July 25, 2014

Cavs Mailbag: Trade Options, Changing Media Landscape, and Assigning Blame

After a week off and a Cavaliers’ win, we’re back with another edition of the WFNY Cavs mailbag.  Want a question answered next week? Hit me up on Twitter at @WFNYScott. Do enjoy.

Q: Do you think the Cavs will make a trade? – Brendan Leister @BrendanLeister

What are the Cavs options in The off season if they don’t make a trade by the 25th? – Jonathan C @jcashtro

A: I do think the Cavaliers will make a trade, but it will likely come in the 11th hour as a team looking for a shooting guard will run out of options and ship a future draft choice for Anthony Parker.  All signs continue to point to the Chicago Bulls, and given their reluctance to pay players in the past, I can’t foresee their front office springing for O.J. Mayo or J.R. Smith. 

There’s a chance that the Cavs can find a trading partner for the now-healthy Leon Powe as well.

With regard the off-season, it will come down to drafting and assessing the parts of this team’s future.  I would anticipate, once the collective bargaining agreement gets ironed out, that the Cavs shop any and all assets which they do not view as being here three-to-five years down the road, including Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson, much to the dismay of a few fans.

Q: Are we going to get stuck with this trade exception? What’s the worst case scenario? – Mike Brenkus @cre8ive_juice

A: Worst case scenario is that the team does not utilize the current cap space that has been created by the Traded Player Exception by expiration this July.  At that point, the team will then have the salary cap room available net the current ceiling.  This is not necessarily a terrible outcome if the new collective bargaining agreement institutes a hard cap.

However, as I have stated all season, I do think that the team utilizes the space provided by said TPE closer to the upcoming draft.  What they are able to get for it remains to be seen. 

Q: How hard was it to get credentialed with the Cavs? What are your thoughts on blogs replacing beat reporters? – James McMeechan @4McM

A: The Cavs are by far the most accommodating team in Cleveland when it comes to accepting new media.  The difficult part comes in the form of consistently operating an independent blog for three years, without any major distribution channel, regardless of wins or losses and gaining the team’s trust as a writer. 

For what it’s worth, the Indians are slowly beginning to embrace the change described above, while the Browns and the NFL are a distant third.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see a slight correlation with team accommodations and all-around approval of the franchise. 

With regard to your second question, I do not feel that blogs are replacing anything – especially beat reporters.  I strongly feel that there is room for both mediums in a given space as both mediums are providing different information and from different angles.  Beat reporters will (should) have better access to gain information, blogs can have more freedom with their opinions, angles and choice of topics.  It isn’t far-fetched to see members of local newspapers asking a player about his injury or recent game and I get to follow up with a question about his new beard, bright yellow shoes, or upcoming wedding.  I think it’s a good, healthy mix.

Q: What do you think will be the Cavs’ starting five next season? - Robert Sohlberg @RSohlberg

A: Great question.  Sticking with my feeling that the Cavs will want Duke’s Kyrie Irving first overall, we’ll go with JJ Hickson and Anderson Varejao in the frontcourt.  Irving will be joined by Christian Eyenga in the backcourt.  And whomever the Cavs draft in the second round – we’ll say Syracuse’s Kris Joseph (21.44 PER thus far) – as the starting small forward.  A bit on a limb, but not all that far-fetched.

Q: Is there a franchise changer in the 2011-12 frosh class? To put it another way, do we need another massive tank job next year? – TBD Kosar @LeBronKosar

A: I don’t know if there is necessarily a guy who will step in a la LeBron during his first year and turn the ship around.  But this isn’t a bad thing.  Recall, LeBron was just good enough to get the Cavaliers to one game out of the playoffs – something that would set the wheels in motion for perpetual late-round picks, if any.

If this Cavaliers team is going to have any shot at perennial contention, they’re going to need multiple lottery picks to rebuild through the draft, which means multiple seasons of poor basketball.  Sad truth, but one that is ultimately unavoidable at this point.

