While We’re Waiting… Being Ron Harper, signing Batum and maintaining flexibility

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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.

Must read interview with former Cavalier Ron Harper- “RH: Wayne [Embry, Cleveland’s then-GM] had his ideals, and I had mine. I was a young kid who came to play every night. You could see all my stats—I was in the top five in scoring, I was in the top-five rebounding guards, I was top-three in steals, I played more minutes than any first-year guy. Wayne said, “You need to go home and go to bed more.” I said, Well, if my stats show my being the same basketball player, what’s wrong?

SLAM: I think something people might not remember from those days is that you were in that Jordan mold.

RH: When I played against MJ, he always gave me my respect and I always gave him his. But he had the ultimate green light. I always had guys on my teams who were great, too. I had a Brad Daugherty, a Mark Price. I played with Hot Rod. So it’s not like I could shoot as much as him. I’m not saying if I did shoot as much as him what would have happened. I always told my teammates, MJ gonna score 32-35, and I’ll be within 10 points. So I need one of you guys to outscore his teammates.” [Bengtson/SLAM online]

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A vote for signing Batum- “Anderson Varejao – 9.1 million, Kyrie Irving – 5.9 million, Tristan Thompson – 4.3 million, Dion Waiters – 4 million, Tyler Zeller – 2 million. We can add in the Cavaliers two guaranteed first round picks at 6 million dollars, which is actually more than they are likely to be. Add in Alonzo Gee at 4 million, and the Cavaliers have 35.3 million dollars wrapped up in eight players. Add in Batum, in the second year of his four year deal at 13 million more, and the Cavaliers still have 12 million dollars to add another impact player, assuming the salary cap is 60 million dollars, which is conservative. The Cavaliers won’t have the opportunity to extend Kyrie until the end of what would be Batum’s third season, and wouldn’t have to significantly go over the cap in order to do so. By the time Waiters and Zeller are eligible for extensions, Batum will already be off the books.

In other words, the money the Cavaliers spend on Batum the next four years won’t hurt them. It isn’t until 5 years from now that the team will have to make serious decisions about who it can extend and who it should extend. Furthermore, after four years of playing together, the Cavaliers will have a better idea about which players they should invest in and who they shouldn’t invest in.” [Zavac/Fear the Sword]

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“June was a month in which Shin-Soo Choo started swinging like the star of seasons past, Justin Masterson began looking like a No. 1 starter again, Ubaldo Jimenez began turning in his best outings as a member of the Tribe and Asdrubal Cabrera continued his emergence as one of the game’s elite shortstops.

Unfortunately, it was also a month in which a lot of other things went wrong. The pitching suffered — throughout the rotation and especially in middle relief — and the offense went through drastic spurts of feast or famine. Cleveland lost its hold on first, regained it again and then slipped back into second place in the American League Central.” [Bastian/MLB]

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“Secondly, the Cavs want to maintain their flexibility at the trade deadline in February and next summer. This time next year, a punitive or “super” luxury tax kicks in. The tax will be assessed at different levels based on the amount that a team is over the threshold. This year, it’s a dollar-for-dollar tax. Starting next year, teams could pay $1.50 on the dollar, and up to $3.50. Experts predict teams will want to dump players — perhaps some very good ones — to stay out of that tax threshold. Teams with cap space could benefit greatly.” [Finnan/News Herald]

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Finally, some banter by Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus got a UniWatch mention. [Lukas/UniWatch]

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Best line from Ron Harper – “I can recall a game, we played Detroit up in the Palace, he ate Isiah [Thomas’] ass up. Isiah was maaaaad! He almost tried to fight him. I told him, don’t get mad ’cause he’s lightin’ your ass up—Mark can play.”

  • dwhit110

    While I like Batum, I’m not crazy about breaking the bank for a guy who put up a 17.3 in PER in his best season last year. He’s a good player. He fits a need. But if you’re going to lock him up @ $13mil a year, he really needs to be a top 2 guy on your team, and I’m not so sure that would be the case.

  • boomhauertjs

    Danny Ferry takes over the Hawks, makes a couple of trades, and now the Hawks are in a great position to get both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in free agency. When Ferry was the GM of the Cavs and the Cavs had tons of cap room, we ended with Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones, and Larry Hughes. Only in Cleveland…

  • mgbode

    there were rumors of Ray Allen, Amare Stoudemire, etc. while he was in Cleveland too. Chris Paul is just funny IMO (he’s not leaving LAC), but he hasn’t gotten Dwight yet either (don’t know how to handicap that particular race).

  • mgbode

    after Portland traded Gerald Wallace to the Nets and gave him the SF slot, he was fantastic across the board. fills up the stat sheet, shoots 3s, defends. does everything you would want.

    and why I don’t think Portland is letting him go. they traded away Gerald Wallace, drafted a PG and C, and have not been linked to any other SFs. All their actions indicate they will just match the offer sheet and roll with him as one of their corps guys.

  • mgbode

    I don’t know. him throwing Hot Rod up there with Daughtery and Price as great players he played with was pretty good too :)

  • Harv 21

    Harper is still such a baller to his core. That hideous trade kind of reminds me of the Brandon Phillips deal, caused more by cultural misunderstanding than value to team. To Embry, inner-city athlete and nightlife meant coke, and everyone still had Len Bias and Don Rogers fresh in their minds. Last interview I saw with Lenny Wilkins he was still heartbroken about that deal. Just a disaster – even if if Harper had ripped up his knee here, still would have been way more valuable than 10 years of Ferry and 2 of Reggie Williams.

  • dwhit110

    Shows what I get from relying purely on the #’s. Makes sense, thanks for the info.

  • mgbode

    not a problem. when he started this binge after the Wallace trade I threw him up as a possibility a few times. when he continued it and then the Blazers did everything they could to indicate he was “their” guy, I lost my hope on it.

  • BenRM

    Howard will not go to the Hawks. I won’t guarantee that he will go to the Nets, but I would bet the house that he never ends up in ATL.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Argh no not the mention of Ron Harper after all of the Ferry coverage. One of my worst nightmares revisted, make it stop!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Check out SI.com they have a prospective deal between Nets and Magic involving Howard. I can’t see him going to Atlanta either he’s put the full court press on Brooklyn with the assit of Williams to get him to the Nets. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. If it all goes down Brooklyn will be a Miami clone and have their own big 3 but what else? Of course it only took the Sheat two years to buy a championship so who knows. I’m not liking where the NBA is headed.

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    Great interview with Harper. Interesting to hear the differences in the way the mid 90’s Bulls and the early 00’s Lakers practiced. The level of competitiveness that Jordan had always amazes me. I’m not sure we’ll ever see anyone like it again.

  • mgbode

    if the Magic trade Dwight without creating financial flexibility and/or getting a bunch of good young players in return, then the new Orlando GM should be fired.

    that trade offer is ludicrous. they get zero good young players (Brooks is meh) and they get no salary cap relief? the only way they get a little is to give up one of the 2 guys on their roster that showed signs of life at times last year (Richardson-Glen Davis — R.Anderson is RFA on market for the moment).

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t think it’s possible to get cap relief and good young players at the same time. Most likely the new Magic GM will have to pick his poison because I think it’s pretty clear things are a real mess in Orlando. Howard appears to be 10x the baby LeBron ever was, amazing.

  • mgbode

    Chris Paul trade disagrees with you.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Well maybe the league should take over Orlando until Howards gets traded.