Samardo Samuels signed by Cleveland Cavaliers


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for CAVALIERS_LOGO.pngSamardo Samuels presents one of those draft conundrums. He’s a guy you really question on a paper — an undersized post player at 6’8″ who is not explosive, plays below the rim and showed no real midrange game in college at Louisville.

Yet he can just play. He was a fairly efficient inside scorer in college and a good rebounder. He was the only real inside presence on a good Louisville offense and showed some basketball savvy in getting his.

NBA teams went with the paper on draft day and the Jamaican player went undrafted. But now he’s going to get a chance to make the roster in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers signed Samuels to a deal. While terms were not announced this was certainly a non-guaranteed deal — Samuels is going to have to prove his way and make the Cavs roster at camp. He may well end up just being camp fodder, an extra body needed for camp drills and scrimmages.

The good news for Samuels: This is a roster that can be made. Show promise as a young player and you will get a shot at a rebuilding franchise.

A lot of people questioned Samuels leaving Louisville (particularly in Louisville), but not he’s got his shot. We’ll see what he does with it.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.