NBA Rumors: Latest on Dennis Smith Jr.'s Future, Warriors' Draft Plans, More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2020

New York Knicks' Dennis Smith Jr. plays during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

There is zero clarity about when or if the 2019-20 NBA season will resume. The 2020 offseason, however, is going to happen.

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, canceling the remainder of the season is a realistic possibility for the league. Regardless of how the current season comes to a close, though, teams are going to use the upcoming offseason to prepare for 2020-21.

For the New York Knicks, the offseason will likely be used as a rebuilding/retooling period. The franchise has struggled to regain relevance after trading away Kristaps Porzingis a little more than a year ago. When play was halted this season, New York owned a lowly 21-45 record.

Part of the retooling process will likely involve moving on from point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks as part of the Porzingis deal. At least, that's the word from Marc Berman of the New York Post.

"New president Leon Rose has no political attachment to Smith like Mills did," Berman wrote. "Trading Smith will be an option in the offseason as the Knicks try to figure out their point-guard solution."

According to Berman, the Minnesota Timberwolve had some interest in Smith before adding D'Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley. He also mentioned the Orlando Magic as a team that could take a flier on the NC State product.

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However, teams aren't likely to make strong offers for Smith, who has struggled to maximize his physical potential and become an impact player. Instead, teams will gamble on a fresh start helping the 22-year-old to improve.

"Some NBA sources believe Smith, with his age and seemingly unlucky journey in New York, could be a good risk in 'the second draft,'" Berman added. "That is first-round picks still on their rookie contracts who need a change of scenery."

If Smith can be had at a bargain price, he'll likely get his change of scenery this coming offseason.


Warriors Likely to Trade Draft Pick, With Exceptions

James Crisp/Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors have an even worse record than the Knicks—they're frozen at 15-50—but they're not as likely to seek a rebuild in the coming offseason.

Golden State has been bad this year, but it has been bad because of injuries. Klay Thompson has been out since the 2019 postseason with a torn ACL, and Stephen Curry (hand) returned for just one game before play was suspended. 

Assuming both Curry and Thompson are healthy again next season, the Warriors should be right back in the title mix. Because of this, they're likely to prefer an instant-impact player to a high draft prospect.

The exception, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, would be Georgia prospect Anthony Edwards.

"If the Warriors land the No. 1 pick in the draft, they'll be open to trading it. But if Golden State doesn't receive a worthy offer, it would likely take Edwards with the top selection, according to a league source," Letourneau wrote.

According to Letourneau, the Warriors would also consider Israeli prospect Deni Avdija if they wind up with a selection between two and five.

It seems, however, that Golden State's preferred option will be to flip its lottery pick for a player who can contribute right away. While Thompson and Curry are just 30 and 32, respectively, their championship window isn't going to remain open forever.


Bulls Searching for New Executive, Buchanan Not Interested

While the Knicks are looking to rebuild their roster and the Warriors are looking to add to theirs, the Chicago Bulls are focused on remaking their front office.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Chicago has begun a formal search for a new top executive who will have full authority on basketball decisions.

Per Wojnarowski, current executive vice president John Paxson will likely maintain an advisory role with the Bulls:

At least one current NBA executive has already been shown interest in the position. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Indiana Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan was offered an interview but declined. 

Buchanan has served as Indiana's general manager since 2017. Before that, he spent two seasons as the assistant general manager of the Charlotte Hornets.