NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Possible Cavs Trades, Joakim Noah and More

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 27: Kyle Korver #26 and J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers look on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 27, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, 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 Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The 2018-19 NBA season feels like it will be defined by two things: big point totals and bigger storylines.

Teams are scoring at astronomical rates—even Derrick Rose is eating 50 burgers—and every day seems to bring with it a new batch of buzzworthy rumors.

From trade talks to whispers on the coaching front, we have the latest hot topics from the hoops world below.


Korver On Trade Block, More Cavs Vets To Follow?

Life without LeBron James is rough.

Last time the Cleveland Cavaliers had to stomach it, they plummeted immediately into the lottery. This time around, it seems they're headed in the same direction after axing former head coach Tyronn Lue before October was over and dropping their first six contests—four by double digits.

This club has the talent level of a rebuilder, only it still employs several of the aging, expensive players who previously surrounded James. Based on the latest buzz out of Northeast Ohio, that may not be the case much longer.

"The Cavs have initiated testing the trade market for guard Kyle Korver in the past several days, sources said," ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski reported. "There was some trade interest in Korver last summer, and the Cavs are circling back on those talks. ... The Cavs could become more active in looking to trade other veteran players in the coming weeks."

Korver should be relatively easy to unload. He ranks among the top 10 most accurate three-point shooters in NBA history, and only $3.4 million of his 2019-20 salary is guaranteed.

What remains unclear, though, is what else Cleveland can sell. JR Smith wants out, but ESPN's Bobby Marks pointed out the difficulties of a potential deal:

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

The challenge of moving a $14.7M contact like JR Smith is that: a) Teams are still in the evaluation period; b) 27% of the league cannot be traded; c) Does a team want to inherit $3.8M in guaranteed money for 19-20?

The Athletic's Joe Vardon previously reported the Cavs "would probably listen" if teams came calling for Tristan Thompson. That seems like wishful thinking, though, when Thompson is owed $36 million between this season and next and hasn't averaged double-digit points since 2013-14.

In other words, while we can and should expect Cleveland to shop its pricey, experienced players, it's far from guaranteed the franchise will sniff out interested buyers.


Grizzlies Have Contacted Joakim Noah?

While Joakim Noah officially hit the market when he was waived by the New York Knicks on Oct. 13, the two-time All-Star had been available long before that. He last played an NBA game in January and was exiled from the team shortly thereafter.

It probably says plenty about Noah's perceived value around the league that he's yet to find a landing spot, especially when his former coach, Tom Thibodeau, has control of a front office and obvious interest in reconnecting with his old players (Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng).

Still, that doesn't necessarily signal that the Association has completely lost interest in Noah, the 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year.

In fact, Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian reported the Memphis Grizzlies reached out to Noah recently, although they have no plans of signing him at the moment:

Chris Herrington @HerringtonNBA

Grizzlies had some contact with Joakim Noah recently, but have no plans to sign him (at least anytime soon, if at all). Harrison release wasn’t made with a specific signing in mind. Wouldn’t expect it to be filled immediately.

If there is a future NBA team for Noah, Memphis isn't a bad option.

His defensive versatility and advanced passing instincts would both mimic what starter Marc Gasol brings to the table. The Grizzlies could also decide they need an experienced big man behind Gasol, as the current depth chart shows only rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. and sophomore Ivan Rabb in the mix.

That said, this only makes sense if Memphis believes Noah has something left in the tank. He made just 82 appearances over the three previous seasons combined, and his averages of 8.2 rebounds, 4.5 points (on 44.9 percent shooting) and 2.6 assists show he wasn't much help when he could go.

It isn't surprising that someone would deem Noah worthy of consideration, but it's even less shocking that the squad has apparently decided to go a different direction.


Avery Johnson a Coaching Candidate in Cleveland?

Nearly a week has passed since the Cavs gave Lue his walking papers, but the coaching position remains unfilled.

Assistant coach Larry Drew is running the ship right now, but he's been reluctant to accept the interim tag without adjusting his contract first.

"There are no updates, which I'm very disappointed about," Drew told reporters Tuesday. "I'm going to be professional, and I'm going to do my job."

Drew said he was told the club could bring in an outside coach, and we now have the identity of a possible candidate.

"One interesting name being discussed by executives as a possible future coach in Cleveland is Avery Johnson," Windhorst reported. "He has a strong connection to Cavs rookie Collin Sexton, who played for Johnson last year. Cavs executives spent time with Johnson in advance of drafting Sexton last summer. The team pinned its future to Sexton, and that makes Johnson all the more intriguing."

Johnson, head coach at Alabama, played 16 seasons in the NBA and previously coached both the Mavericks and Nets. He made four playoff trips and compiled a career 254-186 record over five full seasons and parts of two others.

But Drew remains the odds-on favorite to assume the position at some point. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert shared his belief that something will get done.

"I leave that up to [general manager] Koby Altman, and I'm confident they will get it worked out between the two of them," Gilbert said Thursday, per Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor.


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