Links to the Present: Best Summaries Edition

USA v Slovenia

Today is going to start with “Not A (Team USA) Recap: Team USA 101, Slovenia 71 (Or, Making Me Proud).”  Kyrie Irving is impressing the world during these FIBA tournament exhibition games.  Once again, he showed ridiculous efficiency getting 13 points on 4-5 shooting to go with two assists.  This performance out did the other point guards. Derrick Rose shot 0-3 for three points and Stephen Curry had a 3-5 night for ten points.  Kyrie is going to be going into the NBA season red hot if he keeps up these Team USA performances.

Joe Gilbert of Waiting For Next Year spoke about this Cavs offseason as the greatest offseason in Cleveland Sports History.  That’s a pretty obvious point, but Joe managed to touch on the overall upgrade the Cavs went through, perfectly.

As the offseason has already proven, anything can happen with David Griffin and the Cavaliers. They have transformed a roster full of players like Alonzo Gee, CJ Miles, Luol Deng, Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack, and Spencer Hawes into a roster of LeBron James, Kevin Love, Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion.

I know the roster improved, but just seeing that summary on paper makes me want to cry tears of joy, partly because these new guys are so good and partly because I think I might miss Alonzo Gee.

hi-res-44b32a2f1a96d636b77f77342e83a2eb_crop_north

Cleveland Jackson followed up with another great point about the Kevin Love trade that also puts things in perspective .

It is incredible to consider that there are under 500 to 700 individuals capable of playing basketball at an NBA level.  There are perhaps 250 to 300 in the age range of Love, who is currently 25 years old.   Out of those, Love described having a relationship with Kyrie Irving (and, Uncle Drew, Irving’s older alter ego), and Dion Waiters, who, according to Love today, was somehow working out in Los Angeles with Love prior to the James’ decision to become a Cavalier and his fateful call to Love.

Some people may call Love, Kyrie, Waiters, and James having a connection a coincidence.  It isn’t that.  It’s simply basketball destiny along the lines of Tyson Chandler returning to Dallas to play.  Some things are just meant to be.

 

Share
Raoul
Guest
Raoul
3 years 10 months ago

Here is my prediction for the Cavs 2014 – 2015 season outcome. I encourage everyone else to put yours down (We can all have a good laugh next spring!).

Cavs make Playoffs: 99%
Cavs play in Eastern Finals: 85%
Cavs play in NBA Finals: 68%
Cavs win NBA Finals: 51%

I am putting my numbers up first, so I reserve the right to adjust in case Cols714 tops me!

James
Guest
James
3 years 10 months ago

Playoffs = 100%
Eastern Finals = 100%
NBA Finals = 90% (If the Bulls explode)
Champ = 50% as I think the Spurs would tear our defence to shreds. Hopefully I’m wrong :)

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

Cavs make playoffs: 100%
Cavs play in Easter Finals: 100%
Cavs play in NBA Finals: 100%
Cavs win NBA Finals: 67%

This team will easily win the East. Thinking otherwise is crazy. And don’t give me this Bulls business.

DaveR
Guest
DaveR
3 years 10 months ago

Before Love I’d give them 100% playoffs, 75% to ECF, 50% to Finals. So with Love those numbers explode.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

If it’s 100% playoffs, then it’s 100% Finals. There’s no team that will even be able to get to 6 games against the Cavs, unless they are bored like the Heat when they played Indiana last year. That went 6 but it probably shouldn’t have.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Seeing that the Cavs are around 5/2, maybe 3/1 to win the championship, I’m assuming you’ve put a lot of money down on them.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
3 years 10 months ago

Not much into betting. I used to do a little, but I always bet on my home teams.

I do pay a little attention to the odds. If they agree with whatever I am yammering about, I site them. Otherwise, I ignore them.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Confirmation bias. A great way to go through life.

rick in boise
Guest
rick in boise
3 years 10 months ago

Hmm…

Now maybe Thabeet and Miroslav Raduljica, both Cs, could be waived shortly and could be available>

Are either the Long-Desired Semi-Mythical Rim Protector we seek?

