Warriors, JaCorey Williams Agree To Deal

The Warriors are said to have reached an agreement with Middle Tennessee forward JaCorey Williams, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reports. It’s unclear whether the deal is just for Summer League or one that will span into training camp.

Coming off of their third title in two seasons, the Warriors don’t exactly need reinforcements, but the 23-year-old big man averaged 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in college.

Should the agreement be for more than just a Summer League deal, there’s a chance that the parties could have come to terms on a two-way deal. Earlier today, of course, we wrote that the Warriors and Oregon’s Chris Boucher had agreed on a two-way contract.

Cavaliers Notes: Griffin, Luxury Tax, Rabb

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin wanted more autonomy when it came to managing his team’s roster, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com says. The scribe responded to a question  about Griffin’s recent exit in a mailbag with readers.

Per Vardon, franchise owner Dan Gilbert had a tendency to get in the way of trades and contracts and the philosophical differences between the two parties were evident.

Vardon confirms that Griffin was also seeking a significant raise but doesn’t suspect that any negotiations even reached that far considering that they didn’t appear to be on the same page to begin with.

  • The $2MM reduction in payroll room the league hinted at with its latest salary cap projection could cost the Cavaliers as much as $10MM in luxury tax damage, Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today writes. The Cavs will be hit with the repeater tax in 2017/18.
  • The Cavaliers had a deal on the table to acquire the 34th pick in the draft last night with the intention of drafting Ivan Rabb, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Rabb ultimately went 35th overall.
  • The Cavaliers could look to add Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. While the scenario sounds, and probably is, farfetched, Vardon suggests that their personal ties to LeBron James could land them in Ohio if they are ultimately bought out by their respective clubs.

Bucks Expected To Sign Bronson Koenig

The Bucks are expected to reach a deal with Wisconsin product Bronson Koenig, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweets. The senior is the Badgers’ all-time three-point leader.

Per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net, the agreement will likely come in the form of a two-way deal, one of the new contractual mechanisms implemented by the latest collective bargaining agreement.

Until the signing is official, we won’t know exactly what the terms of the contract will be, so there exists the possibility that it’s simply for Summer League. But it sounds like Koenig will be with the Bucks for training camp.

Chris Paul To Opt Out Of Contract

7:36pm: A tweet from ESPN’s Marc Spears says that, while Paul is expected to opt out, he hasn’t formally told the team or filed with the league at this point.

5:20pm: The Clippers have been informed that All-Star guard Chris Paul will decline his player option for 2017/18, Brad Turner of the LA Times tweets.

Paul, who recently turned 32, averaged 18.1 points and 9.2 assists in his 12th NBA season and is among the biggest names on the market this summer. While the Clippers will obviously look to retain him – and are the ‘overwhelming favorite‘ to do so – the veteran has also been linked to the Spurs (June 2 report) and, to a lesser extent, the Rockets and Nuggets (June 15 report).

The news of Paul’s decision comes shortly after it was announced that Blake Griffin, too, opted out of the final year of his own deal, effectively jump starting an inevitably busy offseason for Clippers president Doc Rivers.

Had Paul accepted his player option, he would have made $24.3MM this season. Now, under the new collective bargaining agreement, he’ll be eligible to make around $200MM over five years, so long as he stays with the Clippers.

 

Lakers Notes: FA Priorities, Nwaba, Ball

Speaking to the media, including Mark Medina of the Orange County Register, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said that the Lakers were relentless on the draft day trade market and even spoke with the Pacers about a possible Paul George deal.

While they didn’t ultimately manage anything of a similar magnitude to their Brook Lopez trade days before, they did manage to move the No. 28 pick for a pair later in the draft and are expected to continue seeking ways of improving.

That will continue until we get in a position again where we feel like this roster is a championship-level roster,” Pelinka said. “We’re not there yet. So we’re going to be relentless with the work and we’re going to pursue every opportunity until we reach our goal.”

