Cleveland Cavaliers

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/26/17

Here are the D-League transactions for Sunday:

Cavaliers Notes: James, Smith, Williams

LeBron James claims that he “always felt good” about the Cavaliers‘ roster this season, though he admitted that he feels better now about the team than he did in January., Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes.

“Had nothing to do about exactly the team, it was just the way we were playing,” James recently said. “I’ve always felt good about the team. Coming into the season, even in January I felt good about our team, but you know it’s just about the way we were playing. So now I feel really good about the way we’re playing right now, and coach Lue has a pretty good handle for what he would like us to do on the court.”

The 4-time MVP has been critical of the front office this season, battling with ownership over payroll concerns and demanding outside help in the form of a playmaker. Just last month, he called the roster “top heavy” and exclaimed that this year’s squad was worse than the team that won the championship last season. The team has since added Derrick Williams via 10-day deal and it plans on adding Deron Williams on Monday. LBJ appears happy with with the team’s moves.

“Listen the only thing that matters is the guys on the court and the guys who come to work every day,” James said. “The moves will be made by our GM and things of that nature. Coaching staff is ready to put the guys on the floor, so that’s my concern, that’s my mindset right now. Getting this team geared up for the postseason and we want to continue to play good ball.”

Here’s more from The Land:

  • Kyle Korver knows Deron Williams from their time together in Utah and he believes Williams will be a great fit for the Cavs, Vardon writes in a separate piece“He wants to be a part of an opportunity to win a championship,” Korver said of Williams. “And just being here the whole time I’ve been here, and just seeing where there are some of the holes, or not holes, but where we can be better and knowing who he is and his skill set, I think it’s an incredible fit. He’s a guy that can play with the ball, he can play off the ball. He’s a good shooter, he’s a smart player. He can switch on defense, he’s a bigger body. I just think he’s a really good fit all around.”
  • The Cavs were interested in adding Williams during the 2015 offseason when the point guard agreed to a buyout with the Nets, Vardon adds in that same piece. Williams opted to join Dallas over coming to Cleveland.
  • While there’s no official date for J.R. Smith‘s return to the court, the team is optimistic about his recovery from a thumb injury, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com relays. “He seems to be doing very well. I’d say he’s on schedule, maybe slightly ahead of schedule,” GM David Griffin said.
  • Earlier today, we learned that Andrew Bogut is expected to join the Cavs once he reaches a buyout agreement with the Sixers.

Andrew Bogut Expected To Join Cavaliers

Andrew Bogut is expected to join the Cavaliers once he reaches a buyout agreement with the Sixers, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cleveland is expected to add Deron Williams on Monday and it currently has only one open roster spot, so the team will need to make a corresponding move should it plan to add both players.

Bogut was sent to Philadelphia as part of the Nerlens Noel trade, but he hasn’t reported to the team. He must be waived before Wednesday’s deadline in order to be eligible for postseason play, per league rules. He has spoken to Sixer coach Brett Brown, explaining his desire to play for a championship contender and a buyout agreement is considered likely.

Cleveland is among the five teams which reportedly reached out to Bogut’s representatives. The Spurs, Rockets, Celtics and Jazz were also interested in adding the Australian big man.

Bogut has battled injuries this season, but when he’s healthy, he remains one of the better interior defenders in the league. ESPN’s Real Defensive Plus/Minus ranks him as the second-best center in the league on defensive this season.

Five Teams Have Contacted Andrew Bogut

The Cavaliers, Spurs, Rockets, Celtics and Jazz have talked to representatives for center Andrew Bogut over the past 24 hours, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.

The 32-year-center has reportedly been negotiating a buyout with the Sixers ever since Thursday’s trade that sent him from Dallas to Philadelphia. Bogut must be waived before Wednesday’s deadline to be eligible for the post-season with another team.

Bogut hasn’t reported to the Sixers, but Charania relays that he spoke to coach Brett Brown over the phone. Bogut said he has respect for Brown and the culture of the team, but he wants to help a championship contender.

