NBA Trade Rumors: Herbert Jones, Kyle Lowry, Bruce Brown and Chris Boucher
New Orleans Doesn’t Plan To Trade Herbert Jones
The New Orleans Pelicans will likely be up against the NBA tax next season, but Insider Marc Stein says they do not intend to trade Herbert Jones. Jones is in the first season of a four-year $53.8 million extension he signed in the summer.
Jones, a defensive ace, has taken significant strides in his game overall, specifically on the offensive end this year. The 25-year-old forward has become a reliable shooter and, as a result, is not a liability offensively. Jones has already had 21 double-digit scoring games, including two 20-point outings. He had three 20-point games in each of his first three seasons.
Jones is averaging a career-high 10.7 points and 1.3 treys with a shooting slash line of .481/.378/.853, also a career-best. He adds 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and one block (a career-best).
New Orleans is fifth in the Western Conference and on pace for their best season since the 2017-18 campaign when the Pelicans won 48 games. However, the Pelicans will have many decisions to make in the offseason.
New Orleans has 10 players under contract for next season, including Jose Alvarado, whose $1.9 million contract is not guaranteed. With just those 10 players on the payroll, the Pelicans obligation is already $150 million, which puts them $22 million below the tax threshold.
Here is the thing: Jonas Valanciunas is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he is having a solid year. Valanciunas is making $15 million this year, and while he may only command a little more than that on the open market, the Pelicans may decide to re-sign him as there likely won’t be any cheaper options.
Naji Marshall is also an upcoming unrestricted free agent. While Marshall likely won’t see a huge increase in his $1.9 million 2023-24 salary, he will likely see an increase of more than the minimum. The Pelocans hold Marshall’s Bird rights.
Pelicans Make Roster Move
New Orleans needed to add a player to a standard contract after trading Kira Lewis Jr. to Indiana to get back to the league minimum of 14 players, so they signed Malcolm Hill to a 10-day contract yesterday.
Hill was having an outstanding season with the Pelicans G-League affiliate, the Birmingham Squadron, averaging 21.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 27 appearances. He produced three double-doubles while producing a shooting slash line of .470/.407/.885.
The 28-year-old guard has 24 games of NBA experience, with 19 appearances coming during the 2021-22 campaign. He saw nine minutes of action in five appearances for the Chicago Bulls last season.
Kyle Lowry Traded To Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are trading Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat for a 2027 first-round pick and Kyle Lowry, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2024
If the Heat finish in the top 14 of the lottery in the 2027 draft, the pick won’t be conveyed to Charlotte. Instead, the Hornets would get the Heat’s 2028 unprotected first-rounder, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
The 2027 first-round pick Miami is sending to Charlotte for Terry Rozier is lottery protected, per source, and then becomes unprotected in 2028.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) January 23, 2024
This deal makes sense for both squads. Charlotte is sitting at 10-31 on the season and is not going anywhere. While Rozier is an outstanding scorer, the Hornets were just 117-181 with him since the beginning of the 2019-20 season. After this season, Rozier has two years and $51.5 million left on his contract.
Miami has been looking to ship out Kyle Lowry and his expiring contract since this summer. Lowry, 37, has seen his production decline significantly over the last three seasons, though he is still an outstanding ball-handler and distributor.
Meanwhile, Rozier is in the midst of a career year. Rozier averages 23.2 points and 6.6 assists with a shooting slash line of .459/.358/.845. Rozier, who will give the Heat a fourth reliable scorer, has scored 20-plus points in 21 of his 30 contests this year.
The Toronto Raptors Are Expected To Make More Trades
Toronto sits in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with a 16-28 record. But the Raptors have lost eight of 10 and are 4-9 since trading Anunoby to the Knicks.
Toronto team president Masia Ujiri recently told TSN that the Raptors could make more deals before the trade deadline.
“Definitely, yeah. You look at this, and that’s why we’ve created flexibility,” the team’s president said.
“It’s a tough couple weeks for us here with the trades we’ve made… We know what these players meant to our program. Incredible, incredible human beings, incredible character, incredible players. You know my relationship with these guys and how hard it was.”
Brown has two-way ability. But the 27-year-old has struggled mightily on the defensive end and has only been okay offensively. The 6-4 wing is very versatile and averages 11.9 points,4.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. He is producing a shooting slash line of .481/.324/.821 in 36 games for the Pacers and Raptors.
Brown, the who the Raptors acquired from Indiana in the Siakam trade, is theoretically on an expiring contract as his $23 million deal for next season is a team option.
Brown is expected to garner much attention as the trade deadline approaches. Fred Katz of The Athletic has the Thunder, Kings, 76ers, Knicks, Heat, and Lakers as potential suitors for Brown.
According to Stein, Toronto wants at least a first-round draft pick and a “quality player” for Brown.
The Raptors can’t trade Brown in a package deal due to league rules, but they can trade him by by himself.
Meanwhile, Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca, on “The Raptors Show,” said that the Raptors have been exploring trades for Boucher. While the market is unclear on Boucher’s value, teams are always looking for veteran big men who provide something.
Boucher is the final player remaining from Toronto’s 2019 championship roster. pic.twitter.com/R1brCRMN9V
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) January 21, 2024
Boucher is a quality reserve who excels on the glass and at the rim. Boucher is athletic and pretty efficient offensively due to his ability to get to the free-throw line and space the floor with his shooting.
Boucher has seen a drop in production as his minutes have been cut this season. After seeing 20 minutes a game over the last three seasons, the 31-year-old sees about 14 minutes a contest. He averages 6.1 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 47% from the field and 33% from the 3-point line.