Scott, when questioned about his post-mortem outlook on the Cavaliers job last Friday, used words like “interesting,” but also called the bulk of what he endured between the months of October and April “gratifying.” Specifically, when asked if he regrets taking the position knowing what he knows now, he vehemently denied any uncertainty by saying that he was in a “feel-good place.”
Also sharing thoughts after his first year at the helm, Grant took the podium on Monday afternoon and shared an equally positive outlook, but from his string-pulling post as general manager. Citing two lottery selections, a still-to-be-used $14 million trade exception and incredible flexibility with regard to current contractual obligations, Grant feels that his team is in “a good position” to regain a competitive, contending roster which the city of Cleveland had become accustomed to over the past seven years.
Keeping the URL both alive and well, the two gentlemen discussed Next Year during their respective commentary; Scott in a “no excuses” fashion, Grant in a manner of controlling what is controllable and maximizing the assets which he’s worked diligently to gather over the course of the last 12 months.
Scott understands that every player’s learning curve is different and that things started to come together for his young group towards the end of the season. On multiple occasions, the Cavaliers head coach dictated his wish for a few extra months of play, saying that his team would have continued to elevate their record beyond that of the NBA’s second-worst. He firmly believes that the foundation is in place and that the team can only build from its current position.
While repeatedly showing appreciation for the financial backing of principle owner Dan Gilbert, Grant has no issues playing the hand which he has been dealt – specifically, multiple potential lottery selections returning to their respective schools for Sophomore campaigns. Trade exception aside, the team is fully confident that they will be adding at least two good players in the upcoming draft; whether or not both of these players are called upon in Year One remains to be seen. Factor in the team’s willingness and ability to buy draft picks – speculation is that the price of said picks has declined with current CBA issues as well as the perceived ‘weak’ draft – and the Cavaliers are in a position to essentially do whatever they please under the caveat of any move being better for the long term.
With regard to the traded player exception, the team continues to explore their options, looking for the best possible move that will provide either a star player or a potential lottery selection, not necessarily in the 2011 draft. What the team is not willing to do is take on a contract that will handcuff them in the future. The flexibility they have with their current expiring contracts coupled with Antawn Jamison’s $15 million coming off of the books next season is an extremely valuable asset.
How all of the assets mentioned above are put to use remains to be seen. The certainty lies in the fact that Byron Scott will be determined to make the most of what he’s given. After all, assuming a new CBA is put in place, the 2011 version of “Camp Scott” is slated to kick off in less four months.
Amy Sancetta/Associated Press