Kurt Helin

Watch highlights of Orlando Summer League championship game

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Friday saw Summer League tip off in Las Vegas, and it came to a close out in Florida where the Pistons and Magic’s White team (they also had a blue team) faced off for the league title.

While high draft picks Henry Ellenson (22 points) and Stanley Johnson (21) played well for Detroit, the balanced attack of five Magic players in double digits, led by Kevin Murphy’s 19 points.

Keep checking out NBC for the latest on Summer League where we will have a couple reporters on scene in Las Vegas.

Tyronn Lue says Cavaliers near deal with Chris “Birdman” Andersen

Associated Press
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The Cavaliers are playing in Summer League in Las Vegas, opening play with a loss to Milwaukee where second-year point guard Jordan McRae dropped 23 points (on 3-of-15 from the floor, but he got to the line 17 times).

While the game was going on, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue swung by NBA TV and broke a little news — the Birdman Chris Andersen is on his way to Cleveland.

This is a good pick up, a lower cost replacement for Timofey Mozgov (who was overpaid by the Lakers). The way Lue wants to play, smaller and faster, the backup center spot is going to get limited minutes anyway, this would be a solid pickup for the spot.

It’s not official yet, but expect that news soon.

Report: Kings’ Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufos available via trade

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP
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In free agency, the Sacramento Kings went out and got Arron Afflalo to be a solid two guard, and they got Matt Barnes, who can start at the three and fit in the system. Of course, all that goes around the centerpiece DeMarcus Cousins.

With those three guys on the roster, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufos may not be, something long rumored and now confirmed Marc Stein of ESPN.

None of that is shocking, although this is an interesting twist.

Gay is the biggest name of the three, and he remains an athletic wing who scored 17.2 points per game last season. He’s not elite (at either end), and after a few injuries his efficiency slipped last season, but he’s still a quality NBA wing that a number of teams could use. He’s on a now reasonable contract for $27.6 million over the next two seasons.

With Gay by himself, Sacramento maybe could swap solid veterans with a team, or get a non-lottery first round pick. But packaging McLemore or Koufos could add to that value. McLemore should catch the eye of teams looking for wing depth — he shot 36 percent from three last season, his feel for the game is improving, and he’s still on his rookie deal. Koufos is the kind of defensive bit a number of teams could use.

Now that the main crush of free agency is over, teams will step back, assess where they are missing, and try to fill that in via remaining free agents or trades. Which means the Kings may well get some phone calls about these three.

Reports: Heat reach deal with Derrick Williams, working on contract for Udonis Haslem.

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Miami has found itself a little Chris Bosh insurance.

Bosh’s status for next season remains up in the air — he wants to return, the Heat need to be convinced — so Miami was looking for a little depth at the forward spot. They found it in a deal with Derrick Williams, who spent last season with the Knicks. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel reported there were talks, now Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports reports the deal is done.

Williams would have made $5.1 million had he opted in with the Knicks, but he thought he could do better on the open market. Turns out he needs to prove himself again.

Williams quietly had a quality, efficient campaign for the Knicks last season — he had a career best PER of 17.2 in somewhat limited minutes. His game seemed to mature — he turned the ball over less, and he shot 42 percent on corner threes (he should not shoot them above the break).

On another note, it looks like there will be at least one “Heat lifer” sticking around.

Dwyane Wade headed to Chicago, but it looks like Udonis Haslem will be staying in Miami, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

It looks like one member of the Miami Heat will be returning for a 14th consecutive season, with a source close to the negotiations confirming Friday to the Sun Sentinel that the team is working toward an agreement with power forward Udonis Haslem.

Haslem, like guard Dwyane Wade, began his NBA career when he joined the Heat for the 2003 season. Unlike Wade, who departed the franchise this week for the Chicago Bulls as a free agent, Haslem appears to be working toward an amicable resolution, at a salary above the NBA’s minimum scale.

Haslem played a limited role in just 37 games for the Heat last season, making $2.9 million. He likely will make a little more than that this year as the Heat have cap space to sign him into (not the level of money Wade wanted, but more than enough for Haslem). The Heat want him in the locker room, in part to serve as a mentor for Hassan Whiteside (who the Heat did re-sign).

