Jeff Green

Free Agent Stock Watch 2018: Cleveland Cavaliers

The 2017/18 season was an exhausting one for the Cavaliers and it ended the only way it possibly could: in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Warriors. While LeBron James put forth an historically impressive showing this year, the squad just wasn’t nearly deep enough to put another dent in Golden State’s dynasty.

The biggest story in Cleveland this summer will obviously be James’ forthcoming free agency. It’s no secret that the 33-year-old will have multiple realistic options to mull over this summer and the Cavaliers will have little choice but to wait and see what he decides before they set out with the rest of their plans.

To general manager Koby Altman‘s credit, the franchise was impressively proactive at the trade deadline, adding several players who could be a part of a rebuild for years to come. And to team owner Dan Gilbert‘s credit, he promoted Altman, a general manager he wanted, when there was pressure from James’ camp to retain David Griffin.

Expect the Cavs to welcome James back (and all the ensuing baggage) if the future Hall-of-Famer decides in earnest to end his career where it started, but my read of the situation is that Gilbert and company won’t exactly grovel if the King starts leaning toward taking his talents elsewhere.

Jose Calderon, PG, 36 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2017
It’s hard to imagine Calderon signing on for anything more than the veteran’s minimum at this stage in his career, but a solid enough 2017/18 campaign in which he started 32 games for the Cavaliers should be enough to earn him another contract. The Cavs won’t have much use for the 36-year-old if they blow things up, so expect any decision regarding Calderon to come a little later in free agency.

Jeff Green, PF, 31 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2017
It’s hard to gauge Green’s value considering he went from making $15MM in 2016/17 to the league minimum in 2017/18. Still, there’s no denying he was a bargain for the Cavaliers at just over $2MM. Despite a limited ceiling, Green is a solid role player and could be an affordable depth piece for a competitive team in Cleveland or elsewhere.

Rodney Hood, SG, 25 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $6MM deal in 2014
Less than a year ago, Hood was in line to take over scoring duties for the suddenly Gordon Hayward-less Jazz. The swingman showed on a number of occasions in the first half of 2017/18 that he was capable of being a semi-reliable primary option on offense, but injuries and the rise of Donovan Mitchell complicated the restricted free agent’s big contract year. A slow start in Cleveland, coupled with a lousy postseason and one particularly bad decision will limit his value even further. That said, if Hood draws an offer sheet in the $10MM-$14MM range this offseason, he could end up being a bargain.

LeBron James, PF, 33 (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $100MM deal in 2016
Despite rampant speculation about James’ upcoming free agency, there’s no clear indication about what the superstar will do. The growing narrative is that James doesn’t have the supporting cast to compete with the likes of the superteams around him. While I’ll submit that he and his representation are partly to blame considering their insistence on leveraging James in order to land players like Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith albatross contracts, there’s no denying that the Cavs’ roster looked empirically overwhelmed by the vastly deeper Warriors in the NBA Finals.

James, who looks more formidable than ever now as a 33-year-old, will earn every single penny available to him wherever he signs, but while there will be considerably more pennies available to him if he stays in Cleveland, it’s hard to imagine that somebody with a net worth of $400MM will base his decision entirely on wealth. Narrowing down where the King might land, then, comes down to figuring out his motives. If James wants to win rings he could either sign with the Sixers or squeeze his way onto the Rockets. If he wants to set himself up for life after basketball he should probably pack up the family and head over to join the Lakers. Of course, if James wants to preserve his uniquely complicated legacy, he should think long and hard about staying in Cleveland.

Kendrick Perkins, 33, C (Down) – Signed to a two-year deal in 2018
The Cavaliers added Perkins to their big league roster in the waning days of the regular season, but seem unlikely to pick up his option for 2018/19. While the veteran was brought on to provide an additional veteran voice in the locker room, his only notable feat in the postseason was getting into sideline altercation with Stephen Curry and Drake. Perkins is relatively young to be a symbolic elder statesmen, so there’s always the possibility that he signs on with another contender in a similar enforcer-turned-unofficial coach role, but don’t forget that he’s only seen action in one NBA contest since the 2015/16 season. His career could just as easily be over.

