From Distance: Los Angeles Cavs

 

four point play….

1. When one makes bold predictions, one will occasionally be required to down some tasty crow. Last week, I whiffed badly on two substantial predictions: LeBron would stay, and PG13 would be a Laker.

Oops.

It happens. I know I’m not alone with those particular stances. As more information comes out post Decision 3.0, it’s easy to retroactively see all the “writing on the wall.” It’s also rather disingenuous. There was plenty of writing on the other wall that could have been cited had the outcome been reversed.

It doesn’t matter now. The Cleveland Cavaliers no longer employ LeBron James. The King will try to change his style with the Lakers.

2. Out in L.A., they are already talking about playing with pace. I’ll believe it when I see it. LeBron teams have never been particularly fast by league standard. His (mostly) good tendency to surgically dissect defenses doesn’t lend itself to breakneck speed. Even at his Miami peak, most of their faster paced teams took advantage of steals that lead to break opportunities more than by consistently pushing early offense off misses.

To be fair, Rajon Rondo was also a career slow walker until this past season with the Pelicans. The Pels played obscenely fast, especially post Cousins injury. If Rajon can stop walking the ball up, anyone can (still have my doubts about Kyrie).

The Lakers’ additions, while mostly being ridiculed for their lack of three point shooting, are more useful come playoff time than people are giving them credit.

I’ve always been a sucker for Lance Stephenson. Yes, he has maddening moments of over-exuberance, but that very passion is something that transforms games. If Walton and Bron can harness his incredible talent, he is a player that can compete with the Warriors. It’s a big ask, but most guys don’t even have the physical ability to hang with the Dubs. Lance does. And you need his fire to balance Draymond Green.

JaVale McGee is what he is. An occasionally great rim running monster that loses focus. Nothing new there. He’s perfectly acceptable for that contract considering his skill-set.

I fully expect the Lakers to compete next season in LeBron’s first year. The roster is not done being constructed. There is even word that Kevin Love could be dealt there.

Regardless, we can’t have it both ways. Either we believe LeBron is still the best player in the world and can dominate in the playoffs, or we don’t.

I think the regular season will be a struggle for the Lakers like they almost always are with LeBron, but that doesn’t mean he won’t dominate the early rounds in the West like he has in the East.

It’s been easy to write off the East as being weak during LeBron’s reign. I think that has been exaggerated over time. The larger factor has always been LeBron. The Raptors weren’t worse than any other team other than the Rockets and Warriors. They only looked awful because LeBron was that good.

Only the Warriors employ enough smart defenders to defend full strength LeBron. He will mow through a host of Western teams in the playoffs. If he plays the Rockets or Warriors in an early round, he will be in trouble. If not, the King will likely be in the Conference Finals with a shot to advance.

3. Wait, did you say Love might be a Laker a few paragraphs back?

A fun, if very unlikely deal with the Lakers would net the Cavs Brandon Ingram and Luol Deng’s absurd contract for Love and Kyle Korver.

Now to be clear, I think this is pie in the sky silliness. I can’t imagine that the Lakers are itching to trade Brandon Ingram for anyone other than Kawhi Leonard. That being said, getting off of Deng’s contract is absolutely imperative for the Lakeshow. It’s not going to be easy to find a team that is willing to take back that deal.

While I don’t see this happening in the off-season, things might change as the season goes on. Many Cavs fans are excited to see what Love can do as the primary guy in the offense.

If Love can play at a very high level in the early months of the season, and Ingram struggles to provide enough next to LeBron, maybe the Lakers (and LeBron) try to put the band back together. It wouldn’t be the first time LeBron brought along old friends.

Love, Kyle, Bron, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, and Luke Walton. If the Lakers somehow end up with all those guys, do you become a Lakers fan. At least a little?

I think Channing and RJ are locks. RJ has always talked about finishing his career in LA and he is great friends with Luke. Channing is already there. Toss in some Allie Clifton and this could get a little complicated.

Would the Cavs do that deal? I think they would in a heartbeat. They would then be forced to find a way to dump Deng via stretch or trade, but Ingram would absolutely be worth it.

He is still skinny, but Ingram had a burst of development over the latter half of last season. He plays with grit that his strength can’t quite handle. Another year in the weight room, and look out. Of course, that’s why I don’t see the Lakers trading him. The kid is about to be very good.

