Chinese Team Willing To Offer “Monster Deal” To Dwyane Wade?

As Dwyane Wade ponders whether or not he wants to return for a 16th NBA season, another option overseas reportedly may now exist. The Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association are reportedly prepared to offer Wade a “monster deal” to join the team (via Sportando).

Wade, 36, returned to the Heat at midseason in 2017/18 following a trade from the Cavaliers. The 12-time All-Star averaged 12.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 21 games with Miami, showing flashes of his prior success. However, earlier this week, Wade — currently in the midst of a promotional tour in China — was mum on his future plans.

“When I get back from China, I’ll focus on that,” Wade told the Associated Press. “Right now, I’m focused on the game after basketball. Whatever happens in basketball, it happens. I’ve done everything that I can to this point to put myself that I’m in this position I am today, where I can do something that hasn’t been done globally yet.”

The Heat’s options to re-sign Wade are limited to their $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception and the $2.4MM minimum salary given Wade’s NBA tenure.

Wade’s longtime teammate and close friend, Udonis Haslem, has said he may continue his career overseas next season in search of more playing time. While Wade would still be a factor for the Heat if he returned, if his close friend considers playing in China, it may increase the odds of him following suit.

Clark Crum contributed to this post.

Hawks Waive Antonius Cleveland

The Hawks have waived Antonius Cleveland, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Cleveland, 24, saw action in four games with the Hawks last season, averaging 3.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per game. He was signed to a multi-year contract in March after signing consecutive 10-day contracts earlier in the season.

As Vivlamore noted previously, the Hawks essentially had to waive Cleveland in order to open up the cap room necessary to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Thunder and Justin Anderson from the Sixers.

Adding both Anthony and Anderson to the Hawks’ will increase the team’s total salary to approximately $102.8MM, about $1MM over the cap. Per CBA rules, this is not permitted, as the Hawks are using cap space to complete the trade. Waiving Cleveland lowers Atlanta’s total salary – with Anthony and Anderson – to $101.4MM, safely within the 2018/19 salary cap of $101.869MM.

Cleveland’s 2018/19 salary was fully non-guaranteed, so the Hawks will not be on the hook for any of his salary.

Celtics Waive Abdel Nader

The Celtics have waived swingman Abdel Nader, league sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Nader was chosen by Boston with the 58th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft and spent a season with the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics’ G League affiliate, before signing an NBA contract with the Celtics last summer.

The Celtics will not be on the hook for any of Nader’s 2018/19 salary, as his contract did not become fully guaranteed until August 1.

The move leaves the Celtics with 14 fully-guaranteed contracts and a team salary of $125.4MM, about $1.67MM north of the tax line. Because the Celtics are in tax territory, they may be looking to enter the 2018/19 season with only 14 players on their roster, a la the Warriors. However, the Celtics still have their full $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception to spend on a 15th player should they so choose.

Nader, 24, averaged 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in 48 contests (one start) with the Celtics in 2017/18, his lone NBA season.

Pacific Notes: Beasley, James, Livingston, Temple

In a somewhat surprising move, the Lakers plan to sign veteran forward Michael Beasley to a one-year, $3.5MM deal, using a significant portion of their room exception. Beasley enjoyed a rejuvenated season with the Knicks in 2017/18, averaging 13.2 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 74 games (30 starts).

Beasley reportedly had opportunities to sign with teams that offered more playing time, but a tough free agent market made the $3.5MM salary hard to pass up, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. Also, Beasley has familiarity with LeBron James, as he played alongside the four-time NBA MVP with the Heat.

Since the Lakers signed James away from the Cavaliers, the team has further added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and now Beasley. While it may not be the super team fans had hoped for, it’s an interesting conglomerate of talent.

Check out more Pacific Division notes:

  • Speaking of James, he made his first public appearance last Sunday to watch his new team in action at NBA Summer League. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report spoke to several Lakers’ executives who were on hand and discussed the prospect of James in Los Angeles and his role on the team. One executive actually believes the Lakers’ best lineup would be with James at center.
  • Shaun Livingston has been a valuable reserve for the Warriors as the team has dominated the NBA the past half-decade, winning three championships in the past four years. Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required) spoke to Livingston during his basketball camp in New York City, where Livingston addressed the Warriors’ success and the perception that Golden State has “ruined” the league with their super team.
  • Ever since Zach LaVine‘s offer sheet was matched by the Bulls, the Kings have not made any major additions to the team this offseason. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes that the Kings’ low-key approach thus far is okay and helps the team in the future.
  • The Grizzlies sent $1.5MM to the Kings as part of the trade for Garrett Temple , tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That figure is the equivalent of Deyonta Davis‘ salary, which would therefore be covered by Memphis if the Kings choose to waive him.

