Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors
May 25 at 4:58pm CST By Chuck Myron
The NBA draft takes place one month from Monday, and that means teams and prospects soon be entering the home stretch. We'll be hearing plenty about the draft in the coming weeks as clubs bring in players for workouts and discuss possible trades. Here's the latest:
- The Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer takes a close look at UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett, whose left rotator cuff surgery this month doesn't appear to be hurting his draft stock. Bennett sits atop her rankings of the top power forwards available.
- Boyer answers plenty of draft-related questions about the Cavaliers in her latest mailbag column. She theorizes that if the Cavs draft Nerlens Noel, that means they'll end their pursuit of Greg Oden.
- HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy chronicles German point guard Dennis Schroeder's unconventional path to becoming a first-round prospect. Schroeder's long arms and wide hands have led him to be compared to Rajon Rondo.
- Shooting guard Allen Crabbe was surprised when he found out the Wizards wanted to meet with him, as he tells J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. The Wizards would likely have to trade into the late first round to take the Cal junior.
- Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com has more on the dozen prospects the Celtics have brought in for workouts the past two days.
May 25 at 12:29pm CST By Zach Links
Earlier today, we rounded up the latest links out of Indiana and in the interest of equal time we'll do the same for Miami..
- Paul George and the up-and-coming Pacers have earned the respect of LeBron James, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
- Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wonders if the Cavs winning the 2013 lottery helps to improve the club's chances of landing James in the summer of 2014. While Cleveland figures to be a serious threat if James exercises his ETO, Winderman notes that the Heat will have one less competitor if Dwight Howard leaves the Lakers this summer. Without Howard, James likely wouldn't consider L.A. next year.
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports (via Twitter) agrees with David Stern's assessment of Miami as a middle market since no one viewed them as a big market until the formation of the big three. Meanwhile, Amico argues that market size is largely irrelevant in today's world given the nature of television and social media (link).
- In today's mailbag, Winderman writes that LeBron is being forced to put too much on his shoulders offensively with Dwyane Wade injured and Chris Bosh struggling.
May 24 at 10:03am CST By Luke Adams
We briefly touched on the latest Insider-only offering from ESPN.com's Chris Broussard last night, but let's take a more in-depth look at Brousard's newest tidbits today:
- NBA executives are curious to see who the Pistons hire as a head coach, since it may indicate whether advisor Phil Jackson or GM Joe Dumars has more sway in Detroit. Dumars is believed to favor Nate McMillan or Maurice Cheeks, while Jackson's pick would likely be Brian Shaw.
- Had Chris Hansen's purchase of the Kings gone through, Jackson would have run the team's front office in Seattle, and intended to hire Shaw as head coach, says Broussard.
- The Nets have yet to approach any coaching candidates besides Jackson, who told the team he wasn't interested in coaching. Brooklyn is currently conducting "rigorous checks" on potential candidates, and is seeking someone tough and firm who is able to get the most out of the talent on the roster.
- The Clippers are high on McMillan, according to Broussard.
- Sources tell Broussard that Bobcats GM Rich Cho is interested in hiring Quin Snyder to replace Mike Dunlap.
- "Many league insiders" believe Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer is the favorite to land the Hawks' job, says Broussard.
- While Celtics GM Danny Ainge has privately told teams he won't grant them permission to speak to Doc Rivers, Broussard says if Rivers really wanted a change of scenery, Ainge would probably allow him to explore other options. There's no indication that's the case though.
- Although Flip Saunders will run the Timberwolves' basketball operations, he's looking to hire a general manager, and is currently performing background checks on possible candidates. A hire likely won't happen until after the draft, according to Broussard.
- Rival lottery teams aren't necessarily jealous that the Cavaliers landed the first overall pick. Said one GM: "I'd rather be two, three or four in this draft than one."
- Another executive from a lottery team on the process: "We didn't want to win this year's lottery. Next year's the one to win. Then after that, you want to be out of the lottery."
