Morning shootaround — July 21


VIDEO: Daily Zap for games played July 20

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Report: Cavs to ink Wiggins to deal soon | Report: Knicks looking to move a guard | Bird still puzzled by Stephenson’s departure

No. 1: Report: Cavs to sign rookie Wiggins soon — Normally, a first-round pick closing in on signing his first contract is not news in this space as the deals for all first-round picks are predetermined and basically just need pen to be put to paper. But in the case of the No. 1 overall pick — Andrew Wiggins of the Cleveland Cavaliers — and his ties to trade talks dealing with Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love, we’ll make an exception. As Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com points out, the Cavs’ expected signing of Wiggins would, if nothing else, significantly delay any kind of Love-to-Cleveland deal:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are planning to sign No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract in the coming week, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Cavaliers’ delay in signing the former Kansas star has nothing to do with the prospect of Wiggins being dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of Cleveland’s ongoing trade discussions for Kevin Love.

The Cavaliers, sources say, are merely exploring options for using their estimated $1.4 million in remaining cap space before signing Wiggins to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5 million as a rookie.

The Cavs and Timberwolves have been discussing a Love trade since the return of LeBron James, with sources saying that Minnesota is insistent on getting Wiggins back in any deal that sends Love to Cleveland.

Once Wiggins signs, though, league rules stipulate that the Cavs must wait 30 days before trading him.

The Cavs’ delay in formalizing Wiggins’ contract has garnered extra attention because of the Love factor, but the reality is that this process is a fairly routine bit of salary-cap management that takes place this time of year with draft picks.


VIDEO:
Andrew Wiggins talks about being in the thick of the Kevin Love trade talks

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No. 2: Report: Knicks open to dealing a guard — As it stands today, the New York Knicks have the following guards under contract: Shannon Brown, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Shane Larkin, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. That’s a lot of guards to find time for (and some of them are very well-paid), so it’s no surprise that the team may be looking to deal at least one of those players, writes Ian Bagley of ESPNNewYork.com:

Working to clear the logjam in the backcourt, the Knicks are discussing their potential trade options with guards J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Shane Larkin, a league source said Sunday.

“They’re working on trying to make a move in the backcourt,” the NBA source familiar with the Knicks’ thinking said Sunday.

The idea that the Knicks are trying to make a trade to balance the roster isn’t earth-shattering. President Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills have mentioned the Knicks have a surplus in the backcourt, with Mills saying last week the Knicks are “heavy” at shooting guard.

The issue for the Knicks, of course, is deciding whom to send out in a trade and figuring out what they can get in return in such a transaction.

Tim Hardaway Jr. has been deemed virtually untouchable, per a source.

The Knicks have four shooting guards on the roster. They also haven’t ruled out re-signing free-agent PG/SG Toure’ Murry. He has drawn interest from the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat, according to a report Sunday from the Salt Lake Tribune.

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No. 3: Bird still baffled over Stephenson leaving Pacers — Indiana Pacers boss Larry Bird is the man who took a chance on drafting Lance Stephenson and played a well-documented and integral role in Stephenson’s rise from iffy prospect to a triple-double threat on an East contender. But now that Stephenson is gone to the Charlotte Hornets, Bird can’t help but feel remorse about his departure from Indiana’s locker room. Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star sheds some light on Stephenson’s departure — which may be to blame because of what his agent was seeking for his client:

“I really feel bad about losing him,” Bird said. “I hope it doesn’t interfere with our relationship. But I did what I could possibly do to keep him here. Even if he didn’t have any other offers, I was committed to giving him that $44 million because I believe in the kid. If you look at our roster, we have five or six guys in the last year of their deals, plus David (West) and Roy (Hibbert) can opt out, so don’t you think I wanted to keep Lance and Paul (George) locked into long-term deals?”

But it came down to this.

Stephenson and his agent thought he belonged in eight-figure-a-year territory, $10 million or more, much more, and the Pacers were right to stand firm. Stephenson is a nice player, but he’s not a $10-million-plus player, not yet anyway. If the Pacers had met that price, they would have been left with a thoroughly depleted bench and been forced to deal with the luxury tax.

And in the end, Stephenson didn’t get his eight figures.

