Cavaliers Rumors

Teams Lining Up For No. 3 Pick If Kings Pass On Doncic

The Mavericks, Magic, Bulls, Knicks, and Clippers have expressed interest in moving into the Hawks’ No. 3 slot to select either EuroLeague guard Luka Doncic or possibly Texas center Mohamed Bamba if the Kings pass on Doncic at No. 2, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Those teams, along with the Nuggets, have also talked to the Grizzlies at the No. 4 spot. The Celtics don’t appear to be a serious contender for either pick, O’Connor adds.

Here’s some other tidbits from O’Connor’s story:

  • The Hornets’ willingness to deal Kemba Walker has waned since they reached an agreement with the Nets to trade Dwight Howard for Timofey Mozgov. The Cavaliers have shown interest in solving their point guard dilemma by acquiring Walker.
  • The Clippers could select Miami (Fla.) guard Lonnie Walker with one of their first-rounders and then ship him to the Hawks. The Clippers have the No. 12 and No. 13 picks in the lottery.
  • The Bucks are trying to package the No. 17 pick with point guard Matthew Dellavedova‘s contract. Dellavedova has two years and $19.2MM remaining on his deal. Milwaukee would trade down in the draft in that scenario and not exit altogether.
  • The Timberwolves have a strong interest in Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo with the No. 20 pick.
  • There are rumblings that the Bulls made a promise to draft Boise State shooting guard Chandler Hutchison. That would have to be at No. 22 unless they make a deal.
  • The Trail Blazers and Lakers are interested in IMG Academy shooting guard Anfernee Simons with their late first-round picks.
  • Kentucky small forward Jarred Vanderbilt, Latvian forward Rodions Kurucs, and Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham are believed to have received draft promises.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Held Workouts In L.A.

Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander held workouts in Los Angeles for teams interested in him, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports.

According to Deveney’s sources, the one-and-done Wildcats guard has spent the predraft process in California and his agent, Thad Foucher of the Wasserman Group, told teams to visit him there.

This sheds some light on why Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t make the rounds working out from city to city like other draft prospects. One reason why Gilgeous-Alexander chose that unusual route, according to a Deveney source, was a desire to be drafted by the Clippers with one of their late lottery picks.

However, Gilgeous-Alexander could go as high as No. 6 to the Magic, with the Cavaliers (No. 8) and Hornets (No.11) also taking a long look, Deveney adds. The Raptors are also reportedly trying to move into the lottery to secure his services.

Cavaliers Not Actively Shopping Kevin Love

Despite previous reports indicating interest in a possible trade, the Cavaliers are not actively shopping All-Star forward Kevin Love heading into tomorrow’s NBA Draft, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN. McMenamin further writes that the Cavs also have interest in keeping Love on the roster moving forward regardless of whether LeBron James decides to stay in Cleveland.

Love, 29, averaged 17.6 points per game on 45.8 percent shooting during the 2017/18 regular season, but saw his numbers fall to 14.9 points per game on 39.2 percent shooting during the playoffs. Upon losing in the NBA Finals for a second consecutive season, Love spoke about the uncertainty surrounding his and James’ future with the Cavaliers.

“Obviously, I’d love to play with LeBron the rest of my career, but that will be a choice that he makes… (but) anything is possible. People have been saying (I’m leaving Cleveland) for the past four years. I knew that question would come. But I like to be here. I’ve always said that. Always wanted to win here.”

Love has two years left on his contract with just over $49.7MM in salary remaining, but he possesses a player option for the 2019/20 season.

Eastern Notes: Celtics, Heat, Sixers, Hornets, Nets

The Celtics figure to be one the primary suitors for Kawhi Leonard if the Spurs make him available this summer, but it won’t be easy for Boston to determine what sort of pieces to offer, writes Zach Lowe of Currently, the Celtics’ roster combines veterans like Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, and Kyrie Irving with young, up-and-coming stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, potentially opening up a very long window of title contention for the franchise.

While most pundits would argue that surrendering Brown and multiple first-rounders in a deal for Leonard is a no-brainer, such a deal “tilts Boston more toward the present,” Lowe writes. Lowe also explores whether Brown has the upside to become a Leonard-type player in the long run, arguing that the Celtics would have reason to be wary of giving up 2016’s third overall pick — especially without any long-term assurances from Kawhi.

Meanwhile, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News explores the Leonard situation and notes that the Spurs have heard from multiple “serious suitors,” including the Celtics, Cavaliers, and Sixers. However, executives who spoke to Deveney don’t anticipate a Kawhi deal being made before or during the draft.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat will be over the cap this summer, but can still be involved in free agency. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald examines the scenarios in which Miami could afford to add a free agent or two, and identifies a few potential targets for the club.
  • Texas Tech wing Zhaire Smith said today that the Sixers wanted to work out him for a second time in order to take a closer look at his shooting and ball-handling development, tweets Jake Fischer of The No. 10 pick may be a little high for Smith, who may not last until Philadelphia’s next pick at No. 26, but the club has explored trade options, so he shouldn’t be ruled out as a potential target.
  • Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer lays out the case for why the Hornets were eager to get rid of veteran center Dwight Howard. Charlotte is reportedly finalizing a trade with Brooklyn that will send Howard to the Nets.
  • The Nets worked out a large number of early entrant prospects who ultimately ended up withdrawing from the draft and going back to school. Net Income of NetsDaily explains how those auditions could pay off for the team in the long run.

