AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Report: Cavaliers interested in trading for Wizards’ Jared Dudley

4 Comments

The Cavaliers reportedly want another wing.

How about the Wizards’ Jared Dudley?

Brian Windhorst on ESPN Cleveland:

The Cavs would love to get their hands on Jared Dudley.

They tried to trade for Jared Dudley. They kicked around trading for Jared Dudley last summer.

With the Warriors hoarding so many of the NBA’s few good wings – Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala – and using them simultaneously with Draymond Green and Stephen Curry in their nuclear lineup, the rest of the league is trying to catch up.

The Cavs have a decent start with LeBron James, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, but they could use more depth. When the goal is a championship, it’s better to leave nothing to chance.

Dudley – a 3-and-D player – would be a nice fit. He’s capable of handling bigger opponents in mismatches, which would take some of the burden off LeBron. Dudley could play a role similar to Shane Battier, who played power forward with the Heat so LeBron could remain at small forward.

But would the Wizards trade Dudley?

At 21-26, 10th in the Eastern Conference and four games from postseason position, they look like playoff long shots. On the other hand, they’re getting healthier. Their best path might be staying the course – hoping to play well enough to impress Kevin Durant in free agency. The odds appear further against them landing the Washington D.C. native than ever, but the upside remains so high, it might be worth sticking to the plan.

Unless Cleveland offers enough to pry loose Dudley.

One of the Cavs’ prime trade chips, Timofey Mozgov, probably wouldn’t interest the Wizards, who have Marcin Gortat and Nene. Cleveland has a trade exception large enough to absorb Dudley’s salary, but Washington would obviously want something in return. Cleveland could surrender a future first-round pick, the first available almost certainly being in 2018. But that’s a steep price for a 30-year-old headed into free agency and due a raise.

The more-immediate costs would be large, too. Simply adding Dudley’s salary would increase the Cavaliers’ projected luxury-tax bill by $18,358,897.

Chasing a championship is costly, but the Cavs might need Dudley.

I bet they wish they got in the mix last summer, when the Bucks essentially gave away Dudley to the Wizards. Now, Cleveland is faced with a tougher challenge for getting wing help.

PBT Extra: How big a threat are Pelicans to Warriors?

Leave a comment

Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and the New Orleans Pelicans were the surprise of the first round of the NBA playoffs. We knew they were good, but they looked dominant on both ends sweeping the three-seed Portland Trail Blazers right out of the postseason (and into a somber period of reflection).

New Orleans looked like the best team in the West in the first round and now they take all that momentum to Golden State where… let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

In this PBT Extra I discuss how the Pelicans have found an identity, but the matchups against Warriors are dramatically more challenging than what they saw in Portland. And that’s before Stephen Curry returns to the fold.

The Pelicans are a great story, but the pecking order in the West is real for good reason.

Nuggets’ Mason Plumlee undergoes surgery to fix core-muscle injury

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Leave a comment

DENVER — Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee underwent surgery to fix a core-muscle injury.

The team said Plumlee had the procedure performed Thursday morning by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.

Plumlee is expected to return to basketball activities this summer and be ready for training camp in the fall. He averaged 7.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists for a Nuggets team that narrowly missed out on the postseason.

The 28-year-old Plumlee was acquired by Denver as part of a deal in February 2017 that sent center Jusuf Nurkic to Portland. Plumlee signed a three-year, $41 million deal with the Nuggets last September.

 

PBT Extra: Spurs many off-season questions start with Kawhi Leonard

Leave a comment

San Antonio has a lot of roster questions heading into this summer. When Danny Green opts out at $10 million a year, how much do they offer to bring back a key wing defender? What about Tony Parker, an unrestricted free agent? Will Manu Ginobili come back at age 78 41 for another season?

But at the top of the list: Can the Spurs relationship with Kawhi Leonard be repaired?

If so, do they trust his health enough to offer him the $219 million designated veteran max extension?

If not, do they test the trade market (likely we will know the answer to that around the draft, well before July 1)?

I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.

NBA makes it official: LeBron did goaltend on Oladipo’s final shot

Getty Images
11 Comments

Ultimately, this is moot. Nothing changes — not the critical last Pacers possession, not the fact LeBron James drained a three afterwards (and may well have anyway). All it provides is a little validation for frustrated Pacers fans and players.

Yes, LeBron did goaltend on Victor Oladipo‘s shot with 5.1 seconds remaining in what was then a tie game between the Pacers and Cavaliers. The NBA confirmed it in its Last Two Minute Report on Game 5 in that series. From the report.

“(Above the rim view) shows that James (CLE) blocks Oladipo’s (IND) shot attempt after it makes contact with the backboard.”

Oladipo called it goaltending. However, the officials didn’t call goaltending on the play, therefore it was not reviewable. Often on bang-bang plays like this one an official will call goaltending just to give themselves the chance to review it, but this crew did not (and that is a tough call to make accurately in real time).

From there, LeBron went on to hit the dramatic game-winning three that gave Cleveland the win and a 3-2 series lead.

The report also concluded that it was Thaddeus Young who knocked the ball out of bounds on the baseline with 27.6 seconds left, knocking the ball out of LeBron’s hands. The ball bounced on the line — and was therefore out, but the official didn’t call it — then bounced back up, hit LeBron on the arm and went clearly out of bounds. The referee called the second bounce after it hit LeBron. From the report:

“(Video) shows that Young (IND) deflects the ball away from James (CLE) and it lands out of bounds, but there is no whistle. The ball then bounces and hits James’ arm and lands out of bounds again, which is called. Possession of the ball is incorrectly awarded to the Pacers.”

One other note to Pacers fans: The goaltending call is not why Indiana lost. Oladipo shot 2-of-15 on the night. Darren Collison had a very an off night, was not aggressive, and was 1-of-5 shooting. There are a myriad of plays and decisions that go into a game, one blown call is not why the Pacers lost.

The question is can they regroup at home, get more secondary playmaking and buckets from someone other Oladipo, and can their defense force a Game 7? It can, but they have to put the end of Game 5 behind them first.