Here is your fix of the latest NBA trade rumors from Insiders around the league.
Let’s get straight into it.
ZION ON THE TRADING BLOCK?
The Pels will pursue the number two draft pick Scoot Henderson, according to the latest from NBA Insider Shams Charania.
“The Pelicans are expected to aggressively pursue a top pick, potentially two or three, in this upcoming NBA Draft with their eyes set on Scoot Henderson sources tell me,” Charania said.
New Orleans have the 14th overall selection in the upcoming draft, while Charlotte and Portland have the second and third picks respectively and Scoot is expected to be drafted at one of those.
If the franchise did want to pull off this deal, it would likely need to include Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson.
Due to looming tax penalties, NOLA’s roster is about to get very expensive and breaking up Williamson, Ingram and C.J. McCollum to bring in a young talent like Scoot could certainly be on the cards.
Zion has missed a huge amount of time on the court since his rookie season and only played in 29 games this season.
His recent off-court dramas certainly haven’t helped his case either. It seems his mind was on other things. So how committed is he really to leading the Pels to a championship?
VANVLEET RE-SPARKS RUMORS
Fred VanVleet is the latest player set to test his value on the open market this summer, according to ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Toronto Raptors All-Star guard Fred VanVleet has declined his $22.8 million player option and will become an unrestricted free agent in July, sources told ESPN on Monday,” Wojnarowski said.
It is also being reported that FVV hasn’t ruled out striking up a new deal with the Raptors, a franchise he has spent his entire seven-season career and won a championship with in 2019.
“At 29, he is young enough to fit with growing teams that have cap space (Orlando and Houston) but he is also experienced enough to fit in with veteran-laden teams that might have to pull off a sign-and-trade deal to acquire him,” The Athletic’s Eric Koreen writes.
The Lakers are a team that’s definitely in need of some help at the point guard position and VanVleet ticks a lot of those boxes.
He already has the ability to play off-ball beside LeBron, like he did with Kyle Lowry and offers far more than D’Angelo Russell ever could.
“I sometimes wonder why there is such intense focus on Irving and the Lakers when VanVleet is nearly as good and vastly more reliable,” The Athletic’s John Hollinger said.
The All-Star averaged 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and a career-high 7.2 assists to go along with 1.8 steals over 69 games this season.
DAME TO PHILLY CHATTER REIGNITED
Suggesting Damian Lillard heads to Philadelphia isn’t new but this latest trade proposal could make it happen.
If James Harden really does head back to Houston, a superstar pairing of Joel Embiid and Lillard could be a beneficial one.
Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire proposed the following trade.
76ers: Damian Lillard
Blazers get: Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton, and pick swaps in 2024, 2026, and 2028
Carlin goes on to explain the positives but parting ways with young talent Maxey would be tough for the Sixers franchise.
“Moving Maxey would be hard for this franchise to do,” Carlin said. “He is only going to get better and this is after he averaged 20.3 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 43.4 percent from deep. He was fantastic all season long, and he is going to make multiple All-Star game.
“However, Lillard gives them their best chance to win right now. His ability to take a game over in the blink of an eye and just throw a team on his back as well as his killer instinct comes in handy for a team contending for a championship. He and Joel Embiid would be able to co-exist just as James Harden was able to do so.”