Phoenix Suns

NBA Notes: Dwyane Wade to reportedly join Cavs, reunite with LeBron James

uspresswire-dwyane-wade-lebron-james.jpg
USA Today Images

NBA Notes: Dwyane Wade to reportedly join Cavs, reunite with LeBron James

CLEVELAND -- Together again: LeBron and D-Wade. Just like old times.

Dwyane Wade has decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers and reunite with LeBron James, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Tuesday night.

Wade is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday and then join the Cavs, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until the 12-time All-Star goes through the waiver process.

In Cleveland, Wade will be reunited with James, his close friend, former Miami teammate and a player he confided in before signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls last year.

Wade and James won two NBA titles together during four seasons with the Heat and will now chase another one with the Cavs, who have been revamped after losing to Golden State in last season's Finals.

On Monday, James said he would love to play with Wade again.

"He brings another championship pedigree, championship DNA," James said at Cleveland's media day. "He brings another player to the team who can get guys involved, can make plays and also has a great basketball mind. ... I hope we can bring him here. I would love to have him" (see full story).

Suns: Warren signs 4-year, $50 million extension
PHOENIX -- T.J. Warren has signed a $50 million, four-year contract extension with the Phoenix Suns.

The 6-foot-8 forward, nicknamed "Tony Buckets" by teammates, is entering his fourth NBA season. He averaged career highs of 14.4 points and 5.1 rebounds over 66 games last season. After the All-Star break, he averaged 17.6 points and shot 56 percent from the field.

The team announced the deal Tuesday.

Warren was the 17th overall pick out of North Carolina State in the 2014 draft after earning ACC player of the year honors and breaking the school's season scoring record, set 39 years earlier by David Thompson.

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough says Warren has improved every year and is expected to continue his development as he approaches his prime.

Thunder: GM Presti evolves, surrounds Westbrook with stars
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Sam Presti has evolved with the times.

Oklahoma City's general manager is perhaps best known for drafting Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Over the years, instead of adding big-name free agents and making blockbuster trades, he has added relatively inexpensive players around his stars and built through the draft.

His plans have mostly worked. The Thunder have played in the Western Conference Finals four times and the NBA Finals once since Presti took the job in 2007, and both Durant and Westbrook have won MVP awards.

Not everything has been rosy. Presti couldn't work out a contract extension with Harden in 2012. And last year, Durant left Oklahoma City for Golden State. Durant recently criticized Thunder management for failing to put the right players around him to compete for a title.

In a perfectly timed move, Presti shook the NBA by trading for 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder already had traded for four-time All-Star Paul George in the offseason. With the addition of the kind of talent Durant so desperately wanted in Oklahoma City, it appears Presti has turned over a new leaf. The man who always has focused on the process has shifted gears and built a super team in a matter of months (see full story).

NBA Notes: Cavaliers' front office downplays Kyrie Irving trade talk

uspresswire-cavaliers-altman-gilbert.jpg
USA Today Images

NBA Notes: Cavaliers' front office downplays Kyrie Irving trade talk

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert spent more than 30 minutes presenting a positive portrait of his franchise.

The reality is that the Cavs are troubled.

In his first public comments since Kyrie Irving asked to be traded, Gilbert would not confirm whether he'll honor the All-Star point guard's request, but he also didn't rule out the real possibility that Cleveland may deal its second best player -- or if he thinks LeBron James will stay around beyond next season.

"These things are fluid," Gilbert said. "We think that Kyrie Irving is one of the best guards in the NBA. He was part of a championship, three years straight to the Finals and we value his talent -- significantly."

Despite several direct questions about Irving's status, Gilbert would not provide any specifics about recent conversations with him or his agent. Gilbert said he expected the 25-year-old, whose jumper in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals propelled Cleveland to its first championship since the Browns in 1964, to be at training camp with the team in September.

"Right now Kyrie Irving is under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year," Gilbert said. "As of now he's one of our best players and sure, we expect him to be in camp" (see full story).

Wizards: Team announced Wall’s $170 million extension
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards have signed John Wall to a $170 million, four-year contract extension that begins in 2019-20.

Team President Ernie Grunfeld announced the completion of the deal Wednesday. Wall said in a video posted on Twitter on Friday that he had agreed to the extension.

Wall's deal includes a player option for the final season in 2023-24.

Owner Ted Leonsis said extending Wall gives the Wizards stability for years to come. The team also matched a $106.5 million, four-year offer sheet that forward Otto Porter Jr. signed with the Brooklyn Nets and has guard Bradley Beal signed through 2020-21.

