Evan Turner

Eastern Notes: Smart, Marshall, Magic, Knicks

Celtics coach Brad Stevens is warning people not to read too much into early preseason lineups.  However, the early readings indicate that rookie Marcus Smart has moved ahead of Evan Turner in the battle to serve as the team’s replacement point guard for the injured Rajon Rondo, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.  More from the Eastern Conference..

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Central Rumors: Thompson, Marion, Turner

The Cavs haven’t spoken with agent Rich Paul about an extension for Tristan Thompson, as Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer hears, but it’s not necessarily a sign that the sides don’t intend to strike a deal before the October 31st deadline to do so, Haynes indicates. Let’s wrap up more from the Cavs and the Central:

  • Shawn Marion explains that the Cavs‘ acquisition of Kevin Love convinced him to spurn more lucrative offers from other clubs and sign with Cleveland, according to Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal.
  • Cavs GM David Griffin admits LeBron James was critical in Cleveland’s success in recruiting other big name players this summer, as Lloyd details in the same piece. “You couldn’t have a better recruiter than LeBron James,” Griffin said. “When you cut LeBron loose in a free agency path, you tend to get results you don’t get otherwise. To say he’s been an amazing partner this offseason would be a gross understatement.”
  • The Pacers and Evan Turner never attempted to negotiate a new deal that would have brought the former second overall pick back to Indiana for the 2014/15 season, reports Andrew Perna of RealGM (on Twitter). “We both just decided to go our separate ways, said Turner.
  • Greg Monroe‘s decision to sign his qualifying offer means he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, but he says that doesn’t necessarily mean that he wants to leave the Pistonstweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit News. Monroe also dismissed the notion that he doesn’t like to play alongside Josh Smith, according to Ellis (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Turner, ‘Melo, Shumpert, Nets

It’s media day for 25 of the NBA’s 30 teams, thus making it one of the busiest news days on the NBA calendar. We’ll round up the latest from the Atlantic Division amid the rush:

  • Evan Turner‘s contract with the Celtics is for two seasons and he’ll make $3.278MM this year, the value of the taxpayer’s mid-level exception, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). It’s fully guaranteed with no option clauses, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The C’s still have the capacity to give out an additional $2.027MM via their mid-level, but by keeping Turner’s money to the equivalent of the taxpayer’s amount, Boston isn’t subject to a hard cap of $80.829MM this season, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out (on Twitter).
  • Carmelo Anthony acknowledged that he would have had a better chance to win if he’d signed elsewhere, but told reporters, including Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com that it “wouldn’t have felt right” if he had left the Knicks for another team (Twitter links).
  • It doesn’t look like the Knicks are going to grant an extension to Iman Shumpert, but the fourth-year guard doesn’t seem dismayed, as Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal relays (on Twitter).
  • Lionel Hollins made his mission statement for the Nets clear when chatting with reporters late last week, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post writes.  “I’d like us to be tougher,” Hollins said. “[Be] more aggressive, compete harder every moment that they’re on the court, persevering through everything. “I want them to be tougher mentally. There’s a lot that goes into being a good team, and that’s the type of foundation that we’re gonna lay.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Celtics Sign Evan Turner

SEPTEMBER 29TH: The deal is finally official, the team announced via press release. Boston cleared room under the preseason limit of 20 players with a series of moves in the past few days to accommodate Turner.

JULY 21ST: The Celtics and Evan Turner are finalizing a deal for a portion of the mid-level exception, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald (on Twitter). The Pacers made the former No. 2 overall pick an unrestricted free agent when they declined to tender his qualifying offer last month.

The Wolves appeared to be Boston’s primary competition for Turner, who was reportedly Minnesota’s top priority even though the team apparently envisioned signing him to only a one-year deal. The length of his arrangment with the Celtics is unclear.

Boston has more than $78.7MM in commitments on the roster for the coming season, a figure that puts them above the tax line but below the tax apron. The Celtics can waive close to $7.018MM in non-guaranteed salary, but in any case, the team won’t be able to sign Turner to a starting salary exceeding $3.278MM without triggering a hard cap of $80.829MM for this season.

