Central Notes: Smith, Antetokounmpo, Granger

J.R. Smith will probably regret turning down his $6.4MM option for next season, writes Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer, although the free agent guard could still rejoin the Cavaliers at a lesser rate. The team was unhappy with Smith’s decision and started looking for a replacement, Pluto reports. Although Smith is still trying to find a better deal, most free agents have been signed and the list of teams with cap space is dwindling. Pluto notes that Cleveland would like to bring Smith back, but only on a “modest” one-year contract.

There’s more tonight from the Central Division:

  • The Cavs‘ “immediate need” for “championship caliber” players may keep Rakeem Christmas and Sir’Dominic Pointer from making the roster, according to Joe Vardon of The Northeast Ohio Media Group. The second-round picks were acquired from the Wolves in a draft-day deal that sent Tyus Jones to Minnesota, and although the Cavaliers like both players there may not be room on the roster for them to sit and learn the NBA game. “We’re in a really unique situation roster-spot wise, where both of them could be affected by that,” said Cavs GM David Griffin. “What we need are guys that can compete in championship caliber games. We ended up in a situation where we ran out of bodies in the Finals and guys that were ready to play significant minutes.”
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo would like to spend his entire career with the Bucks, the 20-year-old Greek star wrote on his blog. Antetokounmpo expressed gratitude to the Milwaukee front office for drafting him and making him a team leader at such a young age, though he did include a qualifier that could make Bucks fans nervous: “Okay, if LeBron [James] said to me ‘Come to my team and play with me,’ I’d think about it! [laughs] He’s the best player in the world and a member of that exclusive group of the best that have ever played the game. Still, though, the Milwaukee Bucks would come first. They will always be the team that gave me my chance and opened up the doors to paradise.”
  • Veteran Danny Granger will be among five players battling for the last two roster spots with the Pistons, according to Vince Ellis of USA Today. The others in contention, according to Ellis, are second-round pick Darrun Hilliard, Reggie Bullock, Cartier Martin and Adonis Thomas.
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2 thoughts on “Central Notes: Smith, Antetokounmpo, Granger

  1. Chuck Myron

    Yes, Giannis wants to play with LeBron. But that’s not surprising. Greg Monroe just turned down the Knicks and Lakers, among others, to sign with the Bucks. Giannis just equated Milwaukee with paradise. A new arena bill just passed the state senate. Rarely has it ever been a better time to be a Bucks fan.

  2. KnicksCavsFan

    I think the Cavs are in the same boat as JR Smith in that they both would seem to need each other and there aren’t as many better options than each other. Very few true playoff contenders with both the need, the cap space or the desire to “trust” in JR Smith’s character. Very offensive minded, high 3 pt percentage shooting guards on the market that can be had for the cap space available and not too many quality shooting guards they can acquire using the Haywood contract. It would seem that Crawford/Clippers and Young/Lakers might be the only other options. We have very little assets to give a team like the T-Wolves who might part with Kevin Martin for salary relief + young players w/ upside or mid-round draft picks.

    Cavs simply can’t have Shumpert as their starting SG. Shooting guard is almost an oxymoron when referring to Shump. He’s an ok 3pt shooter @ about 34% for his career but his overall FG% is subpar for a SG at below 40% for his career. And he easily will ditch shooting it if he is in a shooting slump. I prefer he and Delly come off the bench.

    With 2 smallish PG’s in Irving and Williams I would prefer a SG with some size (6’4 or better) that also has ball handling skills as well.

    Maybe Smith would take something like 3/$24 broken down as $4 mil guaranteed for 2015, $10 guaranteed for 2016 and a team option of $10 ($2 mil guaranteed) for 2017?

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