Edy Tavares

And-Ones: West Playoffs, Tavares, EuroLeague Players, Ignite, Draft

Much of the NBA’s Western Conference could be in turmoil this offseason, The Athletic’s John Hollinger writes. There are multiple teams that are all in on their stars but are in or hovering just above play-in territory in the West, including the Warriors, Lakers, Mavericks and Suns. Those four teams could all be in the play-in while being over next year’s projected luxury tax and with numerous first-round picks depleted from their assets.

The Clippers are another team in a different, but similar dilemma. While they were in contention for the No. 1 seed at one point this season, they’re now 5.0 games back, are deep in the tax, don’t control a first-rounder until 2030, and their best players are 32, 33 and 34 years old. Paul George, meanwhile, hasn’t signed a max extension yet and could be an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his player option.

The Timberwolves and Nuggets are happy right now given their placement in the standings (and Denver’s 2022/23 title) but are both in win-now mode.

While this is the case every year in both conferences, the stakes feel extremely high given the repercussions each team could face if they bow out of the playoffs early. Many of the aforementioned teams don’t have the cap flexibility or the assets to make significant moves to bolster their chances, Hollinger points out. For some teams, their current iteration is the best chance they’ll have at a title for some time.

The Pelicans, Thunder and Kings are the only three of the top 10 who, at least on paper, have the wherewithal to make obvious and meaningful external improvements/acquisitions this offseason, Hollinger opines. With seven of the conference’s top 10 teams all in, or nearly there, on their current builds, this postseason will be a pivotal one.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA and current Real Madrid center Edy Tavares is exploring his NBA options before he becomes a free agent this offseason, Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews tweets. According to Urbonas, Tavares is looking for a substantial role on a competitive NBA team and is looking for an annual salary that approaches the mid-level exception, worth roughly $12.5MM. Tavares received a multiyear offer from the Trail Blazers last offseason but his buyout clause got in the way. Now set to be a free agent after averaging 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in EuroLeague, he’ll likely receive massive offers to stay in EuroLeague, which could dissuade NBA teams from signing him.
  • Tavares headlines a list from Urbonas of 10 EuroLeague names who could make the jump to the NBA this offseason. Tarik Biberovic is one young name making waves, shooting 57.1% from three as of late. He was selected by the Grizzlies in the second round of the 2023 draft and could eventually find his way stateside. A similar article from HoopsHype’s Dionysis Aravantinos explores the same topic, with Gabriele Procida and Markus Howard among the names discussed. Of note, Urbonas writes that Mario Hezonja, who once criticized the NBA, is intending to return to the league at some point and is aggressively exploring the market.
  • With news that the G League Ignite is shutting down after the season, several of the team’s young players are left in limbo in regards to their future options, Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek writes. Thierry Darlan, Babacar Sane and London Johnson are among players who could test the NBA draft waters and go to the combine but aren’t facing pressure to stay in the draft. Meanwhile, Dink Pate signed a two-year deal with the Ignite and doesn’t qualify to play college ball next year, so he would need to either play overseas, sign with a different G League team, or join Overtime Elite.
  • With March Madness underway, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor all published mock drafts for the 2024 class. Both Scotto and O’Connor have Alexandre Sarr as the No. 1 pick, while Vecenie gives Zaccharie Risacher that honor. O’Connor moved Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard up to the second slot and Vecenie has him going fourth, but Scotto has him at No. 8. UConn’s Stephon Castle is mocked sixth in Vecenie’s and O’Connor’s drafts but is 15th in Scotto’s. Providence’s Devin Carter (10th in O’Connor’s) and Duke’s Kyle Filipowski (ninth in Scotto’s) are among the other notable differences between the various mocks.

And-Ones: Star Trade Requests, Tavares, Intriguing Players, Win Projections

In the past decade or so, the NBA has seen its fair share of superstar trade requests, the majority of which have been granted. Kevin Durant requested a trade out of Brooklyn last year, and we’ve watched the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis, to name a few, ask to be moved. For years, the norm was that those players gave a list of teams they’d prefer to be traded to, with that usually being honored.

