Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors

Bulls Offer Gibson, Mirotic, McDermott For Love

July 23 at 11:32am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Bulls are offering a package of Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott for Kevin Love, as a source confirms to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (on Twitter). Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com was the first to report the offer. Sheridan hears the Wolves like Chicago’s package best among those on the table, but Wolfson contends that Minnesota would prefer a deal that nets them Andrew Wiggins from the Cavs (Twitter link).

Still, there’s confusion around the league about why the Wolves haven’t agreed to a deal with the Cavs if Wiggins is truly available, Grantland’s Zach Lowe tweets. Some close to the situation said prior to the report of Chicago’s offer that Love would likely wind up with the Bulls, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick (on Twitter).

The general belief has been that the Wolves would seek Gibson, Jimmy Butler and other assets from the Bulls, as Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported Tuesday, and Wolfson noted at the time that the Wolves are high on McDermott, too. Neither McDermott nor Mirotic can officially be traded until the middle of next month, since both signed their rookie contracts in the past few days. That’s true of Mirotic even though he didn’t sign a rookie scale contract. The same complication will exist regarding Wiggins once Cleveland signs him, as expected.

Amick heard yesterday from the Cleveland camp that the Wolves still weren’t showing urgency to complete a deal for Love (Twitter link). In the same vein, the Bulls have continually told Gibson not to worry about trade rumors, as Gibson told reporters today, including K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). The Warriors and Nuggets also reportedly remain in the mix for the All-Star power forward as the Wolves seek the involvement of a third team and clubs line up to help make any Love swap a multiteam transaction.

Possible Third Teams Emerging For Love Trade

July 23 at 10:08am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Sixers, Nuggets and Celtics are among the clubs trying to get involved as a third team in a Kevin Love swap, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. A deal involving Love is unlikely to involve just two teams, a source tells Deveney. The Nuggets and Celtics are still attempting to acquire Love themselves, but they have interest in acting merely as facilitators, too, with Boston looking to part with draft picks in return for a player who can help the team this coming season.

The Sixers would like to fold Thaddeus Young into the deal, Deveney adds, advancing reports from overnight. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune suggested that it wouldn’t be surprising if Young ends up in Minnesota, while there are whispers that the Sixers have strong interest in Cavs guard Dion Waiters, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

The Cavs became willing at some point this past weekend to include Andrew Wiggins in a deal for Love, and the Wolves like the packages they’re discussing with Cleveland better than what other teams have on the table, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press explains. Still, the 30-day waiting period that would take place once Wiggins signs his contract with Cleveland has the teams on edge, and with the Wolves also looking at bringing a third club into the mix, the balancing act could cause a deal to unravel, Krawczynski adds (All four Twitter links).

Minnesota is also high on what Golden State can put together for Love, providing that the Warriors relent and allow Klay Thompson into such a deal, and the Nuggets’ bid for Love would be next on the Wolves’ list. The Bulls also appear to be making another run at the All-Star power forward, while the Celtics seemingly remain on the fringes.

Sixers Remain Interested In Dion Waiters

July 23 at 8:43am CDT By Chuck Myron

There are whispers around the league that the Sixers have a strong interest in Cavs shooting guard Dion Waiters, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. It’s unclear whether it’s also connected to the chatter Amico is hearing about a third team becoming involved in a deal that would send Kevin Love to Cleveland, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Thaddeus Young end up in Minnesota, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (on Twitter).

The Sixers reportedly had interest in acquiring Waiters when trade rumors surrounded the Philadelphia native late last year, and Waiters seemingly reciprocated that interest, with eyes on becoming the go-to guy in his hometown. Still, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wanted to keep the former No. 4 overall pick, so no deal came to fruition. Waiters nonetheless remained in rumors, and he was apparently part of talks with the Jazz prior to the draft. The 22-year-old, who’ll make $4.062MM on the third year of his rookie deal this coming season, reportedly believes there’s a strong chance he’ll be traded, one way or another.

