Kay Felder

Getty Images

Report: Bucks “serious suitor” for soon-to-be free agent Richard Jefferson

4 Comments

The trade officially went down on Saturday: Richard Jefferson was traded from Cleveland to Atlanta, along with Kay Felder, for a couple of second-round picks in what was a salary dump move by the Cavaliers.

As soon as the Hawks got Jefferson, they waived him and ate his $2.5 million contract. That will make Jefferson an unrestricted free agent when he clears waivers.

The young Milwaukee Bucks look like a team who want to add a veteran to their locker room and are making a big push for Jefferson, reports Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The Milwaukee Bucks have emerged as a serious suitor in the pursuit of forward Richard Jefferson, league sources told ESPN.com.

No agreement has been reached, but the Bucks and Jefferson, 37, share a mutual interest on a possible deal once he clears waivers on Monday, league sources said.

Several other teams have expressed interest in Jefferson too, league sources told ESPN.

Earlier in the day, Saturday the Bucks released Gerald Green, which opens up a roster spot.

Jefferson played 20 minutes a game for the Cavaliers last season, and at age 37 he could give the Bucks solid minutes behind Khris Middleton and Mirza Teletovic at the three. Jefferson is no longer efficient as a scorer, but he plays within himself, and coach Tyronn Lue leaned him more in the Finals because of the need for wing defenders against the Warriors.

For Milwaukee, however, it’s less about the minutes and more about having a great veteran mentor in the locker room on a team with young stars such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Thon Maker, Malcolm Brogdon, Jabari Parker, and Tony Snell.

Also, don’t be shocked to see the Bucks make a salary dump trade in the coming weeks (or at least by the trade deadline), they are flirting with the luxury tax, something ownership may not want to pay for a team not going to contend.

Report: Cavaliers near deal to send Richard Jefferson, Kay Felder to Hawks

Getty Images
2 Comments

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a loaded roster with more guaranteed contracts than available roster spots, and a healthy tax bill coming. Looks like they have found a trade to help with those problems.

Veteran Richard Jefferson and young point guard Kay Felder are close to being traded to Atlanta with some second round picks in a salary dump that only brings back European draft rights players, something first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports and since confirmed by multiple sources, with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN filling in key details.

The Cavaliers get out of having to pay a guaranteed player not to play (Jefferson was owed $2.5 million), which saves them both money and tax. I wonder how LeBron James takes this, he and Jefferson are tight.

The Hawks will eat the salaries and plan to waive both Jefferson (owed $2.5 million) and Felder ($455,000 guaranteed). They both become free agents. The real key here for the Hawks is they get a couple of second round picks for the trouble of taking on the salaries. The cash doesn’t hurt either.

Basically, this is end of the roster bit of player shuffling.

However, there is one important impact — this may be the end of the brilliant Road Trippin’ podcast. Jefferson and Channing Frye‘s podcast has been insightful, funny, and a must-listen. Not sure how it continues now, but I hope they find a way.

Report: Richard Jefferson may be odd man out with Cavaliers

Getty Images
2 Comments

The Cleveland Cavaliers have 16 players with guaranteed contracts in training camp.

They can only carry 15 into the season, which means someone is going to get paid not to play.

That may be veteran Richard Jefferson, reports Jason Lloyd at the Athletic.

First off, backup point guard Kay Felder, who is on a partially guaranteed contract, almost certainly will be let go. Then it gets to the guaranteed contracts on the wing, and the Cavs have LeBron James, Jeff Green, Dwyane Wade, J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert, and Cedi Osman. That’s a lot of depth. Even though the Cavaliers turned to Jefferson during the NBA Finals last season for regular rotation minutes, that was really about the need for wing defenders, which he still did better than most on the roster. This season there is that depth.

What the Cavaliers would prefer to do is trade Jefferson because it saves them money — he is on a $2.5 million contract but with the repeater luxury tax hit he costs them $10.5 million. Trade him and all those costs go away, but the Cavaliers will struggle to find anyone interested in the 37-year-old unless they attach a sweetener (a likely second-round pick).

Either way, it looks like Jefferson’s run in Cleveland is done.

Report: Cavaliers called Warriors about Kyrie Irving-Klay Thompson trade

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
7 Comments

The Warriors rejected a Klay ThompsonPaul George trade offer from the Pacers.

What about Thompson for Kyrie Irving, who’s younger than George and locked up for an additional season (the same amount of time as Thompson for a similar price)?

Apparently, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman inquired before sending Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

It would be hard to believe that Altman could have landed a better trade than the Boston one. He did call the uninterested Warriors about Klay Thompson, a source said.

I’m not sure what this trade would’ve accomplished for either team.

The Warriors obviously already have a point guard in Stephen Curry. Though Irving isn’t the best distributor, his handles and defense push him to point guard. Curry and Irving would have been a tough fit together. Golden State knows Curry and Thompson are a championship-caliber pairing.

Thompson would have been a big upgrade at shooting guard in Cleveland, but the Cavs would have been woefully undermanned at point guard. Derrick Rose, Jose Calderon and Kay Felder wouldn’t cut it. At least the Cavaliers have decent options at shooting guard with J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Kyle Korver.

The Warriors would’ve never said yes, which is fortunate for the Cavs. They did better in their trade with Boston, anyway. Thomas can step in at point guard while Crowder still provides much-needed wing depth – plus Zizic and that sweet, sweet Nets pick.

Report: Derrick Rose meeting with Lakers

David Banks/Getty Images
7 Comments

Derrick Rose is suddenly in demand – once the market was set at a minimum salary or so.

Not only are the Cavaliers pursuing the former MVP/overhyped role player, so are the Lakers.

ESPN:

Rose is also meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, sources told ESPN’s Chris Haynes and Ramona Shelburne. The Lakers are trying to entice Rose to sign with them, suggesting they can offer more playing time and money in a better environment after Rose’s tumultuous season in New York, sources said.

Rose’s tumultuous season was due in part to Rose. No matter where he signs, he can’t escape himself. And Los Angeles is even further from his native Chicago.

But the Lakers can offer more money. They still have the $4,328,000 room exception. Rose would earn just $2,116,955 on a minimum salary from Cleveland, and the Cavs can bump that offer to only about $2.5 million. (That’d come with exponential additional costs, so they probably wouldn’t do that, anyway.)

The Lakers can also offer a larger role. Lonzo Ball can’t play every minute at point guard, and Rose would fill in the rest. They’ll likely add a point guard, Rose or not. The Cavaliers might be set with Kyrie Irving, Jose Calderon and Kay Felder if they don’t get Rose.

I’m not sure how Rose would work as a veteran mentor, especially on a one-year contract as he eyes a bigger payday next summer. But – say whatever else you want about him, and there’s plenty to say – Rose has remained impressively focused on basketball amid untold chaos. Ball – with outsized attention given LaVar and his media market – can probably relate.