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While We’re Waiting… Tribe, Cavs, Browns and Buckeye links

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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.

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“These moves look likely to make the team better; the Indians also finished second-to-last in runs scored last year, so really, adding almost any sentient human could qualify as an upgrade. Just how much better they figure to be is an open question. The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog runs forecasts for all 30 teams using the CAIRO projection system plus some manual depth-chart input. For the latest update, made before Dice-K, Giambi, and Bourn signed on, CAIRO pegged the Indians at 74-88. Acknowledging that this is simply a back-of-the-napkin, hypothetical projection, it can be tough to reconcile a team picked to finish below .500 with spending more than $100 million on a pair of over-30 outfielders.

On the other hand, sometimes you just have to take what the market gives you. In the case of Bourn, what the Indians are getting is a bargain.” [Keri/Grantland]

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Some Browns that might be ‘cap casualties’- “3. Usama Young, S (9th Highest Cap Figure) – Entering the final year of his contract, Usama Young’s base salary has increased from $1.55 million to $2.15 million. Right now, it’s tough to gauge how new defensive coordinator Ray Horton views the safety position, except for T.J. Ward, who he already praised in his opening press conference.

Last season, Young, Tashaun Gipson, and Eric Hagg all rotated in starting roles. Of the three players, Young has the most NFL experience, but Gipson seemed to show the most potential. In his two years with Cleveland, Young has been average at best. If Cleveland can acquire a high-profile safety through free agency or the draft, the team can afford to let Young go. Cutting him would only cost the Browns $150,000 in 2013.” [Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

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If you think recruiting is crazy now… “In a statement sent out by the conference the Big Ten’s coaches and athletic directors argued that the implementation of the proposals, of which there are 26 including some that could go into effect on July 1, should be tabled for more discussion. There were three proposals in particular the Big Ten is not pleased with.

The proposals the Big Ten are concerned about: lifting the rule requiring recruiting coordinators to come from the coaching staff that would in effect allow programs to build large non-coaching recruiting staffs (proposal 11-2), the lifting of limits on communication including text messages (proposal 13-3), and the elimination of restrictions on sending printed recruiting materials to prospects (proposal 13-5-A). All three proposals would broaden recruiting in a huge way.” [Schwab/Dr. Saturday]

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“I’ll acknowledge that the Cavaliers have had to struggle with injuries, and I’ll give Scott some credit for the development of Tristan Thompson, but that’s all the warm fuzzies I have to hand out. His most used lineup this season is Irving – Waiters – Gee – Thompson – Zeller, a group that has been outscored by an average of 7.9 points per 100 possessions. That’s the worst differential of any lineup in the league that has played more than 300 minutes together. He has continued to use that lineup nearly twice as often as any other, despite the fact that swapping C.J. Miles in for Waiters makes them 12 points per 100 possessions better. Or that swapping Marreese Speights in for Zeller makes them 11.8 points per 100 possessions better. Dion Waiters has been given the green light to shoot anytime for anywhere, the perfect recipe for developing control in a young guard. With a talent like Kyrie Irving on the roster, everything should be focused on incremental steps forward. Instead the Cavaliers appear to be hopping backwards as quickly as they can manage.” [Levy/Hickory High]

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“There’s two other pieces to this puzzle that will have to be figured out. Mike Aviles and Lou Marson already have bench spots locked up, but the other two positions are wide open. I think Bourn’s signing makes Ezequiel Carrera expendable, as the Indians are certainly not lacking for center fielders or speed. Between the starting nine and the accounted for bench spots, the Indians have both a starter and a primary backup set at all eight positions, so the Indians can use those open spots for a limited role player (Jason Giambi, for instance) or to stow Chris McGuiness, the Rule 5 selection on the roster. I actually think McGuiness fits fairly well on this roster as an extra first baseman (if Drew Stubbs gets pinch-hit for late in a game, moving Swisher to right) or getting some starts for Stubbs against some right-handed pitching. But there will time enough over the next five or six to break the NRI crop down.” [Ryan/Let's Go Tribe]

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“The Cavs are seeking (more) draft picks. In order to land one, they’ll supposedly take on a player whose contract expires at the end of next season (such as Humphries). But if anyone in the league plays the role of Brad Pitt playing Billy Beane, it’s Grant. In other words, Grant is known for changing terms of a deal if he thinks he can do better — or backing out altogether at the 11th hour.” [Amico/FSO]

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  • boomhauertjs

    Monday’s loss reflected very poorly on Byron. The article failed to mention his complete inability to get his team to play defense.

  • Harv 21

    Fully accord with the Byron criticism, although I was a supporter until this week. No doubt he’s done a good job elsewhere where his teams got a big Byron Bounce before they eventually tuned him out. Here it appears we’ve gone straight to tune-out.

    They’ll play SA tough tonight out of embarrassment from Monday’s travesty. But the first unit’s discernible offense appears to be Kyrie does what he feels while everybody watches, the defense must be league-worst in technique and effort, there’s no toughness and no discipline. Byron announced they would run; they don’t run even when runners like Kyrie, Waiters, Zeller and Gee are on the court together. Have no reason to believe Kyrie, Tristan, Zeller or Waiters would be any worse if a mediocrity like Randy Wittman had been coach the last 2 years. Grant and Gilbert have to see this. Hope they’re scouting potential replacements.