May 23 at 8:08pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press relayed a few interesting quotes from Trey Burke, who on 107.3 WBBL's the "Huge Show" said that he's hearing he could be drafted from anywhere between the second and sixth picks of the first round. The former Michigan star also specifically mentioned the Magic and Pelicans as two teams that need a point guard. Later on in the interview, Burke spoke about his decision to stay with the Wolverines for his sophomore season this past year and how some of his teammates used him as a resource to help determine their immediate futures as well. Here are a few more draft notes worth passing along this evening:
- HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler thinks that while Ricky Ledo has some baggage that teams will have to sort through, he's a solid scorer who has drawn interest and could be taken between 20-40 in this draft (Twitter links).
- Michael Lee of The Washington Post hears that Otto Porter is under consideration to be selected by the Cavaliers with their number one overall pick.
- According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Lithuanian center Mindaugas Kupsas will participate at the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso and may travel to the United States for private workouts around two weeks before the NBA draft.
- Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy writes that despite some of the criticisms which suggest that this year's draft pool isn't very strong, the 2011 NBA Draft was a good example of one that was stronger and deeper than initially expected. Kennedy writes that a handful of prospects -including Nerlens Noel, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo, and Mason Plumlee - have noted those criticisms and are eager to use it as motivation once they enter the league.
- Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog tweeted about forward/center Alex Oriakhi, who one NBA scout opined is "as strong as three men," can rebound the ball well, and has been a high percentage field goal shooter because he never takes a bad shot.
- Zagoria notes that one veteran NBA scout thinks that former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva will be taken in the second round of the draft (Twitter link).
- Lastly, Zagoria (via Twitter) mentions that former Baylor guard Pierre Jackson "impressed a lot of NBA folks" during his workout in New Jersey today.
May 22 at 8:02pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes about last night's lottery and next month's draft.
- According to a tweet from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer, Nerlens Noel's college coach John Calipari says Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant spent more time scouting his star center than any other NBA general manager.
- The Wizards are interested in drafting based on talent as opposed to a positional need, according to a tweet from CSNWashington.com's J. Michael. Head coach Randy Wittman and general manager Ernie Grunfeld are in agreement that using both second-round picks isn't wise.
- Sean Meagher from OregonLive.com has a poll up asking what the Trail Blazers should do with the 10th overall pick.
- Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun writes that it's probably for the best that the Raptors won't have a pick in next month's draft, being that they have enough young players as it is. Toronto traded their first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Kyle Lowry last year. They would've been able to keep the pick only if it ended up as a top-three selection.
May 22 at 4:03pm CST By Zach Links
When Mitch Kupchak called Phil Jackson to tell him that he was hiring Mike D'Antoni as coach, he didn't give the Lakers General Manager the most encouraging reaction. "I laughed," Jackson told ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show, according to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "It was humorous to me when Mitch said that we think that Mike is a better coach for this group of guys." Here's the latest from around the league..
- The Cavs have a lot of options at their disposal this summer as they look to get back to the postseason, writes Lang Greene of HoopsWorld. Cleveland has just over $27MM in guaranteed salaries on the books for next season, but could create more space by dropping the non-guaranteed contracts of C.J. Miles ($2.3MM) and Kevin Jones ($789K). Veteran forward Marreese Speights also holds a player option of $4.5MM for next season and could opt out to pursue a multi-year deal this summer.
- More from Greene, who writes that Kevin Love is optimistic about the Timberwolves' future. “I think Flip is great,” Love said. “I’ve always admired what he’s done, obviously coming from the Timberwolves prior, being with Detroit and having been in the Western and Eastern Conference Finals he’s got quite a reputation."
- Phil Handy has joined Mike Brown's staff as an assistant coach with Cavs, sources tell Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Handy was a player development coach with the Lakers under Brown.
- Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link) notes that Jerry Colangelo never believed Mike Krzyzewski wouldn't come back to coach the U.S. Olympic team even though Krzyzewski publicly said he was done. Colangelo said in an interview back in February that he hadn't heard from Coach K directly that he didn't want to return, which led him to believe that he could lure him back for 2016.
- Memphis senior D.J. Stephens registered a 46 inch maximum vertical at today's workout in Brooklyn, which may be the highest recorded measurement in NBA history, tweets Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress.