Q: How many of the spare expiring parts (Moon, AP, Graham, Powe) do you anticipate the Cavaliers unloading (if any)? – Kirk Lammers @CurseofClevKirk

A: If I were to rank them by likelihood of being traded, I’d say Parker, Powe, Moon and Graham.  Joey Graham is due $1.1 million next season and is not specifically “expiring” despite his obvious longterm future being not with Cleveland.

Q: I defended Scott most of this year. But how much blame does he really deserve for how this team has basically quit. – Jeff Moehring @Scoobdog1981csu

A: The only thing that one could feasibly blame Scott for is his attempt to completely revamp both the offense and the defense in one fell swoop.  Hindsight being 20/20, it was not the best move for a team that was already in a state of flux. 

However, the constant rotational changes are more of a product of injuries – not caused by Scott – and merely dealing with the large talent gap between his roster and that of his opponents.  As Brendan put best earlier this week, the Cavs were given a bit of a free pass this year, and that includes head coach Byron Scott.

Q: Who can we get/demand for Antwan Jamison? A first-rounder and serviceable player? – Derek Stapinski @DerekStapinski

A: The Cavaliers are really not in any place to demand anything at this stage.  Teams have been calling about Antawn since he started playing well following his knee injury, but the Cavaliers are not going to take back any player who would have to be paid longer than Jamison – whose contract expires after next season.  It’s not easy to move any player who is due $15 million when salaries have to match and draft picks are more valuable to you than players.

As I wrote earlier this year, Jamison’s leadership has proven to be invaluable to the team.  They would love for him to get another shot at contending, but not if it constituted any move that would hinder the team’s ability to rebuild.  No buyout has been entertained, despite ESPN reports, and unless the Cavs are wowed by an offer - whch is tough given the current CBA environment – Jamison will be here going in to next season.

Q: You can sign any one current Cavalier to a max (length) contract. Who is it? – Chris Sobolewski @csobol

A:  Based on size and age, the only player that I can foresee the team even considering signing to a deal of any length at this stage is JJ Hickson.  And even in that case, it would be under the sceario laid out, assuming they had to sign a player to a deal of length.  Presently, the team continues to stress their contractual flexibility and will not be offering any player a deal that would hamper such a position.

  • http://216sports.wordpress.com Chris M

    They obviously are not that talented, and I accept that. However, the lack of effort displayed on a lot of nights is absolutely infuriating. You don’t have to be a talented player to at least look like you’re trying. The problem with the “free pass” mentioned above is that they know that they have one and they aren’t afraid to play like it.

    I committed to a ticket package thinking I would at least see effort. When I don’t, I get really pissed off.

    There is also no excuse at all for making Nick freaking Young look like Michael Jordan.

  • Roosevelt

    Leon Powe is healthy? Who knew?

  • christopher

    it’s a bummer but i really think i am done with the NBA in general, not just the Cavaliers.

    with the current landscape of the league allowing players to hold teams hostage and bend to their adolescent wills it has no sign of maturing anytime soon.

    we watched it first hand with #6, we are seeing it again now with Melo and we will watch it next year with Howard.

    i usually never am one for siding with the billionaire owners but please, take back control of that league with a full season lockout.

    oh just so i don’t completely hijack the post….a 2011-2012 starting five of Kyrie Irving, Sky-Enga, AV, Hickson and random drafted SF sounds like a Byron Scott five to me.

  • Mark

    That starting 5 will be able to run. Can they defend?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “Can they defend?”

    Better than they can now. Assuming that five, Andy being back is huge for help/rotations. Irving’s defense at the NBA level is TBD, obviously, and Eyenga can only get better.

  • Jim

    Lebron did not carry the Cavs to within one game of the playoffs his first year. That team ended up with 30+ wins and improved significantly with the acquisition of Jeff McGinnis. They then ended up with a lottery pick in which the Cavs selected: Luke Jackson! That was the last time the team had a legitimate shot at building a team through the draft with Lebron.

  • JM

    A team this sorry has no business deciding when they want to show up and play. Regardless the lockout is coming so this rigged league will have a year off.