Cleveland Cavaliers

Clippers To Hire Trent Redden As Assistant GM

Former Cavaliers executive Trent Redden is poised to join the Clippers’ front office, according to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, who reports (via Twitter) that Los Angeles will hire Redden as an assistant general manager.

The addition of Redden represents the latest move in a series of front office changes for the Clippers. Earlier this summer, the team removed decision-making authority from Doc Rivers, who had been the club’s president of basketball operations. Although Rivers remains the team’s head coach and will still have a voice in personnel matters, Lawrence Frank has assumed control over L.A.’s basketball operations.

[RELATED: NBA’s Longest-Tenured GMs/Presidents]

With Rivers focusing on coaching, the Clippers have been filling out their front office with other seasoned executives, having reportedly offered the general manager job to Thunder assistant GM Michael Winger. As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN observes (via Twitter), Winger and Redden previously worked together in Cleveland, and are now set to work alongside one another under Frank.

Redden previously worked for the Cavaliers as their senior VP of basketball operations, giving him a significant role in the club’s front office under David Griffin. However, when Griffin’s contract as general manager wasn’t extended by the Cavs, Redden also parted ways with the franchise.

Cavaliers Notes: Griffin, LeBron, Merchandise

Blake Griffin is no stranger to rumors swirling at an impending free agency as the Clippers‘ longtime forward hit the open market this offseason but ultimately re-signed with Los Angeles on a lucrative five-year deal. Next offseason, LeBron James is set to hit the open market and has been rumored to be interested in L.A. (Clippers or Lakers), a place he has referred to as “home” this offseason and owns a home.

In a recent podcast appearance on View from the Cheap Seats with the Sklar Brothers, Griffin gave his thoughts on James possibly heading out west. While Griffin claimed to have no direct knowledge, he said he doubts that the three-time NBA champion will not go to Los Angeles and feels New York would be a more viable destination (via Complex).

“Honestly, I don’t see him coming to L.A. period. Listen, again, I have no idea. I think something is brewing with him and his group of guys. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think something’s brewing and they’re going to try to make that work,” he said. “I could see him going to New York before L.A. I still think, when you go to the Garden, it’s a completely different feeling. The energy, there seems like there’s just a consistent buzz the entire game … even last year when you go play them, it’s still there.”

James’ future will be a hot topic in the next 12 months and players around the league will be among those to weigh in with their thoughts.

Below you can read up on several tidbits of Cavaliers news:

  • Charles Curtis of USA Today breaks down why the Cavaliers will not trade James before his hits free agency despite the uncertainty of his future. Curtis notes that James has a no-trade clause, teams’ skepticism of trading for a player departing in one year, fielding a competitive team even without Kyrie Irving, and the reputation of the NBA’s best player.
  • In a separate USA Today, Alysha Tsuji writes that a store in James’ native Akron, Ohio, is selling merchandise asking James to “Stay Home” to stay past the 2017/18 season.
  • Sam Amico of Amico Hoops writes that unless the team begins its transformation project of Quicken Loans Arena by September 15, the Cavaliers will not be considered for an NBA All-Star game in 2020 or 2021.

Kevin Durant Weighs In On Cavaliers’ Situation

It may seem like the Cavaliers have a unique problem on their hands with Kyrie Irving requesting a trade. However, Kevin Durant tells Chris Haynes of ESPN.com that trade requests routinely occur behind the scenes without the media learning of them.

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant said. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

Having a deal in place by the time training camp begins would avoid a potential distraction. However, if Irving isn’t moved by then, Durant believes Irving and LeBron James would eventually work out their differences.

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Earlier in the week, Durant played pickup basketball with James and Carmelo Anthony among others. The 2013/14 MVP downplayed the event.

“If somebody wants to hoop, we just hoop. We just went out there and played, bro. Nothing too serious,” Durant said.

Jefferson Explains Why Williams Won't Return

  • Richard Jefferson offered some insight on his Road Trippin’ podcast about why Deron Williams is unlikely to return to the Cavaliers, relays Daniel Rappaport of Sports Illustrated. Jefferson said the veteran guard’s “eyes did not light up” about coming off the bench in Cleveland, but joked that the Warriors’ “eyes lit up” whenever Williams checked into the Finals. Williams didn’t turn out to be a good fit for the Cavs after joining the team in late February in the wake of buyout with the Mavericks. He was particularly bad in the Finals, shooting 2 of 16 for the series and averaging 1.0 points and 1.2 assists per game. Williams’ contract with Cleveland expired after the season, and he remains a free agent.

Conflicting Reports On LeBron’s Future With Cavs

Speculation of LeBron James leaving Cleveland has persisted all summer and it revved up last week after he called Los Angeles “home” in a tweet. Between James’ friendship with Lakers team president Magic Johnson and the turmoil surrounding the Cavaliers’ organization, it’s easy to envision a scenario where LBJ heads west to play for the Lakers next season.

Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link) doesn’t mention Los Angeles, though he hears from a source that James has already made up his mind on his future with the Cavs.

“This will be LeBron’s final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair,” the source said.

LBJ’s camp has since denied these reports with three sources close to James telling Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com (series of tweets) that they are 100% false. The sources told Vardon that James does not view his relationship with ownership as something that is unrepairable.

Chris Broussard of Fox Sports (Twitter link) hears that LBJ has not yet made a decision on his future in Cleveland and he won’t make one before the end of next season.

While James’ camp did its best to quickly shoot down the rumors, the fact remains that James has not publicly or privately expressed willingness to commit to the franchise long-term.

If the Cavs knew LBJ was leaving, perhaps the team decides not to trade Kyrie Irving. If they knew James was going to stay, they could confidently acquire a package full of win-now veterans for the point guard. Without a certain future, the organization sits in an awkward position, one that could shape the franchise for years to come.

It’s a tough situation for new GM Koby Altman to be in. The threat of a superstar leaving is the theoretical tax you pay to have him as the face of your franchise. With James likely hitting the free agent market next summer, nearly every team in the league will line up to try to get an opportunity to foot that bill.

Do you think LeBron stays in Cleveland or do you think he leaves his home state for another franchise? If he bolts, where does he go? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. We look forward to what you have to say!

Poll: Should Suns Include Josh Jackson In Kyrie Offer?

Although the Suns weren’t one of the teams named on Kyrie Irving‘s alleged list of preferred landing spots when he made his trade request earlier this offseason, Phoenix has been frequently mentioned as a possible trade partner for the Cavaliers. The Suns possess a win-now veteran (Eric Bledsoe), a young potential star (Josh Jackson), extra future draft picks, and an ability to absorb an extra contract or two, making them a good fit for the Cavs.

Still, the two sides haven’t found common ground yet, and Jackson – this year’s No. 4 overall pick – appears to be a point of contention. Last month, reports indicated that the Suns were unwilling to include Jackson in an offer for Irving, telling the rookie forward that he wouldn’t be going anywhere. The team reportedly prefers to include last year’s fourth overall pick Dragan Bender.

Jackson has been cited as a primary target for the Cavaliers as they explore their options with Irving. LeBron James himself reportedly asked about Cleveland’s chances of landing Jackson, who was named this week as one of several young players the Cavs were focused on — Kristaps Porzingis, Jayson Tatum, and Jamal Murray were among the others.

If the Suns were willing to include Jackson, a package of the rookie and Bledsoe would be a starting point, though previous reports have indicated Phoenix would need to give up a little more too — perhaps in the form of a draft pick or taking back a player like Channing Frye or Iman Shumpert.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer took a closer look at the situation on Tuesday, making cases for why the Suns should and shouldn’t be willing to put Jackson into an offer for Irving. Ultimately, O’Connor’s “bad cop” – who argued for including Jackson – won out, with The Ringer scribe suggesting that an unproven rookie with some question marks shouldn’t be a sticking point in a deal for a legit star.

What do you think? Are the Suns overvaluing Jackson, or are they right to refuse to include him in an offer for Irving? Does it make sense for Phoenix to hope that the Cavs will accept other players in Jackson’s place, and to move on if that bid falls short?

Vote below in our poll and then jump into the comment section to share your thoughts.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Derrick Williams Could Be Re-Signed

  • Unrestricted free agent forward Derrick Williams could wind up back with the Cavaliers, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net reports. Williams has drawn little interest in the open market but the Cavs could sign him to a one-year, $2.4MM contract once they decide whether to trade Kyrie Irving, Amico adds. Williams averaged 6.2 PPG and 2.3 RPG on 51% shooting in 17.1 MPG over 25 regular-season games with Cleveland but was used sparingly in the playoffs.

Raptors Inquired On Kyrie Irving

Appearing on TSN 1050 Radio in Toronto on Tuesday, Raptors GM Bobby Webster was asked if his club has called the Cavaliers about Kyrie Irving. As Josh Lewenberg of TSN tweets, Webster confirmed that the Raptors did reach out to Cleveland to inquire on Irving.

“Definitely. We all do our due diligence,” Webster said. “Things don’t always make sense, but if they do we’re always prepared. That’s a lot of talk that we do — that doesn’t really see the light of day, that happens behind closed doors. So we’re in touch with all the teams and obviously when a player like that becomes available you’d be remiss not to call.”

Webster, who was promoted earlier this summer to replace the departed Jeff Weltman as the Raptors’ new general manager, didn’t suggest that the Raptors’ talks with the Cavaliers went beyond the preliminary or exploratory stages, and I wouldn’t view Toronto as a likely landing spot for Irving.

Having re-signed both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to lucrative long-term contracts within the last 14 months, the Raps aren’t in a great position to upend their backcourt, and don’t have the sort of young star the Cavs are reportedly seeking. As Webster suggests, Toronto was probably just doing its due diligence, along with most other teams in the league — a previous report suggested that about 20 teams inquired on Irving.

