I feel LeBron on this one. I have two daughters who play on club soccer teams and I get more frustrated, angrier at referees, and generally am far more emotionally invested their youth games than any NBA game. Over the years I have learned a lot, both from and saw it echoed in Coach David Thorpe’s book, about how to be supportive to them and their experiences, not make it about my feelings and wishes.
But sometimes you need to step in.
LeBron James is in Las Vegas and so far all the stories have been about how he is working out with Derrick Rose, Eric Bledsoe, Chris Paul, and what does that all mean (nothing, NBA guys often work out together all summer, especially teammates and guys who share an agent). But he’s also there for the AAU Adidas Uprising tournament where his son is playing.
And when LeBron saw the score was wrong, he went over to the scorer’s table at a time out to tell them.
I love the way the scorer’s wave him off, like they would any parent who walks up and complains.
Then they corrected the score, because LeBron was right. You knew he would be, the man has an eidetic memory about basketball.
Is LeBron James staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Who knows?
But The King is reportedly working to try to find trade deals for disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving.
According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre, James has begun hustling for the Cavaliers this offseason, suggesting a trade of Irving for Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson.
Here is what Torre had to say, via Fear the Sword:
“LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.”
Then again, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has sources that are saying LeBron has not been active:
Irving has a preferred landing destination in New York, but there is apparently not mutual interest between the Cavaliers and Knicks. While before it was rumored that Carmelo Anthony would like to in Cleveland with LeBron, but that trade has yet to happen despite the obvious answer to the question of what to do with each player.
Rumor has it that Anthony only wants to play in Houston, and sort of puts the brakes on getting Irving to New York.
Cleveland seems to have lost a bit of leverage with Irving’s open trade request, so it will be interesting to see what the return for Cleveland is once a trade is finally made and we can compare it to the deals for Chris Paul and Paul George.
Irving reportedly isn’t talking to the Cavaliers at the moment so one would have to assume a deal will be coming within the next few weeks.
The Warriors smoked the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Now, the Warriors are taking control of Cleveland.
NBC Sports Bay Area:
Golden State agreed to terms on a training camp invite with Antonius Cleveland, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned.
Cleveland went undrafted out of Southeast Missouri State, where the 6-foot-6 guard was either a late bloomer or just a 23-year-old who outgrew his competition. He’s likely ticketed for the Warriors’ minor-league affiliate, either as an affiliate player waived in the preseason or maybe even on a two-way contract.
Did the Warriors sign Cleveland for the jokes? Probably not. He’s a viable developmental prospect.
But they also signed JaVale McGee and Nick Young the last couple years. I can’t completely rule it out.
The Lakers have negotiated just a few contracts this summer – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyler Ennis and now Thomas Bryant.
The deals all have something in common: no guarantees beyond 2018, when the Lakers are expected to pursue free agents like Paul George and LeBron James.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Lakers still had the room exception, so they could’ve offered more than the minimum. They might have had to get Bryant to bypass the required tender, a one-year contract – surely guaranteed at the minimum – teams must extend to maintain draft rights to a second-round pick.
Bryant entered the draft a year too late. After looking like first rounder last year, he returned to Indiana and saw his stock slip. He’d have reason to bargain for more compensation.
Brook Lopez is clearly the Lakers’ top center, but there are minutes available behind him. Bryant will join Ivica Zubac in the effort to prove they play hard enough and have enough skill to overcome their lack of athleticism.
The Timberwolves were working on a contract extension for Andrew Wiggins.
Then, Kyrie Irving‘s trade request became public. He reportedly listed Minnesota among his preferred destinations. Jimmy Butler (a friend of Irving’s) and Karl-Anthony Towns have petitioned Timberwolves management to add Irving, and the team is exploring a deal. Wiggins fits perfectly what Cleveland is said to be seeking.
So, where do extension talks stand now?
Darren Wolfson of
The Timberwolves could simultaneously be exploring multiple paths. They might want to trade for Irving, even if it means including Wiggins. They might want an extension lined up with Wiggins in case they don’t. They’re not committed to either direction until they finalize something.
They’re not even committed to keeping Wiggins if they extend him.
It’d complicate an Irving trade, to be sure. Wiggins outgoing salary would still count as his actual salary ($7,574,323), but his incoming salary to Cleveland would count as the average annual salary of the entire deal – the final season of his rookie-scale contract and the extension years both included.
But there’s no time period after signing Wiggins to a rookie-scale extension where the Timberwolves would be prohibited from trading him. He could also sign an extension with the Cavs anytime between a trade and Oct. 16. Minnesota might be assessing Wiggins’ extension demands on behalf of Cleveland, which would surely be interested in extending him in accordance with a trade.
If the Timberwolves actually sign Wiggins to an extension, that’d send a big signal they don’t plan to trade him for Irving – but even that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Until a deal becomes official or more concrete word leaks of Minnesota’s plan, I wouldn’t assume a Wiggins-for-Irving deal is off the table.