Clark Crum contributed to this post.

Suns Notes: Chandler, Point Guard, G League, Roster

The Suns have reportedly been discussing buyouts with players as the team looks to free up a roster spot, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. Gambadoro noted that those discussions included Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler. Dudley was traded to the Nets in salary-shedding exchange for Darrell Arthur, who Phoenix is expected to buyout.

With Dudley gone, Chandler remains on the roster as a sturdy veteran presence. The 35-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make $13,585,000. In 46 games last season, Chandler averaged 6.5 PPG and 9.1 RPG for Phoenix.

At this juncture, however, reports that the Suns are looking to buyout Chandler are incorrect, tweets Scott Bordow of Arizona Republic. Given Chandler’s age and remaining salary, it would be likely hard to find a trade partner who takes on his contract without the Suns eating a significant portion. Also, with first overall pick, DeAndre Ayton in the fold, a veteran like Chandler could prove invaluable to the rookie’s development.

Check out more Suns notes below:

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Raptors’ Tax, Trier, Scariolo

Guard Marcus Smart seriously considered signing his $6.1MM qualifying offer from the Celtics and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald tweets“I went back and forth internally, but it’s a problem a lot of people would like to have.” Smart said. “I definitely thought about taking the qualifying offer, but all my options were open.”

Smart wound up staying in Boston on a four-year, $52MM deal. “To be honest, I didn’t know where I was gonna end up. I was just enjoying this whole process,” he told The Associated Press. “It is a business, so things aren’t perfect. That’s why it’s called negotiations. You guys come together and you finally agree on something. We both agreed. Boston loves me and I love Boston.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors continue to explore moves to shed salary and get under the luxury-tax line, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets. The Raptors still have over $137MM in salary commitments following the Kawhi Leonard deal and are nearly $14MM over the tax threshold.
  • Allonzo Trier has an outside chance to gain a spot on the 15-man Knicks roster after a solid showing in summer-league action, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Trier, an undrafted guard out of Arizona, has a two-way contract but if he makes a strong impression in training camp, it could be converted to a standard contract. The Knicks waived forward Troy Williams this week, trimming their 15-man roster to the league limit, and could open up another spot if they waive Joakim Noah and utilize the stretch provision for the remaining money on his bloated deal.
  • Italian head coach Sergio Scariolo is close to joining Nick Nurse‘s Raptors staff, according to a Sportando report. Scariolo, who is also the Spanish national team coach, has been offered a position but needs to work out a settlement with the Spanish federation, since he has a contract with it until 2020. The situation is expected to be resolved, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun relays. The Hornets were also interested in hiring Scariolo, Wolstat adds.

Nemanja Bjelica Agrees To Three-Year Deal With Kings

The Kings have reached a three-year, $20.5MM agreement with free agent forward Nemanja Bjelica, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. The third year will not be guaranteed, Charania adds.

This completes Bjelica’s unusual odyssey in free agency. The former Timberwolves reserve originally agreed to a one-year, $4.45MM deal with the Sixers early in free agency, then backed out of that agreement on Tuesday. He stated publicly he would likely head back to Europe, explaining that he wanted to create “some kind of stability” for his family.

Kings general manager Vlade Divac and other teams then reached out to Bjelica, trying to convince him to remain in the NBA. Sacramento’s offer won him over.

“The organization’s belief in and commitment to me overwhelmed me and my family,” he told Charania. “I am ready to do everything I can to help the Kings and be a part of the Sacramento community.”

It helped the Kings’ cause that EuroLeague powerhouses like Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow reportedly were not interested in him at this time.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor noted in a conversation last week with Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 that Bjelica entered the offseason seeking a multiyear NBA contract. The stretch four has been a rotation player with Minnesota the past three seasons. He averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 67 games last season, including 21 starts.

Where Bjelica fits in with the Kings is a mystery. Sacramento already has No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III, Zach Randolph and Harry Giles at the power forward spot. His path to playing time may be at small forward.

Ujiri: There Was No Trade Talk With DeRozan

Raptors president Masai Ujiri claims he never told DeMar DeRozan he would not be traded, though Ujiri admits making a mistake talking at length with the All-Star shooting guard about his future with the franchise, according to an ESPN report. DeRozan fumed publicly over being traded to the Spurs as their centerpiece of the deal that landed Kawhi Leonard in Toronto.

