Tag: Cleveland Cavaliers

Andrew Bogut

Australia qualifies for 2016 Olympics behind double-double from Andrew Bogut


In the hours leading up to the second game between Australia and New Zealand — a game with an Olympic bid hanging in the balance — Andrew Bogut’s back was bothering him so much he struggled to get out of bed.

He found a way to the court Tuesday then scored 10 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked two shots and led Australia to an 89-79 win that qualifies them for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Australia and New Zealand played a home-and-home series to decide the FIBA Oceanic area title and with it a spot in the Olympics, and the Boomers won both legs of the series by a cumulative score of 22 points.

In the second game Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova had 14 points, Bulls forward Cameron Bairstow had 10, and Spurs guard Patty Mills added nine for Australia.

The Boomers are the third team to qualify for Rio. The USA qualified by winning the World Cup last summer in Spain. Brazil is in as the host nation.

Bogut has a long history of back (and other) injuries, which is why nobody should be shocked if the Warriors reach a contract extension with Festus Ezeli. They need to be thinking long-term about the center spot on their roster.

Report: Knicks interested in trade for Clippers’ Jamal Crawford

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers both see a value in former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford and realize that he remains their best trade chip. That’s why he was shopped around at the draft and early in free agency.

The fact the Clippers went out and got Lance Stephenson this summer adds to their wing depth and, in theory, makes Crawford more expendable. At least if you believe in bounce-back Lance. Crawford has been frustrated by what he sees written on the wall, but the Clippers are not just going to give him away so there has been no deal.

Who wants Crawford? How about the Knicks, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

On the surface you can see the logic there for the Knicks, adding that kind of scoring depth gives them a boost, and for a bubble playoff team in the East that could be enough to put them over the hump. Maybe. It certainly makes it an interesting discussion. For the Clippers, the question is who would they want off the Knicks roster? And do they trust Stephenson to be their sixth man on the wing?

All that may not matter — making this deal happen is very difficult.

The Knicks renounced their trade exception from the J.R. Smith deal this summer to get under the salary cap and go after Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez. That means the Knicks have to send salary back to the Clippers in this deal. And they don’t have players that work for that under the cap. Former Nets exec and Twitter star Bobby Marks laid it out well:

Calderon may make some sense for the Clippers if they do not trust Austin Rivers — and based on past performance they should not trust Austin Rivers. (Clips fans, do not let a couple decent playoff games cloud your judgment.) But making this deal happen is challenging at best. The two sides likely have to wait until the guys signed this summer can be added to the deal, which means December at the earliest. Even then, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Al Horford waiting until next summer to discuss contract situation

Al Horford
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As the Hawks try to replicate the success of last year’s 60-win campaign, they will have one major question mark hanging over their heads: Al Horford’s impending free agency. Obviously, the marquee free agent next summer will be Kevin Durant, and he will be the object of the biggest free-agency frenzy since LeBron James in 2010. But Horford will be arguably the second-best player on the market, and coming off a bargain five-year, $60 million deal as the salary cap explodes, he’s going to get paid.

Throughout the season, there will be plenty of speculation about Horford’s future, in Atlanta or elsewhere. But one person who will not be participating in that talk is the Dominican big man himself, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Horford’s free agency talk isn’t going to go away, but with the Hawks looking to be an Eastern Conference contender again, it’s smart of him to nip the speculation early. He may stay with the Hawks and he may not. Either way, he’s going to command a max contract as one of the best and most versatile centers in the NBA at both ends of the floor. It’s a good bet that Atlanta will be aggressive in their effort to keep him. With a good core and coaching staff in place, they have to be considered the clubhouse leaders at this point to sign Horford. But he’ll have no shortage of suitors around the league.

Report: Cavs likely to sign Russian center Sasha Kaun

Antreas Christodoulou, Sasha Kaun

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.

Report: Cavaliers sign Quinn Cook

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers

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.