Ignarus
Guest
Ignarus
3 years 10 months ago

Thabeet’s 7’3″ and has been kicking around the league for awhile, failing to find his niche. If he was a legit rotation player, it’s hard to see how he’d still be available.

If he’s NOT a legit rotation guy, as a contender, Cleveland has no use for him. Rotation-quality vets should be competing for the 12th spot.

rick in boise
Guest
rick in boise
3 years 10 months ago

Thanks, Ignarus!

I think that was supposed to be the one he could do… protect the rim. I see your point that if that’s all he can do, we might as well sign Big Z. We need a rotation player. However, maybe he IS a rotation player in OUR rotation? (That would further annoy the naysayers.. “Wait, Lebron, Love AND you amde something out of Thabeet? No fair!” :)

As for Raduljica, he’s a big body, likable hand worker and beyond that… ???

Gordon
Guest
Gordon
3 years 10 months ago

I’m so unbelievably glad we didn’t trade Waiters. As of right now, he’s still my favorite Cav.

He’s going to absolutely flourish on this team. He’s made large strides in his game since day 1, and I think he’ll continue to improve (as will Kyrie) playing alongside LeBron and Love.

I’m not sure we keep him, because if he makes the leap I have believed he would (even before we signed LeBron), he’ll get a lot of money. If Eric Bledsoe gets the max, I think Waiters could get something similar. Especially if he averages 18-20 ppg this year on good %’s and the world realizes he is a good passer.

He might be our Harden, and a casualty of the cap. But maybe, just maybe, LeBron takes his $20M this season and then signs for like $10M in the future, and continues to do 1 year deals, giving us flexibility?

Who knows, if these 4 guys (Kyrie, LeBron, Love, Waiters) really grow together and win, maybe they all switch “getting theirs.” A long shot, but it would be really cool to be able to afford a legitimate “Big 4” and still have money left for other guys.

Believelander
Guest
Believelander
3 years 10 months ago

We will have the Bird rights to Irving, Waiters, James, Love, and Varejao. They could sign all 5 of them to max deals if they wanted – they’d just be paying out the nose in luxury tax.

The Cavs will have the ability to re-sign the assets we want and acquire other players through trades.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Lebron signed the 1+1 deal for one of two reasons – he’s forcing the team to cater to his every wish with the threat to leave being very feasible, or he’s making sure he gets every last dollar that he can. Either way, I don’t see him taking $10M or any paycuts anymore. He knows he’s worth $50-75M (maybe more even before this new tv deal hits), not $20M. He’s not going to do the owners, especially Dan Gilbert, any unncessary favors.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

Harden was a casualty of OKC stupidity. Not the cap. They could’ve kept all 3 stars.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 10 months ago

They did keep three stars. It was the fourth that they decided they couldn’t afford.

Gordon
Guest
Gordon
3 years 10 months ago

Exactly. They weren’t willing to keep 3 max deals + Ibaka.

Harden was a cap casualty.

Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
3 years 10 months ago

There is nothing in the cap that limits us from signing Waiters to market value. It would be up to Gilbert to pay the tax. Paying the tax would hurt us in other areas (shrinks the size of the MLE, etc.), but the cap is not technically a limiting factor.

Rick
Guest
Rick
3 years 10 months ago

Hot Sauce, I understand what your “technically” means. While i expect Cavs owner to be aggressive, I also think he will respectful of the cap – as are other owners except the crazy Russian. The cap and penalties can not be divorced, so re-signing Waiters, who will expect a bump, will be tricky.

Gordon
Guest
Gordon
3 years 10 months ago

I think the cap absolutely has a bearing on whether we re-sign Waiters. Sure, we can pay the tax, like the $90.6 MILLION in penalties Brooklyn paid this year, but to just assume Gilbert is going to pay absurd penalties for the 4-5 year contract Waiters will demand is crazy.

Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
3 years 10 months ago

It means that the salary cap has no bearing on our decision to sign Waiters. Other elements of the CBA are relevant (like penalties related tot he luxury tax you and I mentioned), but the cap has nothing to do with it.

Perhaps that is what Gordon meant, but in his original comment he was focused on the cap, not the broader CBA rules. The cap really is not relevant here.

Rick
Guest
Rick
3 years 10 months ago

What does “the cap is not technically a limiting factor” mean? Everything I read and hear indicates the NBA owners respect, if not fear, the penalties of going over the cap.

Josh VS
Guest
Josh VS
3 years 10 months ago

David Griffin is being horribly overrated because he’s lucky. He had nothing to do with LBJ and overpaid for Love who wanted to come here anyway. And Marion, Miller, and Jones is not an upgrade over Miles, Deng, and Jack.

So far I really don’t like Griffin except for the hire of Blatt.

Gregg
Guest
Gregg
3 years 10 months ago

It seems like you are comparing those players out of context. They weren’t traded for each other, their salaries are so different which facilitated the catch of the summer as well as fit. I would rather have the new roster than the old and you can’t swap them out individually like that. And for the trade for love we don’t know the whole picture Griffin was up against, do you risk waiting for him at seasons end or do you do what is needed to get him now?
So fired up to be a long time cavs fan. My son and daughter have cursed me over the years for raising them in oregon as cleveland sports fan but now they are thanking me for the old cavs jerseys. Thanks for all the posts and fun reading hope to contribute more myself.

Josh VS
Guest
Josh VS
3 years 10 months ago

That’s fair. The reason I said it was they brought them up in the article like very player we got is a major upgrade over every player we had, which just isn’t true.

Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
3 years 10 months ago

Great point. I think Marion, Miller, Jones COMBINED are making what Jack made, and about half of what Deng got paid. So the comparison really makes no sense.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

Are you being serious? Chris Grant hired Mike Brown and signed him to a 5 year contract. This was one of the worst decisions a GM has ever made. It got him fired. He also drafted Anthony Bennett who sucked and TT who is a backup.

Griffin has signed James, traded for Love, signed Marion and Miller and Jones and is on the verge of signing Allen. This team has been completely remade.

Did he get lucky with the James situation? Yep. But he also didn’t screw himself over by hiring a horrible coach and drafting two power forwards, one who sucked, and the other who just never developed.

And yes, Marion, Miller, and Jones are way way way better than Miles, Jack,and Deng. Not to mention way more playoff tested which is what this team needs.

The only real obstacle to winning the Finals was experience and Griffin has gone out and found some really good and experience players.

Josh VS
Guest
Josh VS
3 years 10 months ago

First off, where did I mention Grant? I’m not saying anything about Grant, I just think we’re totally jumping the gun on crediting Griffin for this offseason.

Griffin is an awful trade negotiator. I haven’t really been impressed by ANY of his trades. Maybe he’s great at drafting, but if he trades every pick he has we’ll never know. And his FA signings are all LeBron doing things, not him. Of course, by the same token, we can all say now that the Love trade was LeBron, too.

So I guess right now Griffin’s record stands at the Hawes trade and the Blatt signing. I have a hard time praising the guy over two moves, one that was slightly negative and one that’s a major question mark (though probably positive).

Not saying he won’t do a good job eventually, but as of right now there’s not a whole lot to be impressed about.

RickOH
Guest
RickOH
3 years 10 months ago

Um, james signed himself to cleveland. James signed love to cleveland. James got miller, jones and Marion here and is on the verge of convincing Allen to join all of them.
If anyone thinks griffin is responsible for any of it, you have got to either be a total buffoon or a total homer. Oh wait.

Gordon
Guest
Gordon
3 years 10 months ago

Hard for me to credit Griffin with the FA signings. None of them happen if LeBron doesn’t decide to come back on his own free will.

