enes Kanter

Are Cavaliers targeting Enes Kanter with No. 4 pick?

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Turkish center Enes Kanter seems to have caught the eye of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He is coming back next Monday for a second workout with the Cavaliers and as part of that he is expected to meet with team owner Dan Gilbert, according to the Plain Dealer. What does that mean? Very hard to say, teams are just now coming to conclusions on players.

But clearly the Cavaliers are seriously thinking about Kanter. And more than any other player in this draft bringing him in for a second in-person workout makes sense — there is no film on him. Because he played for a professional team in Turkey at age 16, when he came to play at Kentucky the NCAA kept him on the sidelines last year. He practiced with Kentucky, but there is little game film on him to break down, and the stuff that exists is a couple years old.

He is a legit 6’11” with an NBA body, he also has very soft hands and has shown some offensive game. He likes to bang bodies inside. After the Chicago predraft camp the consensus was he was a power forward who could give you a little time at center but is not really meant for that position.

Kanter’s agent tried to suggest to the Plain Dealer the Cavaliers were thinking about taking him with the No. 1 pick, not their No. 4.

Agent Max Ergul also told Minnesota reporters Kanter was not ”auditioning” for the No. 4 pick, clearly indicating he thought his client could be taken with the No. 1 pick.

Wrong. In a conference call about the draft on Thursday, ESPN’s Chad Ford said that most of the noise about the Cavs taking Derrick Williams No. 1 over Kyrie Irving was coming from Williams camp, trying to throw some doubt in there. The Cavaliers are not in doubt — Irving will go No. 1.

As for No. 4… who knows? Kanter could go at No. 2 (if a team falls in love with him and trades up to No. 2 with the Timberwolves to get him, unlikely but possible) or No. 3 (again more likely by trade, the Jazz have their power forward of the future in Derrick Favors).

If Kanter falls to No. 4 will the Cavs take him? Hard to say, but they are taking a long, hard look at him.

Report: Rockets will leave Donatas Motiejunas’ offer sheet open

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12:  Donatas Motiejunas #20 of the Houston Rockets and Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Brooklyn Nets fight for the loose ball at the Barclays Center on January 12, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.The Houston Rockets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 113-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Donatas Motiejunas’ agent, B.J. Armstrong, said he knows their rights.

Apparently, so does Houston.

Motiejunas has refused to take a physical with the Rockets since they matched his offer sheet from the Nets. So, Houston will hold him on that offer sheet indefinitely.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Motiejunas can’t sign an offer sheet with another NBA team. He probably can’t even join an overseas team in a FIBA-accredited league, because his NBA holdout will prevent him from getting clearance.

All he can do is submit to a physical or negotiate a new deal with the Rockets.

Motiejunas could undergo a physical anytime between now and March 1. If he passes, he’d join Houston on the terms of his matched offer sheet. If he fails, he’d go to Brooklyn on the original offer-sheet terms (which are $6 million apart).

Motiejunas could also negotiate a new deal with the Rockets. They have immense leverage with his matched offer sheet in place, but perhaps a compromise could be forged. Motiejunas obviously wants a chance at that $6 million, but he’ll have to concede something in exchange. Maybe that’s a later guarantee date on his 2017-18 salary. If both sides agree to a different contract, Houston would withdraw its match, which would make Motiejunas a restricted free agent. Then, the Rockets could re-sign him.

They sure aren’t letting him out of this limbo just to seek a better offer sheet from another team. A new contract must already be agreed upon.

In the meantime, Motiejunas will continue to count toward the Nets’ team salary while the offer sheet is open, which is a nuisance but not hugely disruptive. They have plenty of cap space anyway, and the odds of adding significant salary in a trade are low.

Houston will continue to play without Motiejunas. That’s also not ideal for the Rockets, but they’ve been fine without him so far.

The qualifying offer will expire on March 2, when Motiejunas will no longer be eligible to sign an offer sheet with another team. He’d still be allowed to re-sign with Houston, though. Failing that, he’ll re-enter free agency next summer, when the Rockets could again make him restricted, and we’ll start the process all over again – with the caveat that the Nets can’t sign him for one year after his offer sheet expires.

Maybe something will break before it gets to that point, but Houston and Motiejunas have trudged deeper into this standoff than ever imaginable.

Stephen Curry skips pass between DeAndre Jordan’s legs, gets Zaza Pachulia a layup (video)

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Nicolas Batum wasn’t the only player to bounce a pass through an opponent’s legs last night.

Stephen Curry nutmegged DeAndre Jordan on this sweet assist to Zaza Pachulia.

Clint Capela and Montrezl Harrell take turns dunking on Julius Randle (videos)

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Head Coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Julius Randle #30 during the second half of a 107-101 Jazz win at Staples Center on December 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Rough night for the Lakers, who lost 134-95 to the Rockets.

It was particularly harsh for Julius Randle, who got dunked on by Clint Capela:

And then Montrezl Harrell:

Giannis Antetokounmpo called for 10-second violation on free throw (video)

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This Giannis Antetokounmpo 10-second violation was a year in the making.

Unfortunately for the Trail Blazers, it was too little, too late. Antetokounmpo still finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks and two steals in the Bucks’ 115-107 win.