Some sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that they think LeBron James will ask the Cavs to change coaches (Twitter link), though he has no intention of pushing the team to fire David Blatt, as ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported last week. Blatt has made it clear on multiple occasions that he expects he’ll be back. Still, we’ll see what happens this summer in Cleveland. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- Chatter continues to indicate that DeMar DeRozan will opt out and seek a maximum-salary deal next summer, and “there is no way” that the Raptors would be willing to pay him that much, reports Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. For this summer, the Raptors will probably have particular interest in Marc Gasol and Paul Millsap, Wolstat also writes.
- Celtics don’t find their chances to land a star encouraging, as Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe hears. Himmelsbach confirms earlier reports of interest in Greg Monroe and Millsap, though he hears from several team sources who say the team didn’t offer Marcus Smart in trade proposals to other teams on draft day.
- Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com believes the new regime in Atlanta isn’t as enamored with Monroe’s game as the team’s last set of higher-ups was (Twitter link). The Hawks, who have a new principal owner in Tony Ressler and have formally cut ties with GM Danny Ferry, aren’t among the teams reportedly meeting with the soon-to-be free agent big man.
- Jimmy Butler would like to sign a one-year offer sheet with the Lakers, a league source tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, but that would be impossible since offer sheets must be for at least two years and at least three if, as the Bulls have long planned, Chicago makes a five-year max offer. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported a couple of weeks ago that Butler’s interest in the Lakers had increased, but the Bulls have the right to match any offer and are expected to do so, Medina notes.
- Reggie Jackson turned down an offer worth more than $12MM a year in extension talks with the Thunder last year because he wanted out of Oklahoma City and onto a team where he could start, a source told Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Jackson will probably demand the max if the Pistons want him to sign for five years, the same source said to Ellis.
- Mario Hezonja and Barcelona, his Spanish team, have reached a deal on a buyout that will allow him to part ways with the club and sign with the Magic, who drafted him fifth overall Thursday, reports Jose Ignacio Huguet of Mundo Deportivo (translation via Sporando’s Enea Trapani). The buyout is worth 1.6 million euros, the equivalent of about $1.79MM at today’s exchange rate. Orlando will presumably cover the maximum $625K of that amount.