Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) Still finding yourself on the fence about whether or not to embrace Kevin Love? Well, sipping from a frosty, ice-brewed, beachwood-aged mug of Kevin Love highlights should put some flash back in your step, mister. I’d been resisting spending too much time aboard the Love Boat this summer, but since we’re in that dangerous stretch between Summer League and Team USA games (where madness truly does lie), I thought I’d spend a minute or twenty with the Cavs presumptive 2014-15 starting power forward. And you know what? Kevin Love does all those Kevin Love things that everyone says he does. But the thing that really stuck out was how much of his 10-minutes plus of highlight footage spanning an 82-game season came on the two occasions where Love was matched up against Tristan Thompson.
Kevin Love is coming to Cleveland, LeBron James wants to stay in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving is locked up for five years, and vets are flocking to the Cavs. It’s a whole new era now after being one of the craziest off seasons for the Cavs since the King left. As an exercise in meditation and reflection, The Cavs: The Blog bloggers have crafted some heartfelt basketball related Haikus. Do you have some basketball Haikus that have been brewing in your brain during this off season? Let us hear them.
Almost immediately after the Spurs celebrated the conclusion of their ethereal basketball symphony I found myself between flights in Philly – a three hour layover of infinite possibilities. I searched frantically for uninterrupted charging stations to calm my insatiable device hunger. When the juice finally started flowing, I decided to write the most passive aggressive knock on LeBron James definitive eulogy for the “Big 3” era of pro basketball. I shelved it long enough for the Cavs to sign Kyrie to the Pepsi MAX, LeBron to make peace with NEOhio, and the KLove #WojBomb to detonate. So now what?
Well, Howard Bryant wrote a similar piece in ESPN The Magazine (although he arrived at a much different conclusion) and I have not the fortitude to polish a hot mess while reconciling the central claim with the current situation.
But I’m skeptical about the Cavs dedication to patience. And what the Spurs did was instructive to every team in the NBA. So I’m going to prune and pick from the autosaved “Document 1” that’s been open for months on my laptop and briefly describe what the Cavs should learn from all this.
Kevin Love is coming to Cleveland and is going to sign a five year deal for $120 million after he is traded on August 23rd. Adrian Wojnarowski reported this Thursday, and, almost immediately, Cleveland’s bad luck came to darken the report. There is a slight possibility the trade will be vetoed by the NBA.
On Thursday, Yahoo! Sports reported that the Cavs and Wolves have agreed to a trade in principle and that Love has an agreement to re-sign with the Cavs next summer for five years, $120 million after opting out of his contract.
But sources insist that no agreement for Love to sign an extension in Cleveland next summer — when he can become a free agent — is in place.
In addition, under NBA rules, such an agreement would be illegal, and, if proven, it potentially could be grounds for the league to block this trade and dole out punishment to both teams.
Yesterday’s Kevin Love Wojbomb caught us unawares. We were timing our responses for August 23rd. With the CtB staff scattered across the globe: on vacation, moving, or working we sadly had no one on hand to give this monumental development the hard hitting response it deserves. Instead of sounding the conch call, and resounding the words “CtB Staff, assemble!“, we jumped in the air and then chipped in to give you some #HotSportsTakes and maybe a roster move or two.
Tom: if the details are true then this moves makes sense even as I think Wiggins will be a monster. I do find it premature that so many folks think Waiters doesn’t fit and should be moved. The Cavs must complement LeBron Love and Irving with youth and athleticism. Dion could fit quite well. A guy the Cavs could add? Kevin Love clone beta release .78: Josh Harrelson (profile courtesy of CtB alum, Kevin Hetrick).
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) Andrew Wiggins said it several times leading up to and just after the NBA draft: playing basketball for Kansas University was like being a rock star.
When I first heard him say it, he was wading through a torrent of questions at the NBA Draft Media Day which takes place the afternoon before the draft. He was answering a question about how his one season of college ball had prepared him for the rigors of life in the professional game and said that playing at KU — with the media scrutiny and fan mania that such a hoops hotbed brings with it — made him and his fellow teammates feel like “rock stars.” He smiled after he said this and everyone chuckled at the thought. But then the reporter asked a follow up: “Is that good?”
Wiggins thought about it for a moment, clearly not expecting to have to think about it for a moment and then said what every one of us probably would have said at 19 years old. He said, “Well, who wouldn’t like that?”
Dion Waiters and Bradley Beal aren’t as far apart skill wise as some people assume. Jermey Conlin penned a piece for Hardwood Paroxysm explaining why this is so. Of course, he had to mention the Kevin Love trade as the starting point for this discussion. Would the Cavs trade Waiters for Love? Yes. Would the Wizards trade Beal for Love? No. The main reason people think Beal is better so far is because of his strong three point shooting and single playoff appearance. Waiters’ stats are similar to Beal’s though.
Beal is a better shooter from three than Waiters, but Beal also takes so many more two-point jump shots, and makes fewer of them (Beal shot 37.2 percent on 519 two-point attempts outside the paint – Waiters shot 43.1 percent on 378 attempts) that there’s effectively no difference in their scoring efficiencies. In a twist of irony, it’s Waiters’ superiority on low-efficiency shots that actually offsets Beal’s superiority on high-efficiency shots at the rim and beyond the three-point line. Waiters has the reputation of the shameless gunner, but his shot selection is actually much better than Beal’s.
Cleveland has three of the last four No. 1 draft picks on its roster. The best player in the NBA is putting on a Cavs uniform this fall. The Cavaliers are the most buzzworthy team in the NBA. So what’s my problem?
First, let me just get this out there. The “plan” to trade Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins is the biggest example of groupthink since the invasion of Iraq. My thoughts on the matter are on record. But let me just reiterate the key points.
We’re getting into the dog days of summer here. You know, when you’re dripping sweat and gasping for breath during that pickup game at the park with nine other crazy souls. With David Griffin and Co. in an apparent holding pattern until August 23rd, you and your fellow Cavs fans will have just a few subjects to discuss between games. So here’s five questions for you, answered by five CtB bloggers. Enjoy the run.
1.) A Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins+Anthony Bennett trade adds (subtracts?) how many wins to next season’s team? How about the playoff picture?
Tom: Love’s SWAgR was about 12, meaning he produced about 12 wins himself. Anthony Bennett’s SWAgR was negative. I’ll assume that Bennett would produce about a win this season and Wiggins about two (grabbing Kawhi Lenoard’s rookie season as my comp). The Cavs go +9 regular season wins with this trade. Putting them from mid 50s to mid 60s. Usually I would never assume that things would work out seamlessly for the Cavs, but Love and LeBron are outlandishly better passers than the Cavs have had during the rebuild trade-asset-accumulation-process (or TAAP). The playoffs are murkier because, as we’ve seen in the past, PEDs match-ups can be game-changers. But the talent alone will take them to the Conference Finals. And if they’re healthy and firing on all cylinders, the Finals. I wouldn’t predict that without Love.
Nate Smith is an Associate Editor. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to NE Ohio in 2000. He adopted the Cavs in 2003 and graduated from Kent State in 2009 with a BA in English. He can be contacted at email@example.com or @oldseaminer on Twitter.
Tom Pestak is an Associate Editor. He's from the west side of Cleveland and lives and (mostly) dies by the success and (mostly) failures of his beloved teams. You can watch his fanaticism during Cavs games @tompestak.
Robert Attenweiler is a Staff Writer. Originally from OH, he's long made his home in NYC where he writes plays and screenplays (www.disgracedproductions.com) some of which end up being about Ohio, basketball or both. He has also written for The Classical and the blog Raising the Cadavalier. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @cadavalier.
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