Deveney’s Latest: Draft, Raptors, Gilgeous-Alexander

While all five teams at the top of the draft have reportedly been open to the idea of moving down, the odds of any of those teams actually trading a top-five pick may be slim. As Sean Deveney of The Sporting News details, teams that have explored trading up have found the asking price for a top-five selection to be extremely high.

“This is a good draft, a very good draft at the top,” one league source told Deveney. “But the value that teams are placing on these picks is a little unreasonable in some cases.”

The Sixers, Cavaliers, Bulls, and Celtics are among the teams that have looked into trading up. The Clippers, who own the 12th and 13th picks, have also had multiple discussions about that possibility, but if they stay where they are, there’s a sense that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, and Robert Williams will be among their top targets, per Deveney.

Here’s more from Deveney’s latest round-up of draft rumors:

  • While the Raptors were believed to be considering moving into the lottery to land Gilgeous-Alexander, their trade options are limited, according to Deveney. League sources tell Deveney that Toronto’s most likely deal is a salary dump of Norman Powell.
  • Speaking of Gilgeous-Alexander, he has been a mystery man during the pre-draft process. Appearing on Wednesday at media day, he didn’t shed much light on what he has been up to, telling reporters that he “can’t say” how many teams – or which teams – he has worked out for (Twitter link via Deveney).
  • The Warriors will likely to look to buy a second-round pick, but at least one general manager tells Deveney – perhaps half-seriously – that he hopes teams aren’t eager to accommodate the defending champs. “If anyone sells them a pick, they ought to have their head checked,” the GM joked. “Once that first round is over, everyone needs to just not pick up the phone if [Warriors GM Bob] Myers is calling.”
  • Deveney identifies Duke center Wendell Carter Jr. as one of the wild cards near the top of the draft, suggesting that Carter could go as high as No. 4 to the Grizzlies.

Five Key Offseason Questions: Cleveland Cavaliers

No team has had a more dramatic 2017/18 league year than the Cavaliers, who dealt with Kyrie Irving‘s trade request last offseason, underwent multiple roster overhauls, improbably made it back to the NBA Finals, and are now facing the prospect of losing LeBron James — again.

The Cavaliers’ comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals to erase a 3-1 deficit and knock off the 73-win Warriors earned James the right to leave on better terms this time around than he did in 2010, but the club would still prefer to have him stick around a little longer. His decision will ultimately be the catalyst that determines which direction the Cavs will go for the next several years.

Here are five key questions facing the franchise this summer:

1. So… what’s LeBron going to do?

The two best players in the NBA are eligible for free agency this summer, but Kevin Durant is a lock to re-sign with the Warriors, making LeBron’s decision the offseason’s most important subplot. At this point, his options have been discussed ad nauseam. The Lakers, Sixers, Celtics, Rockets, Clippers, Spurs, Heat, and even the Warriors look like potential threats to the Cavs, and that’s not taking into account any potential wild-card suitors that arise during his decision-making process.

I’ve already written at length about the various factors that will play a role in James’ decision, but even after endless speculation, it doesn’t feel like we’re any closer to figuring out where he’ll end up. Every potential landing spot has its pros and cons, which could work in Cleveland’s favor, forcing the future Hall-of-Famer to seriously consider the possibility of simply sticking with the Cavs rather than leaving for any number of imperfect options.

Still, it would be somewhat surprising if James re-upped with the Cavs. He accomplished what he set out to to do when he returned to the franchise in 2014, winning a title for his hometown team. From an on-court perspective, there are better opportunities out there for him. From a marketing and lifestyle perspective, moving to a bigger market like Los Angeles would make sense. It just seems like there’s too much working against the Cavs.

That doesn’t mean that a return to Cleveland is out of the question, but if I had to bet on James starting the 2018/19 season with either the Cavs or one of the NBA’s other 29 teams, I’d take the field.

2. What should the Cavaliers do with the No. 8 pick?

While it’s possible that James will no longer be a Cavalier at this time next month, the team can’t approach the offseason as if he’s already gone. By all accounts, LeBron has yet to make a final decision, so the Cavs’ moves in the next week or two could push him in one direction or the other.

