Okaro White

Cavaliers Notes: White, Doncic, Parker, Love

Okaro White has a chance to win a roster spot with the Cavaliers, but first he has to overcome the effects of a broken left foot he suffered in November, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. White’s foot has fully healed, but he is still struggling with the psychological aspects of the injury and admits he’s “babying” it.

“I just gotta get through,” said White, who is part of the Cavaliers’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. “I’m old enough, I’m not young anymore, so I gotta get over it [mentally] and try to find a way to showcase my ability.”

White started four games for the Heat before the injury, but it wound up ending his season. He was shipped to the Hawks at the trade deadline, then signed with the Cavs in March, but never took the court for either team. The 25-year-old forward has a non-guaranteed $1,544,951 contract for 2018/19.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers passed on an opportunity to trade up on draft night and snag Luka Doncic, Vardon reports in a separate story. A source tells Vardon that Cleveland had an offer from Atlanta that included the No. 3 pick and Kent Bazemore, who will make more than $18MM next season with a $19.27MM option for 2019/20. However, the Cavs wanted Collin Sexton and were confident they could get him at No. 8.
  • With LeBron James gone, the Cavaliers should take a gamble on Jabari Parker, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report. The second player taken in the 2014 draft, Parker could become a dynamic scorer and rebounder if he can fully bounce back from his second ACL surgery. Swartz suggests Cleveland should use its $8.6MM mid-level exception to offer Parker a two-year contract. That would give him $13.3MM more in guaranteed money than if he accepts his $4.3MM qualifying offer with the Bucks, and it would put him back on the open market in 2020 when he’ll only be 25. Swartz recommends a few other moves for the Cavs, including re-signing Rodney Hood, working out an extension with Larry Nance Jr., trying to trade veterans such as J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson and taking on unwanted contracts to stockpile draft picks.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com suggests several trades involving Kevin Love, listing the Trail Blazers, Heat, Lakers, Suns and Jazz as possible destinations.

Cavaliers Notes: Nance, Clarkson, Hill, Leonard

The Cavaliers aren’t likely to launch a complete rebuilding project if LeBron James leaves in free agency, writes writes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. Three of the players Cleveland acquired at this year’s trade deadline — Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and George Hill — are all under contract for next year, and the Cavs want to see what they can do when they’re with the organization from the start of the season.

Cleveland is likely to discuss an extension with Nance, who will make $2.3MM next season on the final year of his rookie contract. Teams have called about trading for Nance, Pluto states, but the Cavaliers seem committed to keeping him. Clarkson struggled in the playoffs, but was a valuable bench scorer during the regular season and the Cavs recognize that this was his first postseason experience. Hill has limited trade value with a $17MM contract.

The future is more unpredictable for Rodney Hood, who seemed like a good young player in Utah but had a miserable time after the trade. Pluto expects the Cavaliers to tender a $3.4MM qualifying offer, giving them the right to match any offer Hood receives in free agency.

There’s more Cavaliers news this morning:

  • Cleveland is among the teams trying to pry Kawhi Leonard away from the Spurs, but assembling a workable offer won’t be easy, Pluto adds in the same story. Kevin Love, who will make $24.1MM next season with a player option close to $25.6MM for 2019/20, would be useful for salary-matching purposes, but San Antonio seems more interested in acquiring young talent than an established player like Love.
  • Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t think LeBron James should let the pursuit of more championships guide his free agency decision, relays Scott Gleeson of USA Today. “My problem toward the end of my career was I was trying to shut everybody up and I was greedy [for more championships],” O’Neal said. “After I got to three [titles], everybody was saying I couldn’t get another. So I got four. After I got the fourth, they were saying I couldn’t get another one. So I was trying to make quick stops to get it. Phoenix, Cleveland, Boston.” O’Neal adds that it will be difficult for James to overcome the Warriors no matter where he goes.
  • James’ decision will dominate the summer, but the Cavs have some under-the-radar moves to make as well, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN. Cleveland has a team option on veteran center Kendrick Perkins that must be exercised by June 29. His $2.4MM salary for 2018/19 would be non-guaranteed. Okaro White, who was signed late in the season, will get a chance to show what he can do during summer league. Half of his $1.5MM salary for next year will become guaranteed if he is still on the roster Aug. 5.

