Alfonzo McKinnie

Cavaliers Notes: Osman, Love, McKinnie

The four-year, $31MM extension that Cedi Osman signed today was always his preference instead of trying his luck in free agency, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. It’s a team-friendly contract, Fedor notes, starting at $8.75MM and decreasing each year, with a non-guaranteed final season at $6.65MM. Although Osman might have found a better offer on the open market, he likes the security of having a long-term deal in Cleveland.

“I really feel like I’m home,” he said after today’s shootaround. “I just really wanted to stay where I belong. I love being here, I love the organization. I’m just happy here, with the coaches, with the organization, with my teammates, we have a great brotherhood in here. It’s a great opportunity for myself to grow and to learn during those extra four years I’m going to have here. I’m just really happy that I’m going to be here for the long term.”

Osman’s role with the team has expanded since he made the decision to leave Turkey in 2017. His first Cavs team still had LeBron James and was headed to its fourth straight NBA Finals. Osman got into 61 games as a rookie, but only averaged 11 minutes per night and barely saw the court in the postseason. He moved into the starting lineup last year and became a double-figures scorer.

“He’s just the type of young man that works hard every single day in practice, very low maintenance and he’s young and growing as a player,” said coach John Beilein. “That’s been the biggest thing. Takes a business-like approach to his career.”

There’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Getting more shots for Kevin Love will be a priority, Fedor relays in a separate story. The former All-Star shot the ball just nine times in a season-opening loss, and Beilein said it would be “crazy” if he doesn’t have a larger role in the offense. Beilein, who was coaching his first NBA game, apologized to Love afterward for playing him 20 minutes in the first half and has given his assistants the power to make substitutions for tired players.
  • In another piece, Fedor predicts that Love will remain with the Cavaliers throughout the season, even though he’s the team’s most valuable trade asset. Fedor notes that the team’s record was far better with Love in the lineup last season, and the front office has stated that it has no regrets about giving him a four-year, $120MM extension last summer.
  • Beilein and general manager Koby Altman see Alfonzo McKinnie as an asset to the team culture, which is among the reasons Cleveland claimed him off waivers this week, notes Sam Amico of SI.com.

Cavs Claim Alfonzo McKinnie Off Waivers

6:01pm: The claim is official, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

4:13pm: As expected, forward Alfonzo McKinnie didn’t make it through waivers after being cut by the Warriors on Saturday. The Cavaliers, who had second priority in the NBA’s waiver order, have claimed McKinnie, a league source tells Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).

McKinnie, 27, emerged as a rotation player for Golden State last season, averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG with a .487/.356/.563 shooting line in 72 regular season games (13.9 MPG). He also appeared in 22 playoff games for the club.

However, the Warriors were facing a roster crunch this fall due to their hard cap, and had to choose between keeping either McKinnie or Marquese Chriss. The Dubs opted for Chriss, forcing them to waive McKinnie, since he wasn’t eligible to have his contract converted into a two-way deal.

McKinnie’s minimum salary for the 2019/20 season will remain non-guaranteed until January, so the Cavs have the flexibility to audition him for the next couple months before making a decision on whether to fully guarantee his salary.

Cleveland had only been carrying 13 players on standard contracts, so no corresponding move was necessary to make room for McKinnie. The team is now approximately $1.3MM below the tax line, tweets cap expert Albert Nahmad.

Warriors Waive Alfonzo McKinnie

OCTOBER 19: The Warriors have now officially waived McKinnie, a source tells Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll be on waivers until Monday at 5:00pm eastern time and could be claimed by any team. However, a club would need an open roster spot to make a claim, and McKinnie’s contract can’t be converted into a two-way deal.

OCTOBER 18: The Warriors are waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who notes (via Twitter) that the move will clear the way for Marquese Chriss to earn a spot on the team’s regular season roster.

McKinnie, 27, emerged as a rotation player for Golden State last season, averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG with a .487/.356/.563 shooting line in 72 regular season games (13.9 MPG). He also appeared in 22 playoff games for the club.

Because the Warriors are right up against a hard cap, the team can only carry 14 players on its roster to start the regular season. Golden State has 13 players on guaranteed salaries.

