Month: August 2017

Cavaliers Decide Not To Stretch Williams’ Contract

The Cavaliers opted to let today’s deadline pass for using the stretch provision on Mo Williams, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The team could have saved luxury tax penalties for the upcoming season by stretching Williams’ contract, valued at $2.2MM, over the next three years.

There have been reports that Williams is leaning toward retirement at age 33, and a team source tells Vardon the Cavaliers are “skeptical” about his return. Williams, who has played 13 NBA seasons, was limited to 41 games last year because of knee and thumb issues, averaging 8.2 points and 18.2 minutes per game.

Vardon notes that the Cavaliers are nearly $24MM over the salary cap and about $4MM over the threshold, and those numbers will rise with the expected signing of J.R. Smith. Stretching Williams’ deal would have saved money in the short term, but added to the tax penalty for the following two seasons.

With Matthew Dellavedova gone to Milwaukee, Williams is the only proven backup point guard on Cleveland’s roster. Vardon speculates that the Cavs may try to find a trading partner if they are concerned about Williams’ health.

Eastern Notes: Mickey, Brown, Wall, Beal

Jordan Mickey‘s spot on the Celtics‘ roster seems safe even in a crowded training camp, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. With John Holland being waived today, Boston has 18 players on its roster, with 16 on fully guaranteed contracts. But the Celtics don’t seem likely to cut ties with Mickey after making a four-year commitment to him last offseason. After taking him in the second round of the 2015 draft, Boston gave Mickey a $5MM deal with a higher annual salary than first-round pick R.J. Hunter received. Mickey appeared in just 16 games for Boston as a rookie, spending most of the season with the team’s Maine affiliate in the D-League. He led the league in blocks with 4.4 per game and was a D-League All-Star. Blakely writes that the Celtics want to see more of Mickey at the NBA level before making a long-term decision.

There’s more tonight from the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics power forward Jaylen Brown was voted the most athletic rookie by his fellow Class of 2016 members, relays CSNNE. Brown, the third player taken in the June draft, topped an NBA.com poll with 38.7% of the votes, followed by the Clippers’ Brice Johnson with 16.1% and the Suns’ Marquese Chriss with 9.7%.
  • It’s healthy for John Wall and Bradley Beal to be open about their disagreements, contends Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. He believes the Wizards‘ backcourt tandem will improve their communication because they’re willing to speak publicly about the problem, which Bucher describes as both wanting to be the dominant personality on the team. Bucher doesn’t think there’s a need to trade either one because their skills are complementary.
  • The Knicks are gambling with their point guard position by bringing in two players with significant injury histories, writes Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders. New York traded for Derrick Rose, whose 66 games last season were by far the most since tearing his ACL in the 2012 playoffs, and signed Brandon Jennings, who suffered an Achilles tear in January of 2014. Beer lists several unsigned players the Knicks should consider as insurance: Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Jordan Farmar, Andre Miller and Lance Stephenson.

Poll: 2008 NBA Draft Take Two (Pick No. 12)

Scouting players and predicting how their skills will translate to the NBA is one of the more difficult tasks front offices have on their plates. Looking back over past drafts and how many lottery picks never evolved into stars, or even made a significant impact in the league, illustrates just how often stats, combine numbers and pure gut instinct often come up short.

Of course, we get the opportunity to critique these moves with the benefit of hindsight — a luxury that GMs don’t have on draft night. Having said that, it’s still fun to go back in time and take a theoretical look at how these drafts should have/could have gone.

We’ve been revisiting 2008 draft, which had a number of players who have gone on to post big numbers in the league. This was the year of Derrick Rose (No. 1 overall), Russell Westbrook (No. 4), Kevin Love (No. 5), Brook Lopez (No. 10) and Nicolas Batum (No. 25). Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting a series of polls asking readers to vote on whom teams should have selected in each spot.

We’ll continue on with the Kings, who held the No. 12 pick that year. They took senior power forward Jason Thompson out of Rider in the “real world” draft, but may go in another direction given a second chance.

So cast your vote for who the Kings should have selected and check back on Thursday to see the results, as well as to vote on whom the Pacers should have taken with the No. 13 pick. Also, don’t limit yourself to a simple button click. Take to the comments section below and share your thoughts on the pick and why you voted the way that you did. If we fail to list a player who you think should be selected, feel free to post that in the comments section and we’ll be certain to tally those votes as well.

