that cost him all of last season, but there is serious question about whether a point guard who relied so much on his explosive can regain All-Star form.

Reports indicated Wall was involved in trade discussions with the Houston Rockets centered around former MVP Russell Westbrook, whose contract is also among the hardest to deal. Those talks stalled. Related or not, Wall reportedly wants off the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2010. To where remains a question.

The news came as Robin Lopez reportedly agreed to leave the Milwaukee Bucks for the Wizards

The 32-year-old veteran center will reportedly sign for one year at “slightly less” than the $9.3 non-taxpayer’s midlevel exception, according to Yahoo Sports contributor Keith Smith. Lopez averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game as a backup to his twin brother Brook last season.

Robin seemed blindsided by Wall’s trade request:

Joe Harris returning to Nets

Free-agent sharpshooter Joe Harris will return to the Brooklyn Nets on a four-year, $75 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, bolstering the team’s pursuit of a championship.

There was some concern that Brooklyn’s draft-night acquisition of marksman Landry Shamet signaled Harris’ exit, but the Nets now have both to complement superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Harris averaged 14.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30.8 minutes per night as a starting wing for the Nets last season, shooting 42.4 percent from three-point range on 5.9 attempts per game. The 29-year-old led the league in three-point percentage at a 47.4 clip in 2018-19.

Derrick Jones Jr. leaves Heat for Blazers

Derrick Jones Jr. will leave the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat to join a suddenly retooled Portland Trail Blazers wing core, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The deal is reportedly worth $19 million over two years.

The 23-year-old Jones enjoyed a career year for Miami. He averaged 8.5 points (on 53/28/77 shooting splits) and 3.9 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game off the bench, while playing energetic defense. He is a superb athlete who can fill multiple positions on both ends of the floor.

Jones will join the newly acquired Robert Covington and a returning Rodney Hood as forwards alongside star Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers also re-acquired center Enes Kanter in a trade with the Boston Celtics.

Chicago Bulls add veteran Garrett Temple

One of the younger teams in the NBA is adding some experience.

The Chicago Bulls have reached an agreement with free-agent guard Garrett Temple on a one-year, $5 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Temple is coming off a career season in which he averaged 10.3 points per game for the often-shorthanded Brooklyn Nets. Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal once called Temple the greatest teammate he ever had, and that presence should help a Bulls team still trying to break through in the East.

Chicago will be Temple’s 10th team in 11 seasons in the NBA.

Knicks bringing in Alec Burks

After two seasons spent with five different teams, Alec Burks is headed to Madison Square Garden.

The free agent wing has agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with the New York Knicks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In Burks, the Knicks are getting a journeyman who averaged a career-high 15.0 points per game last season while shooting a respectable 38.5 percent from 3-point range. In the Knicks, Burks will be playing with a still-rebuilding squad that could have use for some experience … and a potential trade asset.

Lakers targeting Dwight Howard replacement?

With Dwight Howard headed away from the Los Angeles Lakers (despite a since-deleted tweet announcing he was staying), the team is wasting no time finding a replacement for his minutes at center.

According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, that replacement could be former All-Star center Marc Gasol.

Acquiring a Gasol has certainly worked out for the Lakers in the past.

Gasol is undoubtedly nearing the end of his career at 35 years old, but could be an attractive option to back up JaVale McGee.

Gasol averaged a career-low 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season with the Toronto Raptors while dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, but is still a major asset on defense, especially in a bench role.

Trey Burke signs 3-year deal with Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks clearly liked what they saw from Trey Burke in the NBA bubble.

After bringing in the veteran guard as an injury replacement during the league’s hiatus, the Mavs have signed Burke to a three-year deal worth around $10 million, per The New York Times’ Marc Stein.

Burke averaged 12.0 points and 3.8 assists per game in the Mavericks’ eight seeding games, and played a big role in the Mavericks’ impressive challenge of the Clippers in the first round. Most importantly, he played well alongside Luka Doncic, and that will take you quite far in Dallas.

