Latest NBA headlines and free-agency news:
- Adebayo steps up in summer for Heat
- Report: Olynyk heads to Miami
- Reports: Celtics looking to make cap room
- Report: Jones' future with Cavs unknown
- Reports: Roberson, Thunder reach deal
- Reports: Heat, Waiters agree on four-year deal
- Young headed to Warriors on reported 1-year deal
- Report: Kings to talk with McGee
- Report: Pacers waive Ellis
Adebayo proving worth for Heat -- As a top recruit out of high school, Bam Adebayo went to the University to Kentucky to join the star-studded crew that seems to land there each year. He didn't have a big role in 2016-17 for the Wildcats and fell to the Miami Heat in the NBA Draft, who, according to our Fran Blinebury, are looking awful smart now for taking him:
Through three games, the 6-10 forward has averaged a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds along with 2.3 blocks per game, all while still feeling his way along. When Adebayo put it all together against the Pacers with a 29-point, 11-board game that was a couple rungs up the ladder. He rolled confidently to the hoop. His shots dropped. He took over down low. He got out in transition and demonstrated ball-handling ability by going the length of the court. He even did a Euro-step.
“He was what we like to say, one percent better,” Miami summer league coach Chris Quinn. “I thought he did a great job, a much better job of rolling to the basket. We were able to get him some easier looks that way and also get him to the foul line. They had some big physical guys down there and he responded well to that.
“It can be a big asset if you have a big that can get a rebound, outlet and then bust up the court, get you in different situation.”
The skeptics said that Miami reached in taking Adebayo in the top half of the first round. Yet his college coach John Calipari said the still 19-year-old big man would blossom and thrive once he got out of the Kentucky system.
While the pre-draft workouts in Miami were behind closed doors, the Heat staff said Adebayo impressed them with his attitude and hunger to work as much as his many talents. So they sent him to the summer league with the freedom to do all that he can.
“Pat and them said they were going to let me not be in a box,” Adebayo said. “In summer league, I'm playing free. I’m having fun.
“If I keep doing that, I might get touches in the real game. If I can do good with the real touches, I might be one of those (regular rotation) guys.”
At most, the No. 3 option at Kentucky behind De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, Adebayo is being pushed to show what he’s got when the lineup is leaning on him.
“It's something maybe he hasn't been asked to do in the past,” said Quinn. “We're giving him the freedom to get the ball down low, to make plays for us. At the end of the day, we want him rebounding, we want him defending. Those will be the things we focus on the most.”
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Report: Kelly Olynyk agrees to join Heat: Free Agent Kelly Olynyk has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the Miami Heat. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news, which NBA.com's David Aldridge confirmed. Aldridge says the deal will include a player option on the fourth year of the contract.
Free agent Kelly Olynyk has agreed to a four-year, $50M-plus deal with the Miami Heat, agent Greg Lawrence tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2017
Source confirms four-year, $50M deal for Kelly Olynyk in Miami (@wojespn first). Deal includes fourth-year player option, per source.— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) July 6, 2017
UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.: The New York Knicks may have interest in trading for Marcus Smart, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post ...
The Celtics have shopped point guard Marcus Smart around the NBA to clear cap room to sign Gordon Hayward, and the Knicks have interest, according to an NBA source.
According to the source, the Knicks are looking into trade options to fill the cap space they have – about $15 million once they renounce the cap hold on Derrick Rose. Smart makes just $4.5 million this season and then becomes a restricted free agent in 2018.
It’s unclear what kind of asset Boston is seeking in return for Smart.
Smart has played for the Celtics for three years since being selected No. 6 overall out of Oklahoma State in 2014. Smart averaged 10.6 points and 4.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds last season, starting 24 games. He’s shot just 29.1 percent in his career from 3-point land.
Though he’s 6-foot-4, Smart is such a rugged defender, he has been deployed at times guarding the 7-foot-3 Kristaps Porzingis when the Celtics play the Knicks. After effectively guarding Porzingis after one contest, Celtics coach Brad Stevens remarked it was “kinda crazy, but [Smart] likes those types of challenges.”