When Bird met with Stephenson, his family and his agent the first night of free agency, he had a couple of five-year options and was sure one of them was going to be acceptable. But a few days later, Stephenson’s lawyer/agent, Alberto Ebanks, called back Bird and told him, “I don’t think this is going to work. I don’t believe you have the money available to re-sign Lance.”

Bird was stunned.

They ultimately went back and forth, contemplated different options, but the money was never right.


VIDEO: Get an all-access look as Lance Stephenson signs his contract with the Hornets

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Great story about Clippers assistant video coordinator/aspiring assistant coach Natalie Nasake … Pacers star Paul George opens up a little about what went wrong for the team last season … Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko told a Russian newspaper that coach Jason Kidd couldn’t handle the pressure of coaching in New York … The Kings say their drafting of Nik Stauskas doesn’t show a lack of faith on their part in last year’s lottery pick, Ben McLemore … Hawks rookie Adreian Payne is still trying to get used to the NBA life

ICYMI of The Night: The final day of Summer League is here, so let’s look at the players that were selected to the All-Summer League teams …


VIDEO: The Starters discuss the 2014 All-Summer League teams

27 Comments

  1. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    Stuckey >> Lance

  2. lolnope says:

    Lance made a bad mistake. He could have been everything he wants to be… on the Pacers. He practically slapped the guy who gave him his chance in the NBA in the face. We’ll see how he likes losing and playing for an average team. I’ll bet we see a ton of Lance Longface. You guys don’t know who Lance Longface is? It’s the guy who, despite the fact we won the game, moped over and over because he didn’t get the stats he wanted. Pacers fans saw Lance Longface a lot this last year. The moody guy who couldn’t sit next to his teammates and needed to always be the center of attention. Great, rising player. Unfortunately, dumb as a rock and needs a new agent desperately.

  3. okkin says:

    love should should deal with cavs if he wants a playoff basketball xperience. Agree???

  4. Dirks2garoradebottles says:

    Lance should be the new grand ma-ma in Charlotte.

  5. John says:

    “The Pacers were right to stand firm”.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. It may have practically been blackmail, but the Pacers had to pay it, or else, and they made the wrong decision.

    “If the Pacers had met that price, they would have been left with a thoroughly depleted bench and been forced to deal with the luxury tax”.

    Smart Presidents are paid well to anticipate these things. They make trades and deals to leave room for extra money for players like him and situations like this. Maybe this is the end for Bird as President. I wouldn’t want him running my team.

    This marks the death of what the Pacers and Bird have built over the last several years which was a very good team but only with Stephenson. A team that can’t hold onto one of it’s best players is a very mismanaged team indeed. Both you and Bird can go ahead and stick a fork in the Pacers. THEY’RE DONE NOW.

    When I think of the of the idea of the Pacers winning a title next year, I laugh. I simply laugh at that ridiculous notion. They may as well start rebuilding now. Now? Uh, yeah. Now. Start trading players for draft picks while you all still have something to trade.

    • JRock says:

      I agree. This would’ve never happened had they not matched the blazers offer for hibbert two offseasons ago. They signed him to a max but for me I’d rather sign Lance to a max deal than hibbert. Hes too inconsistent, slow, and really un-athletic. No team needs a extremely dominant center to win in the league. Just good team defense.

  6. Lance has done some pretty silly things in his career so far but this probably trumps them all

  7. dcawston says:

    IMHO Lance Stephenson left because the pacers were trying to lock him up for FIVE years on average money and saying he didn’t deserve more money because he wasn’t mature YET. That means a couple of years at a reasonable rate and then 2-3 at an absolute bargain for them. I’m sure they were also selling it to him as though the risk was all on them which I’m sure anyone would find insulting, especially if they had just led the league in triple doubles. Now he has a shorter contract on a team where he can shine and then in a couple of years go after a much bigger contract wherever he wants. It all seems pretty clear to me so I don’t understand why people are acting like it was a crazy move on Lance’s part

  8. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    Lance = overrated

  9. Don says:

    Bird tried to low-ball Stephenson and ended up with The Gas Face

  10. Eddy Griff says:

    I JUST DONT GET IT…why does everybody not see it?? People are saying that lebron and the cavs might not finish first in the east??? I’m FAR from a lebron fan but why do they need kevin love? remember the cavs team that got swept against the spurs? didnt they make it to the finals with Daniel gibson at starting guard and Larry Hughes??? this cavs team, young though they may be, is better equiped to win a championship than the other cavs team that lebron had. Kyrie irving = way better than gibson. waiters >or = to hughes. Varajao= illguaskas with less offense. Wiggins should be better than the bench the cavs had that year with like donyell marshall and drew gooden. and tristan thompson is developing nice. I think the cavs should wait it out and just try to sign love in the offseason. Lebron makes this team a contender.

