Author: Brett Pollakoff

Charlotte Hornets v Indiana Pacers

Report: Mo Williams ‘more than interested’ in making return to Cavaliers


Mo Williams is a 12-year NBA veteran who proved last season he’s more than capable of continuing to contribute at a very high level.

He also spent time with the Cavaliers, during the final two seasons LeBron James was in Cleveland before making the move to join the Miami Heat.

Williams is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and with his previous experience playing alongside James in Cleveland, he would welcome the opportunity to once again be a part of LeBron’s squad.

From Chris Haynes of

Soon-to-be unrestricted free agent point guard Mo Williams is “more than interested” in making a return to Cleveland, sources close to the guard informed Northeast Ohio Media Group.

However, due to their own pending powerhouse free agents, the Cavaliers will be limited in what they can offer. All they will have at their disposal is the taxpayer mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum. Williams is seeking a multiyear deal and the Cavaliers and Hornets are two of the teams at the top of his wish list, a source revealed. …

Williams and James have a great relationship, I’m told. If a deal could be worked out, I’m told the four-time MVP would welcome him with open arms.

That last part is important, especially in light of what’s gone on between LeBron and his head coach for the bulk of the season.

The reality is that James has as much power in the Cavaliers organization as he wants. He can make demands about who his head coach will or will not be, and just as we saw with guys like Mike Miller and James Jones (who played very sparingly in the postseason overall, but especially during the Finals), he can push the front office in a particular direction where acquiring his former teammates is concerned.

Williams started the year in Minnesota but finished the season as a member of the Hornets, and averaged 17.2 points and six assists in 30.8 minutes per contest in Charlotte, while making 27 appearances. He was an All-Star in 2009, after Chris Bosh was forced to miss the midseason exhibition due to injury.

As you can see in the clip below, Williams was more than happy to give thanks to Bosh for unintentionally giving him that opportunity.

Report: Cavaliers shopping Brendan Haywood, first round pick in trade to try to upgrade the roster

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Three

The Cavaliers have plenty of interesting decisions to make this summer, and it starts with LeBron James and Kevin Love, both of whom are more than likely to opt out of next year’s deals in order to become unrestricted free agents, before ultimately re-signing.

But the stars were always expected back. What’s unclear is what the role players and reserve unit will look like, considering that J.R. Smith is likely to opt out, and Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova are both restricted free agents, which means the Cavaliers could retain their rights if the offers they receive from other teams don’t reach the outlandish.

No matter what happens with the players we just mentioned, Cleveland needs upgrades to bolster the depth on its roster. And the team is already working to make things happen on that front, even with the Finals loss to the Warriors only in the rear view mirror for a few short days.

From Brian Windhorst of

Days after the end of the Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers are working on upgrading their roster by shopping the potentially valuable contract of Brendan Haywood, and — in some cases — offering it along with the 24th overall pick in Thursday’s draft, sources told

Haywood’s $10.5 million contract is not guaranteed for next season if he’s waived by Aug. 2. This could be attractive to a team looking to either offload salary now or use it as part of another deal that could be executed during free agency in July.

The Cavs have tested the market in swapping Haywood either for a player or a future draft pick, sources said. …

Any trade involving the Cavs’ first-round pick could not be executed until after the draft. They are precluded from trading their pick before making the selection because they already traded their 2016 first-round pick in the deal to acquire Kevin Love last summer. That pick now belongs to Philadelphia.

Haywood’s contract could theoretically be a nice trade chip that the Cavaliers could use to upgrade the roster, should a willing trade partner be out there who has an unfavorable contract sitting on its books.

This is just the beginning for what should be an intriguing summer in Cleveland. The way that James and Love choose to structure their next deals will remain something to watch, as will the moves that the Cavaliers are able to make to reload for next season so they can once again feel confident about their chances in securing a return trip to the Finals.

Steve Ballmer: Clippers should win a championship if they keep their ‘Big Three’ intact

Los Angeles Clippers Media Day

The Clippers eliminated the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs in what was an epic seven-game series, but ended their season on a sour note after a second-round collapse against the Houston Rockets.

L.A. held a 3-1 series lead before seeing it all slip away, and the lack of depth in place on the roster was a big reason why.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer believes the trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan should be good enough to win a title. But honestly, it just isn’t that simple.

From Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times:

“We believe we are very close. The key for us is not to blow things up.”

Start with the roster. Ballmer reiterated that the Clippers hope to re-sign potential free DeAndre Jordan — “We love D.J.” — and that with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, they have a title-worthy threesome.

“You have arguably three of the best 20 to 25 guys in the NBA,” Ballmer said. “You should be able to win it with three of the best 20 to 25 guys in the NBA. I don’t think you’ll find another team with three of the best 20 to 25 guys in the NBA.”

In the same piece, Ballmer puts a little bit of pressure on Doc Rivers the executive to improve the roster enough to where Ballmer’s statement can become truth instead of fiction.

The reality is that you need an extremely deep team to win a championship, and despite having Paul (second team), Griffin and Jordan (both third team) earn All-NBA status, this Clippers team had little to no help available when turning to their bench.

Jamal Crawford was there to provide offense, but the defense took a nose dive in lineups that featured him on the floor. Beyond that, there was only Austin Rivers, who (to put it mildly) was inconsistent, at best. That led to the Clippers being forced to play their stars heavy minutes in the postseason, and just as we saw with the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, short rotations come playoff time, when fatigue becomes a very real factor, are a recipe for disaster.

Jordan is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Clippers are on record as saying that they’ll offer him a max contract to entice him to stay. Keeping their so-called Big Three together is a fine start to L.A. becoming a championship contender. But they’ll need smaller tweaks to the roster (like the recent trade to acquire Lance Stephenson, for example) to ultimately pan out in order to achieve that elite level of success.