Deron Williams

Cavaliers Notes: Sanders, James, Liggins, Williams

LeBron James would endorse the signing of free agent center Larry Sanders to improve the Cavaliers’ bench, writes Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. A story broke Friday that Cleveland was in “serious discussions” with the former Buck, who hasn’t played in the league since the 2014/15 season. The Cavs need a rim protector after losing Andrew Bogut to a broken leg in his first game with the team. Sanders is only 28 and had talks about joining the organization before Bogut became available. “An athletic big guy, incredible shot-blocking skills, anticipation around the rim, can finish around the rim and block shots and being able to guard perimeter guys as well,” James said. “… It looks like he wants another opportunity and hopefully if we’re the team, hopefully we give him an opportunity. Why not? Everyone deserves a second chance and it looks like he wants to get back to playing the game he loves and hopefully this is his destination.”

There’s more this morning out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavs chose defense over offense when they decided to keep DeAndre Liggins instead of Jordan McRae, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. McRae, a second-year guard, was waived March 1 to create a roster spot for Bogut. Cleveland believes Liggins is more useful because he can match up with Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, Kyle Lowry or Stephen Curry in a playoff series. In addition, Vardon says some people in the organization questioned McRae’s work ethic.
  • Kyle Korver will be out of action for about a week with a recurring foot injury, Vardon writes in a separate story. Tests this week showed inflammation of a tendon, which is an injury that has affected Korver before. Coach Tyronn Lue said Korver will be re-evaluated “in a few days.”
  • Deron Williams continues to look like he will play a major role in the postseason, relays Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. The backup point guard, who signed with the Cavaliers after agreeing to a buyout with Dallas, posted 10 points and four assists in 25 minutes Saturday in a win over Orlando. “That’s perfect for our team, and he’s able to learn the sets on the fly,” James said. “He’s putting us in position, and every game he’s getting an opportunity to get his legs back up underneath him because he didn’t play much before the All-Star break. And then you have the break, which is another week, and then I think he took like another week after that. So he’s using these games to get back into game mode and game shape, and it’s helping him every time out.”

Central Notes: Zipser, Portis, Harris

With Taj Gibson now a member of the Thunder, the Bulls have shifted Bobby Portis into his spot at power forward and rookie Paul Zipser into the sixth man role, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Zipser, a 23-year-old forward, has stepped up of late as a competent two-way player able to defend opposing team’s scorers while hitting the occasional big shot.

Smith isn’t the only one touting the rookie who returned to the lineup after a month’s absence. “He really kind of solidified himself as our sixth man (before the injury) and a guy who’s closing games for us,” Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg told Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago. “We missed him, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got size, he’s got length, he can put it on the floor and he can really defend.”

The change in rotation goes to show that trades aren’t always about what a team acquires, Smith writes, but also about who they open up opportunities for. Portis has averaged 12.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game since stepping into the larger role with the Bulls seven games ago.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • All season long LeBron James commented that he’d like the Cavaliers‘ front office to go out and get a playmaker. Little did he know then that one would fall into their laps. In Deron Williams, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes, the Cavs got just what they wanted. In his first game with Cleveland, Williams became the first reserve to dish out more than four assists in a game all season (he managed seven).
  • The Pistons made the wrong choice when deciding to shake up their starting lineup, Stephen Shea of Basketball Analytics Book writes. A deep dive on Tobias Harris reveals that he is Detroit’s most efficient scorer and that the team performs better when he’s on the floor.
  • The 15-year-old son of Dwyane Wade won’t stop talking trash, Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler tells Alysha Tsuji of USA Today. Zaire Wade is highly regarded as a high school player. “When he makes it to the league, every single NBA player is going to try to score 50 on him,” says Butler.

 

Cavs Notes: Bogut, Williams, MVP

The Cavaliers were quiet at the trade deadline but have made two significant moves since adding recently waived veterans Andrew Bogut and Deron Williams. Chris Mannix and Bobby Marks of The Vertical discussed the signings in a recent video.

Not only do the March moves shed light on why the club didn’t make a drastic move at the trade deadline — they also tie into the previously reported LeBron Jamesplaymaker” demands. The Cavs knew that they had March 1 in their back pocket all along. While they may not have known specifically that Bogut or Williams would fall to them, it would have been reasonable for general manager David Griffin to assume that the reigning champions would at least be on the short list of any new veteran free agent hoping for a playoff run.

Limited tradeable assets and draft picks gave the Cavaliers little other choice, Marks argues, but they can rest assured that they’ve bolstered their lineup with some solid depth. Mannix mentions Williams’ possible impact in particular. The Cavs have been without a veteran backup at the point guard position since Matthew Dellavedova signed with the Bucks and Mo Williams abruptly retired.

