NBA Trade Rumors: Latest on Possible DeAndre Jordan Trade, Dennis Schroder, More

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJune 29, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 11: Head Coach Doc Rivers and DeAndre Jordan #6 of the LA Clippers during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 11, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
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LeBron James is hitting the open market, forgoing his $35.6 million player option to enter unrestricted free agency and perhaps tilt the NBA's balance of power.

But this summer is bigger than the King—and bigger than free agency.

The trade market could erupt as clubs operating on limited budgets explore other avenues of uncovering a difference-maker. Recent rumors suggest the Association's exchange emporium is both alive and buzzing.


Clippers Not Interested in Wesley Matthews?

If the Dallas Mavericks and DeAndre Jordan both had their way, it sounds like they'd want to join forces this summer.

The Mavs have Jordan as their "primary target," league sources told ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon, and on Jordan's side, "the interest is mutual." It seems any wounds from Jordan's infamous about-face in 2015 have either healed or at least become manageable for a smart business move.

But now there's potentially a new problem to solve—finding the right trade pieces to engage the Clippers.

If Jordan exercises his $24.1 million player option—he has until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to decide—then Dallas must trade for him. That might be tricky with Marc Stein of the New York Times reporting L.A. is disinterested in Wesley Matthews, the logical choice to make the money match in a Jordan trade:

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

The Clippers are resistant to taking Wes Matthews back in a trade for DeAndre Jordan, league sources say, which means Dallas must either present an alternative trade scenario L.A. accepts or try to sign Jordan in free agency if he indeed declines next season's $24.1 million https://t.co/JcF22FAetY

This isn't necessarily a deal-breaker.

Jordan can simply choose free agency instead and write his own ticket to Dallas. Or if a trade is required, maybe the Mavs can either sweeten their offer or find a third team that delivers what the Clippers want.


Phoenix Passing On Dennis Schroder?

The Phoenix Suns potentially have focal points at shooting guard (Devin Booker) and center (Deandre Ayton) and a slew of upside options at forward (Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, TJ Warren, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss).

What they still need is a sturdy option at point guard.

Brandon Knight last played in February 2017, first falling out of the rotation and then tearing his ACL over the offseason. Elie Okobo is a 20-year-old rookie who needs more polish. Tyler Ulis has started fewer than half his career games and doesn't have a guaranteed contract for 2018-19 yet.

So, the need is pretty significant—just not dire enough to interest the Suns in Dennis Schroder, apparently. ESPN.com's Zach Lowe laid out an extensive list of point guard options for Phoenix recently, then finished by saying the franchise "has shown no interest so far in Dennis Schroder, sources say."

The Atlanta Hawks have made Schroder available, as SI.com's Jeremy Woo reported, but the 24-year-old has proved tricky to move so far. Schroder underwhelms as a shooter (43.4/32.0/82.7 career slash) and decision-maker (4.8 assists to 2.4 turnovers), and he's owed $15.5 million each of the next three seasons.

Unless the Suns can get him at a clearance price, they can probably find better options elsewhere.


Boston Makes Tatum, Brown Unavailable?

The Boston Celtics are one of several teams discussing potential Kawhi Leonard trades with the San Antonio Spurs, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Given the Celtics' treasure trove of assets, one would think they have enough artillery to win these sweepstakes. But that's assuming they're willing to cash in their top trade chips, which it doesn't appear they are.

"[Jayson] Tatum and [Jaylen] Brown are not available," Steve Bulpett wrote for the Boston Herald, "and it would take the right overall transaction pieces to interest the Celtics in putting the [2019] Sacramento pick on the table."

It's revealing that Tatum and Brown would be deemed untouchable in a theoretical trade for a 27-year-old with All-NBA selections, two Defensive Player of the Year awards and a Finals MVP all on his resume.

And yet, this might make sense.

Brown is 21 years old, Tatum is 20. Together, they shared the playoff scoring lead of an Eastern Conference finalist, both clearing 46 percent shooting in the postseason. Each has a skyscraper's ceiling—Brown as a two-way terror, Tatum as a possible No. 1 option.

There's probably too much to potential part with, especially with questions lingering about Leonard's health and future free agency.


Statistics used courtesy of Basketball Reference and NBA.com. Salary information obtained via Basketball Insiders.