Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors

Corey Brewer Back On Trade Block

December 18 at 6:58pm CST By Eddie Scarito

6:58pm: The discussions between Houston and Minnesota include the possibility of Ronny Turiaf heading to the Rockets as well, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.com tweets.

THURSDAY, 6:20pm: The Rockets are involved in trade talks with the Wolves regarding Brewer and hope to have an agreement in place by Friday, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reports.

WEDNESDAY, 8:25pm: The Timberwolves have placed veteran swingman Corey Brewer back on the trade block, Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com report. Minnesota, which has been hit hard by injuries and is dead last in the Western Conference with a record of 5-19, are again engaging contending teams in discussions for Brewer. The Rockets, Cavaliers, and Clippers are the franchises most interested in acquiring Brewer, Windhorst and Stein note. The Heat have also been mentioned as being interested in the swingman’s services.

Minnesota had made Brewer available in trade talks back in November, but then pulled hm off of the trade market, with team president Flip Saunders saying that the 28-year-old defensive whiz was “too valuable to trade.” This was due in part to the loss of Kevin Martin to a broken wrist, and Ricky Rubio to an ankle injury, which left Minnesota rather thin in its backcourt, note the ESPN scribes. Saunders had acknowledged last week that the Wolves had switched their focus from retooling to rebuilding in light of the rash of injuries and their poor record, which explains why Brewer is suddenly being made available again.

Houston and Cleveland remain in the best position to make a deal because both teams possess an active trade exception large enough to absorb Brewer’s $4.7MM salary, note Stein and Windhorst. But their sources say that the Wolves are seeking a future first-round pick in exchange for Brewer, something that the Cavaliers are reluctant to surrender. Both the Rockets and the Cavs could certainly benefit from Brewer’s strong perimeter defense and versatility.

As for the Rockets, Houston hopes to sell Minnesota on trading Brewer for the Knicks’ 2015 second-rounder that the Rockets hold the rights to, which is a pick with the potential to be attractive come June given the Knicks’ ongoing struggles, Stein and Windhorst add.

For his part, Brewer would likely welcome a trade since he admitted last week that he wasn’t too keen on going through another rebuild with the Wolves. “It’s tough for me, I’m not going to lie,” Brewer said. “When I came back here, I wasn’t expecting this, to rebuild again. It comes with the territory. It’s business. It’s basketball. It’s what I love to do. So I wake up every day and I come to work.”

For the season, Brewer has appeared in 24 games for Minnesota, including 16 as a starter. He is averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 28.3 minutes of action per contest.

And-Ones: Lopez, Matthews, Kings

December 16 at 10:27pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Though there don’t appear to be any deals currently imminent, there is a tremendous amount of trade discussions going on amongst teams currently, far beyond the traditional mid-December volume, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter links). According to Wojnarowski, the most active franchises in terms of discussions are the Celtics, Pistons, Suns, Timberwolves, Hornets, Clippers, Pacers, Nets, Nuggets, and Rockets.

Here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Robin Lopez‘s broken right hand will likely keep him out longer than expected. While the initial prognostication was that the Blazers big man would miss four weeks, Lopez tweeted (hat tip to The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman) that it would be six to seven weeks before he would be back on the hardwood again.
  • The Cavs have made numerous attempts to work out a trade with the Blazers for Wesley Matthews, but barring an unexpected free fall in the standings, Portland isn’t expected to deal the swingman, Chris Haynes of The Northwest Ohio Media Group writes. Matthews will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, but the Blazers have every intention of re-signing him, Haynes adds.
  • The Kings‘ firing of Mike Malone may provide an unexpected benefit to the franchise, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders writes. Many expect the Kings to regress under interim coach Tyrone Corbin, and if that occurs the team should be able to hold onto its 2015 first-rounder. Sacramento’s 2015 first round draft pick is owed to the Bulls if it falls outside of the top 10.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Celtics, Stephenson

December 16 at 9:14pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Despite the Pistons‘ struggles thus far this season, team owner Tom Gores is happy with the direction that team president Stan Van Gundy has the franchise heading, David Mayo of MLive.com writes. “The hardest part for me actually was Stan wants to win so bad,” Gores said. “He genuinely just wants for us to make progress. So the hardest part for me is I know everybody’s working hard, and when you’re not winning, and you’re working hard, it’s kind of tough. Maybe it’s not going to show on the court every night, but I’m personally so comfortable that he’s doing the right things every single day, and eventually, it’s going to convert to wins.”

