Teams that would like to trade for Jonas Valanciunas believe the Raptors are “lukewarm” on the center, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes within his annual League Pass rankings. Executives from around the league wonder how Valanciunas would fit in another system and whether a player like him can thrive in today’s NBA, Lowe adds. Toronto just signed Valanciunas to a four-year, $64MM extension this summer, trigging the Poison Pill Provision, which makes any trade a difficult salary-matching proposition, and GM Masai Ujiri has said on multiple occasions that the Raptors highly value the former No. 5 overall pick. See more from around the NBA:
- Union executive director Michele Roberts hopes that next month she and NBA commissioner Adam Silver will begin formal negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports details. The league hasn’t given Roberts any ultimatums regarding revenue or other labor issues, she tells Spears, expressing optimism that they can settle their differences without a work stoppage. Roberts, after watching Lamar Odom‘s struggles, would also like to see the union create a transition program for players retiring from basketball, Spears writes.
- Mike Budenholzer doesn’t anticipate making a change in playing style because of the free agent departure of DeMarre Carroll, who signed with the Raptors for four years and $58MM, as the Hawks coach/executive tells Chris Mannix of SI.com. Budenholzer isn’t putting pressure on any one player to replace Carroll, Mannix adds. “Just in general, I’ve told them, ‘be yourselves, do not try to do too much,'” Budenholzer said. “Sometimes when you are given opportunities to make reads, you have to make simple plays. That is what is going to be best for us. We feel fortunate we have a good group of guys that can all play significant roles. It may not be as stable as it has been the last two years. We will just kind of make some decisions and go from there.”
- E.J. Singler‘s deal with the Jazz was a two-year, minimum-salary arrangement that carried a $50K partial guarantee, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Utah, which released Singler on Thursday just one day after signing him, will be responsible for that $50K if he clears waivers.