Links to the Present: Mid May Round-up Edition — Now Updated with All-Rookie Team Links!

May 14th, 2013 by Nate Smith

Not a lot of Cavs news lately, but there have been a couple stray bits of information that filtered out over the last few days.  Let’s round ‘em up.

In not so shocking news, another mock draft, this time at nbadraft.net, has the Cavs taking Otto Porter at number three.

Saturday, Bob Finnan of the News-Herald told us not to expect the Cavs to “spend like summer of 2005.”  He also reported that the Cavs are expected to “kick the tires” on O.J. Mayo in free agency this summer.

Bill Simmons over at Grantland finally completed his annual NBA trade value series which stretched over three weeks this year.  He ranks Kyrie Irving at #7, one spot ahead of Chris Paul. He sums Kyrie up nicely and ominously with a comparison to current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson.

So we’ll see about Irving, an electric offensive player who is already one of the league’s best clutch scorers.15 He’s only two years into a favorable rookie contract. And he’s also just 21 years old, a baby for God’s sake. There’s a lot to love. Ironically, I think he’s Kevin Johnson 2.0 as a basketball player — just as devastating off the dribble, just as unstoppable getting to the rim. Let’s hope that comparison doesn’t stretch to his durability, too.

Oh, and the footnote?  “15. He’s a weak defensive player right now. Has to be mentioned. Not good at all.”

In the best news of the weekend, Mary Schmitt Boyer of Cleveland.com / The Plain Dealer dropped this pleasant bit in her “Hey Mary” Q&A column: Anderson Varejao is off blood thinners and should be ready for training camp.

Finally — and the connection to the Cavs is tenuous at best — Grantland’s Zach Lowe profiles Buckeye alum, Mike Conley.  I’ve been saying all year that Conley is the most underrated player in the NBA, and one of the best two way players out there.  If there’s one player that Kyrie Irving should be emulating when it  comes to development, it’s Conley.  Similarly ambidextrous, Conley has gone from being a “frail” defender to one of the top five in the league, and has become a pick and roll savant.  Irving could do a heck of a lot worse than becoming a better version of Mike Conley.

Self indulgently, I’ll leave you with this gem from Simmons on pick-up basketball, just cause I liked it so much.

I love playing basketball — even now, with my body breaking down and my game decaying to alarming degrees — if only because it’s one of the few places left on earth where you can connect with total strangers like that. Age doesn’t matter, backgrounds don’t matter, nothing matters. You have four teammates, they can be anybody, and you either know how to click with them or you don’t.

–Update–

Well, speaking of teams of five random guys, nba.com posted the all-rookie squads this afternoon, and Dion Waiters made the first team, along with Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, and rookie of the year, Damian Lillard.  Tyler Zeller represented the Cavaliers on the second team, but was the lowest vote getter on the two teams.  Still, the fact that Zeller beat out the likes of Moe Harkless and Andrew Nicholson when voted on by a panel of 30 NBA head coaches bodes well for him.  Congratulations, Dion and Tyler.

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