Report: Rondo to Kings “80 percent” done

Basketball Insiders is reporting that Rajon Rondo to Sacramento is “80 percent” done, via Tyler Spencer of Sports Talk:Source: Sacramento Kings/Boston Celtics deal now at “80 percent” to be completed before season. Deal includes McLemore, Williams for Rondo.This is the first in awhile that we’ve heard Rondo rumors pick up steam, but the proposition of sending him to SacTown is nothing new. Still, I don’t see how a package centered around McLemore and Williams would be that enticing for Boston. Ainge can’t be selling that low on our captain.Isaiah Thomas was rumored to be included in packages earlier in the season in exchange for #9, but of course he has since taken his talents to Phoenix. Without the inclusion of Stauskus or picks, the deal seems unworthy for our 4x all star.Stay tuned to CelticsLife for updates.Related:Another Rondo to Kings rumor surfacesReport: Kings offered Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, and two picks for Rondo

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Report: Shawn Marion to sign with Cavs

Shawn Marion has agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Marion had met with Indiana president Larry Bird last week, but ultimately decided to sign with Cleveland for a chance at another championship. ESPN’s Marc Stein broke the news Sunday morning. According to Stein, Cleveland can only sign Marion for the league minimum, and Marion’s […]

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Report: Shawn Marion agrees to join Cavaliers

The Cavaliers’ wild and amazing summer just keeps on rolling. The latest development is that veteran Shawn Marion has agreed to join the wine and gold, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Unless the Mavericks agree to a sign-and-trade deal, Marion will be on board for the veteran minimum.
Marion joins an incredibly deep and talented Cavaliers roster that has come together in a matter of just weeks. Last season in Dallas, the Matrix averaged nearly 32 minutes per game and played in 76 contests. In his 15-year career that has been spent primarily in Phoenix and Dallas with brief stops in Miami and Toronto, he has always been a 30+ minute per night, durable, starting small forward. In many cases, Marion because of his defensive skill and athleticism is asked to play small-ball power forward. 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. He’s got a funky shot delivery, but it hasn’t stop

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Report: Carmelo taking $62 million advance on contract

Carmelo Anthony might be losing some weight during the offseason because of his diet, but his pockets are only getting fatter. Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million deal to remain with the New York Knicks in July, and is taking an advance payment of over $62 million — 50 percent of his contract — according to Wall Street Journal sources. The total advance is the maximum amount the seven-time All-Star can take under league rules. The contract he signed to stay in the Big Apple is the fourth largest all-time, trailing only Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O’Neal, Kevin Garnett and Rashard Lewis in amount. Anthony started a venture capital firm days after his new deal, which could be the reason for taking so much of the money upfront. He isn’t the first player in the league to take a 50 percent advance on his contract. In fact, he’s not even the first to do so on his team. J.R. Smith took a 50 percent advance on his $18 million deal last season. And while Anthony insists he returned to New Yor…

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Report: Group breaks into Ray Allen’s home, with family inside

Ray Allen is currently deciding whether or not to play in the NBA for the 2014 season, but on Thursday there was a much more serious situation in Allen’s life. According to multiple media reports, a group of young adults broke into the home of the former Miami Heat sharpshooter, while his wife and kids […]

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Report: Carmelo Anthony lost weight ‘to play trianngle offense’

Carmelo Anthony shocked the NBA world recently when he posted an Unstagram photo of himself looking skinner than he usually looked.  Anthony had spent the off-season losing weight.  It wasn’t initially clear why he would do this but now we know.
According to the New York Post who cite an ‘Anthony confident’, the reason that Anthony lost the weight was to better fit the triangle offense which the Knicks will be running in the upcoming season.
“He wants to be as athletic as he was when he was a rookie,’’ the confidant told The Post. “Plus he wants to be a facilitator in the triangle and speed will help that.’’
The All-Star forward, who re-signed with the Knicks after weeks of indecision, feels that being in better shape as well as being faster and quicker will help him fit the role better.
The triangle offense is a read-and-react scheme that requres a lot of passing and movement.  It’s a far cry from the offense the Knicks ran under Mike Woodson in the past.
Knicks president Phil Jackson

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Report: NBA offered to rescind fine if Raptors fired Drake

The Toronto Raptors found themselves in some hot water with the NBA when their ambassador, Drake, “recruited” Kevin Durant at a recent concert. The NBA fined the Raptors $25,000 for “tampering” thanks to Drake’ stunt but they did offer to lift the fine if the Raptors fired Drake. The Raptors turned down the NBA’s offer: Raptors officials would not comment on the Drake versus NBA situation. They are plainly loath to make their secret war public. They also refused to address a key detail – that the NBA offered to drop the tampering fine if the team agreed to strip Drake of his title. The Raptors apparently refused. The really odd part about all of this is that Drake just has a title with the Raptors. He’s not an employee. He draws no salary from the team. “Firing” him would have been incredibly easy for the Raptors and it’s not like Drake couldn’t be an unofficial ambassador for Toronto sports or the “Orlanto Captors” or something. I suppose the cache of having Drake’s name officia

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Greg Monroe to Sign Qualifying Offer with Pistons: Latest Report, Analysis

Stan Van Gundy’s first big personnel move as Detroit Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations had long been expected to be deciding upon Greg Monroe‘s future with the franchise. Well, Monroe is reportedly taking the decision out of Van Gundy’s hands.    

