The NBA trade block is buzzing, not only with rumors but an actual transaction, too.
The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their descent into the post-LeBron James era by shipping sharpshooter Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz for swingman Alec Burks and a pair of second-round picks, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Korver addresses Utah's obvious need for floor spacing. The Jazz, who rank 28th in three-point percentage, will gladly welcome in the Association's sixth-most accurate outside shooter of all-time. As for the Cavs, they can boost their rebuilding effort both with the additional draft assets and Burks' expiring $11.5 million salary, which could prove valuable ahead of the February trade deadline.
Based on the activity of the rumor mill, the transactions could keep coming. We'll explore the latest below.
Bradley Beal Wants Out of D.C.?
Alarm sirens have sounded around the Washington Wizards' sluggish 8-13 start, which could propel this team to make a move. A recent report from Wojnarowski indicated the Wizards are ready to talk trades involving everyone on their roster.
That might be music to a certain All-Star shooting guard's ears, according to GetMoreSports.com's Chris Sheridan:
While Beal dismissed the rumor as "nonsense," that hardly means he's guaranteed to stay put.
The Wizards don't have a better trade asset than the 25-year-old, who's one of only five players to average at least 22 points, three assists and two triples this season and each of the past two. He plays both ends of the floor, is improving as a playmaker and is locked up through 2020-21.
Of course, that also means Washington would try to milk any transaction for all it's worth. ESPN's Zach Lowe reported hearing the asking price for Beal is so high that it "makes him functionally not available," (h/t NBC Sports' Dan Feldman).
In other words, it may not matter what Beal wants but rather what the Wizards could realistically net in return.
Markelle Fultz Out of Philly's Plans?
The saga of 2017's top pick, Markelle Fultz, is as strange (and sad) as any you'll find in the NBA.
Whether due to injuries, a case of the yips or a combination of the two, he has yet to translate his raw talent into tangible production. Through one-plus seasons—albeit a 33-game sample size—he's averaged just 7.7 points on 41.4 percent shooting (26.7 percent from range), 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 20.6 minutes.
He has fallen out of the rotation and now has multiple meetings with specialists to try to get his nagging shoulder issue under control.
Still just 20 years old, Fultz may yet have a bright future in front of him. But the win-now Philadelphia 76ers might no longer have the patience to wait this out. Multiple sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey that "despite the team's statements, Fultz is no longer in the Sixers' long-term plans."
If true, that would be an incredible turn of events. Philly, remember, not only took Fultz first overall roughly 17 months ago, but it sacrificed an additional future first-rounder to climb two spots to do so.
If the Sixers move Fultz, they'll surely look to salvage whatever value they can, but it might not be much. One team executive told Bleacher Report's Yaron Weitzman, "I'd be surprised if they get any type of first-round pick."
Rockets Hunting for Wings?
The Houston Rockets were 65-game winners and the Western Conference's No. 1 seed just last season. If not for an ill-timed injury to Chris Paul, they could have punched their NBA Finals ticket in May.
Fast-forward to this season, though, and the club is almost unrecognizable. Wednesday's 128-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks dropped the Rockets to 9-11, a record that (incredibly) slots them 14th in the conference.
Based on what transpired this summer, it's tempting to pin at least some of these struggles on the offseason departures of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. That might be too simplistic an explanation, but the need for upgrades along the wings seems clear.
According to The Athletic's Kelly Iko, the Rockets are "primarily focused on acquiring wing talent." One source described their involvement in the trade market as "not in emergency mode, but not sitting back either."
Iko mentioned a number of potential targets, including Kelly Oubre Jr., Justin Holiday, Iman Shumpert and Joe Harris. Iko also reported the Rockets were eyeing the situation in Cleveland, although it's unclear whether the Korver trade changes things.
The Rockets still boast an elite foundation to build around in James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon. But given the strength of the West, Houston might consider making a move to perhaps jolt this club into any sort of positive momentum.
Salary information obtained via Basketball Insiders.