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Reports: Celtics shopping Crowder, Bradley, Smart to make cap room -- The Boston Celtics have already reached an agreement with this summer's marquee free agent, All-Star Gordon Hayward. But to get him to sign the max deal he wants, they'll have to make some additional moves which may include either trading some stalwarts/fan favorites from last season or working a sign-and-trade deal with the Utah Jazz for Hayward. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald has more:
According to league sources familiar with the Celts’ negotiations, at least one from a group of Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder will be on the move.
Sources indicated the C’s had discussed potential trades with several teams, and they were also looking at the possibility of a sign-and-trade with Utah that would involve Hayward and Crowder. There would be some cap benefits to the Celts in this latter scenario, but they would need to reap some asset(s) from the Jazz beyond simply clearing the proper space for their free agent prize.
Even after renouncing Kelly Olynyk and removing those without guarantees for next season, the Celtics will still need to clear anywhere between $2-4 million. Some of that will depend on cap holds and how the roster shakes out after the expected trades are made, but roster logjams and pending costs will lead to the loss of a regular from the team that won 53 games last season.
Also, as much as the Celts know and appreciate what Bradley and Crowder can do, they were prepared to deal them to Indiana with draft picks for Paul George.
Team president Danny Ainge wasn’t in position to get into specifics yesterday, but it’s clear from simple roster math that the Celtics will have to make some cuts and-or trades to get down to the limit, and that’s before they figure out what to do with Guerschon Yabusele, a 2016 first-round pick who spent the season in China with a late cameo for Maine in what’s now known as the G-League.
With the need to clear roster and cap space, coupled with the need to acquire a rebounder, the Celtics are working on two fronts that may or may not be separate.
Once they sign Hayward and are capped out, they will likely be looking at cap exceptions to sign a player. In that case, the longer it takes the club to work out the first set of moves could impact what’s left in the free agent pool.
“Every team has to do it,” said Ainge. “Every team has to juggle lots of moving parts. Players have to juggle, too. They have to listen to what’s out there. It’s a challenging time of the year for us and everybody in the league.”
And here's ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburneon the Celtics' hopes for a move to come:
The Jazz and Celtics discussed on Wednesday the possibility of including Crowder in a sign-and-trade agreement for Hayward, league sources said, which would be cap beneficial for Boston.
Ultimately, Hayward himself will have to agree to a sign-and-trade, which could be perceived as a farewell gift to the Jazz franchise that drafted and developed him into an NBA All-Star. Crowder had been publicly critical of the Celtics pursuit of Hayward during the 2016-'17 season, in part, perhaps, because he'd be the player most impacted by Hayward's arrival.
The Celtics have to make a complicated series of moves to create enough space to sign Hayward to the full max. But because the salary cap did not rise as much as projected, they likely will have to trade one or more of those three players to sign Hayward. Sources told ESPN that Boston has discussed trade concepts involving Smart, Crowder and Bradley with at least half a dozen teams on Wednesday.
The process of clearing contracts and salary-cap space started Tuesday, when Boston renounced Kelly Olynyk. But even if the team renounced the rights to Jonas Jerebko, James Young and Gerald Green, waived Jordan Mickey, left 2016 first-round pick Guerschon Yabusele in Europe this season and traded Demetrius Jackson's partially guaranteed contract and Terry Rozier, Boston would have $29,444,533 to sign Hayward, which is still about $300,000 short of his max.
Crowder -- who finds himself in a logjam at small forward with the Hayward signing, Jayson Tatum draft pick and 2016 lottery pick Jaylen Brown -- would appear to represent the most logical move. He is owed $6,796,117 this year, $7,305,825 next year and $7,813,533 in 2019-20.
Bradley is in the last year of his contract, at $8,808,898, and is extension eligible. Smart is in the final year of his rookie contract, at $4,538,020, and also is eligible for an extension.
Cleveland Cavaliers veteran guard James Jones may not be back with the team next season, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. While the Cavs know they'll have fellow veteran Richard Jefferson for 2017-18, Jones' future with the Cavs remains more murky:
Jones, 36, is a free agent after 14 pro seasons. A source close to the Cavs said Jones would not be back in 2016-17. Jones' agent, Joel Bell, said neither the team nor Jones had made a decision about his return.
