July 31, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Thomas Robinson, Tristan Thompson and Ubaldo Jimenez

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.

“I had the opportunity to speak with Robinson in a small group of people after the lottery order had been announced, and I came away extremely impressed. First, he’s much bigger than he looks on TV. He’s not quite as big yet, but his size and body structure reminded me of Blake Griffin. His shoulders were huge. When asked if he was more physically ready than some of the younger prospects because he spent more years in college and had more time to physically mature, Robinson stated that he didn’t necessarily know if he was more ready, but that he was ready, and that’s all that matters. I also really liked the way he carried himself. He just knows he’s good. That’s the feeling I got from talking to him. He sounded particularly intrigued by the idea of playing with either Kemba Walker (Charlotte, pick 2) or Kyrie Irving (Cleveland, pick 4) when directly asked, but also noted that he doesn’t care where he goes and just wants to play basketball. Obviously, every prospect says that, but the tone of relaxed confidence in his voice rather than the practiced platitudes you hear from many players made me believe him more for some reason. Maybe it was just his purple bow tie. Maybe not. Either way, very impressive young man.” [Dubin/Hardwood Paroxysm]

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“#4 this year is leaps and bounds ahead of #4 last year. With all due respect to Tristan Thompson , he is not a guy you want to take with the #4 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Last year’s draft was miserable in terms of talent, and rather than risk selecting a bust with #4, Chris Grant selected Thompson, an athletic but undersized big man who will never be a Top-3 guy on a championship-caliber team. The pick made sense; the Cavs were already taking a relatively dangerous pick in Kyrie Irving, and they needed a safe pick with #4, a guy who would certainly be an NBA rotation player. But if Tristan Thompson was entering the draft this season, he wouldn’t be going anywhere near #4. Barnes, Sullinger, and Perry Jones III were all ahead of Thompson on the Cavs’ wish list last year, and would have pushed Thompson out of #4 a year ago had they declared for the Draft.” [Curry/Cavs HQ]

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“Since that well-intentioned, ill-fated trade, Jimenez has made 21 starts for the Indians. His record in those starts is 9-8 with a 5.41 ERA. The Indians’ record in the 21 games Jimenez has started for them is 10-11. Those are not No. 1 starter numbers. Those are barely No. 5 starter numbers. The Indians traded for a No. 1. They’ve gotten a No. 5 — if that.

It’s gotten so bad, the Indians are skipping Jimenez’s turn in the rotation. His normal day to pitch would have been Saturday. But that isn’t going to happen.” [Ingraham/News Herald]

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“Brown has never been the “new black” in uniforms. Never has been and, quite likely, never will be. Even teams that have brown in their name (the Cleveland Browns, Rhode Island’s Brown University) often relegate their eponymous color to benchwarmer status…. Alas, brown is so unloved that it’s never even had a heyday. If we look at the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, only three teams have featured brown: the St. Louis Browns (they didn’t have a lot of options, now did they?), who played for over 50 years in brown and orange before moving to Baltimore and switching the brown to black; the San Diego Padres, who wore brown from the team’s inception in 1969 until 1991; and that aforementioned team from Cleveland, who didn’t wear their brown jerseys even once last season (although that’s apparently going to change this year).” [Lukas/UniWatch]

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“More wild cards: The Cleveland Indians boast a couple of well regarded international arms in right-hander Felix Sterling and lefty Elvis Araujo. Like Ross, both were unpolished and lacked secondary offerings. However, Ross threw harder than either Indians farmhand and the contact came away a bit disappointed with the Lake County staff on the whole.” [Newman/Fan Graphs]

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I could not disagree more with calling Kyrie a “dangerous” pick. Sure, his injury added a touch of unknown, but my goodness, just go back and watch him play at Duke again. He is a phenomenal basketball player.

  • Boomhauertjs

    What’s the worst move of the Shapiro/Antonetti era? CC trade, Lee trade, Hafner contract, or Ubaldo trade?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    today it’s the hafner contract though the performance of pomerantz/white will determine whether ubaldo trade goes to the top.

    i dont see how you can kill them for the CC/Lee trades when it was forced by the MLB business model.  they needed to get something (vs getting nothing as in belle, ramirez, thome).  

    may i also point out these good trades:
    derek lowe and cash for chris jones
    zach mcallister for austin kearns
    chris perez for mark derosa
    masterson/hagadone for v-mart
    carlos santana for casey blake

    btw, the cc deal got us michael brantley; lee got us lou marson.  even with laporta and carrasco disappointing, we would have gotten nothing if they’d not made a move.

    it seems unrealistic that they’re going to win every trade.  overall, imo, they’ve done very well.