Here’s more from the East:

  • The multitude of injuries the Heat have endured this season will test Pat Riley‘s patience and willingness not to sacrifice future cap space for a quick fix, Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report writes. Although, Miami’s lack of tradeable assets might make Riley’s decision easier than it would be otherwise, Skolnick adds.
  • Based on the Celtics‘ current record (8-14) and their roster composition, it’s far more likely for them to be sellers than buyers on the trade market, Brian Robb of Boston.com writes. Brandon Bass and Jeff Green are especially likely targets since the pair are putting up strong offensive numbers over the first quarter of the season, notes Robb.
  • As tempting as it may be for the Cavs to take a run at acquiring Lance Stephenson from the Hornets, Cleveland should steer clear of the mercurial player, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Fedor asserts that Stephenson’s selfish attitude and disruptive locker room personality would far outweigh any good his skills would bring to the Cavs.
  • There will be numerous complications involved for the Hornets in trying to rid themselves of Stephenson, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. This is a situation that might require patience, notes Bonnell, since teams often don’t get serious about making an equitable deal until the trade deadline is near.

Eastern Notes: Magic, Nets, Heat, Cavs

December 14 at 2:45pm CST By Chris Crouse

The Magic are only two games back in the race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference after their win against the Hawks on Saturday and forward Tobias Harris credits head coach Jacque Vaughn for the team’s improvement, writes Ken Hornack of Fox Sports Florida. “Coach got on us before the game about sharing the basketball and getting everybody else involved and being unselfish,” Harris said after he hit the game winner. “And that’s what we did, and that’s why we were able to be successful.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets have had their share of injuries this season but the team’s synergy is the reason they have remained in the playoff hunt, writes Roderick Boone of Newsday. Reserve big man Mason Plumlee certainly believes the team is playing well despite the hindrances. “I thought our offense looked great, man,” said Plumlee, who is averaging 16.2 minutes per game this season. “Everybody is going to talk about how well we shot it, but I thought it was because we were moving the ball, we were shooting in rhythm within the offense, and there’s a reason we shot a high percentage tonight. So hopefully we can carry that forward.” Brooklyn currently sits at eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-12.
  • Although many of the team’s players will become trade-eligible on December 15th, the date that most offseason additions become movable, the Heat do not have many assets to improve the team, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.  Winderman notes that trading any key player that was signed this summer would signal a failed offseason, which is something team president Pat Riley is unlikely to do. Because of this, Winderman projects Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts to remain on the roster through this season.
  • GM David Griffin is looking to make a deal and the Cavs need an athletic swingman who can defend, according to Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. With the team in no hurry to deal guard Dion Waiters due to his improved play over the last few weeks, Cleveland’s lack of assets may keep the team from bringing in a game-changer via trade. Finnan suggests signing Andrei Kirilenko as a possible solution since the Sixers are likely to waive him. However, the opportunity to sign the Russian forward may not exist until late in the season due to Kirilenko being absent from the league because of family issues.

