Brendan Haywood

Eastern Notes: Nets, Cavaliers, Wizards

Beau Beech’s long-range shooting ability gives him a chance to stick with the Nets, according to an in-depth analysis by NetsDaily.com’s Bryan Fonseca. The 6’9” Beech, who went undrafted out of the University of North Florida, received a partially guaranteed contract from Brooklyn. Beech’s main attribute is his jumper and he’s supremely confident when he sets up beyond the arc, Fonseca’s film study reveals. He should be very effective in transition but doesn’t create his own shot very much, Fonseca continues. If Beech can become a defensive factor, he can play in the league, though he’ll likely spend most of next season in the D League, Fonseca adds.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Nets guard Greivis Vasquez has pulled out of the Rio Olympics for medical reasons, NetsDaily.com relayed via Vasquez’s Twitter account. Vasquez underwent ankle surgery over the winter and missed most of the season while on the Bucks’ roster. Vasquez, who was on the Venezuelan team, did not indicate if he would be ready by training camp, NetsDaily adds. Vasquez, who is expected to back up Jeremy Lin, signed a one-year deal with Brooklyn on July 13th.
  • The Cavaliers allowed two trade exceptions to expire, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net reports. The exceptions were created when they dealt Mike Miller and Brendan Haywood to the Trail Blazers last summer. The exception created by trading Miller was worth $2.8MM, while Haywood’s exception was originally $10.5MM. There was only $2.3MM remaining on Haywood’s exception, as the Cavs used the bulk of it to acquire Channing Frye from the Magic at the trade deadline.
  • The Wizards don’t plan on paying any more players to attend training camp, according to J. Michael of CSNMidatlantic.com. Washington’s front office will only offer non-guaranteed camp deals, Michael continues, because they already have four players on partially-guaranteed contracts to go along with a dozen more on fully guaranteed deals. Jarell Eddie, Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan and Daniel Ochefu are the players with partial guarantees. Center Micheal Eric, who played on the Wizards’ summer league team, is unlikely to attend their camp because he’s looking for guaranteed money, Michael adds.

Cavaliers Notes: Jackson, Blatt, Lue

Former Cavs big man Brendan Haywood has maintained close ties with members of the Cleveland organization and says that former coach David Blatt lost the locker room due to his reticence to challenge LeBron James, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com relays. In an interview on Sirius XM’s NBA Today channel, Haywood said, “Coach Blatt was very hesitant to challenge LeBron James. It was one of those situations where, being a rookie coach, and LeBron being bigger than life, it was a little too much for him. I remember we had James Jones [talk] to Coach about how, ‘Hey, you can’t just skip over when LeBron James makes a mistake in the film room.’ Because we all see it. And we’re like, ‘Hey, you didn’t say anything about that. You’re going to correct when Matthew Dellavedova‘s not in the right spot. You’re going to say something when Tristan Thompson‘s not in the right spot. Well, we see a fast break and LeBron didn’t get back on defense or there’s a rotation and he’s supposed to be there, and you just keep rolling the film and the whole room is quiet.’ We see that as players. That’s when … as a player, you start to lose respect for a coach.

Here’s the latest out of Cleveland:

  • Tyronn Lue‘s three year contract calls for him to make a prorated $3MM for this season, $3MM for the 2016/17 campaign and the final year is a team option worth $3.5MM, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link).
  • James and his agent, Rich Paul, had been trying to get Blatt replaced with former Warriors coach Mark Jackson since last season, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports writes. Once it became apparent that the Cavs would not hire Jackson, Lue became James’ and Klutch Sports’ fallback option, though Lue’s refusal to sign with the agency for representation leaves him in a position where he needs to have immediate success, Wojnarowski adds. The Yahoo scribe also notes that Lue considered taking the position as an interim one, but instead decided to take the security of a longer deal.
  • Mavs coach Rick Carlisle called the Cavs’ decision to part ways with Blatt an embarrassment to the league and believes Blatt will land another NBA position, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News writes. “It’s a shocker. It’s just a real shocker,” Carlisle said regarding Blatt’s dismissal. “The bottom line with this is that I know a couple of things about coaching in this league. I know integrity. And I know knowledge. I can’t speak to the internal things that [might] have gone on in Cleveland. I’ve read some of the comments that came from the Cavaliers. Teams have a right to make changes. But David Blatt is going to be a highly sought-after coach this summer, if and when there are openings — if he chooses to stay. After this, you just hope a guy like this is still open to coaching in the NBA.