4. As this is Cavs: the Blog, enough about Lakers. The Cavs summer league kicks off tonight in Vegas. I’m very excited to see Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic, ya know, play. It’s been awhile.

More or less, I have an idea of how those guys will play. What arouses my curiosity even more is the play of Billy Preston. I, like many of us here, am very intrigued by his talent. Between Preston, Collin Sexton, and our poor jilted friends, Cedi and Ante, there are plenty of reasons to tune in.

Another point of interest is James Posey. The gritty wing defender from years gone by has been a Cavs assistant coach since 2013. After two seasons with Damon Jones at the helm, Posey will get a chance to lead the summer fun.

I’m curious to see what kind of actions a post LeBron offense will attempt to run. I realize things will be different come fall, but summer league often gives a taste of what’s to come.

Posey has always been a “tell it how it is” type of guy. Even in summer league, it would be nice to see the Cavs compete on the defensive end.

Now that LeBron is gone, there is no more cheat code. Can this coaching staff evolve into something more than a deferential machine? We will get our first peak tonight.

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CLF
Guest
CLF
2 months 13 days ago

Didn’t see Bamba play, but looks like a good debut. Johnathan Isaacs doing well too.

Already said enough about Monk.

Devonte Graham has been a revelation…. should have double digit assists if Charlotte players didn’t miss easy baskets. Had two great defensive plays, one a clutch steal to take the lead late in this game. Another young player to watch for Charlotte is Dwayne Bacon. Hit a few threes, athletic. Miles Bridges showed his athleticism, scooped up 10 rebounds…. shot terribly though, needs to adjust to NBA 3pt line… his shot technique looks good though. Willy Hernandogomez looks like he’s improved…. might be able to crack a roster eventually.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Would last year’s (2017) Cavs team beat this year’s Warriors (2018) team?

JRL
Guest
JRL
2 months 13 days ago

No.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

The new King of Cleveland:

Trevor Bauer says he's never signing a long-term deal. Only one-year contracts.

Why? Turns out he made a bet with a friend: If he ever signs a multi-year deal, the friend gets to shoot him in the nuts with a paintball gun from 10 feet away.

Full podcast: https://t.co/hvN9x1gPKo pic.twitter.com/9l3z7PHLGz

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 6, 2018

John B
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John B
2 months 13 days ago

That guy is a character. Glad he is having such a good year.

newnomad
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newnomad
2 months 13 days ago

thank you ARCH—–” BILLY PRESTON ” MY NEW CAVS HOPEFUL/ FUTURE ‘STAR ” PROSPECT ——BILLY’S 1 MAN FAN CLUB HERE

CLF
Guest
CLF
2 months 13 days ago

Malik Monk absolutely balling out here… looks like he’s making the leap this year.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

On my list for Charlotte prospects for when they trade love there.

CLF
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CLF
2 months 13 days ago

I’d add Devonte Graham on that list too… undersized, will probably suck on defense, but made 3 or 4 GREAT passes out here and running the 1st team well. Could make for a nice backup PG in the future. Also Miles Bridges doesn’t look awful… but hasn’t really done anything either.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

CLE to LA: Akron clothing entrepreneurs create new designs for LeBron James fans
(@AmaniAbraham reports)https://t.co/2zUj4kBljb pic.twitter.com/7lrYSR4fed

— WKYC Channel 3 News (@wkyc) July 5, 2018

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Meet Billy Preston: The Cleveland Cavaliers' potential Summer League standouthttps://t.co/pg6qbbTOVF pic.twitter.com/U7HGEDjqrb

— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) July 6, 2018

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

I posted a link waiting for moderation, which said Parker signed with Hornets

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Tony Parker signs with #Hornets, via @amathur90. #NBA https://t.co/8pxrsgGk0J

— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) July 6, 2018

CLF
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CLF
2 months 13 days ago

Another vastly under-rated prospect named Trevon: Trevon Bluiett from Xavier… shooting the lights out of the gym right now. Ideal 3 and D wing prospect.

CLF
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CLF
2 months 13 days ago

The fact that Trevon Duval went undrafted should get some GMs fired. Elite speed, elite length, high bball IQ. Just turned in one of the best summer league performances to date. Went toe-to-toe with Holliday… was able to blow by him off the dribble with ease.

