Cleveland Cavaliers – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2019-12-07T05:03:57Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Cavaliers Listening To Offers For Kevin Love]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146610 2019-12-07T02:02:10Z 2019-12-07T02:02:10Z It’s become part of a fall tradition like no other in Cleveland. The weather gets cold, the Browns inch closer toward elimination from the postseason (check out Profootballrumors.com for the latest on the NFL club), and the Kevin Love trade rumors heat up.

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cavaliers are indeed ready to listen to offers for the big man, as he explained on ESPN’s NBA Countdown (h/t Ben Pickman of Sports Illustrated). “I’m told that Cleveland is ready now to listen to offers on Kevin Love as we get to that December 15 date and then the February trade deadline,” Woj said on the telecast.

Love is in the first year of a four-year, $120.4MM extension he signed back in 2018. Wojnarowski said a number of teams in both conferences could have interest in the power forward and if a deal happens, expect it to come after December 15 when many of the league’s offseason signings are eligible to be dealt.

The Cavaliers have always been willing to listen to offers for Love, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com tweets. According to Fedor, the team isn’t actively shopping the 5-time All-Star, though if the right deal presents itself, Love will be on a new team.

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Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Report: John Beilein’s Coaching Style Is Alienating Players]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146546 2019-12-06T23:27:30Z 2019-12-06T18:55:13Z Cavaliers players are rebelling against new coach John Beilein and believe he’s running the team like he’s still in college, according to Joe Vardon and Shams Charania of The Athletic. Some players have already tuned out Beilein and are seeking guidance from lead assistant J.B. Bickerstaff, the authors add.

“Guys drowned out his voice, and when guys start searching for the next in line for help, I believe you’ve lost them,” one player said anonymously.

“Our assistants are definitely more prepared for the NBA,” another claimed.

The 66-year-old Beilein is floundering in his first professional season after more than a quarter century as a successful college coach. The Cavs have dropped four straight games and 10 of their last 11, falling to 5-15 overall. They are coming off a 33-point loss to Pistons on Tuesday, which was followed by a Wednesday film session where both sides expressed their frustrations over what has gone wrong, according to sources.

Player grievances include “nitpicking” over fundamentals, “harping” during long film studies and Beilein’s alleged failure to understand the NBA game. Sources tell Vardon and Charania that the complaints run through the entire team and aren’t limited to any demographic.

The Cavaliers hired Beilein in May after interviewing nearly a dozen other candidates. He was given a five-year contract and was surrounded by a few experienced assistants. In addition to Bickerstaff, who has prior head coaching experience with the Rockets and Grizzlies, Cleveland brought in Andrew Lang and Dan Geriot, along with Lindsay Gottlieb, who is also in her first NBA season after serving as head coach at California-Berkley.

Beilein was chosen after a face-to-face meeting with team chairman Dan Gilbert because of his history of developing young players, who make up the core of the roster in the second year of a rebuilding project. With seven veterans on the final year of their contracts, there may be a lot of turnover by February’s trade deadline, which could give Beilein a fresh chance to gain the confidence of his team.

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Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Thompson, Clarkson Receiving Interest From Contenders]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146360 2019-12-06T23:51:46Z 2019-12-06T02:09:43Z In an illuminating look at the state of the CavaliersSports Illustrated’s Sam Amico revealed that two Eastern Conference contenders could be destinations for a tandem of Cleveland veterans on expiring deals.

The 2018/19 champion Raptors have a “high interest” in Toronto native Tristan Thompson ahead of this season’s trade deadline, according to Amico. Thompson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is playing on an expiring $18.5MM contract. Toronto has enough appealing assets to potentially entice Cavaliers GM Koby Altman into making a move. As of this writing, Toronto stands at 15-5, good for third in the Eastern Conference. They are playing the Rockets tonight.

Thompson is currently averaging career highs of 13.9 points and 10.6 boards per contest. The 28 year-old center would presumably replace one of the Raptors’ two-headed center corps, 34 year-old Marc Gasol or 30 year-old Serge Ibaka. Both former All-Defensive players are also on expiring deals, and both are on the athletic downslopes of their careers. Gasol is making $25.6MM this season, while Ibaka is earning $23.3MM. Thompson, a starter on the 2015/16 champion Cavaliers, would make more sense as a springier Ibaka replacement than a substitute for the passing maestro Gasol this year.

