Over the last year in various hypothetical Cavalier trade posts, I have been a little hard on the Portland Trail Blazers. Over the salary cap this season, committed to 80% of that level for 2014 – 2015, and lacking four of six picks in the next three drafts, their current big three consists of Lamarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and Nic Batum. That’s all fine and well, but in the West over the next five seasons, will that beat: Durant, Westbrook & Ibaka; Gasol & Conley; Harden, Howard, Parsons & Lin; or Paul & Griffin? What about San Antonio or whatever becomes of the Lakers? Perpetually a deep conference, I envisioned trouble for the Portland core exceeding “first round playoff fodder”. But anyways…that was then…this is now; how is Rip City stacking up with the Cavs this season?
Archive for the ‘Off-Season Moves’ Category
Two weeks from today, across the country, the NBA kicks-off a new season with media day; finally, something substantive to distract us from football. Until then, Cavs:the Blog continues our odyssey through the rest of the NBA. The Eastern Conference featured several doormats to enhance Cleveland’s playoff hopes; the Western Conference houses few similar patsies. Beginning the sojourn through that terrifying wilderness, today I look at the Memphis Grizzlies.
This week, the Cavs:the Bloggers take our insights to the Southeast Division. Given this is a short week and there are five teams, a need existed to exclude the least interesting of that crew; we are not taking our talents to South Beach. Quick synopsis of the Miami Heat: they won the 2013 championship; all their major players return, along with new addition Greg Oden; the Cavs stand a notch or two below them; I want to watch Dion Waiters dunk on Chris Andersen again.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss the Heat’s neighbors to the north: the Orlando Magic.
Closing out this week’s review of the Central Division is the Detroit Pistons. Unlike the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, who are absolutely expected to make the playoffs, and unlike the Milwaukee Bucks, who probably got a whole lot worse by losing Jennings and Monta Ellis, the Pistons, like the Cavs, fall somewhere between bad and semi-relevent. What does all this mean? Welcome to your 2013-2014 7-8 seed competition!
I know you remember the game the picture above is from. So do Dion and Andy, as they daily recollect the commitment they made to each other in this moment…”we will never let the Bucks beat us like that again”.
And they’re right; Brandon Jennings is gone. Following up on Robert and Patrick’s looks at the Pacers and Bulls, I drew the short straw and preview Cavs versus Bucks. On the other hand though, the Bucks were the Eastern Conference 8th seed last year; this may be the most important match-up for the young, playoff-hungry, Wine and Gold. On to it…
Hi, Central Division. Haven’t seen you for a while. Looks like summer’s been treating you well. I mean, everyone except for you, Milwaukee. But for everyone else, yeah, summer lovin’ totally had us a blast.
As we slog steadily toward September, we here at Cavs: The Blog thought it might be good to check in on our mainly geographically linked rivals in the NBA’s Central Division. Just as Cavs’ fans are (mostly) all bonging the Bynum Kool-Aid, each of the other teams in our division, our de facto rivals, have done some thing(s) to give their own fan bases, to quote Bonnie Raitt on this blog for what I truly hope is the first time, something to talk about. Have the Cavs bettered or worsened their chances in the Central? We won’t know until the ball gets tossed, but let’s start by looking around The Division with the Pace Cars of Indianapolis, Indiana.
…and is of little lasting consequence, but, kids, it is still technically competitive basketball.
Tomorrow, the Cavaliers kick off their 2013 NBA Summer League campaign in Las Vegas. In an attempt to manufacture some meaning beyond “player development”isms, this year’s games will culminate in tournament play between all the participating teams. So, yes, there is still the chance that Samardo Samuels will lead some team to a championship… of sorts.
The Cavs play the Knicks Friday at 5 p.m. (8 p.m. EST) then play the Grizzlies on Sunday at 5 p.m. and the Pelicans on Monday at 3 p.m. Cavs: The Blog will be reporting live from the Grizzlies and Pelicans game and, from what I understand, there’s no telling who you might run into at Summer League.
The tournament starts on July 17 and will crown its winner on Monday, July 22. Dion, bring the trophy home, baby!
Summer League is a fickle mistress. She both gives (most of these guys we’re watching are/will be NBA players, after all) and takes away (viewers are constantly reminded how little success on the Summer League level means to the games that count). But, hey, we just spent months watching highlight reels for guys who got drafted by other teams so, really, Summer League gives us cause for two things: 1.) We now have a team with “Cleveland Cavaliers” on their jerseys. This is no small matter. Mid-July is the first opportunity we’ve had to cheer for such a collection in a while. There’s no reason not to enjoy that. 2.) Many of those guys we developed our draft-crushes on will be there as well. So, Vegas is our chance to say our good-byes to the Otto Porters and Ben McLemores of the world, to let them let us down easy with a slew of 3-17 shooting nights or to keep that fire going with some amazing displays of skill, athleticism or shooting touch. This is Summer League and Vegas; this basketball’s got “consequence free” written all over it. Lap it up!
According to ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard, Andrew Bynum has verbally agreed (remember that free agents can’t put pen to paper just yet) to that two-year, $24M deal the Cavs offered him on Monday:
Bynum and the Cavaliers agreed to an incentive-laden, two-year contract that could be worth up to $24 million, sources told ESPN. The Cavs hold a team option for the second year of the deal, and only $6 million of the contract is guaranteed, according to sources.
You’ll remember that last offseason, the Cavs kicked the tires on playing the same facilitating role the Sixers ended up filling in a four-team Dwight Howard-to-LA blockbuster. Bynum never played a game for Philly, and a year later, he’s in wine and gold on a redemption contract. Chris Grant is kind of an infuriating GM—the surprising draft selections, the dense smoke screens, his insistence on trying to fleece the other team in every trade—but let it be said he’s never seen a low-risk, high-reward opportunity he didn’t like. Here’s hoping this Bynum move is more like when Grant traded for Baron Davis and the Clippers’ lottery pick and less like Christian Eyenga’s entire career.