McKinnie – who has a non-guaranteed contract – was widely considered the favorite to claim the 14th and final spot. However, an impressive training camp and preseason by Chriss, a former lottery pick, forced the Warriors’ hand.

Chriss is technically eligible to sign a two-way deal, but because his non-guaranteed contract didn’t feature an Exhibit 10 clause, it can’t be converted into a two-way contract, so the Dubs would’ve had to put him through waivers for that to be a possibility. Instead, they’ll just keep him on their standard roster, releasing McKinnie instead.

The NBA’s waiver order is currently based on 2018/19 records, with last year’s worst teams at the top of the priority list. Any team can place a claim for McKinnie using the minimum salary exception.

Cavaliers Waive Jarell Martin

The Cavaliers have waived forward Jarell Martin, Chris Fedor of The Athletic tweets.

The move reduces their roster to 13, suggesting another transaction may be forthcoming. The team has discussed the possibility of claiming forward Alfonzo McKinnie, who was waived by the Warriors, Fedor reports in another tweet. They could also be in the market for another big man, due to injury concerns regarding John Henson and Ante Zizic, Fedor adds.

The roster count does not include two-way players Dean Wade and Tyler Cook.

Teams are technically required to have at least 14 players on standards contracts, though they are allowed to skate by with 13 for two weeks at a time.

Martin was signed in September on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract.

Martin, 25, was selected out of LSU with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2015 draft. He spent the first three seasons of his NBA career with the Grizzlies before being dealt to the Magic in July 2018. Martin played sparingly in Orlando, averaging 2.7 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 42 games (7.8 MPG).

Marks’ Latest: Sabonis, Rockets, Grizzlies, Nets

If the Pacers and Domantas Sabonis are able to bridge the gap in contract negotiations and finalize an extension for the big man by Monday’s deadline, count on it being worth more than the four-year, $72MM deal Myles Turner signed a year ago, says ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link). Sources tell Marks that the terms Turner received on his rookie scale extension are considered a “non-starter” when it comes to Sabonis’ next deal.

As we relayed on Friday night, a report from The Athletic indicated that the Pacers are exploring trade options involving Sabonis, since the two sides remain far apart in extension talks. However, Indiana’s asking price in those trade discussions reportedly remains too high so far.

Here are a few more items of interest from Marks:

  • Marks suggests that the Rockets will likely apply for a disabled player exception for Gerald Green, who is expected to miss the entire season with a broken foot. However, because Green is on a minimum-salary deal, that DPE – if granted – would only be worth about $810K.
  • Ivan Rabb‘s 2019/20 salary will become fully guaranteed if he’s not waived today, so the Grizzlies have a decision to make. The team has 17 candidates for its regular-season roster with only 15 spots available, so veterans like Rabb and/or Miles Plumlee could be released, Marks notes.
  • Expect the Nets to be “at the front of the line” if Alfonzo McKinnie goes unclaimed on waivers, according to Marks, who points out that the forward would be a good fit for Brooklyn’s open two-way contract slot or to replace Wilson Chandler when the veteran goes on the suspended list.
  • Marks believes Hornets second-round pick Jalen McDaniels is a good candidate to be converted into a two-way contract or to agree to a longer-term deal than the one-year pact he signed last week.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Looney, Chriss, Hard Cap

Stephen Curry hasn’t given up on the championship dream with the Warriors this season despite the loss of Kevin Durant and long-term injury to Klay Thompson, as he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“A championship is still the goal,” Curry said. “It’s always been. We’ve experienced it all and we’re going to keep pushing to get back there. That’s the goal. It’s the North Star. The narrative might have changed internally, but we’re still chasing the same goal.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Frontcourt injuries have made for a difficult preseason, Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes. The Warriors have gone most of the preseason without Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney and their absences have shown in preseason losses to the Lakers. “We need to get healthy,” coach Steve Kerr said. “You have to have rim protection in this league.” Kerr is hopeful that Looney, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, can return for the season opener, Slater tweets.
  • The team is now technically $375K under the hard cap after deciding to waive Alfonzo McKinnie and retaining Marquese Chriss, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. However, since Chriss’ contract doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th, the Warriors are essentially $2MM below the hard cap with Chriss’ deal counting $9,485 daily until that deadline, Nahmad adds.
  • Draymond Green ripped the Suns’ organization for mishandling Chriss during his time there, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Chriss was the eighth overall pick in 2016 but lasted just two seasons in Phoenix. “No one ever blames these (lousy) franchises. They always want to blame the kid. It’s not always the kid’s fault,” Green said.

