Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Report: Cavaliers working out Lance Stephenson, Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich, more

6 Comments

LeBron James complaining about the Cavaliers’ lack of spending wasn’t necessarily about making a big splash by trading for Carmelo Anthony. LeBron also wasn’t griping about money allocated to his guys: J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, James Jones.

There are common-sense moves Cleveland — which is down to nine healthy players with at least 100 career games of experience — can make to shore up its depth.

The Cavs have an open roster spot and could easily create another by waiving Chris Andersen, who’s on a one-year contract and out for the year. Sure, paying additional players would come with a cost, including luxury-tax payments. But it always seemed these were the fringe additions LeBron, who’s leading the NBA with 37.5 minutes per game, was prioritizing — especially at point guard.

Maybe the Cavaliers are finally answering his call.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

There are a few other free agent prospects that are expected to attend the session as well, sources say. Depending on how well the participants perform, sources with knowledge of the Cavaliers’ thinking believe one of them could be signed prior to the All-Star break.

Veteran point guards Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich, along with wing Lance Stephenson are scheduled to work out for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in hopes of inking a deal, league sources informed ESPN.

Chalmers, a teammate of LeBron on the Heat, was playing extremely well for the Grizzlies before tearing his Achilles last March. If he’s healthy, he’d be my top choice.

Stephenson is also recovering from injury, and he’ll have to overcome a checkered history with LeBron. Presumably, the Cavs wouldn’t have even invited Stephenson to the workout without LeBron’s blessing. Stephenson is talented and just 26, but he has mostly been lousy and sulky since leaving the Pacers (a brief stretch in Memphis excepted). Before signing him, I’d want a clear understanding of why he was so good in Indiana and so bad elsewhere and a confidence that my team could duplicate the Pacers’ environment. I would not chance signing him without both those elements.

The 36-year-old Hinrich has been washed up for years.

Magic sending Raptors draft pick as compensation for hiring Jeff Weltman

AP Photo/John Raoux
1 Comment

The Raptors promoted Jeff Weltman, still working under Masai Ujiri, to general manager last year.

That paid off for Toronto when the Magic hired Weltman as their new president.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Magic have their own and the Lakers’ second-round picks next year. Even the lower of those two selections could be somewhat value.

In other words, Weltman’s already-difficult job is getting even harder simply by Orlando hiring him.

LeBron James still striving to surpass Michael Jordan

AP Photo/Chuck Burton
Leave a comment

LeBron James has discussed chasing Michael Jordan’s “ghost,” motivating himself by trying surpass Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history.

Just 27 points behind Jordan for the all-time playoff scoring lead – a record he could break in Cavaliers-Celtics Game 5 tonight – LeBron is again discussing that pursuit.

LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“It’s just a personal goal of mine,” James said Thursday before Cavs shootaround in preparation of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. “It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated — that’s all.”

“You guys are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the day, it’s so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it’s never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback. It’s just like: [Dan] Marino, [John] Elway, [Peyton] Manning and [Tom] Brady. All great quarterbacks, you know — and it should be the same for us.

Jordan or LeBron? Save your hot takes. LeBron just burnt them all.

The greatest quarterback of all time is never debated? Claiming that is now the hottest take in the entire realm of the Jordan-LeBron debate.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue: Kyrie Irving feeling ‘good’ after ankle injury

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

BOSTON (AP) — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says that Kyrie Irving‘s left ankle is feeling “good” in advance of Cleveland’s Game 5 matchup Thursday night with the Celtics.

Irving was moving around and putting up shots during the Cavs’ morning shootaround.

The All-Star rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 4 when he stepped on Terry Rozier‘s foot. Irving was able to stay on the floor and finish the game, scoring a career playoff-high 42 points.

Cleveland leads Boston 3-1 and can wrap up its third straight Eastern Conference title Thursday night.

Several Celtics are also fighting injuries as they try to stave off elimination.

Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable with a right hip pointer. Jae Crowder is probable with a left groin strain, and Amir Johnson is probable with a right shoulder sprain.

Danny Ainge: Lonzo Ball declined to work out for Celtics, who hold No. 1 pick

11 Comments

LaVar Ball said his son, highly touted draft prospect Lonzo Ball, would work out for only the Lakers.

You thought he was bluffing?

Celtics president Danny Ainge, whose team holds the No. 1 pick, on 98.5 the Sports Hub:

We just tried to get him in for a workout, and they politely said no.

It’s not ideal.

Listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before. I mean, it’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We have a lot of information on them.

Good for Ball. Professional sports teams already hold inordinate power over players entering the workforce. In no other industry are top young employees assigned to a particular company, the worst-performing companies typically getting priority, with no ability to bargain with competitors.

Ball wants to play for the Lakers, who offer proximity to his family and hold the No. 2 pick. He can’t force Boston to pass on him or Los Angeles to pick him. But he can influence decision-making.

It seemed likely the Celtics would draft Markelle Fultz, and though they could still pick Ball, him declining a workout with Boston makes that only less likely. The Lakers will probably draft Ball, but this plan carries risk. If they pass, he could fall once he gets to teams less familiar with him.

Still, Ball deserves to decide for himself how to manage his career – especially in such a closed job market. Not working out for the Celtics is probably his best path to getting where he wans to go.