Andrew Bynum represented one of the more interesting free agent cases of the offseason, and his new contract reflects that: Bynum could earn as little as $6MM with the Cavaliers if he’s released on or before January 7th, or as much as $24MM+ if he plays out the two years of his deal. It doesn’t look like the former All-Star will be in Cleveland’s lineup when the regular season gets underway, but he’s making progress, according to head coach Mike Brown, who confirmed today that Bynum has gone through “most of practice.”
Sam Amico of the FOX Sports Ohio has the latest details on the ex-Laker, along with plenty of other tidbits from around the league, so let’s check out the highlights from his piece….
Shannon Brown and Kendall Marshall are drawing interest around the league, with clubs expecting them to be waived by the Wizards tomorrow. Marshall could hear from the 76ers, a league source tells Amico.
At least seven teams have inquired on free agent guard Richard Hamilton, a GM tells Amico. The former Bull appears likely to wait until midway through the season to sign with a team, perhaps anticipating that a guaranteed deal or a non-minimum contract will be more attainable at that point.
“Scuttlebutt around the league” suggests that there’s a good chance the Sixers move the expiring contracts of Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes by the trade deadline.
It appears the Celtics, Nets, and Knicks are all ready to get the regular season underway, having reduced their rosters to 14, 15, and 15 players respectively. The Sixers are also down to 14 players, though GM Sam Hinkie has been active enough in his first offseason that there’s no guarantee the roster is set in stone yet.
Only the Raptors still have to make their cuts — the team is currently carrying 17 players, so at least two players will need to be released. Carlos Morais, Julyan Stone, and Chris Wright are all on non-guaranteed deals, and according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (via Twitter), Stone looks like the one most likely to survive until Monday and beyond.
Here are a few more notes from around the Atlantic:
Rodney Williams, whom the Sixers waived today, will play for the Delaware 87ers, the team’s D-League affiliate, according to Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link).
The Knicks have hired Idan Ravin, the personal trainer for Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, as a player development coach, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). It could be an effort by the Knicks to earn brownie points with their star player as he enters the final year of his contract.
According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, it’s hard to argue the Sixers will be tanking this season, since there isn’t much talent on the roster to begin with. I’d call that a question of semantics.
Speaking to Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune, Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey offered up some thoughts on the team’s decision not to trade Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap last season, and discussed a rebuilding process that dates back to the Deron Williams trade. Lindsey referred to the 2013/14 season as one of “discovery,” and suggested that other teams will be keeping an eye on Utah to see how the club’s plan progresses
“If it works, I think they’ll really like it,” Lindsey said. “It’s a copycat league.”
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
Ishmael Smith and Kendall Marshall are likely fighting for a single roster spot with the Suns, according to head coach Jeff Hornacek (Twitter link via Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic). If Smith earns that spot, Marshall figures to be cut just 16 months after being selected in the draft lottery.
Sean Deveney of the Sporting News takes an early look at the 2014 free agent market, and talks to several executives who believe there will be more smoke than fire next summer. “It’s a lot of hot air,” said one general manager. “You’re going to see most guys just re-sign with the teams they are on and not much else.”
Evan Turner isn’t stressing about his contract situation, telling Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link) that whether he signs an extension or becomes a free agent, “I’m gonna get money regardless.”
Greg Oden stepped on an NBA court for the first time in nearly four years tonight, throwing down a dunk and grabbing a pair of rebounds in four minutes of preseason action for the Heat tonight. It still doesn’t constitute an official return the way a regular season appearance would, but it’s a positive sign for the Heat as they attempt to turn Oden from a minimum-salary gamble into a bargain of an inside presence. Here’s more from around the Association:
The Celtics don’t plan to keep any of their four players on non-guaranteed deals into the regular season, preferring instead to carry a 14-man roster in a money-saving effort, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
The Timberwolves front office is reportedly high on Evan Turner, but there’s no talk of a deal that would send the former No. 2 overall pick to Minnesota, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link).
