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Your Comprehensive 2015 Cavs Free Agency Guide

Monday, June 29th, 2015

lovejames

Well, Jensen Karp blew up Twitter last night when he tweeted a get-together pic between KLove and the King (pic edited). I guess that’s as good a way as any to kick off the madness that will be the 2015 NBA free agency period. So, release the NBA suits! In less than 48 hours, teams can start recruiting free agents (12 AM EST, July 1st). Of course, any free agency talk for Cleveland starts with the fact that LeBron James has officially opted out of his contract and is now a free agent. Of course, everyone expects the King to re-sign with the Cavs, and the official line is that he is taking a “wait and see” approach with regards to the Cavs and free agency. Windy reports.

Last week, Cavs general manager David Griffin said the team had been in regular contact with James since the end of the Finals and that he was “very engaged” in discussions about the roster. Sources told ESPN, however, it is James’ intention to stay somewhat removed from the Cavs’ free agency until other free agents are handled.

Translation? James’ cap hold of $21.6 million is less than the free agent contract he will sign later this summer, of about $23 million dollars. But, for maximum flexibility, it may help the Cavs to “officially” sign him last of all. In light of this, let’s take a look at the Cavs options in free agency, both with their own free agents, and prospective ones.

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C:tB Mock Draft 2015!

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Welcome to the 2015 Cavs: The Blog NBA Mock Draft!

This year, in addition to some of the regular C:tB bloggers, we invited a few draft-savvy commenters to help out with the mocking festivities. So, joining me, David Wood, Cory Hughey, Ben Werth and EvilGenius are guest mockers: Robert (AKA DellaveYoda), Christopher (AKA CLF), Ross (Gumdrop) and Carson (AKA cwzagger). Using a snake draft format, we randomly represented each of the 30 NBA teams (plus an additional second round mock choice for the Cavs and one crazy mock trade from round 1).

And the results just might surprise you…

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Podcast Episode 72: Finals Post Mortem, Draft, and Free Agency

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

 

Well, we finally broke up our ridiculous podcasts into two ridiculous podcasts. This episode,  EvilGenius, David Wood, and I give the finals post mortem, discuss the draft, make a free agency wish list, pitch a J.R. Smith/Nick Young sitcom, question Kevin Love’s motives (and then totally realize he’s staying).  Oh and we spend far too much time contemplating why there’s a woolly bear crawling across Colin Farrell’s lip on this season of True Detective.

You can hear us on the links above, on SoundCloud, or on iTunes.

Grading the Haywood Trade Options

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

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Friday, we discussed the ins and outs of the Brendan Haywood contract and the assets it could garner. “It’s Gold,” I noted, as the team which receives Haywood can immediately waive him for no money, or even trade him again to a team with cap room to receive a sizable exception (who can then waive him or trade him again). Haywood’s contract is going to get passed like a giant tub of popcorn at an Inside Out matinee.

As we discovered yesterday, the Cavs cannot receive players back in any sign-and-trade deals because they are over the luxury tax apron. This means the Cavs have four options with regards to Haywood.

  1. Release Haywood to save Dan Gilbert at least $30 million in payroll and luxury tax payments.
  2. Trade Haywood for a $10,522,500 trade exception to be used at some point later in 2015-2016. This gives Cleveland much less flex flexibility than does trading Haywood this summer when his contract can be combined with other players’ and they can take back up to $13.25 million in salaries with Haywood’s contract alone.
  3. Hold on to Haywood and trade him sometime after Dec. 15th, when players signed during the summer of 2015 can be traded. This is the option I’m sure Haywood would enjoy, as he’d be payed around a third of his $10 million contract.
  4. Trade Brendan Haywood for a player or players currently under contract. Those players have to have salaries totaling approximately $7-$13.25 million dollars. Also, the Cavs only have this year’s first round pick, a bunch of future second rounders, and a 2018 first rounder to bargain with. Ted Stepien, eat your heart out.

So lets explore some possibilities for option four, with our standard CtB grading system. Please note that salaries are approximate and based on this year’s salaries, which could be slightly different from next season’s.

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Mailing it in: Amateur GM Edition

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

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We’ve been a little lax on NBA draft coverage this year at Cavs: the Blog. We’re on the outside looking in, after drafting at the top of the lottery the last four years, and with the Cavs playing till just last week, none of us have had time to do the proper scouting and evaluation. In addition, more than a couple of our staffers think there’s no way a 24th draft pick is even going to play for the Cavs next year. But here we are, in one of the NBA’s best times of the year, a time when hopes for every franchise renew. We don’t want to give it short shrift, either. That’s where you come in.

If you’re interested in participating in the CtB Mock draft that will be taking place this week, please email me at OldSeaMiner@gmail.com. To participate, you’ll need to be able to respond to emails in a timely manner. You’ll also need to profile a player or three with a paragraph full of insight and wit as we go through the mock draft. If you can’t participate, please use the comment section to tell us all about the player(s) you like in this draft, and a plausible scenario for them ending up on the Cavs. Also, if the player you love is so earth shatteringly awesome, you just have to tell us about them, even if they won’t end up on the Cavs, well, that’s ok, too. Any sane draft day trade scenarios are welcome, *but remember, sign-and-trades can’t happen until free agency starts, so table those till next week. Happy drafting, and go Cavs.

