Luke Walton Rumors
April 18 at 10:57pm CST By Ryan Raroque
The news of Byron Scott's firing has sent an emotional ripple effect throughout the Cavaliers' organization, especially stunning many of the players, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer. GM Chris Grant, who admitted that the decision was a difficult one "personally and professionally," told reporters that the team hadn't been making enough progress to warrant continued direction under coach Scott.
As for a replacement, Grant said: "Moving forward we'll look for someone with proven success and look for somebody who is strong defensively with proven systems...We'll look for somebody who is a teacher. We'll look for somebody who is a grinder and a worker."
We have quite a few links to relay regarding the Cavs tonight, and you can find them below:
- Schmitt Boyer compiled a list of potential coaching candidates, categorizing them in terms of "shoot for the moon" targets, former head coaches, highly regarded NBA assistants, and college coaches.
- The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto makes a case for Stan Van Gundy as a possible fit in Cleveland, saying that the Cavaliers would definitely like to talk to him soon. Pluto also suggests a possibility that the organization considers someone who has never been an NBA head coach - such as Heat assistant coach David Fizdale - to take the coaching reins.
- Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press mentions that Flip Saunders - a native of Cleveland - could be another option, though the former Timberwolves coach could also be linked to Minnesota depending on if Rick Adelman and/or David Kahn remain with that organization.
- Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer writes that the NBA will hold a random tiebreaker on Friday which will determine what draft choice the team receives from the Lakers in June. She also runs down the list of impending free agents on the roster and discusses the likelihood of their return or departure.
- In addition to eliciting more reaction from the Cavs players, Schmitt Boyer was able to hear Luke Walton's thoughts about whether or not he could see Phil Jackson joining the franchise as a coach: "I get surprised every day in this league. But we're a pretty young team right here right now for Coach Jackson to come back. I would be surprised if he'd come to such a young team on that side of the process. But I get shocked every day in this league, so I won't say it's not going to happen.''
March 30 at 9:55pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Thunder reserve Ronnie Brewer tells Shams Charania of RealGM he thinks that "it was unfortunate" that the Bulls announced Derrick Rose was cleared to play, elaborating that being 110% mentally ready is just as important as being physically ready: "I don’t think anybody really knows...I don’t think the doctors know. I don’t think any of the players know. Whatever it is, I don’t think he should rush back and not be confident to play, because if you’re not playing with confidence, then everything goes out the window.”
Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- There was some confusion about Kyrie Irving's status coming out of Cavaliers camp today, as forward Luke Walton hinted that Irving could be coming back soon shortly after Byron Scott told the media that there weren't any updates on the second year point guard (other than he was getting shots up at practice). Jodie Valade of the Plain Dealer clarifies that Irving has been working out hard before games and made note that he has reached the third week of a three-to-four week recovery period since spraining his shoulder earlier this month.
- During tonight's game between the 76ers and Bobcats, Dei Lynam of CSN Philly caught up with Allen Iverson, who says: "If the road ends here (with regard to not playing again), I'm fine with it...I'm happy and content with everything that's going on in my life...If I get a chance to play again, then I would love the opportunity, but if not, I would continue to just be happy."
- Tom Moore of Philly Burbs looks at the options that Philadelphia has this offseason, whether it involves making a significant signing and filling out the roster with minimum contracts, dangling Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, or possibly Evan Turner in trade talks, or look at one-year deals as a means of maintaining flexibility the following summer.
- Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel uniquely describes the value of cap flexibility for the Magic moving forward.
March 15 at 9:26am CST By Luke Adams
Two months ago, Luke Walton told Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida that if his back issues flared up again this season, he'd have to consider retiring at season's end. Since then, however, Walton has played relatively consistent minutes for the Cavaliers, and according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, the former Laker believes he can shelve thoughts of retirement for the near future.
Walton, 32, was acquired by the Cavs a year ago today, as part of the trade that sent Ramon Sessions to the Lakers. At the time, Walton was viewed as a salary throw-in, and Lloyd writes that it wouldn't have been surprising if he had drifted into retirement at the end of his current contract. According to Lloyd, even Walton thought that's how things might play out, but now the veteran forward is optimistic about playing for a couple more seasons.
"With the amount of back pain I’ve had the previous four or five
years, I was going to give it everything I had this year, and if my back
acted up, I was going to retire," Walton said. "Now that my back has
been feeling much better, I’m enjoying this.
"I think this core group of people here and this coaching staff are doing
some really good things and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of," Walton continued. "I
haven’t really gotten that far into it yet, but I’m still focusing on
trying to stay healthy and having fun playing this game and helping this
team become better. But I love playing with these guys."
Walton, who is earning $6.09MM this season, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. If he were to return to the Cavs next season, it would probably have to be on a minimum-salary contract, which he recognizes, telling Lloyd, "I've made my money." While he hopes to extend his playing career, Walton also has an idea of what he'd like to do after he retires, telling Lloyd that he hopes to remain on an NBA bench in a coaching role.