East Finals Roundup: LeBron, Tatum, J. Green

While LeBron James‘ upcoming free agency will be the biggest storyline of the NBA offseason, James himself has avoided discussing his future all season long, and the Cavaliers – including owner Dan Gilbert – are following suit. After the Cavs’ Game 7 win over the Celtics on Sunday night, Gilbert told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the organization is completely locked in on its next series, not on the summer.

“We’re just focused – and it’s the truth, it’s not avoiding the question – we’re literally focused on (the now),” Gilbert said. “It’s just so intense in the playoffs and getting to the Finals and now the Finals, I don’t think – and I know he doesn’t – I don’t think even our guys are talking (about anything other than) what’s in front of them. … So, everybody knows, obviously what we want to happen and we’ll take the Finals first and take it from there.”

While the Cavaliers will head into the Finals as the underdogs, pulling off the upset could have a major impact on the club’s upcoming offseason plans — it would be hard for James to leave Cleveland right after leading the Cavs to another championship.

Here are a few more items worth rounding up from the Eastern Conference Finals:

  • Jayson Tatum couldn’t lead the Celtics to the NBA Finals, but he received plenty of praise from James as his impressive rookie season came to an end, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN. “I just love everything about (Tatum), the way he plays the game, his demeanor, where he comes from,” James said. “I just know he’s built for stardom. He’s built for success. And that’s both on and off the floor.”
  • James was also complimentary of the Cavaliers teammates who are headed to the Finals despite hearing for weeks that they weren’t doing enough to help LeBron. “I know I get a lot of the headlines – win, lose or draw, whatever the case may be – but in order to be successful, it’s a team game,” James told ESPN’s Doris Burke after the Game 7 win (link via Andrew Joseph of USA Today). “That’s why we’re going to another Finals — because my teammates played a hell of a game.”
  • One of those teammates, Jeff Green, spoke after the game about not taking anything for granted after undergoing open-heart surgery in 2012. Jeff Zilgitt and AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today have the story on Green, who was the Cavaliers‘ second-best player in Game 7.
  • Their disappointing Game 7 performances will likely haunt Celtics youngsters Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown for a while, but that may not be the worst thing in the world, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, who writes that this year’s loss can be a learning experience for Rozier and Brown as they continue to develop.

Cavs Notes: James, Love, Green

The Cavaliers are set to face the Celtics in Boston tonight in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, setting the stage for the victor to advance to the NBA Finals. This is not unfamiliar territory for LeBron James, who has almost single-handedly willed the Cavaliers to this juncture, looking to advance to his eighth straight NBA Finals.

As both teams prepare for tipoff, this scenario is eerily similar to one James encountered eight years ago when the Cavaliers traveled to Boston for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press writes. James posted a triple-double in a losing effort and then weeks later, made the decision to leave Cleveland in free agency. A lot has been made of James’ upcoming free agency and whether or not he bolts this summer, but his teammates feel another trip to the NBA Finals is possible.

“There’s something different about LeBron, period,” Larry Nance Jr. said. “I think (coach Tyronn Lue) said it best: ‘We’re going into a Game 7 with the baddest dude on the planet on our team.’ I like our chances.”

Check out more Cavaliers notes below:

  • James’ return to Cleveland ahead of the 2014/15 NBA season has been nothing short of success. He helped guide the organization to its first NBA title in 2016 and with a win tonight, the Cavaliers will have made the NBA Finals in every season since his comeback. Jerry Bembry of The Undefeated breaks down the implications of James’ potential departure from Cleveland and his legacy, regardless of tonight’s outcome.
  • Kevin Love, who is currently in the NBA’s concussion protocol, will not play in today’s decisive Game 7. However, that does not necessarily give an advantage to the Celtics, A. Sherrod Blakley of NBC Sports Boston writes. The absence of Love likely means a heavier dose of James, Nance, and Jeff Green on Al Horford, who did a fine job defending him in Game 6.
  • Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue confirmed that Green will start in place of Love, Joe Vardon of writes. “I think he attacked the small guys, the switches, and took his time, did a good job attacking, rebounded the ball well,” Lue said of Green’s Game 6 effort. “I just think defensively being able to switch and guard multiple positions, that’s huge for us. 

Cavs Notes: Green, Zizic, Korver

The Cavaliers will start Jeff Green for the remainder of the season, Joe Vardon of writes. Head coach Tyronn Lue cites the team’s recent success against some Eastern Conference contenders as the inspiration behind the 31-year-old combo forward’s promotion.