Damian Lillard and James Harden are the latest players to demand trades from teams. However, unlike all those that came before them, Lillard wasn’t sent to his previously preferred destination (Miami), and Harden remains on the Sixers’ roster into training camp. Howard Beck of The Ringer opines that these two situations, in particular, prove that the NBA’s so-called “superstar empowerment era” has its limits. According to Beck, front offices and league executives see this as a good thing.

One Eastern Conference executive said “teams are taking back control,” according to Beck, with another longtime general manager saying “it is a significant event that [Lillard] didn’t land where he wanted.”

These executives aren’t against player empowerment, Beck says, but the widespread trade requests by superstars have been destabilizing to teams’ progress. There have been 14 trade requests by players Beck defines as superstars in the last five years, including three from Harden.

Ultimately, the “one team or nothing” approach looks to be the point where some clubs will draw the line, Beck reasons. While it worked out last season for the Suns, who had Mikal Bridges to send to Brooklyn in the Durant move, it diminished the market in the case of Lillard. “I think his chances of ending up in Miami would have been much greater [if he opened up the request to more teams],” one agent said to Beck.

We have more odds and ends from the basketball world:

  • In an annual survey of EuroLeague general managers conducted by BasketNews, more than half (53.8%) predicted that Real Madrid center Edy Tavares would be the next EuroLeague player to go to the NBA. Last year, general managers picked Vasilije Micic to move to the NBA, and he eventually did, signing with the Thunder this offseason. Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report tweets that the Trail Blazers had interest in Tavares this offseason, but a significant buyout kept him in Madrid. The BasketNews report states that Portland actually submitted an offer, but with Deandre Ayton and Robert Williams on board, it’s unclear if they’ll continue to have interest. James Nnaji, Guerschon Yabusele, Marko Simonovic and Khalifa Diop also received votes. Tavares previously holds 13 games of NBA experience with Atlanta and Cleveland from 2015-17.
  • In an annual piece (ESPN+ link), ESPN’s Zach Lowe names his five most intriguing players to watch out for in the 2023/24 season. Lowe avoids superstars, rookies and second-year players for the most part in his rankings. LaMelo Ball, Devin Vassell, Josh Giddey, Ayton and Immanuel Quickley are the five names Lowe selects to watch out for, with each having a chance to take their respective teams to the next level. I highly recommend reading the piece in full, as Lowe provides detailed breakdowns on each player.
  • Following up on his piece about teams likely to overachieve, The Athletic’s John Hollinger broke down five teams that he believes will fall short relative to Vegas win total over/unders. Hollinger expects the Kings and Thunder to win fewer than 44.5 games, the Magic to win fewer than 36.5 games and the Bulls to finish with below 37.5 wins. Of note, Hollinger also doesn’t think the Suns will reach their projected total of 52.5 wins, despite adding Bradley Beal and depth in the offseason. Hollinger reasons that health is a concern and that while he thinks they are certainly contenders in the postseason, the regular season might be bumpy.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, World Cup, Ingram, Whitmore

The early end to the Mavericks‘ season after failing to reach the play-in tournament had nothing to do with Luka Doncic‘s decision to participate in the World Cup, writes Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. Speaking to reporters after dropping 37 points in a victory over Venezuela, Doncic said he wants to represent Slovenia whenever possible.

“There is no difference,” he said. “Every time I can play for the national team, I will play. Representing your country, you are always motivated, no matter what happens in the season. Obviously, it was disappointing that we could not make the playoffs, but playing for your country is special. It is from the heart. And representing your country, it is amazing.”

One of the benefits of being in the tournament for Doncic is a chance to play against Edy Tavares of Cape Verde, whom Slovenia will face on Wednesday. They were teammates with Real Madrid, and the 31-year-old center captured MVP honors at the EuroLeague Final Four in May.

“It is going to be special to play against him,” Doncic said. “I never played against him. It is going to be very tough.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Doncic recently signed a contract extension with Jordan Brand, Marc Stein reveals in his latest Substack article. Sources tell Stein that the deal will continue Doncic’s relationship with the company through 2029. The Mavericks star debuted his second signature shoe, the Luka 2 Matador, in a recent exhibition game. Doncic will continue to have significant input into how the shoes are designed and marketed, according to Stein.
  • Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram is the newest Jordan Brand client, per Christian Clark of NOLA. The company announced Saturday that it has signed Ingram to a multi-year footwear and apparel contract. “Signing with Jordan Brand is a game-changer,” Ingram said. “A life-changer, and now that it is a reality, I can’t wait to do special things together on and off the court.” Clark notes that Ingram was previously affiliated with Adidas, but he didn’t have a shoe contract the past two seasons.
  • Cam Whitmore narrates a behind-the-scenes video about the Rockets‘ Summer League team, according to Ben DuBose of Rockets Wire. The rookie forward surprisingly slipped to 20th in the NBA draft, but he bounced back by earning MVP honors in Las Vegas. “It felt like that it was meant to be,” Whitmore said in the video. “There was a reason I dropped to 20. Now I’m the Summer League MVP. I knew it wasn’t for nothing. All the work is paying off.”

