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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 23 June 2015 at 3:32pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'm more concerned that Thompson is going to be a trickier negotiation and Thompson matters

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That's where Cleveland's management would release a sigh of relief if Love opted out.  They wave "bye" enthusiastically with one hand while inking Thompson to a $60 million contract with the other.  Thompson moves into the starting PF spot.  Varejao gives you depth off the bench, they already picked up the option on Mozgov for 15-16....now you just take a little extra money to sign another shooter.  Done and done.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 23 June 2015 at 5:26pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

As fans interested in the most efficient route to an improved team you and I can see the value of just letting Love go for the salary relief.  I think Cleveland mgmt. egos won't want to, though, since they sacrificed much in getting him (namely Wiggins, who looks like a soon-to-be superstar).  In that regard, here's an interesting Love sign and trade rumor.  Makes sense to me because it allows Cleve to get some value for having traded assets for Love while hopefully providing Love with a happier landing spot.  In the abstract, obviously this sounds lovely but finding a deal to make all parties happy is easier said than done.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 24 June 2015 at 6:06am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Re George Monroe, I read that he wants to play for the Knicks and will likely get max dollars. Apparently, Phil Jackson and Monroe's agent who used to be Michael Jordan's agent, are good friends.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 24 June 2015 at 10:33am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Wilson, I heard the same rumor back in April but to me it depends on who NY is able to draft (they currently have the #4 pick).  I really don't think Monroe is worth a max-type deal regardless, but we'll see. 

The free agent drama I'm most interested in is the highly talented but temperamental big DeMarcus Cousins, reportedly on the block despite denials from Sac. mgmt.  Coach George Karl sings a different tune, as do a lot of others.  His acquisition could improve the fortunes of a bunch of teams. 
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 24 June 2015 at 1:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Love has officially opted out.  I'm calling it right now: he will NOT be back in Cleveland.  Super secret meetings are happening in Cleveland right now where they are all agreeing not to re-sign him.  I expect a token offer so that when he signs elsewhere they can say "oh gee we tried I guess he was all about the money" and as I said before, secretly be giddy that he is elsewhere. 

Go Cavs!
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 24 June 2015 at 2:35pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I'm guessing whatever happens is going to take a while... if Cleve does a sign and trade it will take time to put together, and a lot of teams have Love on the brain (for starters, certainly Boston and LA and Portland if they lose LaMarcus Aldridge) so until his fate is resolved some other potential deals may have to wait.  Love has some incentive to wait b/c if Cleve signs him to a max deal and then trades him, they can offer him a better max deal than any other team since they are the current contract holder.  On the other hand, if Cleve just decides to jettison him, it could go a lot faster.  Personally, I'm guessing on a long, complicated free agency summer!
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 29 June 2015 at 10:10am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Interesting draft.  Lakers taking G D'angelo Russell #2 was a surprise (certainly to Philly, who obviously wasn't expecting it and wound up drafting yet another big man in Jahlil Okafor, who will be great offensively but isn't necessarily the most complimentary piece.  I'd expect Noel or Embiid or Okafor to be dealt.)  Jackson's NY gamble on their own big man project #4 Kristaps Porzingis could pay off, but is far from guaranteed and will take years.  The Heat stole Justise Winslow at #10; could D. Wade really leave now?

DeMarcus Cousins, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan and possibly Kevin Love will be tempting free agent targets, though I suspect some will stay where they are.   Others of interest:  Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, Goran Dragic,  Draymond Green, and Paul Millsap.  I don't think Kawhi Leonard, LBJ, D. Wade, Jimmy Butler or Duncan are going anywhere.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 29 June 2015 at 6:52pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Looks like Wade may test the waters.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 29 June 2015 at 7:14pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

If what I'm reading is true, it's a foregone conclusion that both Tristan Thompson and DeAndre Jordan are going to get max contracts.  Both are really valuable players and particularly important to their present teams, but I'm kind of surprised both command that much.  They're two of the most active rebounders in the game and both are high energy guys who impact play in unusual ways so I like that they're going to be rewarded, but it's just surprising given Jordan's 8.0 PPG lifetime scoring avg and awful foul shooting that takes him out of some crucial 4th quarter situations.   Thompson is a 64% foul shooter who only averaged 26.8 minutes per game and just 8.5 PPG himself this season.   Intangibles apparently really do matter!
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 01 July 2015 at 7:06am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I definitely don't understand how these max contracts work:

Kawhi Leonard will sign a five year max deal to stay in San Antonio for $90 million.

Anthony Davis will sign a five year max deal to stay in NO for $145 million.

How does that make sense?  Leonard was a first round pick and has been in the league a year longer than Davis. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 July 2015 at 10:28am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

There are weird bonuses that allow you to make a higher percentage of a team's cap (25%, 30% or up to 35% depending on years of service and things like how many all star appearances, MVPs, other awards you've received).  Davis slips in higher because he's had more awards and all star appearances, I believe.  Leonard was the defensive player of the year this year, though, so I agree it's odd that he can't make more cash.  The Leonard deal to me is particularly a steal because he is the young two-way backbone and star of the Spurs now and $18 mill per is going to be dirt cheap once the salary cap increases over the next couple seasons.

In early free agency, a lot of players so far are staying with their teams.  However, the Hawks appear to be faltering.  They just lost Demarre Carroll to Toronto and signed Tiago Splitter from the cap-clearing Spurs.  Splitter would appear to be weak insurance should Paul Millsap leave.  Millsap has already received a max offer from Orlando and is apparently mulling it over; he would be a bad loss.


Edited by Rick Senger on 01 July 2015 at 10:30am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 July 2015 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Here's an interesting kicker:  apparently Davis has to be an all star or all-nba this year in order to get his deal. 

From link: "Because Davis was elected by the fans to start in last February's All-Star Game, and since he also earned All-NBA first-team honors, New Orleans will have the ability to include a provision in the deal that entitles Davis to start his max deal at 30 percent of the league's salary cap as opposed to 25 percent, provided he is an All-Star starter or earns All-NBA honors next season as well.‎"


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