Cleveland is starting to engage in trade talks to move All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, and the possibility grows every day that [Derrick] Rose could be afforded a significant role on these Cavaliers. Just a year ago, Rose still believed he could earn a $20 million a year long-term deal, but he accepted a one-year, $2.1 million veterans minimum deal. To regain his footing in the NBA, Rose wanted a real team with real games.
“A one-year deal on a bad team to try and put up numbers — we did not want to entertain that way of thinking,” agent B.J. Armstrong, a three-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, told ESPN on Tuesday. “Getting up every day to go to the gym to just try and put up numbers — that’s not who he is. He didn’t want to chase anything this summer other than, ‘Hey, let’s get around a group of guys who are like-minded, who are pursuing winning and be a part of that.'”
Rose tried hard to get top Western Conference teams to sign him — the San Antonio Spurs, the LA Clippers — but those teams passed. Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd had interest, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Cavaliers eventually made offers. Teams drafted point guards (Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers), and re-signed starters (Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans) and found veterans on the market (Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves). When his old Bulls coach, Minnesota’s Tom Thibodeau, chose Jeff Teague over Rose, it felt as if the market had bottomed out on him.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
LeBron James, Cavaliers Advance to NBA Finals
For the eighth straight year, [LeBron] James’ team will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. But this may have been one of his more remarkable accomplishments.
James helped Cleveland overcome a 3-2 series deficit, winning twice even after Kevin Love — maybe the most capable of his otherwise underwhelming supporting cast — was lost to a concussion early in Game 6.
The Celtics had been a spotless 10-0 this postseason at TD Garden before James & Co. delivered a lone season-ending blemish.
James now has won six straight Game 7s. The Cavaliers are the first team since the 2008 Celtics to win multiple Game 7s to get to the Finals.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN
Report: Chris Paul Likely Game-Time Decision for Game 7
Houston Rockets star guard Chris Paul’s status for Monday’s Game 7 of the Western Conference finals will likely be a game-time decision, coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Paul missed the Rockets’ Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors due to the right hamstring strain he suffered in the final minutes of Houston’s Game 5 win.
“If I get the nod from the trainers, Chris and the doctors, then he’ll be ready to go,” D’Antoni said in a conference call Sunday evening. “Probably if any of those three disagree, he’s probably not going. So I think it’s a game-time decision, whatever it is, probably doubtful or however they listed it or questionable. They will eventually test it and see if there’s any possibility whatsoever.”
D’Antoni said Paul’s recovery is “going good” but acknowledged that the nine-time All-Star has not attempted to test the hamstring by running or working out since he was injured.
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN
Marcus Smart: ‘I’m worth more than 12-14 million’
Marcus Smart walked out of the TD Garden, perhaps for the final time, lamenting squandered opportunities and wondering aloud whether he has played his last game as a Boston Celtic.
Smart, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, was told that Boston might not be able — or willing — to afford the $12-14 million a year price tag that he reportedly has been seeking.
“To be honest, I’m worth more than 12-14 million,” Smart told ESPN. “Just for the things I do on the court that don’t show up on the stat sheet. You don’t find guys like that. I always leave everything on the court, every game. Tell me how many other players can say that.”
Source: Jackie MacMullan of ESPN