Tom and I attempted to keep this podcast svelt, like a slimmed down Anthony Bennett. Sadly, we failed. This pod was trip to a Las Vegas buffet — we just couldn’t help ourselves: discussing the Summer League, LeBron, Aaron Craft, the melancholy of the the new Cavs era, what’s driving us nuts about Kevin Love trade talk, and so much more. You can listen in on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/ctb-5/summer-league-review-lebron … enjoy.
After spending a lovely evening watching the Akron Rubber Ducks dispatch the Erie Seawolves at Canal Park, I returned home to discover my DVR had eaten the Cavs game. So no formal recap, sadly. Houston eliminated beat the Cavs in Summer League play in a game in which Cleveland was without Matthew Dellavedova who’d been excused to join the Australian national team. Will Cherry started in his place and did not disappoint, finishing with 21 points, three dimes, and four boards on 8-14 shooting. His strong play has earned the attention of NBA and Euro scouts. But let’s not kid ourselves, this game was all about Andrew Wiggins.
Was John Lennon full of it? There’s been a lot of debate of late on whether the Cavs should parlay some of their good draft fortune over the last three years into an elite, “win now” NBA talent. The trade target most emblematic of that “win now” ethos: Kevin Love. The below look at the Cavs salary cap, as of Thursday morning, is courtesy of Basketball Insiders. To make this a complete roster, the Cavs have several players to add, and not a lot of cap room to do it. The cap is set to $63.065 million, which leaves the Cavs approximately $2.44 million under the cap. (As I understand it*, the “room exception” that the Cavs have offered to Mike Miller will only be in effect after the Cavs reach the salary cap. Miller — and now James Jones on a league minimum– won’t sign a contract till after that.) Given those constraints, let’s examine how Kevin Love would fit on the Cavs.
The Cavs landed veteran free agent Mike Miller yesterday to begin the process of filling out the roster. It’s a move that will surely give the team some added depth. The Cavs are still looking at a trade for Kevin Love to add a final piece to contend for titles with; however, the Wolves and Cavs seem to be playing a game of chicken, where a crash is inevitable if Andrew Wiggins isn’t in one of the cars headed to the trade zone.
Right now, it appears the Cavs and Timberwolves have drawn their lines in the sand. “No Wiggins, no Love,” the T-Wolves seem to be saying. “You’re not getting Wiggins, period,” the Cavs seem to respond. Again, each stance makes perfect sense — for now.
Amico counters that the Cavs have all the power here.
But the Cavs probably have the actual advantage here. Love won’t be signing a contract extension with the Timberwolves. So that means the T-Wolves stand a chance to lose him for nothing. The Cavs, however, are willing to offer them something. Just not Wiggins. Not now. And frankly, why should they?
The indefatigable Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cavs will sign Mike Miller with their room exception. Miller posted 3.9 wins shares, a .111 WS/48, a PER of 12.5 and a true shooting percentage of .619 last year. His RAPM was an underwhelming -2.31, due to a DRAPM of -3.39. He posted a SWaGR of only 1 win. Mile Miller is a very good spot up shooter, but he is a role player at this point in his career. Still, he’s probably going to be a solid locker room player for the Cavs.
The Cavaliers remain unbeaten in Las Vegas Summer League play as they defeated a Sixers team featuring Nerlens Noel and 2014 Draft pick, KJ McDaniels. The Cavs, led by Mathew Dellavedova, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins took a lead on the game’s fourth possession that they wouldn’t relinquish. After a relatively even first quarter, Cleveland closed the the first half on a 10-2 run. The Sixers were limited to nine for 29 shooting at the break. The lead swelled to as many as 21 before the Sixers’ full court pressure ignited a 16-2 run spanning the end of the third quarter to the middle of the fourth. But some steady play and a parade of free throws pushed the Cavs to a 3-0 Summer League record.
Heading into the contest there were many questions: How would Wiggins match-up against KJ McDaniels? Will Grant Hill’s pleasant baritone sustain us in his new color commentator role? But really most Cavs fans were focused on Noel vs Bennett and the 2013 Draft debate.