Trail Blazers Waive Brendan Haywood

The Trail Blazers have waived Brendan Haywood just days after acquiring him from the Cavaliers, the team announced (Twitter link). The move is no great shock, since Haywood’s non-guaranteed salary of $10,522,500 for this coming season would have been fully guaranteed if Portland kept him through Saturday. Thus ends the odyssey of one of the most unusual contracts the league has seen in quite some time.

Haywood averaged only 1.6 points in 5.4 minutes per game last season across 22 appearances, but his contract made him a valuable trade chip. The Mavs signed him to a six-year deal worth more than $52MM in 2010, but two years later, they amnestied him, with Charlotte claiming him off waivers shortly thereafter. The then-Bobcats submitted a partial bid, so they were only on the hook for a fraction of the Haywood contract, with Dallas paying the rest. However, the final season of his original Mavs deal was non-guaranteed. Thus, the cap figure for that year, unlike the years in which Charlotte and Dallas split the cost, remained as it was when Haywood signed the contract.

The center, who’s now 35, has seen his game decline over the past few seasons, but the final year of his contract was motivation for his team to keep him on an NBA roster, since this summer, the deal served as a de facto trade exception. A team could use his contract to acquire a player who makes as much as $15,522,500 without giving up any guaranteed salary in return.

Curiously, the Cavs acquired him cheaply last summer, giving up only Scotty Hopson and cash to Charlotte in a trade. Cleveland’s payroll has ventured into tax territory this summer, so the maximum amount of salary the Cavs could have brought back in a Haywood trade was $13,253,125. Still, Cleveland never found a deal to its liking, and simply rolled over the benefit into an actual trade exception in the deal with Portland. That exception is slightly less valuable, since the Cavs could only use it to bring in $10,622,500.

The utility of Haywood’s contract for Portland wasn’t that great, since the Blazers already possess cap space. They had this week to see if they could flip Haywood to an over-the-cap team that might then trade the contract again to reap its benefit, but no such series of deals materialized. Haywood faces a challenge to hook on with another team at this point, though he apparently doesn’t intend to retire.

Are you surprised that more a market didn’t develop for the Haywood contract when the Cavs had it? Leave a comment to let us know.

Central Rumors: Cavs, Jackson, Pacers

The Cavaliers traded Brendan Haywood and Mike Miller to the Trail Blazers mainly to add two exceptions and expand their trade options, even though they will save millions in luxury tax, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Cleveland believes teams are more willing to make mid-season trades and the exceptions it picked up on Monday — $10.5MM for Haywood and $2.85MM for Miller — gives it some flexibility to make those moves, Pluto continues. The Cavs’ salary cap concerns would have made any trade next season much more difficult without those exceptions, though they cannot be combined, Pluto adds.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Second-round pick Sir’Dominic Pointer is a longshot to end up on the Cavs roster this year, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal writes in his story on the Haywood deal. Cleveland drafted the small forward from St. John’s 53rd overall last month.
  • Reggie Jackson was convinced he would re-sign with the Pistons when they helped him with a family crisis, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes. When Jackson found out his father Saul had a diabetic seizure in March, the organization flew Jackson on the team plane to Colorado to visit him, the story continues. That made a lasting impression on Jackson, who didn’t consider any other teams before signing a five-year, $80MM deal as a restricted free agent to remain with the club. “I think I knew then I didn’t need to be nowhere else,” Jackson said to Ellis. “In my mind I was already here, but that kind of solidified it. There was no need to even play around and do free agency. I was good.”
  • Only the first year of Glenn Robinson III‘s three-year contract with the Pacers is guaranteed, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Robinson will make $1.1MM this season, then $1.05MM in 2016/17 and $1.09MM in 2017/18 in the non-guaranteed years, Pincus adds. The signing was officially announced on Monday.

