Report: Cavaliers sign Scotty Hopson for rest of season


On Feb. 5, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Lakers, who literally ran out of players.

That was the low point for Cleveland, which had already made its big splash by trading for Luol Deng and still lost six straight to fall to 12th – behind Boston! – in a putrid Eastern Conference. The season seemed lost.

Suddenly, the Cavaliers have won four of five and are just 2.5 games behind the slumping Hawks for the East’s eighth and final playoff spot. Sure, 2.5 games out with 7 (for Cleveland) to 10 (for Atlanta) games remaining is a lot, and the Cavaliers would still have to jump the Knicks, who are just one game back from the Hawks.

But considering where Cleveland was just a short time ago, these playoff odds are incredible. So, it’s all hands on deck.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

Hopson, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard, went undrafted out of Tennessee in 2011 and has not played in the NBA. He seemed to have draft-level talent, but maybe general managers were turned off by his confidence/arrogance. See what you want to see in this pre-draft video:


NBA GM after interviewing Scotty Hopson: “That guy is not from the same planet as the rest of us.”

Hopson has spent the last few years playing overseas, and maybe he’s tempered his own expectations. Or maybe he’s driven to prove himself correct. Or maybe he’s self-destructively delusion.

The narrative will be ascribed after we see how Hopson plays.

With Kyrie Irving (though he could return soon) and C.J. Miles injured, Cleveland’s backcourt depth is a little thin. Hopson might actually get a chance to contribute, especially considering the Cavaliers gave him a rest-of-season, rather than 10-day, contract. That must mean they like him.

Report: Hawks co-owner made more money by exposing Danny Ferry’s Luol Deng comments

Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson
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A terribly kept secret: Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wanted to get rid of general manager Danny Ferry.

Many believe that’s why Gearon made such a big deal about Ferry’s pejorative “African” comment about Luol Deng – that Gearon was more concerned about ousting Ferry than showing real concern over racism.

Gearon had another, no less sinister, reason to raise concern over Ferry’s remarks.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout.

In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources.

“We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”

Approximately five weeks later — just a little more than a week before the fateful conference call — Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Clippers, a record-smashing price that completely changed the assessed value of NBA franchises. Gearon firmly maintains he was acting out of the sincerity of his convictions to safeguard the franchise from the Sterling stench, but such a spectacle also allowed him to wiggle out of selling his shares at far below market value.

Gearon and his legal team later challenged the notion that the sell-down was bound by any sort of contractual obligation and that any papers were signed. Once the organization became involved in the investigation, the sale of the shares was postponed.

Arnovitz and Windhorst did an incredible amount of reporting here. I suggest you read the full piece, which includes much more background on the Gearon-Ferry rift.

Considering the Hawks sold for $850 million, Gearon definitely made more money than if he’d sold his shares at a $450 million valuation.

Did that motivate him? Probably, though it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Most likely, his actions were derived from at least three desires – making more money, ousting Ferry and combating racism. Parsing how much each contributed is much more difficult.

What Ferry said was racist, whether or not he was looking at more racism on the sheet of paper in front of him. His comments deserved punishment.

But if Gearon didn’t have incentive to use them for his own benefit, would we even know about them? How many other teams, with more functional front offices, would have kept similar remarks under wraps or just ignored them?

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

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With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.