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“Speights is signed for $4.2 million this season and has a player option for $4.5 million next season. For a team so close to the luxury tax like the Grizzlies, that’s an unnecessary and unacceptable contract. For a rebuilding team like the Cavs, that’s chump change. The Cavs are dangerously close to the salary floor for next season anyway and Dan Gilbert has no problem spending that kind of money. Even with the player option for next season, Speights’ contract does nothing to seriously impact the Cavaliers’ cap space. This is an example of the new CBA at work. The luxury tax punishments are so harsh that a team with cap space is able to swoop in and grab some nice assets in exchange for sacrificing a bit of cap room. As we have seen, Chris Grant will not simply take on bad contracts for the sake of it (that means you, Jeff Green). He wouldn’t take Kris Humphries this past summer when the Brooklyn Nets were trying to trade for Dwight Howard unless the Cavs got a draft pick in return. The Grizzlies needed a trade partner to shed some salary and keep their core intact. The Cavs are in the midst of another rebuilding year and have plenty of cap room. Advantage: Cavs. Chris Grant had the leverage and the results of the trade negotiations speak to that.” [Kaczmarek/Fear the Sword]
“But this is a bet worth making for Cleveland, especially after missing out on similar opportunities to rent its cap space last summer. Cleveland drove a very hard bargain on such deals, sometimes demanding multiple first-round picks from teams, including the Wolves, searching for a salary dump, according to several league sources. They’ve softened here, and they’ve gotten a nice asset.” [Lowe/Grantland]
“Can these men do what so many other Browns coaches and player personnel officials have failed to do? Can Chudzinski and Lombardi bring the Browns back to the playoffs?
The short answer is, maybe. That’s not because of the hires of Chudzinski and Lombardi though. I think the two men who will have a bigger impact on the success of the Browns are their two new coordinators. The Browns have hired Norv Turner as their offensive coordinator and Ray Horton as their defensive coordinator.” [Gridiron Gab]
“Simon measured at 6’1 and a half, 256 pounds at the official Senior Bowl weigh-in on Monday. This week and over the next few months he’ll try to show the NFL his knee is healthy and he’s athletic enough for a potential move to linebacker, either in a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. It’s about new beginnings, even making good with that guy from Michigan.
“Denard and I have gotten to know each other a little bit,” Simon said. “He’s a great guy and I’m happy to have him on my team so I don’t have to chase him around and game-plan around him.
“He’s a tremendous athlete. I look forward to seeing him be able to let loose a little bit and perform. The old stuff is out the window and everybody is here trying to make a new start.” [Jackson/FSO]
“Waiters had an off-night, shooting 3 of 12. Five of his shots were at the rim, though obviously he couldn’t finish. He missed an open three and dished three assists with zero turnovers. One aspect of Dion’s role in the offense that frustrates me, is that when off the ball, he meanders away from the play. He is frequently 30 to 35 feet from the basket when someone else has the ball. The game turns into 4 on 5. He needs to learn / be taught about some action to perform when off-the-ball.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]