Malik Beasley re-signs with the Timberwolves

Malik Beasley will return to the Minnesota Timberwolves on a four-year, $60 million deal, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Beasley, 23, faces charges of marijuana possession and threats of violence after his September arrest for allegedly pointing a gun at a couple and their teenage daughter touring homes in Plymouth, Minnesota.

The Timberwolves acquired Beasley at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Robert Covington to the Houston Rockets. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 20.7 points (on 47/43/75 shooting splits), 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 33.1 minutes over 14 games in Minnesota’s backcourt alongside D’Angelo Russell.

Beasley is considered an integral part of the Wolves’ young core, which now also includes Russell, All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns and the No. 1 pick in Wednesday’s draft, Anthony Edwards.

Rodney Hood returning to Blazers

Rodney Hood, who tore his Achilles in December, is returning to the Portland Trail Blazers on a two-year, $21 million contract, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The second year is reportedly not guaranteed.

Hood averaged 11 points (on impressive 51/49/78 shooting splits), 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 29.5 minutes over 21 games as a starting forward before the injury last season. If the 28-year-old can return to form, he should give Portland depth at the wing position, along with the newly acquired Robert Covington. The Blazers have long struggled to fill the position beside star guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Hood opted out of a $6 million player option for the 2020-21 season earlier this week.

Jordan Clarkson, Derrick Favors returning to Jazz for $82 million

Veteran big man Derrick Favors is returning to the Utah Jazz, who will also retain free-agent scorer Jordan Clarkson, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Clarkson will reportedly sign for four years and $52 million. He averaged 15.6 points (on 46/37/79 shooting splits) off the bench after the Jazz acquired him for Dante Exum and two second-round picks in December.

Favors will reportedly sign a three-year, $30 million deal. He averaged 9.0 points on 61.7 percent shooting and 9.8 rebounds in 24.4 minutes a game as the starting center for the New Orleans Pelicans last season. He played for the Jazz from 2011-19 before being traded to the Pelicans for a pair of second-round picks.

The moves should help solidify a bench that has struggled to score over the past two years. The Jazz lost a nail-biting seven-game first-round series to the Denver Nuggets in August. Clarkson scored 10 of Utah’s 17 bench points in an 80-78 loss in Game 7, and Denver went on to reach the Western Conference finals.

Favors was a defensive anchor for the Pelicans, who will miss his presence as a starting frontcourt partner to Zion Williamson. New Orleans will now be in the market for a rim-protecting big as a replacement.

Pistons reach deal with Mason Plumlee

The Detroit Pistons are stocking up on centers.

One day after reportedly acquiring center Dewayne Dedmon from the Atlanta Hawks, the Pistons reached a deal with free agent big man Mason Plumlee on a three-year, $25 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Plumlee just wrapped a three-and-a-half year tenure as Nikola Jokic’s back-up in Denver, averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game there.

Minutes later, Wojnarowski reported that the Pistons had also agreed to terms with Jahlil Okafor, another center.

In only two days, the Pistons have now accrued three centers to play alongside Blake Griffin after trading away Andre Drummond last season. The team had an unrestricted free agent center of its own to re-sign in Christian Wood, but all of this indicates the team has decided to go in another direction.

Nuggets reach deal with Argentinian PG

The Nuggets looked overseas to find a new addition to their backcourt, reaching a two-year deal with Real Madrid guard Facundo Campazzo according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 29-year-old Argentinian has been among the best players in Europe for years, and makes up for a lack of size at 5-foot-11 with his feel for the game. In 18 games between league play and EuroLeague this season, Campazzo has averaged 9.7 points and 5.4 assists per game.

Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard returning to Heat in free agency

In the first major announcement of NBA free agency, All-Star point guard Goran Dragic announced his intention to return to the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.

The deal is for two years and $37.4 million, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The 34-year-old Dragic was an integral part of Miami’s run to the NBA Finals. He averaged 19.9 points (on 45/36/81 shooting splits), 4.6 assists and four rebounds per game during the playoffs, before suffering a plantar fascia tear in Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers. His absence was a major disappointment for a team with upset potential. He played 19 minutes in a Game 6 return, but it was too little too late.

