The Heat have been shopping Wayne Ellington and Josh McRoberts as a package, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical.
Mannix notes that the Heat "appear interested in moving contracts." Ellington has a non-guaranteed $6.3 million salary next season, while McRoberts has a $6.0 million player option. There are zero teams linked to this 'package', for good reason, and we're not reading much into it with the deadline less than 24 hours away.
Justise Winslow (right shoulder) began "very light rehab" during the All-Star break, but he's still expected to miss the rest of the season.
"I think [Winslow] may be arguably the most excited guy in the gym right now," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Patience will be his word. He has to really be methodical in the next step of his recovery." Winslow is 20 years old, and the Heat have no reason to rush his return despite their recent push toward playoff contention. He's not worth owning in re-draft leagues.
Josh Richardson (sprained left foot) is expected to make his return vs. the Hawks on Friday.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra hinted that J-Rich will earn minutes at PG, SG and SF when he returns. "Nothing can be set in concrete with this team," Spoelstra said. "He’s been doing some level of contact now for two weeks ... The team has been able to adjust to guys in and out of the rotation." Richardson missed Miami's past 19 games and owners should temper expectations immediately after the break, but he's in a position to succeed and is a very intriguing pickup in standard leagues.
Paul George said on Wednesday that he would "love to" finish his career with the Pacers, adding that he expects to remain in Indiana through the trade deadline.
"I'm committed here," George said. "Myself and the front office, we've had great talks." Indiana's resident All-Star also said that he was "focused on turning around this team in the second half." The Pacers hold the No. 6 seed in the East, but they went into the All-Star break with a 4-6 record in their past 10 games. PG's owners shouldn't make any preemptive moves based on vague trade chatter.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson prefers to play Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at power forward, but won't rule him out as a small forward.
"If we need minutes at the three, if there's a situation, he could definitely do it," Atkinson said. The takeaway here is that Brooklyn won't be shy about finding him playing time in the season's final weeks, and RHJ is trending up with the Nets focused almost exclusively on player development. Feel free to grab him if you're targeting guys with rest-of-season upside.
The Pistons are reportedly "welcoming offers" for Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
The report goes on to state that Detroit has been most aggressive in trade talks involving Reggie Jackson, whereas they have "not discouraged offers from interested teams" for Drummond and KCP. Stan Van Gundy has proven to be an opportunistic trade-maker, and the Pistons could make a move before the deadline, but right now there aren't any clear fantasy adds.
Rodney Hood (knee) practiced on Wednesday but he's unsure whether he'll be ready for Friday's game vs. the Bucks.
Hood said that his "goal" is to play Friday but he's unsure if that's practical. Players are almost always overly optimistic, which hints that Hood will miss more time after the break. He's been a shaky fantasy option while averaging 28.6 minutes per game this season, and he's struggled to stay healthy, so there isn't much incentive to own him through the deadline in 12-team leagues.
Thon Maker will continue to start at center for the Bucks, according to coach Jason Kidd.
Milwaukee seems to be fully embracing the stretch-five idea after struggling to develop an effective center rotation with John Henson, Greg Monroe, and the recently-traded Miles Plumlee. In seven starts this season, Maker is averaging 7.3 points, 1.3 triples, 3.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks.