JULY 30TH: The Kings, Cavs, Spurs, Thunder and Wizards were all in attendance at a workout that Jones held today in Las Vegas, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Between 15 and 20 NBA clubs were set to take a look at him this week, as Kennedy reported earlier this month.
The Knicks are apparently discussing trades involving J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to clear up that position, as we noted Sunday. New York also worked out Jones this past February, seemingly the closest brush that the now 33-year-old had with the NBA last season after the Bulls waived him early in the preseason. Still, that was before the arrival of Knicks team president Phil Jackson, and what attracts the team to Jones now is his competitiveness and leadership, according to Isola.
The Knicks, now as they were in February, are limited to the minimum salary, and the Clippers are similarly hamstrung. The Sixers have ample cap room to use on Jones, but it’s nonetheless unlikely that he’ll warrant any better than a guaranteed minimum-salary contract. He’s averaged 5.6 points in 16.3 minutes per game over his career, and put up 3.4 PPG in 13.0 MPG in 2012/13, his last NBA season.
The contracts for six NBA players will become fully guaranteed if their teams don’t waive them by the end of Friday, and two more players will earn partial guarantees if they avoid getting cut. Draymond Green and Khris Middleton almost certainly won’t be cast aside between now and that deadline, but for the rest, the summer temperatures won’t be the only reason to sweat out the next few days. Here’s more from the NBA:
Players association VP Roger Mason Jr. insists that union leadership addressed concerns from membership regarding the hiring process for a new executive director and the departure of search committee leader Kevin Johnson, as Mason tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling. Discord had marked the union’s Monday meeting in which Michele Roberts handily won a vote to fill the executive director vacancy.
Former NBA head coach Paul Westphal highlights the assistant coaching hires that the Nets officially announced today. Brooklyn also brought on Joe Wolf, Jay Humphries and Mavs assistant Tony Brown. John Welch and Jim Sann are the only holdovers from last season.
The Warriors and Knicks were interested in undrafted forward/center Eric Moreland, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. Charania reported Tuesday that Moreland had agreed to join the Kings instead.
While he believes that Byron Scott is a good coach, Tom Ziller of SB Nation doesn’t think Scott will solve the Lakers problems. Ziller also believes Los Angeles made a “typical coaching carousel signing” in picking up Scott, whom Ziller describes as “an undervalued, affordable coach” despite the team’s ability to afford any coach they wanted.
Here’s more from around the league:
Donatas Motiejunas, when discussing former teammate Chandler Parsons who left the Rockets to sign a three-year, $46.08MM deal with the Mavericks, told Simonas Baranauskas of Lithuania Basket (Twitter link), “He’s a good player, but would it be logical for management to pay him more than James Harden?” Houston declined to match the offer sheet Parsons had signed with the Mavs.
With the NBA discussing extending the All-Star break to seven days, Zach Lowe of Grantland (Twitterlinks) thinks the league should first look to adjust the amount of regular season games played, and doesn’t think the longer break would be a positive if it meant more back-to-back games, or beginning the season at an earlier date.
Pablo Prigioni is glad to be re-united with former Spanish League teammate Jose Calderon on the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Prigioni believes Calderon will be able to help New York, saying, “We played together in Spain and we did really well. He is a great player and very good professional, a great 3-point shooting guy. He can run the team and read the game very well and is a good defender. He has all that a good point guard must have.”
In the same article, Prigioni also expressed his positive feelings towards Carmelo Anthony re-signing with the Knicks, saying, “When I saw Melo re-sign, the first thing I did was send him a message saying that I was so happy to have a chance to still play with him. And I told him that I’m sure we will play much better next season.”
Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders believes that Bucks first-rounder Jabari Parker will have the biggest impact of any rookie this coming season, as well as take home Rookie Of The Year honors.
Heading into this offseason, the chances of Kevin Love heading to the Cavaliers were slim. But that was before LeBron James decided to return his talents to Cleveland. When LeBron announced his decision to sign with the Cavs, he preached patience, and in a move to lower expectations, implied that the team wouldn’t expect to contend for a championship this coming season.
But acquiring a player of Love’s caliber could certainly accelerate that timetable, which is one reason that Cleveland has seemingly been burning up the phone lines trying to work out a deal to acquire the stat-sheet-filling power forward. The feeling is apparently shared by Love, who, as recently reported, may have formally requested a trade to Cleveland via his agent.
