Trade Rumors: Sabonis, Kemba, Celtics, Pelicans, Magic

On an episode of The Ringer’s podcast The Mismatch last week, Kevin O’Connor mentioned that Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis wants out of Indiana. The comment was made in passing and wasn’t expanded upon by O’Connor in any subsequent article or tweet, so it wasn’t clear whether it was something he was reporting or something he’d heard but hadn’t fully confirmed.

Following up on that rumor, Matt Moore of Action Network says he has also heard from multiple sources that Sabonis wants out of Indiana, adding that the big man’s desire for a change of scenery dates back to last season. However, all of Sabonis’ public comments have indicated that he’s happy to stick with the Pacers, and Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files, who is plugged in with the team, called O’Connor’s initial report “false” (Twitter link).

The Pacers are reportedly open to the idea of moving Sabonis, so whether or not he actually wants to be dealt may ultimately be a moot point — Indiana could trade him either way.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Knicks guard Kemba Walker hasn’t generated much – if any – trade interest from rival teams, since his knees are viewed as too much of a risk, Moore reports.
  • Two sources who spoke to Moore suggested the Celtics are more likely to pursue a third impact player to add to their core of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, rather than breaking up the duo.
  • The Bulls are in the market for a wing defender who could come off the bench, says Moore.
  • Some executives were surprised by Jake Fischer’s report that the Pelicans could be buyers this season, since they’d gotten the impression New Orleans is more interested in long-term assets, Moore writes. Josh Hart is viewed as possibly the most likely trade candidate on the Pels’ roster, Moore adds.
  • Despite Mohamed Bamba‘s strong season, the Magic are considered unlikely to discuss center Wendell Carter Jr. in trades, per Moore, who notes that the team also hasn’t yet indicated that Bamba is available.
  • According to Moore, the Thunder are a good candidate to be a third team in a Ben Simmons trade, since Sam Presti and Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey have had multiple past dealings and Oklahoma City is well positioned to take on unwanted contracts.