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.
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.
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…
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.
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?
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.
- Release Haywood to save Dan Gilbert at least $30 million in payroll and luxury tax payments.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 OldSeaMiner@gmail.com. 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.
Alright so let’s talk offseason moves. Questions by Tom Pestak, answers by me.
If I had to choose between J.R. and Shump I’d go Shump. J.R. is basically a moderately efficient spot-up shooter at this point. With a sprinkling of cross-over stepbacks and 20 point games. But assuming a healthy Irving and Love, spot up 3 point shooting isn’t as critical as stout perimeter D. Nate?
J.R and Shump are fine. Each can play three spots in the Cavs’ system. But Cleveland will still need more wings. J.R. will opt out and command between $6 and $7 million per on a three year deal, with the standard non-fully guaranteed last year. Shump will be the last major guy the Cavs deal with in free agency, unless someone else signs him to an offer sheet, first. I imagine he and J.R. will get around the same sized deals. Shump could get a four year if he wanted, or maybe three year with an opt out.
If the Cavs finally break the curse, will Windhorst have to apologize for his podcast rant last season about how “Gilbert thinks he can buy success?”
Gilbert can buy success this year. The question is, will he? That’s the quarter billion dollar question. If he can get it done for under $200 million, Dan will hold his nose and pay. He’ll also reverse course on the luxury tax system in 2007. Remember, Mr. Gilbert is one of the main guys that wanted this system that, it turns out it, just punishes the competitiveness of small market teams. I bet there’s a lot of ruing going on in the offices of the Q, because the number could be higher than a quarter billion. Read the rest of this entry »
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers following their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors in six games…
1.) As a sports fan, I always dread the morning after a loss. The loss, when it is happening and immediately after, is usually a familiar cloud of disappointment and pizza and nostalgia and beer. Therefore, any real pulse-checking on how truly bad a particular loss is going to feel long term often has to wait until the page has turned and I’m faced with a bright new day.
Waking up on (an unfortunately bright) Wednesday, though, my feeling was the feeling of most Cavs fans — if Twitter is to be believed, anyway (and why should it not?): I just don’t feel too bad after this loss.
This Cavs team has been so much fun to watch — well, since the end of January, anyway — and, really, the Warriors were just too good and too deep to expect a team smarting from missing two of their top three scorers to pull off the seemingly impossible. Sometimes, after all, the seemingly impossible seems impossible because it’s pretty damn near impossible. But, man, how the Cavs fought to make us believe otherwise — that it was possible…. that it was going to happen this year… that it was the Cavs turn at destiny.
Endings are difficult. No matter how prepared you think you are for them, the emotions can be a challenge to process once the clock hits zero and the reality settles in. It’s hard to come so near a goal, but to ultimately fall short no matter how hard you tried. In the end, sometimes no matter how much grit, determination, perseverance or sheer will you possess can overcome the odds when they are stacked well against you.
None of us can truly understand what LeBron James and the rest of his Cavalier teammates are feeling right now, but we can certainly take LeBron’s word for it and empathize…
“There’s not much you can say really. It’s really no great feeling when you lose,” said LeBron. “When you fall short, it hurts and it eats at you, and it hurts me to know that I wish I could have done better and done more and just put a little bit more effort or whatever the case may be to help us get over the hump. But it just wasn’t our time.”
And so it was that the Cavs fell just shy of achieving their goal of winning the first championship in franchise history (and the first championship of any kind for the City of Cleveland since 1964), losing in Game 6 to a deeper, healthier and (as a result) more talented Warriors squad. Yet, despite bad luck, injuries, and fatigue, they still made an incredible run at the title, going down swinging as best they could, a run that bodes well for the immediate future of this team.