Who is left: The 10 best NBA free agents still on the board.


Unlike a year ago, the 2015 NBA free agency period was front loaded — starting with Anthony Davis in just minutes after midnight July 1, it seemed like everyone made a quick decision. Even if they later changed their mind and went another direction.

Now almost three weeks into free agency, who is left on the free agent board?

Most teams either have their roster set or are just looking to add one or two last players to round it out (and those are the guys at the end of the bench). Still, there are some interesting free agents available — a few of them tied to Cleveland.

Here’s our list of the 10 best.

1) Tristan Thompson — The Cavaliers and Thompson have yet to agree on a number. Reportedly Thompson (who has the same agent as LeBron James) wants Draymond Green money, which the Cavaliers are rightfully finding amusing. Thompson is a restricted free agent but the problem for him is only three teams — Philadelphia, Utah and Portland — have the cap space to give him the kind of offer he would want, and none of them are likely to do it. With no other good options (read: leverage) Thompson may have to take a number lower than he wants.

2) J.R. Smith — I wrote about him yesterday, he should have opted in for the $6.4 million he was owed, but he became a free agent and now is about to take a pay cut. The Cavaliers are deep into the luxury tax (especially once they make a deal with Thompson) and they want Smith to take a below-market, one-year deal. The problem for Smith is no other teams are stepping up, so he lacks leverage.

3) Jason Terry — In the wake of the Ty Lawson trade (where Houston sent out a few guards), expect the Rockets to reach a deal with Terry to provide depth off the bench. He did shoot 39 percent from three last year and he provides a some value.

4) Carlos Boozer — There are holes in his game, but Boozer still scored 11.8 points a game shooting nearly 50 percent last year. He has some value as a rotation big man. The Clippers, Spurs, Mavs, Pelicans, and Raptors reportedly have some level of interest.

5) Matthew Dellavedova — He’s one of the most popular Cavaliers on the roster, and Cleveland wants him to provide depth behind Kyrie Irving, it’s just a question of for how much money. Delly reportedly wants around $4 million a year, which would bring another $14 million in luxury taxes down on the Cavs, so they understandably want a lower number. He is a restricted free agent, but no other team has signed him to an offer sheet (most assume the Cavaliers would match, and they don’t want to pay Dellavedova what he’s asking either).

6) Dorell Wright — He’s one of the better floor-spacing shooters still out there — more than half his attempts came from three last season, and he hit 38 percent of them. Coming off hand surgery, there hasn’t been much of a market for him as of yet.

7) Kevin Seraphin — He wanted to find a place he could be a starter, but that ship has now sailed. There reportedly was interest with the Lakers and Mavericks, plus the Wizards still want to bring him back. The question is where can he get the most run and the most money? He’s not going to find as much of either of those as he hoped.

8) Darrell Arthur — Denver wants to bring him back, and reportedly the Clippers have some interest, too. Arthur is a solid defender who mostly plays a smart game. As a reserve at the four he makes a lot of sense.

9) Andre Miller — It’s a little surprising to see a quality, veteran point guard like Miller still on the market. The Kings had some discussions with him, but nothing has come to fruition. He’s not young, but he can still give a team quality minutes nightly.

10) Norris Cole — He’s a restricted free agent who played pretty well for the Pelicans at the end of last season. New Orleans wants to bring him back, but Cole is looking for more money. He reportedly has had talks with the Sixers.

Report: Nuggets will trade or waive Pablo Prigioni, who was acquired in Ty Lawson deal


The Nuggets acquired Pablo Prigioni in their trade for Ty Lawson.

But they didn’t really want the 38-year-old Prigioni, who’s a poor fit with Denver’s rebuilding plans. His salary was just necessary to make the trade work.

So, Prigioni will be moving on.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Just $440,000 of Prigioni’s $1,734,572 salary is guaranteed.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a team claims him on waivers. For that reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if a team traded for him first.

Prigioni is a decent backup point guard, a creative distributor and solid shooter. He’s a poor positional defender, but he has a knack for getting steals.

A team trying to win now could do much worse.

Denver just isn’t trying to win now.

Report: Nuggets trading Ty Lawson to Rockets


The Nuggets are supporting Ty Lawson’s rehabilitation.

Now, they can do it their preferred way – from afar.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

A mentally engaged Lawson offers a dimension the Rockets need.

He’ll handle playmaking duties, easing the burden on James Harden. When Houston needs defense, Patrick Beverley can play point guard. It’s an excellent 1-2 punch.

The Rockets pay a pretty low price to pay, especially depending on the protections of that first-round pick. But Houston doesn’t project to have a high draft pick any time soon, anyway.

Denver gets to move on – and not much else. A couple OK players and what’s likely a low first-rounder don’t really move the needle. But the Nuggets so badly wanted to move Lawson, that probably matters most to them. They could waive Papanikolaou and his fully unguaranteed $4,797,664 salary by Oct. 4, too.

The key is Lawson clearing up his issues with alcohol and getting his life in order. If he can, this is a huge win for the Rockets, and I think it’s a risk worth taking.

A chance to play for a better team might motivate Lawson to turn his attention to the court.

Nuggets GM Tim Connelly on Ty Lawson: “We’re all behind him”


After being arrested for drunk driving for the second time in less than six months, Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson was ordered into rehab. Nuggets GM Tim Connelly made his first public comments about Lawson since the arrest on Friday at Summer League in Las Vegas.

Via the Associated Press‘ Jon Krawczynski:

Hopefully, Lawson can get the help he needs. He’s a talented player, but he clearly has some personal issues he needs to deal with.

Ty Lawson to enter alcohol rehab facility


Ty Lawson appeared in a Colorado courtroom Friday for  a DUI citation he received in that state, and there his attorneys told the judge Lawson will enter a rehab facility in California this weekend, according to the Associated Press.

Lawson was arrested for another DUI, this one in California, this past week. From the AP:

The troubled point guard attended a pre-trial hearing Friday in Denver, where his lawyer said Lawson enters treatment Saturday at Cliffside Malibu, a celebrity rehabilitation center in California that treats patients with addiction and psychiatric issues.

“We will be handling the personal needs of the defendant,” said Lawson’s lawyer, Harvey Steinberg. Lawson did not speak at the hearing….

“Now we have a new situation that needs to be dealt with,” Steinberg said Friday, referring to the Los Angeles arrest.

The judge ordered Lawson to use a blood alcohol monitoring device once he gets out of treatment. Also, the judge said she would issue an arrest warrant for Lawson if he leaves rehab early.

Hopefully, Lawson can get sober and deal with his personal issues.

The Nuggets have been trying to trade Lawson since the NBA Draft, but in part because of league-wide concerns about his alcohol use (and the price Denver was asking) there were no takers. While several teams — the Lakers, Pistons, and Rockets — reportedly still have interest in Lawson, those likely are fliers from teams looking to get something for basically nothing. The Nuggets could just waive Lawson outright.

Asked directly in Las Vegas, Nuggets execs said they expect Lawson to be at training camp ready to play. However, with just drafted Emmanuel Mudiay being the rookie star of Summer League and looking like a player, plus the signing of Jameer Nelson, it seems the Nuggets have prepared for life after Lawson.