Numerous other teams have been attempting to work out a deal, including the Warriors, Celtics, Lakers, Bulls and Knicks. Golden State still appears to be Cleveland’s main competitors for Love, but the Warriors have expressed an unwillingness to include Klay Thompson as part of the deal, which has stalled talks between the two franchises.
The potential blockbuster deal between the Wolves and the Cavs is being complicated by the insistence of Minnesota coach and president of basketball operation Flip Saunders that Cleveland include No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins as part of any package for Love. Wiggins recently signed with the Cavs, so they will have to wait 30 days before they can officially deal him away. But that is only a minor issue if both franchises are serious about making a trade.
Should the Cavs relent and include Wiggins if it nets them Love? Wiggins has a wealth of potential and could turn out to be a superstar, and the type of player you can build a champion around, but he has yet to play a minute of regular season action. Whereas Love has career averages of 19.2 PPG, 12.2 RPG, and 2.5 APG. He’s also only 25 years old and just entering his prime. The knock on Love of course is that in six seasons he has yet to lead his team to the playoffs, and that he is a subpar defender.
As for Wiggins, his value is more theoretical at this point. There have been numerous players, including first overall draft picks, who enter the league being touted as franchise changing talents, only to disappoint and underperform. The ceiling on the rookie appears to be incredibly high, but is holding onto him and gambling he’ll turn out to be a better player than Love worth the risk?
The other aspect to factor in is the leverage that Cleveland may have gained in the trade talks if Love indeed told the Timberwolves that he would opt out after the 2014/15 season and would not re-sign with the team. And if Love also specifically requested a trade to Cleveland, that could complicate matters further.
Cleveland could also decide to hold off on depleting its young assets and simply play out this season with its current roster, then try to clear enough cap room to sign Love next summer outright. This might allow them to keep Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and whichever other pieces, including draft picks, that they would have had to ship to Minnesota to get this deal done, but it would still be a challenge. The Cavs already have more than $48MM in commitments for 2015/16, assuming James opts in and the team picks up its option on Dion Waiters.
So now it’s time for you to step into Cavs GM David Griffin‘s shoes and make the call. Do you relent and include Wiggins if it will bring Love’s talents to Cleveland? Or do you draw a line in the sand and refuse to offer Wiggins, even if it potentially costs you a LeBron-Love pairing?
Miami is remaining non-committal about bringing back free agents Michael Beasley and Greg Oden, as Jackson writes in the same piece. The agents for both veterans tell Jackson that the Heat have been in contact regarding their clients, but that they are receiving interest from other teams as well.
The Hornets didn’t necessarily sign Brian Roberts for the room exception, as originally thought, when they made his deal official Wednesday, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. It appears as though they have enough cap space to use on Roberts and preserve the exception to use on someone else, should they choose.
Carmelo Anthony spent his free agency largely debating between signing with either the Knicks or the Bulls, though the Lakers were briefly his top choice, as he told Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. New York gave him much more lucrative contract than the Bulls could have, but the star forward insisted money wasn’t his primary motivation and said he believes the Knicks are closer to contention than widely assumed, as Goodman writes. Anthony also hinted that he wants to remain with the Knicks for the rest of his career. Here’s more from around the league:
Kyrie Irving‘s extension with the Cavs will only provide for a starting salary equal to approximately 27.5% of the cap, rather than the maximum 30%, if he triggers the Derrick Rose Rule this coming season, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter link). It’s similar to the concessionPaul George made when he, too, signed an otherwise maximum-salary extension with the Pacers last year.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey called the protected 2015 first-round pick he acquired from the Pelicans in the Omer Asik deal “the best draft pick in the league for someone to trade for,” as the GM said to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. It’s protected for the top three and the bottom 11 picks each year through 2018 and the top three and the bottom six picks in 2019 and 2020, as RealGM details.
The Mavs were among the NBA teams that invited undrafted Syracuse combo forward C.J. Fair to training camp, but none of them offered any guaranteed money, which is apparently behind Fair’s decision to change agents, writes Mike Waters of The Post-Standard. Fair dropped Torrel Harris in favor of Joel Bell for his representation, as Guido Guida of La Gazzetta Dello Sport was first to report (Twitter link).
The Knicks invited summer league power forward Cameron Moore to training camp, but he agreed to terms earlier this month with Venezia of Italy, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (on Twitter).