Of the five teams in Charania’s report, Utah has a massive financial advantage with $13.64MM in available cap space. That’s enough for the Jazz to claim Bogut’s entire $11MM contract once he hits waivers. Houston made two deals this week to clear cap room and has about $3.54MM open. Boston is $1.1MM under the cap, while Cleveland and San Antonio are both over.

The NBA ruled on Thursday that Bogut could rejoin the Warriors, even though they traded him in July, but so far there hasn’t been any indication that Golden State is interested in a reunion.

Cavs To Sign Deron Williams

Deron Williams has cleared waivers and he will sign with the Cavaliers, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets that the signing is expected to be completed on Monday.

The agreement is for the remainder of the season and it will cost Cleveland $908,431 this season with $259,526 of that figure being Williams’ salary and remaining cost being luxury tax payments, Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets. The move will bring the Cavs payroll to slightly over $126.9MM, which is the highest is league history.

Dallas was looking to trade Williams at the deadline, but no deal materialized. Shortly after the deadline, it was reported that the Mavs were working on a buyout agreement with Williams and his preferred destination was Cleveland.

LeBron James has been adamant about the team adding a playmaker to help take the burden off of him and the addition of Williams should help with that issue. The 32-year-old can play the traditional point guard role for the Cavs when Kyrie Irving and James sit, but he’s also comfortable playing off the ball, so he should see regular minutes alongside Irving and James as well.

Williams is averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists per game this season. He has a 53.2 true shooting percentage and he’s sporting a 15.3 player efficiency rating.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/25/17

Here are the D-League transactions for today:

  • The Thunder have assigned forward Josh Huestis to their D-League affiliate, the team announced via press release. In 23 starts with the Oklahoma City Blue, Huestis has averaged 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
  • The Cavaliers have recalled rookie point guard Kay Felder from their D-League affiliate, the team revealed on their official website. Felder has averaged 30.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game in his only three stints with the Canton Charge.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/24/17

Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • Rookie point guard Kay Felder has been sent to the D-League by the Cavaliers, per a team press release. It’s just the third assignment of the season for Felder, who has averaged 30.0 PPG in two games for the Canton Charge.
  • The Raptors recalled Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet from the D-League today, the team announced (via Twitter). The trio helped lead the Raptors 905 to a Thursday night win, with VanVleet (26 points, 11 assists) and Siakam (15 points, 12 rebounds) recording double-doubles.
  • The Warriors have assigned Damian Jones to the D-League, tweets Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News. Jones will likely play for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s affiliate, tonight in Reno.

Post-Deadline Housekeeping: New TPEs, Open Roster Spots

There were no superstars on the move on Thursday, but NBA teams made eight trades, and there were many more signings and cuts completed once the deadline passed. In the wake of the deadline, we’ll take a look at a few roster- and cap-related notes, rounding up the new traded player exceptions that teams created on Thursday, as well as examining which teams still have space available on their rosters.

Let’s dive in…

New trade exceptions:

Several over-the-cap teams acquired new trade exceptions on Thursday. They’ll all expire on February 23, 2018, a year after they were created, or until they’re used or renounced by the teams below. If a club wants to use cap room, it must renounce its trade exceptions, but until then, these TPEs can be used in the summer or next season to acquire players.

Here’s the breakdown, in order of TPE value:

  • Dallas Mavericks: $6,642,537
  • Chicago Bulls: $5,462,000
  • Milwaukee Bucks: $5,000,000
  • Atlanta Hawks: $3,333,334
  • Houston Rockets: $3,333,333
  • Dallas Mavericks: $1,514,160
  • Houston Rockets: $612,172
  • Toronto Raptors: $328,000
  • Houston Rockets: $233,880

Some notes related to these TPEs:

