NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Russell Westbrook Trade, Carmelo Anthony, Bojan Bogdanovic

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 13, 2022

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Russell Westbrook Trade, Carmelo Anthony, Bojan Bogdanovic

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The dog days of an NBA offseason exist only in theory.

    In reality, even this periodโ€”ostensibly the lull between roster reshuffling and the opening of training campโ€”has enough activity to keep the rumor mill rolling.

    In this latest batch of buzz, we find updates on a former MVP, a historically potent scorer and a veteran with a strong enough scoring punch to attract a swarm of win-now suitors.

Lakers May Not Be Willing to Move 1st-Round Pick in Westbrook Deal

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    Russell Westbrook doesn't make a ton of sense for the Los Angeles Lakers. He's too ball-dominant and not reliable enough from three to fit alongside LeBron James. The schematic issues are only magnified by his enormous, cap-clogging $47.1 million salary, per Spotrac.

    All of this has made the 33-year-old a logical trade candidate, provided the Lakers are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to unload a contract of that magnitude. Skepticism abounds that they would take that kind of hit.

    "As of now, competing executives aren't sure the Lakers will send away one future first-round pick, let alone two, to get out of Westbrook's contract unless the return package substantially improves the team," B/R's Eric Pincus reported.

    There is clearly some wiggle room here, as substantial improvement is subjective and not at all defined.

    On a macro level, though, two first-roundersโ€”the most L.A. is allowed to tradeโ€”has always felt like the cost of doing business in a Westbrook deal. One incentivizes a team to take on his remaining money, the other would be incentive to send back a valuable contributor or two.

Celtics Not Interested in Carmelo Anthony

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    The Boston Celtics sometimes lacked scoring depth last season, most problematically during the NBA Finals, when Derrick White and Payton Pritchard shot below 33 percent from the field and Grant Williams converted only 30 percent of his long-range looks.

    Those struggles almost certainly contributed to the summer additions of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari.

    With Gallinari now shelved by a torn ACL, Boston could feel the need to add another offensive weapon. Carmelo Anthony, who has netted the 11th-most points in NBA history, just so happens to be looking for work after providing the Lakers with 13.3 points per game on 44.1/37.5/83.0 shooting last season.

    Could there be a fit? Apparently not.

    "Multiple league sources tell MassLive that the Celtics are not expected to have interest in bringing in the veteran for a signing ahead of training camp," Brian Robb wrote. "That's not to say the team is done shaping the roster ahead of the preseason but Anthony isn't a priority at this point at names that could be brought in."

    For all of the offensive the 38-year-old could add, he might create just as many defensive issues, so maybe Boston is right for reportedly thinking he isn't worth it.


Win-Now Suitors Eyeing Jazz Forward

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    The Utah Jazz have spent the last several seasons attempting to build a championship core.

    Now, they're plunging into a rebuild after trading away stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. And since they have so many players left over from those failed championship pursuits, there are more deals to be made.

    Bojan Bogdanovic could be the next to go, as teams are reportedly lining up for their shot at the 6'7" scoring forward. B/R's Jake Fischer reported the Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans all have interest in the 33-year-old.

    The Jazz should expect a healthy sum in return. Over the past four seasons, Bogdanovic has averaged 18.3 points on 46.1/40.3/86.0 shooting. Since he can operate as an off-ball sharpshooter or create his own shots when needed, and he should be an easy addition for just about any offense.

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