“I had a conversation with DeMar at summer league, and I really want to leave it at that,” Ujiri said during a news conference Friday. “We spoke … I think maybe my mistake was talking about what we expected going forward from him. So, not necessarily talking about a trade but what I expect from him going forward, and I think that’s where the gap was.”

We have more regarding the blockbuster trade:

  • Ujiri simply couldn’t pass up the chance of acquiring Leonard, even though Leonard wants to play in Los Angeles when he can exercise his early termination contract option next summer. Ujiri feels it was worth the risk. “We’ve been doing this for how many years?,” Ujiri said, according to a transcript of his press conference posted by RaptorsRepublic.com. “You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and when you get a chance to get a top 5 player – which isn’t very often – I think you have to jump on it.”
  • Leonard has not expressed any reservations about playing in Toronto, according to Ujiri, who will push hard to convince Leonard to re-sign with the Raptors. “I think there’s a lot to sell here,” Ujiri said. “Our team, our culture, our city, our ownership, we have everything here except a championship, in my humble opinion. I don’t think we lack anything in this city.’
  • DeRozan apparently wasn’t impressed by Ujiri’s apology, according to an Instagram post that was relayed by The Score (Twitter link).
  • Leonard has officially arrived in Toronto to take his physical. The team tweeted out a photo of him at their practice facility.

Sixers Trade Richaun Holmes To Suns

7:09pm: It’s official, according to a Sixers press release.

11:29am: The Suns are sending $1MM to Philadelphia in the trade, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic.

10:55am: The Sixers have agreed to a trade with the Suns that will send Richaun Holmes to Phoenix, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Philadelphia will receive cash considerations in return for Holmes, Charania adds (via Twitter).

Holmes, a second-round pick in the 2015 draft, has been a rotation player for the Sixers for the last three seasons. However, after averaging 20.9 minutes per contest and starting 17 games in 2016/17, the 24-year-old had his role cut back last season, as he played 15.5 MPG and started just two of his 48 games.

With Joel Embiid, Amir Johnson, and Mike Muscala in the mix at center for the Sixers in 2018/19, Holmes was unlikely to play a major role for the team. Instead, he’ll join a prospect-heavy Suns frontcourt that features Deandre Ayton, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and veteran Tyson Chandler.

While the Suns’ acquisition of Holmes isn’t exactly a blockbuster, it has some interesting – albeit minor – cap ramifications. Phoenix wouldn’t have had the cap room to acquire Holmes without sending out any salary if not for the Jared Dudley/Darrell Arthur swap the club agreed to earlier today. Now, Holmes can slot into the team’s remaining cap space and its 15th roster spot.

As for the 76ers, there were reports in the wake of their three-team trade agreement on Thursday that the deal wouldn’t be completed right away because Philadelphia was working on another move. A Kyle Korver/Jerryd Bayless trade rumor hinted that the Sixers were looking to open up a little extra cap room themselves — they’ll do just that by moving Holmes’ $1.6MM salary, and now have the space to sign draft-and-stash prospect Jonah Bolden to a four-year contract using cap room.

Without cap space, the Sixers wouldn’t have been able to offer Bolden – who will replace Holmes in the frontcourt – more than two years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Thunder, Magic Swap Johnson, Purvis

6:41pm: It’s official, according to a Thunder press release.

3:51pm: The Thunder and Magic have agreed to a trade that will send Dakari Johnson to Orlando and Rodney Purvis to Oklahoma City, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). The Magic are also expected to receive cash considerations in the swap, Charania adds (via Twitter).

Both Johnson and Purvis are on the books for identical $1,378,242 salaries in 2018/19. However, Johnson’s contract was guaranteed, while Purvis’ is non-guaranteed, creating a little more flexibility for Oklahoma City.

The Thunder will still have to fill that roster spot if they waive Purvis, so the trade isn’t a major cost-cutting move. However, releasing Purvis and signing a 2018 second-rounder like Hamidou Diallo, Devon Hall, or Kevin Hervey in his place would allow OKC to replace Johnson on the roster with a slightly cheaper – and potentially more useful – player.

Johnson, 22, was selected by the Thunder with the 48th overall pick of the 2015 draft but didn’t sign his first standard NBA contract until 2017. The seven-footer appeared in 31 games last season for Oklahoma City, averaging 1.8 PPG and 1.1 RPG in just 5.2 minutes per contest.

Purvis, 24, joined the Magic down the stretch last season, parlaying a pair of 10-day contracts into a rest-of-season deal. The 6’4″ shooting guard posted 6.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 16 games (18.1 MPG).