Meyers Leonard will also return to the Heat on a two-year deal worth close to $20 million, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 28-year-old Leonard started 49 of the Heat’s 73 games at center during the regular season, averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds as a floor-spacing 7-footer. He was moved to the bench during the playoffs, when Miami made the adjustment of starting All-Star big man Bam Adebayo at center.

Miami holds options on the second year of both deals, per The Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds, leaving open the possibility the Heat could chase bigger-name free agents with maximum cap space in 2021.

Trail Blazers bring back Enes Kanter in three-team deal

The Portland Trail Blazers are bringing back Enes Kanter from the Boston Celtics in a three-way deal that involves the Memphis Grizzlies, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Celtics will get a future draft consideration from the Grizzlies in the deal. Memphis gets Mario Hezonjia and a 30th pick from the Trail Blazers.

Kanter, 28, signed with Portland for part of the 2018-19 season as a buyout free agent. He averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 22.3 minutes on average off the bench over 23 games. The Trail Blazers lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors.

Bucks moving on from Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly moving on from Bogdan Bogdanovic, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The team attempted to pull off a sign and trade for Bogdanovic, but things fell through after Bogdanovic nixed the deal, instead preferring to hit free agency. While the Bucks could pursue Bogdanovic in free agency, it appears the team no longer wants the guard.

Bogdanovic, 28, averaged 15.1 points and 3.4 assists with the Sacramento Kings last season.

Anthony Davis ‘on course’ to re-sign with the Lakers

As expected, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis remains “on course” to re-sign with the team, although the final terms of the contract could take some time, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Lakers may not get the superstar’s signature on a deal for a week after free agency opens on Friday. Davis will weigh his options on the length and structure of the maximum contract he will sign with the reigning champions, Wojnarowski reported. Davis could sign for anywhere from a two-year, $68 million deal — with the option to enter free agency again after this season — up to a five-year, $189 million contract.

In two years, when Davis will have 10 NBA seasons under his belt, he will be eligible for a contract worth a maximum of 35 percent of a salary cap that should be higher in a theoretical post-pandemic landscape.

Davis averaged 26.1 points (on 50/33/85 shooting splits), 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.8 combined blocks and steals in 34.4 minutes per game in his first season with the Lakers after being traded from the New Orleans Pelicans in July 2019. A First Team All-NBA selection in four of the past six seasons, Davis raised his game in the playoffs, winning his first ring and continuing to chart a course for all-time greatness.

Nov. 19: Warriors send 1st-round pick to OKC for Kelly Oubre

Kelly Oubre is on the move again.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors are finalizing a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire Oubre after the news that Klay Thompson would miss the 2020-21 season because of a torn Achilles. They’ll send a first-round pick to the Thunder in return while taking on a massive luxury tax hit.

Oubre was acquired by the Thunder when OKC traded Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns. Oubre, 24, is in the last year of his contract and is owed $14.3 million this upcoming season. The Warriors would be able to acquire him with the trade exception the team got from trading Andre Iguodala last season.

Oubre was the Suns’ second-leading scorer in 2019-20. He averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He would slot into the Warriors’ starting lineup and provide a three-point shooting and wing defense presence the Warriors need with Thompson’s injury. Oubre shot 35 percent from three last season and 45 percent overall from the field.

If the Warriors do acquire Oubre, the team’s luxury tax bill will be massive.

Trading Oubre away would be yet another move for OKC general manager Sam Presti in an incredibly active offseason. The Thunder traded Ricky Rubio to the Minnesota Timberwolves ahead of the draft on Wednesday after getting him as part of the Paul deal and flipped Danny Green to the Philadelphia 76ers after acquiring him from the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal for Dennis Schroder.