Warriors Notes: Chriss, McKinnie, Hard Cap, Curry

A few Warriors players have asked general manager Bob Myers to find a spot for Marquese Chriss on the roster, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Chriss made an immediate impact Saturday in Golden State’s first preseason game with eight points, six rebounds and four assists in 13 minutes. He also fills a need for a team that’s dealing with injuries to big men Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein.

But keeping Chriss won’t be easy. The Warriors are severely limited because of a hard cap that came along with the sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell. To hold onto Chriss, they will have to either trade one of their 13 guaranteed salaries or waive Alfonzo McKinnie, whose $1,588,231 contract is non-guaranteed. A two-way deal is theoretically possible, but Chriss didn’t sign an Exhibit 10 contract, so he’d have to clear waivers for that to happen.

“I’ve heard good things, positive things from the coaches,” Chriss said. “I’m just trying to stay open-minded and keep being coached. Whether or not it works out here, I was able to come here and learn some things that I would be able to take other places. I think at the end of the day, my goal was to show them that this was where I should be and put the pressure on them.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • McKinnie is engaged in a three-way competition for the starting small forward slot, notes Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area. He’s battling Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, who both signed as free agents over the summer. Poole suggests that McKinnie has the edge because of his experience with the team, but he may have slipped with a poor first preseason game in which he made just one of four 3-pointers and finished at minus-23.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the hard cap and the effects it will have on the Warriors throughout the season. The team is already within $407,257 of the $138,928,000 figure, which means they can’t add a 15th player to the roster until March 3, when a pro-rated minimum salary will become small enough to fit. Slater notes that once that date arrives, Golden State could reach out to Andrew Bogut again when his Australian season is complete.
  • Stephen Curry told reporters today that he hasn’t determined how the NBA’s standoff with China will affect his Under Armour tours of the nation going forward, tweets Logan Murdock of NBC Sports.

Western Notes: McKinnie, Cauley-Stein, Silva, Grant

Willie Cauley-Stein will likely start at center for the Warriors but Kevon Looney will probably play more crunch-time minutes, Anthony Slater of The Athletic opines. Alfonzo McKinnie may get the nod at small forward with Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III in reserve, since McKinnie is a high energy player who should mesh well with the backcourt of Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell, Slater continues. However, rookie Eric Paschall is a darkhorse candidate to play down the stretch due to his versatility, Slater adds.

We have from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors preferred Cauley-Stein to DeMarcus Cousins even before Cousins committed to the Lakers, Slater writes in the same mailbag story. Cauley-Stein provided a younger option who better fit their new priorities, according to Slater. However, they never really had a decision to make because they were hard-capped after the sign-and-trade for Russell with the Nets was agreed upon. The hard cap meant the Warriors couldn’t give Cousins a max raise up to $6.4MM, Slater notes. Cauley-Stein agreed to join the Warriors on a two-year contract on July 2 and officially signed on July 8.
  • Pelicans draft-and-stash prospect Marcos Louzada Silva – aka Didi Louzada — has developed a solid perimeter jumper that should translate well to the NBA game, according to a Heavy.com story. The 6’5” guard can also attack the rim and has shown good strides in his development in recent months. Louzada, the 35th overall pick in June who was acquired in a draft-day deal, will play in Australia with the Sydney Kings during the upcoming season.
  • Jerami Grant should be an ideal frontcourt complement to Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic opines. Grant, projected as the top big off the bench, is a nimble perimeter defender who can guard ball-handlers. Grant, acquired from the Thunder for a protected first-round pick, is also a solid help defender who can block shots.
  • Jared Cunningham will work out for the Warriors on Tuesday, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Cunningham, a shooting guard who recently worked out for the Rockets, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2015/16 season.