The gap between the Cavaliers and everybody else in the Eastern Conference just got a little bit wider,” Mannix says.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Once again, LeBron James is making a case to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, writes ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Veteran forward James Jones spoke about James’ bid for yet another award and why his case sometimes gets overlooked. “Sometimes they get bored with what they know is coming, even if that’s still the best option out there.”
  • Agents have substantial influence on the waiver wire, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Vardon suggests that NBA front offices would  be wise to heed an agent’s request to not put in a bid for a veteran player going through the waiver processes, lest they want to damage their chances of doing business with the agency in the future.
  • Veteran Kyle Korver spoke about his recent return to Atlanta and Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal published video of the conversation. “It felt like I was on a really long road trip and I came back,” he said. The forward speaks fondly of his time with the Hawks but is grateful for his opportunity in Cleveland.

And-Ones: Hansbrough, D. Williams, Draft

Veteran forward Tyler Hansbrough recently signed a D-League contract and has now been claimed by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the league announced in a press release. It’s a reunion of sorts of Hansbrough and the Pacers — the former UNC standout played in Indiana for his first four NBA seasons, and will now play for the team’s D-League affiliate.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • Deron Williams is a member of the Cavaliers now, and we heard this week that there may be mutual interest in a reunion between him and the Jazz down the road. However, those weren’t the only teams that had interest in him around the time of the trade deadline. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes that the Bucks and Clippers also considered the veteran point guard as a trade target.
  • In his latest look at the 2017 NBA draft, ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link) examines the lottery teams and identifies the best fit for each of those clubs in the event that they land a top-three pick. As Ford notes, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball are widely considered the top two prospects in the draft, but there are differing opinions on which order they should be picked, and who should be drafted after they’re off the board.
  • Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders identified some of the front office executives around the NBA who figure to receive general manager consideration in the not-too-distant future if they’re willing to consider leaving their current clubs. Tony Ronzone (Mavericks), Matt Lloyd (Magic), and Tommy Sheppard (Wizards) are among Kyler’s picks.
  • NBA Africa VP Amadou Gallo Fall spoke to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated about the league’s efforts to grow the game in Africa.

Cavaliers Notes: McRae, Bogut, Dellavedova, Williams

Second-year guard Jordan McRae expressed no bitterness on his way out the door after being waived today, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. He was released to open a roster spot for the signing of free agent center Andrew Bogut. McRae appeared in 37 games for the Cavs this season, starting four, but was only playing about 10 minutes per night. He will receive all of his nearly $1.15MM salary. “All smiles here,” McRae posted on his Instagram account. “Not a bad thing to say about any player or anybody that has anything to do with this organization. I’m proud to say I am a part of Cleveland’s first-ever NBA championship. The memories I will take with me for the rest of my life. Best of luck to this great group of guys, brothers for life love you guys. Thanks Cleveland.”

There’s more tonight out of Cleveland:

  • Former Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova played a role in helping Bogut, a fellow Australian, choose Cleveland, tweets TNT analyst David Aldridge. Dellavedova, who spent three seasons with the Cavs before a sign-and-trade sent him to Milwaukee over the summer, gave a glowing recommendation to Bogut about the players and the organization.
  • Deron Williams, who signed with the Cavaliers on Monday, said the defending champions were the “best fit” for him, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. The veteran point guard, who committed to Cleveland after agreeing to a buyout with the Mavericks, said he considered the city when he was in a similar situation in 2015. He also cited a friendship with guard Kyle Korver, who was a former teammate in Utah. “I just feel like I’ll be comfortable here,” Williams said. “I’ll have a significant role here, with the need for a backup for Kyrie [Irving] and also being able to play with Kyrie. We get a chance to play together and of course competing for a championship is something that I haven’t had a chance to do.”
  • James believes it’s too early to say whether this year’s roster is now better than last year’s, Vardon writes in a separate piece. This week’s signings of Williams and Bogut added two accomplished veterans to an already-talented team and filled the primary needs for a backup point guard and an extra big man. “Yeah, we’re pretty deep and the biggest thing is just trying to get everyone to mesh together and who plays well together and who doesn’t,” said coach Tyronn Lue.

Latest On George Hill, Jazz

The Jazz and point guard George Hill engaged in renegotiation-and-extension discussions prior to Tuesday’s deadline, but were unable to reach an agreement. Shortly after news of those failed talks broke, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reported that Hill had been advised that he’ll be able to land a better deal this summer than what Utah could offer now. MacMahon followed up on that tidbit today with an in-depth piece on Hill, writing that the veteran guard has a chance to receive a maximum-salary offer in free agency.

As MacMahon writes, a four-year max contract for Hill this summer would be worth in the neighborhood of $132MM, which is an extraordinary price for a player who is earning just $8MM this season and has never made an All-Star team. However, sources tell MacMahon that Hill’s camp believes he may able to command such a deal in the offseason.

After being acquired from the Pacers in an offseason trade, Hill has battled injuries this season, appearing in just 35 games for the Jazz. When he has been healthy though, he has been a major part of the club’s success, recording a career-high 17.6 PPG to go along with 4.1 APG and a .403 3PT%. Utah has a 25-10 record when Hill takes the court, compared to a 12-13 mark when he sits, a fact that hasn’t been lost on his teammates.