"The NCAA makes it really challenging. There’s time limits you can work
out with players and you’ve got to baby-sit," Walton said of his experience working with the University of Memphis coaching staff during the 2011 lockout. "I like
basketball. I don’t want to go class-check and make sure guys are going
to class. I want to be 100% basketball. I think the NBA is what
I’d try, and if that didn’t work, high school could be fun back home."
January 26 at 11:15pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Bob Finnan of The News-Herald hears that Cavaliers GM Chris Grant could be looking to deal Luke Walton, Daniel Gibson, Omri Casspi (all expiring contracts), or even Marreese Speights (citing ESPN's Marc Stein) by the February trade deadline. He also shared a few more noteworthy tidbits in his NBA Notes piece:
- One reason why the team won't look to move Anderson Varejao is that he could be one of LeBron James' preferred counterparts should the current Heat star look to eventually return to Cleveland.
- Indiana's Cody Zeller, Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, and Maryland's Alex Len are among the top talented big men that the Cavs could target in June's NBA draft. Finnan adds that the addition of Marreese Speights has no bearing on the team's interest in drafting a big man during the offseason.
- Due to his ability to veto his inclusion in a trade, Speights lost his Bird Rights, which essentially prevents Cleveland from being able to exceed the cap to re-sign him. The 6'10 forward owns a $4.5MM player option for next season, but could end up pursuing a multi-year deal this summer if he plays well for the rest of the year.
January 12 at 12:58pm CST By Zach Links
Luke Walton is set to face off against his former team when his Cavs take on the Lakers at the Staples Center on Sunday night. As he returns to his first NBA home arena, Walton tells Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports that he may call it quits at the end of the year.
"If my back feels good, I want to keep playing," said Walton. "If my back goes out again, I'll have to re-evaluate it at the end of the season and contemplate calling it a career. But right now the back is feeling good, so I'm just kind of enjoying playing again (and) being able to play basketball without pain for the first time in a long time."
Walton is seeing just 14 minutes per contest for the Cavs this season and averaging 2.7 PPG. The Arizona product saw his minutes fluctuate in Los Angeles, but he was a key role player at times and put up 11.4 PPG in 33 minutes a night in 2006/07.
The forward is earning $6.091MM this year in the final season of a six-year, $30MM contract.
November 19 at 11:43am CST By Luke Adams
With this season's deadline still three months away, the trade market likely won't be too active for at least a few more weeks. However, as Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld writes, things could start to pick up on December 15th, when most players who signed over the summer are eligible to be dealt. Kyler looks at a few specific trade candidates in his latest piece, so let's round up the highlights....
- Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson are a few players in the final year of their contracts whose respective teams aren't planning to deal. However, the Hawks and Jazz could reconsider their stances as the deadline approaches, if there's an increasing concern that those players will leave in free agency.
- While there's no urgency in Toronto to move Jose Calderon, the Raptors are expected to explore deals. Kyler suggests that small forwards like Omri Casspi and Wilson Chandler are worth keeping an eye on as potential Raptors targets, adding that Chandler isn't in the Nuggets' long-term plan.
- The Rockets likely aren't done dealing, with players like Daequan Cook, Toney Douglas, and Marcus Morris among the team's possible trade candidates.
- DeJuan Blair continues to be available, but the Spurs are still seeking a first-round pick, and it's unclear if any team would pay that price for a player that could sign elsewhere at season's end.
- Anderson Varejao isn't likely to be moved, but if the Cavaliers were to consider a deal, it would have to include Luke Walton and his $6.09MM salary.
- Similarly, if the Kings explored a Tyreke Evans trade, Sacramento would want to include either John Salmons or Francisco Garcia.
- The Timberwolves would be open to moving Derrick Williams if they could land a good veteran player for him.
- Kyler also names Hedo Turkoglu, Tayshaun Prince, Tyrus Thomas, and Wesley Johnson as trade candidates, though all those players could be tough to move due to their salaries.
October 11 at 3:15pm CST By Luke Adams
As we heard earlier today, the NCAA is investigating agent Rich Paul and Myck Kabongo regarding a trip the Texas guard took to Cleveland this summer. Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson, who is represented by Paul, was involved in Kabongo's trip, but doesn't think any NCAA rules were violated, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal writes (on Sulia).
"I had to pay for it, but then his brother reimbursed me, which is
totally fine with the NCAA," Thompson said. "I think everything will
work out. I don't see no eligibility issues, but that's for the NCAA to
Here are a few more Thursday notes related to the Cavs:
- Jon Leuer doesn't appear to be in jeopardy of not making Cleveland's regular season roster, though he may face an uphill battle for minutes, says Bob Finnan of the News Herald.
