Nemanja Dangubic To Sign With Serbian Team

July 30 at 10:55pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Nemanja Dangubic has chosen to sign with Serbian club KK Crvena Zvezda, reports Emilano Carchia of Sportando. The 54th-overall pick in this year’s draft was leaning toward remaining overseas, and he’s reportedly made up his mind and is poised to stick around in Europe for at least one more season.

The Spurs acquired Dangubic from the Sixers after Philly picked him in the second round, and San Antonio will retain the right to sign the guard until he chooses to come stateside. There wouldn’t be much room in the club’s backcourt for Dangubic if he chose to come over this season anyway, so the move is largely unsurprising.

At just 21-years-old, Dangubic will benefit from the additional playing time he’ll find in the Euroleague next season. He’s the latest in a long line of San Antonio’s “draft-and-stash” players.

Wolves, Cavs Ramp Up Kevin Love Talks

July 30 at 9:55pm CDT By Charlie Adams

The question is no longer “if” Kevin Love will be traded to the Cavs, but “when” the deal will actually go down, as the Wolves are no longer in serious talks about Love with any team other than Cleveland, sources tell Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Reports indicated earlier this week that the Bulls had re-emerged as a serious suitor for the All-Star forward, but Stein and Windhorst now hear that Chicago is feeling pessimistic about their chances of putting together a package strong enough to trump a potential Cavs offer. The Warriors, who have also been making a strong push for Love, remain unwilling to include Klay Thompson in any of their proposals, according to Stein and Windhorst.

League sources expect the Wolves to walk away from the Love saga with no less than Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a future first-round selection, write the ESPN.com scribes. The Wolves have long prioritized the acquisition of Wiggins over any of their options. NBA rules prohibit a player from being traded within 30 days of signing a rookie-scale contract, which Wiggins did last week, so the two clubs will have to wait until at least August 23rd before completing what appears to now be the seemingly inevitable deal. Still, sources insisted that the neither side will acknowledge a deal until the 30-day window passes.

The Wolves are determined to unload J.J. Barea‘s contract as part of a Love trade, reveal Stein and Windhorst, who add that Minnesota is open to adding a third team to a deal in order to absorb the guard’s expiring contract. The Wolves reached an agreement to bring aboard Mo Williams yesterday afternoon, and the team is exploring options that would help in a pursuit to acquire Thaddeus Young from the Sixers.

LeBron James is “looking forward” to playing alongside Love, his Olympic teammate, according to the pair of ESPN reporters. Love is poised to opt out of his deal next summer no matter where he ends up for this season, Stein and Windhorst write, but such a move will only be an effort to secure a more lucrative, long-term arrangement, and not necessarily to leave the Cavs should he be traded there. Although Golden State could shake the situation up by putting Thompson on the table in an offer, the Wolves’ fondness of Wiggins, the first pick in this summer’s draft, will likely be too much to overcome, according to Stein and Windhorst. There have been contradictory reports on whether or not the Cavs would be willing to include the Kansas prospect in a trade, but the latest intel seems to suggest they’re open to doing so if they can bring in Love.

Byron Mullens To Sign With Chinese Team

July 30 at 8:34pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Byron Mullens has reached an agreement to sign with the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association, reveals a report from Sina.com (translation via Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). Mullens hit the free agent market in late June after turning down a minimum salary player option that would have kept him with the Sixers for the 2014/15 season.

After a lackluster start to his 2013/14 campaign with the Clippers, Mullens was shipped to Philadelphia and put up respectable numbers, albeit while seeing limited action. Mullens averaged 16.7 minutes per night over the course of 18 games, putting up nightly marks of 6.8 points and 3.3 boards.

The Wasserman Media Group client didn’t seem to draw much attention from NBA teams this offseason, as evidenced by the lack of activity found on his Hoops Rumors rumor page. It remains to be seen if there’s an NBA escape clause in the big man’s contract that could bring him back to the US should a stateside club show interest. The CBA’s regular season ends in February, so Mullens could still be a late season addition to a team if he indeed lacks an NBA-out in his deal. The length of the new pact hasn’t been disclosed.

Raptors To Sign Will Cherry

July 30 at 7:39pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Raptors have agreed in principle to sign Will Cherry to a two-year minimum deal, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). It had been previously reported that both Toronto and the Cavaliers were interested in the guard’s services. Cherry went undrafted out of Montana in 2013, and he wasn’t in an NBA training camp last fall.