“I think the statistics for us as a team and for him individually kind of speak for themselves,” Gordon Hayward said of Hill. “He’s obviously come in and been a leader in the locker room, too, [and] a leader out on the court for us. He plays with toughness, plays with poise offensively. He’s a big part of why we’ve been successful this year.”

If the Jazz are unable to lock up Hill during July’s free agent period, Deron Williams may be a fallback option for the team, writes MacMahon. Utah inquired on its former star point guard prior to the trade deadline, when Williams was still a Maverick, and according to MacMahon, D-Will is “definitely intrigued by the possibility of finishing his career in Utah.”

For more on Hill, be sure to check out the latest piece from Michael Lee of The Vertical, who spoke to Hill about the trade that sent him from his hometown Pacers to the Jazz, and the impact he has had in Utah this season.

Jazz, George Hill Won’t Agree To Extension Today

1:09pm: Hill and the Jazz won’t reach an agreement on a contract renegotiation-and-extension before tonight’s deadline, reports Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). That doesn’t rule out a long-term deal for Hill in Utah this summer though, as the club will hold his Bird rights when he hits the open market in July.

12:16pm: The Jazz are engaged in active discussions with George Hill about a potential contract extension, league sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. As MacMahon details, the two sides are attempting to work toward an agreement before tonight’s deadline for contract renegotiations.

[RELATED: NBA deadlines to watch this week]

Hill indicated earlier in the season that he’d be “very interested” in discussing an extension with the Jazz, and while he hasn’t publicly addressed his contract situation recently, reports continue to suggest he’s receptive to the idea of a long-term stay in Utah. According to MacMahon, the Jazz are “determined” to lock up Hill to a multiyear deal this summer if the two sides don’t reach an agreement today.

Although veteran players can sign contract extensions right up until the end of June, a standard extension offers very modest raises on a player’s current-year salary, making it an unappealing option for someone like Hill, who is earning $8MM in 2016/17. However, as we detailed earlier today, a renegotiation-and-extension would allow Utah to increase Hill’s salary for this season and then tack on up to three additional years onto his deal.

[RELATED: Salary Cap Snapshot: Utah Jazz]

The Jazz currently have a league-high $13.64MM in salary cap room, so they could bump Hill’s salary up to about $21.64MM this season, then give him 7.5% raises in subsequent years. The maximum amount that the Jazz could offer Hill would be about $88.31MM in new money to lock him up through 2019/20, though I’d be surprised if the club is willing to go quite that high. Utah has a number of key players on track for new deals soon, including Rudy Gobert‘s extension set to go into effect in 2017/18 and Gordon Hayward likely to opt out this summer, and going up to the max for Hill would limit the team’s flexibility going forward.

Still, an extension for their starting point guard is a priority for the Jazz. According to MacMahon, one reason Utah declined to place a waiver claim on Deron Williams this week was because the team wanted to use that room on a contract for Hill instead. Derrick Favors is also eligible for a renegotiation-and-extension, but a Monday report suggested that the Jazz aren’t currently focusing on a new deal for Favors, who has one more year left on his contract.

After being acquired from the Pacers in an offseason trade, Hill has battled injuries a little this season, appearing in just 34 games for the Jazz. However, he has been a major part of the club’s success, recording a career-high 17.7 PPG to go along with 4.0 APG and a .413 3PT%. Utah has a 25-9 record when Hill takes the court, compared to a 12-13 mark when he sits.

Cavs Announce Deron Williams Signing

The Cavs have made their signing of Deron Williams official, announcing the deal through a press release (link). Williams cleared waivers on Saturday, and is likely to debut Wednesday against the Celtics. The signing will cost Cleveland $908,431, bringing the team’s payroll to over $126.9MM.

According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, Williams will wear the number 31 (Twitter link). Williams discussed the signing with media outlets, saying “At the end of the day I felt like this was the best team for me. I felt like I would have a significant role here” (Source).

Our original story on the Cavs’ agreement with Williams can be found right here.

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.

Deron Williams Waived, May Sign With Cavaliers

Feb 15, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams (8) smiles during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons won 98-91. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks have waived point guard Deron Williams, according to a press release from the team. Dallas began working on a buyout earlier today after it was unable to complete a deal involving Williams before the deadline.

Williams is hoping to join the Cavaliers, who have been in the market for a veteran backup to Kyrie Irving, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Cleveland has an open roster spot, so another move would not be necessary to sign Williams. He would have to clear waivers before than can happen, but he is expected to do so (Twitter link).

Several teams that also have interest in Williams tell ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that they believe he has already decided to go to Cleveland (Twitter link).

The Cavaliers have expressed interest in adding Williams, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cleveland has a shot to acquire both Williams and center Andrew Bogut, who is reportedly negotiating a buyout with the Sixers, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. He adds that Jordan McRae would be released if that happens.

Williams, 32, played 40 games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists. He has been with Dallas since signing in July of 2015 after agreeing to a buyout with the Nets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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