Report: Cavaliers to sign Andrew Wiggins as early as Wednesday

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We passed along the report a couple of days ago that the Cavaliers were expected to sign Andrew Wiggins to his rookie contract sometime this week, and discussed at the time how that may or may not impact any trade talks Cleveland has going with the Timberwolves on a potential deal for Kevin Love.

The only thing that’s changed since then is that we may have a firm date for Wiggins to be signed, and it could be as early as Wednesday.

From Tom Withers of The Associated Press:

A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cavs will sign the No. 1 overall pick to his deal, an agreement that would prevent any potential trade involving the small forward from being completed for 30 days.

Wiggins has been linked to a possible trade with Minnesota for All-Star forward Kevin Love. The person familiar with the talks says Wiggins will sign with Cleveland as early as Wednesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on its plans.

Signing Wiggins wouldn’t necessarily take him out of trade talks for Love; it would merely delay the earliest date when the transaction could be completed. But a trade for Love involving Wiggins could still be agreed to before then, just as free agent signings are during the moratorium period in the early days of July.

Reports have conflicted on whether or not Wiggins has been made available in a deal for Love — we’ve heard that both he and Anthony Bennett could be dealt, and we’ve heard Cavaliers head coach David Blatt say that Wiggins is “not going anywhere,” as well.

Obviously, it remains to be seen whether Wiggins might be traded, or even if the Cavaliers are able to put together a strong enough package to entice Minnesota to part ways with Love at all — especially now that the Bulls have re-entered the picture. But either way, it looks like Wiggins will be under contract with Cleveland beginning this week.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.