Blazers Acquire Brendan Haywood, Mike Miller

MONDAY, 12:55pm: The deal is official, the Cavs and Blazers announce. Miller receives $428,241 from Cleveland thanks to his 15% trade kicker, though that amount will apply to Portland’s cap, lifting Miller’s total cap hit to $3,283,181, notes former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

8:49pm: The Cavs will not receive draft picks in the deal, Wojnarowski tweets. The Blazers, however, will send cash, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 8:19pm: The Cavs have agreed to trade Brendan Haywood and Mike Miller to the Blazers, reports Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski (on Twitter). Cleveland is set to gain two trade exceptions in the deal — one for $10.5MM and another for $2.85MM — Wojnarowski tweets.

Mar 10, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Brendan Haywood  shoots prior to the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The Cavs are also set to send the better of the 2019 second-round picks that they own from the Lakers and Timberwolves plus their 2020 second-round pick, according to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst (on Twitter).

Haywood’s contract is non-guaranteed for next season at $10,522,500. It will become guaranteed on August 1st and therefore the Blazers are expected to waive him, Windhorst writes in a full story. The Cavs, of course, had been shopping Haywood and his sizable contract for months to no avail.

The Cavs are still interested in making deals with Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Matthew Dellavedova, but at the moment, are set to cut their luxury tax bill from a little more than $32MM to just over $4MM by shedding the salaries of Haywood and Miller, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein tweets.

And-Ones: Miller, Haywood, Hammon

Mike Miller landing with the Thunder seems like an unlikely outcome, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman writes. Miller was reportedly traded from the Cavs to the Blazers and is expected to be released. Joining the Thunder would be an interesting move because Miller played under new Thunder coach Billy Donovan at Florida between 1998-2000, as Slater points out, and the two are very close friends, Slater adds. However, Miller, 35, who is coming off his worst season, reportedly wanted out from Cleveland because he wants more playing time and that would be hard to find with the Thunder, Slater adds. The team also won’t have a spot on the roster for him, Slater notes.

  • The Sixers discussed trading for Brendan Haywood with the Cavs before the big man was reportedly dealt to the Blazers, reports SI.com’s Jake Fischer, who cites a source (on Twitter).
  • Spurs assistant Becky Hammon has gained traction as a potentially serious head-coaching candidate, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes after several conversations with league executives. More importantly, from Berger’s perspective, the culture around the league toward a female head coach has changed drastically. One executive from the Eastern Conference told Berger that Hammon “would be high on my list.” Another said, “Why not? She has the qualities necessary, and with an organization’s backing, she could do it. She’s obviously learned under the best.”
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak wanted to meet with Nick Young to tell Young not to consider the signing of Lou Williams a slap in the face, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports (on Twitter). The Kupchak and Young met recently and afterward Young, who has been the subject of trade rumors this summer, said he felt confident he would remain with the team.

Latest On Brendan Haywood

The Cavaliers have not had any luck in trying to deal Brendan Haywood and his sizable non-guaranteed contract, and the team now is focused on flipping Haywood for a traded player exception, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com relays. The trade Cleveland made earlier today which sent the rights to Rakeem Christmas to the Pacers was intended to give the Cavs roster flexibility and an asset they may use in moving Haywood to create a large trade exception within the next week, Windhorst notes.

While the Cavs haven’t made a final decision regarding what to do with Haywood, the franchise has arrived at the conclusion it will not be able to find a suitable deal to use Haywood’s $10,522,500 non-guaranteed contract, sources told Windhorst. The Cavs are now considering all options to move Haywood before August 1st, when his contract becomes guaranteed, as is shown by our schedule of guarantee dates.

