Hawks Waive Lamar Patterson

The Hawks have waived Lamar Patterson, according to a team press release. Atlanta and Patterson agreed to the release in order to allow Patterson to tend to a personal matter.

The team recently signed Patterson to a two-year deal, though his contract only was partially guaranteed. The team also signed Ryan Kelly, a move which brought the team’s roster count to 15 players, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. After waiving, Patterson, the team’s roster is at 14 players, which means Atlanta has the ability to examine the buyout market in search of a possible contributor.

Patterson played 40 games for the Hawks over the last two seasons. He’s averaging 2.3 points in 10.9 minutes per game.


Cavaliers Notes: James, Smith, Williams

LeBron James claims that he “always felt good” about the Cavaliers‘ roster this season, though he admitted that he feels better now about the team than he did in January., Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes.

“Had nothing to do about exactly the team, it was just the way we were playing,” James recently said. “I’ve always felt good about the team. Coming into the season, even in January I felt good about our team, but you know it’s just about the way we were playing. So now I feel really good about the way we’re playing right now, and coach Lue has a pretty good handle for what he would like us to do on the court.”

The 4-time MVP has been critical of the front office this season, battling with ownership over payroll concerns and demanding outside help in the form of a playmaker. Just last month, he called the roster “top heavy” and exclaimed that this year’s squad was worse than the team that won the championship last season. The team has since added Derrick Williams via 10-day deal and it plans on adding Deron Williams on Monday. LBJ appears happy with with the team’s moves.

“Listen the only thing that matters is the guys on the court and the guys who come to work every day,” James said. “The moves will be made by our GM and things of that nature. Coaching staff is ready to put the guys on the floor, so that’s my concern, that’s my mindset right now. Getting this team geared up for the postseason and we want to continue to play good ball.”

Here’s more from The Land:

  • Kyle Korver knows Deron Williams from their time together in Utah and he believes Williams will be a great fit for the Cavs, Vardon writes in a separate piece“He wants to be a part of an opportunity to win a championship,” Korver said of Williams. “And just being here the whole time I’ve been here, and just seeing where there are some of the holes, or not holes, but where we can be better and knowing who he is and his skill set, I think it’s an incredible fit. He’s a guy that can play with the ball, he can play off the ball. He’s a good shooter, he’s a smart player. He can switch on defense, he’s a bigger body. I just think he’s a really good fit all around.”
  • The Cavs were interested in adding Williams during the 2015 offseason when the point guard agreed to a buyout with the Nets, Vardon adds in that same piece. Williams opted to join Dallas over coming to Cleveland.
  • While there’s no official date for J.R. Smith‘s return to the court, the team is optimistic about his recovery from a thumb injury, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com relays. “He seems to be doing very well. I’d say he’s on schedule, maybe slightly ahead of schedule,” GM David Griffin said.
  • Earlier today, we learned that Andrew Bogut is expected to join the Cavs once he reaches a buyout agreement with the Sixers.

Andrew Bogut Expected To Join Cavaliers

Andrew Bogut is expected to join the Cavaliers once he reaches a buyout agreement with the Sixers, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cleveland is expected to add Deron Williams on Monday and it currently has only one open roster spot, so the team will need to make a corresponding move should it plan to add both players.

Bogut was sent to Philadelphia as part of the Nerlens Noel trade, but he hasn’t reported to the team. He must be waived before Wednesday’s deadline in order to be eligible for postseason play, per league rules. He has spoken to Sixer coach Brett Brown, explaining his desire to play for a championship contender and a buyout agreement is considered likely.

Cleveland is among the five teams which reportedly reached out to Bogut’s representatives. The Spurs, Rockets, Celtics and Jazz were also interested in adding the Australian big man.

Bogut has battled injuries this season, but when he’s healthy, he remains one of the better interior defenders in the league. ESPN’s Real Defensive Plus/Minus ranks him as the second-best center in the league on defensive this season.

