2022 NBA trade deadline rumors: Knicks’ Julius Randle, Hawks’ John Collins could be available

If you’re trying to keep track of who’s being shopped, who’s staying put, the buyers, the sellers and the teams that are “considering all of our options,” this is the place to be. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. ET, and, as it approaches, we promise that we’re maintaining our flexibility while aggressively looking for opportunities to improve. As always. 

What follows is a regularly updated rumor roundup. If you would like a long list of players who might be moved before the deadline, we have that, too.

Knicks’ Randle could be available 

Jan. 27: Julius Randle’s four-year, $117 million contract extension doesn’t even kick in until next season. He and the Knicks have regressed this season, though, and he could be moved in the right deal, per SNY’s Ian Begley, citing a source that had been in touch with New York recently. Randle’s jumper has abandoned him, and in his last 10 games he has averaged 15.7 points on 45.8 percent true shooting and made a quarter of his 3-point attempts. Is there a team in the league that believes in his 2020-21 breakout and wants to buy low?

Hawks’ Collins on the move already?

Jan. 27: Another player who recently signed a new deal and is in the rumor mill: Atlanta big man John Collins. After sending Cam Reddish to New York, the Hawks are asking for a starting-caliber player and a first-round pick in exchange for Collins, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. Collins is in the first year of a five-year, $125 million contract. 

Atlanta has called San Antonio about guard Derrick White and has also been linked to the Pistons’ Jerami Grant, per Bleacher Report. Collins, wing Bogdan Bogdanovic and forward Danilo Gallinari’s names have all reportedly been involved in the Hawks’ discussions with Philadelphia about Ben Simmons.

Portland’s possibilities

Jan. 27: The Blazers could punt the season now that Damian Lillard is out with an abdominal injury, but their 20-28 record has them in the final play-in spot. They need to cut more than $3 million to get out of luxury-tax territory, and CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Robert Covington and Jusuf Nurkic are all trade candidates, but there are a few different directions this could go. According to Bleacher Report, interim general manager Joe Cronin has been empowered to make major moves and reshape the roster around Lillard. New Orleans is reportedly a possible landing spot for McCollum. The Blazers are reportedly interested in Grant, too. 

Covington and Nurkic are on expiring contracts. The Jazz have been linked to Covington, but are not a likely destination for him, per Bleacher Report. Nassir Little, who, along with Anfernee Simons, is expected to be part of whatever Portland builds next, tore the labrum in his left shoulder on Jan. 26 and is likely done for the season, per ESPN.   

Pacers want multiple picks to break up the bigs

Jan. 27: Indiana is looking for multiple first-round picks in any deal involving Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner, per Bleacher Report. Sacramento and New Orleans are both reportedly interested in Sabonis, but the Pacers are looking for a deal similar to the one that the Orlando Magic got for Nikola Vucevic last season.

The perceived chances of Turner being traded took a hit when he suffered a stress reaction in his foot in mid-January. 

A shake-up in Sacramento? You don’t say! 

Jan 27: The Kings are falling apart. They’ve lost five straight games and 10 of their last 12, and they responded to their 128-75 (???) loss in Boston on Jan. 25 by losing 121-104 in Atlanta the next day. “Everyone we’re playing is having a field day,” said Harrison Barnes, who is among the many Sacramento players rumored to be available. The front office is shopping Barnes, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and Tristan Thompson, per Bleacher Report. 

As of Jan. 19, the Kings still plan to build around both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Will Schroder stay in Boston?

Jan. 27: The Celtics got Dennis Schroder for one year with the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, a $5.9 million bargain that set him up to hit free agency again this coming offseason and will make it difficult for Boston to re-sign him. (It does not have his Bird rights.)

In an interview with MassLive’s Brian Robb, Schroder said that he hopes to be with the Celtics “for a long time” and he “for sure” thinks he could be back on a new deal next season. In practice, however, he would either have to give them a big discount again or accept the full mid-level exception. (The latter scenario would require Boston to shed salary to get — and stay — under the luxury tax.) In an interview with The Athletic’s Jay King in mid-January, president Brad Stevens declined to comment on how Schroder’s contract will affect the front office’s approach to the deadline. 

According to Bleacher Report, Schroder and guard Aaron Nesmith are the two Celtics considered most likely to be traded, and Al Horford is also a trade candidate. Marcus Smart always comes up in trade rumors around this time, but his four-year, $76.5 million extension kicks in next season and it would reportedly take a “significant” trade offer for Boston to consider moving him.

On Jan. 19, The Athletic’s Jared Weiss reported that they are exploring potential Horford trades, pursuing another center and are open to moving wing Josh Richardson. Horford is on the books for $26.5 million next season, but only $14.5 million is guaranteed.