The only teams currently possessing enough cap space to absorb Haywood and create a trade exception for Cleveland are the Trail Blazers and the Sixers, notes the ESPN scribe. The Jazz are also a possibility, but they would have to trade or cut several players with non-guaranteed contracts to engineer a trade for the big man. Cleveland will likely need to include a draft pick to facilitate a deal, which is a big reason that Christmas’ rights were dealt, Windhorst relays, and the 2019 second-rounder the team acquired from Indiana could be utilized in this endeavor.

Windhorst also notes that the Cavs felt comfortable dealing Christmas because they have another backup big-man option in Sasha Kaun, a 2008 Cavs draft pick who has been playing in Russia. The team still has $1.2MM left of its taxpayer midlevel exception, and they might use it to ink Kaun, according to Windhorst’s sources.

Cavaliers Rumors: Love, Thompson, Smith, Haywood

A pool-side meeting with LeBron James and a 12:01 a.m. phone call on July 1st helped convince Kevin Love to stay in Cleveland, according to Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer“We talked everything out,” Love said of the session with James. “A lot of stuff was very honest. We came to a very good place and agreed on a lot of things.” Love added that the early phone call from the organization let him know he was a priority. He agreed to a new five-year, $113MM deal with Cleveland.

There’s more news regarding the Cavs:

  • The newly signed James reminded the Cavaliers that they still have offseason work left to do, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. While filming a movie Friday, James talked about moves the team has made this summer and some that are still left to finish. “We still got to re-sign Tristan Thompson,” he said. “Hopefully we can bring back J.R. Smith as well and see if there’s some other free agents out there that’d love to come here and play if we’re able to do that.” 
  • Thompson and the Cavs were reportedly close to reaching a five-year, $80MM deal, but talks stalled when he asked for the $85MM that the Warriors’ Draymond Green received, according to Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. He also notes that Smith, who turned down a $6.4MM option for next season, has found few suitors in free agency. Cleveland is reluctant to give him a large raise or a long-term deal, two things Smith is seeking.
  • Turning Brendan Haywood‘s non-guaranteed $10.5MM contract into a trade exception might be the best option for the Cavs, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Today’s release of Deron Williams by the Nets eases Brooklyn’s financial strain and removes another potential suitor for Haywood, Lloyd writes. One possible alternative is to send Haywood to the Clippers for Jamal Crawford, but L.A. officials have denied they are dealing Crawford, and Cleveland won’t need him if Smith re-signs. Haywood is expected to be dealt before his contract becomes fully guaranteed August 1st.

Lakers, Suns Talk To Cavs About Brendan Haywood

The Lakers and Suns are among the teams having discussions with the Cavs about trading for Brendan Haywood and his sizable non-guaranteed contract, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, writing for Amico Hoops. The Clippers are another, Amico writes, advancing earlier reports connecting the Cavs to Jamal Crawford. Cleveland had reportedly spoken a few days ago to the Nets about trading Haywood, and Anderson Varejao, to the Nets for Joe Johnson, but that conversation has since tailed off, and sources told Amico that Cleveland hasn’t offered Varejao to anyone in its most recent proposals.  Haywood isn’t planning to retire if he’s waived, a source tells Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

[RELATED: LeBron James To Re-Sign With Cavs]

Haywood’s contract, a vestige of the amnesty clause that’s worth a non-guaranteed $10,522,500 this coming season, has value to teams seeking to clear cap space or avoid luxury tax payments. Cleveland can use it in a trade that brings in as much as $5MM more, or $13,253,125 if that trade leaves the Cavs over the tax threshold. Those figures increase if Haywood is paired with someone else. Haywood’s salary becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster through August 1st, so Cleveland has some time, but a limited amount of it. The 35-year-old center saw only 119 total minutes of action this past season, and, according to Amico, many around the league believe he’ll retire if he’s waived in advance of that August deadline, as seems most likely.

The Lakers appear to be using a large chunk of their cap flexibility to trade for Roy Hibbert, though they may send some salary to Indiana. The major stars are off the market, but the acquisition of Haywood, if executed with sufficient time left before August 1st, would give the Lakers another trade chip. The same would be true for the Suns, who reportedly agreed to trade Marcus Morris and two others to the Pistons in an ill-fated effort to clear cap room for LaMarcus Aldridge. Phoenix is also reportedly shopping Markieff Morris.

