Alfonzo McKinnie

Lakers Trade McGee, Future Second-Rounder To Cavs

NOVEMBER 23: The deal is official, according to a press release from the Cavs. Cleveland acquires McGee and the Lakers’ second-round pick in exchange for McKinnie and Bell, as expected.


NOVEMBER 22: The Lakers are set to send center JaVale McGee and a future second-round draft pick to the Cavaliers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter). This will create flexibility below the hard cap to allow the Lakers to sign veteran center Marc Gasol.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com tweets that the second-round pick will be from the 2026 NBA draft. Fedor reports in a separate tweet that small forward Alfonzo McKinnie and big man Jordan Bell will be headed to Los Angeles in the deal.

McGee has a $4.2MM cap charge for 2020/21, which the Cavaliers have no way to absorb without sending out some salary themselves. McKinnie ($1.76MM) and Bell ($1.76MM) are currently on non-guaranteed deals, but their salaries will have to be at least partially guaranteed to make the deal work. The Cavs have to send out about $2.34MM and non-guaranteed money doesn’t count for salary-matching purposes.

Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets that the likely outcome will see McKinnie being fully guaranteed, while Bell gets about a $600K guarantee. The Lakers could then waive and stretch Bell to create a little extra flexibility.

McGee started at center for most of the Lakers’ 2019/20 championship season, but was supplanted in the starting lineup during the last two rounds of the playoffs by the more mobile Markieff Morris or Dwight Howard most of the time, with Anthony Davis shifting from power forward to center to close out the Heat in Game 6 of the Finals. McGee is a three-time champion thanks to tenures with the Warriors and Lakers.

It doesn’t sound as if the Cavaliers view McGee as a mere salary dump. The team wanted a veteran big man with experience coming off the bench behind Andre Drummond, according to Fedor, so McGee will replace Tristan Thompson on the roster. Cleveland continues to explore possible free agent deals involving the mid-level, with a focus on backup point guard, per Fedor.

Luke Adams contributed to this story. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cavs Notes: Drummond, Sexton, McKinnie, Bolden

Heading into the trade deadline, no Pistons player had been with the team longer than Reggie Jackson — except for Andre Drummond. So when Detroit swung a deal that sent Drummond to the Cavaliers, it made sense that Jackson would be among those most affected by the move.

“He was my best friend on the team and it’s been like that for five-and-a-half years. He acclimated me when I first got to Detroit and we built a great friendship and brotherhood,” Jackson said of Drummond, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “That’s my guy forever, so it was a tough day seeing he got traded to the Cavs but wishing him nothing but the best for him and his family.”

As Drummond gets acclimated to his new home in Cleveland, here are a few more Cavaliers-related notes:

  • Second-year Cavs guard Collin Sexton has been added to the U.S. roster for the Rising Stars game in Chicago this weekend, the league announced today. Sexton will replace Heat guard Tyler Herro, who is nursing a right foot injury.
  • Alfonzo McKinnie‘s new four-year contract with the Cavaliers includes a $1.5MM guaranteed salary for the 2019/20 season, according to Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights (Twitter link). That’s significantly more than the $623K McKinnie would have received had he signed a prorated minimum deal. And that’s likely a big reason why he was willing to tack on three team-friendly, non-guaranteed years at the minimum. Cleveland was able to exceed the minimum and go up to four years using the mid-level exception.
  • Following the expiration of his 10-day contract with the Cavaliers, Marques Bolden rejoined the team’s G League affiliate, the Canton Charge, per JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Since Bolden just signed a single 10-day deal with Cleveland, he’d be eligible to sign a second one between now and the end of the regular season.

Cavs Sign Alfonzo McKinnie To Four-Year Contract

FEBRUARY 10: Alfonzo McKinnie will earn a $1.5MM salary for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Following this year, however, McKinnie’s deal through the 2022/23 season is non-guaranteed.

FEBRUARY 8: The signing is official, the team announced in a press release.

FEBRUARY 7: After signing him to a pair of 10-day contracts, the Cavaliers are bringing back swingman Alfonzo McKinnie on a multiyear deal, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Since Cleveland still has its mid-level exception available, the team has the ability to lock McKinnie up long-term and has opted to do so, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides agreed to a four-year deal worth $7.2MM. We’ll have to wait for the full details on that agreement, but it sounds like McKinnie may receive more than the prorated minimum this year. The later seasons almost certainly won’t be fully guaranteed.