CLF
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CLF
2 months 13 days ago

Aaron Holliday looks absolutely dominant right now for Indiana. He’s strong, can pass, go off the dribble, shoot. Zhou Qi for Houston also had some good moments.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Joe chee

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

Probably a sneaky good draft pick…

CLF
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CLF
2 months 13 days ago

Yup… saw a report that wasn’t too hot on him…. not sure why.

Also Travon Duval with a fantastic 2nd half and start to Summer League.

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

Excited for summer league tonight.

Anyone knows if Lue is “coaching” or will he let an assistant run the show?

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Posey

Raoul
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Raoul
2 months 13 days ago

Supposedly (according to ESPN) the Rockets, Heat, and Lakers and maybe others want to trade for Carmelo Anthony.

Why?

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Like thunder gonna help rockets.thwt can get rid of Anderson.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

John B
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John B
2 months 13 days ago

Peace offering to Kawhi maybe. Maybe the spurs said no to resigning him.

Not likely, but they are moving forward with Murray clearly as their main pg.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

Oops, meant the ‘but why?’ to this comment…I don’t get it, other than it’s the Hornets…

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Maybe because he and Batum are French, and it still doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

But why?

MattC86
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MattC86
2 months 13 days ago

I’ve got a bad feeling Porzingis is going to be the next Yao Ming. Hope I’m wrong. That guy is fun as hell to watch, and who knows, maybe even the rare potential future elite player who wouldn’t thumb his nose at signing a max FA deal with the likes of the Cavs?

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

Not unexpected, but brutal. He should be healthy when Butler and Kyrie sign there next summer, though…

Raoul
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Raoul
2 months 13 days ago

Great! Kyrie will neutralize the Porzingis + Butler dynamic and we will never have to see the Kincks contend.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

If there is a thread for the Cavs Summer League game tonight, can the web address or channel be posted? Anyone know if FSO is broadcasting the game?

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

All games on nbatv tonight. 9 pm EST FOR CAVS.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Sorry. Half the games on ESPNU

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

Thanks Nate.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
2 months 13 days ago

A bit too much LA talk today, lol. Doesn’t matter who is on Lebron’s team- that team will be a contender. No one but the Warriors will beat him.

I’d like to focus on the team this blog is dedicated to. Summer league is starting today, one of my favorite times of the year. I’m excited for our young guys and have already grown to really like Cedi, Zizic, Sexton. Can’t wait to see them play together.

Excl
Member
2 months 13 days ago

It looks like the Thunder are stretching the Melo contract to release him. Think the Lakers sign him on a one year deal, or are they out of cap space now?

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

They can sign him, unfortunately Rockets appear more likely. Melo in 2018 on the Lakers would be great theater.

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

Here you go Nate.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Yeah. Indy gonna be as good as anyone in the East. Association will never let them get to the finals though.

newnomad
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newnomad
2 months 13 days ago

PREACH EVIL —PREACH—CLF ARE YOU DOING THE PLAY BY PLAY AGAIN TONIGHT FOR OUR YOUNG / ‘NEW ‘ CAVS —-EXCITED TO SEE THEM PLAY—-I KNOW I ALWAYS PICK ONE PLAYER ( YES I STILL AM AN “ENCHILADA FAN )—-WANT TO SEE BILLY PRESTON COME OUT AND “PERFORM “

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

I think Sexton and Cedi are going to play great.

EvilGenius
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

For those of you who would rather root for the Lakers next year… enjoy… we’ll miss you

https://www.silverscreenandroll.com/

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Not rooting for them. Just depressed by them.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
2 months 13 days ago

I would rather root for LeBron even if he were on the Sacramento Kings. Really don’t care what players the Lakers get.

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Love it!

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

Tell ’em EG!

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

The bandwagon is filling up with refugee ‘Warrior fans’, at least until they find out this Laker team may be a mess…

EvilGenius
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Though I live in LA, I’ll never root for the Lakers. Not now that LeBron is here. Not if they sign RJ and Channing. Hell, not even if they traded the entire 2016 Championship team here. I root for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Period.

I couldn’t disagree with Ben more on the viability of Lance, the potential of Ingram or the ability of LeBron to navigate a much more difficult Western Conference playoff layout.

This move was not about winning more championships. This move was about lifestyle and enhancing his post NBA business.