And-Ones: 2024 Draft, Tavares, Parker, Fisher

Kentucky freshman forward Justin Edwards tops the 2024 draft list of The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie. Edwards is an athletic, bigger wing who has a well-rounded game, consistently plays hard and has excellent feel for the game, according to the draft expert. Vecenie believes Edwards will be the Wildcats’ top player during the upcoming season.

Edwards is followed by a trio G League Ignite players — forwards Ron Holland, Izan Almansa and Matas Buzelis. USC guard Isaiah Collier rounds out the top five. Vecenie provides details on his top 30 prospects, as well as listing his projected second-round picks.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Edy Tavares isn’t sure if he’ll sign another contract with Real Madrid, Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops.net relays. Tavares is hopeful he’ll return to the NBA. “I don’t know if I’m going to renew with Real Madrid,” Tavares told Relevo. “The truth is that I have a contract for next year, and I don’t know what to tell you. Yes, I hope we will agree, but the dream of the NBA is there too. I’m not going to deny it.” The 31-year-old center will play for Cape Verde at the FIBA World Cup. Tavares received a contract offer from the Trail Blazers this summer, but his Real Madrid contract includes a significant buyout, which precluded a move stateside. Tavares most recently played in the NBA during the 2016/17 season.
  • Jabari Parker‘s one-year contract with Barcelona is worth an estimated $2MM, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). It also includes an NBA opt-out clause. The free agent forward and former lottery pick signed with the European team on Monday.
  • Longtime Lakers player and former Knicks head coach Derek Fisher is now a high school head coach. He has agreed to coach Encino Crespi in northern Los Angeles, according to Tarek Fattal of SBLive Sports. Encino Crespi plays in one of the top leagues in California and has produced NBA players De’Anthony Melton and Brandon Williams.

Free Agency Rumors: G. Williams, Hornets, VanVleet, Blazers, Tavares

The Hornets are mulling the possibility of an offer sheet for Celtics restricted free agent forward Grant Williams, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Williams has also drawn some interest from the Mavericks, according to Scotto.

The Hornets are currently operating as an over-the-cap team, which means they could offer up to the full $12.4MM mid-level exception in a deal for Williams. They have a potential path to creating cap room to make a stronger bid, but it would require renouncing the cap holds for multiple free agents, including their own RFA forwards P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges. The Hornets have also engaged in contract discussions with Washington, Scotto reports.

Here are a few more free agency notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • The third and final season of Fred VanVleet‘s new three-year deal with the Rockets will be a team option, according to Jackson Gatlin of Locked on Rockets (Twitter link). A non-guaranteed third year makes the deal look considerably more team-friendly — and considerably more like the two-year offer the Rockets were originally said to be preparing for the veteran point guard.
  • Veteran center Edy Tavares, a second-round pick in 2014, has received a contract offer from the Trail Blazers, sources tell Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com. Tavares played just 13 games during his initial NBA stint, but is apparently earning another look after several strong seasons with Real Madrid, with whom he has won two EuroLeague titles and earned three All-EuroLeague First Team nods. However, Tavares’ contract includes a significant buyout, which may preclude a move stateside, Urbonas explains. His deal with Real Madrid will expire in 2024 if he doesn’t sign an extension before then.
  • Donte DiVincenzo drew “strong” interest from three other teams during his free agency before he agreed to sign with New York, reports Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). While DiVincenzo’s Villanova connection to Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart was a factor in his decision to join the Knicks, he also believes his new team can be a contender. “He wants to win and has a great opportunity to do so in New York,” a source said to Begley.

