Live Thread: NBA Free Agency Midnight Madness [Updated with Recap, Analysis and Grades]

June 30th, 2015 by EvilGenius

Who watches the Watchmen Free Agents? Literally every team’s sleep deprived front office staff, every unrestricted, restricted or Free Agent-to-be, every source-laden information gathering basketball writer or blogger worth their salt, and most every fan of the increasingly ubiquitous National Basketball Association as the clock strikes 12(EST) and the calendar turns to July.

There’s a certain frenzied psychosis that accompanies the official start of the NBA Free Agency period that cannot be completely quantified nor explained. It’s like Black Friday for multi-millionaires. For some teams, “Everything Must Go!” in favor of precious cap space and future draft picks. For others, it’s “Stars Or Bust!” in the pursuit of a shot at relevance and possibly a ring, before the salary cap well and truly goes bananas next summer.

The Cavs find themselves in the slightly schizophrenic position of trying to keep all of their own Free Agents in the fold, while also shopping for some key bargains that could potentially bolster their bench rotation for next season. From all reports, they’re prepared to offer a five year max deal (worth somewhere in the $110M range) to Kevin Love when the witching hour arrives. Will they show up at the Peninsula Hotel pool (or wherever Kev is hanging out at the moment) with contract in hand like they did with Kyrie last year? How long will it take to get around to TT, Iman, J.R. and Delly? Will they try and lock them up quickly, or let other teams make offers to match? And how long until the King signs on the dotted line?

We’ll begin to find out shortly as the midnight madness kicks off Free Agency in earnest. Stay tuned for all of the breaking rumors, news and developments…

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Eastern Conference Offseason Primer Part One

June 30th, 2015 by Cory Hughey


Cory Hughey and David Wood teamed up to breakdown the Eastern Conference teams’ needs in free agency. Click on the team names to see a detailed break down of their contract situations. Part II will be out later this week.

I often listen to a film or documentary in the background while I write to drown outside noises out. It’s a habit I picked up in LA to ignore police sirens, bums digging through dumpsters for cans, and my neighbor training her dog in Korean (I miss that one ). By chance tonight, I was watching The Men Who Built America, while David and myself took turns putting together this preview. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a terrific miniseries about the unscrupulous titans of industry who created the soot stained ivory tower that is the American empire. They lied. They reneged on deals. They used blackmail. They drowned an entire town. They did anything they needed to, to win.

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Your Comprehensive 2015 Cavs Free Agency Guide

June 29th, 2015 by Nate Smith


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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2015 Cavs Draft Recap

June 26th, 2015 by Cory Hughey


I imagine that draft night is the most exhausting day of the year for NBA beat writers. They’ve crammed for weeks (or hours) for the event. Meticulously triple-checked Scrabble letters on the floor name spellings for accuracy, and asked Microsoft Sam and Siri how to annunciate foreign last names, that don’t flow naturally off of the harsh American tongue. They write countless preview articles about what their sources, or the Magic 8-Ball on their desk tells them. Once the big day finally arrives, they are prepped and primed to pump out instant analysis for the media monster. Pick by pick, they get closer to the story all the research has built up to. Finally, their squad is on the clock. Once Adrian Wojnarowski leaks the selection on twitter, the reaction article finally begins, and ten minutes later, a trade is announced. I imagine a brief temper tantrum, with a furry of mumbles expletives follows, and perhaps the Magic 8-Ball is thrown against the wall in a fit of rage.

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Live Thread: 2015 NBA Draft (Update: With Instant Staff Analysis!)

June 25th, 2015 by EvilGenius

For the first time in four years, Cavs fans will have to wait well beyond the first half hour of the NBA Draft to discover what will transpire with their favorite team. And doesn’t it feel good?

Meanwhile, just because the drama and hype is somewhat muted for Cleveland, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty of twists, turns and exciting developments in the hours leading up to the 24th pick and beyond. So, enjoy all of the subterfuge, the insane reach picks, the sliding big men, the unpronounceable Euro surnames, the awkward handshakes from the Commish, and yes… all of the crazy threads worn by the soon-to-be rookie class of the NBA.

Share your thoughts, and check back often for pick updates, trade news and all things draft related…

UPDATE: Hi, Krolik here. What we’re going to do is have a few of us give ludicrously quick analysis of each pick as it comes in, because there’s nothing like the joy of making predictions that will almost certainly come back to bite you in a matter of minutes. And we’re tentatively sure we can make it work. CATCH THE FEVER! You’re in good hands here — yours truly, for one, has been making horrendously embarrassing pre-draft predictions since 2007. This should be fun, guys.

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C:tB Mock Draft 2015!

June 25th, 2015 by Nate Smith

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

June 25th, 2015 by Nate Smith


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.

The Point Four-ward: Drafting Days Are Here Again

June 24th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler



Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers in advance of the 2015 NBA Draft this Thursday, June 25.

1.) It’s been a while since I’ve thought this little about the NBA Draft. I can track my draft fascination all the way back to the mid-90s when I’d anxiously wait for my primer — Chris Monter’s Draft News — to arrive as a cheaply Xeroxed-and-stapled hard copy in the actual, physical mail before deciding on a relative pecking order based on the virtues of players like Todd Fuller, Samaki Walker and John Wallace… only to watch as the Cavs drafted Ukrainian train-like big Vitaly Potapenko who — and I want to be perfectly clear about this — I had ranked below not only the previously mentioned troika of below-average big men but also a fiesty lead guard from Santa Clara named Steve Nash…

… who, of course, I’d never seen play. But, hey, Monter seemed pretty high on him, so why not?

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Grading the Haywood Trade Options

June 23rd, 2015 by Nate Smith


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

June 22nd, 2015 by Nate Smith


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 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.