Robert Williams III is *not* available, by the way.

Making sense of the Mavericks

Jan. 27: Dallas is sending signals that it is prepared to re-sign Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith in free agency despite the luxury-tax implications, per Bleacher Report. Brunson, drafted in the second round in 2018, and Finney-Smith undrafted in 2016, are homegrown success stories for the Mavericks, and they’ve both been seen as natural trade targets because they’re in line for enormous raises in July. Brunson is more likely to be traded than Finney-Smith, according to The Athletic’s Tim Cato. 

Bleacher Report mentioned the Mavs as possible suitors for Collins, Turner and the Cavs’ Cedi Osman. They’ve also been linked to Grant and Smart, per a Jan. 24 story by Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus.

The Knicks have been a rumored Brunson suitor for some time. On Jan. 15, the New York Post’s Marc Berman cited an NBA source saying, “They want him bad.” 

Brooklyn’s possible tweaks

Jan. 27: The Nets have had conversations involving the position-less Bruce Brown, guard Jevon Carter and even switchy center Nicolas Claxton, per Bleacher Report. It is also trying to move Paul Millsap, who reportedly considered the Bulls and Warriors in free agency last offseason.

Millsap wants to go to a team that has minutes for him. He hasn’t played since Dec. 27, and on Jan. 20, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the two sides had agreed to part ways. The next day, Nets coach Steve Nash described it as “an unfortunate situation.”

Toronto thinking big

Jan. 27: The Raptors are looking at centers, per Bleacher Report. They’ve inquired about Turner, Theis and the Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl, a former Toronto first-round pick. Marc Stein reported the Raptors’ interest in Poeltl on Jan. 14, but it’s unclear if they will be able to meet San Antonio’s asking price.

Houston’s message: No urgency to make a deal

Jan. 26: The rebuilding Rockets have a couple of obvious trade candidates in 33-year-old guard Eric Gordon and 29-year-old big Daniel Theis. They could trade Christian Wood, too, and they’d love to find a way to move John Wall’s contract. Their message ahead of the deadline, though is loud and clear: We don’t have to do anything at all. 

Houston is not looking for win-now players, for obvious reasons, and it is not looking for more picks in this year’s draft, either, according to the Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen. The Rockets are interested in high-upside young players and future picks with little protection, and, if they don’t like the offers they get, they are reportedly fine with waiting until the draft and the offseason to do anything significant. 

This jibes with what The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported on Jan. 24: Houston general manager Rafael Stone is content to take calls rather than aggressively making them. Theis and wing David Nwaba are more likely than Wood or Gordon to be moved before Feb. 10, per The Athletic, and, if the Rockets were to do another Wall-for-Russell Westbrook trade, they’d want to get the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick as part of the deal. (On that theoretical possibility: Los Angeles isn’t interested, per Stein — it would rather hope Westbrook finds his form than give up yet another asset to end this experiment, having sacrificed so much to get him in the first place.)

Houston can credibly take this position because none of the aforementioned players are on expiring contracts. A word of caution, however: There is risk in standing pat, particularly in a situation like Gordon’s. His value should be much higher now than it was heading into this season, since he has stayed healthy and had the most efficient season of his 14-year career. The Rockets might not get exactly what they’re looking for in a Gordon trade, but they’ll have to weigh the offers they get against the possibility that they will get worse down the road.  

Nets not listening to Harden offers

Jan. 26: James Harden has repeatedly told Nets ownership and management that he wants to stay in Brooklyn and compete for a championship, and the team doesn’t even want to hear other teams’ trade offers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The 76ers want to pursue Harden, who can hit free agency in the offseason or pick up his $47.4 million player option, but they have not made Brooklyn an offer, per ESPN. 

This follows a Jan. 24 report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick that, given the offers on the table for Simmons, Philadelphia prefers to keep him past the trade deadline and chase Harden (or another star player), confirmed by CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter. It also follows a Bleacher Report’s Jan. 25 report that, while Harden hasn’t asked for a trade and still wants to compete for this year’s championship with the Nets, he intends to look at his options in free agency and is frustrated by unvaccinated teammate Kyrie Irving’s part-time availability, the weather and taxes in Brooklyn and Nash’s experiments with the rotation. 

For more on Simmons — and the Sixers’ refusal to trade him without getting an impact player in return — see our timeline of this ongoing stalemate. 

Orlando is still selling

Jan. 24: The Magic pivoted at last year’s trade deadline, moving Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier in separate deals that kickstarted a rebuild. They haven’t quite finished selling off their veterans, though — Terrence Ross (easily the longest-tenured member of the team) and Gary Harris (part of the Gordon trade) are both available ahead of the deadline, and Orlando is widely expected to move at least one of them, according to Stein.

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