Timberwolves’ Kevin Martin Claims He Learned of Kevin Love’s Trade a Month Late

NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s move from the Minnesota Timberwolves to join LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers was one of the biggest transactions of the offseason (actually, second only to LeBron’s), but one former teammate claims he learned about it more than a month later.

In an interview with Jerry Zgoda of the Star TribuneMartin claims he first heard of Love’s trade when he arrived at training camp:

“I didn’t know Kevin Love got traded until yesterday,” Martin said with a straight face at Monday’s annual media day at Target Center that preceded a midnight start to training camp in Mankato. “I’m not big on looking at blogs and all that.”

The “blogs and all that?” You didn’t talk to your teammates, coaches, any fans or turn on a computer or television during the entire offseason?

We’re not buying it. Either Martin is the most off-the-grid athlete in all of professional sports or he’s attempting to pull a fast one on us (that really has no benefit other than to mess with the media).

 

[Star Tribuneh/t USA Today‘s FTW, Ball Don’t Lie)

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10 NBA Players Most Likely to Be Trade Targets This Season

The wheeling and dealing that took place over the 2014 NBA offseason dramatically reshaped the basketball landscape.

The 2014-15 campaign could have a similar effect if teams are able to pry these 10 trade targets away from their current clubs.

It takes two teams (at least) to get a deal done, but one having interest in another’s assets is sometimes enough to open the lines of communication. Considering the talent level of the players on this list, that interest shouldn’t be hard to find.

Whether that dialogue will lead to anything more substantial won’t be known for some time. With so many moving pieces just now falling into place at the start of training camp, it could take a while for teams to make the self-assessments needed to willingly part with a promising, productive player.

But that won’t keep the phone calls from coming in. Not when teams can bolster their ranks, fill a void or, in some cases, even change their fortune by acquiring one of these coveted commodities.

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Rajon Rondo Trade Will Be More Difficult Now Than Ever for Boston Celtics

The rocky road ahead for the Boston Celtics and franchise face Rajon Rondo just grew even more treacherous.

Trading the mercurial floor general  was never going to be easy. Not with his troubling track record that includes run-ins with coaches and teammates, a torn ACL that plagued his production last season and stats that might not be as strong as they seem.

But moving the obstreperous point guard has never been as difficult as it is now that he’ll be sidelined for the next six-to-eight weeks with a broken left finger. He was still working to repair his reputation after last year’s disappointing showing, and now he’ll have to do so without the benefit of training camp, the preseason and possibly as much as the first month of the 2014-15 campaign.

Considering the package the Celtics would need to receive in return for a trade to pay off on their end, Rondo’s trade value is a long way from where it has to be. This latest setback could drag it down even further, as it might be a while before he starts rubbing elbows with the NBA elites again—assuming he even gets back to that level.

While the time frame is an estimate, CelticsBlog’s Kevin O’Connor found that the five players who underwent surgery to address a metacarpal bone injury in recent seasons missed an average of 41.6 days. Of those five—Carlos Boozer, Kevin Love, Hedo Turkoglu, Patrick Beverley and Manu Ginobili—two of them (Love and Turkoglu) reinjured their hands after their initial return.

Love was plagued by the injury throughout the 2012-13 season, shooting just 35.2 percent from the field in his 18 games, though he did suffer two separate fractures during that year. Ginobili lost a little over a month the previous season to his injury, but he showed no lingering effects and compiled a .513/.384/.859 shooting slash after his return.

Rondo went under the knife last Friday. A six-week absence would cost him four regular-season games. An additional two weeks out of action would keep him out of another six contests.

In the context of an 82-game campaign, this might seem like minimal damage. But with so much riding on this season for both Rondo and the Celtics, this has the potential to become a crushing blow.

“The beginning of the season is the worst time to sit out, especially when it involves losing out on those crucial team-building opportunities that come just prior to the first game’s opening tipoff,” wrote Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal.

For Rondo, this won’t be as simple as getting back on a bicycle after a lengthy layoff.

There are new players around him, including his potential replacement in lottery pick Marcus Smart. Rondo will miss out on head coach Brad Stevens’ training camp for the second consecutive year, and that could prove problematic as Rondo said Stevens has a new system to put in place, per Scott Souza of the MetroWest Daily News:

There is no way to get that developmental time back.

