July 24, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Cavs/Thunder, Targeting Kyle Wilson, and the Future of Club Trillion

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

“Because if [LeBron James] scans out West, he’s seeing chaos that only can fuel the idea of Cleveland, woeful Cleveland, finally winning its first championship in a team sport since 1964 and keeping James in town as the savior of northeast Ohio’s self-esteem. The compelling story, of course, is how the Oklahoma City Thunder, who began their move from Seattle with a 3-29 start and represent the very antithesis of all things L.A. and Lakers, are teaching the suddenly staggering defending champs about heart, hustle, energy and, yes, maturity.” [Jay Mariotti]

A most excellent find about former Cavalier Nate Thurmond and his quadruple-double and 20/20 season. [Hardwood Paroxysm]

About that Haden/Wilson debate: “The team definitely was interested in Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, who is slightly faster and has more pure physical gifts than Joe Haden. The Browns tried to trade down and grab him, but there were no takers for teams wanting to move into the top 10 (and take on the added rookie salaries). The Browns picked Haden because he is a solid cornerback who started 40 games for one of the nation’s premier programs.” [Terry Pluto]

What to expect from Mark Titus post graduation. [Club Trillion]

And finally, on the coveted three starters: “The Browns went into the draft with holes to fill on both sides of the ball and came out of it with at least three potential starters.  In the third round they took who they hope will be their quarterback of the future in Colt McCoy, but he will not have the immediate impact of cornerback Joe Haden, safety TJ Ward and running back Montario Hardesty. All three could start.” [The OBR]

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • DK

    I agree with the OBR report…I like the draft selections if they can stay healthy, The Big Show has effectively shored up and changed the look of the team on D…I hope they do sign a vet WR though like a Coles type slot WR…

  • ben

    Solid draft unless injuries plague Ward and Hardesty. I still think we’re a good 2 drafts away from being a legitimate threat to compete, but its a nice start.

  • Phil M

    Hard not to be an OKC Thunder fan at the moment. That franchise and their coach and best scorer seem to have everything in order. No chaos there.

    But the chaos LeBron can see among other teams in the West is in full evidence in Chicago as well, despite the team’s strong showing in the previous two games. Read some of the Chicago press this morning and you see that the team is on the verge of imploding. Journalists have marked Del Negro’s tenure as over as of Wednesday morning. None are giving the Bulls a chance on Tuesday night. More than one cite Del Negro’s putting the Paxson-chosen rookie James Johnson on LeBron as a giant middle finger in Paxson’s face, their assumption being that Del Negro knew LeBron would tear the rookie apart.

    This series is starting to remind me of last year’s dismantling of Detroit, despite the on-court competitiveness Chicago has mustered. A series loss to the Cavs portends an overhaul in Chicago.

  • http://www.twitter.com/boxoflewine Eli

    One can only hope that a retrofit in Chicago goes as well as it did in Detroit.

  • Stinkfist

    …offer Titus a spot on WFNY

  • MattC

    I’m not sure the Detroit analogy works since Chicago is for the most part a young team with a superstar just coming into his own that has deliberately cleared tons of cap space for this summer, whereas Detroit was an aging team that was once filled with solid player after solid player, but never a superstar, even in their glory days of the mid 2000s.

    I personally think Del Negro did a tremendous job getting them to the playoffs. They’re truthfully not a very good team.

  • Phil M

    I see your point, MattC, but the analogy was not meant to be comprehensive. Chicago does have a brighter hope for the future at this juncture than Detroit did, even before they traded away Chauncey Billups. The thing about Del Negro is that your view of him is shared by a bulk of Chicago fans — judging solely by online polls; and the journalists I’ve read are saying that despite his respectable performance, the incompatibility with Paxson will cost him his job.

    I find it funny that when they show those “coaches mic’d” segments, Del Negro is seen saying inspirational things or even offering substantive analysis to his players whereas Mike Brown appears limited to offering congratulations for good play or just saying, in essence, “C’mon” when the team is not faring well. A coincidence, perhaps, or do the Cavs ask that the substantive remarks not be shown? Does Mike Brown make any?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    Hard not to be an OKC Thunder fan at the moment.

    Unless you live in Seattle…

    I know it’s not the players’/coaches’ fault that the team got moved, but as a Cleveland Browns fan who has seen the other side of this movie, I find it difficult to root for OKC other than from the standpoint of them possibly weakening/taking out LA. Beyond that, I can’t root for them on principle.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    Re: the “mic’d” segments, the ones in the ECF last season drove me nuts with Stan Van Gundy. Seriously, I don’t think he said one substantive thing the entire series.

  • Phil M

    On that note, DP, some in the Chicago press say the other Van Gundy is being targeted by Paxson for the job in Chicago. So, before long, you could be getting a double whammy of the insufferable brothers mic’d straight into your living room!

  • Matthew R

    DP: 100% agree on OKC. I wish they still played in Seattle so I could root for them.

  • MattC

    @ Phil M: Interesting that the Chicago fans share my sentiment about Del Negro. I hadn’t really checked that out yet.

    If Del Negro goes, then by all accounts, Paxson has to go too before anyone else is brought in. What coach in his right mind would want to go somewhere the GM tells you how to manage your players minutes and gets in physical confrontations with you?!

    I don’t know how good Del Negro is as an X’s and O’s man, but the fact that his team never quit on him even after this tumultuous season, which saw huge losing streaks, injuries, the trade of two very solid members of the team, the free agency loss of Ben Gordon, and utter turmoil in the front office at least speaks a little bit (if not a lot more) to his capabilities as a coach.

    Imagine if the Cavs let Mo go in free agency this past summer, traded Delonte and Varejao for garbage at the deadline, LeBron was banged up for part of the season, and Mike Brown and Danny Ferry were getting in shoving matches in the front office?

  • Jack

    Being in OKC, and from Youngstown, I see both sides to the argument. Hate the owner, but noone can deny the heart and chemistry of this team. It’s absolutely incredible to not only watch the Thunder play, but take in the excitement of the crowd. It’s been getting a lot of play lately, but the atmosphere at the Ford center is the best I’ve ever experienced. I’ll root for the Thunder until the day they face the Cavs, but I’ll always have a little disdain for the ownership for moving the franchise.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    Jack, that’s why I made sure to say I know it’s not the players’ and/or coaches’ fault. They’re clearly doing something right, and Presti has built a solid team.

    That doesn’t excuse the fact that everyone getting on board basically says it’s OK to do that to other cities… Imagine if we hadn’t gotten the Browns back; if the league had just looked the other way, and then the Ravens went on their SuperBowl run in 2000 and the national media was talking about how great it was for them and their fans. We’d have been even more incensed than most of us already were.

  • http://www.onlyincle.com Jake In Ohio City (Natty The Dog)

    @Ben

    I like how you say we are still 2 drafts away from contending. Some of you Browns fans fail to open your eyes. I expect a max of 2 years to turn a team around. Miami went from an almost winless season to making the playoffs the next year, same goes for Arizona….these are the standards I hold the Browns to, I expect them to contend in the AFC next year, if they don’t its time to make changes.

    This team has had over 10 years to get their #@#@ together, and have failed year after year. No excuses.

  • MattC

    @ Jake – I’ve been saying the same thing! I expect us to compete in every game this year. No more embarrassing blowouts. Expecting a playoff run might be a little unrealistic, but we should compete.

    The Dolphins and Cardinals analogies are good ones that I’ve made myself, but they also play in much weaker divisions than us, so you do have to take that with a light grain of salt. But still, I agree, we should be competitive this year. No more excuses.