Lue likes Green’s ability to check opposing teams’ elite guards and certain metrics suggest that the Cavs are better both offensively and defensively with Green in the lineup alongside LeBron James.

I just like that we can switch a lot of 1 through 4 stuff and it gives us another ball handler on the floor too, so I just think it’s the right thing for us to start,” Lue said.

There’s more out of Cleveland tonight:

  • The Cavaliers saw a brief glimpse of what they acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade when rookie big man Ante Zizic was thrust into a more prominent role in the Cleveland rotation last month. Jason Lloyd of The Athletic talks about the Turkish pivot’s rise through the Adriatic League and the steps he’s taking to make a meaningful impact in the NBA.
  • The Cavs weren’t the only team interested in Kyle Korver when the veteran hit free agency last summer. Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes that among Korver’s suitors were the 76ers, Lakers and Spurs.
  • A commitment to a healthier diet and exercise has allowed Tyronn Lue to return to the sidelines after missing nine games related to chest pains he experienced last month. “This was the first time in 20 years where I really just had a chance to focus on me and get myself right and [Warriors coach Steve Kerr] reminded me of that,” Lue told Joe Vardon of “We get so wrapped up in the game that we forget about real life, and it was the best advice I got so thank Steve for that.

Central Notes: J.R. Smith, Green, Van Gundy, LaVine

J.R. Smith doesn’t have much incentive to agree to a buyout if the Cavaliers decide they want him off the roster, writes Joe Vardon of On top of this week’s one-game suspension for a soup-throwing incident, Smith’s value is falling because of a second straight season of declining production. He is averaging 8.3 points per game, his lowest figure in 12 years, and is shooting just 39% from the field.

Smith has a fully guaranteed deal for next season at $14.7MM, but only about $4MM of his $15.7MM salary for 2019/20 is guaranteed. At age 31, he would be unlikely to approach those figures in free agency, so the Cavaliers will probably have to stretch the full guaranteed amount if they decide to waive him.

There’s more today from the Central Division:

  • An MRI on Cavaliers forward Jeff Green today showed no structural damage in his back, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Green has already missed one game with back pain and will sit out the next two, coach Ty Lue told reporters.
  • Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy says management hasn’t offered any indication about his job status for next year, relays Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Van Gundy has one season left on his contract, and there’s a feeling that he might not return if Detroit can’t rally to claim a playoff spot. He is one of the few remaining coaches with front office power, and a report earlier this week suggested he might be replaced as team president even if he is kept as coach. “Nothing has been said, so I won’t even comment on that,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t have any idea. It’s [owner Tom Gore’s] team and he’ll make whatever decisions he wants to make and we’ll go from there.”
  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine is putting a heavy emphasis on the final quarter of the season as he continues his comeback after ACL surgery, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The coaching staff is still refusing to allow LaVine to play in back-to-back games, but with only three sets of those left on the schedule he is handling almost a full workload. “I feel great,” he said. “I want to test it. I want to play as many minutes as possible. I’m a gamer. I don’t want to miss back-to-backs. It helps me, helps the team and helps me get back to where I need to be.”

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Smith, Green, Buyout Market

Injured Cavaliers big man Kevin Love is back on the court rehabbing from a broken left hand he suffered in late January, Joe Vardon of writes. A team source tells Vardon that there is no anticipated change from the original eight-week timetable for Love’s recovery, putting his return on track for the end of March.

While the team may not see a change, Love hopes he can return ahead of schedule, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes.

“If I can get back before eight weeks, great,” Love said. “I’m hoping that is the case.”

Before the injury, Love was enjoying a characteristically strong season, averaging 17.9 PPG and 9.4 RPG in 48 games.

There is more Cavaliers news and notes below:

