notebook: Cavs GM optimistic after talks with Team LeBron
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[June 23, 2018]
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman senses positive momentum as
Cleveland prepares to pitch LeBron James on sticking around.
Altman entered the NBA draft Thursday without knowledge of James'
intentions in free agency. James has until midnight on June 29 to
exercise the 2018-19 season option in his contract worth $35.6
million or opt out to become a free agent.
Altman described talks between the Cavaliers and James'
representatives as "good dialogue."
The Cavaliers believe drafting point guard Collin Sexton with the
No. 8 pick on Thursday was a signal to James that they're still
building around him. Altman also said owner Dan Gilbert is set to
"spare no expense" building a championship team after the Cavaliers
were swept by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
--LiAngelo Ball went undrafted on Thursday night and afterward was
informed by the Los Angeles Lakers that they won't be inviting him
to join their summer league team, according to an ESPN report.
LiAngelo, the younger brother of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball and
middle of three basketball-playing Ball brothers, worked out for Los
Angeles and the Golden State Warriors before the draft. After his
Lakers workout, the team signified it had no interest in drafting
LiAngelo or signing the 19-year-old to play for their G League team,
the South Bay Lakers, according to a report from USA Today Sports.
Ball had reportedly held out hope for a summer league invite. The
6-foot-5 LiAngelo said recently that he wanted to join his brother,
the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, on the Lakers. LaVar,
the patriarch of the Ball family, has said previously all three of
his sons, including 16-year-old LaMelo, would be playing for the
Lakers in 2020.
--Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk admitted that his NBA
draft strategy one night earlier was altered by a leaked media
report during trade talks, leading to him backing out of a proposed
trade with the Milwaukee Bucks.
[to top of second column]
Jun 8, 2018; Cleveland,
OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during
the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game four of
the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle
Terada-USA TODAY Sports
During a radio interview on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, the
Hawks GM explained that a tipped news report helped him avoid
dealing away additional draft picks to the Bucks, who picked No. 17
overall in the first round Thursday -- two spots ahead of the Hawks
at No. 19, where Atlanta selected Maryland guard Kevin Huerter.
The Bucks instead chose Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo at No. 17,
and the early tip helped the Hawks hold on to a few other draft
--First-round pick Robert Williams and the Boston Celtics had to
scuttle an 11 a.m. ET introductory press conference when the team
couldn't locate the Texas A&M big man. Williams had watched the
draft from a Buffalo Wild Wings in Louisiana, rather than make the
trip to Brooklyn.
The Celtics figured out the confusion and rescheduled the call for
noon. On the call, Williams said he simply overslept after a long
two days waiting to figure out where he'd start his pro career.
"Right after the draft, I actually ran to my aunt's house and went
to sleep because I was so tired from everything. When I woke up, my
sister woke me up, she said, 'You have a conference call,'" sadi
Williams, who is expected to be formally introduced in Boston next
--Field Level Media
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