Cavaliers Notes: Lue, Rotation, White, Blatt

Tyronn Lue is the latest example of a coach who expects his players to keep themselves in top shape, but doesn’t do the same for himself, writes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. Lue returned to the Cavaliers’ sideline Thursday after missing nine games with health-related issues. Twice this season, he hasn’t been able to come out of the locker room for the second half because of his health.

Lue had been experiencing severe anxiety and sleep deprivation. He admitted having a poor diet and not working out to stay fit. Doctors wouldn’t have let Lue start coaching again if they weren’t convinced his physical problems were under control, Pluto adds, but he says Lue and other coaches with access to trainers and healthy meals shouldn’t let themselves get in such bad condition.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavs’ playoff rotation is virtually set, with George Hill and Rodney Hood projected to start in the backcourt, alongside LeBron James, Jeff Green and Kevin Love, Pluto adds in the same story. That assumes Hill, who is sidelined with a sprained ankle, can be ready for the start of the playoffs. If not, Jose Calderon will take over. Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance will likely be competing for the final rotation spot.
  • Okaro White‘s new contract includes a non-guaranteed $1.5MM for next season, according to a post from Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. The 25-year-old forward will get a partial guarantee if he is still with the team in early August and a full guarantee if he is on the roster for the season opener. He will earn a little more than $37K for the rest of this season, plus any playoff bonuses the team collects. In addition to reaching the NBA-mandated roster minimum, the main purpose of the deal is to give the Cavs a chance to evaluate White during summer league play.
  • Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt wants to be considered for an NBA job next season, relays Nicola Lupo of Sportando“I want to get a position in the NBA again when this season ends,” Blatt said in an interview with TV channel Tivibu Sport in Turkey. “I want to get another chance in the NBA. If it happens, I’ll be thrilled. If it does not, I’ll still be thrilled because I’ll still be in Europe where I am comfortable and happy.” Blatt has been coaching Darussafaka in the Turkish Super League and the Euroleague since Cleveland fired him midway through the 2015/16 season.

Cavaliers Sign Okaro White For Rest Of Season

Okaro White has reached a deal with the Cavaliers that will cover the remainder of the season, the team announced on its website.

White was with the Cavs on a 10-day contract last month, although he didn’t see any game action. He has been a free agent since the deal expired March 28. Cleveland has been limiting its roster size in an effort to save money under the luxury tax. The Cavaliers now have 14 players with the addition of White, but they have been dropping down to 13 for two weeks at a time, which is the limit allowed under league rules.

White, 25, spent parts of two seasons in Miami, averaging 2.9 points in 41 games. At this year’s deadline, the Heat traded him to the Hawks, who waived him the same day. White was a G League All-Star last season in Sioux Falls and has played in Italy and Greece.

Cavs Mulling Options For Open Roster Spots

Okaro White‘s 10-day contract with the Cavaliers expired earlier this week, meaning the team is once again down to 13 players (not counting two-way players).

NBA rules call for teams to carry at least 14 players on their rosters, but those rules allow clubs to dip below the minimum for two weeks at a time. The Cavs have used this rule to their advantage since the trade deadline, carrying 13 players for two weeks at time in between 10-day contracts for White and Marcus Thornton. That approach has allowed the franchise to avoid tacking on much extra money to its projected luxury-tax bill.

The Cavs won’t be obligated to sign a 14th player until the final day of the regular season, but a team source tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com that a 14th man will likely join the roster before then.

As Vardon notes, the Cavs have a history in recent years of adding veterans to their roster just before the postseason gets underway — Dahntay Jones received that sort of deal in both 2016 and 2017, appearing in 25 playoff games for the Cavs in those two years, despite playing just two regular season games. The club is currently working through what to do with its two open roster spots for this year’s postseason, per Vardon.

Sources tell Vardon that Kendrick Perkins, who appeared to be on the verge of an agreement with Cleveland in February, remains on the Cavs’ radar and is a candidate to fill one of the open roster spots. Signing a young player like White or John Holland – who is on a two-way contract with the Cavs – is also a possibility, according to Vardon.

As we wait to see which direction the Cavs go, be sure to revisit our discussion from earlier this month on which players the club should target for those two open roster spots.

Okaro White Signs 10-Day Deal With Cavaliers

MARCH 19: The Cavs have officially signed White, according to a press release from the team. The signing was finalized on Sunday, so White’s 10-day deal will run through next Tuesday, March 27.