The Blazers cut three players yesterday, but coach Terry Stotts was effusive in his praise of E.J. Singler, as Mike Tokito of The Oregonian details.
Kings lead assistant coach Brendan Malone resigned today, the team announced, with GM Pete D’Alessandro citing “factors associated with the rigors of coaching in the NBA” for why Malone is stepping down after 27 years in the NBA. Malone is the father of head coach Michael Malone. Chris Jent will slide up the bench and replace the elder Malone as lead assistant, according to the team (Twitter link).
David Stern characterized as “relatively upbeat” a report that the Bucks gave to the league’s owners on the status of the team’s quest to fund a new arena, as Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel reports.
Gordon Hayward and the Jazz are working on an extension, and it looks like the two sides will work something out within the next 10 days, as ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported overnight. However, Hayward looks like the only member of the draft class of 2010 likely to receive a new deal by the October 31st deadline, in Stein’s view. The ESPN.com scribe examined the remaining extension-eligible players in his latest piece, so let’s round up the highlights….
Besides Hayward, Eric Bledsoe of the Suns and Ed Davis of the Grizzlies appear to be the strongest candidates to re-up with their respective teams. Sources tell Stein that Memphis has been discussing a new deal with Davis’ camp this month.
As for Bledsoe, Stein notes that next year’s free agent crop of point guards looks thin, meaning it may be risky for the Suns to let the ex-Clipper hit the open market, even as a restricted free agent. According to Stein, Favors’ deal may help Bledsoe’s negotiating position, since Utah paid its big man based in part on the expectation that his role and production will increase this season.
Evan Turner is more likely to be traded by the Sixers than extended.
Richard Hamilton was one name linked to the Timberwolves as they consider adding a wing, but he’s far from the team’s only potential target. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets that Evan Turner has fans among the Wolves front office, and that the 76ers would be open to moving him. In a piece for the Star Tribune, Jerry Zgoda also mentions Turner and identifies a few other possible options.
With that aside, let’s take a look at what else is going on around the Western Conference:
Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (via Twitter) doesn’t expect the Spurs to make any roster cuts until after the team’s road trip ends in Miami on Saturday. McDonald also points out that although San Antonio only has to make one more roster cut, they could possibly opt for two.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich drew a parallel between Manu Ginobili and new addition Marco Belinelli: “I consider him to have the same mindset as Manu, which means I’m going to have to be patient as I’ve learned with Manu. Manu taught me to shut up and just watch him play a little more, which is a good thing. And Marco is going to be the same way. They both have the same passion for the game. They have no fear, which most of the time is good, but sometimes it can bite you. But I would rather have that than somebody who is timid” (NBA.com via the Associated Press).
As our Chuck Myron outlined last night, former No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner is in somewhat of a lame duck situation in Philadelphia. While he will likely go down in history as a draft-day bust considering where he was picked, Turner is certainly not a bust as an NBA player and could probably be a useful and effective piece in the right situation. But that doesn’t do much for him in Philadelphia where the Sixers are intent on rebuilding from the ground up — a plan that reportedly doesn’t include Turner.
We know the Sixers haven’t even broached the idea of an extension with Turner, making the chances of the two sides working something out before the October 31st deadline remote to say the least. If they trade him before October 31, he could sign an extension with his new team. If that doesn’t happen, Turner is destined for restricted free agency next summer where the Sixers — or his new team if he’s traded this winter — will have the option to match any offer sheet he signs with another team.
Turner has said all the right things about the unique situation in Philly, but that doesn’t make his fate any less interesting. So what will it be — what will the Sixers do with the former Ohio State star?
A former No. 2 overall pick who started all 82 games during his third NBA season would normally be an extension candidate, but Evan Turner has instead drawn mention as a possible trade candidate as the Sixers and new GM Sam Hinkie overhaul the team. Turner tells Jason Wolf of The News Journal that agent David Falk and the Sixers haven’t discussed adding extra years to his rookie scale contract.
