Central Notes: Gilbert, Turner, McMillan, M. Williams

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert won’t be involved with the team’s draft preparations as he continues to recover from a stroke, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Gilbert is still in a Detroit-area hospital, and Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner issued a statement today suggesting that the recovery might be lengthy.

“Dan’s recovery is a process that will take time — but we are all confident that he will meet this challenge head on as he always does,” Farner wrote.

Sources tell Fedor that Gilbert has already approved an aggressive spending plan if GM Koby Altman believes it’s necessary to improve the team. That includes taking back a sizable contract to get rid of J.R. Smith, who was exiled from the team after playing just 11 games this season. Cleveland owns picks No. 5 and 26 in the draft and will reportedly try to buy into the second round.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Competing for a spot on Team USA for the FIBA World Cup tournament will give Pacers center Myles Turner another shot to gain recognition after being left off the All-Defensive team, notes Scott Agness of The Athletic. Turner led the league in total blocked shots with 199 and blocks per game at 2.7, but didn’t receive first- or second-team honors. Two of Turner’s teammates, Lithuanian center Domantas Sabonis and Canadian guard Cory Joseph, will be in China for the tournament.
  • Pacers coach Nate McMillan was slated to be an assistant to Gregg Popovich on Team USA, but he withdrew after Indiana was scheduled for a trip to India in early October, Agness adds in the same piece. The World Cup title game is September 15, and McMillan wants to focus on his NBA responsibilities. “My first priority is the Pacers,” he said. “I committed to USA Basketball before I got the schedule next season for us.”
  • Former Heat guard Matt Williams was invited to a free agent mini-camp with the Pistons, tweets Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Williams appeared in three games as a two-way player for Miami during the 2017/18 season before playing this year in Finland and Greece. Forward Marc Loving, formerly of Ohio State, also received an invitation (Twitter link). He played in the G League this season.
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4 thoughts on “Central Notes: Gilbert, Turner, McMillan, M. Williams

  1. x%sure

    The Cavs won’t be “taking back a sizable contract to get rid of JRSmith”. They will be doing it to get another r1 pick… Smith will be just going the other way for salary matching. They already “got rid of him” and indeed Gilbert/Cavs will be turning down the opportunity to waive him themselves and save the cost of the incoming player, who will possibly be irrelevant.
    Gilbert has done much for Cleveland sports and even more for Detroit’s downtown.

    • bravesfan88

      Yeah, JR’s contract falls under the previous agreement, so he can actually be used as an asset for a team looking to clear some salary cap space..That can be a pretty valuable asset for a team that is either trying to acquire another quality depth piece or that’s looking to shed enough salary to be able to get a max player…

      People are forgetting that Smith’s contract is the only contract left that this can be used on. He definitely has value..

  2. hoosierhysteria

    Can you imagine JR coming to first Beilein practice? Oil and water. JR to the fakers.

    • knickscavsfan

      For what purpose? They don’t need salary relief and I’m sure LBJ has had enough Smith in his life.

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