Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are planning to sign No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract in the coming week, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Cavaliers’ delay in signing the former Kansas star has nothing to do with the prospect of Wiggins being dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of Cleveland’s ongoing trade discussions for Kevin Love.
The Cavaliers plan to sign No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract in the coming week, according to sources.
The Cavaliers, sources say, are merely exploring options for using their estimated $1.4 million in remaining cap space before signing Wiggins to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5 million as a rookie.
At this point, Cavs GM David Griffin farting would be dissected and analyzed as a potential sign of what is happening with the Kevin Love trade. But to me, this is a particularly interesting move because signing a rookie immediately restricts a team from trading for him for 30 days.
The Cavs could simply be putting this out there now to force Minnesota to make a decision now rather than wait. Of course, in a vacuum, waiting until late August isn’t much of a big deal. There isn’t much happening between now and then, and the teams could still come to an agreement and then wait to file the paper work.
But in the grander scheme of things, it allows competing teams a window of opportunity to actually execute something tangible. Boston now sits in a distant third place after both Golden State and Cleveland apparently moved off their stances of keeping Klay Thompson and Wiggins, respectively. I think it’s a no-brainer for Cleveland to move Wiggins for Love and try to win now, but these little bits of gamesmanship are prolonging the process. And the longer the process goes, the longer Boston’s fading hopes for Love remain alive.
This all would have been so much easier if Love didn’t have what appeared to be a great time in Boston during a not-so-secret visit. If Boston had simply been rumored to be involved without actually seeing him around town, maybe I could have let this go by now.
I can’t, though. I keep getting these images of Love and Rondo in my head… and I keep thinking “what if…”
The Cavs could simply just be moving forward with their original plan. This could all simply be a case of a team filling in whatever holes in its roster with its available space before executing the formality of signing a rookie. But the specter of the Love trade looms over everything the Cavs, Warriors, and Celtics do right now.
It’s like a big poker game… I’ll call it Minnesota Hold ‘Em. Cleveland and Golden State have the best pocket cards, but the Celtics are still at the table. Even after the flop, the Celtics don’t have a winning hand, but it’s early. There’s still the turn and the river cards to be dealt, and if either the Warriors or Cavs mis-play their hands, the Celtics could sneak in and win this at the last second.
Long shot? Sure. But I’ve seen it happen. And considering the front-office history of the teams, and especially the owners, involved, I’m not ruling anything out until it’s over.
Page 2: Rondo still in town, still looking jacked
Rondo just posted this picture to his Facebook page from Harvard. Tanguay thinks he looks out of shape, I assume. pic.twitter.com/A5SaT1NDlR
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) July 20, 2014
That’s Rondo playing some ball at Harvard. He’s been in Boston basically this entire offseason (except when he went home to run his camp). He made sure to be at Fenway Park when Kevin Love was in town. He was at a Bruins playoff game with Phil Pressey after the Celtics season had mercifully ended.
“I don’t like change, really,” Rondo said at the team’s practice facility shortly after the team held workouts with college players leading up to this month’s NBA draft. “I’m pretty comfortable. I have a beautiful home here, I love it. I don’t want to leave. I’m a Celtic.”
Yet people continue to insist that he wants to leave next summer. While I’m not naive enough to think that any of this guarantees that he’ll stay, I’m also not stupid enough to think that every single piece of evidence that he wants to stay is contrived bullshit.
I think he really wants to stay in Boston. I think the Celtics want to keep him. I also think this is a pivotal season for Rondo to (a) prove that he’s 100% and (b) prove that he’s worth the max contract that he will, in all likelihood, demand.
I happen to think a fully healthy Rondo will be worth the max, especially if the C’s agree to the 5-year deal with him now. As Jay noted in yesterday’s dump, the salary cap could jump from the mid-$60 million to the $90 million range in a couple of years when the new television deal kicks in. Even if you think the max is a few million too much now, it’ll be more than a few million less than what max guys get in two years. LeBron’s contract under the new deal will fly past $30 million easily… while Rondo will just be crossing into the $20 million range. I think LeBron James making $10 million more than Rondo is just about right in the natural order of things.
Maybe it won’t work out that. Maybe Rondo will get traded tomorrow, and that’d be fine if it makes the team better. But I think this is a marriage that can last. I think Rondo wants to be here and win here. I think he has a vision of his #9 in the rafters so he can be a legend like the one he just played with in Paul Pierce.
Rondo knows that Boston Celtics legends live forever. I think he wants that basketball immortality.
NBAers Kelly Olynyk (Boston), Andrew Nicholson (Orlando), Cory Joseph (San Antonio) and Dwight Powell (Cleveland) were in camp Sunday and two more NBA prospects (Melvin Ejim and Jordan Bachynski) will arrive once done at Summer League in Las Vegas, but Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis likely will not attend.
“We couldn’t take them away from their teams. For a variety of reasons, there are different guys that aren’t going to be here, whether it’s contract issues or fatigue,” Triano explained.
“The guys that are here are going to represent Canada the best that they can. We’ve even asked some guys to not come on this trip. A guy like Joel Anthony (Boston) who has got a lot of international experience, we need to get some of these young players that type of feel for the international game.”
The international experience will only help Olynyk at this point. I’m not concerned about mileage on his legs at this point. He’s young enough to handle it and he’d probably be playing ball anyway, so the structured, varied competition will really enhance his game. It’ll be a step up from the competition he’s seen in Summer League, and the nuances of international play will really help him hone a different set of his skills. I’m looking forward to it.
The rest of the links: