Tag: Brendan Haywood

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers

Report: Cavaliers sign Quinn Cook


The Cavaliers have just 11 players with guaranteed salaries, but their roster could fill up in a hurry.

Cleveland has Bird rights for Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith, and draft rights for Sasha Kaun.

Just in case, the Cavs are bringing in other options. Jared Cunningham signed what appears to be a non- or partially guaranteed deal, and I’m guessing Quinn Cook is getting similar.

Brandy L. Simms of the Sentinel:

Thompson will almost certainly return. Whether it’s on long-term deal, matched offer sheet or qualifying offer, it’s difficult to see him playing for another team next season.

Smith isn’t getting the offers he wants, but it’s unlikely someone bests Cleveland’s offer. Plus, the Cavaliers offer him the best chance to impress before he next hits free agency.

Kaun is a tossup. The Cavs could use another center, but he might wait until they can offer more money.

Cleveland also has the Brendan Haywood trade exception, which it could use to add a player. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford is reportedly a possibility.

So, I wouldn’t count on Cook lasting to the regular season.

But he could potentially help an NBA team. Cook, who went undrafted out of Duke, is a steady point guard. He shoots well from outside and avoids mistakes. He has limited upside, but that’s the profile of a successful backup point guard.

I’m not sure there’s a place in Cleveland for him, though. The Cavaliers already have Kyrie Irving, Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova at point guard. If the roster fills as expected, a fourth point guard would be an unnecessary luxury.

But just in case it doesn’t – especially if Cleveland doesn’t re-sign Smith – Cook could fill a role at point guard with Williams playing more off the ball.

Report: Cavaliers offering J.R. Smith less than his player option would have paid

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

J.R. Smith declined his $6,399,750 player option in search of a better contract.

He hasn’t found one yet.

Unsurprisingly, he probably can’t even break even.

Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com:

The Cavs have made him an offer. I hear it’s less than $6.4 million that he turned down.

The Cavaliers’ top priority, as decreed by LeBron James, is re-signing Tristan Thompson. But re-signing Smith would also help Cleveland. His 3-point shooting is particularly valuable given the open looks LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love create by drawing so much attention.

If the Cavaliers don’t keep Smith, they could offer only a minimum salary (or a smidge more to a player with fewer than eight years of experience) for a replacement. That’s not going to net a shooter as good as Smith, unless Ray Allen comes out of retirement.

So, Smith has a little leverage.

But Cleveland has much more.

Only the 76ers and Trail Blazers can offer Smith at least $6.4 million. I doubt either rebuilding team would.

The Cavaliers, armed with the Brendan Haywood trade exception, could trade for a replacement. Jamal Crawford is reportedly on their radar. They might have higher hopes with that exception, but a trade is a suitable fallback option.

One question the Cavaliers must ask themselves: Do they want to retain Smith for the lowest possible amount, or would they prefer to keep him happy? Smith has a history of sulking when things go poorly. Matching his player-option salary would allow him to save face. That might be worth the extra money (and luxury-tax payments).

Right now, though, Cleveland clearly doesn’t think so.

Report: Jamal Crawford would want to play for Cavaliers

Los Angeles Clippers v Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers and Clippers reportedly discussed a Jamal Crawford trade. Asked about joining Cleveland, Crawford said he wished he were a free agent.

In case you can’t connect the dots…

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

I know Jamal personally, and I know he would definitely like to be a part of the Cavaliers’ organization.

Jamal is one guy off the top of my head that I know would be a fit, and I know that they’ll be looking at him.

They want to use that exception for a wing player.

Let’s be clear: This doesn’t mean Crawford doesn’t also want to play for the Clippers. Many role players want to join LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland for the open shots and championship chance, but Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan offer a similar opportunity.

The Clippers might not want to keep Crawford, though. He’s somewhat superfluous with Lance Stephenson, Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni coming off the bench. The Clippers might be happy to flip Crawford for just salary relief. Shedding Crawford would save the Clippers $16,180,533 – $5,675,000 in salary and $10,505,533 in projected luxury-tax payments.

The Cavaliers could absorb Crawford into their Brendan Haywood trade exception. That would create an even higher tax bill than the Clippers face with Crawford – the exact amount depends on salaries for Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith – but Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has clearly green-lit massive spending.

How much Cleveland could use Crawford on the court depends whether Smith re-signs.

If Smith doesn’t, Crawford is a decent alternative as a spot-up shooter. His 3-point shooting sunk to 32.7% last season, but that was due to off-the dribble 3-pointers – which fell to 25.0% from 36.4% the year prior. Meanwhile, Crawford’s 3-point shooting without dribbling prior to launching ticked up from 36.0% to 38.0%.

If Smith returns, Crawford is even more of a luxury as another shooter. With the attention LeBron, Irving and Love attract, Cleveland can always use more spot-up threats.

Mo Williams filled the Cavaliers’ major need for an off-the-bench shot creator. The 35-year-old Crawford has declined in that regard, but there’s at least hope he could provide a little insurance.

The Cavaliers don’t need Crawford, at least not considering they could just sign Smith. But if Gilbert is willing to pay for him and the Clippers are willing to dump him for minimal return, the only question is whether Cleveland could better use that portion of the Haywood exception. Crawford would definitely strengthen the Cavs.