He can keep himself in shape, but none of his workouts can replicate NBA game speed. He will have to attempt to hit the ground running with and against players who could have as much as an entire month of regular-season contests under their belts.

That transition won’t likely be a smooth one. He had 30 outings to find his form in 2013-14 and never did seem particularly comfortable. He shot 40.1 percent from the field in his first 15 games back and 40.4 percent in his last 15.

The Celtics can’t afford to have him stumble out of the gate this time around. While they technically have until next summer to decide his future, February’s trade deadline looms large as Boston’s last possible chance to bring back something in return for its franchise face.

That is when the Celtics must really make their call, assuming that bridge hasn’t already been crossed, of course. There has been some speculation over whether Rondo or the Celtics have left the door open to a potential long-term relationship.

Publicly, both have stressed it’s still an option.

“We expect Rajon to be in Boston for the long term,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said, via Comcast SportsNet. “Does that need to be asked anymore by anybody every again?”

Consider that latter portion wishful thinking on the executive’s part. Those questions will persist until something official comes across the transactions log, be that a blockbuster trade or a significant contract extension.

At Celtics media day on Monday, Rondo expressed his desire to stick with the team going forward, per ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg:

It’s all very definitive—except, it isn’t that at all.

Consider the current situation.

Boston is Rondo’s current home. Until he officially has a new one lined up, there is no incentive for him to start distancing himself from the city.

Unless, of course, he can do so behind closed doors. According to ESPN Boston’s Jackie MacMullan, Rondo has already started putting his exit in motion.

“He’s told them he wants out,” MacMullan said during a behind-the-scenes portion of ESPN’s Around The Horn, via CBS Sports’ James Herbert. “And no one believes me, but that’s the truth.”

If that’s the case, the Celtics have reasons to quietly shop Rondo. But they need to prize him publicly until something takes place, or they risk seeing his value plummet to the point that any trade is no longer worth their while.

If something did crop up that would bring in a young potential superstar, the Celtics would have to reconsider their stance against dealing Rondo—but with Rondo posting only so-so-numbers as he completed his rehab last year, his value is relatively low just now,” wrote Sporting News’ Sean Deveney.

That’s what makes Rondo’s latest injury so deflating. He needed this season to help him cash in on the free-agent market next summer. The Celtics had to have a strong year from him to either feel good about keeping him for the long haul or, more likely, furthering their rebuilding plan by getting a collection of future assets in return.

Ideally, Rondo would have proved himself last season, and the Celtics could have flipped him over the summer to avoid a year-long media frenzy.

That obviously never happened, and now there are some serious concerns over whether it ever will. If it takes some time for Rondo to find his groove, the Celtics could have a hard time moving him even if that is their desired outcome.

“Teams want to see him perform before putting much into a trade offer,” noted NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin. “Now they are going to wait longer and be watching two injuries.”

It’s almost impossible to find a silver lining in this injury.

If one does exist, it’s probably the added exposure Smart should receive in Rondo’s absence. Even then, it’s hard to say what the best-case scenario would be.

Say Smart explodes out of the gate and creates some offensive harmony with his teammates. Then, what happens when Rondo comes back? Would Smart’s development be stunted in order to help Rondo’s trade market? Or would the four-time All-Star be trapped behind the rookie, watching his potential free-agency earnings diminish in a reduced role on a team that could struggle to win 30 games?

Or what if Smart cannot rise to the occasion and looks incapable of ever effectively replacing Rondo? Would that motivate the Celtics to keep a 28-year-old whose best days may be finished before the team’s even start?

Ainge already told reporters at media day he knows it’s going to cost whichever team winds up paying the point guard, via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:

The Celtics don’t need a max contract on their books. Not one who clearly needs to find his way to a win-now roster, at least.

It’s hard to say if Rondo can perform at a level high enough to warrant that type of financial commitment. No matter what type of offers get put in front of him, though, he seems eager to explore all of his options in free agency.

“It’s kind of like college all over again, with recruiting,” he told Washburn. ”Only times 50 because they have a ton of money to throw at the guys and they don’t have any restrictions on what they can do.”

