The Knicks and Jazz have had exploratory conversations surrounding Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, and draft pick compensation for Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, league sources told HoopsHype.
As reported in a recent HoopsHype NBA notebook, Utah is seeking the equivalent of a first-round pick to acquire each player. In these particular trade talks, Toppin would potentially be that equivalent for Vanderbilt with Utah seeking a potential first-round pick for taking on Fournier’s salary ($18.86 million next season and $19 million team option for 2024-25) and parting with Beasley, who has a $16.5 million team option for next season. Thus far, New York has been reluctant to attach a first-round pick to move off Fournier’s salary.
Beasley, who’s also drawn trade interest from the Cavaliers and Pelicans, told HoopsHype in an exclusive interview earlier this season that he’d like to remain in Utah and have the Jazz pick up his team option for next season.
Toppin previously came up in trade conversations over the summer during the Donovan Mitchell trade negotiations between New York and Utah. Jazz executive Danny Ainge previously traded for Fournier while running the Celtics as well.
Knicks Senior Basketball Advisor Gersson Rosas has been a staunch supporter of Beasley and Vanderbilt since he traded for both players in the same four-team deal and eventually signed Beasley to a four-year, $60 million deal and Vanderbilt to a three-year, $13.8 million contract with the Timberwolves. Ironically, while Beasley was meeting with the Timberwolves and on the verge of agreeing to his contract, the current Knicks regime led by Leon Rose called to express interest in signing him, league sources told HoopsHype.
Vanderbilt and Beasley have also been discussed as part of a trade package with the Atlanta Hawks for forward John Collins. The Suns have also expressed interest in trading for the duo.
Separately, the Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as a “strong suitor” for Vanderbilt, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little is a name to monitor in the trade talks, HoopsHype has learned.
Utah has also done due diligence on other wing players, including Dallas’ Dorian Finney-Smith and Charlotte’s Jalen McDaniels ahead of the deadline.
Indiana, who has had an interest in trading for Collins, has also expressed interest in trading for Vanderbilt, as HoopsHype recently reported.
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