Chicago landed name in Dwyane Wade; Miami still better team now, poised for future

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Forget what Dwyane Wade wanted and felt he deserved, Pat Riley did not approach contract discussions with Wade this offseason the way one should approach “family.” Or the greatest player in franchise history. The Heat lifer. Riley’s first reported offer of $10 million was flat out insulting — that’s the kind of money Matthew Dellavedova just got. Eventually, Miami upped its offer to $20 million a year, but that was less money and one less year than Wade wanted. Wade wanted to be made whole for past sacrifices, he wanted to see the respect of the organization that way, and he had lost faith the Heat would be good for it. Through it all, Riley reportedly never even picked up the phone to talk to Wade directly.

Wade found the respect — and money — he was looking for in Chicago. He signed there.

Pat Riley and Heat management were clearly okay with that outcome.

In the cold, harsh world of the NBA on the court they were right — Miami is both the better team next season, and they are better positioned for the future. With or without Wade.

With no Wade — or Luol Deng, or Joe Johnson — Miami probably takes a step back, but not a huge one (unless Chris Bosh is out). Next season the Heat still will have newly re-signed Hassan Whiteside in the paint. They will have Goran Dragic running the point — and he will have the ball in his hands more, a good thing (particularly in the fourth quarter, when Wade would often start to dominate the rock). They hope to have an All-Star in Chris Bosh back (although that remains up in the air). They have good young players like Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, and Tyler Johnson (if they match the Nets offer). They have a roster that fits the up-tempo style Erik Spoelstra wants to play. While they will miss Wade’s scoring at times, if Bosh is healthy they are certainly a playoff team and potentially a top-four seed in the East.

More importantly, they have is the kind of base of talent — and lifestyle, and no state tax — that will have free agents considering them as an option next summer (how much money they will have depends on Johnson, Bosh, who else they sign). There is a style of play, a system. What Pat Riley has given Miami is a blueprint and flexibility. One that didn’t necessarily fit Wade as he aged.

What is the Bulls’ plan?

Here is GM Gar Forman’s quote after the Derrick Rose trade: “We need to get younger and more athletic.” Are Rajon Rondo and a 35-year-old Wade who has had chronic knee issues younger and more athletic? Robin Lopez isn’t part of that answer.

The bigger question is how all these players fit together. Wade, Rondo, and Jimmy Butler all work best with the ball in their hands — and all three are ball stoppers. They like isolation sets (or a pick-and-roll) where they are in control of the shot and the tempo of the offense. Butler is okay working off the ball, but Wade and Rondo are not. Plus there is no shooting — Jimmy Butler is the best shooter of the three and he hit just 31.2 percent from three last season. Robin Lopez isn’t spacing the floor. Chicago’s best outside shooter is Fred Hoiberg, and he’ll be wearing a suit. The Bulls may have to start Nikola Mirotic just to have someone who can keep defenses from completely packing the paint (Doug McDermott may get extra run for the same reason).

Then there are the defensive issues — Rondo and Wade struggle on that end, and while Lopez can defend the rim some he’s not the NBA’s most mobile big out there. The Bulls can be forced into bad defensive matchups every time down, and their transition defense will be horrific.

Chicago does have something it can sell. Wade is a star, people will pay to see him. He will bring some excitement to the United Center. If he can stay healthy and play 74 games as he did last season — and that is far from a sure thing — he can help Chicago win a few games. He will make the Bulls more entertaining.

But how is this team getting younger and transitioning to the future? Is this really Butler’s team now? Miami will have a lot of cap space next summer, but players (and their agents) and have questions about why they should come to this roster. What is the long-term plan they are signing up for? Nothing is evident.

The Bulls will make the playoffs in the East, but as a lower seed that gets bounced in the first round. They have the cap space to chase free agents next summer, but will the talent come?

If a top free agent is choosing a destination and the money is equal, they will see plan and a brighter future in Miami. The Heat are better positioned to get a star, even if Wade stays and recruits.

The bottom line is the Bulls may be a little more dramatic and entertaining after this move, but this Heat team is simply better. And will be for years to come.