Kings, Cavs, Raptors among others on lookout for deal, Sam Amico writes in his latest trip around the league.
Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders (8) during the game against the Toronto Raptors at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Toronto won 97-90.
Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports
By Sam Amico
Perhaps no NBA player is as available as Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders.
The Bucks are beginning to really like their young core of big men. While Sanders is in that group, the Bucks feel he can bring something decent in return, and they don't really want to move anyone else.
Second-year power forward John Henson has played especially well since Sanders went down with a thumb injury suffered in a bar fight in early November.
The Bucks are just fine with taking their lumps and getting a high lottery pick in June. General manager John Hammond and new coach Larry Drew are both high on a rotation that includes Henson, O.J. Mayo, Ersan Ilyasova, Brandon Knight, and Khris Middleton, as well as rookies Giannis Antetokoumnpo, Miroslav Raduljica and Nate Wolters.
Add a college star such as Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Duke's Jabari Parker or Kentucky's Julius Randle to that mix and you could be on your way.
Anyway, back to Sanders.
The Bucks like him and aren't in a rush to move him. He's 6-foot-11 and a talented shot-blocker. But the consensus among league executives is the Bucks would move Sanders if calls were placed -- especially if a draft pick of some sort was involved.
For now, Sanders remains with the Bucks. He has been cleared for basketball activities, but the team has yet to give a return date or even a rough estimate. And maybe there's a reason for that.
--Despite recent rumors, the Phoenix Suns are not looking to trade point guard Goran Dragic, league sources told FOX Sports Ohio. Just like everyone, however, they are willing to listen.
--League executives say Cleveland has been aggressive in attempts to add an impact player in recent weeks. But the Cavs aren't (yet) willing to surrender second-year guard Dion Waiters or third-year forward Tristan Thompson, sources said.
--Cavs GM Chris Grant is under some pressure after landing four top-four draft picks (including two overall No. 1s) in the past three years. A national writer came to Cleveland recently, took in a half of basketball and said to no one in particular, "This Cleveland team is a mess." If true, that sure doesn't bode well for a team that's talking playoffs.
--Sacramento has already traded for Rudy Gay and Derrick Williams this season, but it appears new GM Pete D'Alessandro isn't finished. It's pretty clear he is still placing calls and trying to find ways to improve things. The Kings have not had a winning season or made the playoffs in nearly a decade (2005-06). They don't expect that to change this season. But next year, yes.
--While Toronto has played better since trading Gay, the Raptors remain active in the trade market. One opposing executive told FSO he'd be shocked if point guard Kyle Lowry was still with the team after the February trade deadline. New York and Brooklyn are reportedly most interested, but Orlando and New Orleans are also considered potential Lowry landing spots.
--Some around the league have speculated University of North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston could make himself eligible to play in the NBA D-League after the holidays. Hairston was suspended by North Carolina and the school has decided not to reinstate him. According to a report in the Charlotte Observer, Hairston is eligible to play in the D-League immediately. He could then be drafted by an NBA team in June.
--Official game balls being broken in now include the signature of NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, as opposed to longtime and current commissioner David Stern. Silver will replace the retiring Stern in February.