Tag: Kevin Love

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

Report: James Jones plans to re-sign with Cavaliers


The Cavaliers are facing a little more difficulty than anticipated with re-signing Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith

But James Jones should present no such issues.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“I’ll be back in Cleveland for sure,” Jones told the Northeast Ohio Media Group Sunday in Las Vegas, on the red carpet for the first Players’ Awards show.

“I’ve made it well known last year when I told them I was coming to help change the culture and do something special,” Jones said. “It wasn’t a situation where I was looking for a platform to move on. I was looking to be a part of something, to build something. And so I’m still in.”

A league source confirmed the Cavs would re-sign Jones.

Cleveland can pay Jones up to $ 1,799,024 next season – 120% the minimum salary – thanks to his Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of bird rights). That should do the trick.

It will cost Cleveland multiple times over in luxury-tax payments, but so would signing someone else instead. Might as well keep a player LeBron James values.

Jones found a role for the Cavaliers in the playoffs as a stretch four. Obviously, Kevin Love will provide that dimension if healthy.

But that Jones earned a spot in Cleveland’s postseason rotation is telling. David Blatt is clearly more comfortable with Jones than other veterans on last year’s roster.

The Cavaliers should be healthier and deeper next season, which means they won’t have to lean as heavily on Jones. That bodes well for Cleveland, and Jones can still make 3-pointers in spot duty.

Charles Barkley: “LeBron should call it Trainwreck 2, because the finals was Trainwreck 1.

2015 March Madness Music Festival - Day 3

Charles Barkley is being Charles Barkley.

He’s at the annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament in Lake Tahoe, where he is showing off an improved golf swing and speaking to the media. That included an interview on CSNBayArea.com, the home of the Golden State Warriors. You remember them, the jump shooting team that won the NBA championship last season.

CSNBayArea’s Jim Kozimor asked Barkley why he hates the Warriors. Barkley gave the Warriors just a little credit but mostly said the Cavaliers were too banged up to take advantage — then threw in a great line tied to “Trainwreck,” the new Amy Schumer movie where LeBron has a supporting role.

I still think if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving had’ve been healthy, they would have won that series. LeBron flat out ran out of gas. But you put two more All-Stars on that team, the Warriors still might have won but I would have picked the Cavs if everyone was healthy.

LeBron should call it Trainwreck 2, because the finals was Trainwreck 1.

Barkley softened his stance when on in the Bay Area, but in other interviews (he did a series of them) he would not give the Warriors credit for winning with small ball in the interview, even when it made him look bad.

Studies have shown that we as humans do not let go of our beliefs even when we are shown evidence and proof that they are wrong — in fact, we tend to become more entrenched. Barkley believes that you need to play inside out with a more traditional big man to win, which was fairly true when he played. However, the change in defense rules allowing zones changed that — back-to-the-basket big men in the post see earlier and harder doubles under the new rules than was allowed before. You can overload their side of the court and take away a big’s advantage. It’s not that Dwight Howard or DeMarcus Cousins can’t have success, they can, but teams don’t need that guy to win.

But Barkley is going to be Barkley.

Jerry West says Warriors front office “the most healthy environment I’ve been involved with”

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers

If you’re going to do a Mount Rushmore for the Lakers, Jerry West has to be on it. He’s a legendary player — he’s the Logo — who won a title in uniform then was the Lakers GM that built the Showtime Lakers with Magic and won some titles in that role. Nobody knows the game better; nobody is more competitive.

And he thinks he’s in a better spot now.

West is currently a board member and part of the brain trust with the Golden State Warriors, and things are different. In the Bay Area, it’s a collaborative process, but one that built a title contender in the modern NBA way — drafted well, finding versatile players who fit their system. They didn’t buy a roster, they built one and used free agency to tack on a couple needed players.

West toldRay Woodson Wednesday on SportsPhone 680 he enjoys the Warriors’ style of front office.

“People are allowed to express their own opinions. And at the end of the day, (Warriors GM) Bob Myers is going to make the decisions. I think (co-owner) Joe Lacob is kept aware and informed of everything going on, but everyone is allowed to express their opinions. Nobody takes themselves too seriously. Once you start doing that, that’s when dissenting voices become a problem.

“This is the most healthy environment I’ve been involved with since I’ve been in the NBA.”

That is the highest of praise — and a bit of a dig at the Lakers. West had a lot of success in the big chair for the Lakers, but it was a very different style, and right now the Lakers front office doesn’t seem healthy at all.

West is still ultra-competitive and opinionated — he threatened to quit if the Warriors had traded Klay Thompson for Kevin Love — but he seems to understand having more than one voice in the room, and a GM willing to listen to those voices, can work very well.

