Cavaliers could make an amnesty bid on Luis Scola

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ESPN reports that the Cavaliers are considering making an amnesty bid on Luis Scola. The minimum bid on Scola’s $21 million remaining is $3 million the first season and a $10 million total. The Mavericks are also interested, despite picking up Elton Brand off the wire.

The idea of the Cavs picking up Scola is very interesting. They have Anderson Varejao, and the idea has been floated that if the Cavaliers got Scola, they’d trade Varejao. The complicating factor here is Tristan Thompson. Some in the Cavs organization think that Thompson can float at the five. Scola would be a poor fit at the four. They could also throw out Tyler Zeller if they needed to. But trying to slide Scola into Varejao’s spot would cause issues as Scola’s rebounding abilities deteriorate with age.

It’s definitely worth the money, though, with the Cavaliers need for veterans to bring the young team to the next step and losing Antawn Jamison in free agency. The Mavericks have roughly $4 million left in cap space after acquiring Elton Brand. That might be enough, but if the Cavs come in with an offer over $4, they can nab him, unless someone else gets itchy. Scola’s likely to be the top amnesty prospect since the process was implemented in last December’s CBA.

In the off chance that Scola slips through the cracks of the wire and becomes a free agent, a virtual impossibility, the Spurs and Heat would both be interested in adding him. Scola was actually drafted by the Spurs, one of the few times they let a talented foreign player slip from their grasp.

(Basically, if there is a veteran free agent who can still walk without prosthetics, the Heat are interested, just a heads up.)

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

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The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

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The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.