If the trade deadline passes without any movement on the Rondo front, the Celtics will have completely lost control of this situation. Even if there is mutual interest of keeping the relationship alive, it might not be enough to keep him from being overwhelmed by another suitor.

There are risks involved with either outcome, and Rondo’s injury only further complicates the matter. That’s a potentially major issue, even if the injury itself feels like a relatively minor one.

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Cavs Rumors: Trade for Roy Hibbert in the Works?

Following a rumor that surfaced with talk show host Tyler Spence, other sources have confirmed that the Cleveland Cavaliers could possibly be in the midst of making a deal for Indiana Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert.
BREAKING: Source confirms after Bogans trade, Pacers received call from Cavs. Cavs offering Haywood, Waiters, 1st rounder for Hibbert.
— Tyler Spence (@tspence26) September 28, 2014
Can confirm @TSpence26 report that #Pacers have received call from #Cavaliers. Teams discussing a Roy Hibbert trade. #NBA
— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) September 28, 2014

Latest: #Cavaliers and #Pacers have had discussions on Roy Hibbert, but are looking to bring a third team in to make salaries work. #NBA
— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) September 28, 2014

There’s a report from @TSpence that #Cavs have called #Pacers about Roy Hibbert, which we said was possible here http://t.co/feuqjX4Pto
— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) September 28, 2014

To get the 7-2 Hibbert, who played collegiately at…

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76ers acquire Bogans in trade with Cavaliers (Yahoo Sports)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers acquired guard Keith Bogans and a 2018 second-round draft pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday in exchange for their 2015 second-round pick.

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Keith Bogans to 76ers: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Hopefully Keith Bogans didn’t put down any money on a house in Cleveland because two days after the Cavaliers acquired him in a deal with the Boston Celtics, he has reportedly been traded again. 

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Bogans will move from the Cavaliers to the Philadelphia 76ers for a future second-round draft pick:

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal adds more:

It’s also possible that Bogans knew another deal was coming due to the parameters of his contract. After he was originally traded to the Cavaliers, Chris Bernucca of Sheridan Hoops noted the veteran’s contract made him one of the most appealing commodities in basketball:

Last summer, Bogans received one of the best “golden envelopes” ever doled out, a three-year, $16 million deal to make the salary cap math work in the huge trade between the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Only the first year was guaranteed. That was last season, during which Bogans played just 55 minutes and none after Jan. 7. A week later, GM Danny Ainge asked him to leave the team, which was rebuilding and had no way to meet his request for playing time.

Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders provides some insight into the trade:

In this respect, Bogans is a perfect fit for whatever Philadelphia’s strategy is. 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie has been building a roster filled with future assets, including last year’s first-round pick Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-round pick Joel Embiid, but a lot of uncertainty right now. 

The Cavaliers will take their trade exception, which will be $5.3 million per Stein’s report, and fill out their roster if they choose to do so. They are in an excellent position either way, so Bogans always felt like an expendable piece. 

Bogans’ contract gives the 76ers an opportunity to have salary cap space in the future, but again you wonder what this means for the team’s short-term outlook. At least he gives them a veteran presence has been able to start or come off the bench throughout his career. 

With the 76ers trying to integrate so many young players into their rotation, Bogans can serve as a mentor and teacher to help out head coach Brett Brown. It also gives the 34-year-old an opportunity to play more than he would have on a loaded Cleveland roster. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 

 

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Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading The Keith Bogans Trade

Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading The Keith Bogans Trade
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff..
Cleveland Cavaliers Get: Keith Bogans, 2 protected 2nd round picks
Boston Celtics Get: John Lucas III, Malcom Thomas, Erik Murphy and Dwight Powell
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, this is a nice trade, giving the Celtics 3 non guaranteed contracts in John Lucas III, Malcom Thomas and Erik Murphy and rookie Dwight Powell, 3 players who wouldn’t play, as Lucas was the only played with a chance for minutes, for a veteran player who can be in their rotation, but helps them financially. This is considered a salary trade, but for 2 reasons this helps the team.
The 1st reason is financially, as ESPN.com’s Marc Stein says that they could use the non guaranteed contracts of Bogans and Brendan Haywood in the offseason to give a team 16 million dollars in cap space if they were to make a trade, which is incredibly valuable and could give them a big piece or they could use that cap space for themse…

