Archive for the ‘Player Grades’ Category

#CavsRank Villains: 15-13

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Sometimes villains are easily personified as thugs, bullies, trash talkers and irritants. They’re annoying and brash, and are usually the component that makes losing that much harder to swallow. But other times, it’s not that simple. Sometimes, players’ bodies betray them or cruel twists of fate intervene to derail even the most promising playoff run. As we’ve witnessed all too often, bones can break just as easily as hearts in The ‘Land.

So, buckle up and take your Dramamine as you journey through the hazards of our next three #CavsRank Villains on the countdown…


#CavsRank Villains: 20-16

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

20. Jim Paxson

(By Cory Hughey) Some of the most flagrant terrorists to the American ideal have been internal, from Benedict Arnold to Timothy McVeigh. Some of the biggest villains to the Cavaliers chances at winning a title ate away at the franchise like a termite, from the inside out. You could make the case that Paxson was a victim of circumstance, and I don’t think he intentionally damaged the team (except for tanking for LeBron of course), but he was certainly a stooge. The Cavaliers failed miserably under Paxson’s time in the rusty throne to the tune of a 185-307 record.


#CavsRank Villains: 25-21

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Now that you’ve seen the bad guys who missed the cut, today begins our Cavs:The Blog’s #CavsRank Villains actual countdown. You can find the (dis)honorable mentions here. I’m joined by EG to bring you guys numbers 25-21. Some of these culprits are on here for enabling the dislocation of a certain Cavs star’s shoulder. Some because they did their part to crush the hopes and dreams of the Cavs in the playoffs. Others because they’re just jerks. One guy even made the cut for getting fat.

One thing’s for certain, it’s appropriate that famed Boston coach Red Auerbach appears in the above basketball “villain” graphic, since this section of the countdown is riddled with nauseating shades of Celtic green…


Introducing #CavsRank… Villains!

Monday, August 24th, 2015

The Joker, Hans Gruber, the Wicked Witch of the West, Voldemort, Emperor Palpatine, Ivan Drago, Hal 9000, Michael Corleone, Shredder, Iago, Cruella de Vil… Often, we remember a great villain more than we remember a great hero. For every Indiana Jones, there’s a Mola Ram. We Cavs fans have our own villains that have ripped our beating CavsHearts from our chests.  To discover them, we polled our crack staff to discover who and what we all still have nightmares about, and in the course of the next week or so, we’ll be counting down the biggest villains in Cavs history. (Big props to the commentariat’s TV63 who suggested the idea).

First up? Our (dis)honorable mentions, many of whom are just as memorable as the guys at the top. “Kali Ma!” indeed.

Charles Barkley

(By Nate Smith)  Sir Charles was a protagonist on a rough-and-tumble 76ers team that bounced the Cavs from the playoffs in 1990. Not only did the round mound level Craig Ehlo with a vicious foul in that series, but the Chuckster also averaged 25.6 points and 14 boards.


Your Comprehensive 2015 Cavs Free Agency Guide

Monday, June 29th, 2015


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.


Grading the Haywood Trade Options

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015


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.


Galvanized Pipe

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Jr Pipeline

Try, for a moment, to imagine the trepidation of Cavs fans (or just read through the twitter replies) when the #WojBomb detonated.  The Cleveland Cavaliers, fragile, rudderless, running out of time, prepared a jersey and a locker for J.R. Smith.   J.R. Smith?!  With Smith’s reputation, it was almost inconceivable that Cavs GM David Griffin would risk further dysfunction on a team that needed to get righted quickly.  The season was not yet completely unsalvageable, and Smith, for all his documented transgressions and the deafening chorus on his inability to be coached, could be considered one of the few role players in the NBA that could win a game by himself.  Still, it was like calling for a Hail Mary on 3rd and 8 with a minute and three timeouts remaining.


All-Star Roundup, and who Would Help the Cavs? — w/ a Haywood Contract Update

Monday, February 16th, 2015

LeBron moved into second place all time in All-Star game scoring with 30 points last night– including 15 in the first eight minutes — but he missed his third MVP trophy when Russell Westbrook went off for 41 points to lead the West to an All-Star game victory last night.

There was a flurry of fluff over the weekend, and it’s impossible to list every interview or soundbite, but one thing of note, LeBron James was elected Vice President of the NBPA, joining president Chris Paul as the top players in the union power hierarchy. Count me in the group that thinks having two max players at the top is bad for the rank and file NBA guys. Their focus is going to on improving contracts for the guys at the top of the salary structure, not the middle or the bottom. Of course, I’m an old school prole. I’m always wary of the rich. If there’s one guy who knows how to leverage his image for gain, it’s James. For all the LeBron news about him holding court at the All-Star game, click here.

J.R. Smith provided my highlight of the weekend (above), by participating in the NBA All Star Weekend fashion show, SI reports.

With the All-Star game in the books, the talk now turns to the NBA trade deadline, which is Thursday the 19th at 3PM. The Cavs are in the middle of a few rumors, but nothing is really concrete. Let’s take a look at who’s out there in trade or as a free agent, and who could help the Cavs. While the Cavs’ biggest needs are probably another big and another guard, they’d add a wing if the price was right.


Shawn Marion, by the Numbers

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Over this last weekend, “The Matrix” committed to the Cavs. Shawn Dwayne Marion has been an all-star, an NBA champion, and an offensive and defensive Swiss Army knife throughout his career in the NBA. But Marion is also 36 years old, has played 15 seasons, and has just under 39,000 regular season minutes under his belt (eighth among active players). There’s no doubt that as a veteran minimum signing, Marion is worth having on the team. He’s a bargain at that price, if just for his experience and professionalism alone. But coming off a mediocre season, it’s worth exploring whether the Cavs should commit significant minutes to Marion. Is he still a solid performer, or has the game mostly passed him by?


What To Expect From Jarrett Jack

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Golden State Warriors Jarrett Jack gestures during their NBA Western Division quarter-final playoff game against the Denver Nuggets in Oakland


As Cavs: The Blog’s chief Bay Area Stuff correspondent, I have a decent amount of experience watching Jarrett Jack: New Cavalier. The zippy bic-domed point guard was somewhat talismanic of the Golden State Warrior’s dream 2013 playoffs. Whereas Stephen Curry was incinerating defenses and inventing new colors, Jack was firmly earthbound, yet still effective. His drives and passes tended to stretch the limits of sanity, but he was solid as a third guard, especially in a small lineup with Curry and Klay Thompson. He is nominally the only other point guard on the roster besides Kyrie Irving and Matthew Dellavedova, so he is firmly entrenched there, but with such a liquid roster, the question of fit is a fairly open one.