  • Hermie13

    Of Ubaldo’s 21 starts 10 have been at home and 11 on the road.

    In those 10 home starts: 5-3, 3.09 ERA, 7.25 K/9, 3.76 BB/9, .18start, 80% QS%, and averages 6.7 innings per start.

    In those 11 road starts: 4-5, 8.28 ERA, 6.82 K/9, 6.82 BB/9, .336 BAA, 27.3% QS%, and averages 4.9 innings per start.

    Instead of Ubaldo getting the terrible Twins at home this weekend….he gets the Tigers on the road….awesome….

    He is 3-0 in his last 3 home starts with a 2.84 ERA beating both the Tigers and Rangers.

    He is 0-3 in his last 3 road starts with a 12.46 ERA…

  • mgbode

    I agree wholeheartedly.  Also, a quick, scoring PG who can shoot should not be considered ‘dangerous’

    Kemba was dangerous due to his inefficient scoring and size issues.   Irving, no.

  • redifrogger

    I disagree – Irving at the #1 pick was a bit scary because he had only played 11 games in his college career. Yes, he’s panned out quite nicely, but that isn’t always the case as there’s plenty of #1′s that didn’t work out. 11 games! A bit different than the complete picture we get from this year’s future #1 pick.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    If you gave me the choice, knowing what I knew then of Irving after 11 games, of picking Irving or Anthony Davis, I would take Irving in a heartbeat. 

    I was 100% sold on Kyrie Irving as a prospect and I wanted him on the Cavaliers from the first game I saw him play. I get why you could say the injury cast some small doubt in the back of your mind, that’s one thing. But calling Irving a “dangerous” pick is ludicrous to me.

  • mgbode

    man, that is interesting question.  i was sold on Irving as well.  Davis vs. Irving.  Not sure which way I would go.

  • http://twitter.com/GreatestHurley Jason Hurley

    My biggest issue is that the more secondary trades (Blake, Derosa, Kearns) have been successful, but the blockbusters (Sabathia/Lee) were largely duds. 

  • http://twitter.com/Mike_CavsHQ Michael Curry

    It’s awesome that Irving has been great so far, but taking a player with an injury history at #1, after seeing what has happened with Greg Oden, is always going to be “relatively dangerous.”  And I’m not yet convinced that Irving is not going to have injury problems throughout his career – he missed 22% of his games as rookie as well.

    But the point is that Grant knew that if Irving busted, however likely or unlikely that might be, he needed to come out of the 2011 Draft with another NBA player in a Draft full of mediocre talent.  Rather than roll the dice with bigger risks in Jonas Valanciunas (young and foreign), Klay Thompson (too slow), Kawhi Leonard (small school) or Biyombo (young and foreign), Grant went with the guy who they thought would at least rebound and defend well enough to stick in the league.  There is always a roster spot for guys like that, even if they are the 9th guy off the bench.

    It works the other way too; having a possible star in Irving already in the fold allowed the Cavs to play it safer with the #4 pick.  But there is no doubt in my mind that “safety” was a major factor in the selection of Thompson at #4.  And part of that was because there was (and still is) a chance that Kyrie Irving is a great but fragile player.

  • http://twitter.com/Mike_CavsHQ Michael Curry

    I’d take Davis is a heartbeat over Irving, even knowing what we know now.  I can find little guys to put around Davis, but the Cavs aren’t winning anything without an elite big man to pair with Irving, and those guys are really, really hard to find.

  • mgbode

    it’s a PG league now though.  you need guys who can create and create for others.  there are so many good PGs that if you don’t have one, you are at a huge disadvantage.

    Davis is a PF and while his ceiling is HUGE he does present some risk.   But, having a frontcourt presence is still very important.

    That’s why I’m torn.  So, I’ll go Irivng since he’s a Cav and Davis is not :)

  • Yup

    Thompson’s upside is greater than Robinson’s. Whether he gets there is another question. Me, I like the guy who was good enough as a frosh to be a Top Ten NBA pick. Robinson was a nobody as a frosh. Get the picture?

    Btw, are you the same Curry who contributes to Cleveland.com?