Washington Wizards forward Jared Dudley (1) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) with guard Leandro Barbosa, from Brazil, nearby during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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.

Carmelo Anthony says he’s recruiting Kevin Durant to Knicks

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17:  NBA players Carmelo Anthony (L) and NBA player Kevin Durant (R) attends Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2014 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 17, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Nickelodeon)
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Nickelodeon
1 Comment

Kevin Durant reportedly eliminated the Knicks as an option in free agency. He has set meetings with six other teams – but not New York.

None of that is stopping Carmelo Anthony.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony told ESPN on Monday that his recruitment of marquee free agent Kevin Durant has already begun and will not be affected “whether he meets with the Knicks or not.”

‎”I’m with KD now; he’s right downstairs,” Anthony told ESPN in an interview that will air later Monday on SportsCenter. “We’ve been together. We’ve been talking.

“I do consider myself part of the Knicks,” Anthony continued, “so that meeting has already taken place.”

Anthony has been at this for months. Why stop this close to the finish line, even if the Knicks’ odds are long?

They play in a market that can attract elite talent. It’s worth taking a swing at Durant.

Anthony might even be laying the groundwork for next year, when Kristaps Porzingis will be a year closer to his peak and Derrick Rose‘s expiring contract will create cap space.

Report: Kevin Durant would sign one-year contract even if leaving Thunder, other teams preparing for 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives against Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
J Pat Carter/Getty Images
3 Comments

Kevin Durant is setting up his meetings: Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Celtics and Heat.

Word is already leaking about the approach the superstar and his courters will take.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports on CBS Sports Radio:

I think that Oklahoma City remains the frontrunner – and I think a strong frontrunner.

I’m told even if he left, he would do a one-year deal somewhere. Because economically, it makes sense for him to do a one-year deal and then do the longer deal after it. It’ll be worth more money because the cap goes up again next year. But Oklahoma City is a frontrunner. They’re a strong frontrunner.

The one thing about the KD meetings – and I’ve gotten this from several teams – a lot of them really see it more as they probably, listen, they’d love to get him now, but they kind of feel like they’re planting the seed and laying the groundwork for next year. They all know he’s likely to stay in OKC – or certainly, it’s going to be hard to convince him to leave. They feel like they’re laying the groundwork for the 2017 free agency by getting in front of him now, telling the story of their organization and how they view his future with them, and that maybe they get another crack at him next summer.

I’m extremely skeptical Durant would sign a 1+1 contract anywhere but Oklahoma City. Every other team would need to carve out cap space to sign him to his max salary in 2017 (unless a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is ratified with different rules).

How can another team clear cap room for Durant this summer, build a competitive roster for 2016-17 and still have max cap room in 2017? If it’s not unfeasible, it’s close.

The Thunder are different, because they’d have his Bird Rights in 2017 after a one-year contract. They wouldn’t need cap space to give him his max next summer.

I do believe that teams – especially the Heat (dealing with Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane this summer), Celtics (not yet added another complementary star) and Clippers (minimal roster flexibility) – will push for Durant to become a free agent again in 2017. Durant’s re-signing with Oklahoma City on a one-year contract must be a lot of teams’ second choice over him choosing them.

That’s not true for the Warriors, the consensus No. 2 in the race. They can create cap room this summer, and if Durant doesn’t come, they’ll have to invest in longer-term options. They’re too good to put everything on hold another year (which is why them signing him to a 1+1 and leaving max 2017 cap space for him is practically unworkable).

Report: 11-year-old LeBron James Jr. has scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with his sons LeBron Jr. and Bryce after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
3 Comments

Ohio State coach Thad Matta has competition.

More college teams pursuing him than just the Buckeyes are pursuing 11-year-old LeBron James Jr., whose talent is evident.

Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

he already has standing scholarship offers from both Duke and Kentucky, according to a source

These aren’t real scholarship offers. If LeBron Jr. gets hurt or doesn’t pan out, Duke and Kentucky are under no obligation to pay for his college.

These offers are just for show – to develop a rapport with a recruit, to show you believed in him before others (again, though, that’s a sham), to gain publicity (you’re welcome).

But in this case, if you think you’re currying favor with his famous father, think again.

Report: After Nicolas Batum, prioritize re-signing Marvin Williams

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 27:Marvin Williams #2 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts to a three pointer  during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on April 27, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
3 Comments

Re-signing Nicolas Batum is the Hornets’ top offseason objective.

After him, how does Charlotte prioritize all its other key free agents: Marvin Williams, Courtney Lee, Jeremy Lin and Al Jefferson?

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

The Charlotte Hornets would like to re-sign free agent Jeremy Lin but are fearful of losing the point guard, according to league sources.

The Hornets’ top priority is bringing back Nicolas Batum, their free-agent swingman who had a breakout season, and they also want to re-sign Marvin Williams, who is a strong presence in the locker room, sources said.

The Hornets have Williams’ Early Bird rights, meaning they can exceed the cap to re-sign him on a deal starting up to $12.25 million (175% of his previous salary). I don’t think that’ll be enough. They’ll likely need to use cap space to re-sign him.

If the Hornets keep Lee’s relatively low cap hold on the books (then use his Bird Rights to exceed the cap to re-sign him), they’d have less than $10 million to spend on Williams, Lin and Jefferson (pretty much an afterthought in this discussion). I doubt that’s enough for Williams or Lin.

So, renouncing Lee makes sense, especially since Charlotte just traded for another shooting guard, Marco Belinelli. Renouncing Lee would give the Hornets nearly $20 million to re-sign Williams or Lin – and that might be enough.

Starting power forwards are more important than backup point guards, so prioritizing Williams is logical. In the same vein, Lin might take a slightly lower offer to start elsewhere rather than return to back up Kemba Walker. It’s far more difficult to see Williams walking if Charlotte makes his best financial offer.

All this assumes Batum re-signs. If he doesn’t, that’d open room for at least two of Williams, Lin and Lee to return.

But as is, the Hornets are trying to navigate a difficult maze.