Go Summer League Cavs!

grover13
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grover13
2 months 13 days ago

I completely agree EG- this was not about winning championships. I think we’ll be seeing an awful lot of “chill Lebron” on the court this season.

This move was to sell jerseys, sell shoes, make movies, and get his sons better competition as they grow up. I’m looking forward to watching Laker fans turn on him when they exit in the 1st/2nd round next spring.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

John B
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John B
2 months 13 days ago

I think they could be good. But there is not a chance in heck it is enough to challenge gs or maybe even Houston without Kawhi. Even with Kawhi, gs is still better if locked in.

Ingram could score 25 a game this year and Kuzma could score 20 and it still won’t be enough. GS will clog all the lanes for LBJ and that will be that.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
2 months 13 days ago

Lakers could beat Houston. Lebron can beat anyone in the league but GSW.

EvilGenius
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

This is a false narrative…

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

If I’m the spurs, I’m either going full scorched Earth and suing Kawhi for breach of contract and the Lakers for tampering or trading him and getting back at least Ingram, Hart, and a pick or two. The longer they go, the less they’re going to get. I think they’re just bitter right now. They’d better move before the Lakers realize how god of a team they could have.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
2 months 13 days ago

Don’t see the Spurs doing anything emotional, thoughtless or brash like the Cavs always do.

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

Can the Spurs actually suit him?

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

*Sue

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

IDK. They need to crap or get offthe pot though.

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

Ha!

I’m actually surprised they haven’t moved him yet. Doesn’t make any sense not to. He’s gone after this season and if the Spurs were to keep him, and force him to play, who can say for sure he’s giving 100% out there?

Does anyone really know why he’s acting this way? Dude’s coming off as a major ahole, a la Kyrie.

John B
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John B
2 months 13 days ago

His uncle is as bad or worse as Dedrick Irving. Thought the spurs mishandled his injury. Tony Parker’s comments were the final straw. Kawhi is apparently under the spell of his uncle who wants him in la or minimally out of sa.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago
Further on the Lakers. Brandon Ingram has star potential: meteoric improvement last year, taking his TS% from 47 to 54, and his PER from 8.5 to 13.8, with big increases in his assist numbers, and a not awful -.4 DRPM. As he adds more muscle, he will get better. He has ALL-star potential by 25. He’s still only 20. I’m not a huge Ball fan, but you could do a lot worse with a backup point guard and their bench unit is going to be a witch with Ball running it. Not a huge ball fan, but if you can Run teams into the ground with him as your second unit point guard. If their offense is predicated around LeBron/McGee as a roll man on the second unit, and they get Lopez/rye back? They’re going to be very very good. LeBron knows how good these guys can be. He did the exact same thing when he came to the Cavs four years ago. It’s a total LeBron mercenary move to snake into a team on the rise and this team can run 10 deep, and has the depth to actually sit LeBron 13 minutes a night. Yes, they’ll have some… Read more »
believeLAND
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believeLAND
2 months 13 days ago

The more the Lakers ponder on the situation, I think the less likely they are to trade either of Kuzma or Ingram. They could could be willing to forego this year for a shot at a having all of Kuzma, Ingram, Lebron and Kawhi on their roster.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
2 months 13 days ago

I am with you on the Lakers upside even as currently constructed. And of course they aren’t done.

John B
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John B
2 months 13 days ago

Still nowhere near enough to take down gs.

EvilGenius
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

You vastly overrate Ingram…

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Maybe. It’s gonna be a long curve, but I like what I’ve seen from him.

EvilGenius
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

I think he’s extremely overrated, especially given his draft status…

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

You watched him more than I did. He was my Dennis Schroder’s cat. Looked good whenever I watched.

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

Ingram and Kuzma are both solid players. Definitely can/should develop into stars.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago
Nice piece, Ben. I’ve gone back and forth on the Lakers, and ultimately, even as now constructed, they have a chance to be very good. They’ll at least be better than the Cavs last year who were basically LeBron, Kevin Love, Korver and Ty Lue brain farts (with some Regular season Calderon and early season Channing Frye thrown in). I like you, like Lance in doses. He’s a very physical defender, gets under people’s skin and has a sense of the moment. He’s also, again, a better playoff player than regular season player. Like Color me skeptical on Rondo. The big if is if he can stay healthy, which he hasn’t been able to do consistently. He’s an old 32. But with he, Ball, LeBron, and Ingram (hopefully for them) sharing the playmaking duties, he shouldn’t have to play more than 25 a night, and he’s an absolute playoff baller. The two guys everyone is sleeping on: Kentavious Caldwell Pope made 38% of his threes last year on 5.6 attempts per game. Decent passer, and he’s going to get MORE open looks, can run, can finish, and can D. He’s not lockdown, but he’s decent. I expect his RPM to… Read more »
Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