Jones has been LeBron James' teammate for the past seven seasons -- four years in Miami and three in Cleveland. It means that like LeBron, Jones has gone to seven straight Finals.
For context, Jones was a free agent after his first two seasons with Cleveland, and his return was never in question.
Jones averaged eight minutes (and 2.8 points) in his 48 appearances last year. LeBron has called Jones his "favorite player of all time" because of his ability to stay ready in spite of sparse playing time. LeBron also appreciates Jones' leadership in the locker room.
"I told J.J. as long as I'm playing, he's going to be around," James said, according to a 2015 story from ESPN. "He's not allowed to stop playing basketball. So, I'm going to make sure I got a roster spot for him. I love him. He's the greatest teammate I've ever had."
LeBron is aware Jones may not return to the Cavs and is not upset by it, a source said.
Reports: Roberson, Thunder reach deal -- The Oklahoma City Thunder have hardly stood pat this offseason, starting with their reported trade for All-Star Paul George and a reported deal with free-agent Patrick Patterson as well. Aside from adding new faces, the Thunder are also keeping a fan favorite in the fold, having come to terms on a deal with defensive whiz Andre Roberson, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman:
The four-year veteran agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Thunder on Wednesday night, a source confirmed to The Oklahoman. The deal was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
There were thoughts that Roberson could see his free agency go deeper into the summer as the number of restricted free agents receiving offer sheets during the first week of free agency was limited. But the Thunder was able to come to terms with the 25-year-old hours before the July moratorium for free agents ends. The Thunder can sign Roberson as of Thursday at 11 a.m.
With the signing, Roberson's first-year salary will push the Thunder over the luxury tax line of $119.3 million, but the Thunder has until the end of the season to get back below. With top-tier teams such as Golden State and Houston each having two or more All-Stars on the perimeter, the Thunder saw Roberson as a critical defensive piece in competing for a championship alongside Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams and George.
With George coming to the Thunder via trade from Indiana, Roberson can slide back to shooting guard, where he started his first three years in the NBA. Following the departure of Kevin Durant in free agency, Roberson took his place at small forward to make room for Victor Oladipo in the starting lineup.
Wojnarowski reported that Roberson preferred a three-year deal instead of four, as confirmed by The Oklahoman, which would make the 6-foot-7, 210-pounder an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
The signing solidifies the Thunder's starting lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, George, Adams and free agent Patrick Patterson, who agreed to a three-year, $16.4 million deal with OKC on Tuesday.
Reports: Waiters, Heat agree to four-year deal -- Last summer, Dion Waiters didn't find a new NBA home until late in July, when the Miami Heat took a flyer on him. This summer, he'll be certain of his NBA home a lot earlier -- and for a lot longer. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports on the four-year deal Waiters reached with the Heat last night:
Free-agent guard Dion Waiters has turned his one-year audition with the Miami Heat-- a season filled with bravado and big-moments shots -- into a four-year return engagement.
After signing for the Heat's $2.9 million exception when he found himself with limited options last summer, Waiters settled in as a backcourt complement to Goran Dragic, with the backcourt taking the "7-Eleven" nickname as a play on Dragic's and Waiters' numbers, with Waiters playfully noting how the team's ball-movement offense left them "always open."
The agreement has been reported as four years at $52 million, which would mean a $12 million salary for the upcoming season. There are no option years in the contract.The Heat were working with approximately $34 million in salary-cap space before the Waiters agreement.
The agreement with Waiters still left James Johnson, Willie Reed, Luke Babbitt and Udonis Haslem as unsigned Heat free agents. In addition, the Heat have a Friday deadline to guarantee Wayne Ellington's $6.3 million salary for next season.
The Heat were reportedly working into Wednesday night on a new agreement with Johnson, after he had been linked to interest from the Utah Jazz a day earlier.
Depending on the Heat approach with Johnson, there remains the possibility of the Heat being able to add another notable free agent
Reports: Warriors add shooting guard Young -- Last season, the Golden State Warriors signed a somewhat-maligned player (JaVale McGee) and watched as he became a solid contributor to a championship team. Perhaps Golden State is going for that again as they have reached an agreement on a one-year deal with former Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young, writes Conner Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:
The Warriors subscribe to the philosophy that, when surrounded by selfless teammates and coaches, any player can thrive.