Central Notes: McDermott, Mirotic, Waiters

December 14 at 10:56am CST By Chris Crouse

Doug McDermott will likely be sidelined for six to eight weeks following surgery by team physicians to repair a small meniscus tear in his right knee, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago tribune (Twitter link).  Before the injury, McDermott was off to a slow start to the season averaging just 3.2 points per game in 11.6 minutes per game for the Bulls.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • A series of injuries on the Bulls have created an opportunity for Nikola Mirotic and he has thrived in his increased role, writes Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald. Mirotic’s teammates are certainly noticing the stellar play of the forward. “Niko, he doesn’t know how good he is right now,” Derrick Rose said. “He can rebound, he can cut, he can pass. I don’t know what he can’t do on the floor.” Mirotic is shooting 43.9% from the field in 17.7 minutes per game during his rookie campaign.
  • Cavs guard Dion Waiters chalks up his improved play to an attitude adjustment, writes Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Waiters’ role and minutes on the team have fluctuated and he was the subject of trade talks earlier this season. The up-and-down playing time clearly bothered the former fourth overall pick. “I would be mad before I even got in the game,” Waiters told Haynes. “I was mad, [but] it is what it is.” Now, Waiters is more understanding of his role in Cleveland and understands the team’s intention is to help him improve. “I was just fighting myself, man,” Waiters said. “That’s what I was doing. I just left it alone. I’m going to make the best of it. I’ve got good people in my corner who actually care for me. I’ll be good.”
  • Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the most improved sophomores in the league, opines Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. Coach Jason Kidd believes Antetokounmpo’s increase in free-throw attempts have been key to his success. “He’s learning how to play without having to score the ball, say shooting threes or shooting jump shots. He can live at the free-throw line. Some of the top players in this league, that’s what they do,” said Kidd. The forward has already shot 98 free-throw attempts in just 24 games this season after only shooting 202 attempts in 77 games last year.

Clippers, Grizzlies, Warriors In Hunt For Ray Allen

December 13 at 8:18pm CST By Chuck Myron

8:18pm: Doc Rivers said the Clippers are also interested in Allen, tweets Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. Los Angeles had expressed an interest in Allen over the summer, but Rivers said in October that Allen wasn’t a candidate to join the team.

SATURDAY, 3:28pm: Allen’s agent, Jim Tanner, confirmed that their is a wide range of interest in his client around the league, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. In addition to the previously mentioned teams, the Grizzlies have also expressed interest in the veteran free agent, Charania notes.

4:00pm: Warriors GM Bob Myers told 95.7 The Game today that Golden State did reach out to Allen’s representatives, but Allen isn’t sure about what he wants to do, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group tweets.

THURSDAY, 9:01am: Ray Allen‘s name has drawn mention as the Warriors have engaged in internal discussions about their roster, according to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link). The Warriors have been evaluating their options regarding their backcourt, Kawakami also tweets, though it’s unclear if they’re looking at bringing in someone new or just thinking about giving more minutes to players who are already on their roster. Golden State is a league-best 19-2, so it doesn’t seem there’d be much of a rush to make changes, though the Warriors’ position as a legitimate title threat no doubt gives them a leg up with sought-after free agents.

The 39-year-old Allen has lingered on the free agent market since July as he’s mulled whether to play again or retire. The Cavs, Wizards, Bulls and Spurs were among seven teams that still reportedly had interest in signing Allen as of late last month. Multiple reports from the past few weeks have cast the Cavs as the favorites to land the league’s all-time leading three-point maker should he decide to return to the NBA, echoing similar reports since the summer and an apparent belief that Cleveland’s front office had maintained into the fall. Still, Allen and agent Jim Tanner have shot down several rumors and have consistently maintained that Allen has yet to make up his mind. A report last week indicated that Allen has let teams know that he’ll entertain offers in January and decide about his future in February.

Allen said this summer that he wanted to play for an experienced coach, and while he didn’t rule out playing for the minimum salary, he made it clear that he’s not keen on the idea. That would appear to put the Warriors at a disadvantage should they pursue him, since Steve Kerr is in his first season as a head coach and Golden State is limited to the minimum salary. Kerr is nonetheless the first rookie coach in NBA history to win 19 out of his first 21 games. The Warriors are also one of the few teams in the NBA with an open roster spotLeandro Barbosa and Justin Holiday are on partially guaranteed deals that are de facto non-guaranteed arrangements, since both have earned in excess of the amount of their partial guarantees. Holiday has seen little playing time this season, and Barbosa, who’s averaged 13.6 minutes per game this year, didn’t see action in the second half Wednesday, Kawakami notes (on Twitter).