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Cavs News: Cavaliers Acquire Keith Bogans in Trade With Celtics

It has been confirmed that yesterday the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Keith Bogans from the Boston Celtics in exchange for Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy, John Lucas, the 2016 and 2017 second round draft picks, and Dwight Powell (the 45th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft).
Sources say Cavs are expected to package their three non-guaranteed deals (Erik Murphy, John Lucas and Malcolm Thomas) in trade for KBogans
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) September 25, 2014
Celtics trade Keith Bogans to Cleveland for Dwight Powell, Erik Murphy, John Lucas III and Malcolm Thomas, sources told ESPN. — Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) September 25, 2014
Since Bogans will earn a salary of a little over $5 million in non-guaranteed earnings next season paired with Brendan Haywood’s $16 million of non-guaranteed salary, Cleveland is evidently looking to use this money towards a huge deal next summer.

Brendan Haywood is owed $10.5 mil next year – none of which is guaranteed; Keith Bogans is $5.3 mil/$5.5 mil next 2 se…

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Report: Celtics trade Keith Bogans to Cleveland in five player deal

(Photo/Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
According to reports from ESPN, the Boston Celtics have agreed to trade estranged guard Keith Bogans to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for four players, multiple draft picks, and a $5.3 million traded player exception (TPE).

So, deal is Boston’s Keith Bogans to Cleveland for Dwight Powell, Erik Murphy, Malcolm Thomas, John Lucas III and a pair of 2nd-round picks.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) September 26, 2014

The team already has 17 players under contract and invited three more to training camp, meaning the team already had a maximum of 20 players on the roster. A move was expected to come this week in order to clear room for guard/forward Evan Turner, who the team agreed to terms with in July but never officially signed.
Of course, this deal brings in four more players. Including Turner (who still has not officially signed), their roster number sits at 24 players. Jeff Goodman speculates that the Celtics will stash a few of those p…

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Keith Bogans to Cavaliers: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The Cleveland Cavaliers have placed a myriad of players on the trading block in order to acquire veteran guard Keith Bogans from the Boston Celtics.

ESPN Insider Marc Stein reported the details of the deal on Thursday when he caught wind of it:

Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com confirmed the trade was going down, adding a fourth player to the package:

Later in the evening, NBA.com confirmed the trade. 

Bogans, 34, is the epitome of an NBA journeyman, having played for eight different teams across 11 seasons.

But at least Cleveland isn’t sacrificing anything of consequence by bringing Bogans in. It may not look like a significant move to land Bogans, yet it could be more important than meets the eye.

Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times breaks down the salary-cap implications of the trade in his analysis:

Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler feels like the Celtics made out well, too:

Most of the talk will revolve around Cleveland in this deal, though, not to mention the entire season.

With championship expectations suddenly present, what the Cavs roster definitely doesn’t lack in talent, between LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, it does fall short in experience from several of its most vital contributors.

Dion Waiters (22), Tristan Thompson (23), Love (26) and Irving (22) are all young and haven’t won anything at the NBA level.

A couple of James’ former Miami Heat teammates in James Jones and Mike Miller have joined him in his return to Cleveland, as has 36-year-old Shawn Marion. Jones is already exhibiting the attitude of a seasoned pro, as expressed in the following quote on the Cavs‘ loaded roster, per Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor:

They’re all names on a piece of paper. At the end of the day, you don’t find out anything until you actually get out on the floor. You can build a super team on paper, but so much of what goes into building a championship team happens behind the scenes during tough practices and tough film sessions.

This move to get Bogans is another example of how the Cavs seem intent to get strong, positive mentors in place so that James perhaps won’t have to do the heavy lifting in that regard all on his own.

Waiters is the projected starter at the all-important 2-guard position. That is a spot Bogans knows well, and he can help the former lottery pick come closer to reaching his potential.

As for Bogans‘ role on the court, he hasn’t logged more than 20 minutes per contest in the past five years, so he’ll be buried deep in the rotation.

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