Dan Feldman

NBA promoting Isaiah Thomas Cavaliers jerseys

1 Comment

Update: Apparently, this promotion was too weird for the NBA. The tweet was deleted, but here’s a screenshot:

image

The Cavaliers-Celtics trade is hanging in limbo.

But who wants an Isaiah Thomas Cavs jersey?

https://twitter.com/NBASTORE/status/902154406648479744

It’s a little weird to see the NBA hawk this stuff when it’s clear the trade might get voided. But the league must unload its Adidas gear before Nike takes over.

And, hey, these could be collectors’ items.

Report: Cavaliers hadn’t requested anything of Celtics, as of Sunday afternoon

4 Comments

The Cavaliers and Celtics are both posturing in the wake of Isaiah Thomasconcerning physical, which threatens to upend the Kyrie Irving trade.

But actual negotiations about reworking the deal?

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

According to a previous report, the Cavs planned to ask for additional compensation. There’s still plenty of time for them to do so.

But that they haven’t yet suggests they could still accept the trade as is. After all, the Nets’ first-round pick is an incredibly valuable asset, and Jae Crowder would bolster Cleveland in a matchup with the Warriors. Ante Zizic isn’t nothing. And Thomas could still play well after his hip recovers. A physical can’t perfectly predict his future.

Still, I expect the Cavaliers to seek more from Boston before Wednesday night. The bigger question: What happens if the Celtics say no?

Report: Grizzlies have offered JaMychal Green ‘significantly more’ than qualifying offer

Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
1 Comment

JaMychal Green remains a restricted agent, his $2,820,497 qualifying offer still outstanding from the Grizzlies.

Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal:

They’ve offered significantly more than that, but also significantly less than Green and his agent were probably expecting when the process began.

“Significant” is in the eye of the eye of the beholder. Green obviously doesn’t think it’s significantly enough more, or he would have accepted the offer.

The 27-year-old power forward is a solid all-around player. He can score inside and out, rebound and defend bigger and smaller players. He’s not much of a rim-protector, but that just requires the right center pairing.

Green is worth well above the qualifying offer. It’s on Memphis to offer enough more so Green doesn’t just take the qualifying offer and try again as an unrestricted free agent next summer. It seems being restricted cooled his market this year.

Report: Cavaliers, Celtics face Wednesday deadline on Kyrie Irving trade

8 Comments

Last Tuesday night, the Cavaliers and Celtics made official – but not complete – their trade of Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. On the trade call, the teams presumably set schedules for physicals and ruling on them.

With Thomas’ hip causing concern in Cleveland, that schedule is suddenly of the utmost importance.

Now, we have an idea on timing.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

A Cavs source said the two sides need to reach a conclusion by Wednesday evening or mutually agree to extend the deadline. Though the Cavs could void the trade based on Thomas’ injury, sources still expect a deal to get done.

The teams could easily delay the deadline, but if the Celtics are truly drawing a line in the sand with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown or any other first-round pick, they could stick to Wednesday evening. Of course, that might be more of the posturing we’ve seen from both sides.

If it comes to it, the Cavs could always void the trade and still negotiate with Boston on a revised deal. But who’s to say the Celtics would even leave the original offer on the table?

Wednesday is a soft deadline, but a deadline nonetheless. Those are always helpful in finding resolution, though obviously not as much as hard deadlines.

Report: Cavaliers evaluating Kyrie Irving trade after Isaiah Thomas physical

9 Comments

The Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick – pending physicals.

Boston acknowledged that Thomas’ hip injury played a role in the deal. It also might factor into the trade getting voided.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

It doesn’t take Miss Cleo to read these tea leaves. Cleveland is clearly concerned.

The Cavs don’t need Thomas ready to start the season. With him on an expiring contract, they don’t even necessarily need him to have great longevity – though he would certainly like to be healthy enough to cash in next summer, and they would ideally like to re-sign him (and LeBron James). But most of all, the Cavaliers need Thomas healthy this May and June for a playoff run that could realistically culminate with another championship.

If it appears too unlikely Thomas is up to that, the Cavs have no choice but to flunk his physical and negate the trade.

The big question: How unlikely is too unlikely?

Cleveland got so much in the deal – Crowder (a versatile wing built to match up with the Warriors), Zizic (a fine young prospect) and that sweet, sweet Brooklyn pick that alone might near Irving’s value. The Cavaliers obviously don’t need Thomas perfectly healthy to come out ahead, which is self-evident in them making the trade while Thomas is still rehabbing his hip.

The teams could always try to re-work the trade, though it wouldn’t be easy. They tried for weeks before finding this configuration.

Thomas, an All-NBA second-teamer who averaged 29 points per game last season, was supposedly key in appeasing Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s desire to acquire a star for Irving. Maybe Boston can swap in other players – including point guards Marcus Smart and/or Terry Rozier – but that might not placate Cleveland. It’d also be superfluous for the Celtics to keep Thomas while adding Irving, at least if Thomas can play.

And just which players would Boston include in a revised deal? Marcus Morris can’t be aggregated in a trade until Sept. 7. Aron Baynes, Shane Larkin and Daniel Theis can’t be traded at all until Dec. 15. Options are narrow.

If the deal gets undone, there would be a lot of hurt feelings on both sides.

Irving, of course, requested a trade from Cleveland. How would he handle returning after believing he had moved on? How would his teammates welcome him back after coming to terms with his exit?

Likewise, Thomas might not be keen on returning to the Celtics. I wouldn’t blame him for looking around the locker room and front office and wondering whom he can trust. Even if Thomas returned to Boston and played well, there’d be no chance of pitching him with loyalty in free agency next summer.

The simplest answer might be the Cavaliers getting another pick from the Celtics, which wouldn’t affect the trade’s cap math, in exchange for taking greater risk on Thomas’ hip. That’d avoid a lot of drama.

If even amenable to that – they’re already giving up so much – the Celtics would probably want to conduct another physical of their own on Thomas. Otherwise, what would stop the Cavs from signaling concern just to extort an extra pick from Boston?

There are good reasons for both teams to take their time in evaluating this. It just must be excruciating for everyone involved.