Dan Feldman

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Report: James Jones not returning to Cavaliers

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LeBron James and James Jones have played the last seven years together, with the Heat then Cavaliers. LeBron even once said he, Jones and Mike Miller were the real big three.

But it appears LeBron’s run with Jones is ending.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

A source close to the Cavs said Jones would not be back in 2016-17. Jones’ agent, Joel Bell, said neither the team nor Jones had made a decision about his return.

Jones turns 37, and he’s increasingly less capable of helping on the court. He’s still a good 3-point shooter and locker room presence, but the Cavs already have plenty of both. They’d be better off using his roster spot on someone younger and more defensive-oriented.

Of course, LeBron isn’t required to agree. He’s already displeased how the Cavaliers let go general manager David Griffin and reportedly not recruiting free agents this summer. Los Angeles looms in the distance.

Winning cures all ills, and if the Cavs replace Jones with someone who helps them win a title, LeBron will get over any dissatisfaction. But the expectations are that high, and the Warriors are a behemoth. Even the optimal Jones replacement might still leave Cleveland falling short.

At that point, if Jones wanted to return, might this be another move that pushes LeBron out the door?

Jazz GM on how Gordon Hayward left: ‘There’s probably a few adjectives there. That may be a conversation for a later date’

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey hasn’t spoken with Gordon Hayward since the All-Star announced he was heading to the Boston Celtics. The two have texted back and forth, however.

Lindsey wouldn’t lament Hayward’s choice to take Boston’s $128 million offer, understanding that it’s a personal decision that was made. But the process has left the Jazz in a bit of a bind. There were contingency plans in place in case Hayward left, but most available marquee players had made their decisions before Tuesday.

“Timing has been problematic,” Lindsey said Wednesday. “It’s time for us to pivot. It’s time for us to move on. We like our young group and we think we’re going to keep the defensive integrity.

“There’s not as many prospects left on the board because of the timing. So we’ll take a look at it, prospects at every level.”

Things took a bizarre turn Tuesday as early reports had Hayward going to Boston, but his agent later put out a statement that the decision had not been made. Hours later, it was announced through a Hayward-written post on The Players’ Tribune .

Lindsey declined to address the way it was handled or the way he was informed.

“There’s probably a few adjectives there,” Lindsey said. “That may be a conversation for a later date.”

The Jazz are losing 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and their lone All-Star that helped return the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

“Certainly we will miss Gordon and his many contributions to our team, but I always tell our players that `adversity is opportunity in disguise,”‘ Jazz coach Quin Snyder said in a statement. “This is one of those moments and we need to live those words. We have a roster of young, talented and resilient players. I am confident that together we will accept this challenge while continuing to strive toward our goal of individual and collective improvement.

“To further lament Gordon’s departure does not honor the commitment we have to our current players.”

 

Report: Cavaliers lowballed Chauncey Billups on salary

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Chauncey Billups – who has long desired a front-office job – pulled out of the Cavaliers’ president search.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

A source said Billups wanted more money than owner Dan Gilbert offered; the offer was believed to be in the $2 million to $3 million range annually.

Chris Haynes and Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

According to sources, the team’s initial offer was $1.5 million. League sources tell ESPN $4 million is typically the starting point of what an individual in that role should earn.

This shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Gilbert clearly believes front-office leaders are somewhat interchangeable and therefore shouldn’t be paid a premium. That contributed to David Griffin’s exit.

LeBron James clearly disliked how Cleveland lost Griffin, and considering LeBron already thought Gilbert wasn’t spending enough (even if it was a lot), this probably won’t sit well with the 2018 unrestricted free agent, either.

Report: Pacers sign second-rounder Edmond Sumner to two-year, two-way contract

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers have signed second-round draft pick Edmond Sumner.

Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports:

Sumner was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the 52nd overall pick and acquired in a draft-night deal. The Pacers picked up the 6-foot-6, 176-pound point guard for cash considerations.

At Xavier, Sumner averaged 11.4 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds, and he could see significant action this season after a major offseason overhaul.

Indiana also drafted T.J. Leaf in the first round and Ike Anigbogu in the second round.

 

Report: Clippers have contacted Grizzlies about Tony Allen sign-and-trade

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The Clippers went outside Doc Rivers’ comfort zone by getting Danilo Gallinari, who neither played for nor against the president/coach in a playoff series.

But the Clippers might be returning to hold habits with Tony Allen, who played for Rivers on the Celtics’ 2008 championship team.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Allen – a dogged defender, even at age 35 – would join the Clippers’ hodgepodge of players trying to keep the team competitive around Blake Griffin and without Chris Paul. Allen would be a nice defensive-minded alternative to Lou Williams at shooting guard, though it seems Doc Rivers likes Austin Rivers in that role.

The question is how Allen would get to L.A.

Receiving Gallinari in a sign-and-trade hard-capped the Clippers, but they still have about $8.7 million in wiggle room beyond just rounding out the roster with minimum players. L.A. has the mid-level exception and a $7,273,631 trade exception at its disposal.

The $8,406,000 mid-level exception would likely be more than enough for Allen, but there are advantages to getting him in a sign-and-trade. Namely, it would allow the Clippers to use the mid-level exception on someone else in addition.

The Clippers might like to unload salary if acquiring Allen, but there’s no reason for that to be done with with the Grizzlies rather than any other team. That $7,273,631 trade exception would probably do the trick in a sign-and-trade. Considering how much Allen has meant to the franchise, Memphis – ready to move on – might just sign-and-trade him into the Clippers’ trade exception just to gain its own trade exception and nothing more.

Allen would have to sign a three-year-deal to be signed-and-traded, but only the first year must be guaranteed. He probably wouldn’t mind the Clippers controlling his future at a reasonable salary, especially because he might not have bigger multi-year-guarantee alternatives from other teams at his age.