Multiple NBA Teams Eyeing Jermaine O’Neal

December 12 at 4:43pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Free agent Jermaine O’Neal has been has been weighing his options on whether to return to the court this season or simply call it a career, in a situation similar to that of Ray Allen. Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reports that O’Neal is likely to make his decision in January. If O’Neal does indeed decide to return to the hardwood for his 19th season in the league, he’ll have no shortage of suitors, Stein reports in a separate tweet. According to Stein, numerous contending teams would be interested in adding O’Neal to their rosters, including the Warriors, Cavs, Clippers, and Mavericks.

O’Neal had a solid season in Golden State last year, averaging 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in a little over 20 minutes per contest, which was good for a respectable 15.3 PER rating. His career averages are 13.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 1.8 BPG.

Golden State would seemingly have a leg up on the competition for O’Neal’s services, since the team has been in regular contact with O’Neal since the 2013/14 campaign came to a close. Although, back in September, GM Bob Myers intimated that his team would be content to stick with Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, and Ognjen Kuzmic at the pivot. But with Golden State out to a blistering 19-2 start to the season, which is tops in the NBA, returning to Oakland would seemingly be more appealing than ever for O’Neal. It would also be a wise move on the franchise’s part given Bogut’s injury history. Golden State also happens to have an available roster slot, so the team wouldn’t need to release a player to accommodate signing O’Neal.

Out of the rest of the contending teams mentioned in Stein’s tweet, Cleveland could also be an intriguing proposition for O’Neal, though the Cavs would need to release a player to be able to sign him. With the Cavs gunning for a title this season, as well as badly needing interior help, O’Neal may look at the easier path to the NBA Finals in the East as a viable alternative to returning to Golden State.

Sixers Acquire Andrei Kirilenko

December 11 at 12:42pm CST By Eddie Scarito

NBA: Preseason-Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets

12:40pm: The Sixers also receive cash, as Philadelphia announced in its press release. The 2018 second-rounder that the Sixers would send to Brooklyn if the teams swapped second-round picks that year would be Cleveland’s pick, the Sixers also note.

THURSDAY, 12:28pm: The trade is official, the Nets announced via press release. The Sixers get Kirilenko, Gutierrez, Brooklyn’s 2020 second-round pick and the right to swap 2018 second-rounders. The Nets receive Davies, and Brooklyn’s statement also confirms the creation of a pair of trade exceptions. The statement values them at $3.4MM and $916K, respectively, but it would appear as though they’re actually worth precisely $3,326,235 and $816,482, the equivalents of the salaries for Kirilenko and Gutierrez, respectively. The Nets can use them to trade for players with salaries of up to $100K more than those amounts any time between now and a year from today.

WEDNESDAY, 8:18pm: The Sixers and Nets have agreed to a trade that would send Andrei Kirilenko to Philadelphia, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. Also heading to the Sixers is the Nets’ 2020 second round pick, the right to swap second-rounders in 2018, and cash. In return the Nets will receive Brandon Davies. The deal is expected to be finalized on Thursday, and Brooklyn is also likely to send another minor player to the Sixers as well, Wojnarowski notes in a separate tweet. That player might be Jorge Gutierrez, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily reports (Twitter link).

Philadelphia is expected to waive Kirilenko and his guaranteed salary, worth more than $3.3MM. The Nets will save themselves nearly $12MM in salary and tax payments as a result of the deal, not counting Davies’ non-guaranteed salary of $816,482. Brooklyn isn’t planning on waiving him immediately, and will give Davies a look, reports Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter links). The Nets are also working on signing a free agent wing player in addition to this trade, Bondy adds.

The 33-year-old Russian’s future is unclear, since Kirilenko has been dealing with undisclosed family issues that kept him away from the Nets, as well as clouded the trade talk surrounding him since it was unclear if he would be willing and able to report to any team that acquired him. The Jazz have been mentioned as potential suitors, though today’s signing of Patrick Christopher increased Utah’s roster count to the league-maximum fifteen players, which means the team would need to make a roster move to accommodate Kirilenko if it was still interested in his services. Wojnarowski’s article also lists the Cavs and the Clippers as teams that may be interested in signing Kirilenko.