  • mgbode

    yes, I think the writer is especially harsh, but some of it is warranted.

    on offense: what is our identity? what is our sets that we go to for our highest efficiency points? we will see a SA team tonight that has a system and they run that system no matter who is in the game. they beat the Bulls without their stars just from doing it.

    on defense: where is our effort? where are the penalties for our young players who don’t give the effort? and, what exactly is our defensive scheme? what is our bread-n-butter defense? it seems sometimes we switch, sometimes we don’t and sometimes the players themselves seem confused on which to do.

    on the young players: i may not understand exactly how he is doing it and it may just be luck, but the coaches get the credit for young development. Kyrie and TT are both leaps and bounds better than they were as rookies. That has to mean something for Scott. Zeller and Waiters have yet to in-season improve, but could they have similar year2 bounces? Tough to say, but gotta give him a nod on the 2nd year guys.

  • Ctown27

    What could be more important than developing the players? We are a bad team full of 20yos. The only goal of the season is developing our young talent and as you say, the talent seems to be developing well.

    The author criticizes Scott for using that 5-man lineup. Well guess what, those 5 players are our future. It makes sense for them to play a bunch of minutes together. I’m glad Cj Miles or Speights aren’t taking those minutes, we want those 5 to take their lumps together.

    Also 20yos are terrible defenders. Defense takes a while to learn, don’t think that’s on coach scott (yet)

  • eldaveablo

    I see your point, but is there a difference between developing and playing? I would feel a whole lot better about the development part if they had any concept of Byron’s supposed “Princeton offense” or defense.

  • eldaveablo

    I LOVE what Amico is saying about Grant – especially the Billy Beane/Brad Pitt comparison.

  • mgbode

    exactly. good that they are improving, but bad that they are not improving within a framework.

  • mgbode

    Why can’t CJ Miles be apart of the future? Or Speights? Both are young as well. Play the best lineups and let the best guys stick.

  • Yup

    “Have yet to in-season improve?” Well, you just not be what hung Dion then. FACT: in his last 24 games he is shooting 42% and avg. 15ppg. Seems like improvement to me. Zeller has regressed. He also was the 17th pick. Get real, folks…

  • Harv 21

    Don’t want to repeat myself ad nauseum, but let’s look just at the defense. Before the 20 year olds came Byron couldn’t coax defensive intensity from anyone except Andy and Gee, and Andy’s been Mr. Defensive Intensity since long before Byron arrived. Otherwise he hasn’t been able to talk anyone into playing defense with effort, not JJ, not Jamison, not Mo Williams, not Sessions. I’m not talking about defensive ability, I’m talking about effort.

    And again, Kyrie was the most talented guy in his draft and was going to develop anywhere to some degree If the Byron stamp on guards is running the offense, not how to hit impossible-angle shots as Kyrie has always done, where is that influence on Kyrie?

    There’s a bunch of young guys here. I get it. Tristan has developed a little offense. But after seeing how quickly Lenny Wilkins developed the fundamentals with Mark Price, Kevin Johnson, Daugherty, Ron Harper and Hot Rod, this is not the same, not even close. After 3 years with the team, 2 years with two top rookies, we shouldn’t have to strain to think of any positive identity a Byron team has. I’m being harsh. But I think we’ve about reached the point where harsh is warranted. The clock is running on Kyrie and objectivity is appropriate. I would sub Stan van Gundy for him in a hot second.

  • mgbode

    it’s more uneven than that with Waiters though. Beal saw marked improvement as the season went on (really since he got to play with an actual PG). Waiters has had some good stretches and some bad stretches (he’s currently in a good one).

    2012 Waiters 36%FG/33%3pt/73%FT 14.2pts/2.5rb/3.5ast (32min)
    2013 Waiters 44%FG/28%3pt/78%FT 13.9pts/2.4rb/2.8ast (27min)

    So, his FG% has gone up but his 3pt% down, his scoring, rebounding and assist rates are all similar enough to be within a margin of error.

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    and an important note: I’m not killing Waiters for not making marked improvement in his rookie year. that is a hard thing to do. actually, I thought I was pointing out that Irving and TT made big strides from year1 to year2 so that leads hope that Byron is doing something right to help youth progression.

  • Yup

    Man, what a disingenuous reading of the numbers. His FG% goes up 8 points, his FT % goes up 5 while the rest basically stays the same IN FIVE LESS MINUTES A GAME!! He’s more efficient in less time. Again, seems like improvement to me!

  • Yup

    Also vis-a-vis Beal’s “upward arc;” Go compare Dion’s and Beal’s last 8 games. Look pretty damn similar…

  • mgbode

    you neglect that his 3pt% went down 5points. That is important too. slightly up in pts/rbs and slightly down in assists.

    and, i am not trying to downgrade Waiters. i like him and think he can improve in time. one area that has been better is that he has taken less 3pters and gotten more mid-range and at the bucket shots. that is a good thing (along with his increased FG%) and an area where he has improved.

  • mgbode

    hey, if Waiters continues to do what he has done 3 of the last 4 games, then, yes, it will mark as a big improvement. so far, it looks like a good stretch against some bad teams. but, I am very willing to be wrong.

    and again, I am not saying Waiters won’t improve moving forward (and already noted Beal’s “improvement” is largely because Wall got healthy)

  • rulesboy

    Either Amico or foxsportsohio changed it; that portion of the quote is no longer there.