Lakers Notes: Ball, Magic, Ennis, Russell

Lonzo Ball’s father has clarified comments that indicated his son wouldn’t play for any team but the Lakers, according to ESPN.com. LaVar Ball said Saturday in a radio interview that he wants Lonzo to be drafted by L.A. and would discourage other teams from taking him. But he toned down those remarks in a later interview. “All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers, and I’m going to speak it into existence,” LaVar Ball told ESPN Saturday night. “I want him to be a Laker, but I wasn’t saying he’s only going to play for the Lakers.” Lonzo Ball is a star guard at UCLA and is projected to be one of the first players drafted. The Lakers are currently third in our Reverse Standings, but their pick will be conveyed to the Sixers if they drop out of the top three.

There’s more today from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers needed the fresh start they got by putting Magic Johnson in charge of the organization, contends Bill Heisler of The Orange County Register. He says there is plenty of shared blame for the team’s sorry state, including deceased former owner Jerry Buss, who hired Mike D’Antoni as coach in 2013 instead of Phil Jackson; Jim Buss, who hired Mike Brown as coach; Jeanie Buss, who gave Kobe Bryant a $55MM extension for his final two seasons; and former GM Mitch Kupchak, who handed out huge free agent deals to Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng last summer.
  • The Lakers are the latest team to give an opportunity to former first-round pick Tyler Ennis, writes Joey Kaufman of The Orange County Register. L.A. acquired the 22-year-old point guard Thursday in a deal with Houston, where he had only seen 6.3 minutes per night in 31 games. It marked the third time Ennis has been traded since being drafted by the Suns in 2014. “It’s too early right now,” coach Luke Walton said when asked about Ennis’ role in L.A. “We definitely want to get him out there and give him some opportunities and some chances.” Playing time may open up for Ennis if the Lakers go through with a rumored buyout with veteran point guard Jose Calderon.
  • With Johnson taking over the front office and Rob Pelinka hired as the new general manager, there’s a fresh sense of urgency surrounding the organization, according to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. D’Angelo Russell described the feeling as like coming to a new team.

Southwest Notes: Cousins, Pelicans, Noel, Williams

The pressure is rising in New Orleans after losses in DeMarcus Cousins‘ first two games with the Pelicans, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Many observers anointed New Orleans as the favorite to grab the West’s eighth playoff spot after Monday’s trade, but the Pelicans were embarrassed Thursday at home by the Rockets, then faded late in Saturday’s loss at Dallas. They are now 3 1/2 games behind the Nuggets for the eighth spot with 23 games remaining. Cousins had a spectacular game in his debut with 27 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, five steals and four blocks, but scored 12 points on just nine shots last night.

Pelicans commentator David Wesley says Cousins and Anthony Davis haven’t figured out how to co-exist on the court. “Right now, the spacing of the floor is not there,” Wesley said during Saturday’s game. “And with DeMarcus, Anthony, whoever is on the block that’s trying to operate, there are no lanes to operate with. There are no spaces right now to drive the basketball for the guards or the perimeter players. And they’re going to have to figure that out. This is [the] team they have.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Depth at the wing positions could be a problem in New Orleans for the rest of the season, notes Justin Verrier of ESPN.com. The trade for Cousins sent Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway to Sacramento, and Omri Casspi, who was acquired from the Kings, broke his right thumb in his first game and has been released. The Pelicans will have to get by with temporary acquisitions like Reggie Williams, who signed a 10-day contract Saturday.
  • The Mavericks were ecstatic with their first look at Nerlens Noel, who was acquired Thursday in a trade with the Sixers, relays Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Noel, who hasn’t practiced yet with his new team, came off the bench Saturday with nine points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. Dallas views the 22-year-old center as one of its building blocks, even though he will probably be used in a reserve role for the rest of the season. “Noel’s going to be the starting center here,” Carlisle said about Noel’s future role. “I do think he’ll get some starts this year. I just can’t tell you when or how frequently or exactly how it’s going to go. That’s the truth.”
  • Picking up Lou Williams from the Lakers shows the Rockets are serious about contending for a title this season, writes Fran Blinebury of NBA.com.