  • J.R. Smith made his first public comments since serving a one-game suspension for throwing soup at assistant coach Damon Jones, Joe Vardon of writes. Smith said he has spoken to teammates and hopes to move on from the incident. “I talked to my teammates about it, everybody seemed cool,” Smith said. “We moved on from it as a team, so whether it warranted a suspension or not, that’s not my job. I’m just here to play basketball.” Smith noted that he does not remember what type of soup he threw but Jason Lloyd of The Athletic tweets it was chicken tortilla.
  • Since the Cavaliers restructured the team at the deadline, Jeff Green has seen his both his role and production diminish. With four name faces in Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood, and George Hill on board, the team is still trying to find the right balance, Joe Vardon of writes.  “When Channing (Frye) and those guys were here, he had the ball in his hands a lot and making plays and he was orchestrating, and now we have a different team of guys who can score and the second unit can make a play so the ball hasn’t been in his hands as much,” head  coach Tyronn Lue said. “We have to find that balance still. Searching for that balance.”
  • The Cavaliers have been active in the buyout market in recent years but the market is razor thin this season, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops writes. Last year, Cleveland added Andrew Bogut and Deron Williams for the postseason run. Both those names are available now but would not be much of an upgrade to the current roster. As it stands, even with an open roster spot, the current Cavaliers roster is the one we will see for the remainder of the year, Amico notes.

Cavaliers Notes: Thomas, Thompson, Green, James

The Cavaliers still aren’t sure when injured guard Isaiah Thomas will be ready for his season debut, writes Joe Vardon of Thomas will get his first chance to play alongside his Cavaliers teammates during the team’s practice today. He scrimmaged with the organization’s G League affiliate in Canton last week. Coach Tyronn Lue said the purpose of today’s workout is to “get some shots up, cover defensive rules and principles and also scrimmage a little bit so Isaiah can get a feel and play 5 on 5.”

When the Cavs departed on their current three-game road trip, they were hoping to have Thomas ready at some point. But he was held out of games at Golden State and Sacramento, and his status for Saturday’s contest in Utah is uncertain. Lue originally told reporters that Thomas wouldn’t play against the Jazz, but later said “I don’t know” to follow-up questions about his availability.

Cleveland travels to Boston next Wednesday, which would be a dramatic setting for Thomas to return, but Vardon speculates that Tuesday’s home game against the Trail Blazers is more likely. The Cavs were wary about throwing Thomas into a high-profile game against the Warriors and would likely view the Celtics the same way. Another possible date is January 6, when Thomas has a new shoe coming out and Cleveland plays at Orlando.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • Tristan Thompson is putting up the worst numbers of his career and may be a trade candidate before the February 8 deadline, Vardon writes in a separate piece. Thompson’s playing time has been cut to 17.7 minutes per game and he is averaging just 4.1 points and 4.8 rebounds. He has been on a minutes restriction since missing 20 games with a strained left calf muscle, and the team has been successful with Kevin Love as the starting center.
  • Free agent addition Jeff Green has taken on several roles since coming to Cleveland, notes Chris Fedor of Following the worst season of his career last year in Orlando, Green is happy in his new role with the Cavs. “I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t have any expectation,” Green said. “When I talked to T. Lue — we didn’t know back then, didn’t know the personnel that was going to be all in the locker room. It was just, ‘Jeff come in and be Jeff.’ Last year was a rough year so it was, ‘Jeff come in and be the player I know you can be. Play hard and things will fall into place.’ And that’s what’s happened.”
  • LeBron James is putting up amazing numbers in his 15th NBA season, but the secrets to his longevity happened years ago, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Central Notes: Henson, Monroe, Green

The longest-tenured player on the Bucks is 26-year-old John Henson. As Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, the six-year veteran has more seniority with the organization than either Giannis Antetokounmpo or head coach Jason Kidd.

More meaningful than the novel fun fact, however, is that Henson has been with the Bucks long enough to have seen the organization’s revolution first-hand. Everything from the team’s branding to its medical technology has been brought up to date.

The center, who started his tenure with the team as a power forward, came into the league under Bucks head coach Scott Skiles and as a teammate of Joel Przybilla.

I just feel old,” said Henson, who has most recently stepped up as a defensive anchor and coveted frontcourt presence after the Greg Monroe trade. “I was here when Skiles was here. That seems like so long ago for Bucks fans. Which it was — six years is a long time.”

There’s more news from around the Central Division:

  • The Pistons haven’t utilized Jon Leuer as they originally intended to when they signed him in the summer of 2016. Though he’s missed time with a sprained ankle this season, Leuer had been seeing time as the club’s backup center, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. With Eric Moreland now developing in that role, Leuer could become expendable.
  • So long as Greg Monroe remains with the Suns, there will be speculation about what teams may be interested in his services. One team to consider, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes, is the Pistons. Monroe played for Detroit from 2010-2015 and has the respect of head coach Stan Van Gundy.
  • Forward Jeff Green has changed agents, signing with Roger Montgomery of Roc Nation Sports, Chris Fedor of tweets. Green signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Cavaliers last summer and has performed well for Cleveland.

