JR Smith: Happy to say that I am returning to the Cavs! It’s been a long ride this summer but I can say for sure, well worth the wait. When I opted out of my contract, I wanted to understand the landscape of the NBA and where I fit best. The Cavaliers had things they needed to do in order to piece together a championship caliber roster. I ended up deciding that instead of potentially securing a larger deal elsewhere, I wanted to rejoin an incredible organization in pursuit of the ultimate goal, an NBA championship. Thank you to the Cavaliers for making this happen. Can’t wait to get started! #TheLand http://instagram.com/p/6oG0NDNfH-/
November 30, 2015 | 1:55 pm EST Update
The Washington Wizards announced today that the team has waived forward Martell Webster and signed center Ryan Hollins. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Martell, with his contributions on the court and ability to connect with the fans and the community off the court, has been a great example of the type of player we want to represent our organization,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “He worked extremely hard to fight through his injuries but unfortunately was not able to make a healthy return. We appreciate everything he contributed to the team and wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
Washington will still owe Webster, 28, the remainder of his $5.6 million salary this season and $2.5 million next season, unless he is claimed off waivers — a very unlikely possibility. The charismatic swingman joined the Wizards on a one-year contract in 2012 and turned in his best season as a pro, averaging a career-high 11.4 points per game while shooting a career-best 42.2 percent from three-point range.
The next big test for Hinkie (if he lasts that long) will involve Okafor, who according to league sources will strongly consider the tactic that Greg Monroe utilized in Detroit last season: signing a one-year qualifying offer and becoming an unrestricted free agent rather than agreeing to extend his rookie deal. That decision is a few years off, but there’s no evidence that the Sixers actually will be competitive by then. “The culture you’re building, it’s all negative,” a league source said. “… This is a five- or six-year plan with no end in sight.”
League sources say Sixers management was comfortable with the medical information it had on Embiid heading into the 2014 draft. The team attributes Embiid’s continued absence (he’s likely to miss the entire season again) to subsequent setbacks. Nonetheless, in the third year of Hinkie’s rebuilding plan, most of the harvest has yet to come in. Nerlens Noel, the sixth pick in 2013 acquired from New Orleans in the Jrue Holiday trade, missed his entire rookie season but has begun to assert himself as a defensive presence (though not much of an offensive one).
Tyson Chandler and LaMarcus Aldridge were not the only major irons the Suns had in the free agency fire in July. While the Suns landed Chandler swiftly, they were close to securing DeMarre Carroll soon after that until Aldridge became a possibility for a four-day chase that ended in Aldridge choosing San Antonio over Phoenix.
Carroll was interested in the Suns, particularly because of Suns coach Jeff Hornacek and assistant coach Earl Watson, but had Toronto showing a stronger interest and commitment. Carroll agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract with the Raptors on the first day of free agency talks while the Suns could not make the same commitment with Aldridge showing interest in them. “They (the Suns) were going to come visit me,” Carroll said Sunday. “It was going to be my third or fourth visit and they were going to come to my house but I ended up signing with Toronto.
Kevin Durant: I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys (media) treated him like shit. He’s a legend and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting, time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like shit and I didn’t really like it. Hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year. It was sad the way he was getting treated. He had just an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically. Means so much to the game of basketball. Someone I’m always gonna look to advice for anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. Sad to see him go. He put his mark on the game.”