  • Multiple teams on this list, including the Rockets and Bucks, could open up cap room by renouncing their trade exceptions. In Houston’s case, this is particularly notable, since the club would create more than $3.5MM in cap space by renouncing these TPEs. That cap room could come in handy very soon if the Rockets are trying to entice a free agent to sign with them instead of another contender that can only offer the minimum.
  • As is always the case with TPEs, some of these exceptions will be more useful than others. The Mavericks could end up doing something interesting with their $6.6MM+ TPE, but the Raptors will almost certainly never use theirs for $328K.
  • The Thunder also came out of Thursday’s action with a new TPE — sort of. Oklahoma City had created a trade exception worth $7.4MM on November 1 when the team sent Ersan Ilyasova to Philadelphia. The Thunder used a portion of that exception at the deadline to absorb Doug McDermott‘s salary, leaving approximately $4.94MM left on it. OKC will have until November 1 to use the rest of that TPE.
  • For the complete list of trade exceptions across the NBA, click here.

Teams with open roster spots:

A day after the trade deadline, the list of teams with open roster spots is incredibly fluid. Some teams that acquired players in trades don’t have any use for those players, and will waive them. Other clubs will fill roster holes with D-League call-ups, while other teams will be a little more patient and wait out the buyout market.

All of this is to say that this list is up to date at the time of publication, but could change quickly as teams make more moves this weekend. Here are the teams that currently have at least one open spot on their 15-man roster, with their player count noted in parentheses:

  • Charlotte Hornets (13): The 10-day contracts for Ray McCallum and Mike Tobey expired overnight, so Charlotte has two open spots. The team reportedly plans to use one on Johnny O’Bryant.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (14): The Cavs have 13 guaranteed contracts, plus Derrick Williams‘ 10-day deal. The team expects to sign Deron Williams as well, so if any other roster additions are coming after that, Cleveland would need to clear a roster spot.
  • Dallas Mavericks (13): The Mavs have two openings after completing a two-for-one trade with the Sixers, then waiving Deron Williams.
  • Houston Rockets (14): The Rockets opened up a roster spot by trading K.J. McDaniels, and may waive Marcelo Huertas as well. Houston is expected to be active on the buyout market.
  • Milwaukee Bucks (14): The Bucks created a roster opening by sending Roy Hibbert to Denver, and they’re expected to fill it by signing Axel Toupane to a 10-day contract.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (14): Unlike most of the teams on this list, the Wolves have carried an open roster spot for a while, and that didn’t change at the deadline.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (14): The Thunder traded three players to Chicago and received just two in return, creating an opening. They have their eye on free agents and buyout candidates.
  • Orlando Magic (14): Like Minnesota, the Magic were carrying an open roster spot prior to the deadline and didn’t make a move on Thursday.

The Suns will join this list as soon as they officially waive Mike Scott and Jared Sullinger, as is expected. They’ll fill one of those two newly-open spots with Ronnie Price. There are also three teams that have full 15-man rosters with at least one player on a 10-day contract. The Hawks, Warriors, and Pelicans fall into this category, with Briante Weber‘s second 10-day deal in Golden State set to expire soon.

For a full breakdown of NBA roster counts, check out our list.

Sixers Trade Nerlens Noel To Mavericks

8:48pm: The trade is official, according to a press release from the Sixers. The announcement suggests that if the 2017 first-round pick from the Mavs isn’t conveyed, Philadelphia will receive Dallas’ second-round picks for 2017 and 2020, though that may be a typo — RealGM’s log of traded picks shows that the Sixers would get the 2017 and 2018 picks, as noted below.

11:58am: According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links), if the Sixers don’t receive the Mavs’ first-round pick this year, they’ll instead receive 2017 and 2018 second-round picks from Dallas. Since that first-rounder is top-18 protected, it seems very unlikely to change hands, so the conditions on the pick make the deal look even better for the Mavs.Nerlens Noel vertical

11:30am: There are still some moving parts to sort out in the deal before it becomes official, according to Jake Fischer of SI.com, who tweets that the trade may expand to involve a third team so that the Sixers don’t have to waive a player.

