Chris Crawford Signs Two-Year Deal With Cavaliers

Undrafted rookie guard Chris Crawford signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, including partial guarantees, league sources told RealGM.Cleveland will bring Crawford into training camp as a point guard, signing the former University of Memphis guard on Wednesday after he arrived into town earlier in the week. Crawford should compete in camp for a possible second- or third-string role behind Kyrie Irving and likely Matthew Dellavedova. Crawford played for the Houston Rockets’ summer league team in July, averaging over 10 points per game and showing an extended shooting skill at 6-foot-4.The 24-year-old averaged 8.7 points, four assists and four rebounds as a senior at Memphis last season.

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Shawn Marion to Cleveland: “Done Deal”

Shawn Marion is your newest Cleveland Cavalier. While the press release hasn’t been sent to this point, the veteran small forward confirmed via his Instagram account that he is officially a member of the wine and gold.
A little under a month ago, Marion reportedly agreed to join the Cavs, but then went on a trip to China and the Philippines.
Last year, Marion averaged 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.5 blocks while shooting 48% overall, 36% from three, and 79% at the free throw line. The 36-year old will come to Cleveland as a reserve, but will undoubtedly see key minutes off of the bench due to his ability to defend multiple positions in addition to his skill set in transition.
Marion has already made his Twitter background a Cavaliers logo and changed his location to Cleveland / Chicago.

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Pistons officially announce Monroe deal (Yahoo Sports)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Greg Monroe says he is looking forward to playing for Stan Van Gundy after signing a qualifying offer to stay with the Detroit Pistons.

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McRoberts’ Big Opportunity a Huge Deal for Heat

Josh McRoberts has never seen a stage this large, lights this bright and expectations this enormous throughout his six-year career. As a true journeyman in the NBA, McRoberts has never been on a team that has held him to championship expectations and standards. Despite a career statistical year last season with the Charlotte Bobcats (will be Hornets next season), McRoberts enters a situation that could make his career larger than he’s ever imagined. Starting at power forward for the four-time defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat this upcoming season, McRoberts has the chance to elevate his game and stature to heights that neither the basketball world or the man himself would’ve expected.
Besides, McRoberts has never been on a title contender throughout his career and has been past the first round just once (2011-12 Los Angeles Lakers in 66-game lockout season). This Heat team is poised to break through the hype of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers, the lofty champ…

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Los Angeles Lakers Have Leverage In Deal For Eric Bledsoe

It’s been a long summer for the Los Angeles Lakers and the rest of the league. Just when you thought the Lakers relinquished their interest in acquiring restricted free agent point guard Eric Bledsoe for the upcoming season. Not really. Nothing in the NBA is deferred, unless you’re talking about the stretch provision the Lakers […]
Los Angeles Lakers Have Leverage In Deal For Eric Bledsoe – Hoops Habit – Hoops Habit – Analysis, Opinion and Stats All About The NBA

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Durant signs another deal, this time Orange Leaf (Yahoo Sports)

Thunder forward Kevin Durant said Thursday that he has signed a partnership deal with Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. Durant will own an undisclosed percentage of the company, his first such partnership since he joined the Roc Nation agency founded by Jay-Z last year. Orange Leaf, based in Oklahoma City, has 321 stores in 40 states, four in Australia and 69 under construction. Reese Travis, CEO of Orange Leaf, thought he was on the right track when he chose to pursue Durant as the company’s first brand ambassador.

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Kevin Durant gets another big endorsement deal

Durant signs with Orange Leaf, cashes in on famous MVP speech during busy summer

      
 

 

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Durant signs another deal, this time Orange Leaf

Durant signs with Orange Leaf, cashes in on famous MVP speech during busy summer

      
 

 

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Milwaukee Bucks: Why Adding Jared Dudley Could Be Signs of a Bigger Deal to Come

The Milwaukee Bucks have had a newsworthy offseason. And for the first time in more than a decade, it isn’t a negative.

Historically, under the hard-headed leadership of former owner Herb Kohl, the Bucks would hire and fire coaches seemingly each year, re-sign players who were undeserving of the millions thrown at them and destroy any chance at a future with free-agent signings of mid-level players to inflated contracts.

Fortunately, the Bucks seem to be directing themselves away from hapless attempts at being a doormat for the East’s top teams, to a focus on rebuilding the team in three areas: the draft, roster development and a plan for an eventual franchise-altering move to complete the rebuild and begin the era of contention in Brew City.