Why are we crediting Griffin? The best player in the world is recruiting hard core.

Why are we faulting Grant? I’m pretty sure all of this still happens with him as GM this offseason.

If Griffin is the reason we were able to sign Blatt, then that is a HUGE “get” for him. But I’m not sure there’s proof Blatt doesn’t come here regardless. We were the only team offering a HC position.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

We are faulting Grant for hiring Mike Brown and giving him a 5 year contract. Also drafting Bennett and Thompson.

We are praising Griffin for trading for Love and signing good veterans.

Gordon
Guest
Gordon
3 years 10 months ago

So in essence, you’re faulting Grant for hiring Mike Brown in a year where there were no other HC available that would have been any better.

Who should Grant have taken ahead of Thompson?

Who should Grant have taken ahead of Bennett?

I want realistic answers. Not some guy taken 30th that turned out to be better. AB was not a bad choice. Who else? Oladipo? He plays Dion’s position. McLemore? Zeller? Porter? The list goes on and on.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Gordon – I like how Jonas being a starter on a playoff team is supposed to take away from some of his value. And are we still just looking at points and rebounds and going “eh close enough”? Jonas has a TS% 50 points higher and is a much better defensive player than Thompson. The two aren’t really that close.

I’ve heard all the nonsensical complaints about Drummond. The Cavs took a guy at four that almost certainly would have been passed on by more than a couple teams that year anyway.

And Bennett over anyone else last year is what was laughable. Sub-replacement. That’s all that needs to be said.

I’ll repeat the most important point again – the Cavs had a huge need for an athletic big man. Three high upside candidates could have fallen in their laps. Instead they took three players that have career WS/48 marks of .088, .032 and negative .028, and still have that huge need for an athletic big. Thats D grade work at best.

Gordon
Guest
Gordon
3 years 10 months ago

Completely baseless to say that we should have taken Jonas over Thompson. They have VERY similar stats right now. Jonas also had the luxury of playing on a playoff team last year whose offense was not catastrophically terrible.

Tristan made a very similar progression between years 1 and 2 as did Jonas in his 1st and 2nd year in the league.

Drummond over Waiters is again, pretty baseless. How many other teams passed on Drummond? The guy had giant question marks about his drive and determination. When you already had Kyrie and Thompson, why on earth would you risk taking a big man who had huge dedication question marks?

Also, Waiters has been very successful in his own right as well.

And Noel over Bennett is laughable. The guy blew his knee out and he was supposed to go #1 overall? Clearly his knee and injury history were HUGE red flags or else he would not have fallen to #6 overall, and then traded.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Misread. Still don’t see how citing W/L of last year’s team makes no sense. Besides, even if they weren’t trying to win the previous few years, they made such little development towards building a contender. This organization has been run incredibly poorly, luckily for them, the .1% (or whatever it is) of getting the #1 in 3 of 4 years can cover that up.

Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
3 years 10 months ago

I think you misread my first sentence: “First, Grant was not trying to win until last year.” I said he was not trying to win UNTIL last year. Last year he was definitely trying and he failed. No argument there. The prior years, though, I think he did a good job.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago
I have a hard time believing Grant wasn’t trying to win considering direct order #1 from Gilbert (through his son) and the Deng trade. The Cavs were trying to win last year, and any suggestion otherwise is the revisionist history. Ensuring roster flexibility at an elite level? That’s frickin hilarious. I didn’t know there was a special skill to not give out any long-term deals. And they still gave out way too many years for Jack, a contract which cost them some depth in the second Lebron era. And the problem with rebuilding a team is that third thing, the one he did fairly poorly is the most important part of being successful. You can still win by not adding late first and second round picks. You can still win by overpaying Jack. But when you draft Thompson ahead of Jonas, Waiters ahead of Drummond, and pick Bennett, a player who was sub-replacement last year, yes, having Noah not play at all would have led to a better team than Bennett, #1 overall is how you end up a 33 win clusterf—. You can wave any excuse you want for not drafting athletic big men for a team that still… Read more »
Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
3 years 10 months ago

First, Grant was not trying to win until last year. So citing to W/L makes no sense. His goals were to add picks, ensure roster flexibility, and drat well. 2 of those 3 he did at an ELITE level. The third he had mixed results. Overall, he did very well.