The restricted free agent informed the Pistons Tuesday that he will accept their one-year, $5.479 million qualifying offer rather than accept a long-term deal, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA TodayMonroe, 24, has played his first four seasons with the Pistons after being taken No. 7 overall in 2010. 

His decision comes after more than a month of negotiations with the Pistons about a long-term contract. Long thought of as a nuclear option—Monroe is turning down tens of millions of dollars in guaranteed cash—it’s also a bold power play by his agent, David Falk. By signing Detroit’s offer sheet, Monroe can hit unrestricted free agency next summer. He will also have the power to veto any potential trade during the 2014-15 season.

The Pistons recently presented Monroe with “an offer that’s slightly better on a per-year basis than the four-year, $54-million deal that Josh Smith signed last summer,” per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Their previous offer was reportedly for five years and $60 million, though Monroe publicly denied those terms were correct:

Members of the Pistons organization have mostly been supportive, albeit couching their comments with disappointment that Monroe has not signed a new deal. 

“Of course we would like him to do that, but the fact is Greg has to decide what’s exactly right for him and he has great people representing him,” owner Tom Gores told Ellis. “We’d like Greg to get on board, but he’s got time to think about it and we should give him that time.”

There was a perception around the league that the Pistons poisoned Monroe’s well a bit. Fear that the team would match any offer sheet—up to and including the max—left potential suitors wary of mucking up their cap sheets with an onerous cap hold. Monroe instead found himself in a situation similar to Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, who remains without a contract. 

Whether Monroe is making the prudent decision to leave an eight-figure payday on the table is up for interpretation. 

Few question his offensive skill set. He’s a beast on the low block, equipped with brilliant footwork and a series of fakes and counter-fakes that allow him to generate good looks near the rim. His polish was his calling card when he came into the league, and Monroe is slowly developing a mid-range game. 

“I value Greg highly,” Van Gundy told reporters at his introductory press conference. “I think he’s one of the elite big men in the league. I think he’s got a very high skill level. He can pass the ball, he can score in the low post and I want them to know that, that I value him highly.”

Monroe’s per-game stats have stagnated over the last three seasons, but that’s not entirely his fault. Detroit’s spacing was brutal for most of last season, with the coaching staff attempting wizardry in making a frontcourt of Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith work. None of those three can shoot reliably, and Monroe would likely benefit from an offense where he’s the featured post player. 

The positives mostly stop when discussing the other side of the ball, however. Monroe is largely a defensive minus, slow-footed on pick-and-rolls and lacking in consistent engagement. It did not help that Detroit was one of the league’s poorest-coached teams from a schematic standpoint. The Pistons were at times an incomprehensive train wreck, defending at a bottom-10 level regardless of whether Monroe was on the floor, per NBA.com

His one strength is on the block, where opposing bigs shot 34.4 percent against him last season, per Synergy Sports (subscription required). Get him in a scheme where his lack of lateral quickness can be hidden and push better team defense concepts, and Monroe might become garden variety below-average rather than a glaring minus.

The Monroe-Drummond frontcourt is promising and far more age-palatable than Drummond-Smith. But with the former Georgetown star taking his future into his own hands, it seems the Pistons overplayed their hand.

Even if Van Gundy fixes the foibles in Monroe’s game, it’s looking more likely than not that Monroe will jet for greener pastures next summer. 

Or, at least adequately compensated ones.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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Report: Wolves to land Thaddeus Young after Love trade

It appears the Philadelphia 76ers will indeed be involved in the reported Kevin Love trade — tangentially, at least. The Sixers will trade Thaddeus Young to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a package will include 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, a source told the Philadelphia Daily News. At the moment, Bennett is still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday that he, 2014 top pick Andrew Wiggins and a protected first-round pick in 2015 will be sent to the Wolves in a deal for Love. The trade cannot be made official until Aug. 23, when the Cavs’ moratorium on trading Wiggins expires. Young, a 6-foot-8 power forward, has spent his entire seven-year NBA career in Philadelphia but only recently developed into a full-time starter. He saw his rebounding numbers dip slightly last season (6.0 per game) but averaged career highs in points (17.9), assists (2.3) and steals (2.1). He’ll likely be tasked with filling the void left by Love, who a…

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Report: 76ers will trade Thaddeus Young to Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly agreed on a trade involving All-Star forward Kevin Love.  According to Mark Perner of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Philadelphia 76ers will also be involved in the deal. The Timberwolves are trading Love to the Cavaliers in exchange for Anthony Bennett, the 2013 No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggins, and a first-round pick. From Perner: A source informed the Daily News that the Sixers will be sending veteran forward Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for a package that will include Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft. The deal, which two sources have confirmed to the Associated Press, will not be official until Aug. 23, when Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 draft pick, becomes eligible to be traded. Young, 26, averaged 17.9 points and six rebounds last season for the Sixers. Bennett averaged 4.2 points and three rebounds in 52 games during his rookie season. The post Report: 76ers will trade Thaddeus Young to Timberwolves appeared first on Sports

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