  • When free agency begins next week, expect the Lakers to target shooters, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet tweets. General manager Rob Pelinka is said to have shooting at the top of his priority list.
  • The Lakers have until Saturday to decide if they’d like to pick up David Nwaba‘s $1.3MM option for next season, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet tweets. Update: Bresnahan has sent an updated tweet, correcting the deadline to Thursday (as opposed to Saturday)
  • General manager Rob Pelinka thinks that the Lakers will need two superstars to compete for a championship and intends to go out and get them. “I think with the leading teams in the league today, we felt like, to be able to look them in the eye and challenge them, we need two superstar players to come here and join this platform and join our core group of players we now have,” he told Baxter Holmes of ESPN. “That’s our plan, and we’re going to put all of our energy and all of our hard work toward that.”
  • A contributing factor to the Lakers taking Lonzo Ball with their second overall pick was the unconventional workout the two parties went through prior to the draft. The Vertical’s Shams Charania has details of the day the Lakers spent observing the eventual No. 2 overall pick’s daily routine.

Blake Griffin Opts Out, Becomes Free Agent

Unsurprisingly, Clippers forward Blake Griffin has formally opted out of the final year of his contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. The All-Star will hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.

While the Clippers are expected to at least attempt to retain Griffin and fellow free agent Chris Paul, the forward also expects to see interest from other teams looking to add a star.

Earlier this week we wrote about the Rockets targeting the 28-year-old power forward and it wasn’t long ago when Wojnarowski mentioned that the Celtics could be the biggest threat to the Clippers as far as luring Griffin away was concerned.

Had Griffin not opted out through his early termination clause, he would have made $21.4MM in 2017/18. Instead, as Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets, he’ll be eligible for as much as $175MM through five years so long as he stays with the franchise.

If Griffin leaves the Clippers, he’ll be eligible for a four-year, $130MM deal.

Pacers Decline Team Option For Lavoy Allen

The Pacers have declined their 2017/18 team option on Lavoy Allen‘s contract, Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports tweets. The big man would have otherwise made $4MM this season.

In a report earlier this week, Agness wrote that such a decision was likely citing the forward’s social media accounts and the general change in direction the franchise has been forced to undergo over the course of a pending Paul George exodus.

With Allen off the books, The Vertical’s Bobby Marks adds, the Pacers could free up as much as $27MM-$30MM so long as their also willing to part with Jeff Teague and C.J. Miles.

Rockets To Sign L.J. Peak, George De Paula

The Rockets have agreed to free agent deals with a couple of undrafted prospects, though the moves are not yet official. Per Mark Berman of Fox 26, the club has an agreement in place to sign Georgetown’s L.J. Peak.

Ranked 46th of DraftExpress.com’s list of top 100 prospects, the junior Hoya will look to stick on a roster seeking to add as many potential weapons as possible. In Peak, the Rockets will get a 21-year-old fresh off a campaign in which he posted 16.3 points and 3.5 assists per game.

Per Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Rockets will also take a flyer on Brazilian point guard George de Paula. An international early entrant in this year’s draft, de Paula comes in at No. 72 on DraftExpress’ big board.

At this time it’s not entirely clear whether the deals will be for Summer League or for training camp, but it sounds like both players should have a spot on Houston’s 20-man camp roster.

Kings Release Arron Afflalo

The Kings have released Arron Afflalo today, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. The guard had a contract guarantee that would have otherwise triggered today.

Afflalo had initially signed a two-year $25MM with the Kings last offseason but the second year, worth $12.5MM, would have only been guaranteed if he remained on the club’s roster through today.

Considering the different state that the franchise is in now versus last year, it’s no surprise that the team has decided to part ways with the veteran.

Per Bobby Marks of The Vertical, rather than pay the $12.5 that had been earmarked for the 2017/18 campaign, the Kings will instead stretch $1.5MM in payouts to Afflalo over the course of the next three seasons.

In 61 games for the Kings last year, including 45 starts, Afflalo put 8.4 points per game.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Suspended For Two Games

Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be suspended for two games to open the 2017/18 regular season, the NBA announced today in a press release. According to the league, Caldwell-Pope is being suspended for pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He’ll lose two games’ worth of pay, based on his 2017/18 salary.

Caldwell-Pope was arrested in March on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to reports at the time, KCP was pulled over at approximately 2:50 a.m. in Auburn Hills and was put through a sobriety test, which he failed.

It will be a big summer for Caldwell-Pope, who is eligible for restricted free agency. Although his arrest – and suspension – will be something potential suitors take into consideration, it’s unlikely to be a major factor — he’ll still be in line for a significant payday, and I expect the Pistons will be ready to match just about any offer he receives.

In 76 games last season, Caldwell-Pope averaged 13.8 PPG, shooting 35.0% on three-point attempts.

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