Ray McCallum has impressed at Summer League.
The No. 36 pick of the Kings is averaging 12.8 points a game, he can get to the rim and finish there (a rarity in Summer League), has looked like a floor general and had one big 23-point game. He’s had some rougher outings and is shooting just 39.5 percent overall, but you can see a quality young point guard in there. He belongs in the league.
The Kings thought that, too, and have signed him to a guaranteed deal, reports the Sacramento Bee.
The Kings announced they have signed second-round draft pick Ray McCallum. Terms were not disclosed, but a league source said McCallum’s deal had three years guaranteed.
Most likely that three year deal is for around $1 million a year.
The Kings are now overstocked at the point — they traded for Greivis Vasquez this summer, Isaiah Thomas has proven he can be a solid scoring point in this league and is the likely backup, plus Jimmer Fredette wants to play the point not the two. Throw McCollum in the mix and you don’t need all those guys at the one, so look for future moves (maybe not until training camp or later).
The good news for the Kings is both Thomas and McCollum are on very affordable minimum deals.
Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.
Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.
But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.
LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.
LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.
However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.
For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.
Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.