Amico also reports that the Sixers are said to be interested in adding Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson, on an expiring $13.4MM deal. After the 76ers lost significant offensive firepower with the 2019 summer departures of Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick, Clarkson could add provide some shooting help off the bench. He is connecting on 35% of his 5.0 long range attempts this season. Clarkson is also knocking down 88.6% of his looks from the charity stripe. Philadelphia sits at fourth in the East with a 15-6 record, though the team is in danger of dropping a game to the Wizards this evening.

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Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Suns Notes: Ayton, Trade Market, Baynes, Rozier]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146339 2019-12-05T23:32:47Z 2019-12-05T21:00:07Z The Suns will get suspended center Deandre Ayton back in less than two weeks, but coach Monty Williams believes it will take 10 games or so for the team to get used to playing with him again, writes Gina Mizell of The Athletic. The top pick in last year’s draft played just one game this season before being suspended by the league after testing positive for a diuretic.

“We’re really gonna see who we are in the next month,” Williams said. “Most teams know all your plays. Most guys are setting their rotations. I think we’ll find out what our team looks like with the addition of DA.”

Ayton raised a lot of expectations with 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks on opening night. The Suns want to see if he can become the anchor of their defense and an effective pick-and-roll partner for Ricky Rubio or if he’ll slip back into some of the bad habits of his rookie season.

There’s more out of Phoenix:

  • Power forward could be a position of need if the Suns decide to become active on the trade market, Mizell adds in the same piece. Dario Saric has played well, but he’s the only Phoenix starter without a long-term contract and he stands to get a sizable offer as a restricted free agent. Mizell states that the Suns have to be intrigued by Arizona alum Aaron Gordon‘s 32-point performance against them last night, but the Magic may want to hold onto him as long as they’re in the playoff race. She lists Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge as veterans who might become available by the February trade deadline.
  • Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer examines whether the Suns and Kings are better off without Ayton and Marvin Bagley III, who are both slated to return soon. In Phoenix’s case, veteran center Aron Baynes stepped in for Ayton and helped the Suns to a surprising 7-4 start. They didn’t slip down the standings until he suffered injuries to his hip and calf. Baynes has always been a strong defender, but he has developed his offense since coming to Phoenix, averaging a career best 14.7 points and 2.9 assists per game.
  • Hornets guard Terry Rozier explained to reporters why he gave serious consideration to the Suns in free agency this summer (video link from The Arizona Republic). “Their identity is guys just play hard,” Rozier said. “Young, physical team, wanna win … obviously I’m not with them so I don’t really care about that no more.”
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Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/4/19]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146305 2019-12-05T02:35:08Z 2019-12-05T02:35:08Z Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Bucks assigned power forward Dragan Bender to the Wisconsin Herd, the team’s PR department tweets. The fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft has averaged 21 PPG and 10 RPG in five starts with the Herd.
  • The Knicks assigned rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis to the Westchester Knicks, the team’s PR department tweets. He’s appeared in six games with the NBA Knicks, averaging 7.0 MPG in those outings.
  • The Cavaliers assigned rookie swingman Dylan Windler to the Canton Charge, the team’s PR department tweets. He has yet to make his NBA debut. The first-rounder is working his way back into basketball shape after recovering from a leg injury.
  • The Pacers recalled Victor Oladipo and Edmond Sumner from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team tweets. They practiced with the Mad Ants as part of their injury rehabs. There is no timetable for their return, the team adds.
  • The Clippers assigned center Mfiondu Kabengele to the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team tweets. The rookie first-rounder out of Florida State has appeared in six NBA games, averaging 3.8 MPG in those outings.
  • The Hawks recalled rookie forward Bruno Fernando and guard Tyrone Wallace from the College Park Skyhawks, the team tweets. Fernando, a second-round pick, is averaging 4.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 12.7 MPG while playing 21 games with the NBA team. Wallace has averaged 3.1 PPG in 12.0 MPG in 13 games with Atlanta.
  • The Thunder recalled center Justin Patton from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. In eight games with the Blue, Patton is averaging 10.3 PPG and  7.5 RPG in 26.2 MPG.
  • The Hornets recalled Cody Martin from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. The rookie guard appeared in three games with the Swarm, where he averaged 14.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 5.3 APG in 34.3 MPG.
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Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Cavaliers Notes: Henson, Love, Windler, Beilein]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146273 2019-12-05T23:08:23Z 2019-12-04T19:01:55Z John Henson hasn’t gotten discouraged by the Cavaliers‘ 5-15 start because he’s been through rebuilding before on a team that is now among the NBA’s best, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Henson was with the Bucks when they won 15 games with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton on the roster, and he is confident the young talent in Cleveland will eventually make a similar turnaround.