Young has consistently been in trade rumors, too, and the 26-year-old has said it’s a possibility that he’ll ask the team to trade him. However, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie said after the draft that he anticipated that the combo forward would remain with Philadelphia. Young’s salary of more than $9.4MM for this coming season would help for matching purposes in a trade in which Minnesota not only sends out Love, but also Kevin Martin and J.J. Barea, a pair whom the team also appears interested in trading.

Cavs Acquire Three In Swap With Jazz

July 22 at 7:21pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

7:21pm: The Cavaliers have officially announced the deal, per team press release.

7:16pm: Out of the three players heading to Cleveland, Minnesota actually had some interest in Murphy after he was waived by the Bulls last season, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

7:03pm: The pick that Utah will receive in the deal will be a 2015 second rounder from Cleveland, tweets Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune.

6:21pm: According to one Cavs source, Cleveland likes Lucas, Thomas, and Murphy and doesn’t necessarily view them as stepping stones to a bigger deal, tweets Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.

6:00pm: The Jazz are expected to trade the non-guaranteed contracts of John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas, and Erik Murphy to the Cavaliers for Carrick Felix, a future second rounder, and $1MM, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Felix’s contract is guaranteed for $816K in 2014/15, whereas Lucas III, Thomas, and Murphy combined for roughly $3.3MM in non-guaranteed deals for the upcoming season. Wojnarowski adds that Cleveland had been looking to make this type of deal recently in order to help facilitate a trade for Timberwolves star Kevin Love (Twitter links).

Minnesota has been determined to unload Kevin Martin and J.J. Barea in a deal involving Love, says Wojnarowski, who also notes that the Cavs would have to find a third team in order to make it work. Nonetheless, whether Lucas, Thomas, and Murphy’s contracts are used to bring the former UCLA big man to Ohio or are included in a separate trade, this deal at the very least has given Cleveland some “buying power” (Twitter links).

Cavaliers To Sign Joe Harris

July 22 at 6:55pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

7:20pm: The deal will reportedly be for $2.7MM over three seasons, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

6:55pm: The Cavaliers will sign second-round pick Joe Harris to a three-year rookie deal, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com (Twitter link). The deal will be guaranteed over two seasons with a team option in the third year, Charania adds. Since the arrangement stretches over three years, the Cavs will use cap space to complete the transaction, as neither the minimum-salary exception nor the room exception allows for a contract that long.

The small forward from the University of Virginia was the 38th best prospect in the rankings that Chad Ford of ESPN.com compiles but just 49th with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. He had a slightly reduced role this past season as a senior after notching 16.3 points per game in his junior year. He put up just 12.0 PPG this time around, but he maintained 40.0% three-point shooting, so he shapes up as a long-distance threat for Cleveland.

Harris spoke to Zach Links of Hoops Rumors prior to the draft, crediting Virginia coach and highly touted NBA coaching prospect Tony Bennett for helping him improve defensively.

Bulls, Cavs Angling For Love, Nuggets In Mix

July 22 at 4:57pm CDT By Chuck Myron

4:57pm: A source who spoke to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times disputes that the Bulls are once more pushing to trade for Love.

4:08pm: The general belief is that the Wolves asked for Joakim Noah when they held preliminary talks about Love with the Bulls prior to the draft last month, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Presumably, Chicago rebuffed Minnesota on that point.

3:40pm: Dieng’s name hasn’t come up in talks with Cleveland, and neither has Martin’s, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Krawczynski cautions that Martin’s name was indeed a part of talks with the Warriors earlier in the offseason (Twitter links).

2:44pm: Gorgui Dieng‘s name has also come up in talks between the Cavs and Wolves, sources tell Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link).

2:11pm: Cleveland’s search for non-guaranteed contracts are in fact in an effort to sweeten their offer for Love, Wojnarowski writes in a full story, as they would provide cap relief for Minnesota once waived. The Cavs are also dangling future first-round picks in search of an experienced center, sources tell Wojnarowski, though it’s unclear if that, too, is related to Love. Wojnarowski is among the reporters contending that the Cavs are willing to put Wiggins in the deal, a point of frequent debate.

