Eastern Rumors: Ellington, Haslem, Smart, Hawks

The belief among Heat players is that Wayne Ellington will be back with the team next season, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Ellington is a candidate to be released within the next 48 hours or so, since his $6.27MM salary for 2017/18 – currently non-guaranteed – will become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract.

Even if the Heat ultimately decide that they need to waive Ellington to create some extra cap room for another move, that doesn’t necessarily rule out his return — the team could eventually re-sign him to a deal worth the $4.3MM room exception, if he’s open to accepting a pay cut.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Reynolds provides another Heat-related tidbit, tweeting that Udonis Haslem is on the Cavaliers‘ radar. Haslem, who has spent his entire career in Miami, wants to stay with the Heat, and that looks like the most probable outcome. But a conversation between Haslem and the Cavs is likely, per Reynolds.
  • On Wednesday, an ESPN report indicated that the Celtics had called the Knicks about Marcus Smart, but New York’s level of interest in Smart was unclear. Following up on that story, Marc Berman of The New York Post reports that the Knicks do indeed have interest in Smart and are considering trade options as a way of filling part or all of their remaining cap space.
  • Italian forward Nicolo Melli received a contract offer from the Hawks, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). However, Pick reports that Melli has turned down that offer and will sign a multiyear pact with Fenerbahce in Turkey. Per Sportando (Twitter link), Melli’s new deal isn’t done yet, but will be within a few days.
  • The Raptors are the latest team to line up a deal to add a sponsored patch to their jersey, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead, who reports that Toronto has signed a three-year agreement with insurance company Sun Life Financial. The deal will pay Raptors ownership more than $5MM annually, sources tell Westhead. The list of NBA clubs that have agreed to jersey sponsorship deals can be found here.
View Comments (8)