“You got to keep pushing forward,” Henson said. “Stay positive, hold onto the rope and don’t flinch as Coach says. “We are going to keep trekking this path. We’re not where we want to be, but the way the East is setting up, especially with sixth, seventh, eighth-seed, playoff wise, three or four-game win streak can put you right back in the mix. So, we can’t stop fighting and give up. It’s too early.”

Henson was back on the court last night after missing 17 games with a hamstring injury. He has been serving as a role model to his young teammates and reminding them that players often don’t get the opportunity they have in their first and second seasons in the league.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • The Cavs have been slumping because they’ve stopped using Kevin Love as the focal point of their offense, Fedor observes in a separate story. Love reached double figures in scoring in his first 13 games and posted eight double-doubles, but hasn’t seen the ball nearly as much recently. “We really tried to punch it to Kevin and I think he got doubled up a couple times,” coach John Beilein said Tuesday. “People are trying to make other people beat us. They will double him a lot.”
  • Rookie Dylan Windler is taking significant steps toward making his NBA debut, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Sidelined since the start of training camp by a stress reaction in his left leg, Windler has practiced the past two days and took part in a shootaround. Team doctors are monitoring Windler to see how he responds to each workout. “Today, I was in a coaches’ meeting, I heard the ball bouncing,” Beilein said. “When I heard the ball bouncing, I shot right out there right away because I knew Dylan was in the first group that was shooting just to see how he felt. He had no complications or no future soreness from yesterday’s workout.”
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News examines how Beilein is adjusting to losing in the NBA after years of success as a college coach.
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Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Nets Notes: Irving, Temple, Shumpert, Allen]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145921 2019-11-30T01:05:34Z 2019-11-29T20:59:40Z Kyrie Irving is developing into the team leader in Brooklyn that the Celtics hoped he would be last year, according to Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report. Irving frequently strategizes with Nets coach Kenny Atkinson during games and has taken a proactive approach in helping his teammates improve. Although he has missed the last eight games with a shoulder impingement, Irving has made a difference on the court as well. He’s averaging a career best 28.5 points and 7.2 assists per game and is leading all NBA players in “clutch” points.

Veteran Garrett Temple knew Irving was special, which is why he chose to sign with Brooklyn when he had numerous other offers. Sources tell Scotto that the Nuggets, Wizards, Cavaliers and Pelicans all expressed interest in Temple.

“Any time you go to a different team, and you don’t get traded there and choose to go to a different team when you’re a star, you have a chance to not right wrongs but become the person that you want to be,” Temple said. “It’s kind of a clean slate. The league is kind of a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately type of league anyway. Kyrie comes here, and if he’s the person I’ve seen the last four weeks, then all of those pundits are going to change their tune because he’s been here since Labor Day, we’ve been working out, and he’s been a great leader. He hasn’t tried to show up any young guys. He’s been a hard worker doing his thing, and when you win, it cures a lot of ills too. He said he failed as a leader. He’s going to try to change that, and he recognizes that.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Atkinson said Irving has been able to begin “on-court work,” tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Although Irving has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game, Atkinson calls it a positive step toward his eventual return.
  • Brooklyn will face a difficult roster decision when Wilson Chandler returns on December 15, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The Nets signed Iman Shumpert when they were permitted to temporarily add a 16th player after Chandler served the first five games of his 25-game ban. Shumpert has played well, which means Brooklyn may decide to unload someone else to make room for Chandler.
  • Jarrett Allen has improved nearly every part of his game in his third NBA season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Allen is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds and leading the league in field goal percentage, but free throws remain a problem. Lewis suggests that Allen can learn from free agent addition DeAndre Jordan, who has steadily improved after starting his career as a poor shooter from the line.
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Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Thompson Had No Issues With Irving]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145814 2019-11-28T21:01:54Z 2019-11-27T23:18:47Z
  • While Kyrie Irving‘s stint with the Celtics ended badly, Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson has only good things to say about his former teammate, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer“My brother. Great teammate,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day, if I’m going to go to war, need a dog (who) can go and hoop I’m definitely going to put him on my team. I mean, the chatter is for you guys to talk about. Teams lose a couple of games and they say the same things about us — what’s going on and blah blah blah. It’s just chatter. At the end of the day, when that untucked Kyrie jersey is out everyone is scared.”
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Kevin Love Remains Committed To Cavs But Hears Trade Buzz]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145796 2019-11-27T23:41:23Z 2019-11-27T18:18:56Z Speculation about the Cavaliers trading Kevin Love will continue until either the team trades him or moves a move to elevate the talent in Cleveland. Love hears the rumors, but doesn’t have a feel for what will happen next, as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press details.