Here are some other highlights of West’s comments.

• He says the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and Rockets are all threats to come out of the Western Conference. The Spurs are everybody’s hot pick after their summer landing LaMarcus Aldridge, but West noted, “We’re younger than they are, and our players can get better individually.”

• On small ball: “We have a lot of very talented players, we’re long and lanky. Size sometimes can be a detriment because a lot of people don’t want to run up and down the court. We were the best offensive team, the best defensive team, and we played our small ball a lot… We create a lot of our shots with the defense focused on Curry and Thompson, our other shooters get a little more time to shoot the ball.”

• He thinks Thompson can make the All-NBA teams if he improves his footwork and finishes better at the rim next season.

• As for just drafted Kevon Looney, West likes his instincts and hoops IQ a lot. He says Looney needs to get stronger, and he may need surgery on hip. But in a few years he could play a nice role on the Warriors.

• West recently shot his age on the golf course.

Report: Cavs still undecided about bringing over Russian center Sasha Kaun

Mirza Begic, Sasha Kaun

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has spent freely to put a contender around LeBron James, retaining key pieces from last season’s Finals run and adding Mo Williams. But Cleveland isn’t done making moves yet: they still have a few decisions to make about players who were on their roster last year, and according to a new report, they’re undecided about bringing over Russian big man Sasha Kaun, whose rights they own.

From Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon:

The Cavaliers “aren’t in a hurry” to make a decision on Russian center Sasha Kaun, a league source told the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Cleveland front office personnel dined with the 7-foot Kaun Friday night in Las Vegas after he watched the team’s Summer League finale courtside with LeBron James and coach David Blatt, among others.

The Cavs control Kaun’s NBA rights and could pay him at least the veteran’s minimum of $525,000, in addition to the roughly $1.3 million left of the team’s taxpayer’s salary cap exception, if they so chose. They invited Kaun to Las Vegas to start the dialogue about possibly playing for Cleveland next season.

The Cavs can offer Kaun $1.3 million, but even that reasonable amount of money will carry a hefty luxury tax bill. They still have yet to re-sign Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Matthew Dellavedova, all of whom are likely to be back. And with new deals already signed for LeBron James, Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert, plus Kyrie Irving’s $90 million extension kicking in, Cleveland’s payroll is already at $88 million just on deals they’ve already completed. Thompson’s inevitable deal at close to max will bring things well over $100 million, and Smith will probably command a sizeable deal as well. It might make more sense for the Cavs to wait until next summer, when the salary cap is much higher, to bring over Kaun. He probably won’t play much this year anyway.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: “I want to play for the Milwaukee Bucks forever”

Giannis Antetokounmpo

If a team can provide security (in the form of a longer contract) and a chance to win, players now are often choosing that over jumping to a bigger market. Kevin Love, Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol, Draymond Green, and Jimmy Buttler led the list of big-name free agents who chose to stay put this summer rather than test the waters elsewhere.

Milwaukee should be able to provide that for Giannis Antetokounmpo in a couple of years when it’s time to extend his rookie contract. They certainly will be able to offer the most money, and the Bucks look like a young team with a lot of potential — Jabari Parker, Greg Monroe, Michael Carter-Williams, John Henson and on down the list.

Antetokounmpo does a blog for EuroHoops.com and wrote about if he might ever bolt Milwaukee.

The Bucks and John Hammond chose me in the draft, got me in the NBA, kept me in the team with a role from my very first season and they are my basketball family. Not only that, but already at this young age, they have enough faith in me as a leader and they are doing everything in order to develop all of my potential. From my side, I feel that I want to be playing in the Bucks. I’m not talking about my next contract. The way I feel now, I want to keep playing for the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 20 years!

You never know how life turns out. Three years ago I was thinking that I might be playing for Filathlitikos forever! All of a sudden, the draft emerged, the NBA, the Bucks and everything that followed. I don’t know how I’ll be feeling and thinking in 2, 3 or more years. Right now I feel like I want to play for the Milwaukee Bucks forever…

I’m a guy who doesn’t really care about glamour and big markets. I like to be home all day. I get up in the morning, I take a shower and I go to practice. When I’m finished, the only thing that’s on my mind is to go back home and spend time with my family. I usually feel that I prefer to hide from people.

He went on to say the one thing that will impact his decision is the quality of team the Bucks have.

Antetokounmpo will be up for an extension next summer, and you can be certain the Bucks will offer a max deal and he will take it. Considering his family and background, he is going to take the security — not just for himself, but for his family for generations — of the huge deal.

Might he move down the line? Sure. Predicting anything in the NBA beyond three or four years borders on the impossible. But in the short term, he’s going to stay a Buck.