*Correction: as the Cavs are above the tax apron with their current cap holds, they cannot receive any players in a sign and trade scenario. As Jacob Rosen at WFNY explained in his piece on Dwyane Wade scenarios, there are almost no ways for the Cavs to get under the tax apron to be able sign and trade. My apologies on the error. I’ve been under a mistaken assumption for over a week. The CBA is not self evident.

The Road Forward

Friday, June 19th, 2015

 

Alright so let’s talk offseason moves. Questions by Tom Pestak, answers by me.

If I had to choose between J.R. and Shump I’d go Shump. J.R. is basically a moderately efficient spot-up shooter at this point. With a sprinkling of cross-over stepbacks and 20 point games. But assuming a healthy Irving and Love, spot up 3 point shooting isn’t as critical as stout perimeter D. Nate?

J.R and Shump are fine. Each can play three spots in the Cavs’ system. But Cleveland will still need more wings. J.R. will opt out and command between $6 and $7 million per on a three year deal, with the standard non-fully guaranteed last year. Shump will be the last major guy the Cavs deal with in free agency, unless someone else signs him to an offer sheet, first. I imagine he and J.R. will get around the same sized deals. Shump could get a four year if he wanted, or maybe three year with an opt out.

If the Cavs finally break the curse, will Windhorst have to apologize for his podcast rant last season about how “Gilbert thinks he can buy success?”

Gilbert can buy success this year. The question is, will he? That’s the quarter billion dollar question. If he can get it done for under $200 million, Dan will hold his nose and pay. He’ll also reverse course on the luxury tax system in 2007. Remember, Mr. Gilbert is one of the main guys that wanted this system that, it turns out it, just punishes the competitiveness of small market teams. I bet there’s a lot of ruing going on in the offices of the Q, because the number could be higher than a quarter billion. (more…)

Finals Game 5 Recap: Golden State 104, Cleveland 91 (or, Maybe Save Something for the Swim Back?)

Monday, June 15th, 2015

AP Photo/Ben Margot

In a fantastically contested game, the Cavs hung with the Warriors for 43 minutes, until two straight Andre Iguodala threes gave the Warriors a seven-point lead. Steph Curry then destroyed the Cavs’ chances with a dancing, playground style, three-pointer and then a layup to put the Dubs up ten. LeBron tried valiantly to bring the Cavs back with a 27-footer, followed by a successful Hack-guodala strategy, but Matthew Dellavedova missed a three that would have cut it to five at 1:39. Then, Steph Curry slung an ice dagger at the net from 29 feet, and routed the armies of the North Coast.

The other lousy bookend to this game, the first five minutes, looked like a plate full of baby puke as the Cavs had only a Delly junkball deuce and five turnovers on their tray. But Cleveland went small, relegating Timofey Mozgov to the bench, and ran with the Dubs till late in the fourth to the tune of 20 lead changes and 10 ties. Cleveland just turned the ball over five more times the rest of the game, but the 11 offensive rebounds surrendered to Golden State were the difference as much as Curry’s shooting.

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Finals Live Thread: Game 5, Cavs @ Warriors

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Summoning good vibes and karma for the Cavs tonight, as we’re all trying to get up for this game. Cleveland heads to Oracle arena tonight with a welcome extra day’s rest. Cavs are 15-0 this season on two days rest, and LeBron has won his last five series that were tied at 2-2. So with that notion, I’ve got a “Good Feeling.” I’m queuing the first song on my energy jam mix. Go Cavs… GO CAVS!

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The Point Four-ward: Expectations and Chips

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Since Robert’s on vacation this week, I’m filling in to author this week’s Point Four-ward: four things I’m thinking about as the Cleveland Cavaliers are just a couple wins from an NBA championship.

1) Matthew Dellavedova belongs to all of us now. “On Wednesday, Dellavedova had the best-selling NBA player jersey on Fanatics, the nation’s largest licensed online sports retailer,” ESPN.com reported. Dellymania has reached fever pitch.

Kyle Welch at WFNY summed up Delly fever well.

Dellavedova went to the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday night after playing himself into dehydration and severe cramps, then showed up for practice; LeBron James endorsed Dellavedova for Australian knighthood; Dellavedova aborted Coach David Blatt’s attempt to put a minutes restriction on the recently hospitalized point guard (“No you’re not”); his hometown of Maryborough, Australia, announced they would name their basketball stadium the “Dellavedova Dome”; and coach Blatt told Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Chris Haynes that he was “full of ****” for questioning the legitimacy of Blatt’s faith in the point guard earlier in the season. And that was all in the last 36 hours!

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Podcast Quick Hit! Cleveland 96, Golden State 91 (The Gattaca Game)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

WHAT A GAME. Tom Pestak, EvilGenius, and I just had to talk about it. It was intense: from Delly’s defense and late game scoring to Steph Curry and his 24 points in the fourth. But the Cavs controlled and ultimately triumphed, behind another herculean effort from LeBron and an amazing and unexpected performance from Matthew Dellavedova. Man, that was fun.

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