    “I’m just going to let the chips fall,” Love said. ‘‘I know that this is a young team. I think I can help them. I’m going to do right by Cleveland, the organization. This is a league where teams want to rebuild, teams want to go young but certain teams are looking for a piece, a guy who’s played in the Finals, a guy who has playoff experience. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think it definitely lessens the burden and the anxiety.”

    While Love could certainly help a contender or playoff-bound team, he isn’t forcing a change of scenery.

    ”I’ve been committed to Cleveland since Day 1,” Love said. ”I know it’s been a little shaky at some points. It’s been really great at some points. But now I’ve found some semblance of balance in my life, not only on the court but away from it.”

    What’s your favorite hypothetical Kevin Love trade? Take to the comment section below with your thoughts and opinions!

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Early Check-In On Protected 2020 First-Round Picks]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145293 2019-11-21T17:00:47Z 2019-11-21T17:00:47Z We’re about a month into the NBA’s 2019/20 regular season, and no team has played more than 16 games. Still, based on what we’ve seen so far, we’re starting to get a sense of which teams will be competitive and which teams probably won’t.

    As a picture begins to form of which teams will be vying for top seeds in each conference and which might be battling for lottery odds, it’s worth checking in on the traded first-round picks for 2020. Of next year’s 30 first-round selections, 10 have been traded, and all 10 have some form of protection on them, meaning the ’19/20 standings will dictate whether or not those first-rounders actually change hands.

    Here’s an early look at which of those picks are safe bets to move, which ones will likely be kept, and which ones are still up in the air:

    Likely to change hands:

    • Bucks acquiring Pacers‘ pick (top-14 protected)
    • Celtics acquiring Bucks‘ pick (top-7 protected)
    • Nets acquiring Sixers‘ pick (top-14 protected)
    • Thunder acquiring Nuggets‘ pick (top-10 protected)

    The Bucks (11-3) and Nuggets (10-3) are currently competing for the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences. If that continues, the Celtics and Thunder can count on receiving picks in the late-20s.

    Meanwhile, the Pacers (8-6) and Sixers (9-5) have been a little shakier since opening the season, but there’s little doubt that they’ll be playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. They’ll send their respective first-rounders to the Bucks and Nets, who will be hoping those picks land in the teens or at least the early-20s.

    Unlikely to change hands:

    • Grizzlies acquiring Jazz‘ pick (1-7, 15-30 protected)
    • Nets acquiring Warriors‘ pick (top-20 protected)
    • Sixers acquiring Thunder‘s pick (top-20 protected)

    The protections on the Utah first-rounder included in the Mike Conley trade are meant to ensure that the Grizzlies don’t receive too high or too low a first-round pick. Assuming the Jazz (9-5) make the playoffs, as expected, they’d retain their 2020 pick and would owe Memphis their 2021 selection with the same protections.

    The Warriors (3-13) and Thunder (5-9) picks are a little more interesting, since they won’t simply roll over to 2021 if and when they’re retained. If Golden State keeps its 2020 pick, the team will only owe Brooklyn its 2025 second-rounder. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, would owe Philadelphia its 2022 and 2023 second-round picks if its 2020 first-rounder falls into its protected range.

