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NBA Rumors: Knicks, Raptors, and Kings Plus More

Today’s NBA rumors and news looks at several teams. The New York Knicks reportedly had big dreams of bringing in another star this offseason. While that didn’t happen, it doesn’t mean that the Knicks won’t explore the possibility during the season, and they have the assets to make a major deal. I also consider whether the Toronto Raptors should work out an extension with Pascal Siakam.  In addition potential camp battles in Sacramento Kings’ camps.

NBA Rumors: Knicks, Raptors, and Kings Plus More

Three Players Who May Not Be On the Knicks’ Roster Past 2024 Trade Deadline

The Athletic’s Fred Katz was recently asked which players currently on the New York Knicks 2023-24 roster will likely not finish the season with the team. After initially saying that any of the eight potential rotational players could be traded, Katz ultimately whittled the list down to four. Katz eventually settled on R.J. Barrett, Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, and Immanuel Quickley.

Evan Fournier

Fournier is the most obvious choice, as the Knicks have made it known they are looking for any takers for the 31-year-old wing. Fournier, coming off one of his worst seasons, has been exiled by Tom Thibodeau and is essentially on an expiring $18.9 million contract.

“His {Fournier] utility right now is that he’s on an $18.9 million expiring contract, a salary that could help facilitate a top-dollar trade.” Katz wrote. “The Knicks could deal for a player who makes up to $20.8 million using only Fournier’s money. Add another player or two, and they can bring back even more.”

R.J. Barrett

Barret is a little bit of a surprise to be on the list. The 23-year-old wing is very talented and young, but he did have a disappointing season last year. He also doesn’t add much besides scoring and 3-point shooting and is a liability on the defensive end. However, the Knicks will likely deal Barrett only if they are getting a star and need his nearly $24 million salary to send out.

Quentin Grimes

Grimes took a major step in his development last year. The 23-year-old wing is a “3-D” prospect who improved his shooting percentage dramatically due to his willingness to get to the basket, and he has always been a fantastic finisher. However, Grimes does need to be more consistent.

Immanuel  Quickley

Quickley is coming off a career season and is on an expiring contract. The 24-year-old combo guard, who is rookie extension scale eligible, is one of the best two-way players on the Knicks. He is very fast, an excellent shooter, and an excellent playmaker. Like Barret, it is unlikely that Quickley will be dealt unless it is as part of a blockbuster trade.

The Others

Katz also listed Jericho Sims, Miles McBride, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Mitchell Robinson as potential trade candidates.

Sims and McBride are throw-in type players in any deal. However, Sims does have more upside than McBride.

Isaiah Hartenstein

Hartensein is a quality backup center, as he protects the rim and rebounds. The 25-year-old is pretty limited though he finishes well around the hoop and is a decent passer.

Mitchell Robinson

Robinson probably won’t be traded unless the Knicks brings in a big-name center. The 25-year-old is an outstanding offensive rebounder and shot-blocker. While Robinson is fantastic around the rim offensively, he is more limited offensively than Hartenstein.

Should the Toronto Raptors Extend Pascal Siakam?

There has been lots of noise surrounding the Toronto Raptors possibly trading Siakam this offseason. While that hasn’t occurred, there is still plenty of time, The Athletic’s Shams Charania recently reported that the Raptors or the two-time all-star has yet to seriously engage in talks about an extension.

In mulling whether the Raptors should “max out” Siakam, The Athletic’s Eric Koreen looked at the pros and cons of doing so.

“Since 140 percent of Siakam’s salary next year — the new limit for an extension for a designated veteran — would be well above the 30 percent of the 2024-25 salary cap that is Siakam’s maximum salary,” Koreen wrote. “Siakam’s starting number is obvious. If next year’s salary cap grows by 10 percent over this year’s number — the maximum it can jump under the terms of the new CBA — the cap for 2024-25 would be set at about $149.62 million.”

In other words, if Siakam were to get a max contract, it would be around $202 million over four seasons.

Siakam, who will make nearly $37.9 million this year, is entering the final year of his contract. The 29-year-old is one of the top two-way forwards in the game, but he is not a superstar. He and Scottie Barnes are not ideal fits together. Plus, the Raptors are stuck in the middle of “Nowheresville.”

However, it makes sense for the Raptors to work out some extension rather than risk losing Siakam for nothing. As Koreen said, “If Siakam continues to play well, an extension could boost his trade value since he would be on a long-term contract instead of an expiring deal.”

Sacramento Kings Camp Battle

The Sacramento Kings have 15 players on standard contracts, but their roster is quite unbalanced, with five centers following the signing of Neemais Queta to a two-year contract. As a result, James Ham of The Kings Beat believes that there is a camp battle brewing between Queta and Nerlens Noel.

Domantas Sabonis is the unquestioned starter at the five. According to Ham, Trey Lyles is expected to be the first big off the bench, while Alex Len probably will fill a similar role as last year as the “emergency fill-in.”

Queta’s deal is worth $4.2 million, including $2.1 million this year. His contract has some guarantee as the 24-year-old received a $250,000 signing bonus and will receive $500,000 if he makes the opening day roster.

Queta, who has spent most of the last two years with the Stockton Kings, was a second-round pick of the Kings in 2021. He is a physical specimen who is a relentless rebounder. Queta is very efficient around the rim and a quality shot-blocker. The 7-1 center finished second in G-League MVP voting and earned both All-League and All-Defensive honors last year.

Meanwhile, Noel signed a one-year, $3.1 million fully guaranteed contract on July 21. The 29-year-old vet has played in 467 career games. But he has made only 42 appearances over the last two seasons, including 17 between Detroit and Brooklyn last year. While very limited offensively, Noel is elite on the defensive end.

Analysis of Potential Battle

Sacramento must really like Queta to give him a standard contract when they could have signed him to another two-way pact. But the Kings could keep Queta and Noel, as they don’t have any glaring roster needs and are far below the luxury tax. So, there is no point unless they find someone they really like or there is an injury; there is no reason not to keep both.

Other News

  • With the release of the NBA schedule, it is now known when Ja Morant can return from his 25-game suspension. Morant is eligible to return on December 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans. While Morant can return to the court on the date, it doesn’t mean he will play in the nationally televised TNT game.
  • The Charlotte Hornets agreed to an Exhibit 10 contract with free agent forward Tre Scott. Scott went undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2020 and has spent most of his career in the G-League. After playing 10 games for the Greensboro Swarm this season, the 26-year-old forward made five appearances for the Hornets’ summer league squad. Scott averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in five Las Vegas contests with a shooting slash line of .474/.500/1.000 in 19 minutes a game.

Charlotte has 15 players under contract for the upcoming season, but only 12 have fully guaranteed deals. The Hornets also have one open two-way spot. Still, Scott will likely start the season with the Swarm as an affiliate player.




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