May 22 at 9:03am CST By Luke Adams
A day after an Eastern Conference team (the Cavs) won the 2013 draft lottery, the Eastern Finals will finally get underway tonight in Miami, as the Pacers look to upset the defending-champion Heat. While we look forward to that game, let's check in on a few updates from around the East....
- Within his piece on the Bulls' free agent options, Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cavaliers and Pistons may be among the teams with some interest in trading for Luol Deng.
- In exploring why the Bucks' coaching search might be moving slowly, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times notes that some NBA officials believe Milwaukee is waiting to talk to Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. Although Hollins will draw interest from teams with stronger rosters, NBA insiders claim he could still be interested in the Bucks job, since he enjoyed his previous stint in Milwaukee and formed a good rapport with team management, says Woelfel.
- The Raptors expect to hear back from the Nuggets today on whether or not they'll receive permision to speak with Denver GM Masai Ujiri, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- Wojnarowski adds in a second tweet that Celtics assistant Tyronn Lue and Rio Grande Valley Vipers head coach Nick Nurse are candidates for an assistant coaching role with the Raptors.
- Pistons GM Joe Dumars told reporters, including David Mayo of MLive.com, that he's happy with the eighth pick in the draft and won't rule out selecting a big man, even though a perimeter player may be more likely.
- Expect the Celtics to draft the best player available if they keep their 16th overall pick, rather than focusing on a specific area of need, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
May 21 at 11:16am CST By Luke Adams
The NBA's draft lottery is set to take place tonight, with the league's 14 non-playoff teams vying for a chance at the first overall pick and the opportunity to select a player from a crop of prospects that includes Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, and others.
The odds at landing the first overall pick are cited frequently, from the Magic's 25% all the way down to the Jazz's 0.5%. But what chance does each team have to land a top-three pick? Listed in the chart below are the odds each lottery team has at the first, second, and third overall picks, as well as each team's overall odds at landing in the top three.
May 19 at 7:58pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes from around the NBA's Central Division.
- The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto believes the Cavaliers are leaning towards taking Nerlens Noel if they land the first overall pick in Tuesday's upcoming lottery. Cleveland has four draft picks in June's draft but if they can't corral a defensive big man, are still interested in Greg Oden, who's currently rehabbing from a third microfracture surgery and remains an unrestricted free agent.
- Mlive.com's David Mayo takes a look at why the Pistons might be better suited landing with a pick somewhere in the seven or eight range, as opposed to first overall, due to the difference in salary from one to eight, and the amount of money they'd be able to save without giving up much in skill.
- Providence guard Ricky Ledo is no longer expected to work out in New Jersey this week, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. But according Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press to Ledo has plans to work out for the Pistons.
May 19 at 4:03pm CST By Chuck Myron
For a third consecutive year, there aren't any Pacific Division teams in the Western Conference Finals, a dry spell that's never happened before. The Lakers are mostly responsible for that history of success, but the Suns have had their moments, too. For most of the city's time with an NBA team, Seattle was a part of the Pacific Division, and the SuperSonics were no stranger to playing for a berth in the Finals. With the league reportedly having approved the sale of the Kings to a Sacramento-based group, it looks like Seattle won't be an NBA destination for at least a while longer.
Here's a check on each of the five current Pacific Division teams as they try to climb their way back into contention:
- Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who's attending today's opener of the Western Conference Finals, has yet to meet with Vinny Del Negro as planned this weekend, but resolution on the coach's future should come within the week, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group points out the similarities between the construction of the Warriors roster and the way the Grizzlies were built.
- Ryan Lillis, Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee profile new Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive, who plans to take a hands-on approach.
- Of all the people involved in keeping the Kings in Sacramento, none were as influential as David Stern, who demonstrated that he still has control of the league even as his tenure as commissioner comes to a close, The Bee's Ailene Voisin writes.
- Suns scouts have been high on Maryland center Alex Len since before this past season began, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, who runs down some of the players the team will likely target with its lottery pick.
- Greg Somogyi impressed Mike Brown when the two were together in Lakers camp last fall, and Brown has invited the 7'3" center to a Cavaliers mini-camp this summer, reports Sportando contributor David Pick (Twitter link).