Links to the Present: April 24, 2012

April 24th, 2012 by Colin McGowan

“[Byron] Scott said he hasn’t reached a decision on whether he wants injured center Semih Erden (ankle) to return for next season. Obviously, that’s something he must discuss with General Manager Chris Grant. The Cavs would have to extend a qualifying offer of about $1.1 million or risk losing the 7-foot Turk to unrestricted free agency.” [Tom Reed]

“The Cavaliers may very well shut down Kyrie Irving for the final two games of the season, which would in all likelihood shut down Cleveland’s opportunity to win. The Kings face the Thunder on Tuesday without DeMarcus Cousins, who hit the 13-tech threshold on Sunday. But OKC no longer has anything to play for and could rest its starters. The same may be the case for the Kings’ match-up against the Lakers on Thursday, depending on what the Clippers do by then. Chances are that the Cavs finish with a worse record than the Kings.” [Tom Ziller]

“The fourth quarter wizardry to which Cavalier fans have grown accustomed was put on hold as Cleveland head coach Byron Scott kept his prize possession on the sideline, watching as teammates Tristan Thompson and Antawn Jamison would retake the floor. Having been given some rest with three minutes left in the third quarter, Irving would not join his four starting teammates until there were just over four game minutes remaining.” [Scott Sargent]

I’m probably going to write about this later tonight in more detail, but I can say this: I’m so glad the Cavaliers swallowed their pride and sat Irving for most of the fourth quarter. As Ziller points out, there’s a bunch of teams hovering around 21 wins, and the Cavs need to lose out if they’re going to have a shot at top 4 lottery odds. If they win another game, they could be looking at 6th or 7th, and, if the ping-pong balls adhere to probability (which: no guarantee), they’re in line to pick someone like Harrison Barnes or PJ3. Depending on how you feel about those guys, you might not mind picking at seven, but I’m terrified that Harrison Barnes is a slightly better Wesley Johnson, and Perry Jones could be an All-Star or out of the league in five years.

But that’s my acute sense of dread talking. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.