Kurt Helin

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Report: J.R. Smith still expected to sign with Cavaliers


J.R. Smith won a ring with the Cavaliers last season, having developed into a solid, dependable catch-and-shoot option on the perimeter in Cleveland (something unexpected after his stint in New York). He was valuable in the playoffs (11.5 points per game) and was the shirtless star of the post-title celebrations.

The Cavaliers want him back. He wants to be back. The question remains price, but a deal is expected to get done, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

J.R. Smith, another client of (agent Rich) Paul, is also still out on the market, but he is also expected to re-sign with the club.

Paul’s most famous client is LeBron James, who also has yet to formally re-sign with the Cavaliers. But will. LeBron’s signature could be on hold until After Smith is taken care of.

Smith made $5 million last season with Cleveland, and averaged 12.4 points per game, shooting 40 percent from three.

Rockets’ Chinanu Onuaku breaks out underhanded free throw at Summer League

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The best part of this: Dwight Howard was looking on, having stopped by the NBA TV broadcast at the time. He was surprised to see it.

Rockets rookie big man Chinanu Onuaku broke out his underhanded, granny-style free throw form during a Summer League game in Las Vegas Friday. He got to the line once for two shots and split the pair.

Onuaku went to this style his second season at Louisville (after shooting below 50 percent from the stripe as a freshman) and shot 58.9 percent last season. For the record, Howard shot 48.9 percent last season with the Rockets. So Howard does not get to criticize.

Timberwolves’ Kris Dunn drops 27 in Summer League debut


If you’re looking for the star of Day 1 of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, it was Minnesota’s Kris Dunn.

The rookie out of Providence put up 27 in his Summer League debut — and somewhere Tom Thibodeau was smiling like the Cheshire Cat. He racked up the points driving the lane, pulling up for jumpers, showing off a catch-and-shoot game, he was just an all around stud.

One should take all Summer League performances with a grain of salt, but this was certainly encouraging and another weapon for everyone’s favorite team on the rise in the West.

Report: LeBron James hasn’t told Cavaliers when he will re-sign with them. But he will.

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LeBron James isn’t leaving the Cavaliers this summer. We just need to say that up front before some commenter makes a ridiculous leap. LeBron has said he’s going to re-sign with the Cavs, plus if he were going to leave he wouldn’t have waited until every good team had filled up their cap space.

That said, he hasn’t told the Cavaliers when he will put pen to paper, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

LeBron James has yet to notify the Cleveland Cavaliers when he intends to re-sign, league sources informed cleveland.com during NBA Summer League….

Team officials have reached out to the camp of James for an answer to no avail, sources say. However, there are some officials within the organization who don’t view the situation as a concern. James will eventually put the pen to the paper, but his hesitancy is unclear at the moment. The day of the championship parade, James told cleveland.com he was returning to defend the city’s first professional title in 52 years.

There seems to be lingering tension between LeBron and the Cavaliers organization, but that will not change the outcome this summer.

LeBron has some difficult contract decisions to make about the one-year deal he will sign, but he will sign. He will be back for a victory tour with a Cavs team that is a massive favorite to come out of the East and make the Finals.

Beyond that… it remains to be seen.

Joel Embiid working out with Sixers Summer League team, not playing with them

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Joel Embiid is not going to take the court with the Philadelphia 76ers Summer League team in Las Vegas.

However, he is in Sin City with the team working out with them in practices, something Jessica Camerato wrote about at CSNPhilly.com.

Embiid has been cleared for monitored, controlled five-on-five scrimmages. He will not be playing, but traveling west with the summer squad is an important part of working his way back on to the floor.

“His progression is very separate from the rest of the team,” Sixers Samsung NBA Summer League coach Lloyd Pierce said. “This allows him to still be around the coaches and players on and off the court.”

She also got this video of him working out with the team.

Video of Joel Embiid out at #LasVegas #SummerLeague. #Sixers #NBA

A post shared by Jessica Camerato (@jcamerato) on

There’s certainly an “I’ll believe it when I see it” aspect to Embiid’s return, but for his sake — and the Sixers — hopefully, we will see what he can do on the court in the fall.