So let’s take a look at how the Bucks have been doing in those three areas as well as speculate on what is coming next; mainly, why the Jared Dudley signing might not be just another mediocre addition to a team looking to secure the eighth seed in next year’s playoffs.

 

The Draft

The Bucks have successfully utilized the draft over the last few years with great value picks outside the top 10 in John Henson (2012) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2013), as well as the highly touted second pick in this year’s draft: Jabari Parker.

 

Roster Development

The Bucks can’t be content with a few solid draft picks; they need to create an environment where the front office, coaches and players challenge each other to construct an environment where everyone is working to improve their craft.

With that said, the new coaching staff headed by Jason Kidd will be responsible for improving the play of the team’s current young assets.

 

The Final Piece to the Rebuilding Puzzle

Some fans might argue that a successful rebuild takes three to five years. And they may back that up by pointing toward new co-owner Marc Lasry’s Twitter proclamation that the plan for the Bucks is to have them ready to compete for a championship in three to five years.

Is that really set in stone?

The key to rebuilding is to do it right, and “right” doesn’t have to take three to five years. It’s naive to think if a potential All-Star-caliber player, at a key position like point guard, is made available to the Bucks, that they would pass because they’d rather reside at the bottom of the league a few more years. 

The Bucks have a young and talented core of Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo, Henson, Parker and Larry Sanders. They also have players with veteran leadership and skill in Zaza Pachulia, Ersan Ilyasova and Jerryd Bayless.

Furthermore, the Bucks hired a coach who can relate to the roster’s young core, so there is no reason they can’t catalyze the current rebuild with a proven point guard capable of scoring, distributing, defending and rebounding in Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe has backed himself into a corner in Phoenix, where he has forced the hand of Suns‘ management to begin trade discussions for the disgruntled future star looking for a max-level contract.

Bledsoe is coming off a year where he posted career numbers in points (17.7), assists (5.5) and rebounds (4.7).

He could be a great fit to lead Milwaukee’s young core onto the court this year.

With the addition of Bledsoe, the team would have to open salary space by sending a player like newly acquired Dudley, who spent five years with the Suns and is a fan favorite according to AZ Central’s Paul Coro. He reiterates how beloved Dudley became as a member of the Suns:

(Dudley) became an essential player, popular teammate and a fan favorite over nearly five seasons with the Suns. Dudley even helped the Suns in his departure that benefited him just as much as Phoenix.

So does Dudley to Milwaukee mean more than what it might appear to be on the surface? Could a package centered around contributing players like Ilyasova, O.J. Mayo or Bayless, as well as a Phoenix favorite in Dudley entice the Suns enough to part ways with the talented Bledose?

It most definitely could be. Here’s what Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com) back in May when he purchased the team:

It doesn’t happen overnight. You build a very solid foundation and build from there. We want to have a championship-winning basketball team here, and you start with the pieces you’ve got and build around it.   

To echo the sentiment made by Bucks new ownership, a rebuild doesn’t happen overnight. But when you have a solid base of role players, two potential cornerstone pieces acquired in consecutive drafts and the chance at grabbing an All-Star-type player to lead them onto the floor, that’s a shot worth taking.

With the team’s recent moves, current roster makeup, dedicated ownership group and staff and the fans’ interest beginning to peak, the Bucks need to pull the trigger and build this team for the future now.

The city of Milwaukee is ready to begin to “Fear the Deer” again, and the only question is: How long until the rest of the NBA begins to fear these young and talented deer?

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

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Report: Kevin Durant reaches huge deal to stay with Nike

Darren Rovell and ESPN.com is reporting that Nike believes they will be able to keep Kevin Durant in tow after Nike has countered Under Armour’s offer. Looks like they will keep Kevin Durant. Story coming from @ESPNSteinLine and I. — darren rovell (@darrenrovell) August 31, 2014 According to the report, Nike officials told Durant and his team at Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports that it would do what was needed to come close to the $325 million offered by Under Armour. While the exact Nike offer for Durant isn’t known, sources told ESPN that Durant should make more — in base and royalties — than the Thunder will pay him over the next two seasons ($41.2 million). That’s why fans in Oklahoma City were nervous about a possible move to Under Armour, which could have steered him more to returning to his local roots to play for the Washington Wizards when he becomes a free agent after the 2015-16 season. Analyst Omar Saad, senior managing director of ISI’s luxury, apparel and footwear team, who …

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