It is why they took a flier on the much-maligned JaVale McGee last summer and signed Matt Barnes, known for his run-ins on and off the court, in March. Now, Golden State is poised to test its philosophy with Nick Young.
The free-agent shooting guard agreed Wednesday to a one-year, $5.2 million contract with the Warriors, a source confirmed to The Chronicle. Golden State will use the full taxpayer mid-level exception on Young in hopes that the player known as “Swaggy P” can provide a scoring punch off the bench.
Young averaged 13.2 points per game, shot 40.4 percent from three-point range, posted the lowest turnover rate of his career and started all 60 games he played. Long averse to defense, he showed a renewed commitment to trying to lock down his man. In 16 of the Lakers’ final 17 games, with a playoff berth out of reach, Young didn’t complain while Walton gave his minutes to younger players.
Tired of being on losing teams, Young opted out of his $5.7 million player option with the Lakers to become a free agent. A player whose career was on life support only a year earlier attracted interest from the Thunder, Pelicans and Warriors. Ultimately, he took a pay cut for the chance to chase a ring with Golden State.
It hadn’t hurt that Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green each made recruiting pitches. Shortly after news broke Wednesday of Young’s intent to sign with the Warriors, Durant posted a picture to Twitter of Young celebrating a three-pointer that didn’t go in.
Young figures to be a natural replacement for Ian Clark, who appears on the verge of parlaying a breakout season with Golden State into a more lucrative contract elsewhere. A streaky shooter, Young should benefit from the spacing Curry, Durant, Green and Klay Thompson afford.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Warriors have 13 players secured for next season: Young, Durant, Green, Omri Casspi, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston, David West, Klay Thompson, Patrick McCaw, Damian Jones, Kevon Looney and rookie Jordan Bell. Clark, McGee, Barnes, Zaza Pachulia and James Michael McAdoo are still free agents.
Pachulia is widely expected to re-sign with Golden State, either for the veteran’s minimum or a 20 percent raise from last season’s salary. That leaves one roster spot, which the Warriors hope to use on McGee.
Free-agent big man JaVale McGee and the Sacramento Kings are scheduled to meet today, per ESPN's Chris Haynes ...
Free agent center JaVale McGee scheduled to meet with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, league sources tell ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2017
Reports: Pacers waive Ellis -- Back in the summer of 2015, the Indiana Pacers added Monta Ellis to a lineup that would, in theory, feature Paul George at power forward. That position switch didn't last long for George and Ellis' time in Indiana -- which has been mostly unsatisfying for both parties -- is coming to an end, writes Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star:
The Indiana Pacers waived guard Monta Ellis on Wednesday, multiple league sources confirmed to IndyStar. Other teams in the NBA have 48 hours to claim Ellis and assume the final two seasons of his contract — worth a total of $22.9 million — but that is unlikely to occur.
If Ellis clears waivers, he would become an unrestricted free agent with the Pacers responsible for paying his $11.2 million salary next season. But by waiving Ellis, his 2018-19 contract is no longer on the Pacers' salary cap for that season.
Ellis, a 12-year veteran, didn’t fit within the Pacers’ rebuilding effort around Myles Turner and other younger players. Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo are expected to be the Pacers’ starting backcourt with Lance Stephenson as the primary reserve, which left Ellis with a significantly reduced role.
Earlier this week, the Pacers and Ellis, according to multiple league sources, discussed the possibility of a buyout. Those talks broke down because Ellis wanted to be paid his full salary next season, according to a source. Ellis would have been the third-highest paid player on the team at $11.2 million next season.
Team president Kevin Pritchard, according to a source, still wants to at least add one more player to the roster. Pritchard, though, will likely offer free agents contracts where the second year (or more) is partially guaranteed to ensure the Pacers have salary cap flexibility for the 2018-19 season, according to a source.
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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The LA Clippers reportedly have some interest in free-agent guard/defensive specialist Tony Allen ... Otto Porter Jr. could actually end up being underpaid ... Kemba Walker says he's the one who pushed for and got the Charlotte Hornets to sign Michael Carter-Williams ... Could Chris Bosh get an expedited call to the Hall of Fame? ... Richard Jefferson says he's returning for another season in Cleveland ...