The 6’1″ 23-year-old averaged 12.8 PPG and 4.0 RPG while logging  25.3 minutes per contest in five games for the Cavs Summer League team in Las Vegas. Cherry also played for the Cavs’ D-League affiliate last season, when he provided 11.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 4.5 APG in 30.4 MPG.

The Raptors currently have 13 guaranteed contracts on their roster and Cherry will provide depth in the backcourt, primarily behind Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez at the point guard position.

Pat Riley On Heat Offseason

July 30 at 7:25pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Heat President Pat Riley spoke to reporters today via a teleconference in regards to Miami’s offseason, losing LeBron James to the Cavaliers, and the franchise’s prospects for the upcoming season and beyond. Ira WInderman of the Sun Sentinel recapped the interview, and here are some of the highlights:

Discussing his re-tooled roster:

I feel very good about where we are right now, at this moment, with the 12 guys under contract. Unlike a lot of the prognosticators . . . I feel with all the conversations I’ve had with these players, that we’re going to be up to the challenge.”

On the departure of James:

You recover. I don’t want to go back in history, but after 45 years of being in the league, I think I’ve been around 15 transcendent players that walked out the door . . . and you move on. We were shocked, but we recovered. It was a tough blow to take, but we’ve recovered very well, and I think we will continue to recover.”

Discussing his plan entering this year’s free agency period:

I went in with the notion that he [LeBron] was coming back. So I was selling it to players. I let him know that prior to free agency, that was the direction I was going. He never said to me, ‘Don’t do that‘.”

Discussing re-signing Dwyane Wade despite his recent injury history:

When it comes to Dwyane, we’re just going to see where we are with him. And we think with what he’s done this summer, there’s the possibility of Dwyane can return to where he was before he ceded a good part of his game to LeBron, and the same thing with Chris.”

On re-signing Chris Bosh:

He’s the most versatile big man in the NBA. And that’s what the market was for him, and Micky [Arison] stepped up to the plate. . . . I’ll be [expletive] if I was going to let him walk out the door.”

On signing Luol Deng late in the free agency rush:

I think the first day that I met with him, I truly believe if we could have signed him, he would have signed. At that time, we were an exception team. We were sort of dealing with the thought we were an exception team. . . . So that discussion had to take a number of meandering roads. But he knew that we wanted him, that we would do whatever we could to get him.”

Bucks Sign Johnny O’Bryant

July 30 at 6:40pm CDT By Chuck Myron

6:40pm: O’Bryant’s deal is for three years, with the third year being a team option, reports Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

5:02pm: The Bucks have signed Johnny O’Bryant, the 36th pick in this year’s draft, the team announced. Exact terms of the contract were not announced. He’ll compete for playing time with Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson, though O’Bryant seems destined to spend significant time in the NBA D-League this season to help him develop.

The 6’9″ power forward had appeared in five games for the Bucks during Summer League play in Las Vegas, where he averaged 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per contest. He saved his best game for last, when he posted 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors Summer League entry.

O’Bryant played for three seasons at LSU, where he averaged 12.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 1.3 APG for his career. He earned First Team All-SEC honors in 2013 and 2014.

Todd Mayo Leaving Marquette To Turn Pro

July 30 at 5:34pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Todd Mayo, the younger brother of NBA player O.J. Mayo, plans to leave Marquette University before his upcoming senior season and pursue professional basketball in the NBA D-League, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Mayo intends to enter next June’s NBA Draft, Charania writes. Mayo is currently not ranked by either Chad Ford of ESPN.com or Draft Express.

According to Charania, Mayo, 23, has received support from his family and the university in deciding to leave school. Marquette officials are expected to make an official announcement within the next two days, notes Charania. Of his decision, Mayo said, “I’m looking forward to the D-League and just learning and getting better.”

In his junior season, Mayo was Marquette’s third-leading scorer at 11.3 PPG, and shot 46.1 percent from the field. The 6-foot-3 guard played 30 games a season ago and was projected as a starter this coming year.

Kings To Sign Omri Casspi

July 30 at 5:05pm CDT By Cray Allred

JULY 30TH: It’ll be a guaranteed deal, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com.

JULY 25TH: The Kings are finalizing a one-year contract at the league minimum with Omri Casspi, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Casspi somewhat surprisingly cleared waivers earlier today, as the Kings had reportedly planned to put in a claim. It nonetheless appears as though they maintained interest, and the feeling had been mutual for Casspi, who spoke in recent days of his fondness for a return to Sacramento.

