NBA Rumors: Hottest Trade Buzz Regarding Chris Paul, Lonzo Ball and More

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2019

Could James Harden be the only member of this trio Houston keeps?
Could James Harden be the only member of this trio Houston keeps?Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

News of Kevin Durant's recovery and potential return to action in the NBA Finals is the league's biggest story, but the rumor mill is beginning to spin out intriguing reports on a daily basis.

And another All-Star has joined Anthony Davis on the trade market.

The Houston Rockets, consequently, will remain a fixture of the rumors that should only heat up as June 20's NBA draft approaches. Though marquee trades likely won't happen until that night, possible first-round moves are always a popular topic too.

Trade season is just warming up.


Limited Value for Chris Paul

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski dropped an editorial bomb when he reported Houston has made its entire roster available for trade.

Conventional wisdom suggests that does not include James Harden, a dominant scorer and perennial MVP candidate. But everyone else is on the market―most notably Chris Paul.

The problem is, per Sean Deveney of Sporting News, CP3's contract presents a huge problem for negotiations.

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

Cap hit on the Chris Paul contract: 19/20 $38.5M 20/21 $41.4M 21/22 $44.2M

"It will have to be a salary dump," an unnamed executive said. "You might get back a decent player and a draft pick. But mostly, it is getting that contract off your books for the next three years. Chris can't stay healthy. He has not been the same player. It's hard to imagine him going back to the way he was."

While there are no official reports of interest, Deveney noted the Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns could all pursue Paul.

No matter if Houston keeps CP3, the $124.1 million he's due through 2021-22 complicates all trade discussions.


Gentry Dreaming of Lonzo and Jrue?

Barring a stunning reversal, the New Orleans Pelicans will trade disgruntled cornerstone Anthony Davis at some point during the offseason. If the Los Angeles Lakers are the winning bidder, Lonzo Ball will be joining New Orleans.

During an interview with ESPNLA 710, Andrew Lopez of the Times-Picayune shared that Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is a fan of the idea of teaming up Ball with Jrue Holidayif the Boston Celtics don't land Davis.

ESPNLosAngeles @ESPNLosAngeles

Would you give up Lonzo Ball in a trade for Anthony Davis? (via @_Andrew_Lopez) Listen LIVE on ESPNLA 710 & https://t.co/Wda75IMccI 📻 https://t.co/AdcFRHWQxi

"It's probably Boston first, and then I'd put the Lakers second," Lopez said. "The Lakers do have good assets that people in the Pelicans organization value. For instance, Alvin Gentry loves the idea of having a Lonzo Ball-Jrue Holiday backcourt."

Lopez added LaVar Ball, Lonzo's father, isn't a fan of that.

Zion Williamson is poised to usher in the franchise's new era, and having a pair of All-Star talents in the backcourt should only help his transition from Duke to the NBA.


Knicks Trading Back in NBA Draft?

Under the assumption Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are the first two players selected, the Knicks are widely expected to take RJ Barrett, who has seemingly solidified himself as a top-three pick.

But what if New York moves out of No. 3 overall?

According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, the Knicks have explored sending that selection to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the eighth and 10th picks of the first round. Atlanta acquired an additional first-rounder from the Dallas Mavericks in June 2018.

Ian Begley of SNY soon provided a counter to the news, noting the potential deal is not under "serious consideration." Begley called it "due diligence" from both teams.

The coexisting reports are a good reminder that a conversation is not necessarily an indicator of anything more than a conversation.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.