- Leuer was traded by the Bucks this summer, waived by the Rockets, and eventually claimed by the Cavs on waivers, and says he was caught off guard by all the movement: "I didn't see that coming at all. Milwaukee needed a center
and Houston had a million things going on. It was a pretty crazy
offseason, kind of a welcome to the free-agency frenzy for a young
- The Cavs have 18 players on their roster and will need to cut three more before the season begins. Finnan expects the team to cut one of Donald Sloan or Jeremy Pargo, and one of Luke Harangody, Luke Walton, and Kevin Jones. It's unclear who the last cut could be -- perhaps Kelenna Azubuike or Micheal Eric. Finnan suggests that Cleveland may also be willing to move Daniel Gibson for a second-round pick.
- As our list of non-guaranteed deals shows, Sloan, who appears to have a leg up on Pargo, is the only Cav under contract without any sort of guarantee. So Cleveland may end up releasing three players who are all owed guaranteed money.
October 7 at 7:48pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Bulls have had the best record in the NBA for two consecutive seasons, but with Derrick Rose out, they could have a tough time simply recording the best record in the Central Division this year, with the Pacers waiting to pounce. The Bucks, Cavs and Pistons probably aren't division title contenders this year, but they're all arguably improved from last season, meaning the Central figures to be more competitive than it has been in recent years. We'll round up the latest from the division here:
- K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes that playing without Rose will not be an unprecedented situation for the Bulls. The 2011 MVP missed 27 games in the 2011/12 season.
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer tweets that there is a 50-50 chance Cavs coach Byron Scott will begin to cut players from the training camp roster after Cleveland's Tuesday preseason game.
- Luke Walton said this week the Cavs haven't approached him about a buyout, but Bob Finnan of the News-Herald believes it isn't out of the question that the team would let him go. Walton is due $6.091MM this year in the final season of a six-year, $30MM contract.
- Scott is impressed with Walton's conditioning, and the 32-year-old forward says he's in better shape than he's been in the past four years, reports Schmitt Boyer. "Can he make the team? Yeah, I think he can make the team, to be honest with you," Scott said. "We’ve got some other tough decisions that I have to make in the next couple of weeks, but right now I’m enjoying the fact that these guys are making it hard on me, which is good."
- K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune checks in with Marko Jaric as he tries to return to the NBA with the Bulls. Chicago doesn't have enough money under its $70.307MM hard cap to put Jaric on the regular season roster for opening day, but the Bulls would be able to add him in late November, when the veteran's minimum pro-rates down to a figure that will fit.
- MLive's David Mayo chronicles the struggles that Pistons rookies are having in camp, and says big man Slava Kravtsov appears to be the farthest along of any of them right now.
October 3 at 4:19pm CST By Luke Adams
As NBA training camps continue, the big stories around the league today involved the Association's new anti-flopping policy and the Knicks finally making Rasheed Wallace's signing official. In spite of the buzz surrounding Wallace's return to the NBA, Knicks coach Mike Woodson tells Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link) that he views 'Sheed as an insurance policy, rather than someone who will play big minutes. Here are a few more odds and ends from around the league:
- There's still a chance Josh Howard ends up on the Knicks, but the team would have to cut someone to make room for him, tweets Zwerling. For now, New York is in "wait-and-see mode" while the team evaluates its current players, a source tells Zwerling (Twitter link).
- If the Cavaliers have made Luke Walton a buyout offer, he isn't aware of it, says Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Sulia link). According to Amico, Walton leaves such matters to his agent, and is expecting to play out the final year of his contract with the Cavs.
- The timetable for Dwight Howard's potential return keeps moving up, if you ask Howard, who tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that he could play in the preseason.
- While Jazz players like Chris Quinn, Brian Butch, Darnell Jackson, and Trey Gilder are long shots to make the club's roster, coach Tyrone Corbin says everyone has a chance, according to Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News.
- Israeli team Maccabi Rishon LeZion has announced the signing of 2007 lottery pick Julian Wright, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
- In an Insider piece, ESPN.com's David Thorpe explores the impact it would have if the D-League evolved into a full minor league system for the NBA.
August 19 at 5:40pm CST By Zach Links
The Cavaliers aren't expected to buy out Luke Walton or Omri Casspi, according to Mary Schmitt Boyer and Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer (Twitter links). The Cavs also have yet to reach agreement on a deal with Alonzo Gee, though the two sides are reportedly closing in on a three-year deal worth about $10MM.
A report earlier today indicated that the Cavs were considering a buyout for Casspi. The Israeli forward is set to earn $2.277MM next season and can be retained with a $3.313MM qualifying offer in 2013/14.
Walton, 32, played in just 21 games for the Cavs last season and has been used out of position at power forward rather than his natural three spot. The former Laker is under contract for one more season where he'll make a sizable $6.091MM. As it stands, Walton is set to be the third-highest paid Cavalier next season behind Baron Davis and Anderson Varejao.