Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer answered a handful of questions from Cavaliers fans earlier, pointing out that the team will most likely build through the draft and trades. If they were to find someone in free agency, Boyer opines, the Cavs definitely don't want to overpay in order to land their target. She also doesn't see Dwight Howard being a real option, nor does she think Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge will be available on the trade market. You can find more of her noteworthy points below:
Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW writes that the Mavericks are now in the market for adding a player after severing ties with guard Dominique Jones. Sefko comprises a list including Mike Bibby, Michael Redd, Earl Boykins, and Gilbert Arenas as available veterans who could be worth a look. Among the D-League hopefuls who could warrant an opportunity, Justin Dentmon, Chris Wright, or Sean Singletary come to mind. Sefko rules out the chances of Delonte West making a return to Dallas, citing that the team wouldn't want to reconnect after how badly things ended with him last year. You can find more of tonight's miscellaneous news and notes below:
A roundup of the latest updates on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday evening:
4:22pm: Garnett has not ruled out accepting a trade to Los Angeles, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. The Clippers, who began their efforts to land Garnett with the Bledsoe-Butler package more than two weeks ago, have always been willing to increase their price, Deveney writes.
3:42pm: Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe hears the teams have not discussed Garnett, and that the Clippers don't want to approach the luxury tax line (Twitter link). The Clippers are about $1MM shy of the $70.307MM tax threshold, but acquiring Garnett for Jordan and Bledsoe would save the team money. The other version of the deal, sending out Green, Turiaf and Butler, would likely make the Clippers a taxpayer.
2:51pm: Though Garnett has said he won't waive his no-trade clause under any circumstances, the Clippers are confident they can persuade him to come to L.A. if the Celtics tell him it's a deal they want to make, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
SATURDAY, 10:45am: Sean Deveney of the Sporting News tweets that the Clippers' primary incentive to do the trade is Del Negro's belief that Jordan isn't a championship-caliber center. He writes that the team discussed the possibility of trading for Anderson Varejao before the Cavs' big man's season-ending injury.
FRIDAY, 12:53am: Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro would be willing to do the deal, but the team's front office is "totally against the move," according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Clippers executives would prefer to send out Willie Green, Ronny Turiaf and Caron Butler for Garnett (Twitter links).
12:11am: The Celtics and Clippers have been in consistent contact about a trade that would send Kevin Garnett to L.A. for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, report Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Factions within both teams are debating whether the deal would be the best course of action. This appears to be the latest incarnation of a proposal that would have sent Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Boston for Garnett.
After that rumor surfaced a couple of weeks ago, we heard that Garnett would not waive his no-trade clause unless he was dealt to L.A., which is close to his home in Malibu, Calif., and also unless the Celtics also traded Paul Pierce. While no Pierce trade appears imminent, sources tell Wojnarowski and Spears that Garnett's close relationship with Clippers guard Chauncey Billups could help coax him into accepting the swap.
The Clippers have been reluctant to deal Bledsoe without knowing what Chris Paul will do in free agency this summer, but the team's front office is becoming increasingly confident Paul will re-sign, according to the Yahoo! report. Many within the organization believe Garnett would strengthen the team's title hopes, which explains the team's pursuit. It appears that the Clippers initiated talks of the earlier Garnett-Bledsoe-Butler proposal.
Wojnarowski and Spears point out that acquiring Bledsoe would allow the Celtics to deal away Rajon Rondo without getting a point guard in return, and earlier tonight a report surfaced about a potential Rondo/Dwight Howard swap. As I wrote then, it appears Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is aggressively pursuing his options as Thursday's trade deadline nears. Ainge has reportedly been looking for something to get "really, really excited about" in any deal for Garnett, and it's unclear whether Bledsoe and Jordan would be enough to satisfy that requirement.