Jazz deal Ed Davis to Knicks in cap-saving effort

The New York Knicks have acquired forward Ed Davis in a trade from the Utah Jazz, The Athletic’s Tony Jones reports.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarwoski reports that that Jazz also sent two second-round draft picks to the Knicks in an effort to clear $5 million in salary cap space as they look to re-sign Jordan Clarkson and eye extensions for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

The deal leaves Utah with $18 million in cap space and the Knicks with $35 million with free agency approaching on Friday, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Knicks aggressively pursuing Gordon Hayward

The New York Knicks are trying to find a way to land Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward. The Knicks have aggressively pursued Hayward all week, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Hayward, 30, has a $34 million option for the 2020-21 NBA season, but it’s believed he will decline that option. If he does that, Gordon would hit the market, where he would likely sign a lucrative, multi-year deal with another team. Hayward originally had until Nov. 17 to make a decision on his option, but both sides agreed to push that decision back to Nov. 19. Hayward has until 5 p.m. ET on the 19th to opt in to his contract.

The Knicks aren’t the only team looking at Hayward. The Atlanta Hawks were interested in acquiring Hayward as part of a possible sign and trade. Both the Hawks and Knicks have a lot of cap space, and could sign Hayward to a long-term deal if he opts out of his $34 million option.

If Hayward opts out of that deal, it could signal Hayward believes a multi-year contract is coming once free agency opens Friday.

Last season, Hayward averaged 17.5 points and 6.7 rebounds with the Celtics.

James Johnson traded to Thunder after opting in to deal

James Johnson opted into his $16 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, but he didn’t remain with the team for long. Shortly after opting in, Johnson was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Ricky Rubio deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Rubio, who spent the first six season of his career in Minnesota, was traded back to the franchise Wednesday. It was originally reported that Rubio, the No. 25 and No. 28 pick would go to Minnesota in exchange for the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. It appears both teams agreed Johnson would be part of that deal, but he couldn’t officially be included until he opted into his contract.

Johnson, 33, averaged 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds last season.

Enes Kanter opts into $5 million deal with Celtics

Enes Kanter is sticking with the Boston Celtics. Kanter decided to opt into his $5 million deal with the team Thursday, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Kanter, 28, joined the team last season. He averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 58 games with the team. Kanter is set to be a free agent following the 2020-21 NBA season.

Lakers waive Quinn Cook

The Los Angeles Lakers are parting ways with guard Quinn Cook, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The team made the move Thursday, just a day after the 2020 NBA Draft. The Lakers acquired guard Dennis Schroder in a trade Wednesday, which may have made Cook expendable.

Cook, 27, averaged 5.1 points per game in limited time with the Lakers last season. Following the team’s win in the NBA Finals, the Lakers’ team bus left the arena without Cook.

Hawks deal Dewayne Dedmon to Pistons for Tony Snell, Khyri Thomas

The Atlanta Hawks have agreed to trade center Dewayne Dedmon to the Detroit Pistons, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Pistons are sending shooting guards Tony Snell and Khyri Thomas to the Hawks in return.

Dedmon, 31, averaged 5.8 points and 5.7 rebounds with the Hawks and Sacramento Kings last season. Snell, 29, averaged eight points and 2.2 assists while hitting 40.2 percent of his 3-point attempts as a starter in Detroit. Thomas averaged 2.1 points in a limited role off the bench.

Rockets trade away Trevor Ariza ... again

Trevor Ariza’s third stint with the Houston Rockets was his shortest yet.

After landing with the team again on Monday as part of the Robert Covington trade, Ariza was traded to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Houston is also reportedly sending the No. 16 pick in the draft to Detroit for a future first-rounder.

The Pistons will be the 35-year-old’s sixth team in three years.

Knicks acquire No. 23 pick from Jazz

The New York Knicks like the talent available near the end of the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft. The team moved up Wednesday, acquiring the No. 23 pick from the Utah Jazz, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange for the No. 23 pick, the Knicks traded the No. 27 and No. 38 picks. The move gives New York two picks in the first round. The team will also pick eighth in the draft.

This will be the team’s first draft since Leon Rose took over as the Knicks’ president. Rose took that job in March.

Nov. 17: Report: Wizards, Rockets talking Wall-Westbrook swap

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook dribbles the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Phoenix. The Rockets defeated the Suns 139-125. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Will Russell Westbrook get his reported wish? (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The drama in Houston changes by the hour.

The latest report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania has the Rockets and Washington Wizards discussing a deal to swap All-Star guards Russell Westbrook and John Wall. Westbrook and James Harden reportedly both want out of Houston.