  1. Bulls — Russell Westbrook [Actual Pick — Derrick Rose]
  2. Heat — Kevin Love [Actual Pick — Michael Beasley]
  3. Wolves — Derrick Rose [Actual Pick — O.J. Mayo]
  4. Sonics/Thunder — DeAndre Jordan [Actual Pick — Russell Westbrook]
  5. Grizzlies — Brook Lopez [Actual Pick — Kevin Love]
  6. Knicks — Serge Ibaka  [Actual Pick — Danilo Gallinari]
  7. Clippers — Nicolas Batum [Actual Pick — Eric Gordon]
  8. Bucks — Goran Dragic [Actual Pick — Joe Alexander]
  9. Bobcats/Hornets — Danilo Gallinari [Actual Pick — D.J. Augustin]
  10. Nets — Ryan Anderson [Actual Pick — Brook Lopez]
  11. Blazers (from Pacers) — Eric Gordon [Actual Pick — Jerryd Bayless]
  12. Kings — ??  [Actual Pick — Jason Thompson]

If you’re a Trade Rumors app user, click here to vote.

Latest On Chris Bosh

7:13pm: Heat owner Micky Arison added some intrigue to the Bosh situation this evening with a tweet that read “Looking good CB look forward to seeing in camp.” Arison was responding to the workout videos that Bosh posted online. This is the clearest indication from the team that it expects Bosh to play this season.

6:00pm: The NBA could get involved in any agreement between Chris Bosh and the Heat, reports Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

After having his last two seasons cut short by blood clots, the veteran power forward wants to be cleared to play this season, but the Heat remain concerned about his medical status. Bosh is becoming increasingly frustrated by the organization’s refusal to grant him medical clearance and has started a social media campaign to pressure the team into action. Bosh posted videos of recent workouts and a photo of him working out with former Miami star Dwyane Wade.

The Heat have raised objections about Bosh playing while taking blood thinners or possibly abandoning the medication in an effort to return. There was a possibility that he might take the disagreement to the players’ union during last season’s playoffs, but he and the team reached an agreement to hold off any action.

Multiple sources have told Winderman that they expect league representatives to become part of any resolution between the parties. The Heat training camp opens September 27th, and players must pass physicals before they can participate.

It has been widely reported that the Heat can remove Bosh’s future salary from their cap for medical reasons if he goes a year without appearing in a game, which in his case would happen on February 9th. But the rules may be less restrictive than originally thought, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

He cites Section VII (4) (h) (1) of the labor agreement, which would permit the Heat to exclude Bosh’s salary starting next summer if he plays in fewer than 10 games and has a career-ending incident. Preseason games wouldn’t count toward that total, but playoff games would. Bosh is owed more than $23.7MM this season, nearly $25.3MM in 2017/18 and more than $26.8MM in 2018/19.

Central Notes: Caldwell-Pope, Poythress, Bucks

The Pistons and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may make a mutual decision to wait until next summer for contract talks, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Detroit took a similar approach to Andre Drummond last year, but that was to preserve cap space. In the case of Caldwell-Pope, it would be to monitor his development and decide if he’s the long-term solution at shooting guard or if Stanley Johnson is a viable alternative. From Caldwell-Pope’s perspective, he and his representatives may be encouraged by the huge salaries thrown around in free agency this year and decide that he’s likely to top whatever offer the Pistons could make now. The deadline for extensions is October 31st. Langlois notes that regardless of when it happens, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy is a huge proponent of Caldwell-Pope and wants to see him signed long term.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Alex Poythress isn’t discouraged about his NBA dream despite being bypassed on draft night, writes Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. The 6’7″ forward, who spent four years at Kentucky, recently signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Pacers and is believed to be ticketed for the D-League. Poythress has been working out in Indianapolis for the past few weeks. “Things are going good,” he said. “Going through the draft process, [the Pacers] really liked me. I’m just trying to make best of this opportunity.”
  • Even though the Bucks finished 33-49 last season, Matthew Dellavedova believes he is joining a playoff team, relays ESPN’s Jake Michaels. Fresh off a championship season with the Cavaliers, the Australian point guard accepted a four-year, $38MM offer from Milwaukee and was sent there as part of a sign-and-trade deal. Dellavedova said he is looking forward to having a legendary point guard as his new coach. “To be able to learn from one of the greatest point guards of all time in Jason Kidd is going to be cool, and something I’m really excited about,” he said. “I cannot wait.”
  • The Bucks should locate their new D-League franchise in Sheboygan, argues Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. Sheboygan is one of the finalists for the new team, along with Oshkosh and Racine. The Bucks’ new affiliate will start play in the 2017/18 season.

Sixers Sign Cat Barber

AUGUST 31: The Sixers, having opened up a couple roster spots earlier this afternoon, officially signed Barber more than a month after agreeing to a deal with him, the team announced today in a press release.

JULY 21: The Sixers have agreed to terms with another undrafted rookie free agent, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is signing former North Carolina State guard Cat Barber to a partially-guaranteed deal.

Barber left N.C. State after his junior year, and was viewed as the 55th-best prospect in this year’s draft class by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com. Per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, Barber’s agent told him he had a chance to be a first-round pick in June. However, the 21-year-old point guard went undrafted. Nearly a month later, he has secured an opportunity to attend a club’s training camp to compete for a roster spot.

