The Cavaliers have given their fans some thrills the past two nights, upsetting the Hawks on Alonzo Gee's game-winner on Friday and losing a heart-breaker Saturday in double overtime to the Blazers. The excitement in Cleveland is more often coming in the form of close games than in victories, as the absence of Kyrie Irving has prompted the Cavs to fall into a tie with the Raptors for the league's second-worst record. As Cleveland tries to tread water amid Irving's absence, there's more on the second-year point guard, and we've got that along with other news on the team right here:
The Bobcats and Warriors were said to be "neck and neck" in the race for free agent forward Carl Landry, with Charlotte potentially able to offer more money via a sign-and-trade deal. However, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, it's unlikely the Bobcats will be able to pull off a sign-and-trade to acquire Landry (Twitter link).
There are a number of obstacles in the way of a sign-and-trade involving Landry, the Bobcats, and the Hornets. Not only would Landry have to agree to go to the Bobcats, but the Hornets would have to agree to send him to Charlotte, which would mean acquiring a palatable package in return. One report suggested that DeSagana Diop's expiring contract could interest the Hornets, and I'd imagine New Orleans would also acquire a draft pick in any Diop/Landry swap. But based on Bonnell's tweet, it doesn't appear those talks have much momentum.
If the Bobcats fall out of the running for Landry, the Warriors certainly look like the odds-on favorite to land him. Golden State probably can't use its full $5MM mid-level exception, but should be able to offer at least a portion of it to Landry. As I wrote last week, the 28-year-old forward now has the best 2011/12 PER of all the remaining free agents.
The Hornets are interested in DeSagana Diop, and may pursue a sign-and-trade with the Bobcats that would send Carl Landry to Charlotte, according to Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld. That makes the Bobcats an obstacle for the Warriors, who are also after Landry, Ingram says (Twitter links). A report earlier this week suggested the Bobcats and Warriors were "neck and neck" for Landry.
Diop has one season left on his deal with Charlotte for $7.37MM, while Landry is a free agent, meaning he'd have to consent to go to the Bobcats before any trade can occur. Charlotte would probably have to be willing to outbid the Warriors for that to happen. Golden State is unlikely to use the full $5MM midlevel exception, since doing so would make them a taxpaying team.
The 6'9", 28-year-old Landry averaged 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season in New Orleans. His 18.2 PER is tops for remaining free agents with JaVale McGee having re-signed with the Nuggets. Diop saw limited action with the Bobcats, appearing in just 27 games, averaging 1.1 PPG and 3.1 RPG with a 6.8 PER in 12.0 minutes a contest.
Antawn Jamison talked last week about the possibility of finishing his career with his hometown Bobcats, but it appears there's no shortage of options for the veteran forward. We learned last night that the Nets are discussing a sign-and-trade deal that would send Jamison to Brooklyn, and that the Lakers are in the mix too. As Jamison weighs his options, here are a few more Bobcats-related updates, courtesy of Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer....
Let's get you caught up on some items out of the Southeast division on a busy night in the Association..
The Trail Blazers aren't the only team talking to the Bobcats about the possibility of acquiring D.J. Augustin. According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (Twitter link), the Pacers are also among the clubs who have inquired on Augustin. Deveney says (via Twitter) the Bobcats would want to package a bad contract with Augustin if they were to trade the point guard.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld reported in January that the Bobcats weren't shopping Augustin, but were willing to listen if it meant gaining draft picks or financial flexibility. Unloading a contract like Corey Maggette's or DeSagana Diop's would certainly qualify as gaining flexibility.
Augustin, whose cap figure for 2011/12 is just $3.24MM, will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer. So the team he finishes the season with would be able to match any competing offers and keep him, if it so chooses. In 28 games this season, the former ninth overall pick has averaged 12.2 PPG and 6.5 APG in 30.8 MPG.