After months-long negotiations and various reports that he was on the verge of coming over, the Cavs have finally signed Russian center Sasha Kaun to a contract, according to David Pick. Kaun was the 56th pick of the 2008 draft after playing four years of college ball at Kansas.
Kaun probably won’t play much in Cleveland. They’re pretty crowded up front between Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson (assuming he re-signs) and Anderson Varejao (if he stays healthy). But he’s 30 years old, so this the time to make the jump from Europe to the NBA if he’s ever going to.
The Cavs still haven’t worked out new deals with Tristan Thompson or J.R. Smith, but they appear to be close to signing another player who’s been on their radar for a while. Russian center Sasha Kaun, a second-round pick in 2008, looks to be on the verge of finally making the jump over to the NBA.
From Cleveland.com’s Chris Haynes:
Veteran Russian center Sasha Kaun embarked on a mini-tour of Cleveland on Monday, league sources informed Northeast Ohio Media Group.
His visit was for the purpose of house hunting, among other things, sources said.
Kaun, 30, and the Cavaliers have yet to reach an agreement. However, “it’s only a matter of time” before a deal is struck, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations. The Cavaliers’ main focus is on locking up a longtime pact with restricted free agent Tristan Thompson.
Kaun is to depart town on Tuesday and it is anticipated that a deal will not be finalized before his exit, I’m told.
The Cavs don’t have much to spend on Kaun — other than a minimum deal, they have about $1.2 million left in their taxpayer midlevel exception (they used $2.1 million of it on Mo Williams). It’s also doubtful that Kaun will get much playing time in a crowded frontcourt that includes Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov, Anderson Varejao and (once they inevitably re-sign him) Thompson. But at age 30, if Kaun was ever going to make the leap over to the NBA, now’s the time to do it.
Two men’s basketball teams have now qualified for the 2016 Olympics.
The United States clinched a bid to Rio by winning the 2014 World Cup.
Brazil – which was in jeopardy of losing its bid over unreturned library books – received the berth typically given to the host nation.
Brazil’s men’s and women’s national teams will compete in the Olympic Basketball Tournament at the 2016 Rio Games after FIBA’s Central Board decided to grant them automatic places at its meeting in Tokyo on Sunday.
The decision was made based on the Brazil Basketball Confederation (CBB)’s application which confirms they meet the various sporting requirements, including having a rich sporting history in basketball and being able to guarantee their best teams competing in Rio.
CBB, supported by its partners and the Brazil Olympic Committee (BOC), has made a firm commitment to pay the outstanding debt.
According to FIBA’s statutes, the Central Board holds the right to grant automatic qualification to the host country organising the Olympic Games.
This is obviously great news for Brazil. Nene, Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao, Leandro Barbosa, Lucas Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo can definitely compete for a medal.
It’s also great news for the other teams competing in the FIBA Americas Championship:
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Republic
The top two teams in that tournament, which begins Aug. 31, that haven’t already received an Olympic bid qualify for Rio. With Brazil gaining an Olympic berth now, that opens the door for another team in the FIBA Americas.