Warriors Notes: Durant, Draft, Thompson, Summer League

Kevin Durant is doing “a lot of soul searching” as he decides whether to stay with the Warriors or leave for the Knicks or Nets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on tonight’s draft preview show (hat tip to Real GM). Woj adds that all three teams are willing to give Durant a max offer even though he is expected to miss all of next season with a ruptured Achilles.

New York has been considered the strongest threat to take Durant away from Golden State, but tonight’s report indicates that he is also giving serious consideration to Brooklyn, where he likely can join forces with his close friend Kyrie Irving. With at least three max offers awaiting, it’s virtually certain that Durant will opt out of his $31.5MM salary for next season.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • GM Bob Myers tells Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News that he will focus on talent over need in tomorrow’s draft, even though the team suddenly has a lot of holes to fill. In addition to Durant, who may not be back at all, Golden State has to replace Klay Thompson, who will miss most of the year with a torn ACL, and possibly free agent big men DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell“Good young players, whatever position they are,” will be the focus, Myers said. “Those players have the most value in the NBA – rookie contract players that show themselves to have a skill and can play. Especially next year, we afford more opportunity for who we pick. Maybe we get a guy who can step in. We will have more opportunity next year. No matter what happens in free agency, we’ll have more of an opportunity for a young guy.” The Warriors have also become more likely to buy extra picks, Myers said.
  • Thompson is waiting for the swelling in his knee to subside before having surgery, Medina adds. Myers didn’t offer any medical update on Durant, whose surgery was last week.
  • Alen Smailagic is a strong candidate to go to Golden State with the No. 58 pick, according to Medina. The Serbian big man spent this season with the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
  • Jacob Evans will be part of Golden State’s Summer League team, Myers tells Medina, while Alfonzo McKinnie, who has a $1.6MM team option for next season, won’t play but will be training in Las Vegas.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Conference Finals

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the conference finals:

Patrick McCaw, Raptors, 23, SG (Down) — Signed to a one-year, $786K deal in 2019
McCaw’s season has been a head-scratcher. He leveraged his way out of Golden State, signed a non-guaranteed offer sheet with Cleveland, got cut loose shortly thereafter and then signed a minimum contract with Toronto. He may get his wish to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but no one will be knocking down his door on July 1. He suffered a thumb injury late in the regular season, was ineffective in some postseason appearances, and has missed the last couple of games for “personal reasons.” McCaw might not even find a guaranteed offer this summer.

George Hill, Bucks, 33, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $57MM deal in 2017
Hill’s $18MM salary becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster July 1. The Bucks have too many free agent concerns to bring him back at that number, but Hill has reinforced that he’s a solid rotation player after a disappointing regular season. Hill averaged 14.2 PPG in the conference semis against Boston. Throwing out his Game 1 clunker against Toronto and he’s averaged 13.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 2.0 APG over the past four games, hitting some clutch baskets along the way. He’ll attract attention on the open market, though he’ll have to settle for less than his previous deal.

Alfonzo McKinnie, Warriors, 26, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.7MM deal in 2018
Seems like every role player that coach Steve Kerr has thrown out there in the postseason has provided some quality minutes. McKinnie certainly fits that description. He was getting here-and-there minutes, then became more valuable with Kevin Durant sidelined. He grabbed nine rebounds in 21 minutes in Game 3 against Portland, then contributed 12 points in the clinching overtime victory in Game 4. McKinnie has a non-guaranteed salary next year but it’s difficult to see him getting cut loose considering the Warriors need to surround their stars with low-cost options. He can be a restricted free agent in 2020 if he receives a qualifying offer.

Enes Kanter, Trail Blazers, 27, C (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $653K deal in 2019
Kanter rode the roller coaster during the playoffs. The Blazers would have never made it to the Western Conference finals without him in the wake of Jusuf Nurkic‘s injury. Following Game 1 against the Warriors though, Kanter saw limited minutes as coach Terry Stotts opted to ride stretch four Meyers Leonard. Kanter’s ability to put up numbers earned him a big contract with the Thunder — recall he was making $18.6MM this season before working out a buyout with the Knicks. But his defensive deficiencies are also apparent in today’s NBA. It will interesting to see how much executives value his positives on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.