From a salary perspective, the deal works out well for the Celtics. It would only add $674,432K to the team's salary, leaving about $2MM under Boston's $74.307MM hard cap, plenty of room to pursue another player to fill out the team's injury-depleted roster. Jordan's four-year, $43MM contract includes a 15% trade kicker, but because it was signed after the league's current CBA went into effect, the Clippers would have to absorb the extra money if they trade their center, and not the team that acquires him.
In his first interview since he underwent surgery for the blood clot in his lung, Anderson Varejao spoke to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports about how lucky he feels to have survived the ordeal. While most of the conversation focused on Varejao's health, the subject of trade rumors surfaced as well, with Varejao telling Spears that he hopes to remain in Cleveland for the rest of his contract.
"If they trade me, they trade me," Varejao said. "I'm happy here. I don't want to be traded."
Varejao was a frequently-discussed trade candidate before he was sidelined by a quadriceps injury and the blood-clot surgery, but as he tells Spears, he hasn't heard his name mentioned in trade talks since going under the knife. With another two years on his contract, which includes a partially-guaranteed 2014/15, the 30-year-old could re-emerge as a trade candidate down the road, but for this month at least, he appears unlikely to be moved.
Even though Varejao probably isn't going anywhere, the Cavs are still expected to be active in trade discussions over the next 10 days, as the team is armed with about $4MM in cap space, along with a handful of expiring contracts.
Bob Finnan of The News-Herald hears that Cavaliers GM Chris Grant could be looking to deal Luke Walton, Daniel Gibson, Omri Casspi (all expiring contracts), or even Marreese Speights (citing ESPN's Marc Stein) by the February trade deadline. He also shared a few more noteworthy tidbits in his NBA Notes piece:
Anderson Varejao will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after developing a blood clot in his lung, the Cavaliers announced today in a press release. The issue surfaced shortly after Varejao had undergone leg surgery that was expected to keep him out of action for six to eight weeks.
"Clearly our players' health is our top concern and we are disappointed for Anderson, and his family," said GM Chris Grant in a statement. "We know what a competitor he is and how much he wants to be on the court helping his teammates. In the meantime, he has our full support and we look forward to welcoming him back as he recovers."
While Varejao is expected to make a full recovery, his absence will hurt the Cavs' on-court prospects this season, with the team likely headed for another high lottery pick. Varejao's latest health issue also figures to rule out the possibility that Cleveland will trade him this season. We've seen sidelined stars moved at the deadline before, such as Andrew Bogut a year ago, but I'd be shocked if the Cavs dealt Varejao while he undergoes treatment for the blood clot.
Because the deadline to apply for a disabled player exception came and went last week, the Cavaliers won't be able to request a DPE for Varejao. However, it wouldn't have been of use for the Cavs anyway, since the team has more room in cap space than the amount such an exception would have been worth ($4.18MM).
Losing Anderson Varejao for a good chunk of the season was a blow to the Cavaliers' on-court prospects and to the team's chances of extracting value for him at the trade deadline, but it wasn't just the Cavs that were adversely affected by Varejao's leg injury. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (Twitter link), earning an All-Star berth would have triggered a $1MM bonus in Varejao's contract. Given the big man's strong performance early in the season (14.1 PPG, 14.4 RPG, 22.0 PER), an All-Star berth appeared well within reach before he was sidelined.
Here are a few more Wednesday morning items out of the Central Division:
Steve Kyler's latest piece for HoopsWorld is packed full of updates on players who could be on the move before this season's trade deadline. Kyler covers plenty of ground in his column, so let's dive right in and round up the highlights....
It’s more than reasonable for the Celtics to consider cashing out on an aging Paul Pierce for young assets to be used towards rebuilding, opines Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld. In another season and a half, the veteran could retire or walk away from Boston with no compensation. His trade value may never be as high as it will be now through the 2013 draft, and this may be the time to act, according to Brigham. Here's more from around the Eastern Conference.
Zach Links of Hoops Rumors also contributed to this post.