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.

D’Angelo Russell says weather played ‘major part’ in picking Warriors over Timberwolves

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D'Angelo Russell wants to play with Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns’ Timberwolves were reportedly interested in Russell last summer.

Why did Russell join the Warriors instead of Minnesota?

Russell, via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis StarTribune:

“I thought the opportunity here was amazing … ” Russell said after Warriors shootaround Friday. “It was definitely something I was considering very strongly. But then when this opportunity came, the weather is way better, so that helped me.”

“I did my first winter in New York and that was tough,” Russell said. “So to get the opportunity to go somewhere where it’s warm again, I think that played a major part in my plan.”

I don’t blame him one bit.

Russell grew up in Kentucky then finished high school in Florida. He spent his first couple NBA seasons with the Lakers.

He also played collegiately at Ohio State and a a couple years for the Nets. In other words, he spent enough time in cold-weather locations to know how miserable they can be.

This is an issue that will always hinder teams like the Timberwolves. It doesn’t mean they can’t attract free agents. It’s just a disadvantage.

There will always be players who don’t have multiple max offers. Minnesota can separate itself with money, playing time and other considerations.

But good for Russell for playing himself out of that group and earning a max contract in the Bay Area.

Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out for Nets-Pacers

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Kyrie Irving missed the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Saturday.

He’s not healthy enough to play the Pacers tonight.

Nets public relations:

Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) is OUT.

Brooklyn (5-7) lags behinds Indiana (7-6) in the Eastern Conference’s middle morass. The Nets must try to catch up in the playoff race without their best player.

But it’s a long season. Brooklyn has plenty of time to gain ground. Spencer Dinwiddie is capable in relief, and the unselfish Nets can create ball movement while Dinwiddie rests.

I’m more concerned about next week. A segment of Brooklyn’s schedule:

  • Nov. 24 at Knicks
  • Nov. 25 at Cavaliers
  • Nov. 27 at Celtics

That’s the team Irving spurned in free agency, the team Irving requested a trade from and the team Irving just left after pledging to re-sign. Those are juicy matchups. Hopefully, Irving is healthy enough to play in all three.

Ray Allen says he would’ve returned to Celtics if they signed Kevin Durant in 2016

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Ray Allen left the Celtics on bad terms in 2012. He finished his career with the Heat in 2014.

But Allen apparently could have come back with Boston in 2016… if Kevin Durant signed there first.

Allen, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston:

“I had a conversation with (Ainge) and I told him this was my last-ditch effort. I would’ve went back,” Allen said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” radio show.

“This was when Kevin Durant was a free agent. He was thinking about going to Boston. And I said, ‘Hey, if you guys land Kevin, I would certainly look at lacing them back up one more time and try to make something good happen here in Boston.’ “

This is a fascinating “what if?” – for the Celtics on the court and for Allen’s legacy in Boston.

But it also probably didn’t come close to happening. Durant said his top two choices in 2016 free agency were the Warriors and Thunder. Even Allen himself said he never neared a comeback.

Still, it’s interesting – after all the animosity – Allen even spoke to Celtics president Danny Ainge about returning.

European coach berates his players: ‘You’re good guys. F— you’ (video)

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Remember Luigi Datome? He spent a couple seasons with the Pistons and Celtics.

He makes an appearance in this wild video featuring Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic (warning: profanity):

A partial transcript the best I could muster:

YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. IN YOUR EYES, YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. F— YOU, EVERYBODY! F— YOU, OK!

F— YOU, GIGI DATOME. OK? SHAME ON YOU. AND YOU…

Festivus isn’t for another month, but someone is already ready for the airing of grievances.