    Still up in the air:

    • Celtics acquiring Grizzlies‘ pick (top-6 protected)
    • Hawks acquiring Nets‘ pick (top-14 protected)
    • Pelicans acquiring Cavaliers‘ pick (top-10 protected)

    The Grizzlies have been frisky so far, but they’re just 5-9 and will likely finish among the West’s worst teams. Whether or not they hang onto their 2020 first-rounder may come down to lottery luck. If it falls in the top six and Memphis keeps it, Boston would be in line to acquire the Grizzlies’ unprotected 2021 first-round selection.

    The Hawks will need the Nets to make the postseason to receive their first-rounder in 2020. That’s not a lock, but it still seems likely — despite a modest 6-8 record, Brooklyn holds the No. 7 seed in the East. If the Nets miss the playoffs and keep their first-round pick in 2020, they’ll owe a lottery-protected 2021 first-rounder to Atlanta.

    Finally, it may just be a matter of time before we can move the Cavaliers’ first-rounder into the “unlikely to change hands” group. The team is putting in a good effort under new head coach John Beilein, but is just 4-10 so far. Unless things improve, the Cavaliers’ pick will remain in the top 10 and they’ll keep it, instead sending their 2021 and 2022 second-rounders to New Orleans.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145285 2019-11-21T21:27:35Z 2019-11-21T14:50:30Z As Altman and the Cavs consider their options, here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

    Sources close to Cavaliers veterans Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson tell Joe Vardon of The Athletic that both big men would ideally like to play for a team with a chance to win a championship. However, Vardon warns not to read too much into that, suggesting that neither player has given any indication he wants out of Cleveland.

    Additionally, even if the Cavaliers decide to try to deal Love or Thompson, it’s not clear if there would be a strong market for either player, Vardon notes. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appeal to contenders, but trade chatter around the NBA is “way down,” according to one general manager who spoke to The Athletic, and Love’s and Thompson’s big cap hits would make them tricky to move.

    Over at The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor tries to identify a few teams that might match up with the Cavaliers in a Love trade, writing that rival team executives believe GM Koby Altman is “just posturing” when he insists Cleveland has zero interest in moving the five-time All-Star. However, O’Connor has a tough time finding ideal fits, listing the Kings, Spurs, Heat, Trail Blazers, and Rockets as some teams that might work in theory.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Cavaliers Notes: Love, Windler, Osman, Nance]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=144894 2019-11-17T17:42:08Z 2019-11-17T17:42:08Z Trade speculation has surrounded Kevin Love even before he signed a four-year, $120MM extension last summer. Once a part of the Big Three that led the Cavaliers to four straight Eastern Conference titles, he is now the oldest player on a rebuilding team that won just 19 games last season. Love tells Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times that he can accept whatever happens.

    “I know there’s talk about me possibly being the missing piece somewhere,” Love said. “There’s been constant chatter since I signed that I could be traded. It’s one of those things where I’m going to keep doing right by the team, by Cleveland and by the organization. If my number is called, so be it, but I’m going to stay true to my commitment and let the chips fall where they may.”

    Love is off to his best start since coming to Cleveland five years ago, averaging 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds through 11 games. He has also emerged as a spokesman for mental health issues in the league after speaking out about his personal battles, and admits he can now handle trade rumors better than he used to.

    “A big aspect of mental health is just staying in the present but it’s so hard,” Love said. “You have to try to not get too far ahead of yourself or get worked up. You can get that anxious feeling or fear for the future, but you have to try to stay focused on getting better and let things work out the way they should.”

    There’s more from Cleveland:

