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Report: Cavaliers waiving Andrew Bogut, could waive DeAndre Liggins

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Andrew Bogut is out for the season.

The next dominos to fall?

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Cleveland plans to waive Bogut in order to free up a roster spot to replace the big man who was brought in for his rim-protecting and play-making abilities, a team source told ESPN. Bogut plans to rehabilitate back in his native Australia with his family.

The Cavs could waive an additional player — DeAndre Liggins would be the most likely candidate — to mitigate the cost hit it would require to replace Bogut, the source told ESPN.

The Cavs plan to make their roster adjustment following their upcoming three-game road trip through Detroit, Orlando and Houston, a source told ESPN.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s reported pledge to LeBron James to spend unconditionally demands waiving Bogut to sign a useful player. Cleveland might never call on its 15th man in the playoffs, but I bet LeBron cares more about having the safety net — no matter how superfluous — than its cost.

It’s also a logical move for a team with an open championship window. This isn’t the time to cut corners. The upside is too high.

Signing another player would cost the Cavs $20,185 daily for the rest of the regular season ($5,767 in salary, $14,418 in luxury tax). There will be 30 days left in the season after their three-game road trip, which would mean a total of $605,560.

Waiving Liggins would save Cleveland money only if someone claims him. Otherwise, the Cavs are on the hook for his full salary plus the resulting luxury-tax hit. Presumably, they’d find another team that agrees to claim him before waiving him.

Another team claiming Liggins would save the Cavaliers $2,712,506 ($173,266 in salary, $2,539,240 in luxury tax).

Dropping Liggins, whether or not he’s claimed, would also open a roster spot. Filling it would again cost $20,185 daily.

Assume the Cavs use the Bogut opening to sign their top available target. After that, is there really a second free agent who’d help more on the court than Liggins? I’d probably rather just have Liggins, a defensive-minded wing.

Waiving Bogut and signing another player is only logical. That shouldn’t buy the Cavaliers leeway to waive Liggins to save money — unless they have a veteran replacement in mind who’s more ready to contribute in the playoffs. But the onus would be on them to find that player.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.