This better mean Melo to the Lakers…

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

That 15x jab step and clank will look great in purple and gold…

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

And he ain’t coming off the bench, Magic…

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Melo to the Dubs. I’ll bet you cash money.

Joshua Martin
Member
2 months 13 days ago

nah, hes going to Hou or LA to play with bron or CP3.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

I think he goes to the Lakers. The Warriors are smart enough not to sign him.

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

Well, I suppose I’m okay with this result too haha.

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

I see him going to GS for sure.

Slammin Sam
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Slammin Sam
2 months 13 days ago

Maybe we can figure out a way that Melo can go to Lakers AND Warriors?

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

Maybe he can just play for whoever is home that week?

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

He may think of Houston too.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

If anyone wants to listen to this Cavs Roundtable check here:

Matt from Mentor
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Matt from Mentor
2 months 13 days ago

Ugh – LeBron leaves but Lue stays, the worst of it all is upon us!

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

believeLAND
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believeLAND
2 months 13 days ago

Different scenario. Cavs don’t have all the young talent and cap space that Lakes do. Hence, these moves are observed from a different context.

Tom Pestak
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

100%

JRL
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JRL
2 months 13 days ago

Great point.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

92.3 The Fan had a 3 hour Cavs Roundtable with McMenamin, Vardon, and Lloyd yesterday, and made it sound like Love and LeBron’s relationship has soured, and LeBron prefers to play with 2-way players. So based on that I’m doubtful Love plays with LeBron again.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 13 days ago

So he can’t like playing with himself then. He olays D for like 6 minutes a week.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

And this report contradicts what the beat reporters said so who knows?

ChrisKorvalier
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ChrisKorvalier
2 months 13 days ago

That’s too bad. It looks like Love was the best player in the league that wanted to play with LeBron.

daspec90
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daspec90
2 months 13 days ago

Interesting point. Kyrie (for reasons all his own) didn’t want to play with Lebron. PG’s choice to stay with OKC probably was influenced by some reservations. Does Kawhi want to play with Lebron? Kevin Love does not strike me as a good liar, and he has repeatedly praised Lebron’s leadership. I think that Lebron should see value in playing with KL, but I’m curious to see what happens. Could be a good trade for the Cavs, too.

MattC86
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MattC86
2 months 13 days ago

I’m wondering if many of the current prime stars’ apparent reluctance to play with LBJ starts with Kyrie. Think about it. Kyrie is closer to most of the prime stars’ ages than LeBron. Kyrie is probably tighter with a lot of them than LeBron is (even though Kyrie does seem like a pretty weird guy in his own right). LeBron is tighter with more of the aging old guard — CP3, Melo, DWade, etc. I wonder how long Kyrie has been badmouthing LeBron and regaling his peers with horror stories of playing under LeBron. That has to have some sort of effect on all of this.

And obviously, many of these guys can observe from afar without input from Kyrie, KLove, or anyone else, and see that playing with LBJ isn’t always a smooth ride for various reasons. But still, I have to think that Kyrie has been somewhat vocal and influential on this issue.

daspec90
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daspec90
2 months 13 days ago

I do wonder what the inside scoop is on playing with Lebron. I hadn’t thought about it, but Kyrie may have done a lot of badmouthing (there was that wedding video). On the other hand, in such a small world, you’ve probably got to be very careful what you say. Most role players probably know better than to say anything bad about anybody, let alone the King. Outwardly, Lebron seems like a great teammate: great passer, unselfish, seems to truly enjoy his teammates’ success. But as far as what he’s like behind closed doors? In my line of work, I have more than once been shocked at the discrepancy between outward appearances and the reality inside.

And if you are a marquee player, you might also wonder if the best case scenario for you playing with Lebron is Pippen, and that may not be good enough.

