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 email@example.com.
“If the season ended tomorrow, the Cleveland Cavaliers would owe Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, and Alonzo Gee $28,079,120 in 2012-2013. They will almost certainly pick up C.J. Miles’ $2.25 million deal, and they will have two first round draft picks likely to make a combined $4 million or so. This comes out to a little over $34 million dollars. Given a salary cap around $60 million, the Cavaliers will have about $26 million dollars to spend. The salary floor will be 90% of the cap, or $54 million. In other words, the Cavaliers will likely have to take on $20 million dollars in salary. Cavaliers fans also know that Dan Gilbert is likely to be fine with the Cavaliers spending above the salary cap, as he has shown in the past a willingness to pay the luxury tax.
But the Cavaliers are far from the only team that will be under the cap this summer; at least 11 teams are on track in the status quo to be able to offer a max level contract to free agents. This, along with a quick glance at rosters around the league, where mediocrity abounds, will tell you that there is real demand for difference making players, and people have the money to go get them. The problem, then, is supply. The NBA is already skewed towards the top because of a limited amount of superstars available, and player preferences for attractive markets like Los Angeles. Add to that the current fad of rebuilding teams shunning free agency in favor of the draft and the low contracts of rookie deals, and you have a league with a few teams well over the cap with established stars, whether they play like it or not, and a lot of teams saving their gun powder for … well, I don’t know. Frankly, it is hard to blame teams in the latter group. Did spending on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva keep the Pistons in contention the last few years? Or what about Washington, who has added Nene, Trevor Ariza, and Emeka Okafor and their considerable salaries, but still will have trouble making the playoffs this season.” [Zavac/Fear the Sword]
“The Ohio State defense put together another positive performance in its near shutdown of Illinois. The Buckeye defense is on an upward trajectory based upon the same contributing factors—the return to health of key contributors, different personnel grouping, and slight tweaks in schemes—that continue to build upon each other in a virtuous cycle. While the Buckeye defense will be more tested in coming weeks, there is reason to believe that the Buckeye defense has improved in the second half of the season.” [Fulton/Eleven Warriors]
I’ve called the Oklahoma City uniforms the worst in sports. There is a new alternate uniform. Well done. [News OK]
“5. Ohio State Buckeyes. The Skinny: Few players boast an all-around game like Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes’ heady point guard who shot 50 percent from the field last year and plays lockdown defense. Between Craft and 6-foot-7 forward Deshaun Thomas (15.9 points per game), the Buckeyes have one of the best one-two punches in the nation after making the Final Four last year.
What to Look for: How does Ohio State replace Jared Sullinger? Getting back to the Final Four won’t be easy without Sullinger and William Buford, especially given how strong the Big Ten is, and we’ll get a couple good looks at just how good the Buckeyes before the New Year, as they play both Duke and Kansas. They’ll lean on Craft to become more of a scorer than he has needed to be in the past, and hope that veteran Lenzelle Smith can increase his offensive output on the outside and Amir Williams can become a more consistent threat in the post.” [Sports on Earth]