In his final year at N.C. State, Barber averaged 23.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.5 APG, with a shooting line of .453/.361/.865. After not being selected last month, he caught on with the Pelicans for Summer League play, but only played 11.8 minutes per contest in four games for New Orleans.

Terms of Barber’s contract with the Sixers aren’t known, but Philadelphia has plenty of cap space, meaning the team could sign him to a three- or four-year pact rather than locking him up for just for two years.

Celtics Waive John Holland

The Celtics have made a roster move today, announcing (via Twitter) that they’ve waived guard John Holland. Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link) first reported the move before the team made it official.

Holland, 27, signed a two-year deal with the Celtics right at the end of last season, appearing briefly in one playoff game for the team in April. He spent most of the 2015/16 campaign playing for the Canton Charge in the D-League, averaging 16.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.0 APG, and 1.2 SPG for the club, while shooting 52.0% from the field.

Holland was one of three players on the Celtics’ roster whose salary for 2016/17 was non-guaranteed, making him a long shot to earn a roster spot. It’s possible that Boston agreed to let him out of his contract early so he could explore overseas opportunities that would be more lucrative than another stint in the D-League. According to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando (via Twitter), Holland is already receiving interest in Europe.

After waiving Holland, the Celtics now have 18 players on their offseason roster, including 16 on fully guaranteed contracts.

Sixers Waive Carl Landry, Tibor Pleiss

The Sixers have created a couple open spots on their roster, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has waived veteran big men Carl Landry and Tibor Pleiss. Both players will become free agents if and when they clear waivers.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Landry appeared in 36 games for the Sixers last season, averaging 9.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG while shooting 55.6% from the floor. He should draw interest from NBA teams in need of veteran frontcourt help. As for Pleiss, Philadelphia acquired the German big man last week in a salary-dump trade, and we heard yesterday that the team intended to part ways with him.

Landry had a salary of $6.5MM owed to him for the 2016/17 season, while Pleiss was set to make $3MM. Both figures were fully guaranteed, however, so the Sixers will still be on the hook for nearly $10MM in salary for the two players.

By waiving Landry and Pleiss in advance of today’s stretch provision deadline, Philadelphia will also have the option of stretching the two cap hits over the next three years. However, the Sixers currently sit well below the 2016/17 salary floor, so it would be a little surprising if the team added money to its cap in future seasons in order to reduce this year’s cap hits.

After waiving Landry and Pleiss, the Sixers will still have plenty of frontcourt depth on their roster, with young players like Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid leading the way at the forward and center positions. The club will also reduce its roster count to 18 players, meaning there will be two open spots on the 20-man offseason roster. Only 11 of those 18 contracts currently on the books are fully guaranteed.

Cavaliers, Cory Jefferson Agree To Deal

Former Baylor power forward Cory Jefferson will join the Cavaliers for training camp, reports international basketball journalist David Pick (via Twitter). According to Pick, Jefferson and the Cavs have agreed to terms on a deal.

A second-round pick in 2014, Jefferson appeared in 50 games for the Nets in his rookie season, but played in just eight games for the Suns last season. The 25-year-old saw more playing time in 2015/16 for the Bakersfield Jam, Phoenix’s D-League affiliate, averaging 17.3 PPG and 9.8 RPG in 19 games with the club.

With Jefferson poised to join the team, the Cavaliers are also eyeing Eric Moreland as a potential training camp target, says Pick. Moreland, who played his college ball at Oregon State, has spent some time with the Kings during the last two seasons, but didn’t get a qualifying offer from Sacramento this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Noah Vonleh Undergoes Procedure On Thigh

Trail Blazers forward Noah Vonleh will be on the mend for at least the next three or four weeks, the team announced today in a press release. According to the Blazers, Vonleh underwent a procedure to remove a bone fragment from his right thigh musculature.

Vonleh, who turned 21 last Wednesday, is in an interesting spot this offseason. He started 56 games during his first year in Portland, but only averaged 15.1 minutes per contest, and posted underwhelming numbers (3.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, .421 FG%). Vonleh is currently in the third year of his rookie contract, which means the Blazers will have to decide within the next two months whether they want to exercise their team option on the fourth year of his deal — it would pay him $3.505MM in 2017/18.

[RELATED: 2016 Rookie-Scale Team Option Decisions]

Portland reportedly intends to use Al-Farouq Aminu exclusively at power forward – instead of small forward – this year, which could mean further reducing Vonleh’s minutes. The team also has an NBA-high $123.708MM in guaranteed money on its books for 2017/18, so exercising Vonleh’s option would push that total even higher, potentially beyond the tax threshold.

The former top-10 pick will likely want to have a strong showing in training camp and the preseason this year to help convince the Blazers that he’s still a part of the team’s future plans. In the wake of today’s procedure, he’ll have to get healthy first.

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