LeBron James is officially a Cleveland Cavalier, since he has signed a contract for $42.1 million that has an opt out option after only one season. There’s no reason to fear he is going to leave though. Like many decisions in life, this one was all about the money.
The salary cap rises 7-10 percent most seasons. The moment you sign a long-term deal, you are locked into that deal. Those close to James estimate that the starting salary for the maximum deal next season could be at least $22 million. So they want to keep their options open when it comes to the contract.
The Cavaliers summertime instructional team raced out to a quick lead over the San Antonio Spurs, building leads of 25-11 after one and 41-23 at the half before fending of a Spurs second-half run to notch an 82-70 victory in Las Vegas, Sunday afternoon. In what will, no doubt, come to be known as the “Crystal Ball Game” sometime around next June when the Cavs’ varsity unit puts a similar smacking on the Spurs’ A-team to win the 2015 NBA Finals and… and…
[experiences shortness of breath ... light-headedness ... reminds self of "marathon, not sprint"... counts to 10... okay, I'm back]
The Cavs Summer League team looked pretty impressive in upping their record to 2-0 in the Sunbaked Classic.
Really, I can’t get over it. I still tear up when I think about the letter; I get chills when I consider what’s happened; my heart starts racing and my stomach lurches when I imagine next season. Is this a reality? Can someone pinch me?!?! Please, don’t let me wake up from this dream!
LeBron is back, and in the most beautiful way possible. All, for the time being, is right in the world – the possibilities are endless, the expectations sky high.
Of course, this meant Robert, Tom, Nate, Ben and I all had to hop on the old podcast line and each give our two cents. We chatted about LeBeron’s return, what this meant for this season and on, whether or not Kevin Love should join force with our big two, and who else the Cavaliers should target now that the King is back.
Enjoy it, guys – for the first time in four years, the Cavaliers are relevant in the most positive of ways.
Dan Gilbert was on hand to watch a match-up that featured two of the top rookies from the 2013 draft class (Delly and Antetokounmpo) and the top two rookies (so far) from the 2014 draft class. Cleveland started the fourth quarter on a 15-4 run in the first eight minutes and survived a Nate Wolters three point attempt as time expired to win an ugly game which featured 37 turnovers and sub 40-percent shooting. It was a reported 80+ degree on the floor and both teams had been going through two-a-day practices for the last several days. Fatigue showed for each squad, but still, there was a buzz in the sold out Cox Pavillion.
Nate Smith is an Associate Editor. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to NE Ohio in 2000. He adopted the Cavs in 2003 and graduated from Kent State in 2009 with a BA in English. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @oldseaminer on Twitter.
Tom Pestak is a Staff Writer. He's from the west side of Cleveland and lives and (mostly) dies by the success and (mostly) failures of his beloved teams. You can watch his fanaticism during Cavs games @tompestak.
Robert Attenweiler is a Staff Writer. Originally from OH, he's long made his home in NYC where he writes plays and screenplays (www.disgracedproductions.com) some of which end up being about Ohio, basketball or both. He has also written for The Classical and the blog Raising the Cadavalier. You can contact him at email@example.com or @cadavalier.
Benjamin Werth is a Staff Writer. He was born in Cleveland and raised in Mentor, OH. He now lives in Germany where he is an opera singer and actor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Wood is our Links Editor. He is a 2012 Graduate of Syracuse University with an English degree who loves bikes, beer, basketball, writing, and Rimbaud. He can be reached on Twitter: @nothingwood.
Mallory Factor is the voice of Cavs: The Podcast. By day Mallory works in fundraising and by night he runs a music business company. To see his music endeavors check out www.fivetracks.com. Hit him up at Malloryfactorii@gmail.com or @Malfii.
John Krolik is the editor emeritus of Cavs: The Blog. At present, he is pursuing a law degree at Tulane University. You can contact him at email@example.com or @johnkrolik.
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