In 12 NBA seasons, Kirilenko has averaged 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. His career slash line is .474/.310/.754. He appeared in just seven games for Brooklyn this season, logging just 0.4 points in 5.1 minutes per contest.

The 23-year-old Davies is in his second season in the NBA after going undrafted out of BYU in 2013. His career numbers are 3.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game. His shooting numbers are .417/.225/.640.

Nets, Sixers Revisit Andrei Kirilenko Talks

December 9 at 3:47pm CST By Chuck Myron

3:47pm: It could be months before Kirilenko will be prepared to sign a deal with another team should the Nets trade him and the Sixers waive him, Wojnarowski writes in a full story. The Nets would probably receive a player on a non-guaranteed contract if they and the Sixers were to agree to a trade, though that remains a matter of discussion, the Yahoo! Scribe adds. Wojnarowski implies that the Nets are the team that’s making the harder push to complete the deal, though that’s just my interpretation.

2:55pm: The Nets and Sixers are again trying to come to terms on a deal that would send Andrei Kirilenko to Philadelphia, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The Nets would give up a second-round pick as a sweetener, Wojnarowski says in a second tweet, though it’s unclear what Philly would relinquish. The Sixers would waive Kirilenko and his guaranteed salary, worth more than $3.3MM, if they were to acquire him, Wojnarowski adds, mirroring last month’s report from Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com, who originally reported the talks. Such an exchange would save Brooklyn nearly $12MM in salary and tax payments, assuming the Nets don’t take a guaranteed salary back in return, Wojnarowski notes (Twitter link).

A family matter involving Kirilenko’s wife was to have made any deal unlikely until the February trade deadline drew closer, as Wojnarowski reported a little more than a week ago. However, Wojnarowski’s latest dispatch and another recent rumor dredging up talk that the Jazz were in play for the 33-year-old seem to indicate that there’s momentum for a deal to happen soon. The discussions with Philadelphia, which Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com originally reported last month, represent Brooklyn’s only deal in the works at the moment, Wojnarowski adds. That’s in spite of the Jazz rumor and today’s report indicating that the Nets are willing to trade Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.

Talks between the club never truly appeared to cease, as Wojnarowski wrote earlier this month, though it appeared at that point that they no longer involved Sergey Karasev, who was involved in the discussions that Youngmisuk reported in November. Reports have indicated that the Cavs and Clippers also hold interest in Kirilenko. He received limited playing time early in the season and hasn’t appeared in a game since November 13th, though he’s returned to practice with the club after an absence of a few days, apparently to deal with the family issue. He doesn’t join the team for road trips, however. The Nets have reportedly been seeking a defensive-minded wing player for a while, so it’s somewhat odd that they would be anxious to unload Kirilenko, who’s made his mark primarily on the defensive end over the course of his career.

Clippers, Heat Showed Interest In Corey Brewer

December 9 at 3:18pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Clippers and Heat were among the teams that expressed interest in Corey Brewer when the Wolves were reportedly in active discussions last month about trading the swingman, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt tweets. It’s unclear whether those teams continue to eye Brewer. The Rockets and Cavs were apparently the most serious suitors, and Houston emerged as the team most likely to acquire the 28-year-old former No. 7 overall pick before talks appeared to die down.

Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders suggested last month that Brewer was too valuable for his injury-wracked team to trade, and Brewer rumors largely ceased from that point on. Saunders hinted today that the team has gone into rebuilding mode because of the injuries, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (Twitter links), though it’s unclear if that changes the dynamic involving Brewer. The Happy Walters client makes $4.703MM this season and has a player option worth $4.703MM for next season that teams interested in trading for him would strongly prefer him to waive, as Zillgitt reported last month.

The Clippers, who also apparently have some level of interest in Andrei Kirilenko, would have to be careful to match salaries with the Wolves, since they’re perilously close to their hard cap. The Heat have greater flexibility, though they’re roughly $4MM shy of the luxury tax line. Brewer’s numbers have been off this season, as I examined Monday when I looked at his trade candidacy, though I urged Saunders to move quickly toward a deal if interest remains strong.