Ivan Rabb

Cavaliers Notes: Griffin, Luxury Tax, Rabb

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin wanted more autonomy when it came to managing his team’s roster, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com says. The scribe responded to a question  about Griffin’s recent exit in a mailbag with readers.

Per Vardon, franchise owner Dan Gilbert had a tendency to get in the way of trades and contracts and the philosophical differences between the two parties were evident.

Vardon confirms that Griffin was also seeking a significant raise but doesn’t suspect that any negotiations even reached that far considering that they didn’t appear to be on the same page to begin with.

  • The $2MM reduction in payroll room the league hinted at with its latest salary cap projection could cost the Cavaliers as much as $10MM in luxury tax damage, Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today writes. The Cavs will be hit with the repeater tax in 2017/18.
  • The Cavaliers had a deal on the table to acquire the 34th pick in the draft last night with the intention of drafting Ivan Rabb, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Rabb ultimately went 35th overall.
  • The Cavaliers could look to add Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. While the scenario sounds, and probably is, farfetched, Vardon suggests that their personal ties to LeBron James could land them in Ohio if they are ultimately bought out by their respective clubs.

Northwest Rumors: Gallinari, Blazers, Monk, Timberwolves

Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari doesn’t consider Denver his preferred choice in free agency, according to a Premium Sport interview that was relayed by Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Gallinari, who will decline his $16.1MM player option in order to enter the market, says the Nuggets are “exactly at the same level” as any other team that pursues him. The only thing in Denver’s favor is that it can offer an extra year, Gallinari adds in the interview.

In other news around the Northwest Division:

  • North Carolina swingman Justin Jackson was among six players the Trail Blazers brought in for pre-draft workouts on Monday, the team’s website reports. Considered a potential late-lottery selection, Jackson is currently ranked No. 16 on DraftExpress’ list of Top 100 prospects. A trio of big men with first-round potential were also at the workout, including Isaiah Hartenstein (No. 19), who played in Lithuania last season; University of California’s Ivan Rabb (No. 30); and Oregon’s Jordan Bell (No. 35).
  • The Timberwolves will have a tough decision if Kentucky shooting guard Malik Monk is still available when their turn comes up in the lottery, as Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune details. Monk could turn into a prolific scorer in the mold of the Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum, Zgoda continues. Alternatively, Minnesota might conclude that the 6’3” Monk will end up being an off-the-bench scorer because of his lack of size and length for his position, Zgoda adds. Minnesota holds the No. 7 overall pick.
  • Along with the well-documented Jimmy Butler rumors, the Timberwolves could pursue a number of pricey veterans in trades, Zgoda writes in a separate piece. LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Eric Bledsoe and Wes Matthews are among the players that Zgoda speculates could be potential trade targets for Minnesota.

Pacific Notes: Griffin, Divac, Suns Pre-Draft Workouts

The Clippers could be a drastically different team next season as Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and J.J. Redick could leave for greener pastures this offseason. While Paul is a long shot to depart, Griffin and Redick are far from guaranteed to stay in Los Angeles. James Blancarte of Basketball Insiders examines Griffin’s options as he considers potential suitors.

The Celtics are an intriguing possibility as they have the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft, a budding superstar in Isaiah Thomas, and a young core of talented assets. Griffin, 28, can think long-term with a younger team in Boston and if Thomas departs after next season, he could become the primary option in Beantown.

Additionally, the Heat are a possibility as the team’s history luring LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami shows a commitment to winning. While the Heat lack Boston’s young assets, Blancarte explains that playing under Erik Spoelstra — who is known to bring out the best in his players — and being the definitive centerpiece in South Beach is an appealing proposition.

Here are additional links around the Pacific Division:

Pistons Notes: Downtown Move, Kennard, FA Workouts

The Detroit City Council voted on Tuesday in favor of several key agreements related to the Pistons’ move downtown, as Christine Ferretti and Jennifer Chambers of The Detroit News report. However, while Tuesday’s votes finalized approvals for the Pistons’ new practice facility and headquarters, there are more roadblocks that will need to be cleared before the club’s move to the Little Caesars arena is fully approved.

