• The summer is almost over and the fireworks have ceased (for now). Players have tentatively found their new homes for the 2017-18 season, but that doesn’t mean the planning stops.


    Unless you were living under a rock, All-NBA point guard Kyrie Irving made it well-known that he would like a trade from the Cavs, news that rung in the ears of the NBA. Each and every fan base has now dreamt up scenarios in which Kyrie can be their franchise cornerstone. Most of it is wishful thinking, but we found out yesterday that the Cavs have at least put a price tag on Kyrie, requesting Andrew Wiggins plus more from the Wolves. The Cavs are asking for a lot and rightfully so (Kyrie is still locked under contract for two years), but the Cavs drama has gained leverage for potential suitors.

    As much as the media wants to make this about beef between Kyrie and LeBron James, the truth is Kyrie has won a ring with James and before James has a shot to bolt in the summer of 2018, Kyrie would liked to control his own fate, much like James has in the past. The era was one of three straight NBA Finals, including a historic upset in 2016 that led to a championship. After striking out on any superstar this offseason, the Cavs are not likely to be headed for a championship in 2018 so it makes sense to hit the reset button. They can just leave it at that.


    While the Kyrie sweepstakes are in full force, the drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony in New York has hit a standstill. With Kyrie possibly leaving Cleveland, Melo has made it clear that he only wants to play in Houston with Chris Paul and James Harden, but the Knicks have had a hard time finding a deal that makes sense for their future. The season could get awkward if these superstars stick with their shunned franchises. You got to love it.

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    Every team is jockeying to position themselves for a franchise changing free agency next summer, one that includes potential names such as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins. The Lakers are vying for a way to bring their storied franchise back into basketball prominence, and they have a great shot at landing a superstar or two, as George has been vocal about his Laker love and Westbrook has ties to the area. Given the storied history of the franchise, it would make sense that LBJ would sign up to contribute as well. In order to accommodate, the Lakers must clear as much cap space as possible.

    A private source from within the Lakers organization told Bleacher Report that the team is confident they can move Jordan Clarkson to clear up cap space for the summer of 2018. If the Lakers shed Clarkson, they will have roughly $60 million in space next summer, which isn’t enough for two max deals, but it’s a start.

    Losing Luol Deng (3 years, $54 million) and Julius Randle (2 years, $9.5 million), along with Clarkson, would give the Lakers about $76 million to spend. That’s plenty for two max deals for superstars, with some leftover.

    One can dream, but that Lakers seem head-over-heels for this plan. With Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram developing, this franchise is in good shape to return to it’s historic prominence.

    That’ll do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, offseason edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Enjoy the last days of summer!!

Fantasy News

  • Mike DAntoni - Coach - Houston Rockets

    Despite Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta stating his intention to bring back coach Mike D’Antoni, recent departures of key staff may indicate that the team is trying to nudge MDA out according to NYT’s Marc Stein.

    Large parts of D’Antoni’s staff including assistant coach Roy Rogers, assistant Mitch Vanya, video coordinator John Cho and player development coach Irv Roland (noted for his work with James Harden) will not be returning next season for the Rockets. There’s some speculation that despite Fertitta’s comments, GM Daryl Morey isn’t fully on board and might be the primary reason behind the recent firings. D’Antoni has one more season on his contract and it’s looking increasingly likely that there will be another shoe to drop.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Kevin Durant (calf strain) still hasn’t progressed to on-court work.

    Durant has already been declared “unlikely” for Thursday’s Game 1 of the Finals and considering DeMarcus Cousins has practiced in full and scrimmaged with the team, it’s looking like he might return to action before Durant. There’s almost a week until the Finals start so we’ll have an update before then.

    Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter

  • DeMarcus Cousins - C - Golden State Warriors

    DeMarcus Cousins (torn left quad) scrimmaged on Friday with coach Steve Kerr adding that he looked good.

    It's still unclear what the timetable is for Cousins but he hasn't yet been ruled out for Game 1 of the Finals. We'll have an update as we draw closer to the start of the Finals next Thursday.

    Source: Nick Friedell on Twitter

  • Adam Silver - Commissioner - Free Agent

    The NBA has moved the start time of free agency to 6 p.m. ET on June 30.

    Previously, free agency officially kicked off at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 but the league is moving it up by six hours to accommodate an extra evening in the news cycle. Additionally, teams have permission to set up free agent meetings starting at 6 p.m. ET on June 29.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Neil Olshey - President - Trail Blazers

    The Blazers have extended the contract of President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey through 2024.

    Olshey was being courted by the Wizards but will stay in Portland along with coach Terry Stotts. They’ll look to run it back next season, hopefully with a full roster intact.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Patrick McCaw - G - Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw (personal) has been ruled out for Saturday’s Game 6 vs. the Bucks.

    McCaw hasn’t played all series and has pretty much been a non-factor all playoffs.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Andre Iguodala - G/F - Golden State Warriors

    Andre Iguodala (left calf tightness) did not participate in Friday’s practice session.

    Iguodala sat out Game 4 of the Conference Finals with the tight calf but the Warriors aren’t worried about him missing Game 1 of the Finals.

    Source: Connor Letourneau on Twitter

  • Neil Olshey - Team - Trail Blazers

    According to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington, the Wizards have shown interest in Blazers’ President Neil Olshey becoming the new President of Basketball Operations for the Wizards.

    Ted Leonsis has yet to request permission to interview Olshey, who has spent the last seven years with the Blazers and is under contract through the 2020-21 season. Masai Ujiri’s name has also been thrown around as a possible candidate and the Wizards would obviously be willing to wait until the end of playoffs before rushing to a decision.

    Source: Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington

  • Nikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets

    Nikola Jokic said he plans to play for his home country Serbia during the 2019 FIBA World Cup this Summer.

    “I am very pleased with everything I did in the NBA this season, I had a great year in which I performed at the All-Star Game and was selected in the NBA All-Star Five. For me, the cherry on top of this whole season would be a medal with the national team. I am fully prepared to do my best to achieve this goal”, said Jokic, confirming his participation. He will have a little bit of time to rest up, but Serbia is expected to compete against Angola, the Philippines and Italy starting on August 31. The miles will be a test for the big man, but one he has aced before.

    Source: Eurohoops.net

  • Khris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Khris Middleton really struggled in Thursday's Game 5, scoring six points (2-of-9 shooting) and pulling down 10 boards as the Bucks fell 105-99 at home.

    Middleton's disappearing act offensively was the difference for the Bucks who really need their second best offensive option to demand the ball and produce more. The airball late in the game was a microcosm of the outing for Middleton. He'll need to take more than nine shots (less than any other Bucks starter) for the team to have a good shot at a Game 6 win in Toronto.