Hours before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers struck a deal to send Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a conditional first-round pick.
The idea of moving Noel had been rumored for months, and the Sixers decided to make it happen. Moments after hearing the news, Joel Embiid, who was at shootaround barefoot, hugged it out with Noel and gave a proper farewell.
With the Dallas Mavericks three games out of the West playoffs, center Andrew Bogut has been a popular name in trade talks ahead of Thursday’s deadline. Will Dallas move him? If so, where? Our NBA Insiders weigh in.
Should the Mavs be buyers or sellers at the deadline?
Amin Elhassan: Sellers. Yes, Dallas has come on strong after an abysmal start, and coach Rick Carlisle will always maximize the talent he has available, but I think the gap has widened between them and 8-seed competitors Denver and New Orleans. It’s not too late to pare down and make a meaningful run at a top-7 pick this June.
Kevin Pelton: Sellers. With the New Orleans Pelicans adding Cousins, the Mavericks’ odds of coming back to make the playoffs this season have gotten even longer. Besides, Dallas has played just fine without veterans Andrew Bogut and Deron Williams, the two Mavericks with expiring contracts.
Bogut probably doesn’t have value, and Williams’ salary might make him more viable as a buyout candidate, but if the Mavericks could get a second-round pick for either player they should pounce.
What trades should the Mavericks consider?
Bradford Doolittle: The Mavs have been over .500 the last two months, and if they pick up that pace even a little, they could make the playoffs. Playing the Warriors on the wrong side of a 1-8 matchup gives Dallas at least a shot at getting even for 2007.
I think you can make the playoff push by going with the younger guys that have played well alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes. That gives them the leeway to shop Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut.
However, Williams would have to consent to a deal, so that might be tricky. And if you find a match for Bogut, you’ve got to replace his rim protection, which has been a bugaboo for this Dallas team.
With the fifth-best point differential in the league, the Jazz are well-positioned to pursue home court and present an interesting second-round test for Golden State. Plus, the Jazz have the cap space to take on a decently sized contract and a couple of extra first-rounders.
How about this: Alec Burks and the Jazz’s extra 2017 first-rounder from Golden State to Dallas for the expiring deals of Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut. I like Williams as a third guard who can anchor the second unit while also playing next to George Hill. Bogut would keep the back of the defense strong when Rudy Gobert rests (the Utah defense falls off by 6.2 points per 100 possessions when Gobert sits).
Jeremias Engelmann: I think Barnes is making too much money for his impact (Real Plus-Minus: -0.3), but the Mavericks’ front office might think otherwise. Given that the Mavs have a very slim chance to make the playoffs — they’re fifth in a six-team race for the right to get swept by the Warriors — I’d make Williams and Bogut available as their contracts run out.
Wasn’t Cleveland looking for a playmaker? Williams would be a good fit. And Bogut might be a significant upgrade for many teams without a good rim protector (including Boston and Cleveland). The Mavs should be looking to get future draft picks in return.
The Utah Jazz have expressed interest in reacquiring former All-Star guard Deron Williams via trade from the Dallas Mavericks, according to league sources.
No deal appeared imminent Tuesday night, sources told ESPN.com, but Utah has registered its interest in bringing Williams back to his original team, with Dallas open to making both Williams and center Andrew Bogut available to other teams in advance of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
Williams can’t be traded without his consent, thanks to his one-year, $9 million deal with the Mavericks after he played the previous season in Dallas. The 32-year-old would have to forfeit his free-agent Bird rights if dealt to another team.
However, Williams remains fond of Utah and has maintained an offseason home in the Salt Lake City area, despite his trade from the Jazz to the Nets in February 2011.
Adding depth at point guard makes sense for Utah in part due to starter George Hill‘s injury issues. The Jazz are 23-9 when Hill plays and 12-13 when he sits.
Hill’s left big toe, which sidelined him for almost all of December, continues to be an issue. He sat out Utah’s Feb. 9 loss to the Mavs because of soreness in the toe but played in the final three games before the All-Star break.
Williams, taken No. 3 overall by Utah in the 2005 draft, is averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists in his second season with the Mavs. Injuries have limited him to 40 games.
Williams’ recent toe injury helped open the door for rookie point guard Yogi Ferrell, who averaged 15.3 points and 4.6 assists during a seven-game stint as a fill-in starter. The Mavs went 5-2 in that span.
Dallas also expects backup point guard J.J. Barea to return from an extended absence due to a calf strain soon after the All-Star break.
Williams made two All-Star appearances and led the Jazz to four playoff appearances and four postseason series wins during his five-and-a-half-season tenure with the team, highlighted by Utah’s run to the 2007 Western Conference finals. But Williams’ time with the Jazz did not end well, with legendary coach Jerry Sloan resigning after clashing with the headstrong point guard and Utah trading Williams to the Nets before the 2011 deadline, fearing losing him for nothing in free agency after the following season.
Utah has qualified for the postseason only once and has not won a playoff game since Williams’ departure, but the Jazz’s rebuilding process is paying dividends this season as they fight for home-court advantage in the first round.
Editor’s Note (Feb. 21): This mock draft has been updated after the DeMarcus Cousins trade, the Blazers-Nuggets deal and the Raptors-Magic deal — which all included 2017 first-round picks — and includes a new projected draft order with new selections for multiple teams.
We’re halfway through the NBA season and moving toward the end of the college basketball regular season, which means it’s time for the third full mock for the 2017 NBA draft.
All-Star Weekend is over and the NBA is heading toward the home stretch of the regular season. But before we move on to the trade deadline and the playoff hunt, let’s take a look at the first half of the season and the races for MVP, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Who are your midseason picks for these major awards?
The MVP race is one of the most loaded of all time. Russell Westbrook and James Harden are putting up ridiculous numbers (and tons of triple-doubles) but LeBron James is lurking, as he has helped the Cleveland Cavaliers stay afloat despite an avalanche of injuries. Isaiah Thomas has forced his way into the conversation with gaudy scoring on a rising Boston Celtics team.
Rookie of the Year seemed to be Joel Embiid‘s award to lose, but his recent knee injury has opened the door for other rookies, including teammate Dario Saric. Yogi Ferrell‘s meteoric rise could get him on the ballot.
Coach of the Year is also loaded this season, with candidates who are always in the mix for this award, such as Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr, as well as Scott Brooks of the Washington Wizards, who has led his team to a massive turnaround in his first year with the franchise.