It’s unclear exactly what the Cavs are looking for in return for Haywood, though Amico speculates that a wing player would fit the bill, which makes sense, given the rumors linking them to Johnson and Crawford. It appeared earlier that they were looking for either a facilitating guard or a scoring point guard, but that was before they struck a deal with Mo Williams.

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Cavs, Nets Joe Johnson Talks Stall

TUESDAY, 11:28am: Cleveland and Brooklyn haven’t spoken for three days, Broussard said on SportsCenter (Twitter link via Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com). Mazzeo indicates that the talks are dead as the Cavs focus elsewhere.

12:50pm: The Cavs were the first to show resistance to the deal, based on their tax concerns, and now the Nets aren’t all that enthusiastic, either, as a transcription of Broussard’s SportsCenter appearance on NetsDaily reveals. LeBron James, who wants the Cavs roster to be as loaded as possible, is watching as he lingers in free agency, Broussard reminds.

MONDAY, 12:20pm: The Nets have been looking for a third team to take on Varejao’s contract, but the talks with the Cavs are on hold for now, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN (Twitter link via ESPN colleague Mike Mazzeo).

4:55pm: The Johnson trade talks are preliminary and not likely to be productive, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily.com tweets.

SUNDAY, 3:33pm: The Cavaliers are interested in using Brendan Haywood‘s bloated non-guaranteed salary as ballast in a trade that would bring in Joe Johnson, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Cleveland would have to send additional salaries to Brooklyn to make the salary matching work, but Windhorst suggests that Anderson Varejao is a possibility to go to the Nets.

The Nets have been actively shopping Johnson in recent days and they’ve had talks with the Grizzlies about the veteran.  The Pistons and Hornets, also spoke with Brooklyn about him this past season, despite his severely bloated contract.  Johnson, who averaged 14.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 3.7 APG in 34.9 minutes per contest last season, is the second-highest paid player in the league at $24.8MM for 2015/16.  He’s not a great value, but he is still a strong scorer and would give Cleveland some additional outside shooting.  While moving his salary would lift a great luxury tax burden off of Mikhail Prokhorov’s shoulders, it would have the inverse affect on the Cavs’ finances.

Haywood has a $10.5MM non-guaranteed deal that has huge financial implications for a team if waived prior to August 1st.  Trading for and waiving Haywood could save the Nets tens of millions in tax payments.  Still, there would need to be more, such as Varejao, coming from Cleveland to Brooklyn in order to make a swap work.

The Cavs are poised to go over the tax threshold by quite a bit if they re-sign most of their free agents, as GM David Griffin has indicated he wants to do, but for now, they’re below the tax line, which is projected to come in at around $82MM when the league sets the figure at the end of the July Moratorium. So, they can take in as much as $15,522,500 via trade using the Haywood contract, which calls for a non-guaranteed salary of $5MM less than that amount, as long as that trade doesn’t take them into tax territory. If they do a trade involving Haywood at a point when it would either cause them to cross the tax line or when they already have crossed the tax line, they could only take in $13,253,125 using Haywood’s salary. The Nets are already well into tax territory, so they can’t bring in more than 125% plus $100K than they send out.

If the Cavs send both Haywood and Varejao to the Nets, it won’t matter whether Cleveland is above or below the tax line, since the salary-matching rules would be the same: The Cavs would be limited to taking in 125% plus $100K. Johnson’s deal would fit within those parameters.

Varejao, when healthy, is a capable rebounder and scorer, but health issues have dogged him in recent years.  Over the last five seasons, Varejao has missed 50+ contests in four of those campaigns.  In his “healthiest” of those five seasons, Varejao played in 65 regular season games.  For his career, the big man has averaged 7.9 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 25. 8 minutes per night.

The possibility of moving Varejao could be behind the Cavs’ interest in free-agent forward David West over the last several days, Windhorst writes. West has indicated he wants to play for a Finals contender, and the Cavs have been attempting to recruit him, sources told Windhorst.

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