Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal debunks the misconception that the Cavaliers will be forced to spend big in free agency this summer as a result of the NBA's minimum team salary floor requirement. Next season, teams will be required to spend at least 90 percent of the league's salary cap number next year. Although Cleveland's total amount of committed salaries could fall short of that number, Lloyd points out that the Cavs will be allowed to make up for the difference by dispersing the remaining required amount to its players. Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- After initial struggles, Jeff Green appears to be looking more like the player the Celtics envisioned when they inked him to a 4-year, $36MM deal this summer, says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com
- Brook Lopez's recovery from a sprained right foot hasn't progressed as quickly as the Nets have hoped, writes Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York.
- Count George Karl among those who thinks that Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is primed to eventually win an NBA title (Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York reports).
- Pacers head coach Frank Vogel is considering more playing time for guard Ben Hansbrough and forward Jeff Pendergraph at the expense of those who have been struggling in Indiana's current second unit lately.
- Several of HoopsWorld's analysts weighed in on who they feel are the most surprising teams in the NBA thus far. Out of the Eastern conference, they referenced the Knicks' dominance, the Bobcats' improvement compared to last season, and the Raptors' difficulty in living up to expectations.
- Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times says that the ticket to Bulls forward Jimmy Butler earning playing time has been his defensive versatility.
- John Denton of NBA.com examines the niche that Moe Harkless has found with coach Jacque Vaughn, who likes the progression his rookie has made in the starting rotation. Denton also provides a minor update the current statuses of Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington, saying that while Turkoglu still appears to be out indefinitely, Harrington could return in the next two weeks.
- Raptors guard Alan Anderson went through his workout today without any pain and believes that he is one practice away from returning (Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun reports).