Dan Feldman

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29:  Langston Galloway #2 of the New York Knicks passes the ball in the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden on January 29, 2016 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Report: Pelicans nearing agreement with Langston Galloway


During his breakout rookie season with the Knicks, Langston Galloway couldn’t wait to return to his native Louisiana and eat “crawfish and some bad food that people wouldn’t understand around here.”

They’ll better understand around his next team.

After New York pulled his qualifying offer, Galloway is headed to the Pelicans.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The 24-year-old Galloway fits with New Orleans’ other signings: Solomon Hill (25) and E'Twaun Moore (27). The Pelicans are adding young talent that complements Anthony Davis and can grow with him.

But Galloway, Hill and Moore are far from stars, and they’ll limit New Orleans’ flexibility going forward. The modest gains in the near and medium terms could be offset by missed opportunities to attract premier players who want to join Davis.

Galloway, a combo guard, would strengthen what’s becoming a flexible backcourt. He, Moore, Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans can all play multiple positions.

Report: Kings waiving Caron Butler, Duje Dukan

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 04:  Caron Butler #31 of the Sacramento Kings handles the ball during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 4, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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You have to appreciate Caron Butler‘s savvy.

Butler seemingly wanted out of Sacramento. When the opportunity came, he opted into the final year of year of his Kings contract.

Yet, Butler is still getting his freedom.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Kings are going a variety of different directions: Arron Afflalo, Anthony Tolliver, Garrett Temple and Matt Barnes. They don’t need Butler.

But Sacramento is still on the hook for Butler’s guaranteed minimum salary ($1,551,659).

If the 36-year-old Butler signs with another team, he can double dip — though set-off rules will limit his additional salary to $1,213,148 if he signs a minimum deal. Still, that’s not bad for daring the Kings to waive him.

Duje Dukan‘s salary was unguaranteed, so he’s off Sacramento’s cap. He should probably just feel fortunate for earning an NBA salary all of last season.

Report: Cavaliers won’t match Matthew Dellavedova’s offer sheet from Bucks

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 31: Matthew Dellavedova #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks for a pass while under pressure from Khris Middleton #22 and Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on December 31, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bucks defeated the Cavaliers 96-80. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Matthew Dellavedova will reportedly sign a four-year, $38 million offer sheet with the Bucks.

Will the Cavaliers match?

LeBron James:

Is that as definitive as it looks?

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

The Cleveland Cavaliers will not match the offer sheet restricted free agent guard Matthew Dellavedova received from the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources informed cleveland.com.

The Cavs should probably match, though it’s not my money. But given the luxury-tax payments Dan Gilbert has already made, why stop now?

Dellavedova is a good backup guard, and he might start for the Bucks. They could use him next to quasi-point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Paying a starter $9.5 million would be great value for Milwaukee, but that’s not a bad price for a backup point guard in this market (though, again, the resulting luxury-tax payments in Cleveland would complicate matters).

The Cavaliers have Mo Williams and No. 54 pick Kay Felder, whom I rated as a first-rounder. Williams played well early last season before falling off. If the 33-year-old re-finds his footing, he’d be fine and could give Felder time to find his footing.

Still, neither option looks as good as Dellavedova. Neither does anyone Cleveland could get with the mid-level exception.

Far above the cap anyway, the Cavs’ only cost to matching would be real dollars — not roster flexibility. Apparently, that cost is too high.

Report: Knicks signing Wily Hernangomez, Mindaugas Kuzminskas

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Say whatever else you want about Phil Jackson as an executive, but he has shown a willingness to scour the globe for talent.

The big prize: Kristaps Porzingis, whom the Knicks drafted No. 4 last year.

But the Knicks will also look overseas to fill out the roster.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Ian Begley of ESPN:

David Pick:

The Knicks acquired Hernangomez, the No. 35 pick, on draft night last year. He played with Porzingis in Spain. Hernangomez is a 6-foot-11, 21-year-old center with a solid all-around skill set, though his athleticism is limited.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas is a 6-foot-9 26-year-old small forward who could get some minutes behind Carmelo Anthony.

Report: Frustration with Westbrook contributed to Durant leaving Thunder


LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers for the Heat somehow didn’t prepare people for Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors.

LeBron’s best teammate in Cleveland in 2010 was either Mo Williams or Anderson Varejao. Durant had Russell Westbrook.

How could Durant leave Westbrook?

But maybe Durant left in part because of Westbrook.

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Their partnership produced four conference finals appearances, and one trip to the Finals, in the last six years. It also produced a simmering frustration that, in essence, paved the way for his exit.

Durant wanted an offense that kept the ball moving and provided him easier scoring chances. The Thunder fired coach Scott Brooks, brought in Billy Donovan, and still the offense stalled out at key moments, often with Westbrook dribbling into oblivion. The Thunder led the NBA in blown fourth-quarter leads last season, despite their firepower.

“Ultimately he got frustrated and felt that they had plateaued,” said a person with insight into Durant’s thought process. “[Donovan] came in,and he still had the same issues that he had with Russ under Scotty. The offense didn’t change much. He still had to take a ton of contested shots every game; and that’s when he had the ball at all.”

I believe Durant and Westbrook are close friends. Their bond was evident.

But so were their frequent frustrations with each other on the court.

That’s not an indictment of either. Durant’s passivity contributed to Westbrook’s ball-dominance, not that Westbrook needed much provoking. There’s always compromise necessary when multiple great scorers partner. The successful teams just find the appropriate balance.

The Thunder didn’t, though they came close, and I think they still could’ve gotten there. All the way until their playoff run ended against Golden State, Durant and Westbrook continued to develop better chemistry.

But nothing was guaranteed, and at minimum, Durant didn’t like the odds. (Saying Oklahoma City plateaued seems like hyperbole from someone trying to frame Durant’s decision a certain way.)

Likewise, nothing is guaranteed with the Warriors. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson jack quick shots all the time. Draymond Green handles the ball a lot as a primary playmaker. Rather than sharing the ball with one other star, Durant will deal with three.

Golden State emphasizes ball movement culturally, and Durant will get plenty of touches. But there will be an adjustment period. If he’s expecting basketball nirvana instantly now that he’s away from Westbrook, Durant will be in for a rude awakening.

That said, the Warriors definitely present a better chance than playing with Westbrook would’ve of an equilibrium that pleases Durant.