NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Devin Booker's Future, LaMarcus Aldridge Trade, More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist INovember 7, 2020

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Devin Booker's Future, LaMarcus Aldridge Trade, More

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge are two of the most talented players in the Western Conference. But is there a chance that one or both could be on the move this offseason?

    Those are the types of rumors that are likely to circulate leading up to the 2020-21 NBA season, which is going to come soon. Free agency is expected to begin shortly after the NBA draft (which is scheduled for Nov. 18), then the league is targeting a Dec. 22 start for the season.

    So, if there are trades to be made before teams return to the court, there won't be a large window to complete them. Things could develop quickly on the rumor mill.

    Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NBA.

Booker Unlikely to Be Traded from Phoenix

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    In Booker's five NBA seasons, the Suns have never reached the playoffs and have yet to post a winning record. That's led to some speculation that the 24-year-old guard may want to leave Phoenix. But it appears there's no validity to any such rumors.

    According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, a league source said "there's no truth to Booker wanting out of Phoenix." And not only does Booker not want to leave the Suns, but it appears unlikely he's going to get traded either way. Several executives told Scotto that Booker should be staying put because of "his contract situation and his talent as a franchise cornerstone at such a young age."

    "He has no leverage," an Eastern Conference executive told Scotto. "He's locked up for four more years. There is no way for him to demand a trade with that much time left on his contract."

    Booker is set to make $29.47 million in 2020-21, and his salary will continue to go up through the end of the deal, which doesn't expire until 2024. But he's also played at a high level throughout his NBA career. This past season, he earned his first All-Star selection and averaged 26.6 points and 6.5 assists in 70 games.

    Although Phoenix's playoff drought extended to 10 seasons, it ended 2019-20 on a strong note by going a perfect 8-0 in its seeding games at the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. If it can carry over that momentum and continue to build around Booker, the future could be brighter for the Suns.

Would Warriors Deal Draft Pick for Aldridge?

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    One of the biggest storylines leading up to the 2020 NBA draft is the speculation surrounding what the Golden State Warriors will do with the No. 2 overall pick. On The Lowe Post podcast on Thursday, ESPN's Zach Lowe brought up one possibility that he heard recently from a source within the league.

    Lowe stated that his source said there's a "little buzz" about a potential deal that would send the No. 2 selection to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Aldridge and the No. 11 pick. But Lowe doesn't appear to think it's a trade the Warriors should consider.

    "Obviously there’d have to be salary going out [for the Warriors]," Lowe said on the podcast (h/t Christopher Denson of Clutch Points). "And my response was, 'That’s crazy. The Warriors should not do that. You don’t trade the No. 2 pick for LaMarcus Aldridge.'"

    Aldridge has had a successful 14-year NBA career, but he's now 34 and has more seasons behind him than ahead of him. Still, the seven-time All-Star continues to play at a high level. This past season, he averaged 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 53 games.

    If the Warriors traded down to the No. 11 pick, they could still draft a strong prospect. But they'd miss out on one of the players in the top tier who they could get at No. 2. More offers could be on the way for Golden State, though, so it will be interesting to see what it ends up deciding to do.

Potential Targets for Knicks in Free Agency

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    Kim Klement/Associated Press

    The New York Knicks could be gearing up for a busy offseason, their first since hiring Leon Rose as team president. So they may end up being quite active on the free-agent market as they construct their roster for the 2020-21 season and potentially beyond.

    One available player who the Knicks like "a lot" is point guard Fred VanVleet, according to a recent report from Marc Berman of the New York Post. After spending his first four NBA seasons with the Toronto Raptors, the 26-year-old is one of the top players who will be on the free-agent market. However, Berman noted that there's "an argument against offering him a max deal."

    "Some league sources believe VanVleet is more prone to shine on an established team than being the lone star—as he would be on the Knicks," Berman wrote.

    VanVleet is coming off his best season, as he averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals (all career highs) in 54 games.

    Berman also reported that New York has interest in forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, noting the 27-year-old is "on the Knicks' free-agent radar" and that the team views him as a "solid locker room guy." Although Kidd-Gilchrist hasn't lived up to the high expectations he faced heading into his career, he's been a solid defensive player who could be a key role player for New York.

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