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2020 NBA Trade Deadline rumor roundup: Capela, Iguodala, Covington, and the Knicks

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NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks continue to Knick

The New York Knicks have fired President Steve Mills, who was first hired in the summer of 2017 to succeed Phil Jackson.

Woj went on to report that “it is expected that GM Scott Perry will continue in his role as Knicks GM for forseeable future” and that Knicks owner James Dolan has a target in mind to replace Mills as president: Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors. But... he’ll have to wait.

Despite approaching the deadline and now being president-less, it sounds like the Knicks could still be active in the trade market. Ian Begley of SNY reported that the Knicks and Charlotte Hornets have engaged in trade talks centered around Julius Randle.

The Knicks and Charlotte Hornets have discussed a deal involving Julius Randle, league sources confirm. Terry Rozier, Malik Monk and Dennis Smith Jr. are among the names that have come up in discussions between the two franchises, per SNY sources.

Iguodala to suit up after all?

Not for the Grizzlies, of course. Andre Iguodala has refused to play for the Memphis Grizzlies all season. At first, Iguodala’s case was compelling. He’s an established veteran and former Finals MVP who involuntarily ended up on a team most expected to be pretty bad. But now that the Grizzlies have proven they can compete for a playoff spot, there’s really no reason Iguodala shouldn’t be on the floor for Memphis. Even if he wants a trade, suiting up and proving he can be an impactful player for a playoff contender might help facilitate a trade. It’s gotten to the point where Grizzlies players are speaking out:

Apparently, Iguodala’s absence has failed to scare away at least one team. The Miami Heat are reported to be interested in trading for Iguodala.

Houston Rockets looking to move Clint Capela

The Houston Rockets are seemingly open shopping Clint Capela, with his name among the most frequently dropped in the last 24 hours or so of deadline rumors. Capela makes a lot of sense for an otherwise asset-strapped Rockets team. He’s on a reasonable contract for a starting center and he can still play at a high level when on the court, and the Rockets are the sort of team to view a rim-running center as replaceable.

According Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Atlanta Hawks are the most likely destination for Capela.

League sources say the Rockets offered Capela to the Nets for a package that included Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, which Brooklyn declined. The Celtics have a top-six-protected first from the Grizzlies that will become unprotected next year that they could dangle in a trade—but considering Memphis is currently eighth in the West, that pick is likely to convey this season—as well as rookie wing Romeo Langford. The Hawks remain the most likely destination for Capela, which would lead to a whole different set of possibilities.

Latest on Robert Covington

Like Capela, Covington has been one of the most discussed names in potential trades. Marc Stein of the New York Times recently reported that the Sixers and the Rockets are “at the front of the RoCo line” (meaning most aggressively pursuing). Kevin O’Connor even mentioned in the article linked above that the Rockets have looked to execute a three-way trade to land Covington and send Capela to the Hawks, with the Wolves seeking enough assets to then go pry D’Angelo Russell from the Golden State Warriors.

The future of D’Angelo Russell has become the biggest question at the NBA’s trade deadline. But before Russell can be dealt, other dominoes will need to fall. The Wolves are in hot pursuit of Russell and are searching for assets to put together an offer that is acceptable to the Warriors. Recently, a three-way deal was discussed that would have sent Robert Covington to Houston, Clint Capela to Atlanta, and Brooklyn’s 2020 first-round pick from Atlanta to Minnesota, according to multiple league sources. But Golden State declined Minnesota’s offer—which included the Brooklyn first and its own first-round pick in 2020—and the three-way talks were put on pause.

Phoenix Suns looking to land Luke Kennard

The Phoenix Suns are engaged in trade talks with the Detroit Pistons for Luke Kennard, who has previously been rumored as a Sixers’ trade target.

When the Sixers were first reported to be interested in Kennard, it made a lot of sense. Kennard is a floor spacer who can handle the ball a bit. But he’s now been out since December 21st due to injury, and the Sixers are almost exclusively looking for immediate help. Better they look elsewhere at this point, and Kennard makes more sense for the Suns timeline.