Wednesday was the last day that teams with outstanding qualifying offers out to restricted free agents could unilaterally withdraw them. Clubs can still withdraw qualifying offers, but doing so would require the player’s consent, and it would require the team to renounce any form of Bird rights on the player. No team withdrew a qualifying offer before the deadline, though that’s not entirely surprising, since there are only five unsigned restricted free agents left. We ran down the latest news on each of them earlier this week, and not much has changed since then.
As we wait for the last of the restricted free agents to make their decisions on where to sign, let’s have a look at the latest contract details that have leaked out from around the NBA..
As expected, Jameer Nelson is slated to make $2,732,000 for the Mavs next season, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Nelson’s deal features a $2,854,940 player option for the 2015/16 campaign, adds Stein.
The three-year contract P.J. Tucker signed with the Suns will pay him $5.7MM in 2014/15, passes along Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, who goes on to reveal that the deal is worth $5.5MM and $5.3MM during the following two seasons, with only $1.5MM guaranteed in year three (Twitter link).
Brian Roberts‘ two-year, $5.6MM contract with the Hornets will be fully guaranteed without any player or team option, reports Pincus (via Twitter).
James Ennis signed a three-year deal with the Heat that’s mostly non-guaranteed, save for a $200K partial guarantee for this season, according to Mark Deeks of Sham Sports. The first year will become fully guaranteed if he sticks through opening night.
The idea that the Cavs would trade LeBron James sometime during his two-year contract is outlandish, but just in case it happens, the deal includes a 15% trade kicker, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports. Deeks has updated his salary database with plenty of new information on deals signed within the past few weeks, so we’ll pass along some of his noteworthy findings. All links to go the relevant salary page at ShamSports.
Damjan Rudez will make $3.449MM over the life of his three-year deal with the Pacers, which includes a team option for the final season. Shayne Whittington‘s partial guarantee with the team this year is worth $25K.
Russ Smith‘s deal with the Pelicans runs three years at the minimum salary, but only the first season is fully guaranteed. Fellow Pelicans rookie Patric Young‘s two-year deal is non-guaranteed, save for a $55K partial guarantee this year.
The Knicks have waived Shannon Brown, the team announced (via Twitter). His non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary was to have become fully guaranteed if the Knicks hadn’t waived him by the end of August 1st.
The move is somewhat surprising, given Brown’s ties to Knicks team president Phil Jackson, who was Brown’s coach when they were together with the Lakers. New York gave Brown his deal this past March soon after hiring Jackson, though Brown initially joined the club on a pair of 10-day contracts that predated Jackson’s arrival.
Brown, 28, averaged just 2.1 points and 7.8 minutes per game in 19 appearances for the Knicks this year, having seen only slightly more playing time in a 10-game stint with the Spurs earlier in the season. He had a much larger role the previous two seasons with the Suns, including a career-high 11.0 points per game in 2011/12, but Phoenix sent him to Washington in the Marcin Gortat trade, and the Wizards promptly waived him to get down to 15 players before opening night. The eight-year veteran spent the first three months of the season without an NBA deal.
The Cavs aren’t dangling Andrew Wiggins in trade talks with the Wolves about Kevin Love, at least for the time being, a source tells Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, who was the first to report last week that Cleveland was open to the idea of parting with Wiggins. So, while no one involved would guarantee Finnan that Wiggins wouldn’t wind up in a Love deal, it sounds like that idea is on the backburner for now. Here’s more from around the Association:
Testimony has resumed today in the probate trial between Clippers owners Donald and Shelly Sterling after the judge made a pair of decisions Friday that appear to help Shelly Sterling’s case, as USA Today’s David Leon Moore details. The judge has the power to allow Shelly Sterling to go forward with her sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, if he rules in her favor, even if Donald Sterling decides to appeal, according to Moore.
A member of the players association’s executive committee told TNT’s David Aldridge that the union will discuss the idea of taking action should the Sterlings continue to own the Clippers at the start of next season, as Aldridge writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com.
Thunder assistant coach Brian Keefe, whom Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has reportedly lured to serve as a Knicks assistant, was the member of the Oklahoma City staff whom Kevin Durant trusted the most, Aldridge notes in the same piece.
The final two seasons of the four-year contract between Devin Harris and the Mavs are a little more lucrative than previously reported. He’ll make nearly $4.728MM in year three and nearly $4.903MM in the final season, which is partially guaranteed for almost $1.34MM, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports details on his Mavs salary page.