    • Cavaliers players are excited about what they’ve seen from rookie Dylan Windler in practice, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Windler hasn’t played since the start of training camp because of a stress reaction in his left leg, but he has been impressive in one-on-one and two-on-two games, as well as shooting drills. He has also displayed a basketball IQ that fits well in coach John Beilein’s system and should get plenty of chances to earn a spot in the rotation. Windler might be sent to the G League first, Fedor tweets, so his NBA debut may not happen until December.
    • Cavs management showed its belief in Cedi Osman with a contract extension last month, but there’s still uncertainty about what his ceiling might be, Fedor adds in the same story. Osman remains in the starting lineup, but his usage rating is second lowest on the team.“We’ve got to get him the ball more, we’ve got to see him more, run some more action for him where we can,” Beilein said. “When he’s open, we got to hit him when he’s open. We don’t do that well enough yet.”
    • Larry Nance Jr. was limited in practice because of a sore left thumb, but the team considers it day-to-day, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Nance met with a hand specialist yesterday.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Few Roster Spots Still Open Around NBA]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=144707 2019-11-15T14:53:19Z 2019-11-15T14:53:19Z Once the Trail Blazers make their deal with Carmelo Anthony official, only seven teams around the NBA will have open spots on their rosters. Six of those clubs have openings on their standard 15-man squads, while the seventh has an available two-way slot.

    Typically, in the first half of an NBA season, some teams keep a roster spot open to retain flexibility and to avoid paying a player who hardly ever actually sees the court. However, whether it’s a result of an increased focus on player development or a steady stream of injuries league-wide, most clubs this season have taken advantage of all 17 roster spots (15 standard, two two-way) available to them.

    As Bobby Marks of ESPN observes (via Twitter), the six teams that haven’t signed a 15th man are all somewhat limited by their cap situations. Here are those six teams:

    • Cleveland Cavaliers
    • Denver Nuggets
    • Golden State Warriors
    • Miami Heat
    • Oklahoma City Thunder
    • Orlando Magic

    The Heat and Warriors literally can’t sign a 15th man unless they cut salary costs elsewhere, since they’re right up against the hard cap. The Thunder are already in the tax and – as Marks notes – the Cavaliers and Nuggets would go into the tax by signing one more player. The Magic wouldn’t technically become a projected taxpayer by adding a 15th man, but they’re close enough to that threshold that it makes sense for them to hold off until they really need to fill that spot.

    There’s just one team that hasn’t used both of its two-way contract openings:

    • Phoenix Suns

    The Suns have their own G League affiliate, so it’s not clear why they haven’t yet taken advantage of that second two-way contract slot. The deadline for teams to sign players to two-way contracts is January 15 — it’s a pretty safe bet that Phoenix will sign a second two-way player by that point.

    In total, 450 standard roster spots and 60 two-way slots are typically available during the NBA season, for a total of 510 players on 30 teams. Currently, 504 players are on standard contracts or two-way deals (the Nets are carrying an 18th man while Wilson Chandler serves his 25-game suspension), leaving few NBA job opportunities up for grabs unless teams start making cuts.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Central Division]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=144462 2019-11-14T20:26:10Z 2019-11-12T22:01:28Z Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

    Entering the season, the Central Division appeared to feature two contending teams (the Bucks and Pacers) and two more teams with playoff aspirations (the Pistons and Bulls), leaving just one Central club (the Cavaliers) that looked like a lock to be a seller at the trade deadline.

    While it’s still possible that will be the case, Cleveland has exceeded expectations in the early going, playing hard for new head coach John Beilein and currently holding the No. 7 seed in the East at 4-5.

    As we wait to see whether the Cavs’ early success is sustainable enough to alter their trade-deadline plans, let’s round up a few potential trade candidates from around the division…

    Tristan Thompson, C
    Cleveland Cavaliers
    $18.53MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

    One of five Cavaliers veterans on an expiring contract this season, Thompson entered the year looking like a logical trade candidate. After all, he’s a reliable veteran with a championship under his belt, making him a better fit for a contender than a lottery-bound squad.

    However, the Cavaliers value Thompson’s locker-room presence and he’s posting some of the best on-court numbers of his career so far in 2019/20. His 16.4 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 1.6 BPG would all be career highs over the course of a full season. A solid rebounder and defender, Thompson spoke last month about wanting to make an All-Defensive team, but he has been better than expected on offense, with Beilein having shown a willingness to run plays through him.

    A cynic might say that the Cavaliers are putting Thompson in position to increase his trade value ahead of February’s deadline. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if the team seriously looks into what it would take to keep him around beyond this season before putting him on the trade block.

    Langston Galloway, G
    Detroit Pistons
    $7.33MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

    When the Pistons were trying to find a way to keep both Christian Wood and Joe Johnson on their roster at the start of the regular season, Galloway was said to be among the players the team explored trading. In fact, one report suggested Detroit was “very open” to the idea of moving the veteran guard. However, no deal materialized, presumably because teams didn’t view Galloway as a positive asset.