“We haven’t spoke on it and there’s nothing really to talk on it. Right now, what do you really say?” Turner said. “ … I’m not upset about anything. I’m not upset about it. I know what type of player I’m going to be. I know who I am and I know what I’ve done. Obviously, we’ve got a different situation. We’ve switched GMs, we’ve switched (team) presidents, things are going different ways, but I’m not going to sit here and be upset.”
Former GM Tony DiLeo was reportedly in favor of keeping Turner around, but Turner acknowledged the uncertainty that Hinkie’s arrival brought to the roster, and the 6’7″ swingman said when camp began that he had been preparing himself for the possibility of a trade over the summer. If the Sixers pull off a swap between now and October 31st, the deadline for rookie scale extensions, it’s possible that Turner could sign an extension with his new team, as James Harden did last year with the Rockets. Falk has made his reluctance to do rookie scale extensions clear, so It seems more likely that wherever Turner ends up by the end of 2013/14, he’ll go into next summer as a restricted free agent.
“I’m going to get money and everything like that,” Turner told Wolf. “Whether I get it now or later, I’ve been blessed enough to be financially stable, but … I think it’s going to be something good in the bigger picture. If you just worry about winning everything is going to work out.”
Zach Lowe’s latest piece for Grantland is a lengthy one, as he breaks down all 30 NBA teams by tiers heading into the 2013/14 season. Amidst his evaluations of each club, Lowe also includes several tidbits related to teams’ trade options and cap situations. The entire piece is worth checking out, if only to see where your favorite team lands, but we’ll round up a few of the more interesting notes right here:
While the Spurs didn’t shake up the roster much this offseason, they’re in good position to make an in-season trade if need be, says Lowe. San Antonio has a couple movable expiring contracts (Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner), as well as a number of prospects stashed overseas.
Lowe believes Zach Randolph will finish the year with the Grizzlies, but notes that Memphis’ front office is willing to make bold moves and probably recognizes that Randolph’s trade value will be highest this season.
The Rockets are a a “very strong bet” to make a trade or two during the season.
Both the Wizards and Pistons are among the candidates to make an in-season panic trade, due to increasing pressure to make the playoffs. However, Detroit may not have a ton of appealing trade bait unless the club is willing to dangle Greg Monroe, according to Lowe.
With Kyle Lowry and Rudy Gay both potentially entering contract years, the Raptors could end up being deadline sellers if they get reasonable offers and aren’t in position to reach the postseason.
Although they have plenty of assets of value, the Cavaliers‘ trade options will be somewhat limited if they intend to keep their books clean in the hopes of landing LeBron James next summer.
Moving even one mid-tier salary during the season could create “serious cap flexibility” for the Kings.
The NBPA has retained Reilly Partners Inc. to help conduct a search for a new executive director to replace Billy Hunter, the union announced today (link via The Associated Press). Steve Mills was reportedly the leading candidate for the position before he accepted the Knicks' GM job this week. According to Brain Mahoney of the Associated Press (via Twitter), the union may want to build a list of about 10 candidates before making a decision. That's far from the only position up for grabs around the league as training camps open. Here's the latest:
Evan Turner told reporters at Sixers media day today that he "was ready" to be traded at one point and was just hoping it would be to someplace warm, tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media (Twitter link). It appears as though Turner was bracing for the possibility, rather than hoping for it.
Former Sixers GM Tony DiLeo is set to become a scout for the Wizards, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
Dallas GM Gersson Rosas indicated today that Dirk Nowitzki could play another four or five years in a Mavericks uniform, as Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. "The vision for us is we want to maximize Dirk's career here,'' Rosas said.
Rosas, who has experience as the GM of the Rockets D-League affiliate, also wants to make the D-League a key component of his strategy with the Mavs, Price notes.
Three NBA clubs have shown interest in guard Tre Kelley, agent Giovanni Funiciello tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Kelley is without official NBA experience, but he went to camp with the Thunder in 2009 and the Grizzlies in 2010.