As expected, Joe Smith is rejoining the Cavaliers. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Smith and the Cavs agreed to the terms on a one-year contract Tuesday. He is expected to clear waivers Wednesday and then make it official.
"After careful consideration of his options, Joe has decided that the Cavs are the best fit," said Dan Fegan, Smith's agent.
Smith probably will not be ready to play Wednesday when the Cavs host the Milwaukee Bucks at The Q, but he will likely be in uniform on Friday when the Cavs visit the Boston Celtics.
After finishing up his buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder -- where he averaged 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 36 games -- Smith was in contact with several of his former Cavs teammates. Smith played the last 27 games of last season plus the playoffs with the Cavs last season.
The 6-foot-10, 14-year pro will provide the Cavs with some needed big-man depth. A solid defender who is also an effective midrange shooter, Smith will help fill the hole Ben Wallace left when he broke his leg last week.
When Wallace returns, which could be in as little as three weeks, Smith will give the Cavs more experience in their big-man rotation.
Several teams reportedly showed interest in Smith, including the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets.
• Joe Smith agrees to terms with Cavs (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
The Spurs, who were quiet at the trade deadline, are set to beef up their frontcourt. From the San Antonio Express-News:
Drew Gooden, traded from Chicago to Sacramento last month, has found another new basketball home - in San Antonio. Gooden, who was bought out in Sacramento on Sunday, is expected to sign with the Spurs sometime after clearing waivers on Wednesday.
A 6-foot-10 power forward who gained NBA Finals experience against the Spurs in 2007 with Cleveland, Gooden will join a Spurs team clinging to a slim lead in the Southwest Division and chasing the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference.
A number of teams made a run at Gooden after he became a free agent earlier this week, including Dallas and New Orleans, two of the Spurs' Southwest Division rivals. Ostensibly, the Spurs were able to entice him with the $1.5 million left over from their mid-level exception.
Gooden has been hobbled with a bad groin for much of the year, and left his only game with Sacramento with injury last Wednesday. A 7-year NBA veteran, Gooden is averaging 13.1 points and 8.7 rebounds in 32 games this season.
• Spurs land Gooden for stretch run (San Antonio Express-News)
The Suns announced Friday that All-Star forward Amar'e Stoudemire is expected to miss eight weeks after having surgery to repair a partially detached retina in his right eye. The Suns, who are one game behind Utah for the eighth playoff seed in the West, have eight weeks left in their regular season. The Arizona Republic has more on the injury:
This is the same eye that kept Stoudemire out during training camp when Boris Diaw poked it during a practice. At that time, Stoudemire suffered a partially torn iris with no damage to his cornea, retina or lens.
Stoudemire appeared to injure the eye in the first quarter of Wednesday's Suns win at the Los Angeles Clippers. He was bothered by the eye during an inbound play and then continued motioning toward it after trying to block an Al Thornton slam. He came out of the game briefly but re-entered and finished with 42 points, his second best scoring game of the season.
• Stoudemire likely out for season (Arizona Republic)
The Kings and Bulls have agreed to a trade, according to several reports. That's one of two deals for the Kings, reports the Sacramento Bee:
According to numerous league sources, a trade sending Kings players Brad Miller and John Salmons to Chicago in exchange for Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons has been agreed upon and is pending league approval.
In a separate deal with Portland, fourth-year forward Ike Diogu comes to the Kings for Ruffin. The Kings are also expected to receive approximately $1 million in the trade with Portland.
The trades put their roster at 17 players, and it is expected that they will waive newly-acquired point guard Sam Cassell. They will need to make an additional cut as well to trim the roster to a league-limit 15.
The Kings are not only a bad team, but an expensive bad team that had a payroll of $69 million before this deal. At a time when they desperately need to improve their salary cap situation for the future, the Chicago trade saves them approximately $13.5 million in salary cap room for next season. It could potentially make them more relevant in the free agent market this summer or allow the payroll flexibility to be more active on the trade front after this season. Beyond next season, though, Nocioni's contract will add $6.9 million to payroll in 2010-11 and $6.7 million in 2011-12. Gooden, Ruffin and Simmons all have expiring contracts worth $7.1 million, $1.1 million, and $1.7 million respectively.
Diogu's contract is worth $2.9 million this season, and he will be a restricted free agent this summer. He was drafted ninth overall in 2005 and will follow in the footsteps of Shelden Williams as the latest frontline prospect the Kings hope experiences a revival while on their roster.
Tracy McGrady confirmed on his Web site Wednesday that his season is over:
"My knee hasn't been right all year, and we can't seem to get the pain to go away. We've tried just playing through it, taking back-to-backs off, and extended periods of rest, but none of it has really been effective in limiting the discomfort and allowing me to just go out there and play. I've met with numerous doctors and gotten a number of opinions, and unfortunately I will be undergoing microfracture surgery on my left knee immediately. Microfracture surgery is a serious procedure, but I'm confident that I will be able to return next season with the same strength and explosiveness you are all used to seeing from me. "
On Tuesday, Rockets owner Les Alexander told the Houston Chronicle that the team would not trade McGrady:
"I don't think we're going to part ways with Tracy," said Alexander. "Everybody wants us to. We acquired a great superstar and everybody wants us to trade the great superstar. You don't get superstars that often.
"Daryl [Morey, the Rockets general manager] and I were talking this morning. We both discussed how great Tracy is in the playoffs. There's very few people who have the ability to step up their games in the playoffs and he does. So we're not looking to run away from Tracy. I always thought he was injured and has [health] problems. There will be more news coming out [on his knee] in the next couple days. He's a great player when he's healthy and a great competitor."
Alexander said the Rockets are as determined to keep Yao Ming, who can opt out of his contract after next season.
"When you have great players and a guy who works as hard as he does, we want to keep them," Alexander said. "He's a model NBA player. We want to keep him for the rest of his career."
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