10:46am: The Sixers are in agreement with the Mavericks on a deal that will send Nerlens Noel to Dallas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia will receive Justin Anderson and a first-round pick from the Mavs. ESPN’s Marc Stein adds (via Twitter) that the Sixers will also get Andrew Bogut‘s expiring contract.

According to Stein (via Twitter), the first-round pick heading to the Sixers in the deal will be top-18 protected in 2017, which makes it unlikely that it will change hands this year. As our 2016/17 Reverse Standings show, Dallas currently projects to have the No. 7 overall pick, though Noel should help improve this year’s team. Future protections on the first-rounder have not yet been reported.

Noel, who will turn 23 in April, was frequently mentioned as a trade candidate earlier this season, particularly after he publicly questioned the Sixers’ decision to head into camp with a logjam at center. However, the former sixth overall pick had played well as of late, averaging 8.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and a career-best .611 FG% in less than 20 minutes per game for the season.

Recent trade rumors had focused more on Jahlil Okafor than Noel, so it will be interesting to see if the Sixers end up moving Okafor today as well. In his full report on the trade, Wojnarowski suggests Okafor is now likely to stay put. However, as Jake Fischer of SI.com notes (via Twitter), the Sixers have been “steadfast” this week in their efforts to move Okafor, so it would be a change of direction to hang onto him now.

[RELATED: Latest on Jahlil Okafor]

For the Mavs, Noel represents a substantial upgrade at center, giving the team the sort of athletic, rim-protecting big man it had been seeking. As Wojnarowski tweets, Dallas has “long been intrigued” by Noel, and will look to lock him up this summer. The Kentucky product will be a restricted free agent, so the Mavs will have the opportunity to match any offers he receives from other teams.

From the Sixers’ perspective, the move represents a chance to pick up a young player and a draft pick while also potentially not having to worry about reaching the salary floor. Anderson has yet to make a real impact in his two NBA seasons, but he’s still just 23 years old and won’t be a restricted free agent until the summer of 2019. Meanwhile, the combined salaries for Bogut ($11MM+) and Anderson ($1.51MM) are worth approximately $8MM more than Noel’s salary, allowing Philadelphia to surpass the salary floor.

However, if the Sixers were to flip Bogut in another deadline deal, that could change the equation, and the team has yet to decide what they’ll do with the veteran center, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports (via Twitter) that Bogut and the Sixers are expected to engage in buyout talks, with potential suitors like the Cavs keeping a close eye on the situation. However, TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter links) suggests Philadelphia could reroute the former No. 1 pick to another team, with the Celtics as one possibility.

A couple final bookkeeping notes on the swap: Assuming it’s completed as reported, Dallas should have the opportunity to create a pair of trade exceptions in the deal. One would be worth about $6.64MM (the difference between Bogut’s and Noel’s salaries), while the other would be worth approximately $1.51MM (Anderson’s salary). The Mavs should also now comfortably avoid the luxury tax this season, having previously been about $1MM away from the tax threshold.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA Rules That Warriors Can Sign Andrew Bogut

Today’s trade that sent Andrew Bogut from Dallas to Philadelphia will make him eligible to return to the Warriors right away, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Normally, a player who is traded cannot rejoin his original team for a full year. Golden State shipped Bogut to Dallas on July 7th as a way to clear cap space to sign Kevin Durant. However, the NBA determined that the provisions of its reacquisition rule shifted from the Warriors to the Mavericks when they became the last team to trade him (Twitter link).

The ruling doesn’t mean that Bogut is a lock to go back to the Warriors. First, he must agree to a buyout with the Sixers, which seems likely. Then he must clear waivers, which is also probable as few teams have the cap space to absorb his hefty salary.

Once Bogut hits the open market, the Warriors will have to compete with other suitors. The Rockets, who have $3.54MM in cap space available, will make an effort to sign him, as will the Cavaliers and Spurs. Golden State is well over the cap, but Bogut might be tempted to accept a lesser offer to rejoin the franchise where he won an NBA title and set a league record for victories in a season.

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