Archive for the ‘Actual Trade/Signing’ Category

[BREAKING NEWS]: LeBron James to Re-sign

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

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ESPN’s Chris Broussard still had enough energy after his hilarious Twitter beef with Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, to break the news that LeBron James will re-sign with the Cavaliers for two-years, with a player option for the second season. The timing was impeccable.

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Breaking News: Cavs Sign Mo Williams to a 2-Year Deal

Monday, July 6th, 2015

WOW!  I’m a sucker for a good story, and Mo Williams reuniting with LeBron James and Anderson Varejao is a GREAT story.  Mo was about as depressed as a multi-millionaire pro athlete can get after LeBron left for Miami.   He stayed salty for a while.

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Rejoice, for Kendrick Perkins shall sign with the Cavaliers

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Happy Perk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Cavaliers season has been one of highs and lows. The team won the draft lottery, LeBron came back, Kevin Love came shortly thereafter, and all was good. Then, the team, and Love, had some serious struggles out of the gate, and woe came down upon us all.

Recently, the Cavs have been on an absolute tear since getting healthy and acquiring Timofey Mosgov and J.R. Smith, and now things get even better: The Impossible Dream has happened, and Kendrick Perkins will now be a Cleveland Cavalier, according to ESPN.com’s Royce Young, who previously wrote what must be considered the definitive post-Celtics Perkins piece earlier this season.

Perkins is mainly known for his ability to set lots and lots of screens, many of questionable legality, and his individual post defense. He does very few other basketball-related things well. Out of 346 qualified players, Perkins ranks 335th in PER, which is not good. He has one of the worst True Shooting percentages in the league at 46.1%, which is impressive since he’s a center who rarely shoots, and he has the highest turnover ratio in the league. (However, his True Shooting percentage is still higher than Dion Waiters’, so there’s that.)

Perkins’ Real Plus-Minus is kinder to him, however, and puts him right about in the middle of the pack among NBA centers, which backs up the notion that he contributes with screens, post defense, and rim protection in ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet. (It should be noted that RPM has not been nearly this kind to Perkins in years past.)

It’s clear what Perkins provides: A battle-tested veteran who can be relied on to give spot minutes in the playoffs and give Mozgov a rest in the regular season, and a guy whose myriad of deficiencies will be mostly covered up by playing with three guys who can keep the floor spaced and will have the ball in their hands for the vast majority of the time.

Initial Thoughts on the Deng Trade

Monday, January 6th, 2014

 

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Well, that was unexpected. After an extended dance with the Lakers about a possible Bynum-Gasol swap, the Cavs have decided to trade Andrew Bynum’s immediately erasable contract and 3 draft picks to the Bulls for Luol Deng and his $14.275 million expiring contract. I’m going to come right out and say it: This trade carries some long-term risks, but in the short-term, it’s an absolute coup for Chris Grant, and just might save his job. Here are the things I like about the trade:

1) Defense, Defense, Defense

As long-time readers of this blog know, I have always been a Mike Brown apologist, and feel he never gets the credit he deserves for turning the Cavaliers into an elite defensive squad during his first stint with the team. As short-term watchers of Cavalier basketball know, Mike Brown has been an absolute disaster on both ends of the floor this season, and the team has only been league-average defensively while being an absolute nightmare on offense. This trade gives Brown another really, really good defensive piece to play with, which he desperately needed. Deng is still an elite defender — the Bulls are 2nd in the league in defensive efficiency and they’re 4.5 points per 100 possessions better defensively when Deng is on the court. Having a stopper on the wing, as well as a high-profile player who buys in on defense, should help the Cavs tremendously on that end of the floor.

2) He comes from the right culture.

I alluded to this above, but I’ll give it it’s own paragraph here. Deng comes from the kind of team that the Cavaliers should aspire to be. They (were) built around a scoring point guard, they played brilliant, intricate, suffocating defense, and they out-worked their opponent almost every night. That’s how they won the most games in the East during Rose’s MVP year, and that’s how they stayed competitive when Rose got injured. If Deng can get Cavalier players to buy into that mentality, it’ll be a huge deal. (Short version: Luol Deng is the opposite of Rudy Gay.)

3) A target for Kyrie — on the wing!

