BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (2024)

BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors

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    BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (1)

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    As the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks duke it out in the 2024 NBA Finals, 28 other teams have entered full-on offseason mode.

    And that means the Association's rumor mill has officially begun to ramp up.

    Both the draft and free agency are now just a couple of weeks away. The scope and scale of the league's scuttlebutt has mushroomed accordingly, so we're dusting off our B.S. Meter to help make sense of the latest murmurings, mumblings and musings.

    Our usual disclaimer: This exercise is not necessarily a comment on the merit of included reporting. Every tidbit here makes the cut because the information comes from trusted names. Our B.S. meter is instead programmed to gauge what we should expect to come from each situation—if anything.

UConn's Dan Hurley Getting Lakers Head Coach Role Over JJ Redick?

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    BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (2)

    Dan HurleyMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    JJ Redick was widely considered the favorite to replace Darvin Ham as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

    In fact, citing "league and media industry sources," The Athletic's Shams Charania reported on Wednesday that the Purple and Gold were "zeroing in on" the ESPN analyst and podcaster as their "front-runner."

    Then, Thursday morning happened.

    ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a bombshell when he reported the Lakers are "targeting UConn men's basketball coach Dan Hurley as the franchise's next coach and are preparing a massive, long-term contract offer to bring the back-to-back NCAA national champion to the NBA."

    The news came us a shock to us regular folk. What happened between Redick and the Lakers?

    Well, apparently nothing.

    Shortly after his initial report, Wojnarowski went on First Take and unpinned yet another grenade.

    "Throughout this process, [Dan Hurley] is the coach they've been after," he said. "Everybody else has been essentially due process interviews, due diligence."

    Uh, alright then.

    Unless there's something we don't yet know about talks between Redick and the Lakers, this paints a different picture on the situation.

    Sure, there could definitely be more to the story, but it's hard to do anything other than buy this rumor when Hurley himself has already delivered the classic FYI address to his UConn players:

    John Fanta @John_Fanta

    Dan Hurley met with his players at UConn this morning and informed them he's been in talks with the Lakers, a source tells Fox Sports. Hurley didn't want to hide the fact that this is real. Huskies have a noon practice and Hurley told his players it's business as usual for now.

    Verdict: Buy Dan Hurley emerging as the favorite to coach the Lakers next season.

Bronny James to the Lakers?

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    BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (3)

    Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

    We have officially graduated from the "Will Bronny James be drafted?" discussion. His selection no longer seems like a matter of if; it's now a matter of when.

    Nearly every scenario is seemingly on the table, especially if a team is drafting Bronny in hopes of luring his dad, LeBron James, away from the Lakers.

    Of course, there's another possibility in play: The Lakers could just draft Bronny themselves. Heck, this might even be the likeliest outcome.

    As Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus wrote: "The Lakers are widely expected to draft Bronny either with one of their own two picks (Nos. 17 or 55) or by trading up in the second round."

    Burning No. 17 on Bronny makes little sense unless Los Angeles views him as a legitimate fringe-lottery prospect or LeBron has presented it with an ultimatum ahead of his 2024 free agency (player option). The latter scenario is perhaps plausible. The former? Not so much. He's not that high on anyone's big board. B/R draft guru Jonathan Wasserman has him going at No. 55 to the Lakers in his latest mock draft.

    Using that selection on Bronny is perfectly fine. It's a bottom-six pick. Any alternatives on Los Angeles' radar could remain undrafted and still be signed by the team. But No. 17 is too valuable to invest in a player who, in that spot, projects as nothing more than a massive reach.

    The L.A. depth chart is hardly impressive enough to dedicate a guaranteed roster slot to a non-contributor. Taking someone else, meanwhile, is bound to do more for its most aggressive trade packages over the offseason.

    Would the Lakers really take Bronny at No. 17 knowing all of this? I have my doubts. But waiting until the end of the second round leaves a lot to chance.

    Other teams ahead of them, such as the Golden State Warriors (No. 52) or Philadelphia 76ers (No. 41) could take him on the off-chance it sets the stage for a LeBron union.

    Verdict: Sell the Lakers drafting Bronny at No. 17 and buy them taking him at No. 55. Sell the odds of him still being available at No. 55, but buy the Lakers attempting to trade up to land him.

New York Looking to Move Both 1st-Round Picks?

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    BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (4)

    Bart YoungNBAE via Getty Images

    The New York Knicks currently own the No. 24 and No. 25 picks in the NBA draft. Not surprisingly, the latest reporting on what they'll do with those selections is fuzzy.

    "Definitely word around the league [is] that they're looking to move those," Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports told the Bad Weather Fans podcast. "It's gonna be harder I think than ever, the last couple of years, the time period of this Knicks front office, to trade a pick in this year's draft for a future draft."

    OK then.

    But SNY's Ian Begley paints a different picture.

    "They can deal as many as eight first-round picks at the moment," he wrote. "So it makes sense that New York would be open to moving their picks. The Knicks also have a history of trading their picks on draft night under team president Leon Rose. But I don't get the sense that they are fully committed to moving their 2024 picks."

