Author: Brett Pollakoff

Squawk Box - Season 20

Mark Cuban fined $25K for commenting on free agents DeAndre Jordan, Wes Matthews


The Mavericks came away with a couple of very nice pickups in free agency, stealing DeAndre Jordan away from the Clippers and taking a bit of a chance on Wes Matthews, who is coming off of a season-ending Achilles’ injury as a member of the Blazers.

But while players and agents are allowed to discuss these impending moves, teams are prohibited from doing so during a moratorium period that this year lasts until July 9.

Marc Stein of

ESPN sources say Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been fined $25,000 for publicly discussing Mavs’ looming deals w/DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews

The reason for the moratorium on signings is because the salary cap for the upcoming season has not been officially set.

Larry Coon explains:

Free agents become free on July 1, but the salary cap is not set until the league’s audit is completed later in the month. Teams and players must wait for the salary cap to be set before trades and most free agent signings can commence. Teams may negotiate with free agents beginning July 1, but they have to wait until the moratorium ends before signing a contract.

Cuban was obviously excited to land Jordan and Matthews, and jumped the gun a little on publicly discussing the new additions. The league handed down what amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Report: Kevin Garnett to re-sign with Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett spent the first 12 years of his NBA career in Minnesota with the Timberwolves, and was traded back there in what was mostly a feel-good move by the franchise at the deadline last season.

Garnett appeared in just five games in total for the Timberwolves, and sat out the team’s final 21 games of the regular season.

He was always expected back, though, and met with several players as part of Minnesota’s pre-draft process. Garnett’s return now appears to be somewhat official.

From 1500ESPN:

Long expected to re-sign in Minnesota for at least another year at age 39, Garnett’s contract is “done,” according to 1500ESPN contributor Darren Wolfson.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known.

“I’m incredibly excited and rejuvenated to be a part of this talented, committed team,” Garnett said, in a statement passed along to Wolfson.

Marc Stein of reports that it’ll be a two-year deal once the free agency moratorium is lifted later this week.

Garnett will likely act as a mentor for the team’s stable of young bigs, which includes a reigning Rookie of the Year in Andrew Wiggins, a former No. 1 overall pick in Anthony Bennett, and this summer’s top pick in the NBA Draft, Karl-Anthony Towns.

This will be Garnett’s 21st season, which ties him with Robert Parish and Kevin Willis for the most all-time in NBA history.

Report: Cavaliers ‘have not abandoned’ pursuit of J.R. Smith

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks - Game One

Cavaliers GM David Griffin said the team was open to re-signing J.R. Smith, under the right set of circumstances.

Smith declined his player option for next season, and is an unrestricted free agent. He wasn’t much help during the NBA Finals, where his 24-of-77 shooting over the course of the six-game series played a part in the team’s downfall against the Warriors.

After adding some guard depth in Mo Williams, it was worth wondering if the Cavaliers had moved on from their interest in retaining Smith. But the team is reportedly intent on bringing everyone from last year’s squad back if at all possible.

Marc Stein of

Sources say Cavs remain intent on signing restricted free agent Matthew Dellavedova

Early indications are Cavs likewise have NOT abandoned JR Smith pursuit. They seem intent on keeping whole band together. And adding to it

The problem for the Cavaliers last season — in addition to the obvious, which were the injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving that left the team extremely shorthanded — was having “depth” that was incapable of providing anywhere close to a consistent level of production.

Mike Miller, Joe Harris, Brendan Haywood, Kendrick Perkins (and even James Jones to a certain extent) took up valuable spots on the roster, but weren’t trustworthy enough to earn significant playing time, when fatigue was clearly a factor during the championship series.

There are other moves that Cleveland is considering, like bringing in Jamal Crawford in trade from the Clippers. But it appears as though they’d like to bring back the rest of the guys who played heavy minutes in the rotation last season, too, as long as the price is right.

Jazz GM says he’ll have news for fans soon regarding contract issue with Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles

The Jazz selected Trey Lyles with the 12th overall pick in the NBA Draft, but he hasn’t yet practiced with the team, and remains unsigned to his rookie-scale deal.

There’s little negotiation where the contracts of first round picks are concerned. There is a set number allocated depending on where they are selected, but players are able to sign for up to 120 percent of this number, and often times do.

Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey told fans not to worry, however, and expects that the situation will be resolved very soon.

Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune:

“We’ll have some news for our fans here real short, so no worries,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey told 1280 The Zone on Monday evening.

Lindsey has previously said that, while there were some ongoing negotiations, the primary the hold-up in getting the team’s first-round draft pick signed lay with Jazz management, who wanted to keep the player temporarily out of contract in order to maintain a small amount of extra cap space.

“Trey and his representation worked with us very well,” Lindsey said. “Like we said, it was more than likely we weren’t going to use that room, but when you need the room and you’ve used it it always comes up, guys. So we needed to get through the first part of free agency to have the conversations that we needed to have and clarity about what we’re doing. And we have very good clarity as of today.”

This is about salary cap space, and nothing else.

It’s fairly common for teams to wait on signing their newly-drafted rookies during the July free agency period while they weigh their options. In the case of the Lakers and Julius Randle last season, for example, he missed L.A.’s initial Summer League contest, before finally signing with the team 20 minutes before its second game.

Jahlil Okafor finishes with 20 points, 10 rebounds in Summer League debut for Sixers (VIDEO)

Utah Jazz Summer League

Jahlil Okafor fell to the Sixers on draft night after the Lakers selected D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick.

But in his first taste of Summer League action, Okafor seemed like anything but a consolation prize.

The big man showed off a variety of skills on the offensive end of the floor, and though he shot just 10-of-22 from the field, he finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and looked NBA-ready at times while doing so.