Re: the draft, saying that Grant should have taken Noel or Drummond is revisionist. Those two players had huge question marks at the time of the draft, and Noel has yet to play an NBA game so I am not sure how you can credibly say he was a better pick than Bennett.

The standard for conducting a good draft is not picking the best player in the draft with every pick. No one does that. It is impossible. I think TT is the one pick for which an argument can be made that it was bad. But, JV remains a work in progress and TT can still get better. The Waiters and Irving picks were great, and the Bennett pick is too early to evaluate, given how terrible that draft was.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Hot Sauce – I’m sorry, but I don’t see how you can call what Grant (and Griffin, again, it’s important to remember he’s was a big contributor in the front office for the previous four years before getting the GM role) did a “very good job”. In four years they progressed to all of a 33 win team and not really that close to the playoffs, despite being in a horrendous conference.

I have no idea how you can say they were unlucky in the draft – they passed on better players than they took – while in the next breath crediting him for Miami being overly generous, and teams looking to dump salary. Obviously the vast majority of luck was in the bounce of the ping pong balls – none of this happens unless they hit on a ~2% chance multiple times, but I’d put the trades down on the luckier side than the skilled side as well.

Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
3 years 10 months ago

Agree with Gordon. Grant gets a really bad rap. He did a very good job, and the idea that he drafted poorly is wrong – he was just unlucky to be a part of two of the worst drafts in history. His trades were pretty incredible – Miami trade for LBJ, Kyrie trade, Leur trade.

I do agree that the Brown hiring was a major mistake. I wish we could somehow know if LBJ would have come back if Brown was coach. That would have been fascinating.

The biggest thing Griff adds is a more creative offensive mindset. Grant would never have hired Blatt because philosophically he is a D guy. Thibs is the ultimate Grant coach.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Jonas instead of Thompson, Drummond instead of Waiters, Noel instead of Bennett. Three chances to get that big man in the middle that we still desperately need.

But I don’t see why Griffin is getting credit for anything that Grant wouldn’t have done. This is just classic Cols being unable to differentiate process from results.

And of course, Griffin was hired to be the VP of Basketball Ops after Lebron left. It’s not like he hasn’t had a serious role in the player and coach selections.

Vesus
Guest
Vesus
3 years 10 months ago

Grant made the trade that brought Kyrie Irving here.

Without Kyrie, NONE of this happens and we are still a garbage basketball team. Grant made mistakes but don’t revise history here.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

Yeah, Grant did some good stuff. He was really good at collecting various assetts. He was horrible at coach hiring and besides Kyrie, not that great at drafting.

Rodney Mac
Guest
Rodney Mac
3 years 10 months ago

TT was a miss (Maybe not a huge one depending on JV). And I don’t feel like Scott was a mistake just didn’t work because we stunk. Brown was a huge mistake. Besides that he was solid. Missing on Drummond hurts but understandable. Bennet could still be the best player in the lottery except Adams

Cavs_All_Day
Guest
Cavs_All_Day
3 years 10 months ago

I have serious doubts Lebron is here now without Rich Paul staying close to the Cavs through TT. Grant’s greatest accomplishment was keeping a strong tie to James in the organization’s back pocket, IMO.