And-Ones: Turner, D-League, Rockets

Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel ran down the free agent movements thus far, organized by each team’s comers and goers around the league. Here’s a look at the league’s news and notes from tonight:

  • A source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com that the Celtics will officially complete their signing of Evan Turner before training camp starts at the end of the month (Twitter link). Turner reached an agreement with Boston back in July, but the team is still in the process of shuffling the roster to make room for the former No. 2 overall pick. Not counting Turner, the Celtics currently have 20 total contracts on the books for training camp, which is the maximum allowed.
  • Flip Bondy of the New York Daily News takes a look at the open tryout process for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Players truly off the street have a longshot chance at making D-League training camp, and longer odds at an eventual NBA callup.
  • The crew at Basketball Insiders previews the Rockets 2014/15 season. They are mostly optimistic about the team, despite GM Daryl Morey‘s misses this offseason.

Eastern Notes: Turner, Sullinger, Bucks

Derrick Rose was held scoreless in Team USA’s 86-63 victory over Mexico, but Bulls head coach and Team USA assistant Tom Thibodeau wasn’t the least bit concerned, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. Of Rose’s progress, Thibodeau said, “There’s nothing negative about this. This is all positive. As I said, the more he practices, the more he plays, the better he’ll get. He’ll be fine. Just take it day by day, keep doing the things that he’s doing and get ready for training camp when we get there. The important thing is to concentrate on what he’s doing right now, which is here, and do the things that we’re asking him to do here.”

Here’s more from around the east:

  • The Celticssigning of Evan Turner hasn’t been made official yet, but Jared Sullinger is excited that Turner will be playing for Boston next season, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “Everybody is down on (Turner) because of how the ‘trade’ happened and what happened in the trade and how Indiana played,” Sullinger said. “People misunderstand Evan. He’s a great basketball player, a great teammate. I’ve known him for years. He’s all about winning. That’s his main goal.”
  • Sullinger has lost weight and is primed for a big season, writes Blakely in a separate article. Sullinger is free of the post-surgical limitations he faced heading into last season, and he said, “I couldn’t play until September, full-go with contact playing one-on-one, things like that. I was kind of behind the eight-ball and stayed behind the eight-ball. My biggest thing was health last year. I think I was a little afraid at the beginning of training camp due to my back, contact and all that good stuff. I was afraid of what was going to happen…but now I know what I can do. I know how my back is going to hold up. The beautiful thing about it is I have another year to show who Jared Sullinger can be.”
  • The crew over at Basketball Insiders preview the upcoming season for the Bucks, and the consensus is that Milwaukee will finish fifth in the Central Division, and miss the playoffs yet again.

Eastern Notes: Wiggins, Celtics, Cole

With all the rumblings that he is going to be traded to the Wolves for Kevin Love as soon as the required 30 days from when he inked his contract pass, Andrew Wiggins’ days in Cleveland appear numbered, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. For his part, Wiggins is remaining upbeat, saying, “I just want to play for a team that wants me, so whichever team wants me I’ll play for.” When asked if he expected to be a teammate of LeBron James this season, Wiggins said, “I don’t really know what to say. When I’m in Cleveland I’m going to play as hard as I can, give it my all and I’ll play for whoever.”

Here’s more from the east:

  • The Celtics are working to clear roster space over the next few weeks in order to make room for Evan Turner in their rotation, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Washburn notes that Boston isn’t expected to officially announce the signing until those moves are made, although the sides have reached an agreement. The Celtics currently have 18 players on their roster, including the non-guaranteed deals of Keith Bogans, Chris Babb, and Chris Johnson, notes Washburn.
  • With the loss of Paul George for what is likely the entire 2014/15 season, the Pacers are unlikely to make the playoffs, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Winderman also opines that Indiana could have benefited from Danny Granger‘s presence and production in the wake of George’s loss.
  • Heat guard Norris Cole has changed agents and is now being represented by Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Cole was previously represented by Joel Bell of Bell Management.

And-Ones: Mavericks, Williams, Bzdelik

Last season, D.J. Augustin, Glen Davis, Danny Granger, and Caron Butler were just a handful of rotation-worthy players who were able to land on playoff-bound teams after being waived during the regular season. Keeping this in mind, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said on the “Fitzsimmons and Friedo Show” on 103.3 ESPN in Dallas that his team could hold off on using its $2.732MM exception this summer, waiting to see who could become available if notable players are released from their respective teams during the regular season (hat tip to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com).