The Nuggets also remain in play for Love, according to Wojnarowski, and their package is Minnesota’s favorite outside of Cleveland’s and Golden State’s, if the Warriors were to relent and offer Klay Thompson. Denver reportedly offered multiple packages in June, but it’s unclear what the Nuggets have on the table now. The Wolves are insisting that teams take on J.J. Barea as part of any Love trade, and possibly Kevin Martin, too, Wojnarowski adds.

1:15pm: The Wolves also like Bulls rookie Doug McDermott, but their priority remains acquiring Wiggins if possible, Wolfson tweets.

12:57pm: The Bulls are indeed making another push to get involved in the Love sweepstakes, report Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The general belief is that the Wolves would seek Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and other assets from Chicago, according to Stein and Windhorst. The Bulls and Warriors were seemingly Love’s top two destinations when he made a push to be traded in May, but Chicago put any pursuit of him on the backburner while it chased Carmelo Anthony.

Still, the Cavs remain in the lead for Love and are increasingly optimistic that they can find a package that will work for the Wolves, Stein and Windhorst write. Their offer would center around Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick, Stein and Windhorst hear, echoing a report last week from fellow ESPN scribe Chris Broussard and perhaps signaling a renewed willingness from Cleveland to part with Wiggins.

11:09am: The notion of including Andrew Wiggins in a trade for Kevin Love appears to be a matter the Cavs have tabled for now, but Cleveland remains in daily contact with the Wolves, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The Wolves are ready to pull off a deal, but the Cavs are reticent to trade future first-round picks, as Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times hears (Twitter link). Minnesota is interested in the protected 2015 first-round picks the Cavs have coming from the Heat and Grizzlies, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

The Bulls could find themselves in position to acquire Love, especially given the presence of Nikola Mirotic on the roster, if the Cavs won’t give up the picks the Wolves want, sources also tell Woelfel (Twitter link). As Mirotic was finalizing his buyout from Real Madrid of Spain, he reportedly wanted the Bulls to assure him that he wouldn’t be traded, though it’s unclear if Chicago ever addressed that issue.

The Cavs are on the prowl for non-guaranteed contracts that they can flip and use as trade ballast in subsequent deals, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). Cleveland remains under the cap, so it isn’t subject to a two-month waiting period that would prevent it from immediately aggregating salary it received via trade in another swap. It appears as though the Cavs are going after these contracts at least in part to help build their portfolio for a Love trade, though that’s just my speculation.

And-Ones: Love, Wiggins, Sterlings, Durant

July 21 at 1:59pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Cavs aren’t dangling Andrew Wiggins in trade talks with the Wolves about Kevin Love, at least for the time being, a source tells Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, who was the first to report last week that Cleveland was open to the idea of parting with Wiggins. So, while no one involved would guarantee Finnan that Wiggins wouldn’t wind up in a Love deal, it sounds like that idea is on the backburner for now. Here’s more from around the Association:

  • Testimony has resumed today in the probate trial between Clippers owners Donald and Shelly Sterling after the judge made a pair of decisions Friday that appear to help Shelly Sterling’s case, as USA Today’s David Leon Moore details. The judge has the power to allow Shelly Sterling to go forward with her sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, if he rules in her favor, even if Donald Sterling decides to appeal, according to Moore.
  • A member of the players association’s executive committee told TNT’s David Aldridge that the union will discuss the idea of taking action should the Sterlings continue to own the Clippers at the start of next season, as Aldridge writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com.
  • Thunder assistant coach Brian Keefe, whom Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has reportedly lured to serve as a Knicks assistant, was the member of the Oklahoma City staff whom Kevin Durant trusted the most, Aldridge notes in the same piece.
  • A source tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that Knicks GM Steve Mills recently pulled his name from contention for the union’s executive director vacancy. Mills re-emerged as a candidate this spring after having been the apparent front-runner last summer prior to taking the Knicks job.
  • The final two seasons of the four-year contract between Devin Harris and the Mavs are a little more lucrative than previously reported. He’ll make nearly $4.728MM in year three and nearly $4.903MM in the final season, which is partially guaranteed for almost $1.34MM, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports details on his Mavs salary page.