McKinnie, who was a rotation player for the Warriors team that won the West last season, was the victim of a cap crunch in the fall and was beaten out by Marquese Chriss for Golden State’s final roster spot. McKinnie was claimed off waivers by the Cavaliers, who released him in January before his salary for 2019/20 could become fully guaranteed. However, he remained in Cleveland’s plans, signing those two 10-day deals before agreeing to a long-term contract today.

In 35 games (14.3 MPG) for the Cavaliers this season, McKinnie has averaged a modest 4.2 PPG and 2.9 RPG on .414/.222/.704 shooting. While he has struggled with his outside shot, the 27-year-old has performed well on the defensive end of the court.

Central Notes: Bledsoe, Giannis, McKinnie, Cavs, Bulls

After a report earlier this week suggested the Bucks would be willing to trade starting point guard Eric Bledsoe, Jon Horst told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report in no uncertain terms that’s not the case.

“We have no talked to any teams about trading [Bledsoe], since the day that we traded for him,” the Bucks GM said. “And I think it’s evident, pretty strongly, in the fact that we extended Eric, what he means to us.

“The fact that we currently have the best record in the NBA, had the best record last year in the NBA, he’s an All-NBA First Team defender and a guy that we feel strongly should be an All-Star for the Milwaukee Bucks this year. We have not had those conversations, and we are not going to trade Eric Bledsoe.”

It’s hard to imagine the Bucks doing anything too drastic to shake up their roster at the trade deadline next month, considering the team is on a 71-win pace. Bledsoe did struggle in the postseason last spring, so he’ll be under the microscope in this year’s playoffs. If he underperforms again, perhaps Horst’s stance changes, but the veteran point guard looks safe for now.

Here’s more from around the Central:

Cavs Sign Alfonzo McKinnie To Second 10-Day Deal

JANUARY 23: The Cavaliers have officially re-signed McKinnie to another 10-day contract, the team confirmed today in a press release.

JANUARY 22: The Cavaliers are bringing back Alfonzo McKinnie on a second 10-day contract, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who reports that the swingman will sign his new deal on Thursday.

McKinnie has appeared in 29 games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 3.7 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 13.1 minutes per contest.

Having been claimed off waivers by the Cavs at the start of the regular season, McKinnie spent the first two-and-a-half months of the season on a non-guaranteed contract before being released earlier this month. Cleveland quickly brought him back on a 10-day deal and now will sign him to a second one. Once this contract expires, the team will have to either let McKinnie go or sign him to a standard deal.

By starting his 10-day clock tomorrow, Cleveland will maximize McKinnie’s new contract, since the club plays six games during that stretch. As Fedor notes, the ex-Warrior will also get a chance to face Golden State on the final day of the deal next Saturday.

The Cavs will have a full 15-man roster once McKinnie officially signs, though two of those 15 players – McKinnie and Tyler Cook – are on 10-day contracts which will expire before the trade deadline, giving the franchise some added flexibility.

Central Notes: Carter Jr., Giannis, McKinnie, Bulls

Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. believes he could return from his severe ankle injury ahead of schedule, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes.

Carter injured his ankle on January 6 and was initially given a four-to-six week timetable after undergoing an MRI. The 20-year-old was posting season averages of 11.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 30 minutes before going down to injury.

“Definitely closer to the four[-week side],’’ Carter said on his potential return, as relayed by Cowley. “My progress has been really good lately, so definitely closer to the four than the six.’’

The Bulls have a 3-4 record since losing Carter, who emphasized that he’s been working on his upper-body strength and watching film during rehab. He’ll likely return just before All-Star Weekend, which is set to commence between on February 14.

“It’s still pretty frustrating, but at the same time, I think everything happens for a reason,’’ Carter said. “That’s something I strongly believe in, so it’s frustrating because I’m a competitor, but on the back end it’s like, ‘OK, this happened for a reason or it could have been worse.’ Just take it in and try to get it better every day.’’