Here are more miscellaneous news and notes to pass along tonight:

  • While there has been mutual interest between Dallas and free agent guard Mo Williams, the 31-year-old guard has fielded offers that are more lucrative than the Mavs’ $2.732MM exception, says MacMahon. A source also tells MacMahon that Williams hasn’t even been Dallas’ top target with that exception.
  • Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger is in advanced talks to hire former Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik to be an assistant on his coaching staff, hears Marc Stein of ESPN (Twitter link). Bzdelik is expected to sign a contract tomorrow, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
  • Free agent swingman Dahntay Jones will audition for 15-20 teams in Las Vegas next week, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
  • Hornets big man Al Jefferson told Kennedy that he’s thrilled with his team’s offseason moves. “I told (management) how I felt when the season went over well. They did everything they said they were going to do [this summer]. I think (we’ve gotten) better.”
  • The Pistons are not currently considering the possibility of moving from the Palace of Auburn Hills, reports Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. Mark Barnhill, senior partner at Platinum Equity, made a statement reflecting the views of Pistons owner Tom Gores in light of the Ilitch family’s plans to build a $650MM entertainment district in downtown, which will in part house the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. “We have a beautiful arena, and we have invested tens of millions of dollars over the past three years to modernize and improve that facility…At the same time, we would never close the door on alternatives if they made good sense for our fans, for our team, for our business and for Michigan.”

And-Ones: Kings, Turner, Mudiay, Union, Bulls

Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro told Grantland’s Zach Lowe that the two keys to his rebuilding strategy are to surrender nothing of lasting value in exchange for capable veterans like Rudy Gay and to be willing to take quality players on inflated contracts.

“There are players that are being paid more than the league thinks they should be paid,” D’Alessandro said. “We see those contracts as an opportunity. Our first question is, ‘Do we like the player?’ If we do, then can we use a contract the league doesn’t look favorably on as an opportunity to make our team better?”

We passed along more on the Kings from Lowe this morning, and we’ve got plenty from around the rest of the league here:

  • The Celtics had been in contact with Evan Turner almost every day between the start of free agency and Monday, when they reached agreement on a deal, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay isn’t the first well-regarded high school player to turn pro overseas rather than play in college, but his $1.2MM pact with Guangdong of China makes him the most highly compensated ever to have done so, notes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Three candidates remain for the players association’s vacant executive director position, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. The job has been open since the union ousted Billy Hunter at the All-Star break in 2013 and installed Ron Klempner in an interim capacity. It’s unclear whether Klempner is one of the finalists.
  • Cameron Bairstow‘s deal with the Bulls is for three years, starting at the minimum salary, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. That means the team used all but a sliver of its remaining cap space to sign the rookie out of New Mexico, whom the Bulls picked 49th overall in last month’s draft. The first season of Bairstow’s contract is the only one that’s fully guaranteed, Johnson adds.
  • Chris Andersen‘s two-year deal with the Heat is for a total of $10.4MM, all of which is fully guaranteed, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

Poll: Evan Turner Vs. Danny Granger

Earlier today, the Celtics reached agreement on a deal for a portion of the mid-level exception with Evan Turner.  Of course, the former No. 2 overall pick was shipped from the Sixers to the Pacers mid-season in a trade of NBA notables.  Danny Granger, who went to Philly, signed with the Heat earlier this month in hopes of joining up with LeBron James.  While that part of the plan didn’t quite pan out, Granger will nonetheless look to get his career back on track in a reserve role for Miami.

In 54 games for Philly last season, Turner averaged 17.4 PPG and 6.0 RPG with a career-high (but still below league average) 13.2 PER.  Things wound up dropping off when Turner was sent to the Pacers as he averaged 7.1 PPG and 3.2 RPG with a 9.7 PER – a total lower than any he’s had in any full season.

Granger, meanwhile, came to the Clippers (after his release from the 76ers) with hopes of boosting his stock before hitting the open market in the summer.  That didn’t quite pan out.  Granger averaged 8.3 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 22.5 minutes per night for the Pacers after returning from injury and his numbers only saw a slight uptick when he headed to L.A.  Of course, on a two-year, $4.2MM deal, he’s a very worthwhile risk for the Heat if he can get back to being half the player he once was.

Between Granger and Turner, who do you see having the more successful 2014/15 campaign?

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