  11. b\blue says:

    lovve to cvs

  12. Mike Weiss says:

    Cavs better get that Love trade done or Lebron is going to be angry, and you know when he gets an excuse to pout or give up, he is more than happy to take that opportunity. Be careful, before he goes running to Melo Cleveland. Of course the 30 year olds high school friends have to come with too. Hey, what number will he wear? Its so important!!! What a pathetic little man

  13. Titus says:

    Bird shouldnt be stunned because he didnt give lance what he asked for..everyone wanted to pay Gordon Hayward the max but only wanted to pay Lance 8 mil. Lance is the better play and now hes gonna let his play do the talking…he’ll get his money eventually

  14. TheKush says:

    In regards to ” Bird still baffled over Stephenson leaving Pacers” Lance didn’t want to be the Russell Westbrook of the Indiana Pacers meaning = He didn’t want to be blamed for all of Indiana’s shortcomings! Less pressure in Charlotte + more money + Michael Jordan who probably just has to glare at Lance to stop Lance from doing anything stupid. Keba and Lance are both from New York! and I like Jefferson on that team! I like the hornets this season the got that Alonzo Morning, Larry Johnson, Muggsy bogues feeling to them this season!

    I think Lance made the right decision Larry Legend was the MAN on the court but like Isiah Thomas I’ve questioned some of the trades he’s made especially moving Danny Granger I didn’t understand that move at all because it was clear to me that Granger was the alpha dog in that locker room and moving him left the pacers without a leader with true leadership qualities. Anyway what’s done is done Paul George better step it up next season, furthermore the Pacers need more help at the point guard spot the money Lance left should be used to bring in a better point guard because George Hill every season is consistently inconsistent!!!

  15. prix says:

    Indy´s great loss to the best flopper in the NBA…he´s not worth those figure…I think New york is a better team now than the Pacers…Phils brain is working…should trade J.R Smith but not Shumpert…

  16. Al Whealer says:

    Good to see the Wiggins signing, just hope that he is not being offered in a deal for Love. That’s the wrong move for that organization. Right now, the Cavs have the weapons to compete for a title and are def the favorites in the East, no need to trade a talent like Andrew Wiggins: http://straighthoops.com/beast_of_the_east.html

  17. harrythehawk says:

    Get over it Larry Bird. Lance Stephenson has moved on, to what I believe, is greener pastures. Go Lance! Do you!

  18. Eddy Griff says:

    Wow sounds like Lance Stephenson came up with every excuse to get out of Indy. He left a contending team to go to a possible up and coming? And got paid less? lol that is a typical stephenson move.

    • truth says:

      actually got paid more, 9 mil a year, instead of 8 plus a year, AND he left a team on the downfall…fara from a title contender. to a team on the rise. maybe not a title contender yet, but soon to be…indys reign of 2nd in the east is over… and check your math he took more money with charlotte on a shorter deal, giving him a chance to prove himself and cash in in 3 years

  19. Erlo says:

    McDermott is the next Nowitzski. Can’t wait to see him start draining mid range jumpers all day.

  20. Carlo says:

    Well, if Knicks have too many guards, they could start trading J.R.Smith. According to the list they have two of him.

  21. Antawn says:

    Good Luck Lance!

  22. Bill says:

    The Knicks are going nowhere and Jackson has to know it’s going to take a lot of time to make them contenders , even in the east. What does he think he will get back for any of the players that he’s thinking of trading, and another thing, when he traded tyson Chandler and others why did he take back so many guards, doesn’t he know his own roster??

  23. Fug says:

    Lance is like Big Baby Davis mentally, with more talent and more quirky disruptive things he brings to the table. He basically has two years to mature or Charlotte will not use the option for a 3rd year. Robert Horry comes to mind. He was a total idiot yet somehow carved out his niche and won 7 championship as a piece not the star. Horny’s handlers are greedy idiots, Lance is their only client.