DaveR
Guest
DaveR
3 years 10 months ago

I found a cols post I sortof agree with. Grant was garbage His pluses are holding cap for 2014 and the lucky 2011 #1 deal. Jack and Deng would have been better on this current team but not at that cap hit. That said I’d like to see a creative move from Griffin. All of his current ones were no-brainers. I disagree with the way the Love trade went down in terms of timing but I have to believe just about every GM would pull the trigger on it if that was an option for them.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

Yep yep yep. Irving outplaying Rose is awesome. He’s our third best player. He’s better than the Bulls best player. Is everyone convinced yet that there is no stopping this team until (maybe) the Finals?

There’s just no one even close in the East. The gap between this Cavs team and everyone else is huge.

I guess I could see OKC beating us if Durant and Westbrook got hot. But that’s it. I foresee a title.

Jaga Diesel
Guest
Jaga Diesel
3 years 10 months ago

The collection of individual talent is great that is true. But this is till a *team* sport and teams need time and practice and expertise and coaching to gel.

Our ceiling is high. But I don’t expect we’ll reach it in year One.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
3 years 10 months ago

Fair enough, but there is plenty of reasons to think that they might.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Last year saw Noah and Butler out WS/48 Irving. As with every offseason, I’m excited for him to make the leap (specifically on the defensive end) but beatdowns of second rate FIBA teams is indicative of diddy-poo when it comes to games that count played under NBA rules.

Vesus
Guest
Vesus
3 years 10 months ago

I think the point is that Kyrie is outplaying his more heralded teammates Curry and Rose. The fact that they are blowing out crappy teams is immaterial.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 10 months ago

The fact that they are playing crappy teams in exhibitions is incredibly material. Rose isn’t going to test that knee like he would when the games actually matter, and squinting as hard as I can, I’m not seeing Irving outplaying Curry anyway.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 10 months ago

Can we at least play the games first, before your hubris jinxes us? I’m as excited as the next guy, but A) Kyrie’s not outplaying Rose. They’re swapping them to protect Rose’s knees, which is fine. B) April 2015 is a long way away. C) The teams you see in the East now, may not be the same teams as February. What if the Bulls, Nets, Raptors, or Hawks make another move? D) What if (knock on wood) someone gets hurt? I’m reminded of an old proverb about counting one’s chickens. Enjoy the present and stop worrying about championships. The time for worrying about that will come soon enough.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

Yeah if someone gets hurt the guarantee is off, but that’s the same for every team in the NBA. There’s no player that any of those teams can get, besides Durant that would make them better than the Cavs. The talent level of these Cavs verse those teams is gigantic.

Also, can you guys fix the website so that the comments don’t take a zillion minutes to load? Please, pretty please??

Rodney Mac
Guest
Rodney Mac
3 years 10 months ago

The spurs could lose any 2 players expect Leonard and not miss a beat.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 10 months ago

This is not true. If they lost any of their Big 3 or any of their Big 3 doesn’t play up to par (see Ginobili Finals loss to Heat), they will not go anywhere.

Rodney Mac
Guest
Rodney Mac
3 years 10 months ago

Patty Mills and Corey Joseph played just fine in when Parker hit the bench and did ok the year before when he was injured. Diaw and Splitter played great together. Leonard was there only unreplacable piece against the heat. Instead of beating them by 15 points a game they may have only won by 8 but they still win that series. Not without both but without one for sure. But I agree they are an aberration not worth discussing when building a team. There is no way to copy them none. In fact we maybe the closest thing to copying them yet if this core sticks together for a decade. (Obviosly Lebron will be done but Irving will be Parkers age and Love will be younger than Dirk who is a similar type still dominant player

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 10 months ago

Rose just had a bad game and isn’t going full bore in exhibitions.

I’m not convinced the Bulls can’t beat the Cavs now. The coaching factor is huge in a seven game series, and Thibs is one of the best in the business. Blatt is unproven. If Gasol can get it going, they could beat the Cavs up inside, which will be the best way to attack Cleveland. The Bulls are one of the few teams they won’t have a rebounding advantage against, and Chicago plays great team defense. If they add another player… Watch out.

As for the comment loading, we’re working on it.

wpDiscuz