That puts the Cavs in an incredibly tough spot with their lottery pick. If the club knew James would leave, it would make sense for the front office to target the player with the highest long-term ceiling at No. 8, in the hopes of identifying a franchise player for the post-LeBron era. With no assurances one way or the other, Cleveland will have to straddle the fence, finding a player who could play alongside James or who could develop and thrive on a new-look Cavs roster.

Of course, if the Cavs really want to make a strong pitch to James, packaging the No. 8 pick in a deal for another star would represent the all-in approach. Even if the club could find a workable trade for someone like Kemba Walker or Kawhi Leonard though, it would provide no guarantees on the LeBron front. Both Walker and Leonard are eligible for free agency in 2019 and aren’t well positioned to sign extensions before then, so it’s unlikely that acquiring one of them would prompt James to commit to more than one extra year in Cleveland.

Ultimately, the Cavs probably need to take the best player available at No. 8, regardless of that player’s fit, his ability to make an immediate impact, or his appeal to trade partners. If need be, the front office could always shop that player in July after finding out what James plans to do.

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Trae Young Had 'Secret' Workout For Cavs

Potential top-10 pick Trae Young conducted a “secret” workout for the Cavaliers on Saturday, reports Jonathan Givony of (via Twitter). Givony, echoing what Joe Vardon of wrote earlier today, suggests that Michael Porter Jr. may be Cleveland’s top target at No. 8.

However, if Porter is no longer available, the Cavaliers’ decision could come down to Young vs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, according to Givony, who notes that he has the team taking Gilgeous-Alexander in his latest mock draft.

Cavs Rumors: LeBron, Love, Trade Talks, Coaches

While LeBron James will have until June 29 to exercise or decline his 2018/19 player option, his final decision on his next team won’t happen quickly and figures to stretch into July, Adrian Wojnarowski said on Monday during a draft special on ESPN (Twitter link via Sagar Trika). If that’s the case, James seems more likely to opt out than to opt in next week, which would have an impact on which suitors are viable destinations, as I explained here.

Meanwhile, Wojnarowski also reports that the Cavaliers would like to package Kevin Love and the No. 8 pick for a star player on draft night, but that combo may not net the kind of star they’re seeking (Twitter link via Trika). As Wojnarowski observes, Love’s value isn’t at its peak and the Brooklyn first-rounder isn’t quite as strong as Cleveland had hoped, limiting the appeal of that package to some extent.

Let’s round up a few more Cavs notes and rumors…

  • The Cavaliers have talked to the Grizzlies on more than one occasion, according to Sam Amico of, who cautions that he doesn’t know the specifics of those discussions. Memphis is reportedly open to the idea of attaching Chandler Parsons‘ contract to the No. 4 pick in a trade, so it’s possible Cleveland has checked in on that possibility.
  • Echoing a Monday report, Amico confirms that the Cavaliers are expressing interest in Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and have kicked the tires on disgruntled Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
  • Although Amico expects the Cavs to hang onto the No. 8 pick, a lot of teams are interested in trading up to that spot, including the Nets.
  • The Cavs have had discussions about potentially acquiring another late first-round pick “to help open up the possibilities,” a league source tells Amico.
  • The Cavs are parting ways with assistant coach Jim Boylan and player development coach Phil Handy, multiple league sources tell Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of By not renewing the contracts for Boylan and Handy, the Cavs are clearing the path to give Dan Geriot and Damon Jones larger roles on their coaching staff, per ESPN’s report. No longer employed in Cleveland, Handy may be a candidate to join Nick Nurse‘s Raptors staff, tweets Michael Grange of

Cavs Likely To Pick Michael Porter If He's Available?

Cavs Willing To Trade Lottery Pick For Vets

The Cavaliers are seeking proven veterans from teams looking to move up in the draft despite not knowing LeBron Jamesplans for the future, Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Cleveland has the No. 8 overall pick on Thursday, courtesy of the Kyrie Irving blockbuster deal with the Celtics last summer. The front office has sent signals that it intends to upgrade the team, even if James opts out of his contract or requests a trade, Vardon continues.

Cleveland has sent out feelers to the Spurs about their willingness to deal disgruntled forward Kawhi Leonard. Hornets point guard Kemba Walker is another potential target, according to Vardon. Adding another impact player would be a way of trying to entice James to stay put but, of course, there’s no guarantee that will convince him to do so.

The front office and James’ camp have been in contact over the phone and in person lately, though the team’s brass hasn’t met with James,, sources told Vardon. There have not been any serious discussions regarding his future because James remains uncertain what he’s going to do, Vardon adds.

Despite their willingness to deal, the Cavaliers could still hold onto the pick.

Adding another veteran or two, especially if Cleveland uses the $5.8MM trade exception it possesses, would present even more salary-cap issues. The Cavs will pay about $50MM in luxury-tax penalties on last season’s payroll, Vardon notes, and they’ll still be over the cap even if James bolts without them trading for more help. Yet the Cavs’ front office is still willing to take on more salary with the hope of improving their chances to retain James, Vardon adds.