Wall, a four-time Eastern Conference All-Star, is the third player this summer to get a designated player "supermax" extension, joining Houston's James Harden and Golden State's Stephen Curry (see full story).

Suns: Williams signs 3-year, $17 million deal
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns have signed big man Alan Williams to a three-year, $17 million contract.

The restricted free agent agreed to the deal earlier this month and the Suns announced he re-signed on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Williams averaged 7.4 points on 51 percent shooting and 6.2 rebounds in 47 games last season, his second in the NBA.

Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Suns in 2016 and averaged 2.9 points and 3.8 rebounds. He played the 2015-16 season in China after being an undrafted free agent from UC Santa Barbara.

Lakers: Guard Tyler Ennis re-signs
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed guard Tyler Ennis, a late-season addition who played his way into a job.

The Lakers announced the deal Wednesday.

Los Angeles acquired Ennis from the Houston Rockets on Feb. 23 in a trade for Marcelo Huertas. Ennis appeared in 22 games for the Lakers, averaging 7.7 points and 2.4 assists.

The Lakers are the fourth NBA team in three seasons for Ennis, a Syracuse product chosen 18th overall in the 2014 draft by Phoenix.

Ennis is likely to vie for a backup role behind point guard Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 overall pick.

The Lakers met with Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and George Hill in their quest for a veteran backup point guard to work with Ball, but all three signed elsewhere.

Lakers' surprising win in San Antonio significantly helps Sixers' draft odds

Lakers' surprising win in San Antonio significantly helps Sixers' draft odds

We all know this already, but there is something seriously wrong with the NBA draft lottery process when Sixers fans become Lakers fans late in the season and actively start rooting against their own team.

Oh well. It's the world we live in and it certainly has helped the Sixers the last few years.

The Lakers pulled off a stunning win in San Antonio Wednesday night, their second in a row as Luke Walton becomes the most disliked man in L.A. As the buzzer sounded Wednesday and Walton met Gregg Popovich at midcourt for a handshake, Walton was laughing with an "oops" look on his face.

The Lakers' win really helped the Sixers because it makes it extremely difficult for L.A. to move back behind the Suns for the NBA's second-worst record.

Here's how the bottom-seven currently shakes out, with only a handful of games left:

1. Nets: 19-59 (pick goes to Boston)
2. Suns: 22-57
3. Lakers: 23-55 (pick goes to Sixers if it doesn't fall in the top 3)
4. Magic: 27-51
5. Sixers: 28-50
6. Knicks: 30-48
7. Kings: 31-47

2nd-worst vs. 3rd-worst
The Suns have lost 13 games in a row and have the youngest starting lineup in NBA history. Phoenix has three games left -- home vs. Oklahoma City, home vs. Dallas, at Sacramento.

The difference between finishing with the second-worst record and the third-worst record is significant for lottery purposes. The Lakers' finishing third-worst would improve the Sixers' chances of getting their top-three protected pick by 9 percent. 

(Even if that Lakers pick doesn't convey to the Sixers this year, it becomes completely unprotected next year. That could be great. It could also be less-than-great, because it gives Magic Johnson and the Lakers another summer to potentially lure good players to L.A. The Lakers are not in a good salary cap situation, but with young assets like D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram, they could make the sort of trade this summer that improves them in the short-term, thus making that pick less valuable.)

The team that finishes in that two-spot currently occupied by the Suns has a 55.8 percent chance of landing a top-3 pick, compared to a 46.9 percent chance for the team in the three-spot.

Even if the Suns somehow win one of their final three games to finish 23-59, the Lakers would have to lose all four of their remaining games just to tie for the second-worst record.

More help on the way?
There isn't much time for those bottom-seven teams to change positions. Brooklyn is essentially locked into the worst record even after winning three in a row. The Magic and Sixers will almost certainly finish with the fourth- and fifth-worst records.

But the Knicks at 6 and Kings at 7 could flip-flop, which would be another big benefit for the Sixers.

The Sixers have a 29.1 percent chance of landing in the top three with their own pick. The Kings have a 15 percent chance. Because the Sixers have pick swap rights with Sacramento, you add those two numbers together and subtract the very small decimal chance that the Sixers and Kings fall within the top three. So you're at about a 44 percent chance that the Sixers get a top-three pick.

But if the Kings -- currently one game better than the Knicks -- can finish behind New York, the Sixers' chances of getting a top-three pick increase by 6.5 percent.

There is a massive game Friday night at Staples Center between the Kings and the Lakers. A Lakers win would benefit the Sixers in two ways. It's the most important game for the Sixers in about a month and it doesn't even involve them. Good system.