NBA rumors: Latest draft trade buzz on John Collins, Bradley Beal and more

NBA rumors: Latest trade buzz on Collins, Beal and more entering draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The trade rumor mill is firing on all cylinders with the 2022 NBA Draft set for Thursday night and free agency scheduled to begin June 30.

No league has a more exciting offseason than the NBA. The amount of player movement, especially among quality players, is immense.

We’ve seen many substantial trades made during the draft in recent years. So with that in mind, here’s a roundup of the latest trade buzz on notable players.

John Collins, PF, Hawks

The Hawks star has been in trade rumors seemingly every day over the last couple years as Atlanta tries to figure out the right nucleus to put around superstar guard Trae Young.

According to Marc Stein, “The likelihood of a John Collins trade, league sources indicate, is as high as it’s ever been.” The Sacramento Kings have shown interest in a Collins trade, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Athletic’s Zach Harper reported Wednesday there’s “some chatter that the Celtics could be interested” in a Collins trade.

Collins averaged 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game with the Hawks last season. He can shoot well from the outside (37.6 percent on 3s in his career), score in the low post, rebound well and has plenty of athleticism. He’s a dynamic talent that the Hawks shouldn’t be so eager to get rid of.

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Dejounte Murray, PG, Spurs

It doesn’t really make sense why the Spurs would entertain trading Murray, who is a tremendous all-around player. He nearly averaged a triple-double last season with 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game.

However, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report has reported the Hawks and Spurs have discussed a trade involving Murray and Collins.

Murray is signed through the next two seasons at a team-friendly salary cap hit of about $17 million. The Spurs should be in no rush to trade Murray. In fact, they shouldn’t even listen to offers unless rival teams are willing to massively overpay.

DeAndre Ayton, C, Suns

DeAndre Ayton was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He’s played well for the Phoenix Suns, but according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, they don’t view the talented center as a max contract kind of player.

“I think they’re very motivated to find a sign-and-trade and get some assets back for him,” Wojnarowski said Wednesday on ESPN. “They do not value Ayton at a max contract.”

Where could Ayton go? James Edwards of The Athletic reported Wednesday the Detroit Pistons are “heavily expected to pursue” Ayton. The Pistons cleared salary on Wednesday by trading Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers for a 2025 first-round pick.

Ayton has averaged a double-double in rebounds all four seasons of his career. He scored 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 2021-22.

Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner

The Pacers have several talented veterans on their roster, and two of them are point guard Malcolm Brogdon and power forward Myles Turner. Turner has been in trade rumors for years.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday that “the Pacers are seriously discussing trades centered on Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner.”

Brogdon is a strong two-way guard, but staying healthy has been a problem for him throughout his career. He hasn’t played more than 64 games in a single season since 2017. Turner is a good player, but nothing special. He’s averaged around 12 points and seven rebounds for the last three years.

Indiana should definitely look to move these players and try to build a young core around Tyrese Haliburton.

Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards

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A report surfaced earlier this week that Beal is expected to decline his player option for 2022-23 and become an unrestricted free agent.

Beal is the best player who could become available in free agency this summer. He led the Eastern Conference in scoring two years ago at 31.3 points per game. He’s a dynamic offensive player who shoots well from the outside and attacks the basket effectively.

The Boston Celtics are often among the speculated destinations for Beal given his longtime friendship with C’s star Jayson Tatum.

What are the chances of a move to the Celtics? Stadium’s Jeff Goodman talked about Beal’s future in Washington during Wednesday night’s “Early Edition” on NBC Sports Boston.

“I do think he forces his way out,” Goodman said. “I think he’s tired of it. They got off to a good start this year, I think they were like 10-3 or something like that, and then they came down to earth.

“I know (Wizards president) Tommy Sheppard got his buddy Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over there in Washington which kind of made Beal happy, but again, I think a year from now he and his agent (Mark) Bartelstein say they want to be somewhere else, and then Boston goes to top of the list. Then it comes down to what happens this season, and can Brad Stevens give enough for Tommy Sheppard to make that deal.”

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