On June 20, the Detroit city council is scheduled to vote on the issuance of $34.5MM in proposed taxpayer-funded DDA bonds. Shortly after Tuesday’s city council session took place though, a federal judge granted a June 19 lawsuit that seeks to halt that June 20 vote, per Louis Aguilar of The Detroit News. As Aguilar explains, that lawsuit seeks to allow Detroit and Wayne County residents to vote on whether taxpayer money should be put toward the new arena and team facilities.

As the Pistons wait for resolution to the legal battle over their potential new arena, here are a few more items related to the team:

Pacific Notes: J. Jackson, Isaac, Tatum, Thompson

The Suns potentially have a difficult decision to make when they find themselves on the clock with the fourth overall pick, writes Doug Haller of AZCentral Sports. Three talented freshman small forwards could be available: Josh Jackson, Jonathan Isaac, and Jayson Tatum. Defense and three-point shooting are likely the Suns’ two most glaring weaknesses, and one of these athletes could certainly help.

Haller writes that Jackson’s real impact could come defensively. The scribe adds that, while Tatum is nowhere near the defender that Jackson is, the Duke freshman may be the most polished scorer in the draft. As for Isaac, he can play both forward positions, with many believing that he will also be able to man the center position when his body fills out. Furthermore, the departing Seminole would contribute defensive versatility, having defended all over the floor for Florida State.

Here are some more pertinent notes from the Pacific division:

Western Rumors: Kerr, Parker, Ingles, Lakers

Warriors coach Steve Kerr says it’s unlikely that he’ll be on the bench for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, as he discussed with Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News and the assembled media on Monday. Mike Brown has filled in for Kerr on the sidelines for much of the postseason, though Brown himself missed practice on Monday because of the flu. Kerr will travel to Cleveland when the series shifts there and says he’s been at practices and coaches meetings, but coaching during a game is still an issue because of back pain, Slater continues. The pain became severe during the opening-round series against the Trail Blazers. “You saw me in the fourth quarter of Game 2. I could not sit still in my chair,” Kerr said. “There was that much pain. I would say I’ve gotten a little bit better. That’s why I’m here talking to you right now. But you can probably tell, I’m not sitting here happy-go-lucky.”

In other news around the Western Conference:

  • Spurs guard Tony Parker expects to return from his torn quad injury in January, as he told the French magazine L’Equipe and relayed by Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Parker required surgery earlier this month for the tear, which he suffered during the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets. Parker will make $15.45MM in the final year of his contract next season.
  • Gordon Hayward‘s decision in free agency won’t influence Jazz swingman Joe Ingles, according to Olgun Uluc of  Foxsports.com. Ingles will be a restricted free agent once the Jazz extend him a qualifying offer of $2.687MM, which they almost assuredly will do. Ingles averaged 7.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.7 APG while shooting 44.1% from long range this past season. He would like to stay put, as he told Uluc.  “I think we’ve got the team,” he said. “Obviously, Gordon is a big part of that, so his free agency — it’s not going to change what I’m going to do or where I want to go — but, we’re a different team depending on whether he’s there or not. I’m not gonna be sitting there calling Gordon every two minutes, but if everything works out in Utah and they want me, and it all comes together, that’s great.”
  • California forward Ivan Rabb headlines a group of six players that will work out for the Lakers on Tuesday, which was posted on the team’s website. Rabb is currently ranked No. 25 overall by DraftExpress and Los Angeles owns the No. 28 selection, as well as the No. 2 overall pick. He’ll be joined by four potential second-rounders in Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame (49th), Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey (46th), Nevada forward Cameron Oliver (59th) and SMU forward Sterling Brown (57th), as well as Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Draft Notes: Allen, Irvin, Magic

Frontcourt may not be the Bulls‘ biggest need, but if someone as talented as Jarrett Allen is available at No. 16, the team shouldn’t hesitate to go in that direction, Mark Strotman of Comcast Sportsnet contends. Strotman believes Allen could be the team’s next Joakim Noah. Chicago drafted Noah in 2007 even though Ben Wallace was under contract and it worked out long-term for the franchise.