As we heard earlier today, the Celtics, Nuggets, Suns, and Knicks continue to be viewed as the most viable trade partners for the Cavs, who have their eye on a young player with star potential on each of those clubs.

Kyrie Irving Rumors: Spurs, Celtics, Porzingis

If the Cavaliers had received assurances from LeBron James that he intends to remain with the franchise beyond the 2017/18 season, their approach to a Kyrie Irving trade might be much different, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While the Cavs certainly haven’t given up hope of James remaining in Cleveland, the franchise wants to use an Irving trade to protect itself against his possible departure — that means focusing on acquiring a young potential star, rather than targeting veteran help for LeBron.

Initially, the Cavs’ desire in an Irving trade was to acquire young players and picks that could help the team down the road and to get pieces that could help the club contend immediately. However, that kind of massive return may not be available for the star point guard, forcing the Cavaliers to choose one path or the other. And with LeBron unwilling to commit, the Cavs are leaning toward prioritizing long-term pieces over short-term help.

As Wojnarowski details, Josh Jackson (Suns), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), and even Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks) are among the young players the Cavaliers have their eye on in trade talks. In his own piece on the situation in Cleveland, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders agrees that those four teams – Phoenix, Boston, Denver, and New York – are mentioned most frequently as trade partners, and continue to have discussions with the Cavs.

Here’s plenty more on the Irving situation:

  • According to both Wojnarowski and Kyler, teams around the NBA believe that the Cavaliers will ramp up trade talks and get more serious about moving Irving in September, with training camps approaching.
  • The Spurs have interest in Irving, but the fact that the Cavs are prioritizing young potential stars over veteran help means Cleveland doesn’t have much interest in the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, or Danny Green, says Wojnarowski.
  • Although the Cavaliers are intrigued by Tatum, the Celtics have yet to make an official offer for Irving and the two sides haven’t formally discussed this year’s No. 3 overall pick, according to Wojnarowski. Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe adds (via Twitter) that Boston has remained in touch with the Cavs throughout the process.
  • The idea of including Porzingis in an Irving offer is currently a “non-starter” for the Knicks, per Wojnarowski. However, Woj adds there may still be some lingering tension between Porzingis and the franchise, and teams are wondering how emphatic the Knicks’ “no” really is — especially if the Cavaliers would be willing to take on Joakim Noah‘s contract.
  • Wojnarowski reports that the Bucks have shown interest in Irving. However, with Giannis Antetokounmpo obviously untouchable, Milwaukee may not have a young star who makes sense for the Cavs.
  • Although the Clippers have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Irving, a league source tells Kyler that L.A. doesn’t appear to have the right combination of assets to appeal to the Cavs — a third team would be necessary, and even that may not be enough to make the Clips a serious contender for Irving.

Kyrie Irving Notes: Communication, Future, LeBron

In a somewhat comical yet harsh column, Mike Polk Jr. of Cleveland.com breaks down Kyrie Irving‘s highly publicized trade request as the former NBA champion reportedly wants out of Cleveland. The Cavaliers have been fielding offers for their All-Star point guard but at this juncture, no deal appears close. Polk believes that Irving’s ego is clouding his judgment and could ultimately ruin his legacy.

Irving has notoriously been criticized for his defense, something that, depending on who you ask, stems from his lack of defensive skill or defensive effort. While scoring is not an issue for Irving (25.2 PPG in 2016/17), team’s — at least so far — have not blown the Cavaliers away with offers. Polk opines that Irving’s attitude and limited defense may be scaring off suitors and that alone is a red

However, Irving and James could both be on their way out by the end next season, which could put the Cavaliers in a dire situation. Therefore, fans should embrace their superstar duo and Irving should set aside his desire to “lead a team” in lieu of making possibly one final run at the title, Polk writes. It may be easier said than done, but with three NBA Finals appearances and one title on their combined resume, Irving and James have proven they can be successful together.

Read more Irving-related news tidbits below:

  • In another Cleveland.com column, Bud Shaw criticizes Irving for not addressing his trade demand. Instead, Irving is focused on his brand with Shaw citing a recent sneaker release in which Irving collaborated with Kobe Bryant. Irving has been bashed throughout the NBA for wanting to break up a super team to create a core in which he’s the leader. Shaw writes that the Cavaliers’ hope is for Irving to assure interested teams he will not pull a similar stunt in two years when his current deal expires, which should facilitate a deal.
  • On a recent edition of The BBall Breakdown Podcast, ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin reported that Irving went several days last postseason without speaking to his Cavaliers teammates. “Phoenix, of course, hired James Jones this offseason,” McMenamin said (via USA Today). He’s been inside that locker room. He’s seen Kyrie Irving – I think I reported this on SportsCenter this week – he saw Kyrie Irving in the playoffs this year – in between the first round when they beat Indiana and the second round when they played Toronto – go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice.” With Irving a seeking a chance to lead, reports of him secluding himself from teammates contradicts his reported intentions.
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