Ridiculous rumors: No, Kyrie’s not going to New York in two years; Kevin Martin not mad at OKC

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One of the first words of advice I got from a boss when we started ProBasketballTalk was to write about what people are talking about. Even if they are talking about something stupid.

Which brings us to two stories working their way around the Web Monday: The idea that Kyrie Irving could bolt for New York in a couple years, and that Kevin Martin took a shot at Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Both are just steaming piles of uncastrated male cow manure.

Let’s start with Irving, because that is the worse of the two. The Cavaliers are off to a 2-2 start, now this shows up from Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News (via Eye On Basketball):

Is Cleveland, which is building around Irving with a young team and perhaps Andrew Bynum — if his knees manage to hold up — headed for another round of heartbreak? There’s long been talk that Irving, a West Orange, N.J., product, wants to come home and play for the Knicks.

The earliest he can leave Cleveland is July 2016, after playing this season and the next two seasons for the Cavs. It’s down the road, but it’s not very difficult to imagine a scenario with Irving ending up in the Garden.

No. Not going to happen. Not in 2016 anyway. That’s not a pipe dream, that’s a Twin Peaks run-it-in-reverse dream.

Kyrie Irving is on his rookie deal and next summer he will get a max contract extension offer from the Cavaliers — and he will sign it. If you’ve followed the NBA over the years you know that the first chance a rookie gets at a max contract extension he takes it because that is “set your family up for generations” money and you don’t risk walking away from that. Before you compare Irving to LeBron James remember LeBron signed an extension after his rookie deal (with an out after three years, which he used).

But let’s play the game of New York exceptionalism and say Irving does care about being a Knick. Well, he would have to play the next two seasons at his rookie salary rate — leaving a lot of money on the table — to get out. That would be two seasons of potential injury (and he has some history there) without the guarantee of a huge payday at the end of it. If it sounds rare, it’s more than that — no elite NBA guy on a rookie deal has ever done it. None. Zero.

Not going to happen.

Now lets move on to Kevin Martin, who made an innocuous comment.

Some have construed that as some kind of shot at Oklahoma City.

No. First off Martin plays with the guy leading the NBA in scoring (at least going into Monday night) in Kevin Love. Second, ever since he left OKC he has nothing but positive things to say about the team and experience. He’s been the model of the diplomatic former teammate.

Martin played on other teams as well; he knows what it’s like to be on a team that’s not fun, now he’s having fun. That’s it. No dig at Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook (the latter being the guy that holds the ball).

Nothing to see here, just move along.

Report: LeBron James ‘hustling’, suggested Josh Jackson for Kyrie Irving

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Is LeBron James staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Who knows?

But The King is reportedly working to try to find trade deals for disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving.

According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre, James has begun hustling for the Cavaliers this offseason, suggesting a trade of Irving for Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson.

Here is what Torre had to say, via Fear the Sword:

“LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.”

Then again, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has sources that are saying LeBron has not been active:

Irving has a preferred landing destination in New York, but there is apparently not mutual interest between the Cavaliers and Knicks. While before it was rumored that Carmelo Anthony would like to in Cleveland with LeBron, but that trade has yet to happen despite the obvious answer to the question of what to do with each player.

Rumor has it that Anthony only wants to play in Houston, and sort of puts the brakes on getting Irving to New York.

Cleveland seems to have lost a bit of leverage with Irving’s open trade request, so it will be interesting to see what the return for Cleveland is once a trade is finally made and we can compare it to the deals for Chris Paul and Paul George.

Irving reportedly isn’t talking to the Cavaliers at the moment so one would have to assume a deal will be coming within the next few weeks.

Report: Warriors re-signing JaVale McGee to one-year contract

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The Warriors helped rehabilitate JaVale McGee‘s career to the point he wanted more – more money, a starting spot.

But old reputations die hard, and it’s a tough market for free-agent centers.

So, McGee is returning to Golden State.

ESPN:

The Golden State Warriors are re-signing center JaVale McGee to a one-year contract, source told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

McGee could receive between the minimum ($2,116,955) and Non-Bird Exception ($2,540,346). He’ll cost Golden State between $5,968,023 and $10,511,120.* Here’s guessing he gets the minimum.

*Factoring in the NBA’s reimbursement for one-year minimum contracts and the luxury tax, also assuming the Warriors keep the same roster when the tax is assessed at the end of the regular season

Golden State played to McGee’s strengths by simplifying the game for him. He chased lobs, blocks and rebounds and was asked to do little else. He still made the occasional gaffe, and questions about his basketball intelligence remain, but McGee progressed in his never-ending battle to stifle the laughter.

Not every team could protect McGee like that, so he’s more valuable to the Warriors than others. He’ll take another crack at free agency next summer, but at 30, he might not find eager suitors then, either.

In Golden State, he’ll again join a center rotation that includes Zaza Pachulia and David West and maybe Damian Jones and Jordan Bell. With stars at every other position, the Warriors have taken an equalitarian approach at center.

McGee gives the Warriors 15 players clearly on standard contracts, the regular-season limit. Chris Boucher is on a two-way contract, and Antonius Cleveland might be, too. Even if he’s on a standard contract, Cleveland is unlikely to stick past the preseason. It seems we know the roster Golden State will take into the regular season.

Then again, McGee surprisingly made the regular-season roster on an unguaranteed deal last year. Maybe he’ll have to fend off challengers this year.

Warriors lock up Cleveland

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The Warriors smoked the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Now, the Warriors are taking control of Cleveland.

Antonius Cleveland.

NBC Sports Bay Area:

Golden State agreed to terms on a training camp invite with Antonius Cleveland, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned.

Cleveland went undrafted out of Southeast Missouri State, where the 6-foot-6 guard was either a late bloomer or just a 23-year-old who outgrew his competition. He’s likely ticked for the Warriors’ minor-league affiliate, either as an affiliate player waived in the preseason or maybe even on a two-way contract.

Did the Warriors sign Cleveland for the jokes? Probably not. He’s a viable developmental prospect.

But they also signed JaVale McGee in Nick Young the last couple years. I can’t completely rule it out.

Report: Lakers signing Thomas Bryant to two-year contract with team option

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The Lakers have negotiated just a few contracts this summer – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyler Ennis and now Thomas Bryant.

The deals all have something in common: no guarantees beyond 2018, when the Lakers are expected to pursue free agents like Paul George and LeBron James.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Lakers still had the room exception, so they could’ve offered more than the minimum. They might have had to get Bryant to bypass the required tender, a one-year contract – surely guaranteed at the minimum – teams must extend to maintain draft rights to a second-round pick.

Bryant entered the draft a year too late. After looking like first rounder last year, he returned to Indiana and saw his stock slip. He’d have reason to bargain for more compensation.

Brook Lopez is clearly the Lakers’ top center, but there are minutes available behind him. Bryant will join Ivica Zubac in the effort to prove they play hard enough and have enough skill to overcome their lack of athleticism.