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  • NBA trade rumors are heating up.
By Scooby Axson
June 20, 2017

The NBA draft is less than a week away, and teams and prospects are finishing up a busy period of workouts, research and evaluation.

The rumor mill continues to buzz as usual, particularly near the top of the draft, where there are multiple scenarios in play.

The Celtics are already making moves by trading the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, who initially held the No. 3 pick. The 76ers are expected to take Washington guard Markelle Fultz. 

The latest bit of news, which Stephen A. Smith reported, is that the 76ers turned down a Jimmy Butler–No. 3 pick swap.

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Free agency opens July 1 when the new league year turns over and the new collective bargaining agreement comes into effect.

Here’s a look at the latest news and rumors from around the league.

• The Lakers engaged the Kings in talks that would have sent the 2nd overall pick to the Kings for Sacramento's two first-rounders. The Lakers would have then sent one of the Kings’ picks with the 27th & 28th pick along with another player in an offer to Indiana for Paul George. Kings said no. (David Aldridge, TNT)

• Knicks president Phil Jackson isn't ruling out possibility of trading Kristaps Porzingis. Jackson met with potential lottery pick Lauri Markkanen just in case Porzingis is traded. (The Vertical)

• The Knicks, however, have a high asking price for Porzingis that suggest the team may not be serious about getting a deal done. (Chris Mannix, The Vertical, and Zach Lowe, ESPN)

• New York has fielded calls on Porzingis but is not shopping him. (Howard Beck, Bleacher Report)

• The Pacers and Lakers have begun discussing a Paul George trade. (Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, ESPN)

• The Lakers want George but a possible deal gets complicated because the team would like to hold onto the No. 2 overall pick and Brandon Ingram. (Mark Medina, LA Daily News)

• The Clippers, Rockets, Wizards and Cavaliers have also had discussions with the Pacers about George. (Stein)

• There is mutual interest between the Cleveland Cavaliers and former NBA player Chauncey Billups about a possible front-office position. (ESPN.com)

• LeBron James is "disappointed" at former Cavs GM David Griffin's departure and is concerned about the Cavs going forward. (Bleacher Report)

• The Bulls have had talks with the Cavs and Pacers and it seems like he will be traded. (Vincent Goodwill, CSN Chicago)

• Before Griffin’s departure from the team, the Cavs were attempting to do a three-team deal for Jimmy Butler that involved sending Kevin Love to the Suns for the No. 4 pick in the draft. (Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin, ESPN)

• Kyle Lowry is uninterested in returning to Toronto, and the Raptors don’t intend to offer him a five-year deal. Lowry appeared to deny the report on Twitter. (Toronto Star)

• The Bulls and Knicks are both interested in Kansas forward Josh Jackson. Both would likely have to trade up to draft him. (Ramona Shelburne, ESPN)

• San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol will decline his $16.2M option for next season, with the intent to work out a long term deal with the team. The move could free up significant cap space for the Spurs. (The Vertical)

• Spurs forward David Lee is expected to decline his $1.6 million player option for 2017-18. (San Antonio Express-News)

• Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade is leaning toward picking up his $24 million player option to remain with the team next season. (ESPN.com)

• Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says the team believes the player they would have selected with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft will be there when the team picks at No. 3.

• The Los Angeles Lakers are "dangling" guard D’Angelo Russell in an effort to get another lottery pick in the draft. (ESPN.com)

• Detroit Pistons center Aron Baynes declined his $6.5 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent. (The Vertical)

• The Washington Wizards are looking for a way to make a Paul George deal happen. (NBA.com)

• The Lakers are resisting salary dumps on Timofey Mozgov or Luol Deng that are needed to clear future salary cap space. Mozgov has three years and $48 million left on his deal and Deng has three years and $54 million before his deal expires. (The Vertical)

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