And-Ones: Trade Market, Front Offices, Coaches, EuroLeague, More

Tonight’s NBA draft lottery is highly anticipated due to the hype surrounding projected No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama. However, some league executives are more focused on the trade implications for the team that lands the top selection, noting that quality centers could be dealt to free up playing time and address other parts of the roster.

I’m as interested in what comes after the lottery as the lottery itself,” one general manager told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. “This could be a tidal wave after it gets decided.”

For example, if the Pistons land the top pick — which they have a 14% chance to do — an Eastern Conference executive speculated that Detroit could get an impressive return for Jalen Duren, who was recently named to the All-Rookie Second Team. However, it’s worth noting that the Pistons have shown no desire to move Duren to this point after trading for him during last June’s draft.

They probably could get a top-10 pick for him this year,” the executive said. “He has a lot of Robert Williams qualities, and he is like Williams because it might take a little time to polish. You can’t really play him and Wemby together, so he’d have to go. It would be crazy to see the market on him, he is still mostly upside.”

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

  • Twenty-six clubs have been eliminated from title contention, but that doesn’t mean anyone is taking time off. In an interesting article for The Athletic, former league executives Seth Partnow and John Hollinger discuss the busiest time of the year for NBA front offices — the stretch that starts with the draft combine, which is currently ongoing, and runs through the first couple weeks of free agency.
  • Three of the past four championship-winning coaches are no longer with their former teams. The recent spate of dismissals — including Nick Nurse, Mike Budenholzer, Monty Williams and Doc Rivers — has left a negative imprint on some of the longest-tenured coaches, as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes. “It’s disturbing,” said Erik Spoelstra, who has been the Heat’s head coach since 2008. “Doc’s a Hall of Famer. … There’s only so many teams that can advance. It’s just a really hard thing to do. Yeah, it’s been a tough couple weeks, hearing the news of just some really surprising firings.”
  • The All-EuroLeague First and Second Teams were recently announced (Twitter links), and several former NBA players made the cut. The First Team features Walter Tavares, Mathias Lessort, Lorenzo Brown, Sasha Vezenkov and Dzanan Musa, while Darius Thompson, Kevin Punter, Nikola Mirotic, Wade Baldwin and Mike James comprise the Second Team. A recent rumor indicated that Vezenkov, whose NBA rights are controlled by the Kings, is seriously mulling the possibility of coming stateside and making his debut next season.
  • Leonard Solms at ESPN.com profiles Samkelo Cele, who is hoping to become the second South African-born player to reach the NBA (the first was Steve Nash). Cele is currently competing in the Basketball Africa League.

And-Ones: Japan, Dinwiddie, Tavares, Kobe

Japan’s B.League may serve as a cautionary tale as the NBA weighs whether resuming its season will be possible, writes David Aldridge of The Athletic. As Aldridge details, Japan’s basketball league attempted to resume play in mid-March after suspending play in February, but only got in one weekend of games before the season was canceled for good on March 27.

According to Aldridge, several players and at least one referee contracted COVID-19 following the resumption of the season, and multiple players refused to play any more games.

While Japan’s league didn’t attempt playing in a “bubble” city, all players and teams were practicing social distancing and games were being played without fans in attendance. Former NBA forward DaJuan Summers, who was playing in Japan this season, saw first-hand how the league’s attempt to restart was derailed, and isn’t sure that the NBA will be able to successfully pull it off this summer.

“I understand the risk,” Summers told Aldridge. “I don’t think it’s worth it. I don’t think it’s worth it right now. Of course, we all want see if LeBron (James) and A.D. (Anthony Davis) and those guys are gonna win a Finals. Or if (Giannis) Antetokounmpo is finally going to get to the Finals in the East without LeBron or Kawhi (Leonard) over there stopping him. There’s so many basketball lovers that’s hurting right now. But more importantly, there’s so many people dying.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • A Nigerian Basketball Federation official tells Colin Udoh of ESPN that conversations about adding Spencer Dinwiddie to Nigeria’s national team have been going on for about a year, despite the fact that the Nets guard has no obvious connection to the country. Dinwiddie is reportedly trying to acquire a Nigerian passport through naturalization to play for the team in the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Former Hawks and Cavaliers big man Walter (Edy) Tavares told Portuguese website DTudo1Pouco (hat tip to Nicola Lupo of Sportando) that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a return to the NBA, despite his current long-term contract with Real Madrid in Spain.
  • Family members of four passengers who died in the January helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the companies that owned and operated the aircraft, according to Brian Melley of The Associated Press. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, previously filed suit against Island Express Helicopters Inc. and its owner Island Express Holding Corp.