    Like Thompson, however, Galloway is off to a great start to the season, averaging 11.6 PPG on .437/.457/.912 shooting through 11 games (24.2 MPG). While the Pistons may not have expected him to have this significant a role, injuries to Reggie Jackson, Derrick Rose, and Tim Frazier have forced the team’s hand — as has Galloway’s strong play.

    Whether or not Galloway re-emerges as a trade candidate may hinge on the Pistons’ ability to remain in the playoff mix in the East. If the club is in position to make a win-now move at the deadline, Galloway’s expiring contract would make a logical salary-matching chip. If not, it may be in the club’s best interest to just let his contract expire at season’s end — unless he plays well enough to gain positive trade value.

    Kris Dunn, PG
    Chicago Bulls
    $5.35MM cap hit; RFA in 2020

    Dunn, who has also been the subject of trade rumors before this season, has seen his stock dip drastically since he was acquired by the Bulls in 2017. His offensive numbers this season are especially modest, and his usage rate is down to 15.1 through 10 games, well below the 22.5 mark he posted in his first two years in Chicago.

    However, head coach Jim Boylen likes how the former top-five pick has played so far this season, as Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. While he has taken on a more passive role on offense, Dunn has been strong on defense, averaging 2.2 steals in just 20.4 minutes per game. That’s important for a Bulls team that has been up and down on the defensive end so far this season.

    Despite a decent start, Dunn could end up back on the trade block within the next few months due to his contract situation and the Bulls’ roster situation. Tomas Satoransky and Ryan Arcidiacono signed three-year contracts with the team in July and Coby White was the seventh overall pick, so Chicago has more invested in its other point guards than in Dunn, who will be a free agent in 2020.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Ntilikina, Payton, Garland]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=144222 2019-11-10T15:09:45Z 2019-11-10T15:09:45Z Despite the stance taken by the front office since the Kristaps Porzingis trade, the Knicks weren’t forced to deal their 24-year-old star last winter, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Porzingis may have made a trade request, but he had limited leverage for getting out of New York. A restricted free agent over the summer, Porzingis could have signed an offer sheet with another team that the Knicks would have had the option to match or he could have accepted New York’s one-year qualifying offer, a risky proposition considering his injury history.

    Either choice would given management more time to make the changes in team culture that they have been discussing. Plus, they had the advantage of giving him more money and a longer contract than anyone else could have offered.

    The Knicks’ return makes the deal look especially bad. The $70MM in cap space that the trade opened up was used on short-term contracts for complementary players after the top targets signed elsewhere. Dennis Smith Jr. has been in and out of the point guard rotation and doesn’t look like a future star. DeAndre Jordan, whom the Knicks hoped would help attract his close friend, Kevin Durant, wound up joining Durant in Brooklyn. That leaves New York with two future first-rounders as the payment for dealing what was supposed to be their foundation player.

    Porzingis, who will make his first trip back to Madison Square Garden this week after facing his former team Friday, told reporters that the situation could have ended differently. “Of course, of course. Of course,” he said. “As I said, I have nothing negative to say, it’s in the past. I’m grateful for those years that I spent in New York. It’s a great experience.”

    There’s more this morning from New York:

    • Frank Ntilikina seems firmly established as the team’s top point guard after a breakthrough performance in Dallas, observes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The 2017 lottery pick had 14 points, six rebounds, four steals and three blocks as the Knicks grabbed a rare road victory. “Frank looked great,” Porzingis said. “… I know his work ethic, his mindset. I’m happy to see him play and play well and show the things he’s been capable of doing.
    • Ntilikina’s emergence leaves the future of the team’s other point guards in doubt, notes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Elfrid Payton, who will miss his sixth straight game today with a hamstring issue, is looking like a questionable signing considering his history of health problems. Smith, who rejoined the team Friday after being away 11 days following the death of his stepmother, has shot a combined 1 of 11 in his last three games.
    • With the Cavaliers in town today, the Knicks will get a look at Darius Garland, whom they were considering taking if they had been able to find a deal to move back in the draft, Berman adds in a separate story.
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