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Raptors open to trading Gary Trent Jr for Jakob Poeltl?

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Further complicating matters when trying to assess Toronto’s intentions: There were some fresh rumbles this week that it had explored packaging Trent and some level of draft compensation to San Antonio for Spurs center Jakob Poeltl. That’s a move you would make to try to move up the Eastern Conference ladder — not down. The Raptors, for the record, don’t seem to mind the confusion they’re generating. – via Marc Stein @ marcstein.substack.com

LeBron James becomes the top scorer in NBA history

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Chris Haynes: LeBron James has surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.  – via Twitter ChrisBHaynes

LeBron James: ‘I can play a couple more years’

Clutch Points: “I know for sure. I can play a couple more years… Try to compete for championships, that’s something I feel like I can still do for any group of guys, for any franchise I can go out there and still help win multiple championships.” – LeBron James 

👀

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Knicks eyeing Josh Hart

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The New York Knicks have expressed interest in trading for Portland Trail Blazers swingman Josh Hart, HoopsHype has learned. Hart has a $12.96 million player option for next season and has been linked to the Heat and Cavaliers. – via Michael Scotto @ HoopsHype

Raptors, Pelicans and Timberwolves interested in Bones Hyland

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The Denver Post reported last week that the Nuggets were seeking a two-way rotation player and draft compensation, or a first-round pick for Hyland. Sources said the Nuggets felt they had traction on a first-round pick. The Nuggets (and other teams) could be waiting for other major dominoes to fall prior to Thursday’s deadline. Multiple league sources said Toronto, in addition to New Orleans and Minnesota, had registered some level of interest in Hyland. – via Mike Singer @ Denver Post

Fred VanVleet the likeliest Raptor to be traded; Clippers, Suns, Lakers, Magic and Timberwolves interested

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Several opposing executives have since labeled Fred VanVleet as the most likely Raptor to be traded ahead of Thursday’s deadline. A pair of Western Conference contenders in the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns have been often mentioned as VanVleet suitors. The Lakers, Magic and Timberwolves have also registered interest in VanVleet, sources said. VanVleet is expected to decline his $22 million option for the 2023-24 season in search of a pay raise that approaches a maximum salary and certainly north of $30 million. – via Jake Fischer @ Yahoo! Sports

All-Star forward Pascal Siakam — despite plenty of interest around the league — O.G Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. remain buzzy names on the trade market, league sources told Yahoo Sports, two days before this transaction window closes. – via Jake Fischer @ Yahoo! Sports

The Pelicans, Grizzlies, Knicks, Pacers, Trail Blazers, Lakers, Suns and Nets have all been linked to Anunoby in recent days. Although the Raptors, sources said, have communicated asking prices for Anunoby that rival front offices feel are quite steep. – via Jake Fischer @ Yahoo! Sports

Raptors covet Nic Claxton, Ben Simmons and first rounders for Pascal Siakam

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Toronto covets Nets starting center Nic Claxton and has expressed interest in acquiring him in trade discussions with Brooklyn, league sources told HoopsHype. At last year’s trade deadline, the Raptors offered a first-round pick in an attempt to acquire Claxton and have since kept an eye on the rising center. Nets forward Ben Simmons and several first-round draft picks have also been discussed in trade conversations with the Raptors, league sources told HoopsHype. – via Michael Scotto @ HoopsHype

The Nets have also separately expressed interest in OG Anunoby. – via Michael Scotto @ HoopsHype

ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst stated on the Hoop Collective podcast that the Nets were also intrigued by Raptors forward OG Anunoby, though they were uncertain if they would be able to land him. “I still don’t know what the Raptors are going to do,” said Windhorst. “The Nets are definitely calling the Raptors over the last 24 hours,” replied Zach Lowe. “If the Nets could flip some of this stuff that they got and pry OG Anunoby out of there, you may have something there with the Nets, but I don’t know if they’re going to be able to,” added Windhorst. – via Rory Maher @ Yardbarker.com

Mavericks shopping Tim Hardaway Jr and Christian Wood

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Some of that financial maneuvering could happen before Thursday’s trade deadline. The Mavs have been shopping shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who is owed $34 million over the two remaining years on his contract, since last season, sources told ESPN. That is expected to continue leading up to the deadline, as second-year general manager Nico Harrison hopes to upgrade a 24th-ranked defense that took a significant hit with Finney-Smith’s departure. – via Brian Windhorst @ ESPN

“I’m just trying to stay positive, stay in the moment as much as I can, do whatever I can to help the team that I’m on right now — and hopefully moving forward,” Hardaway told ESPN after Monday’s shootaround in Utah. – via Brian Windhorst @ ESPN

And that fallback plan isn’t exactly a sign that the Mavs are taking extension negotiations with high-scoring center/power forward Christian Wood too seriously. Sources said Wood, who is on an expiring contract, is also being shopped in the trade market. – via Brian Windhorst @ ESPN

Kevin Durant trade unlikely to happen this week?

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Either way, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the Hoop Collective podcast Monday (7:30 mark) that he believes people around the NBA would be surprised if Durant was traded before the Feb. 9 deadline this season: “I’ve been saying since the James Harden trade [last season] that it just feels like the inevitable end of this is that [Durant] asks for a trade a second time, having already done it for the first time. I just don’t know how likely that is, or when it would happen. Around the league, I think there would be some surprise—even within the Nets—if it happened in the next four days. Because that’s an avalanche of stuff happening in a very short amount of time that all of the league needs to prepare for if it becomes a thing.” – via Timothy Rapp @ Bleacher Report

Nick Friedell: KD declined to comment on his way out of Barclays. – via Twitter NickFriedell

Heat trade Dewayne Dedmon to Spurs

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Shams Charania: The Miami Heat are trading center Dewayne Dedmon and a second-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . – via Twitter ShamsCharania

Barry Jackson: Heat received nothing back, beyond cash considerations, in Dedmon trade, per source. Smart move in that it creates more space under tax line to add 2 players to standard contract or one veteran player immediately via trade or signing. – via Twitter flasportsbuzz

Barry Jackson: Heat now is $5 million under tax line, allowing them to take more salary back than they trade out in trade without exceeding tax OR fill two open roster spots without exceeding tax line. They had been less than $200,000 under line before today;2nd rounder sent to Spurs is in 2028 – via Twitter flasportsbuzz

Klay Thompson thinks he will be an All-Star again soon

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CJ Holmes: I asked Klay Thompson if he thinks he deserved to be an All-Star this season. “No” was his response, simply because of Golden State’s record, but said he’ll be an All-Star again before it’s all said and done. Added that he plans on continuing to show up when it matters most. – via Twitter CjHolmes22

StatMuse: Most 40-point games without a free throw attempt all-time: 3 — Klay Nobody else has more than 1. pic.twitter.com/LmdKsXW1oZ – via Twitter statmuse