Cavs, Andrew Wiggins Near Deal

July 20 at 6:25pm CDT By Zach Links

The Cavs are planning to sign No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract in the coming week, a source close to the process tells Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.  Wiggins, of course, has been linked to the Kevin Love talks, but the hold up in the deal reportedly wasn’t related to those discussions.

The Cavs, sources say, are merely exploring options for using their estimated $1.4MM in remaining cap space before signing Wiggins to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5MM as a rookie.  The Cavs and Timberwolves have been discussing a Love trade since the return of LeBron James, with sources saying that Minnesota is insistent on getting Wiggins back in any deal that sends Love to Cleveland.  Once Wiggins signs, though, league rules stipulate that the Cavs must wait 30 days before trading him.

One option under consideration for the Cavs, sources say, is using their leftover salary-cap space to create long-term contracts for recent second-round picks Joe Harris and Dwight Powell.  Signing Wiggins first would preclude such moves.

Once the Cavs exhaust their cap space and sign Wiggins, they are expected to officially sign free agent Mike Miller to a two-year, $5.6MM deal.  The Cavs also remain interested in free agent Ray Allen, but they’ll only be able to offer him a $1.4MM veteran’s minimum contract.

And-Ones: Bledsoe, Love, Hinkie, Murry

July 20 at 12:30pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Eric Bledsoe is the top remaining player still unsigned, though as a restricted free agent the Suns have the right to match any offer sheet that Bledsoe agrees to. Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic looks at why Bledsoe hasn’t received any offers, and examines the player’s options going forward. Bickley also opines that Bledsoe is risking alienating the fans in Phoenix by turning down the Suns’ four-year, $48MM deal.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • George Karl told Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune that the Wolves can’t afford to pass on trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, if the Cavs are truly offering that package (via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer’s tweet). Karl coached through a tumultuous season with the Nuggets when Carmelo Anthony eventually received his desired trade to the Knicks.
  • Every year when the dust settles and the free agent signings begin to wind down there are winners and losers. Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today weigh in on this year’s successes and disappointments.
  • The Thunder‘s Josh Huestis might become the NBA’s first domestic “draft-and-stash” player, writes Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. If Huestis does skip signing with the Thunder and heads directly to the NBA D-League, it could signal a major shift in the future of the D-League and how it’s utilized, notes Mayberry.
  • Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s rebuilding plan might not be popular in Philadelphia as the losses keep piling up. Jason Wolf of USA Today profiles the GM, as well as takes a look at the moves he’s made so far in his efforts to retool the franchise.
  • The Jazz are interested in signing free agent Toure’ Murry, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Falk notes that Murry might be waiting for an offer from the Heat. The Knicks had also expressed interest in bringing Murry back, but currently have a logjam in the backcourt.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

Central Notes: Pistons, Cavs, Irving

July 20 at 10:28am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Pistons have turned over a third of their roster this offseason, and new president and coach Stan Van Gundy has been the architect of that change. David Mayo of MLive examines the team’s moves and believes Detroit may have lost ground in the Eastern Conference with all the improvements made to the Cavs, Bulls, Hawks, and Hornets rosters.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Van Gundy believes being the president and coach of the Pistons is an advantage when recruiting free agents, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Van Gundy said, “I can present the roster and talk about roles free agents could play. If you’re talking to them as a coach, it’s probably a little more realistic than just the front office — so a slight advantage, but not a whole lot.” Still, Van Gundy does admit that money is the biggest factor, saying “It’s not as much an advantage as money. My experience with the NBA is about 99.9% of the time the guy takes the best contract offer. Most guys aren’t going to make a big sacrifice, so money is No. 1, but then there are all kinds of things after that.
  • With all the buzz about a potential Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett trade being in the works, Kyrie Irving isn’t worried if the Cavs complete the deal or not, writes Cameron Moon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Irving claims he hasn’t seriously thought about the deal being made, and also said, “There are so many guys who have inside sources. Until it happens and I get the call from our GM, other than that I haven’t really considered anything.
  • The Cavaliers have had quite a busy and surprising offseason so far. The crew at Basketball Insiders (video link) break down all the moves the team made and what they mean for the franchise going forward.