Hornets To Sign Briante Weber To 10-Day Deal

Briante Weber, whose 10-day contract with the Warriors expired Saturday, will sign a similar deal with the Hornets, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN.com.

Weber appeared in seven games during his two 10-day stints in Golden State, averaging 1.7 points in 6.6 minutes per night. The Warriors elected not to sign him for the rest of the season, reportedly to open up a roster spot to add Jose Calderon, who is discussing buyout options with the Lakers.

The Hornets had two roster spots to fill after 10-day contracts for Ray McCallum and Mike Tobey expired Friday. Both players have returned to the D-League. Charlotte signed power forward Johnny O’Bryant to a 10-day contract Friday afternoon.

The Hornets will be the fourth stop for Weber in his brief NBA career. He played six games for the Grizzlies and one for the Heat last season.

Mavs Sign Quinn Cook To 10-Day Contract

FEBRUARY 26: The Mavericks have formally signed Cook to a 10-day deal, the team announced today in a press release. With Ben Bentil‘s signing also official, the club now has a full 15-man roster.

FEBRUARY 24: The Mavericks are expected to sign Quinn Cook to a 10-day contract, Chris Reichert of The Step Back reports. The development was foreshadowed by Eddie Sefko of Dallas News, who reported that Cook was on a list of possible 10-day contract candidates.

Cook, 23, has yet to make his NBA debut but excelled with the Canton Charge this season- averaging 26.1 points on 47.7% shooting through 35 games. The former Blue Devil signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Pelicans entering training camp, and was waived in October despite an impressive preseason.

It remains to be seen when Dallas will formally announce the signing.

Weekly Mailbag: 2/20/16 – 2/26/16

We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com. Here are this week’s inquiries:

If Detroit traded Andre Drummond, who would be most likely to trade for him and what would they trade? — Mark Holmes

The Celtics and Trail Blazers were among the teams that contacted the Pistons about Drummond last week. Detroit coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said there wasn’t a “serious discussion” about trading Drummond, but interested teams were definitely calling. Boston has other priorities, with trade talks for Jimmy Butler and Paul George expected to heat up again this summer. Portland could use a dominant center, but the Blazers reportedly ended talks when the Pistons asked for C.J. McCollum, who the Blazers view as untouchable. The Nets may be a team to watch this summer if Detroit wants to get out of the huge financial commitment it made to Drummond with last year’s extension. Brook Lopez has just one year left on his deal at a little more than $22.6MM, and Drummond could be a nice centerpiece for Brooklyn to build around.

What is the likelihood that Phil Jackson joins L.A. now that Magic Johnson is in charge? — Alek Miletic

It wasn’t long ago that Knicks fans were welcoming Jackson as the man to fix the organization. Now they want to push him out the door. Owner James Dolan said earlier this month that he won’t opt out of Jackson’s deal, meaning the Zen Master will remain team president for at least two more years if he wants the job. The Knicks are barely on the edge of the playoff race, Jackson is locked in a power struggle with the team’s star player and the organization recently had an embarrassing incident with one of its legends. Leaving would be the easy way out, but Jackson doesn’t want to be perceived as running away from a sinking ship. Also, Magic Johnson is fully in charge of the Lakers now, so Jackson would have considerably less power in L.A. than he does in New York. We also don’t know how frosty Jackson’s relationship is with Jeanie Buss, who may not want to hire her former fiance’. That might be enough to keep Jackson where he is for two more seasons.

It’s clear that LeBron James is no longer able to claim this title of No. 1 player in the world. He may not even be the best player on his own team [see Kyrie Irving]. So who is? Kevin Durant? Kawhi Leonard? Russell Westbrook? — Michael Brajczewski

It really isn’t that clear. James is scoring slightly more [25.7 points per game] this season than he has since his return to Cleveland and he’s averaging a career-best 8.9 assists per night. He doesn’t have to put up triple doubles every game to prove that he’s still an elite player, and we all know he will ultimately be judged by what the Cavaliers do in the playoffs. Durant, Leonard and Westbrook are all great. You could add Stephen Curry, James Harden and possibly a few others as contenders for LeBron’s crown. But look at it this way. If the Cavaliers had been offered any of those players this week in exchange for LeBron, do you think they would have made the deal?

