Morning Shootaround

Shootaround (Aug. 27) -- Cavs want more, but Celtics not ready to provide it

Plus, Nerlens Noel reportedly comes to an agreement in Dallas, and more

This morning’s headlines:

Cavs could seek another asset from Celtics — We’re on to a new round of negotiations in the blockbuster trade that (maybe) sent Kyrie Irving to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and next year’s Nets pick. With Thomas still dealing with an injured hip, the Cleveland Cavaliers are now seeking additional compensation in the deal, as ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

After Cleveland’s physical examination of Isaiah Thomas’ injured hip raised concern about the timeline for his return this season, Cavaliers officials are planning to seek an additional trade asset before finalizing a deal to send four-time All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics, league sources said.

Without revisions to the original trade agreement, the Cavaliers could threaten to veto the trade, league sources said.

The Cavaliers’ stance could trigger a standoff between Cleveland and Boston officials, forcing both organizations to weigh the consequences of letting the blockbuster trade implode.

The Athletic‘s Jason Lloyd reports that the Celtics aren’t giving up any more assets

Boston is not inclined to add anything else to the trade completed this week centered around Kyrie Irving, one source told The Athletic Saturday night. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the talks, insisted the Celtics were upfront with the Cavs on everything and that nothing on the physical should’ve surprised anyone. Thomas flew into Cleveland on Friday for his physical.

Although Thomas bruised his hip in March, one source said Thomas has always dealt with structural issues to the hip and it has never been an issue. While no one reached by The Athletic on Saturday was willing to put a timeline on when Thomas might return to action, the Celtics don’t sound like a franchise willing to increase their offer. One source indicated Saturday the Celtics’ final offer of Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick was their best offer. There will be no more negotiating.

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Business before loyalty for Celtics, Thomas — The Celtics’ trade of Thomas and Boston’s willingness to deal a star who played through all kinds of pain this Spring is seen as Exhibit A for why players have no reason to show loyalty to teams. The Boston Globe‘s Gary Washburn how Thomas was “a victim of his impending free agency.”

The Celtics didn’t want to part with Thomas, but when they found that Irving was available and attainable, they jumped on the opportunity.

It’s a smelly situation. Thomas played through several nagging injuries and the death of his sister. During the second round of the playoffs, he had a front tooth knocked out by an Otto Porter elbow and played on. Finally, when a torn labrum would not allow him to continue, he shut it down in the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers. His postseason was heroic.

Thomas embraced being the face of the Celtics. He loved playing with the Green. He was popular in the city because he was an everyday guy capable of superhuman feats. What’s more, Thomas was stellar in the community.

Privately, the Celtics’ community staff is mourning Thomas’s departure because of the time he put into helping kids. He held dinners, gave away basketball equipment, and next month had a bookbag giveaway scheduled in Boston. While many players remain private and reclusive during their summers, Thomas was visible in the Boston and Tacoma, Wash., communities.

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Noel settles for less — For Nerlens Noel, $70 million wasn’t enough, so $4.2 million will have to do. The Mavs’ center is reportedly returning to Dallas on a one-year qualifying offer and SB Nation‘s Tim Cato clears up the confusion about whether Noel turned down a $70 million offer from Mark Cuban.

Nerlens Noel was offered and declined a four-year, $70 million contract by Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks on July 1, former agent Happy Walters confirmed to SB Nation. The terms of the deal was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Mark and Rick [Carlisle] and Donnie [Nelson] definitely tried to make something work,” Walters told SB Nation. “They liked Nerlens and they made a really solid offer early in the process.”


Noel never revisited the initial four-year deal that was declined in early July, according to Cuban, which the Mavericks may have still honored if Noel had a change of heart.

“[It’s] hard to say,” Cuban told SB Nation. “We never got there.”

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Divac’s new right-hand man — Brandon Williams, a former journeyman and NBA employee with a law degree, brings a different kind of experience to the Sacramento Kings’ front office. The Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voison profiles the Kings’ new assistant GM.

Williams, 42, is part of the new generation of dynamic young executives who grew up with mobile devices in hand and analytics on the brain. In person he actually seems more of a scholar than technology buff, which he attributes to his parents. His mother was a teacher and principal, and when the educational rankings in Louisiana dropped to 49th percentile nationally, she sent her son from tiny Collinston, La., (population 450) to prep school at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

Books and basketball. That was his life, and he excelled at both.


Among his many tasks with the league, Williams helped craft the “Respect the Game” policy that imposed a dress code and was instrumental in creation of the Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J. Somewhere in there, he also found time to get married, have a baby and graduate from Rutgers law school in 3 1/2 years.

“I went to law school to boost my profile,” he explained. “People ask me all the time why I don’t practice, but the (legal training) has helped me in a number of ways. One of the things I bring to the Kings is a level of experience in organizing. At some point our job is to provide the chief decision-maker (Divac) with the key information, right? If you look at it vertically, there is analytics, strategy, salary cap, personnel and day-to-day operations. So my job is to oversee day-to-day matters and serve up information that allows Vlade to make decisions.”

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Why Dwyane Wade returning to Miami wouldn’t work right now … Billy Donovan is hanging out with Steven Adams in New Zealand … C.J. McCollum has been getting a lot done this summer … and Markelle Fultz is still talking playoffs.