MARCH 18: The Cavaliers will sign forward Okaro White to a 10-day contract, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

White, 25, started the season with the Heat, but played just six games before being traded to the Hawks and then waived last month. He appeared in 35 games for Miami last season and is averaging 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds throughout his career.

The Cavaliers needed to make a roster move to reach the NBA minimum of 14 players. The league permits teams to drop down to 13 for up to two weeks, which is where Cleveland has been since Marcus Thornton‘s 10-day deal expired March 3.

The Cavs are short handed with Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman and Rodney Hood all injured and Kyle Korver away from the team on a family emergency, but have been hesitant to add anyone to the roster because each move increases their tax penalties.

Cavaliers Notes: Lue, White, Calderon, LeBron

For the third time this season, an undisclosed illness has kept Tyronn Lue from coaching, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Lue remained in the locker room after halftime of Saturday’s win over the Bulls as chief assistant Larry Drew ran the team. LeBron James called Lue’s condition one more distraction in a season filled with them.

“I mean he’s the captain of the ship, so absolutely,” James said. “We worry about his health, obviously. That’s way more important than this game of basketball. We know he’s been doing everything he needs to do to stay healthy — [maybe he should] take even more measures to get himself right. Everything that’s been going on with our year, it’s just another one.”

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • Between salary and tax penalties, today’s signing of Okaro White will cost Cleveland about $400K, Vardon tweets. The 10-day contract for the former Heat forward was necessitated by a league rule that allows teams to drop their roster to 13 players for just two weeks at a time.
  • Veteran point guard Jose Calderon continues to be a steady, if often overlooked, producer for the Cavs, notes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. With Kyle Korver tending to a family emergency and Rodney Hood sidelined with back issues, Calderon posted nine points, six assists and seven rebounds Saturday while playing a season-high 36 minutes. Cleveland is 18-8 this year when he starts and 21-10 when he plays at least 10 minutes. “I know everything lately is about stats, but it’s more than that,” said Calderon, who will be a free agent this summer. “Just for me, like I always say since Day 1, my job is to be ready, to help these guys in whatever situation they need.”
  • James, who has a chance to play all 82 games for the first time in his career, seems to be healthier than ever at age 33, relays Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. He no longer takes anti-inflammatory injections for his back and he has gotten past the knee pain that used to force him to take time off during the season. “I’m having a heck of a time playing the game right now no matter who’s in the lineup for us,” James said. “We’re not winning as much as we would like, but we’re still figuring out ways to get wins, which is very tough in this league. We already know that. But the joy of the game is very high for me right now.”

Hawks Waive Okaro White

After acquiring him earlier today from the Heat, the Hawks have requested waivers on forward Okaro White, the team announced today in a press release.

White, 25, appeared in 41 games with the Heat since the start of the 2016/17 season, but has been sidelined for most of this season due to a broken foot. He’ll clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday, but he’ll have to get back to 100% health before resuming his playing career.

By waiving White, the Hawks will open up a roster spot to complete their Sheldon Mac trade with the Wizards. They’ll subsequently release Mac as well, leaving a spot open to sign another player.

Hawks Trade Luke Babbitt To Heat For Okaro White

1:31pm: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Heat. Atlanta intends to waive White, according to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

11:15am: The Hawks will trade veteran forward Luke Babbitt to the Heat for Okaro White, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

This will be a return to Miami for Babbitt, who spent the 2016/17 season there. He signed a one-year, veterans’ minimum contract with the Hawks this summer and is averaging 6.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 37 games.

White is in his second season with the Heat, but has appeared in just six games, spending most of the year in the G League. He also has a minimum deal, so salary matching won’t be a problem.

A larger trade could be in the works as Miami continues to talk with Atlanta about Marco Belinelli, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Belinelli would give the Heat another wing shooter after losing Dion Waiters for the season.

Okaro White Suffers Broken Bone In Foot

Heat forward Okaro White is out indefinitely after breaking a bone in his left foot during Tuesday’s practice, the team announced in a tweet. Surgery is set for Thursday for White, who fractured his fifth metatarsal.

The second-year player has appeared in just six games this season, but started four times in late October and early November. He is averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per night.

“It just kills you when you see something like this happen,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. “He’ll be back, he has a lot of resiliency.” (Twitter link)

The Heat still have their $4.3MM room exception available, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks, but they would have to clear a roster spot to use it (Twitter link). Miami is already missing swingman Rodney McGruder, who had surgery last month on a left tibia stress fracture.