Edy Tavares To Play In Spain

Less than a month after being waived by the Cavaliers, center Edy Tavares has elected to return overseas, agreeing to a three-year contract with Spanish team Real Madrid, per a Marca report. Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic has confirmed that report, with international basketball reporter David Pick supplying the financial details (via Twitter).

Tavares will return to the country where he began his professional career — he was under contract with Gran Canaria in Spain from 2009 to 2015. Drafted by the Hawks in 2014, the 7’3″ center headed to Atlanta a year later and has bounced around the NBA and G League since then, playing for a handful of different teams.

Signed by the Cavaliers at the very end of the 2016/17 regular season, Tavares’ season came to a premature end when he fractured his hand in May, sidelining him for the rest of the playoffs. Although his contract included a non-guaranteed salary for 2017/18, Tavares became expendable when the Cavs added three extra players to their roster late in the offeason, trading Kyrie Irving for Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, and Ante Zizic, then signing Dwyane Wade. Tavares was waived by Cleveland in mid-October.

Tavares had initially joined the defending G League champs, the Raptors 905, for the 2017/18 season, but appeared in just one game for Toronto’s G League affiliate before striking his new deal with Real Madrid. The Raptors 905 have now lost two key players – Tavares and Kyle Wiltjer – to international teams.

G League Notes: Bolomboy, E. Millsap, Tavares

The 2017 NBA G League draft will take place on Saturday, and former Jazz forward Joel Bolomboy is expected to be the first overall pick, a source tells Dakota Schmidt of Ridiculous Upside (Twitter link).

Phoenix’s G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, made a trade earlier today with the Iowa Wolves that saw the Suns acquire the No. 1 overall pick in exchange for the returning rights to Elijah Millsap, among other pieces. However, Schmidt suggests (via Twitter) that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that first overall pick change hands again in the next 24 hours.

Here are a few more G League notes and updates, with a focus on more former NBA players like Bolomboy and Millsap:

  • Edy Tavares, whose returning rights are held by the Raptors 905, is headed back to the G League after being waived by Cleveland, according to a report from Gigantes (English link via Sportando).
  • The Rockets‘ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, sent a first-round pick to the Long Island Nets in exchange for R.J. Hunter‘s returning rights. Hunter, a former first-round pick, intends to suit up for the Vipers, his agent confirms to Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link).
  • The Long Island Nets acquired the returning rights to Okaro White and Jamaal Franklin in a trade with the Memphis Hustle, according to a press release. White is still on the Heat‘s NBA roster and recently had his 2017/18 salary guaranteed, so Brooklyn’s affiliate seems unlikely to get its hands on him this season.
  • The Texas Legends, the affiliate of the Mavericks, has acquired Will Bynum‘s returning rights, suggesting the veteran guard could join the organization for the G League season, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Cliff Alexander, who was in camp with New Orleans earlier this month, had his returning rights traded to the Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks‘ G League affiliate, per a team release. “Cliff is a highly-skilled big man who is among the best in the league at his position,” Herd GM Dave Dean said in a statement. “He has a tremendous upside and we are excited to add him to the Wisconsin Herd family.”

Cavaliers Waive Edy Tavares

The Cavaliers have begun making roster cuts in advance of the regular season, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived center Edy Tavares.

Signed by the Cavs at the very end of the 2016/17 regular season, Tavares’ season came to a premature end when he fractured his hand in May, sidelining him for the rest of the playoffs. Prior to joining Cleveland, Tavares began the season with the Hawks, then spent time with the Raptors’ G League affiliate, which continues to hold his returning rights.

Tavares’ release had been expected, since the Cavaliers still had 19 players on NBA contracts, including 16 on fully guaranteed deals. Tavares was one of three players without full guarantees, along with Kendrick Perkins and Kay Felder. Cleveland will need to remove at least three more players from its NBA roster via release or trade before the regular season begins.

Assuming Tavares clears waivers, he could be a candidate to rejoin the Cavs as a two-way player, since the team still has one two-way slot open.