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NBA Rumors for Friday, July 24
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:00 p.m. ET. More stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
Small forward James Jones has reached an agreement on a one-year deal to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources informed Northeast Ohio Media Group. The contract, according to one source, is for the veteran's minimum. The paperwork was faxed Thursday to Jones, who is in Florida with family. The contract is expected to be signed and finalized as early as Friday. Northeast Ohio Media Group
Jones, 34, appeared in 57 games for the Cavaliers last season and averaged 4.4 points while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range. Last week in Las Vegas at the Players Awards Show, he told NEOMG, "I'll be back in Cleveland for sure." Northeast Ohio Media Group
The Cleveland Cavaliers executed a minor trade with the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, helping set up a larger deal that will involve Brendan Haywood, sources told ESPN.com. The Cavs sent center Rakeem Christmas, the No. 36 overall pick in June's draft, to the Pacers for a 2019 second-round pick owed by the Los Angeles Lakers. The trade gives the Cavs roster flexibility and an asset they can use to move Haywood and create a large trade exception in the next week. ESPN.com
After the trade, the Pacers and Christmas agreed to a four-year deal with the first two seasons guaranteed, sources said. While a final decision hasn't been reached, the Cavs have nearly come to the conclusion that they will not be able to find a suitable deal to use Haywood's $10.52 million non-guaranteed contract, sources said. ESPN.com
Other possible trades, including talks with the Brooklyn Nets involving Joe Johnson, dried up when teams made other moves. Part of the reason the Cavs agreed to a minimum contract with free-agent forward Richard Jefferson this week was because they realized they'd just about exhausted their Haywood options and decided to move on. ESPN.com
The Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers are the only teams with enough cap space to absorb Haywood and create a trade exception for Cleveland. ESPN.com
Carmelo Anthony chose not to come to Las Vegas to catch a Knicks summer league game or attend the Players Choice Awards or union meetings, but he will be descending on Sin City next month for the red, white and blue.
According to a source, Anthony has informed U.S. Olympic Team officials he will attend the Aug. 11-13 minicamp as the team gears up for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. NY Post
Anthony is still rehabbing from February’s left-knee surgery so he will not be a fully active participant, according to a source. Team USA CEO Jerry Colangelo has encouraged roster members to come to the minicamp even if they can’t play due to injury. NY Post
The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent forward Caron Butler, according to Kings Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations Vlade Divac. Butler is way past his prime as a player, but is a smart veteran who can help add leadership and direction to younger players on the team. He’ll likely play limited minutes off the bench. InsideHoops
The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have acquired forward Rakeem Christmas from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the 2019 second-round Lakers draft pick that the Pacers acquired in the recent trade for Roy Hibbert. Christmas, 6-9, 250, was a second-round pick in June’s NBA Draft. He was selected 36th overall by Minnesota and was traded later draft night to the Cavaliers. He played collegiately at Syracuse where in his senior season he averaged 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. In his four-year career with the Orangemen, he played 142 games. InsideHoops
The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent forward Maurice Ndour. Ndour (6-9, 200) is a native of Senegal and recently had a successful run at the Las Vegas Summer League as a member of the New York Knicks. While with the Knicks Summer League team, Ndour averaged 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 block, 1.0 steal and 28.3 minutes in 5 games (4 starts). He scored a team-high 23 points in New York’s victory over Philadelphia. InsideHoops
The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Adonis Thomas. According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, “Thomas, a D-League All-Star for the Detroit Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive last season, will sign a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Pistons today, his agent, Travis King, told the Commercial Appeal. Thomas, who averaged 8.6 points and 4 rebounds for the Pistons’ summer league team this month in Orlando, is one of five players who will be vying for two spots on the Pistons’ opening-day roster.” InsideHoops
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed forward Michale (Michael) Kyser and guard-forward Axel Toupane (Too-PON). Until we hear otherwise, we will assume these are non-guaranteed deals that merely bring these two players to training camp. Kyser, 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, recently participated on the Raptors’ entry in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 14.6 minutes in four games. He recorded 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 28 minutes in his lone start July 17 versus Portland. InsideHoops
Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke will play for Team World in the NBA Africa Game as part of the NBA's Basketball without Borders Africa event July 29 through Aug. 1. “I’m honored to be representing the Utah Jazz and Team World in the first-ever NBA game in Africa,” Burke said in a team news release. “I look forward to not only playing in the game, but also being able to give back during the community outreach activities. This is without a doubt an experience that I will truly cherish.” Deseret News
Ruth Lovelace has been there, and she’s done that, too — three times actually. But just because Lovelace is the city’s most successful female coach in a male league, and has won three city championships with the Boys & Girls High School basketball team, doesn’t mean she isn’t excited about what Becky Hammon accomplished when she guided the San Antonio Spurs’ summer-league team to a championship this week. “I am so proud of it and I’m sure it’s going to open a lot of doors,” Lovelace said Thursday. “It’s one thing to coach, but to actually be successful, that’s amazing.” NY Daily News
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