Cavaliers trade Keith Bogans and a second round pick to Sixers

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When the Cavaliers traded three non-guaranteed deals to the Celtics in exchange for Keith Bogans just a couple of days ago, it was believed to be a wise move aimed at putting the team in position to add even more talent next summer.

Bogans has $5.5 million in non-guaranteed money owed to him for the 2015-16 season, and that contract, combined with the $10.5 million in non-guaranteed money that same season which remains on Brendan Haywood’s deal, was believed to be something that Cleveland could use as a powerful trade chip to acquire another max-level player once this upcoming season is finished.

As it turns out, that wasn’t the plan after all.

Cleveland traded Bogans and a 2018 second round pick to the Sixers on Saturday, in exchange for Philadelphia’s 2015 second round pick, which has protections assigned to it. Philadelphia confirmed the details in an official release.

The Cavaliers will get a $5.3 million trade exception, but it’s not something that can be combined (with Haywood’s deal, for example) in order to acquire additional players.

From Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

The move gives the Cavs a $5.3 million trade exception without taking up a roster spot.

Bogans was just acquired on Thursday in exchange for four players and two second-round picks, but one league source with knowledge of the situation indicated the Cavs never had much interest in keeping Bogans on the roster. By moving him now, they’ll have one year to use the exception.

The exception cannot be combined with any other players, meaning they cannot combine it with Brendan Haywood’s non-guaranteed contract next summer. But the Cavs feel Haywood’s $10.5 million non-guaranteed contract by itself will be large enough to obtain any player they could realistically pursue.

So, why go to all this trouble if you’re Cleveland? To stay out of luxury tax territory this season.

The move is a cost-cutting one, but also keeps an eye on future flexibility, as well. The new collective bargaining agreement has a nasty repeater tax penalty in place for teams who exceed the cap in three of the four previous seasons, so you want to prevent that clock from starting for as long as possible.

Tax-paying teams also face restrictions in terms of what they can do from a roster maneuverability standpoint, which include not getting to use the bi-annual exception, having a smaller mid-level exception than non-tax-payers, and being prohibited from receiving a player in a sign-and-trade transaction.

By dealing Bogans, Cleveland creates a trade exception, stays under the tax line, and leaves an open spot on the roster.

New GM David Griffin may not have had much to do with getting LeBron James to return home, or even acquiring Kevin Love to play alongside him. But moves like these show that he clearly knows what he’s doing.

Patrick Ewing on Knicks firing David Fizdale: “Very disappointed in that”

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Knicks legend Patrick Ewing currently is waist deep… well, at his height maybe knee deep, in the college basketball season. His Georgetown team is off to a solid 6-3 start with a game at Syracuse coming up this Saturday.

He still has time for his SiriusXM radio show, “Center Court with Patrick Ewing,” where he said he was “very disappointed” to see David Fizdale let go.

“Very disappointed in that. I think that Fiz is an outstanding coach. I’ve had an opportunity to get to know him over the years, met him when he was working for the Hawks. And just want to let him know that I support him and I know he’s looking forward to his next opportunity, but he is a very good coach and I was disappointed to see him getting let go.”

Coaches back the other coaches, it’s a fraternity that way. Rick Carlise is the master of it.

Fizdale is not blameless for the current state of the Knicks, his rotations and ability to develop young players certainly are in question, but he wasn’t the root of the problem. The best analogy I can come up with is Fizdale was the first contestant sent home on “Chopped”: Nobody was going to make a delicious meal out of the horribly mismatched ingredients in that basket, but the chef still has to do something cohesive with it. Fizdale did not.

The question becomes, is team president Steve Mills — the long-time Knicks employee who has known how to survive in James Dolan’s world — going to finally be let go and a big name brought in, or are the Knicks just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Pacers fans still boo Paul George, he responds with 34 through three quarters (VIDEO)

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Don’t make Paul George angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry (if you’re the opposing team).

It was a couple of seasons ago, but the wounds of Paul George forcing his way out of Indiana are still fresh for Pacers fans, so they booed him when he handed the ball at points during the Clippers visit to Indiana.

George’s response? Go get buckets and tell the crowd to “shhh.”

Like 21 points in the first half buckets.

And 34 points after three quarters, with seven from beyond the arc.

The Clippers — without Kawhi Leonard on the back-to-back — were up double digits in the fourth quarter in Indiana. George will be your player of the game for L.A.

Kevin Love on latest rumors Cleveland will trade him: ‘Nothing’s changed’

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Kevin Love has heard it all before.

Rumors floated around Cleveland was going to trade Love in the summer of 2015 after his first season with the team. They sprung up again the next season at the trade deadline — before Love played a central role in Cleveland winning a ring. The rumors kept springing up, especially after LeBron James left. Then this past summer, Love signed a four-year, $120 million extension to stay in Cleveland.

That has not stopped the rumors.

Love was asked about the rumors and sounded unmoved by them but a little frustrated, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“Nothing’s changed,” Love told ESPN after Cleveland’s morning shootaround at TD Garden. “What I mean by that is, since I got here they’ve been … since I f—ing got here, there’s been talk of me being traded, so it’s nothing different. If they decide to go that way, I’ve just got to know it’s part of the business, or if we decide to go that way, it’s part of the business.

“Truthfully, I don’t know how it’s going to play out, because I see both sides.”

This time it feels like Love could get moved, if not at the trade deadline then this summer — and he wants to go to a contender.

The logic is simple: Cleveland is rebuilding, Love is still a stretch four and good rebounder who can help a playoff team. Love is averaging 16.1 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, is shooting 37.1 percent from three, and remains one of the best outlet passers in the game. Boston, Denver, Portland and a host of other teams could use him this season.

The challenge is that massive contract, which is why a trade may be put off until next summer.

Whatever happens, Love isn’t going to stress over it.

It’s official: Gordon Hayward makes return to Celtics lineup Monday

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He beat the timeline by a full two weeks.

Gordon Hayward fractured his hand on a fluke play against the Spurs that required surgery to repair (he fractured the fourth metacarpal, the bone that connects the wrist to the ring finger). When he had surgery on Nov. 11, the timeline for a return was 6-8 weeks.

One month later, Hayward has been cleared to make his return Monday night against Cleveland.

This is good news for Boston and its offense. Hayward was having a bounce-back year through his first eight games, averaging 18.9 points per game, shooting 43.3 percent from three, pulling down 7.1 rebounds, and dishing out 4.1 assists per game. Even more than Kemba Walker, it was Hayward who was the playmaker for others and kept the offense flowing.

Not that Boston struggled too much with Hayward out. The Celtics went 9-4 with a +5.9 net rating in the games he missed, although the team’s offense slid back to middle-of-the-pack without his scoring and shot creation.

He’s back, and Boston — the second best team in the East so far this young season — just got a little better.