Signing the Dan Fegan client for just one year at the minimum, as opposed to claiming his two-year contract off waivers, will save the team enough money to keep it beneath the luxury tax line. The Kings had been at $75,852,705 in team salary, according to the latest estimates from Basketball Insiders, just $976,295 shy of the tax threshold. Casspi will make $1,063,384 as a five-year veteran at the minimum salary, but Sacramento will only be on the hook for the portion equivalent to the two-year veteran’s minimum of $915,243, since it’s a one-year contract. The league will pick up the tab for the rest.

That provision only applies to one-year deals, so if the Kings had claimed Casspi’s two-year contract off waivers, they would have had to pay his full salary, pushing them into tax territory and likely prompting the team to waive or trade Quincy Acy. Sacramento and Acy this week agreed to push back the date upon which his salary would become fully guaranteed so the club could explore its options.

Casspi’s camp is quite pleased with the agreement that will bring him back to the team with which he spent his first two NBA seasons, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. The native of Israel averaged 9.5 points in 24.5 minutes per game with 37.1% shooting as a King, but those numbers dropped precipitously when a trade sent him to Cleveland. He rebounded this past season with the Rockets, but the Pelicans nonetheless saw fit to let him go soon after they acquired him as part of the Omer Asik trade.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Warriors Waive Hilton Armstrong

July 30 at 4:56pm CDT By Chuck Myron

4:56pm: Golden State has officially placed Armstrong on waivers, the team announced via press release.

4:23pm: The Warriors are waiving center Hilton Armstrong, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Armstrong’s minimum-salary deal has been to set to become fully guaranteed if the team doesn’t waive him by the end of Friday, but it appears Golden State will do so.

The 29-year-old signed four different contracts this past season with the Warriors, who first added him in December and later inked him to a pair of 10-day deals. They secured him for the balance of the season with a week to go before the playoffs, tacking on the non-guaranteed 2014/15 salary. It was the first NBA action in three years for the former No. 12 overall pick, but he saw fewer than 100 minutes in the regular season. He made it into all seven games of Golden State’s playoff series against the Clippers, but he only saw 17 total minutes across those appearances.

The move gives the hard-capped Warriors some extra wiggle room, as they had been roughly $4.5MM beneath the tax line and $8.5MM under the tax threshold, the latter of which is the line they can’t cross. That room will come in handy if the team, which has been involved in Kevin Love talks, needs to accommodate salary in a trade. The Warriors can open up nearly another $1MM if they waive Draymond Green by the end of Friday, but they’ll almost certainly not do that.

Heat Re-Sign Chris Bosh

July 30 at 4:39pm CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 30TH: The deal is finally official, the team announced, after Bosh spent much of the month traveling overseas.

“Chris Bosh is a two-time NBA champion and one of the most versatile big men in the league,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “His unique skillset makes him one of the best players in the game today. I’ve always felt he was committed to this organization, this staff and this city. I think he’s going to have the opportunity of a lifetime leading this team next season and having the nine-time NBA All-Star back in the fold was a big key for us. We are very blessed to have him.”

JULY 11TH: The Heat and Chris Bosh are finalizing an agreement on a five-year deal for the maximum salary, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The Rockets believed they would get Bosh to commit to their offer of the maximum, which by rule was only for four years, with lower annual raises, but the Henry Thomas client ultimately spurned Houston to remain with the Heat. The new max deal will include a starting salary of $20,644,400, and total $118,705,300 over the life of the contract.

NBA: Finals-San Antonio Spurs at Miami HeatBosh and his wife love living Miami, and their affection for South Florida was a strong factor in the decision, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. It’s a major victory for the Heat and team president Pat Riley, who’ll know the team will at least keep one of its three stars after LeBron James bolted for the Cavs. The Lakers and Bosh reportedly had mutual interest, too, but ultimately it came down to a decision between the Rockets and Heat.

Before the Rockets made their push, Bosh seemed like a strong bet to return to Miami, having said publicly that he would return. Still, that seemed to hinge on the return of LeBron, and when he left for Cleveland, Bosh seemed destined to follow the four-time MVP out of Miami.

Instead, the Heat will retain the No. 3 player in the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings. As Charlie Adams of Hoops Rumors wrote when he examined Bosh’s free agent stock, Bosh had plenty of leverage to secure a lucrative payday in a destination of his choice after establishing himself as an athletic force defensively and a versatile scorer.

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