Allen may not surpass current starting center Robin Lopez this season, but by the time his rookie contract is up, Allen could be one of the best big men in the league. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express has the Texas product as the 17th best prospect in his class.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • The Lakers recently met with Michigan’s Zak Irvin and the team was impressed with his workout, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Irvin will also work out for the Bucks later this week.
  • Pittsburg’s Jamel Artis will work out for the Lakers and Rockets later this week, Scotto reports in a separate tweet. Artis isn’t ranked in Givony’s top 100 prospects.
  • The Magic have several players scheduled to work out for the team on Tuesday, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel passes along. Cal’s Ivan Rabb, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, Villanova’s Josh Hart and Houston’s Damyean Dotson will all participate in Orlando’s workouts.

Central Notes: Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Workouts

After a disappointing 2016/17 season, the Pistons will be looking this offseason for ways to improve the team’s outlook for next year. However, as Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press details, Andre Drummond doesn’t believe a roster overhaul is necessary.

“I don’t think we need to do any changes,” the Pistons center told reporters earlier this week. “We had a lot of bumps in the road last season with different things going on, and it took everybody out of sync. … With this summer coming up, we have to do a better job staying connected — the more stuff we do together, the better our camaraderie will be.”

Even if the Pistons were interested in making major changes to their roster, they would be tricky to pull off. Detroit has nearly $95MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2017/18 without counting Aron Baynes‘ $6.5MM player option or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s $9.2MM cap hold, so the team won’t have cap room to work with.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

Draft Workouts: Bucks, Knicks, Raptors, Kings, Lakers

With the lottery out of the way, pre-draft workouts are starting to intensify around the league. We bring you a roundup of several that we heard about today:

Heat Notes: Wade, Bosh, J. Johnson, Draft

Udonis Haslem and Tyler Johnson made a public appearance today to help Dwyane Wade sell sneakers, but they avoided questions about whether their former teammate might rejoin them with the Heat, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Wade is considering whether to opt out of his $23.8MM contract with the Bulls for next season. If he does, many believe he will decide to return to Miami, where he spent his first 13 seasons. Haslem and Johnson have both been in touch with Wade since Chicago was eliminated from the playoffs last week. “He’s going to have to make the best decision for him,” Johnson said. “I know he wants to be in a situation where he’s playing for a team that’s kind of established. I don’t think he wants to go through a rebuilding process.”
There’s more news out of Miami:
  • The Heat are expected to petition the league office soon to have Chris Bosh‘s salary removed from their cap. Bosh was kept on the roster all season after failing a physical in training camp over blood clot problems that have plagued him for the past two seasons. Haslem tells Winderman in the same story that he has contacted Bosh but hasn’t discussed his NBA future. “Chris is one of those guys, when he puts his mind it, he can do anything,” Haslem said. “So he doesn’t lack opportunity. He’s going to have a lot of opportunity to do a lot of things. He’s a very well-rounded guy. And whatever he does, he’s going to be great at it.” If Bosh is able to play enough games for another team, his $52MM salary would be put back onto the Heat’s cap.
  • Free agent forward James Johnson may not be guaranteed a starting job if he re-signs with the Heat this summer, Winderman speculates in another piece. With Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic both starting, Johnson may give Miami too many players on the court at the same time who need to handle the ball. Also, Justise Winslow may claim one of the starting forward slots when he returns from injury.
  • Winderman examines who the Heat might take if they keep the No. 14 pick in the May 16th lottery. Players who have been linked to Miami in that spot include Duke’s Harry Giles, UCLA’s T.J. Leaf, North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, California’s Ivan Rabb, Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac, Gonzaga’s Zach Collins, Indiana’s OG Anunoby, Duke’s Luke Kennard, Wake Forest’s John Collins and two overseas players, Terrence Ferguson of Australia and Frank Ntilikina of France.
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