There’s more out of the Central Division tonight:

  • Sam Amick of The Athletic examines how the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo have quieted speculation regarding his 2021 unrestricted free agency, where he’s expected to garner interest from multiple teams. Milwaukee has the league’s best record at 38-6, winning its last six games. Their success has been fueled by Antetokounmpo and his MVP-caliber season (30 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 5.5 APG on 55% FG).
  • Alfonzo McKinnie is fighting to prove he belongs with the Cavaliers on a 10-day contract, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. Cleveland is likely to sign McKinnie to a second 10-day deal after his current contract expires on Sunday, according to Fedor, with the 27-year-old originally signing on January 9. “I’m just excited for the opportunity,” McKinnie said. “Best league in the world so however you get in, you just have to go with that and try to stick. This is my first time ever signing a 10-day. It really ain’t no different mindset-wise. Just trying to put forth everything that you can do on the court to show the organization that you belong, that you want to be around. For me, every year that I’ve been in the league trying to solidify a spot that’s pretty much how I approach it. Just coming out and doing what I can do and leaving it all on the floor and then leaving it into the front office’s hands. Hopefully it’s good enough.”
  • The Bulls could look to ramp up trade discussions involving Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine as the February 6 deadline approaches, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Schaefer examined different trade scenarios with both players, evaluating Chicago’s potential options.

Cavaliers Sign Alfonzo McKinnie To 10-Day Deal

The Cavaliers have signed Alfonzo McKinnie to a 10-day contract, the team announces on its website.

Cleveland released the wing earlier this week, as his salary for 2019/20 was set to become guaranteed, but there were rumblings that he could be back on a 10-day deal. The team also released Tyler Cook before the salary guarantee deadline.

In 23 games for the Cavs, McKinnie has averaged just 2.7 points in 11.0 minutes per game. He’s shooting 35.3% from the field, including 28.6% from deep.

Cleveland now has 14 players on the roster.

Cavaliers Waive Alfonzo McKinnie, Tyler Cook

3:55pm: The Cavaliers have officially released McKinnie and Cook, the team confirmed in a press release. The club also announced the signing of Levi Randolph to a two-way contract.

2:30pm: The Cavaliers intend to waive third-year forward Alfonzo McKinnie, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Cleveland will also release rookie forward Tyler Cook, who was recently promoted to the 15-man roster.

McKinnie, 27, spent last season with the Warriors but was a cap casualty in October and was claimed off waivers by the Cavaliers. He struggled in Cleveland though, averaging 2.7 PPG with a .353/.286/.636 shooting line in 23 games (11.0 MPG).

As for Cook, he spent most of the season on a two-way contract with the Cavs before being promoted to the 15-man roster on Friday. It appears as if that move was designed to get him a little extra money before he was waived. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports (via Twitter) that Cook got a $50K partial guarantee on his new contract.

In addition to eating Cook’s $50K guarantee, the Cavaliers will also be on the hook for a prorated portion of McKinnie’s non-guaranteed minimum salary, which works out to about $709K. Both players would have had their full 2019/20 salaries guaranteed if they had been retained through Tuesday.

The moves will leave the Cavs with just 13 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal, giving them a total of three open roster spots. Cleveland will have to add at least one player in the near future, since NBA teams can only dip below 14 players on standard contracts for up to two weeks at a time. The Cavs will also likely fill their two-way opening by next Wednesday, since January 15 is the deadline to sign players to two-way contracts.

Now that teams can sign players to 10-day contracts, the Cavs may look to bring in multiple players for 10-day auditions in the coming weeks and months. According to Charania, the club will explore the possibility of re-signing McKinnie, assuming he clears waivers on Wednesday.

And-Ones: LaMelo Ball, Hampton, Guarantee Deadline

NBA teams hoping to scout LaMelo Ball in Australia will have to wait a little longer, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who reports that the Illawarra Hawks guard remains out indefinitely due to a foot injury. Ball is still in a walking boot and has been instructed not to put any weigh on his injured foot for at least two more weeks, sources tell Givony.

With the Hawks unlikely to make the National Basketball League playoffs in Australia, it remains to be seen whether Ball will actually return for the team this season. The regular season ends on February 14, so if the youngster isn’t cleared for several more weeks, it may not make sense to have him suit up for the team’s final games.

Givony provides a more positive update on R.J. Hampton, the other probable 2020 lottery pick who is playing in Australia’s NBL this season. According to Givony, Hampton has been cleared to resume full basketball activity as he recovers from a hip injury. The New Zealand Breakers are expected to reintegrate the 18-year-old with a minutes restriction once he’s ready to return, which should happen soon.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

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.