Mavs Sign Ben Bentil To 10-Day Contract

FEBRUARY 26: The signing is official, tweets Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com.

FEBRUARY 24: The Mavericks have signed Ben Bentil to a 10-day contract, according to Marc Stein of ESPN (Twitter link). Bentil, 21, had recently rejoined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League after playing 11 games in China.

According to Stein, Dallas plans to have completed deals with Bentil and Quinn Cook by Sunday. Bentil, who can fill in at the 3 or 4, was selected over fellow D-League standouts Manny Harris and Pierre Jackson (Twitter links). Jackson had already signed two 10-day contracts with Dallas this year, and would have needed to be signed through the season.

This has been the second contract agreement with a D-League player today for Dallas, as the team also struck a deal with Cook to a 10-day contract this afternoon.

Kings’ GM Divac Explains DeMarcus Cousins Trade

Kings GM Vlade Divac explains his comments about having a better offer for DeMarcus Cousins two days before the deal in an interview with Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee about last week’s shocking trade.

Divac says the offer came from the Pelicans, who were proposing Buddy Hield and two first-round picks, rather than the final package of Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and this year’s first- and second-rounders. He blames the center’s agents, Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana, for driving down Cousins’ price.

“I talked to DeMarcus’ agents to inform them we were having talks, negotiating terms, and they called teams and threatened them,” Divac explained, “saying that if Cousins was traded, he would not sign an extension. [The Pelicans] got scared and dropped it down to a second-round pick. I thought if I waited longer, I would get less. I needed to act.”

Divac also addressed the urgency created by a possible extension for Cousins, recent comments about keeping the big man in Sacramento and the decision to waive Matt Barnes in a wide-ranging discussion. Here are some highlights:

On the decision to pull the trigger on the trade to New Orleans:

“It was a lot of things, but basically, I thought it was time to start over. There was a lot of bad stuff happening here the last five years, a lot of bad habits. There were always issues, many you don’t even know about. Now I believe strongly this was the right thing to do for our future. Now I have a clear vision. This city deserves better, and I want to create that. With DeMarcus’ situation, I basically was stuck.”

Divac explains the stuck comment by noting that the Kings were looking at another non-playoff season with the prospect of either giving Cousins a massive extension this summer or trying to trade him with an expiring contract, which Divac believes would have scared teams away.

On a statement to ESPN earlier this month that Cousins was staying in Sacramento:

“Because I really did not have [good offers] for DeMarcus. In all the conversations I was having with GMs, we weren’t going to get anything. People were scared because of his history. So I felt confident he was going to stay with us, and I was going to work with him, and we would do the best we can. But then I got the offer from the Pelicans a few days before the All-Star Game. That was a difference of, what, two weeks from what I had said to ESPN? Everything changed.”

On recommending anger management therapy for the sometimes volatile star:

“Actually, that happened, and this time, they seemed more receptive. But I wasn’t sure if that was because the contract was coming up or what, so I wasn’t sure how to take it. Again, I wanted change, to start over. Acquire assets, build it right. At the same time play hard, play up-tempo, share the ball. Be a team, grow together.”

On releasing Barnes, who was waived Monday to open a roster spot and allow the deal to be completed:

“I want to build a culture, and he didn’t fit in my culture. Before we were just talking, preaching. But if we’re going to do it, you do it. The good thing about our situation now is that we have some very nice assets, a few more shooting guards, and time to take a look at Willie [Cauley-Stein], Skal [Labissiere] and Malachi Richardson] when he gets healthy, and Georgios Papagiannis. Ty Lawson has been very good for us, and Darren [Collison] is playing well, and he will be a free agent. Kosta [Koufos] has been good. We have [Bogdan] Bogdanovic coming over next season as another asset.”

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