NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Cavs Positioning for Major Trade?

Are the Cavaliers positioning themselves for a major trade this summer? … Jay-Z to represent Andrew Wiggins? … Lakers will keep Steve Nash

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Cavs Planning for Major Trade?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to put themselves in position to make a major trade around June’s NBA draft, sources told

To help facilitate it, the team made an unorthodox but strategic move Monday by signing point guard Scotty Hopson to a two-year, $3.8 million contract. Hopson has never played in an NBA game but will get a check for $1.35 million just for the Cavs’ final seven games of the regular season, sources said.

The Cavs are interested in Hopson, a 6-foot-7 University of Tennessee product who went undrafted in 2011, as a prospect after he played well in Turkey this season. But this move is also aimed at expanding the team’s options in June and July. Team owner Dan Gilbert approved the last-minute spending in an effort to set his team up to be hunters over the summer.

The second year of Hopson’s deal, worth $1.45 million, is nonguaranteed. The Cavs now have a stockpile of nonguaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts that could be attractive in trades around June’s draft. Combined with the contracts of Alonzo Gee, Matthew Dellavedova and Anderson Varejao, the Cavs have a trove of options to use as trade bait for a team that wants to clear salary-cap space.

via Brian Windhorst of

This is an interesting move by the Cavaliers. They’re clearly signing Hopson with the intention of trading his non-guaranteed contract this summer.

Cleveland will be able to include Hopson’s $1.45 million salary in a trade around the draft, but it’s not guaranteed, so his next team could waive him and create salary cap space.

Gee ($3,000,000 non-guaranteed), Dellavedova ($816,482 non-guaranteed) and Varejao (only $4 million of $9,704,545 guaranteed) could be included in the deal to provide further salary cap relief.

Cleveland’s other trade assets include a number of young players as well as a number of first-round picks (their own picks and future first-rounders from the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami HEAT).

Hopson spent this season in Turkey, averaging 15.5 points and 4.2 rebounds for Anadolu Efes. To give him the non-guaranteed, trade-friendly contract, Cleveland had to sign Hopson using their room exception.

Keep an eye on the Cavaliers this summer because it seems they have something up their sleeve.

Jay-Z to Represent Andrew Wiggins?

According to league sources, Wiggins is in the process of choosing between Hip Hop mogul Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and one other unknown agency for player representation. Rich Paul, LeBron James’ agent, was rumored to be in the mix but we were informed Paul never recruited the forward.

via Chris Haynes of

Wiggins announced that he will enter the 2014 NBA Draft on Monday afternoon, and now the next step for the one-and-done swingman is to find an agent to represent him. Initially, there was a report that LeBron James’ longtime friend and agent Rich Paul was in the mix for Wiggins, but Haynes is refuting that report. Instead, he says that Jay-Z and another unknown agent are competing for Wiggins.

Wiggins’ decision won’t affect his draft stock, as he’s being projected as a top-three pick and who is representing him won’t change that. Wiggins leaves Kansas after a freshman season in which he averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and named Second Team All-American.

Other notable Roc Nation Sports clients include Okalahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia, New York Giants wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, Detroit Lions defensive end Ndamukong Suh, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins.

Roc Nation Sports was launched last year, working with Creative Arts Agency. Jay-Z has been able to land some top athletes in several sports, giving the agency credibility and a strong pitch when meeting with up-and-coming prospects, such as Wiggins.

Lakers Keeping Nash Next Season?

Nash sat out another game, which is no longer surprising for a player who appeared in only 12 this season.

For financial reasons, the Lakers currently plan to keep him next season, The Times has learned, eating the remainder of his contract ($9.7 million) in one swoop instead of waiving him and spreading the money out over three years.

It would give them more money to spend in the summers of 2015 and 2016, when they figure to be active players in the free-agent market amid such possible names as Kevin Love, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times

This makes sense for the Lakers. Rather than using the stretch provision on Nash and paying his contract over the next three seasons, they can keep his $9.7 million on the books for next year and have it all come off of the books at one time.

The Lakers are clearly looking ahead to the next two summers and trying to keep their cap room for those offseasons, rather than sacrificing some of their long-term flexibility to trim a little bit of money off of their books this summer.

As the article suggests, L.A. may be doing this to ensure that they can be players in free agency when stars like Kevin Love, LeBron James and Kevin Durant could be available.

Most players under contract with the Lakers have deals that end this offseason, including Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, Xavier Henry, Wes Johnson and MarShon Brooks among others. The only Lakers with guaranteed contracts for next season are Nash, Kobe Bryant and Robert Sacre.

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