NBA Rumors: Trade Reports and Rumblings from Around the League
The basketball world will shift over the course of the 2022 NBA offseason.
Maybe several times over.
It's an annual tradition, and this summer won't be an exception—not even with a shortage of both elite free agents and clubs with considerable cap space. If free agency isn't as robust as normal, the trade market could compensate with a chunk of marquee moves.
Time will eventually reveal which transactions take shape, but for now, let's track what the tea leaves revealed in the latest NBA rumblings.
Cavs, Collin Sexton Have Gap to Close in Negotiations
It's tempting to treat Collin Sexton as one of this summer's top sign-and-trade candidates. His name has bounced around the trade rumor mill before, and the Cleveland Cavaliers could have some hesitations about putting the ball in his hands if those touches came at the expense of All-Star guard Darius Garland.
Then again, Cleveland sent both Garland and Jarrett Allen to the All-Star Game and saw Evan Mobley take silver in the Rookie of the Year race, and this offense still hurt for consistent scoring. The Cavs sat 25th in points per game and 20th in offensive efficiency, per NBA.com. That might make it impossible for Cleveland to split from Sexton, who has averaged 20 points on 45.8/37.8/82.7 shooting over his career.
The only possible hangup in Sexton's restricted free agency, it seems, is money. (Shocker, right?) The Cavs want his next salary to land in the $15 million to $18 million range, per cleveland.com's Chris Fedor. Sexton, meanwhile, seeks an annual salary of $18 million to $22 million.
If Sexton won't lower his asking price, this could drag out for a bit. The Cavs don't think he'll find a $20 million-plus salary on the open market, per Fedor, so they may not have an incentive to up their initial offer. Still, this gap seems close enough to assume it will eventually be resolved.
Multiple Veteran Wings on Cleveland's Radar
The Cavaliers are clearly trending up, but they still need a two-way wing to really rise through the Eastern Conference ranks.
They apparently know that, too.
Fedor relayed a list of Cavs trade targets, and it is extensive: Bojan Bogdanovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris, Harrison Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Jerami Grant and Aaron Gordon. All of them are veterans. All reside somewhere on the wing. All hold eight-figure salaries, which could be rich enough to make their current teams interested in at least hearing what the trade market would bear.
Trent and Gordon seem the most optimistic (or least realistic) targets, as both play critical roles for win-now clubs. The rest of the group seems relatively reasonable, provided the Cavaliers are willing to pony up the requisite assets.
Pistons Have Eyes on Mitchell Robinson
The Detroit Pistons are one of the few teams with major money to spend this summer.
They also might be more motivated to splurge than you'd expect of a team coming off its second consecutive 50-loss season. Top pick Cade Cunningham flashed star potential early and often, and there are several other intriguing, young players on the roster. If Detroit senses the right upgrade—someone who can complement Cunningham and is on the same timeline—is out there, it can fund an aggressive pursuit.
Could New York Knicks' unrestricted Mitchell Robinson be that player? The Pistons seemingly plan to at least explore the option, since their lack of lottery luck (they fell to No. 5) pushed them out of range for skilled 7-footer Chet Holmgren. With no Holmgren, the Pistons plan to pursue Robinson, a source told Marc Berman of the New York Post.
The 24-year-old Robinson shares a timeline with the 20-year-old Cunningham and could help enhance Detroit's cornerstone talent. The pair could form an electric pick-and-roll combo, while Robinson would supply length, athleticism and paint protection at the other end.