14 Jan

Kings pull out of Pascal Siakam talks; Hawks making Dejounte Murray available

The NBA trade deadline is nearly a month away on Feb. 8, so between now and then expect the rumor mill to churn as every team in the league tries to position itself to either compete for the postseason or prepare for the offseason with an eye toward the future. Already we saw one big deal go down, as the Raptors dealt OG Anunoby to the Knicks for a package that centered around RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. While that was one big domino to fall, it was just the beginning of what could be a very active trade deadline.

With that being said, here’s a look at the latest rumors around the league as every team readies for Feb. 8:

Kings pull out of Siakam talks; Pacers, Pistons also in the mix
For the longest time it had been the Hawks who were seen as the most aggressive suitors for Siakam, but that’s changed as of late. Atlanta is now viewed as sellers around the league, per Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, as the focus of the team has shifted to regaining assets and gearing up for next season. That’s not a surprising move, as the Hawks gave up three first-round picks to get Murray and are 14-20 this season.

One team that had heavy interest in Siakam was the Kings, who were holding extensive talks with the Raptors until late on Friday night, when they decided to pull out, according to Shams Charania. It’s unclear why talks broke down, but Siakam’s pending free agency could have played a part.

Other teams still thought to be in the mix, per Fischer, are the Pacers and Pistons. Indiana has had known interest in Siakam, but Detroit’s inclusion is interesting. While the Pistons ended their historic 28-game losing streak, it is surprising that this team is interested in trying to add someone like Siakam instead of moving guys like Bojan Bogdanovic. But clearly Detroit isn’t interested in bottoming out — though they’re already there — and are more interested in adding veteran talent to surround the likes of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and the rest of their young core.

Hawks are making Dejounte Murray available
Just a year and a half after the blockbuster trade that landed Murray in Atlanta, the Hawks are reportedly making him “widely available” ahead of the trade deadline, per Fischer. The fit of Murray and Trae Young hasn’t been as successful as the Hawks had hoped, with the pair posting a minus-2.9 net rating when they share the floor. The Knicks have been listed as a potential suitor for Murray, though there are reportedly concerns about if he can coexist alongside Jalen Brunson. But even if it’s not the Knicks, Murray will surely have multiple suitors who are in search of a two-way, All-Star guard on a somewhat team-friendly contract.

Wizards will part with Kyle Kuzma for a high price
The Wizards are once again rudderless, and as we approach the trade deadline they’re reportedly willing to part ways with Kuzma, but the asking price is high. The Wizards are seeking “multiple first-round picks for Kuzma,” per Fischer as they try to stack up their draft capital. It would be surprising if Kuzma netted more than one first-round pick, but he certainly could get the Wizards at least one. He’s averaging a career-high 22.8 points, while shooting the best of his career — 46.8% from the floor. Currently, there haven’t been any teams listed as possible suitors for Kuzma, who is owed $64.3 million over the next three years.

Zach LaVine’s trade market has cooled
It remains to be seen if LaVine will be traded before the deadline, but right now the list of suitors isn’t exactly deep. The Lakers have been connected to the sharpshooting guard, but L.A., as well as several other teams around the league, are reluctant to take on the remaining $180 million on his contract, according to Fischer. LaVine’s injury history is also probably fueling the lack of suitors. Additionally is the fact that the Bulls just went 10-6 without him in the lineup as he sat out with a foot injury. LaVine is expected to return to the Bulls on Friday against the Hornets, so he can start to rebuild his trade value, but as it stands, it doesn’t look like any team is jumping at the chance of taking him on.

Kings open to trading Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter
Sacramento is interested in landing Siakam, but there could be other moves on the horizon for the No. 5 team in the West. The Kings are making Barnes, Huerter and Davion Mitchell available in trade talks, as they look to make a deep run in the playoffs this season. Perhaps those players are used to land Siakam, but in previous reports Toronto covets marksman Keegan Murray. The Kings, however, aren’t interested in trading the young forward. There’s several teams that could use the veteran presence of Barnes, who is owed $37 million over the next two years. He’s a super efficient forward, who can be a positive presence in a young locker room, or a quality role player on a contending team. Huerter’s efficiency and production has taken a dive this season, and he was most recently moved to the bench in favor of Chris Duarte. Despite the shooting struggles, though, Huerter, in the right role, could be a valuable asset on a number of teams

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