NBA Rumor Round Up For Tuesday, August 4:
Wesley Matthews: The Dallas Mavericks upgraded Matthews' contract to a max deal even though they are fully aware he's going to miss a good portion of his first season with his new team as he recovers from the torn left Achilles. Head coach Rick Carlisle is happy Mathews signed with the Mavs and the plan is to let the shooting guard return to game action only when he's ready. “You know, we’ve done research on it,” Carlisle tells Mavs.com. “I think the most important thing is that he makes a full recovery, because we’re signing him to a four-year deal. The first year is more about making sure that he’s right and getting him out there on the right terms, and from there we want him to make a full recovery and continue to get better.”
J.R. Smith: The shooting guard remains part of the free agent market as he has yet to come to terms with the Cleveland Cavaliers or another NBA team. Smith declined his $6.4 million player option for 2015-16 and it looks like he'll have to accept a deal paying less this coming season. According to Smith, he's just looking for the best place where he can succeed. "I just want to be somewhere I can make a difference," Smith tells the Pacific Daily News. "I don't want to be somewhere I can't have an affect on the team." Smith also said he doesn't care if he starts or comes off the bench.
Kobe Bryant: According to Clay Fowler of the Daily Bulletin, the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard has agreed to a deal with a big Chinese e-commerce company regarding the release of several of his products. Fowler writes: "Alibaba Group Holding Limited will exclusively release Kobe Bryant’s Muse through its video platform, Tmall Magic Box, available beginning Aug. 8 for $1.29 (or 8 yuan). To promote the documentary, which first aired in the U.S. on Showtime in February, Alibaba Group and Sina will collaborate with Kobe Inc., to create a new social media platform that will connect 'China’s young people directly to Kobe and his philosophies.'"
Earl Clark: According to Shams Charania of RealGM.com, the Brooklyn Nets are planning to waive the forward at his request. This move will allow Clark to look at other options for the coming season. Once the transaction has been completed, the Nets will fall below the luxury tax line by about $540,000.
Philadelphia 76ers: When the team opens training camp in late September, Jordan McRae (No. 58 pick in 2014) and J.P. Tokoto (No. 58 pick in 2015) will be part of the preseason roster should they receive the second rounder tenders from GM Sam Hinkie, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jared Sullinger: The Boston Celtics need Sullinger at his best this coming season and to make sure that happens, the forward is spending the summer working out with a trainer. Apparently Sullinger is making a lot of progress, according to John Lucas. As Jay King of MassLive.com points out, the team and fans have heard the same thing in previous years, so they will only know if it's true this time when he reports to training camp in late September. The Celtics now have a stacked frontcourt and if Sullinger isn't in good shape from Day One, he's going to find himself out of the rotation when the regular season tips off.
Jerian Grant: The rookie point guard has impressed Knicks legend Walt "Clyde" Frazier enough that he told ESPNNewYork.com that he thinks Grant will eventually be the starter. Heading into training camp, Grant will be the backup, with Jose Calderon as the first-team point guard.