Kevin Love? Back.
Tristan Thompson? Back.
Iman Shumpert? After a little threatening, back.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Cleveland needed someone like Shumpert. He’s the only strong wing defender on the roster. LeBron James isn’t interested in that role over a full season anymore.
But at that price, I would have let him seek an offer sheet and then matched. That could have backfired if Shumpert signs a bigger deal elsewhere or accepted the qualifying offer, but I think it was worth the risk.
Anyway, it’s only money. Shumpert won’t limit the Cavaliers’ flexibility. They’ll be far above the luxury-tax line regardless. As long as Dan Gilbert is willing to spend – and he clearly is – there’s no drawback to this signing.
The upside is clear: Cleveland is in even strong position to contend for championships the next few years.
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.
The Celtics missed out on Kevin Love, their primary target. But they managed to get some frontcourt help on a solid short-term value deal, landing former Raptors center Amir Johnson on a two-year, $24 million deal, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free-agent forward Amir Johnson has agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with the Boston Celtics, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Agent Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports completed the deal Wednesday with Boston GM Danny Ainge.
Johnson, one of the best forwards on the market, departs after six seasons with Toronto. He gives Boston a long, athletic and experienced dimension that it needed in its frontcourt.
This is a solid move for the Celtics. Johnson is an athletic, defensive big who represents a significant upgrade over Kelly Olynyk and Brandon Bass. $12 million per year is good value for a starting-caliber center, and the fact that it’s only a two-year deal makes it very moveable, especially with the salary cap set to increase.