    These two bits of intel don't exactly conflict one another. They basically amount to saying: "The Knicks will be open to a wide array of possibilities."

    Fischer noted that it'll be difficult to roll No. 24 and/or No. 25 into 2025 (or beyond) first-rounders. This draft is viewed more favorably after the tippy top of the lottery, but teams do not appear to be tripping over themselves to move up or into the top 30.

    Including one or both firsts in a blockbuster trade is a distinct possibility. As yours truly explained previously, the Knicks' cap sheet is progressing in a way that could render this summer their last best chance at bagging another star. But those deals seldom happen on draft night. It takes a little longer for the offseason big-name trade market to fully materialize.

    None of which is meant to guarantee the Knicks keep one or both picks. They could combine them to trade up. They could deal one. And yes, they could jettison both.

    Given the complete lack of reports tying New York to a specific star, though, it's tough to imagine both selections getting the boot.

    Verdict: Buy the Knicks being open to move first-round equity for future picks or a star. Sell the chances of them acquiring a 2025 first-rounder for No. 24 and/or No. 25. Sell the chances of them acquiring a star on or before draft day. Buy New York leaving the draft with at least one first-round prospect on its roster.

Chicago's Asking Price for Zach LaVine Dropping?

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    BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (5)

    Mark Blinch/Getty Images

    Are you someone who wants your team to trade for Zach LaVine without forking over primo assets in the process?

    If so, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports has good news for you:

    "I don't think the Bulls will take an awful deal if little materializes, but I do get the sense they're open to more possibilities than before. More to the point: I've reported before what their asking price was-—All-Star level talent, first-round picks or both—and my sense is that it has dropped significantly."

    Whether you believe Chicago has the foresight to not overvalue LaVine might be irrelevant. The decision has been made for the team.

    Perception of LaVine's on-court value has veered too far from reality. His shooting and off-the-bounce creation are red-carpet skills. But he's also coming off yet another season-ending injury (right ankle/foot) and owed around $138 million over the next three years. No team of sound direction and leadership is coughing up multiple first-round picks and an All-Star-type prospect.

    So, yes, the Bulls will drop their asking price for LaVine. They have no choice.

    To what end, though? Is one super-intriguing first-round pick or prospect enough? Two afterthought picks? Are they willing to simply accept long-term salary relief? Which teams are most likely to meet any of these benchmarks?

    LaVine seems more gettable than ever, but his tenure in Chicago still has a few twists and turns and curveballs and audibles left to navigate.

    Verdict: Buy the Bulls lowering their asking price for LaVine. Sell the idea they'll move him without getting a single first-round pick or prospect in return.

Cleveland Not Open to Dealing Any Member of Its Core 4?

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    BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (6)

    David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

    Think it's open season on some combination of the Cleveland Cavaliers' four best players?

    Think again.

    According to Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer, the Cavs "don't appear very motivated to listen to trade inquiries for any member of their core four."

    This seems somewhat hard to believe relative to previous reporting.

    Immediately following Cleveland's second-round exit at the hands of the Celtics, Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic dropped a postmortem featuring a treasure trove of gossip. Among the greatest hits:

    • Members of the organization expressed "frustration" that Jarrett Allen "refused an injection to try and numb the pain and play" through a rib injury.
    • Darius Garland and his reps at Klutch Sports Group could "have a conversation with Cavs officials on potentially finding a new home for the one-time All-Star" if Donovan Mitchell signs a four-year, $208.5 million extension.
    • There's a "growing sentiment around the league that the Cavaliers" will get Mitchell to sign said extension.

    This is a situation rife with question marks and potential chaos. For the time being, though, it makes sense for Cleveland to let things play out.

    Only one domino has fallen so far: The firing of head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. But based on that piece from The Athletic, dismissing him was done in service of keeping Mitchell (and placating other players).

    Really, the Cavs shouldn't be working the phones until they have more information. They won't get the necessary perspective before they hire a new head coach and, most critically, offer Mitchell an extension.

    Mitchell's future is the pivot point. If he puts pen to paper, the Cavs can address Garland's happiness (or lack thereof) and decide whether to move Allen in an attempt to balance out the roster. (Evan Mobley isn't going anywhere.)

    If Mitchell doesn't sign the deal, Cleveland must look to move him, lest it risk losing him for nothing in 2025 free agency (player option). In this scenario, the Garland situation becomes a non-issue. Allen's future would remain up in the air, but again, it's not something you attempt to act on until you have clarity on Mitchell's future.

    Verdict: Buy the Cavs standing pat...until Mitchell signs or passes on an extension.

    Dan Favale covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter (@danfavale), and subscribe to the Hardwood Knocks podcast, co-hosted by Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes.

    Unless otherwise cited, stats courtesy of NBA.com, Basketball Reference, Stathead or Cleaning the Glass. Salary information via Spotrac. Draft-pick obligations via RealGM.

BS Meter on NBA's Latest Trade, Draft and Offseason Rumors (2024)
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