Deng isn’t the prototypical #2 guy for Kyrie on the perimeter. He’s not a great shooter, he works in isolation a lot, and he generally likes the ball in his hands. Still, Deng is an above-average passer for a small forward, which is great considering he’ll be playing alongside of Irving and Waiters in crunch time, he’s a fantastic finisher at the rim, which is something the Cavaliers desperately need, and his combination of basketball IQ and toughness should be an absolute godsend after the parade of wings the Cavaliers have trotted out in the post-LeBron era. Deng’s relatively weak outside shooting keeps him from being a traditional sidekick, but he’s always found ways to score at a decent (if not thrilling) rate of efficiency, and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue in Cleveland.

4) The only player the Cavs traded is one who they had banned from the team for the rest of time.

That sort of explains itself. So long, Bynum experiment.

5) According to the numbers, Deng is somehow not breaking down physically.

Deng has been playing “If he dies, he dies” minutes for the last few seasons, and missed time last season because of a BOTCHED SPINAL TAP. 28-year old male humans should not be needing spinal taps. That’s a bad thing. And Deng, when not playing 37.4 minutes per game this season because I CAN FEEL A PULSE NOW GET BACK OUT THERE AND SHOW HARD ON THAT DAMN PICK AND ROLL, has missed some games with injuries. However, when he’s played, he’s somehow been having one of his best seasons in years. His PER is as high as it’s been since the 06-07 season, and his TS% has only been higher in 06-07 and the year Rose was healthy and the league MVP. So, fingers crossed, we’re not getting a Luol Deng running on fumes here, which was a pretty major cause with Pau Gasol.

6) Expiring contract!

If Deng does break down, or doesn’t mesh with the team, or whatever, guess what? His contract is coming off the books after this season! It’s all the same! There’s no long-term risk financially here? (Again, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that Deng is not Rudy Gay.) The only thing that’s happening here is that Dan Gilbert will have to spend more money. And we here at Cavs: The Blog are always willing to spend Dan Gilbert’s money in order to help the Cavaliers. It’s just the kind of giving souls we are. And this means the Cavs will still have the flexibility to sign LeBron! (Note: the Cavs are not going to sign LeBron.)

7) No major assets were given up.

When I first saw that the Cavs had given up two second round picks, a first, and a right to swap for Deng, I thought Grant had gone into a Paxson panic and made a Jiri Welsch-esque “I’m fired if this doesn’t work, so who cares about the future?” trade. However, the “1st-round pick” is almost certainly not going to be in the first round, since it comes from Sacramento and is top-12 protected. (One more time: THANK GOD FOR RUDY GAY.) In fact, the pick is top-10 protected through 2017, which means that the pick won’t come back to bite the Cavs until Sacramento gets out of the cellar, which could take a while, or if Chicago hits the jackpot and finds a franchise-changing player outside of the top 10. As for the second-rounders, it’s hard to feel too bad about them when the Cavs have one lottery pick who can’t crack the rotation and another who shouldn’t be in the rotation. TYLER ZELLER IS A RELATIVE SUCCESS AMONG RECENT CAVS LOTTERY PICKS. As for the pick-swap, that’s pretty well protected too.

DOWNSIDES:

1) Spacing.

As mentioned above, Deng is a pretty poor shooter for a high-profile NBA wing. He’s shooting 27.4% from deep, and he’s not much better on long twos. Considering that the Cavs already have some pretty serious issues with spacing, that’s a legitimate concern, especially since you’d love to see someone able to give Waiters and Irving more space to work in in the paint.

2) Deng is an old 28.

I mentioned this above, but it’s concerning that Deng has been playing 38 minutes a night for the last few years, had a spinal tap procedure that almost killed him during last year’s playoffs, has missed games this year, and was given up for a player who will not be playing basketball anytime soon willingly. I can’t shake the feeling Deng is going to age like an NFL running back — one day, he’s just going to be DONE, and some team will be stuck with a substantial bill. I just hope it’s not the Cavs. That takes us to…

3) I am terrified of signing Deng to an extension.

