“Every time I play against Russ, I say something back. Same thing with Pat Beverley,” Lillard said. “With both players, I have always backed up anything I need to say with how I’m playing. But they are two players who it’s important to me to let them know that if that’s what you want to do, you’ve met your match. I’m not intimidated, and I don’t really care what you gotta say, I’m gonna say something back. You know, kind of set that tone. Like, ‘All right … so what?’”
May 26, 2022 | 11:38 am EDT Update
Michael Scotto: The Cavaliers want to retain Collin Sexton. He’s going to demand starting guard money, I’m told. There are some teams who will be in the market for a point guard this summer, including the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards, who would have to acquire Sexton in a sign-and-trade if they want to get him. Last season, no restricted free agent signed an offer sheet, and players such as Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen switched teams via sign-and-trade.
Michael Scotto: One executive told me, “I think Cleveland will extend a qualifying offer to Sexton and look to match an offer. I don’t see him receiving an offer, but I think Cleveland will use Sexton as a trade asset. I expect them to try and sign him to a deal in the $18-20 million annual range so they can eventually trade him.”
Chris Fedor: My sources tell me at the end of the Sexton negotiations, the two sides were kicking around Bogdan Bogdanovic money, so around $18 million annually. I get the sense that the Cavs are more comfortable in the range of $15-18 million (annually). I think Collin is looking more in the range of $18-22 million (annually). I do think there’s a gap they need to close this offseason.
Chris Fedor: One team the Cavs are internally wondering about, not necessarily what they’re worried about, is the Detroit Pistons. To get some kind of lethal scorer next to Cade Cunningham and take some of the ball-handling responsibilities and pressure off him. My sources tell me the Cavs do not believe there is a team out there that is going to give Collin a contract north of $20 million annually.
Michael Scotto: One executive told me, “I think Caris LeVert will get around $20.5 million per season on an extension. That’s a little too rich for me, but I believe Cleveland will pay him that if they want to extend him.” Another executive said, “Caris is interesting due to his injury history. A short-term extension around the number he’s on would be good value.” He’s making about $19 million.
Chris Fedor on trade candidates to watch: Here are the names that I’ve heard: I think both (Bojan and Bogdan) Bogdanovics would make sense. Gordon Hayward, whose salary lines up with Kevin Love… Tobias Harris, Harrison Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Jeremi Grant, Aaron Gordon. And this is one that I’m watching. I think it’s less likely than it was when the postseason started, but it’s one that I’ve heard kicked around inside the walls of Cleveland. It’s Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors.
Chris Fedor: There’s another name, too, since they need a reliable backup point guard that can start, and I’ve heard this name with the Cavaliers as well. My sources tell me JB Bickerstaff would love to coach him again, Mike Conley. If Utah decides to move him in an effort to put the right pieces around Donovan Mitchell and shake up that roster. Conley for somebody like Caris LeVert is something I think the Cavs would consider.
Chris Fedor: My sources tell me there’s mutual interest in that (Ricky Rubio) reunion. In fact, some people are essentially penciling him in as on the roster. I wouldn’t go that far with it. It’s complicated because even though he’s a great fit, there are some variables here. How good and effective is he going to be coming off a second torn ACL? You’re not going to get him until about midway through the season. The earliest would be November or December.