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

Shocking news, NBA Star desires to play with people who can do everything on the court… Whatever, Love conducted himself much more respectfully from my perspective, as limited as that perspective is.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

Does that mean Lebron is going to be a two way player himself?

Tom Pestak
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

Ben, color me shocked you aren’t appalled by the Lakers moves.

Maybe I’m thinking of 2009-2017 Rondo and 2018 Rondo was actually decent or something. Guy has never played good defense. His offense is Eric Snowdian, and he’s been a locker room malcontent everywhere he’s been.

I guess Stephenson is really the guy you are praising. Maybe there’s a little Postseason vs Regular Season added value to him, but he’s been pretty bad in regular seasons. Is there some recency bias here because he flexed on the Cavs a bit in April?

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

I thought Rondo was pretty good in the playoffs this year, and I am far from a Rondo fan. He plays defense basically like JR plays defense. Odd fit next to Lebron, since he is not a shooter, and generally prefers to pass up open shots. He can get a little streaky from three, but still not what I would call a good shooter. The battle between Rondo and Ball for the starting job should be amusing.

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

“Okay guys, which one of you is going to brick less shots today?”

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

Rondo played pretty well (until he got hurt) for the Bulls in that Bulls-Celtics playoff series two years ago. He was trash during that regular season though.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

From Amicohoops.net:
““Now that LeBron is gone, the Cleveland Cavaliers are in a situation where almost anything can happen,” a source close to Tristan exclusively tells HollywoodLife.com. “But with those thoughts as they are, nobody expects them to even get close to the NBA Finals.”

Yet, the source says that Tristan “feels like this could be a great opening and opportunity to where he could become a superstar in the NBA.”

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months 13 days ago

Just shows how dumb TT.

Rule #1 should be to stop raking stupid guys.

No dummies, no divas, no knuckleheads, no crazy dads/uncles.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 13 days ago

He better start jacking 3’s and hoping they fall in at a 40% clip.

Excl
Member
2 months 13 days ago

Cue the Drew Carey spit-take

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

HA!

JOHN B
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JOHN B
2 months 13 days ago

Now that is truly hilarious. Presumably he was winking when he said that.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
2 months 13 days ago
Love for Ingram and deng would be a steal. Unfortunately, as you said that probably means it would never happen. Otherwise, I don’t have much interest in trading Love where the main piece isn’t a pick coming back, which means I would rather trade love to a borderline playoff team trying to make a push. Don’t see anything else the lakers could offer that would interest me other than Kuzma. I can’t root for the lakers. They have always been my least favorite NBA team. I am not going to actively root against them either. I really just don’t care what happens with them. LA and the warriors winning is equally bad, so I probably will just root for whoever comes out of the east. But really I could care less. I think Lebron is the best player still by a very slim margin considering how impossible it is to stop Durant from scoring from literally anywhere on the court. However, LBJ is not the same player he was at this peak in Miami or in 2016 in my opinion. Just not the same physically which affects his defense at times. About as efficient scoring, but it was harder to… Read more »
JOHN B
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JOHN B
2 months 13 days ago

In his Miami years that is

Slammin Sam
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Slammin Sam
2 months 13 days ago
LeBron never really had my full faith after coming back, at least not like he did before Decision Part 1. Obviously grown men can do whatever they feel is best and I would never deny the players their agency, but it doesn’t mean I have to like or celebrate it. This second departure puts a taint on 2016 imo, especially in light of the apparent disingenuousness of “Nothing is given, everything is earned”. Of course we’re also left with a Dan Gilbert turd sandwich. No doubt his incompetence put the team in this mess, at least 50%. But Jiminy Christmas! Cheering for the Lakers? Nah B. Rooting hard for LeBron to fail in LA. For whatever reason people get so reverent when talking about LeBron, as if he did us some massive favor by deigning to play in Cleveland. As if his coming back to the Cavs wasn’t at least a partially cynical move (ugh that letter). But I’ll keep cheering for whatever clothes have “Cleveland” stitched on them. I’ll somehow convince myself that this misfit collection of youngsters and Kevin Love is worth watching. And I’ll be very pleased when the Lakers lose in the first round to the… Read more »
believeLAND
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believeLAND
2 months 13 days ago

That Lakers team is better than what Lebron had in Cleveland this past season. They’ll be in the conference finals.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 13 days ago

No shot unless Kawhi joins.

