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.
- Other recently released players who are receiving some level of interest include Royce White, Josh Childress, Damion James, Vander Blue, Royal Ivey, Jermaine Taylor, and Seth Curry.
- 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.
The Cavaliers appear to have finalized their roster for opening night, having released four players to reduce their roster count to 15 players. The team announced today in a press release that it has waived DeSagana Diop, Kenny Kadji, Jermaine Taylor, and Elliot Williams.
The roster decisions aren’t a huge surprise for the Cavs, who were expected to hang on to camp invitees Henry Sims and Matthew Dellavedova. Diop, Kadji, Taylor, and Williams were all believed to be on fully non-guaranteed contracts, so they won’t affect Cleveland’s books at all this season.
In Sam Amico’s latest piece for FOX Sports Ohio, he focuses on last August’s Dwight Howard trade, which initially looked like a questionable move for the Magic. Given the fact that Orlando ended up with the best long-term pieces in the deal, it’s an illustration of why we shouldn’t immediately decide whether teams “won” or “lost” a trade or signing, writes Amico. The FOX Sports Ohio scribe also shares a few rumors and rumblings from around the NBA, so let’s check out the highlights….
- An Eastern Conference executive tells Amico that his team has heard from the Lakers recently, and that word around the league suggests L.A. may look to make a “substantial” move before the season begins. Pau Gasol isn’t untouchable, writes Amico.
- Given the questions surrounding Steve Nash‘s health and age, a young scoring point guard may be on the Lakers‘ wish list, though it won’t be easy to obtain one.
- The Nuggets are also potentially willing to make a move or two before the season, and Amico speculates that a trade candidate like Jimmer Fredette or a free agent like Richard Hamilton could be a fit.
- Hamilton, Sebastian Telfair, and Daniel Gibson are among the veteran free agents who may draw interest before opening night.
- The Cavaliers seem to “really like” camp invitees Matthew Dellavedova and Jermaine Taylor, but are unlikely to have the room to keep both on their regular season roster. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team tried to get the odd man out to join the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s D-League affiliate.
The Cavaliers have extended a camp invitation to former Kings and Rockets shooting guard Jermaine Taylor, agent Michael Whitaker tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link). It's not entirely clear from the tweet whether Taylor has accepted the invitation, but since the news is coming from Taylor's camp, it seems he'll likely become the 16th player on Cleveland's roster.
The move isn't entirely a surprise, since Taylor's performance for Cleveland's summer league team drew praise from Cavs coach Mike Brown. The 6'4" Taylor averaged 12.8 points in 18.1 minutes per game for the summer Cavs. He also suited up for the Bulls' summer league team this year. Aside from that action, Taylor has been out of the NBA since 2011. He had a whirlwind 2012/13, playing for Lagun Aro Gipuzkoa BC in Spain, Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel, Shanxi Zhongyu in China and the Maine Red Claws of the D-League.
Assuming Taylor will be with the Cavs on a fully non-guaranteed contract, he'll join Kenny Kadji and C.J. Miles as the only Cavaliers without at least a partial guarantee. Eleven Cavs have fully guaranteed deals, and nearly half of Andrew Bynum's $12.25MM salary is guaranteed as well. That leaves Taylor with a decent shot at making the opening-night roster.
Cavs coach Mike Brown has had a very strange trip through the NBA which has led him back to the helm in Cleveland after an intermission in L.A. However, Brown seems to have taken it all in stride. “It was weird for a while,” Brown said. “But it was a seamless transition for myself and my family. It almost, to a certain degree after we got over the initial shock of it, it almost felt like we never really left. It was almost like we went on vacation for a little bit.” Here's the latest out of Cleveland..
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
RealGM's Shams Charania notes that while Damion James has yet to speak about a training camp invite or regular season roster spot with the Heat, the 6'7 swingman may have boosted his stock after his solid play in Las Vegas over the last few weeks. James – who underwent foot surgery twice over the span of his first two season in the league – told RealGM: "Everybody knows I belong in the league…I’m completely, 100 percent healthy. It’s been a great experience for me. I really look up to the Miami Heat and I really appreciate them for letting me come and be a part of their organization. I just want to show them that I can play, show them that I can belong here.
Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- Carrick Felix made a strong enough impression on Mike Brown that the Cavaliers coach thinks he has a good chance to make the regular season roster, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer. As for other players who could have possibly earned invites to training camp, Brown mentioned Matthew Dellavedova, Cory Higgins, Jermaine Taylor, and Justin Harper.
- Wizards rookie Otto Porter did a brief interview with Hoopsworld about his experiences in summer league and what he needs to work on in preparation for training camp (video link).
- DeMar DeRozan gave his thoughts and impressions on some of his young Raptors teammates, having a full training camp to work alongside Rudy Gay, Masai Ujiri, and team's playoff chances (video link).
- Cody Zeller expounded on what he learned about the NBA game against summer competition and building chemistry with some of his teammates (video link).
- Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets that Vitor Faverani's three-year deal with the Celtics is worth $6MM, which was the projected deal a few days ago.
- Frank Isola of the New York Daily News questions the leadership of Knicks owner James Dolan and is skeptical about how the team will fare next season.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer discusses how the NBA's new CBA has benefitted the Bobcats.
Here are a few of the latest non-NBA links, from the D-League and overseas:
- Italy's Pallacanestro Cantu is still interested in signing Sundiata Gaines, but the point guard, who was waived in October by the Pacers, has also received an offer from a Chinese team, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
- We heard yesterday that Spain's Lagun Aro was closing in on a deal with Jermaine Taylor, and today the team made the signing official (as translated by Sportando). Taylor had been in camp with the Timberwolves.
- At his introductory press conference with the Melbourne Tigers, Jonny Flynn explained that he wanted to sign where he'd have the "best chance to play," as Wendell Maxey of Ridiculous Upside writes.
- Celtics coach Doc Rivers is rooting for JaJuan Johnson, the former Celtic who was the first overall pick in last week's D-League draft. "I know he has the talent, I’ll put it that way," said Rivers, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. "I told him that this summer. He’s going to either have to pull it out of himself, or it’ll be there. But I do believe that he has NBA talent. And I hope he makes it."
- Johnson, Andrew Goudelock, and Justin Harper, the top three picks in the D-League draft, spoke to HoopsWorld about making the most of their time in the D-League.
- If former Spur James Anderson can improve his long-range jumper with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, don't expect him to be in the D-League for long, says Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside.
With NBA rosters set, plenty of players who were waived prior to the regular season by NBA teams have turned to the D-League, as we outlined yesterday. However, others are looking overseas as they attempt to continue their basketball careers. Here's the latest on a number of players who are signing with or drawing interest from non-NBA clubs:
The Timberwolves waived guard Jermaine Taylor following last night’s preseason game against the Bulls, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter). Minnesota now has 17 players remaining on the roster with Taylor out of the picture.
The Wolves have 14 players with guaranteed deals for 2012/13, essentially leaving Mike Harris, Chris Johnson, and Will Conroy to battle over one remaining spot. Harris and Johnson are on make-good contracts while Conroy’s comes with a modest partial guarantee of $100K.
Taylor, 25, last appeared in the NBA in 2010/11 when he spent 34 games with the Rockets and Kings, averaging 6.6 PPG in 14.2 minutes per contest. The former UCF star also had a cup of coffee with the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season, averaging 14.2 PPG in 14 games.
The Timberwolves formally announced today that they have signed six players to fill out their roster for training camp. Besides Will Conroy and Seth Tarver, whose signings had been previously reported, Minnesota has also added Jermaine Taylor, Mike Harris, Chris Johnson, and Phil Jones, according to the team (Twitter link).
Of the four additions that we're hearing about for the first time, Taylor, Harris, and Johnson all have previous NBA experience, though only Johnson logged NBA minutes in 2011/12. Taylor, the 32nd overall pick in 2009 appeared in 65 games for the Rockets and Kings, while the undrafted Harris played for the Rockets and Wizards in parts of three seasons. Jones, meanwhile, played his college ball for the Charlotte 49ers, where his senior year was cut short in 2011 after he was ruled academically ineligible for the second half.
Conroy has a small guarantee on his contract, which should give him a slight advantage over the other five players for the T-Wolves' 15th and final roster spot. However, I expect the team would be happy to eat the $100K owed to Conroy if one of the other non-guaranteed players excels in training camp and preseason action.
With Minnesota's roster now at 20 players, it appears the T-Wolves are officially out of the running for Sean Williams, Hassan Whiteside, and various other big men that have been linked to the team in recent weeks.