As of now, I love this deal. The Cavs can get some pride back, some wins under their belt, make an actual run at a playoff seed, and feel like a real basketball team again. Despite the current theory that tanking is a panacea, that strategy generally works just as well for getting teams out of the gutter than bottoming out does. However, I will want to eat a compact fluorescent lightbulb if the team signs Deng at $15-17 million through his age 32 year, because he’s not going to take the team any further than the first round and at some point his next contract will become an albatross. (Joe Johnson is currently 32. That should terrify you.) If the Cavs extend Deng immediately, I will go insane. If they extend him on the strength of a first-round playoff appearance and exit, I will also go insane.

Fortunately, they probably won’t extend Deng right away, because they want to keep their slim hopes of getting LeBron alive (and honestly, LeBron is worth it, despite the odds), and won’t extend him on the strength of a first-round playoff birth, because I still don’t think the Cavs are making the playoffs. This trade will help, but the Hollinger odds have the Cavs with a 10.4% chance to make it in as of today. Only the Bucks have lower odds of making the playoffs in the East, and I don’t think Deng is enough of a game-changer to completely turn it around.

The bottom line, though, is that this move represents a step in the right direction for the Cavaliers, and I look forward to them getting much more watchable in the near future. Things will get squicky for me when the time comes to decide on re-signing Deng, but until them I’m happy about this one. Until next time, campers.

 

Random Thoughts on Bynum, Remaining Summer Moves, and Team Defense

Friday, July 12th, 2013

So…Andrew Bynum!  It’s a wild acquisition with a wide range of potential outcomes.  Let’s briefly run through a good, a (that’s too) bad, and an ugly scenario, then a few other random thoughts, not necessary tied to Bynum.

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Broussard: Andrew Bynum Signs with Cavs

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

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.

So how does the 2014 – 2015 Salary Cap situation look now?

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Next off-season has frequently been mentioned as the time to sell a big name free agent on:

  • Playing with Kyrie,
  • Joining a young, up-and-coming team that just made the playoffs for the first time (hopeful thinking), and
  • a maximum contract

After the signing of Jarrett Jack, how is the Cavs’ cap situation shaping up?

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A Brief Statistical Primer on Jarrett Jack

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Things are heating up in free agency.  Cleveland is set to snag Jarrett Jack with a 4 year, $25 million contract.  Three years are guaranteed; Jack’s age 30, 31 and 32 seasons.  Many people weren’t expecting a long-term contract this summer, but this veteran combo-guard probably rated highly on many fan’s off-season wish lists.  Jack provides a durable combo-guard to spell Kyrie and Dion, and much needed shooting.

A few facts and stats:

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Cavaliers Dole out Four-Year Deal to Jarrett Jack

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

The Cavaliers made a splash in FA today, agreeing to a four-year deal for veteran point guard Jarrett Jack.  The deal is being reported for $25 million with a team option for the 4th year.  This move solidifies the backup point guard spot that the Cavaliers were badly lacking.  It also adds a veteran presence to a very young team.  Jack has been around the league.  The Cavaliers will be his 6th team in 8 years. Jack had a memorable post-season performance but he played well all season as a capable backup to Stephen Curry.

Jack can shoot.  Much like Mo Williams, he can score from just about anywhere and is one of the few players that shoots well enough from mid-range to justify firing a lot of mid-range shots.

Jack is currently in his prime, and at 29 years old, he should keep up his current production for at least 2 more years.  That the 4th year is a team option is good for the Cavaliers.  Jack is pretty durable, and his presence should mitigate any disastrous losing streaks should the Cavaliers star players find themselves on the injured list.

The Cavaliers say farewell to Shaun Livingston, who was signed today by the Brooklyn Nets.  Livingston played very well during his time with the Cavaliers and was a big part of the Cavaliers “fun February”.

Link to the Present: July 4, 2013 (The Earl Clark Edition)

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

The Cavs signed Earl Clark!*  Apparently the deal is for 2 years and $9 million, with the second year a team option.  Also, apparently the Cavs must think he can be converted to small forward.  Last season, in 23 minutes per game, he averaged 7.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.6 steals on 44 / 34/ 70 shooting.  I am unsure why the deal needed to be for nearly five-mil per year.  Really, as an immediate reaction, not much about this makes sense.  But it’s the Fourth of July and there is beer to drink and grilling to be done…reaction later.

*now you can never respect my use of exclamation points again.