Kurt Helin

Oklahoma City Thunder v Cleveland Cavaliers

Report: Iman Shumpert to meet with other teams as he struggles to reach deal with Cavaliers

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Most likely, this is a negotiating tactic. The smart money is on Iman Shumpert pulling on the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers when next season starts.

But the door is open to other teams.

Shumpert started talking with the Cavaliers, and that hasn’t gone where he wanted, so the unrestricted free agent is going to start listening to other offers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Cavaliers have had a strong off-season so far, keeping Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson in new deals.

Shumpert looked more comfortable as a defense-first player off the bench for the Cavaliers then he did asked to do more for the Knicks. He’s not going to provide much on the offensive end — he scored 9.3 points per game but shot just 40.9 percent for the Knicks, before Phil Jackson shipped him to Cleveland.

That said, a number of teams could use what he brings — good wing defenders are valuable. Plenty of other teams will be willing to talk.

In the end, most likely the Cavs would match or beat any offer. But Shumpert is going to try and use that leverage.

Report: Thunder reach deal five-year, $25 million deal to keep Kyle Singler

Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves
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Kyle Singler has one elite NBA skill — he can shoot the three ball. He is a career 37.8 percent from deep and has ridiculous range.

Aside that, his game is still a work in progress. But the Oklahoma City Thunder are willing to make a bet on the rest of that game.

The Thunder and Singler have reached a five-year deal, reports Adrian Wojnaroski of Yahoo Sports.

Singler never quite found a groove in Detroit, and Stan Van Gundy — who loves shooters – was willing to let him go in the Reggie Jackson trade. Singler’s game can seem awkward, but at times it’s effective.

The key here for the Thunder is they got him at a fair price — $5 million a year is easy to either absorb or move, depending on how things go.

Report: Talks between Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors break down

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors - Game Two
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In the end, Draymond Green is going to be playing for the Golden State Warriors next season. He is a restricted free agent, and one way or another they will have him under contract next season. He’s too valuable for them to let him go.

The only question is how much money he is going to be making.

Green wants a max contract extension — five years, $90 million — or close to it, and the Warriors aren’t there, so talks between the sides have broken down, reports Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports.

The Warriors met with Green and agent B.J. Armstrong in Los Angeles after 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday when NBA free agents could first begin negotiating with teams, a source told Yahoo Sports. The Warriors were given the first opportunity to reach a contract agreement before Green considered talking with other teams. But with the breakdown in talks, Green is now open to meeting with other franchises immediately, the source said.

The Warriors can still match any offer sheet Green signs because he is a restricted free agent.

This is just a negotiating tactic. From Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

When you look at look at some of the other deals out there this free agency — Paul Millsap at four years, $80 million; Kris Middleton getting five years, $70 million — Green should be very close to the max.

Green averaged 11.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game last season, but it was the other end of the court where he showed his real value. Green’s ability to guard positions two through five (and even the occasional point guard), allowing the Warriors to switch pick-and-rolls, was key to their league-best defense. You could see that clearly in the Finals, when the Warriors were able to put Green on Timofey Mozgov and keep the Cavaliers in check, while the Cavs had no answer for the Warriors small-ball offense.

Because of all that, Green will have suitors. The Detroit Pistons, near his hometown, would make a pitch. The Lakers and Knicks will be interested, and the list goes on.

But whichever team makes an offer, they will find that the Warriors will match.

Green will be back in Golden State, the only question is how big his checks will be.

Reports: Phoenix Suns sign Tyson Chandler, re-sign Brandon Knight, try to reshape roster

Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers
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There were a lot of teams — the Clippers, Knicks, even Mavericks among others — that were going to get serious in talks with Tyson Chandler as Plan B, if their first gambits didn’t pay off.

The Phoenix Suns came calling in the first 24 hours of free agency telling Chandler he was Plan A — and they carried a big check.

It worked, Chandler is going to Phoenix, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

That’s a lot of years for a player who turns 33 next season, and a lot of money for a guy whose skills have started to show some slippage. That said, the magical Suns training staff has rejuvenated more than one big man and kept him playing at a high level.

The Chandler news came right on the heels of an expected announcement — the Suns re-signed point guard Brandon Knight to a five-year deal, $70 million deal, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Knight, 23, averaged 13.4 points and 4.5 assists in 11 games for the Suns last season after they acquired him in a three-team deal with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers at the February trade deadline. Ankle and heel injuries sidelined him for most of his short time in Phoenix last season.

Armed with those two signings, the Suns walked into their meeting with free agent LaMarcus Aldridge — more than those two signings, they brought Chandler into the meeting.

Phoenix wants to play small and reportedly are not looking to trade Eric Bledsoe — although around the league they thought he was being shopped — but rather play those two together. With that lineup you can see Chandler as the rim protector on defense and rebounder (plus he is strong in the pick-and-roll), then Aldridge could space the floor and have room to operate as a four (his preferred role).

The challenge: With those two signings the Suns do not have the room to sign Aldridge to a max deal as well. If Aldridge said he wanted to come to the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix would need to shed a lot of salary fast. That, or do a sign-and-trade with Bledsoe.

Even if Aldridge chooses to play elsewhere, the Suns have upgraded their roster.

And no Chandler on the board could leave teams in a lurch. For example, the Clippers wanted to sign-and-trade for him if DeAndre Jordan chose Dallas. Now if Jordan bolts the Clippers do not have the cap space to replace him with anywhere near that same quality of players. There is also now more pressure on the Lakers and Knicks to land Greg Monroe.

Report: Cavaliers, Tristan Thompson near five-year, $80 million contract

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six
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The Cavaliers have locked up Kevin Love.

Now they are on the verge of solidifying their front line for the next few years at least.

As had been expected, the Cavaliers and power forward Tristan Thompson are nearing a new five-year contract, something first reported by Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

This signing was going to happen for a couple of reasons. There are the on-the-court reasons — Thompson showed his value after Love’s shoulder separation, where his offensive rebounding and energy were at the heart of the grinding style that got the Cavaliers to the Finals. Thompson averaged 13 rebounds — 5.7 of them offensive — and 10 points a game in the Finals, plus he played strong defense. Thompson doesn’t create a lot of offense, but the Cavs don’t need him to. What he does do he does at an elite level and it works in the Cavaliers offense.

The other reason this was going to happen: Thompson and LeBron James have the same agent. LeBron’s little hold out game — he opted out and has yet to negotiate his new max deal with the Cavaliers yet — was about getting Thompson, and ideally Love, under contract.

Look for the Cavaliers to try and add more depth around this core, but with these moves and guys like Kyrie Irving getting healthy, this much is clear:

The road to the NBA Finals out of the East — and maybe to the Larry O’Brien trophy itself — goes through Cleveland for the next few years. At least.