Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
The NBA offseason has been nothing short of electric. While the 2017-18 regular season—and to a large extent, the postseason—featured little drama, the offseason has been full of surprises.
A lot of the drama has come via the trade market. We saw Jimmy Butler moved on the night of the draft, we saw Chris Paul shipped to the Houston Rockets and we saw Paul George traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The potential trade drama isn’t over, either, even with the first wave of free agency coming to a close. There are still plenty of rumors floating around about moves that could occur before the end of the summer. We’re here to examine the latest ones.
Reggie Jackson Could be on His Way to New Orleans
Detroit Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson has three years and more than $51 million remaining on his current contract. However, he might have already played his last regular-season game in a Pistons uniform.
According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the team has discussed trading Jackson to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for E’Twaun Moore and Alexis Ajinca:
Michael Scotto @MikeAScotto
Sources: Pistons and Pelicans have discussed a potential trade of Reggie Jackson for E’Twaun Moore and Alexis Ajinca. Full story coming soon
For the Pistons, it makes some sense to try to dump Jackson and his sizable contract. The Boston College product is coming off an injury-hampered season in which he averaged just 14.5 points per game and shot just 41.9 percent from the floor.
The Pelicans, it would seem, are banking on the idea that a change of scenery and better health can help Jackson return to form.
Two seasons ago, Jackson averaged 18.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. If this is the player New Orleans is scooping up, then the trade looks a bit better for the Pelicans. He’s still just 27 years old and can grow with the young core New Orleans is developing.
Carmelo Getting Closer to a Houston Deal?
The New York Knicks almost certainly want to dump Carmelo Anthony and the $54 million remaining on his salary. The problem is that Anthony possesses a no-trade clause in his contract and would have to agree to any trade.
The good news for the Knicks, at least, is that Anthony has shown interest in being traded to either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Houston Rockets.
It’s beginning to look like a deal to the latter team is in the proverbial cards. According to ESPN.com’s Ian Begley, at least, Anthony believes as much. Begley does caution, however, that the Rockets may need to arrange a three-team deal to acquire Anthony.
“I’m told that Carmelo feels pretty confident that a deal will get done at this point to Houston,” Begley said during a recent appearance on SportsCenter. “But the teams, to date, are nowhere near the finish line, because it’s so tough for the Knicks and Rockets to get a deal together one-to-one. So, it looks like there’s going to have to be a third team involved.”
Begley’s report contradicts an earlier report by Sam Amico of Amico Hoops.
“An NBA general manager who is not affiliated with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers told Amico Hoops on Monday he thinks the Cavs ‘have the inside track for Carmelo Anthony,'” Amico explained.
The problem here is that Cleveland has arguably even less trade capital than Houston has, unless the team is willing to move a major piece like Kevin Love.
Even if the Cavaliers are willing to move Love, they may still have to involve a third team that can surrender draft capital. If the Rockets and Knicks are already looking into a three-team deal, then one has to believe Houston is closer to acquiring Anthony than Cleveland is.
Aldrich Appears Safe
There were reports that Minnesota Timberwolves center Cole Aldrich was at least part of trade discussions when his team was looking to acquire C.J. Miles from the Indiana Pacers.
“Aldrich was repeatedly brought up in potential sign-and-trade deals with Indiana to bring C.J. Miles to Minnesota,” Jace Frederick of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press wrote. “But the Pacers reportedly struck a deal with Toronto on Sunday to send Miles to the Raptors.”
For now, it’s sounding like the 6’11” center’s spot in Minnesota is safe. At the least, head coach Tom Thibodeau recently spoke about the value of size and depth in the front court.
“The thing is you have size, you need depth up front,” Thibodeau said, per Frederick. “I think the way you have to build your team today is you need to have size and the ability to play small. You need to do both. So the quality depth up front is key.”
Aldrich definitely provides size and depth in the front court for Minnesota, so the Timberwolves may want to keep him around. According to Frederick, however, Thibodeau is looking to add a point guard and a couple of wing players to the roster. Therefore, there’s no guarantee that Aldrich’s name won’t come up again as a potential trade chip if a player Thibodeau covets ends up on the trading block.