But for now, the talks sound very preliminary with the Rockets seeking more than the Wizards are offering. Wall, 30, is one of the NBA’s best guards when healthy. But he has been plagued by serious injuries in recent seasons including an Achilles tear and carries significant risk.

Andre Drummond exercises option, will stay with Cavs

Andre Drummond is reportedly exercising his $28.7 million player option to stay with his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Drummond, 27, was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Cavs in February. He played in just eight games for the Cavs before the COVID-19 shutdown, but had a pretty great season overall. In the 57 games Drummond played for the Pistons and Cavs combined, he averaged a career-high 17.7 points per game, as well as 15.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.6 blocks. His stats on rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks were all near his career-high numbers.

Suns acquire Chris Paul from Thunder

The Phoenix Suns pulled off a blockbuster deal Monday, acquiring 10-time All-Star Chris Paul in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange, the Thunder will receive four players, including Ricky Rubio.

The Thunder will also receive draft compensation in exchange for Paul.

Last season, Paul, 35, averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game.

DeMar DeRozan exercising $27.7 million Spurs option

Despite all the rumors linking him to the Lakers, four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan is staying put with the San Antonio Spurs. The 31-year-old has reportedly told the Spurs that he’s exercising his $27.7 million player option for the upcoming season.

DeRozan, an 11-year NBA veteran, has averaged 21.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Spurs.

Pistons trade Bruce Brown to Nets

The Detroit Pistons have acquired former first-round pick Džanan Musa and a 2021 second-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets. Detroit gave up guard Bruce Brown in exchange for Musa.

Musa, 21, has played in 49 games since being selected with the No. 29 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He’s averaged 4.3 points per game.

Brown — who was selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft — has averaged 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in two seasons in the league.

Nov. 15: Anthony Davis to become free agent

While he’s fresh off winning his first NBA title, Anthony Davis is set to become a free agent.

Davis, who had one year left on his five-year deal he initially signed with the New Orleans Pelicans, officially turned down his $28.7 million player option on Sunday night and will become a free agent this week.

The former No. 1 overall draft pick averaged 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds last season while leading the Lakers to their 17th NBA title. While he can land anywhere, it’s generally expected that Davis will resign with the Lakers once free agency signings begin on Nov. 22.

James Harden to the Nets?

With Russell Westbrook reportedly wanting out of Houston, James Harden might be trying to make his escape, too.

Harden is currently considering his future with the franchise, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and the idea of joining the Brooklyn Nets is apparently “resonating” with him.

There has not, however, been any official trade talks between either team.

Harden averaged 34.3 points and 7.5 assists per game last season, his 11th in the league. He still has three years left on his four-year, $171 deal with the Rockets.

Though seeing Harden team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn would undoubtedly be entertaining — and would absolutely bolster the Nets’ championship chances — it seems that this is still a long ways off from happening, if it does at all.

Lakers nearing deal for Dennis Schroder

The champs are on the verge of shaking up their roster as they prepare to defend their title. The Los Angeles Lakers are discussing a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder that would send Danny Green and a first-round pick to OKC in exchange for Dennis Schroder, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Schroder, 27, averaged 18.9 ppg last season and finished in second in Sixth Man of the Year voting behind Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell. Schroder recently said that both the Lakers and Clippers were interested in acquiring him at last season’s trade deadline.

Green, a three-time NBA champion, was a starter for the Lakers last season and averaged 8.0 points per game.

DeMar DeRozan addresses Lakers rumors

San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan addressed the rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers are interesting in bringing him to the championship squad this offseason.

DeRozan was born and raised in Compton and went to school at USC.

Russell Westbrook reportedly wants out of Houston

Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker, left, and Russell Westbrook sit on the bench in the closing minutes of a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker, left, and Russell Westbrook sit on the bench in the closing minutes of a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook reportedly wants out of Houston. He has three years left on a five-year, $207 million extension he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to his trade.

It came after a report that both Westbrook and James Harden are concerned about the future of the franchise. Harden, for his part, reportedly remains “locked in” on staying with the Rockets.

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