Cavs Notes: LeBron, Nets’ Pick, Rose, Green

While the LeBron James rumor mill hasn’t really picked up in earnest yet, there has already been plenty of speculation about where he’ll sign when he becomes a free agent in 2018, and it’s a storyline that figures to pick up steam over the course of the season.

Over at, Richard Deitsch takes an early look at James’ options, soliciting opinions from basketball writers like Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Michael Lee of The Vertical, Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, and more. Asked to predict LeBron’s 2018 landing spot, Beck stresses that no one knows yet where the four-time MVP will play next season, but the group overwhelmingly votes in favor of the Lakers, with the Cavaliers as the runner-up.

Meanwhile, Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) also explores the LeBron sweepstakes in a roundabout way, examining which clubs will have the cap flexibility next summer to make a run at a maximum-salary free agent. While teams like the Sixers, Mavericks, Hawks, and Bulls project to have significant cap room, no team will have more room than the Lakers, who could potentially open up two max-salary slots with a little help.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • After losing to the Nets on Wednesday night, James points out to Joe Vardon of that Brooklyn’s 2018 first-rounder – currently held by the Cavs – “might not even be that good of a pick.” Given the Nets’ record over the last couple seasons, their unprotected 2018 first-rounder was considered the crown jewel of the Cavs’ trade with the Celtics this summer, but Brooklyn is off to a good start this season, with a 3-2 record. “We’re running around here worrying about getting the Brooklyn pick, they might want our pick,” said head coach Tyronn Lue.
  • The Cavaliers are giving Derrick Rose what the Knicks didn’t last season, according to Alex Squadron of The New York Post, who explains that Lue’s offensive system gives the former MVP far more freedom than he ever had in the triangle. “Coach Lue and the team have been doing a great job of letting me play the way that I want to play,” Rose said. “So I can’t complain at all.”
  • Lue hopes to get Rose – who has been sidelined with an ankle injury – back in the lineup on Saturday, per Ashish Mathur of
  • Moves like the Kyrie Irving trade and the Dwyane Wade signing overshadowed the Cavs’ offseason signing of Jeff Green, but the team is relying upon the veteran forward to be a defensive stopper early in the season, as Chris Fedor of details.

Cavaliers Notes: Green, Shumpert, Lue, Patterson

After 10 seasons in the NBA, Jeff Green couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play for a championship contender, relays Joe Gabriele of Green took a substantial pay cut to join the Cavaliers, dropping his salary from $15MM last season to the veterans minimum of $2.3MM. He is also relegated to a reserve role, with LeBron James cemented as the team’s starting small forward, but Green said the shot at a ring makes the sacrifices worthwhile.

“That was what I was looking for and that’s what came to my sight – that there was an opportunity here,” said Green, who is with his sixth NBA team. “So I was thankful for it and I couldn’t pass it up; the opportunity was there and I jumped on it. It wasn’t a matter of timing or when it happened. It was just when I got the call and thought about it. And I didn’t have to think long. I wrote down the pros and cons of what I wanted. And this situation fit every ‘pro’ on that list.”

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • Coach Tyronn Lue reassured Iman Shumpert about his future with the team following an offseason filled with trade rumors, writes Chris Fedor of The Cavaliers came close to shipping Shumpert to Houston in early July, but the Rockets pulled out of the deal after signing P.J. Tucker. Cleveland continued to search for a trade, but the right partner never emerged. Shumpert was frustrated by the reports and shared that sentiment with Lue in a pre-camp meeting. He was also upset about the way his role diminished late in the season and into the playoffs. Shumpert has a player option on his $11MM salary for next season and could become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • Shumpert needs to become more reliable on offense before the Cavs will trust him against the Warriors, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Shumpert was a non-factor as Cleveland’s season ended in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, getting off the bench for less than four minutes. He has vowed to contribute more on the offensive end of the court, but with a turnover rate of 19% in transition, Lloyd cautions that might not be best for the team.
  • Andrae Patterson, formerly with Utah’s front office, will join the Cavaliers as director of basketball administration, relays Joe Vardon of The 41-year-old had a brief NBA career with the Timberwolves and played nine seasons in Europe.