They won’t be top 4. I think there is a decent chance they miss the POs. It may take 50 wins to get in.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
2 months 13 days ago

Lebron will be in the playoffs. And it doesn’t matter what team he’s on, only the Warriors can beat him. The Lakers roster is better than what he had in Cleveland this past year, he’ll be in the western conference finals.

MattC86
Guest
MattC86
2 months 13 days ago

Bet against LBJ at your own risk. That said, it’s going to be interesting. I don’t think LBJ can afford to basically take most of December and January off in the West and still count on making the playoffs.

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

Only if they dodge GS and Houston do they even have a shot…

Tom Pestak
Admin
2 months 13 days ago

here here!

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

I’m with you. I’ll root for the Lakers the same day I root for the Celtics. That’d be never.

Slammin Sam
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Slammin Sam
2 months 13 days ago

It really is the worst of all worlds when the Warriors are only my 3rd least favorite team.

John B
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John B
2 months 13 days ago

Boston and La? Same but I might root for Boston to beat la/gs. Strange I know. Would love to see Philly take it, but they don’t have enough without lbj.

DaveR
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DaveR
2 months 13 days ago

Good piece. The general takeaway for me right now is that the Cavs have options and can be patient. Korver and Love are key trade pieces. Smith and Hill have contracts options that can be utilized to some advantage over the next two seasons. Unless the Cavs are gunning for a 7 or 8 seed they should play these contracts out and trade where it makes sense for picks/ expiring deals.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 13 days ago

Eventually Lebron is going to drop off, or he’s going to finally get a lingering/ serious injury. He may well be the best player in the world, when he wants to be, right now, but that can change in an instant. What I am pretty confident in saying is that he won’t drastically change his style of play, as some in the media are speculating that he will. Tell me that a man can move a mountain, but don’t tell me that people change.

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

Super excited to see effort again…

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
2 months 13 days ago

I hope LeBron can win 1-2 more rings in LA, and I will be watching most Laker games this fall and winter with occasional peaks at the Cavs. But I will buy a LeBron Lakers jersey and wear the laundry of another team for the first time in my life. I look forward to seeing James chase Kareem’s scoring record and how his game changes in the final years of his brilliant career. Windhourst always described my feelings on LeBron the best. Paraphrasing…..LeBron indeed comes with some quirks and puzzling issues to deal with during a long basketball season…..but he is entirely worth it.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
2 months 13 days ago
What you say Ben about somewhat rooting for the Lakers if they put together the roster you describe applies to me. I have always rooted for laundry, Cleveland laundry of course, in all the major sports despite how dreadful a cycle the teams were in. I don’t share any of the disgust some have written here over James’ decision as his “cheat code” you mention was so brilliant. I will always miss him. And I will always have great disdain for Dan Gilbert. So much disdain that my group of four guys that shared season tickets for 15 years decided unanimously not to renew them until Gilbert sells the team. The Cavs will probably be in tank mode for two years to keep those top ten protected picks. I don’t mind watching a rebuild with mediocre at best basketball. I do mind Gilbert. A lot. I will always maintain if David Griffin wasn’t fired at the absolute most critical time, there would have been a better result with the Irving situation, and other roster moves over the last two years, meaning James would have retired a Cav. So, the first time in my life, I will actually root for a… Read more »
Grover13
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Grover13
2 months 13 days ago

Now, I knew the Cavs weren’t going to be super active in the market post-Lebron….but are they going to do ANYTHING? There is, after all, a King-sized hole on the roster. Not to mention they don’t have a single SG that knows how to keep score.

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months 13 days ago

We have 12 guys under contract, I think.

Half are vets we would love to move at some point: Love, Hill, Korver, JR, TT, & Perk. Everyone save TT & JR could help in the locker room & in developing youngsters. So I think we will not be in a rush. Wait & see what happens. Injuries could make a contender overpay. Or someone who thought they were a contender go into salary dump mode. Perk will go first.

The other half are our youngsters. Sexton, Clarkson, Cedi, Nance, Ziziz, & White. White is non-guaranteed.

Hood would make 13. Perk/White may go early. Holland still on a two way. At least two spots open (Mathias/Preston) plus a couple more (Colson + a FA).

JMay
Editor
2 months 13 days ago

I don’t think we’ll see any significant FA signings. I would guess that they are working on trades. We may be looking at the trade deadline for most of our movement.

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