The early part of the 2021-22 NBA season has been quiet in terms of trades and player movement. But things have started to heat up in recent days.
In his latest news and notes roundup Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on some rumors floating around the league.
Let's take a look at a few of them.
Phoenix Suns C Jalen Smith
Phoenix Suns second-year big man Jalen Smith has not seen much playing time during his young career. He's played in just eight games this season and has averaged 3.4 points in 7.1 minutes.
Charania reported that the Suns are receiving interest for the 21-year-old Maryland product, and teams are expecting a move to be made soon.
"Despite declining his third-year option, the Suns have had interest generate in talks to move center Jalen Smith, sources said," Charania wrote. "But interested teams expect a potential move for Smith as the Dec. 15 date—when most offseason signings can be traded—nears."
Phoenix is 21-4 and is hoping to contend for a second straight appearance in the NBA Finals. Smith is still very raw, and it seems like the Suns don't have time to wait for him to develop, making him expendable.
Smith's youth and athleticism could make him intriguing to teams that are rebuilding. He could also be used as part of a larger deal for Phoenix to reel in a bigger star.
Smith hasn't had the opportunity to display the skills that made him the 10th overall pick in the 2020 draft. A team that trades for him would be acquiring an unknown commodity and hoping he lives up to his potential.
San Antonio Spurs G Bryn Forbes
Sixth-year combo guard Bryn Forbes is in his second run with the San Antonio Spurs, but it could be a short stint.
Charania reported that Forbes, who played for the Milwaukee Bucks last season after spending the first four years of his career in San Antonio, is "expected to procure interest from contending teams throughout the league."
Forbes shot 45.2 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 10.0 points last season. He was a key contributor during Milwaukee's run to an NBA title.
The 28-year-old is playing on an expiring contract worth $4.5 million. Forbes' ability to stretch the floor and his championship pedigree make him an attractive player to teams hoping to contend this year.
Forbes has not started a game this season and has averaged 7.2 points in 14.3 minutes while shooting 42.5 percent from three-point range over 25 games. An increased role on a contending team could help him return to the form that saw him average 10 or more points in each of the last three seasons.
Utah Jazz Targets
At 19-7, the Utah Jazz are among the top contenders in the Western Conference. But the team is looking up at offensive juggernauts in the Phoenix Suns (21-4) and Golden State Warriors (21-5), so Utah is looking for help on defense.
"The Jazz are pursuing a defensive-minded wing on the trade market, sources said," Charania stated.
The Jazz are already one of the best defensive teams in the league, ranking fourth with opponents averaging 104.2 points against them.
With three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert as the team's anchor down low, adding a defensive specialist on the wing could set up the Jazz for the playoff success that has eluded them in recent seasons.
Utah has a deep team with five players who score in double figures, led by Donovan Mitchell's 24.8 points per game.