This situation is obviously one of dicey proportions. On one hand, if the team is looking to trade Anderson Varejao, the best way to maximize value is to sell high — the best rebound rate and sixth-highest PER in the NBA is undoubtedly qualifying as “high.” That said, Varejao is helping the Cavaliers win games, statistically doing so, thus far, more than Kyrie Irving1. Moving one of the focal points of the team’s new and improved offense will not only mean a substantial hit to fan morale but will undeniably hurt the team’s chance to win games at any point beyond the deal. This all said, Andy is easily the team’s best touchable asset. The team will want at least a first-round draft pick plus a player on a rookie contract in any deal. The question will be, if they move him, can they get a pick that will be worthwhile, or will it be something similar to the Ramon Sessions deal of 2011-12?
Q: It seems like the “media” was click to slam Waiters with criticism and slow to heap prasise. Does this bother you? — @Ryan_Snakes
Immensely. I’m all for criticism when it’s warranted. Those that lobbed baseless grenades at the team’s front office following the draft was bad enough — it’s not the team’s fault that their scouting metrics are not of public record. But to jump to career-arc conclusions during the summer league was that much worse. Now Waiters is in shape and making a difference on a team that was in dire need of a scoring threat from the shooting guard position. This all said, my opinion on the criticism/praise scale does’t matter; Waiters has used this all as fuel to improve and, as he said a few nights ago, work harder than ever to “perfect his craft.” Given that he constantly remains humble about his God-given talents, the lack of praise may actually be a good thing.
Q: What did Tristan Thompson do in the off-season to improve his free-throw shooting? — @WayneEmbrysKids
Obviously not enough. Thompson continues to hit one half of his free throws, often doing so with some of the worst free throw form seen this side of Shawn Marion. This is not to say that Thompson isn’t working on his offensive game at every possible moment. Last Wednesday, he stuck around after practice to work on his post-game footwork; one day later, it was free throws, complete with globe-like rotation on his release. I expect a streak similar to last season, where the free throws simply find a way through the rim. Unfortunately, it appears that he’ll need something like this simply to remain above the .500 mark for the season.
Q: Is anyone paying attention to Delonte, and if so, is anyone learning anything from the issues? — @RailbirdJ
Quietly one of the more depressing stories of the early season, West — for those who haven’t followed — was suspended twice during the preseason and was subsequently released. We’re talking about a solid role player who has been in the playoffs each of the last three seasons despite playing for three different teams, averaging 14.3 points per-36 minutes with the Mavericks in 2011-12. The way he has been on and off rosters since his departure from Cleveland, in my opinion, speaks volumes to how well the team handled his mental issues, ensuring that the player as a person came before the player and his role on the team.
Q: How does one obtain a [copy of the third edition] Cavs Zine? — @TonyMo88
Delayed a bit due to Hurricane Sandy, the Bible of Cavs Fandom 3.0 has been printed and bound. It will be available, as a very limited run — hand numbered, through Chunksaah Records. It is undoubtedly the best compilation of Cavalier fan-based writing, analysis and random thoughts that Internet has to offer. Factor in the ever-impressive cover art and fact that a ton of hard work went into bringing this to life, it will be well worth it for those who snag a copy early in the release process.
Thanks to all who sent in questions this week. We’ll be doing this every week for the rest of the season. Have a question you want answered? You can find me at @WFNYScott.
- Varejao has a 0.7 offensive win share as compared to Irving’s 0.5 [↩]