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Kyrie Irving: good at basketball. “Now, Irving and Thompson both live in apartments in downtown Cleveland, carpooling to practice in the suburbs. On game days, they drive 25 minutes to Krispy Kreme, where they fetch doughnuts for their teammates.
The Cavaliers are trying to treat them like 19-year-old rookies instead of franchise saviors. But Irving makes it hard sometimes, averaging 18.6 points and 5.2 assists per game, and nailing three game-winning shots, including Wednesday night’s end-to-end layup in Denver. He stands out even in this era of the point guard. Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook may be more explosive drivers, and Rajon Rondo and Ricky Rubio more telepathic passers, but today’s best young point guards are often unreliable shooters.
Irving separates himself because, in addition to his driving and passing, he shoots 48.3 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range. Not only is he better than his peers from the field, he is more than nine percentage points better from three. Rose is obviously stronger and Rondo probably quicker, but defenses cannot sag off Irving, so he has extra room to penetrate. [Lee Jenkins/SI.com]
The Hollinger trade of Sessions/Boobie for Ridnour/Tolliver and cash doesn’t make sense. “Despite the Cavs receiving two of the three players with the lowest PER in the trade and having their projected wins drop by two, Hollinger reports that it makes sense for Cleveland because Ridnour makes less than Sessions, Tolliver is an expiring contract and they could dump Gibson and his guaranteed $2.5 million on Portland—all salary dumping moves.
Cavs currently have cap room of just over $6.9 million. And, with the expiring contracts of Antawn Jamison, Ryan Hollins and Anthony Parker coming off the books after this season, Cleveland will have close to $26.8 million in cap space this offseason.
Dumping salary is not a concern for the Cleveland or Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Even Gibson, who has a team option of $4,792,332 for next season, isn’t a concern for the Cavs. Although, Gibson’s play is down this year, having a career-low 8.8 PER this season, he’s Cleveland’s lone consistent 3-point shooter—the 13th all-time in career NBA 3-point percentage at 41.6 percent.
Ramon Sessions is also having a down-year, scoring nearly three points less per 36 minutes than last year, at 15.2. But, his PER of 16.0 still ranks 24th among qualified NBA point guards. [Sam Drew/Sam Drew Takes On]
I feel the same way every time one of my Facebook friends ‘loses’ their phone and their friends post an “OMG I’m SO gay LOLOL” status updates. “How big a bummer is it that this grown-ass man’s — this billionaire’s — idea of a killer joke was exactly the same as that of basically every middle-schooler in recorded history? That having achieved as much as Cuban has — or even just having lived 53 years on the planet — doesn’t also cause you to say to yourself, “Making fun of people by suggesting they’re gay isn’t a good thing to do; I probably shouldn’t do that”? That’s kind of depressing, right? In that moment, I was disappointed in part that Cuban said something that made him seem like a creep, but mostly because what he’d said made him seem like a boring one. A dull one.
That was my issue with it, to tell you the truth. And now I’m pretty bummed out about that, because I wish I’d considered the issue that Carioli raises in his Phoenix post — that from the league’s perspective, the issue would seem to be hypocrisy.
Remember, the NBA is less than a year removed from a pair of very ugly, high-profile controversies caused by the from-the-bench utterances of homophobic slurs by Kobe Bryant and Joakim Noah. The latter, it warrants mentioning, led to an excellent piece of journalism in the form of a phenomenal one-on-one with Noah by ESPN.com NBA writer Kevin Arnovitz, who is gay.
Now, Cuban by no means went nuclear with his language like Bryant or Noah did. “You and your boyfriend” and “f****t” are two very different magnitudes of stupid and awful. But they share the same root, and as Carioli points out, the league has also “gone so far as to create a PSA begging kids not to use homophobic slurs in precisely the way Cuban did onstage.”" [Dan Devine/Ball Don't Lie]
I’m still trying to wrap my head around The Trade. “2. It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach to see those draft picks leave our stable. The news of the trade physically affected me.
3. The only thing keeping me from losing it is the memory from the night I ran into Mike Holmgren in Phoenix last month. He didn’t hesitate for even a second when it came to recommending the Redskins trade up to get either Griffin or Luck. He seemed genuinely sincere when he told me that the Browns were going to beat the Redskins to the #2 pick.
4. It has KILLED me to go against my own personal Holmgren Rule all offseason. If Holmgren says it–especially about a quarterback–you can believe in it. I wanted to trade down–or at the very least not trade up. That’s what you get for going against the Holmgren Rule.” [Ken Meringolo/Hogs Haven]
Pssst… CavsZine2 is still available.
Vote early, vote often. [Cleveland Magazine]