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NBA trade, free agency rumors: Trae Young trade talk cooled down, Markkanen trade ‘difficult’

Sports

NBA: APR 17 Play-In – East – Hawks at Bulls

Saturday is when it gets real for the NBA — the moratorium ends at noon Eastern and all the deals already announced around the NBA can become official. (It’s also the first day of the California Classic in Sacramento, the first of the Summer Leagues, and the Lakers will see Dalton Knecht and Bronny James make their debuts.)

That’s not stopping the NBA rumor mill. Here are a few rumors from around the league heading into the weekend.

• Lakers, Spurs showing little interest in Trae Young. Once Dejounte Murray was traded to New Orleans, the question became whether the Hawks would retool around Trae Young and try to win now or trade him and start a rebuild. The expectation was always rebuild, but a comment from Zach Lowe of ESPN — that there is little interest in a Young trade from the Lakers or Spurs, two potential suitors — may decide for them.

Part of the reason the Hawks traded Murray instead of Young was that there was much more interest in Murray around the league.

Markkanen trade is difficult to put together. As soon as Paul George came off the market, the hottest trade rumor became teams trying to lure Utah into trading Lauri Markkanen, with the Warriors reportedly at the front of that list. However, a Markkanen trade is hard to put together for a couple of reasons. One, Danny Ainge runs the Jazz and that means the price will be steep — they are not eager to trade him, they may just re-sign him in August (they can’t extend him until then). Then there is Markkanen’s contract, a steal for Utah at just $18 million for next season (the last on his current deal), a price so relatively low it’s hard to give the Jazz the return Ainge demands, reports Marc Stein in his latest newsletter.

“More than one rival team has shared the observation that it would be difficult for the Jazz to trade him in the short term — even if they wanted to…

“It obviously complicates Jazz efforts to get a trade package in return for Markkanen on the level of Brooklyn’s haul for Mikal Bridges when Markkanen is not under team control for more than a season and when his salary is relatively low. They have a much better chance to command a Bridges-style offer filled with future draft picks like New York agreed to furnish the Nets if Markkanen, 27, is signed to an extension.”

Still, some league sources expect a Markkanen trade in the coming days. Others think next summer is more likely.

Kings in the mix for DeMar DeRozan. The Sacramento Kings want to upgrade this offseason (standing pat didn’t work so well last summer), but getting a deal done is proving difficult. They have called about Markkanen and Brandon Ingram, among others, and now you can throw DeMar DeRozan in the mix, reports the well-connected Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 in Sactown writes.

After speaking to several sources over the past 24 hours, I’m told there is “mutual interest” between DeMar DeRozan and the Sacramento Kings.

The 34-year-old, 6x All-Star led the NBA in minutes played & 4th quarter scoring last season in Chicago.

— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) July 6, 2024

• Chances of a Jarrett Allen trade decreased because of new coach Kenny Atkinson. Heading into the summer there was speculation that Cleveland would explore the trade market for Jarrett Allen — he just hasn’t meshed with Evan Mobley, the No. 3 pick the Cavaliers believe to be a franchise cornerstone (although his offense has some steps forward to take for that to happen). Then came word Donovan Mitchellwho just re-signed with the team for three years, $150 million — wanted the team to keep Allen. So reports Marc Stein.

“The arrival of Kenny Atkinson as Cleveland’s new coach has convinced various teams that Jarrett Allen has just become even harder to pry from the Cavaliers via trade than he was previously. And it was hard before.”

Evan Fournier wants to stay in the NBA. How much interest is there? The Detroit Pistons declined the $19 million team option next season for Evan Fournier, but the 31-year-old French shooter wants to stay in the NBA and believes he can help a team, reports Marc Stein.

Fournier will have a place on a high level Europe if he wants it, but he is exploring stateside deals now. Teams haven’t gone near him in the past year because of that contract, but on a minimum or similar deal, he could find a new home.