The Cavaliers are poised to enter the season ahead as favorites to return to the Finals, though that status comes at a cost. They already have about $95MM in guaranteed salary for the season ahead, and a new deal for Tristan Thompson would send that figure, and the tax bill that comes with it, even higher. Thompson on the qualifying offer would give the Cavs a tax bill of roughly $34MM. A max offer, one that Thompson is reportedly insisting upon, would push Cleveland’s tax bill to about $70MM. That would be on top of about $111MM in payroll, bringing the team within hailing distance of Brooklyn’s record outlay of some $190MM in 2013/14. While the Cavs ponder those figures, see the latest from Cleveland:
- Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov and Anderson Varejao will all be ready for Cavs training camp when it begins a week from today, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It had previously appeared that Irving, on his way back from the left kneecap fracture he suffered in the Finals, was likely to miss the start of the regular season, with a distinct possibility he’d be out until January. Love said 11 days ago that he was about a month to a month and a half away from returning from shoulder surgery. Mozgov and Varejao are also recovering from surgery.
- The Cavs will likely carry the maximum 20 players for camp, Haynes writes in the same piece. That would mean four more deals are on the way, since the Cavs are carrying 16 players, as our roster count shows. Presumably, one of them will be Thompson, whether it’s on the qualifying offer or a new deal, and the Cavs are also reportedly expected to sign former Duke point guard Quinn Cook, though they’ve yet to reach a deal with him as of last check.
- No one beyond the Cavaliers considered Anthony Bennett a top-10 pick before the 2013 draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Bennett was the No. 6 prospect in that draft a few days before the event took place, as Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress had them ranked, while Chad Ford of ESPN.com listed Bennett fourth in his predraft rankings, so the notion that most teams didn’t have him in the top 10 on their boards is surprising.