July 29, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Bounceback NBA Players, NFL Free Agent Tampering, And The Worst NBA Contracts

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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Leading off, Rob Mahoney at SI’s Point Forward take a look at some NBA players who had a rough start to the season but have bounced back. One of those players is Cavaliers rookie guard Dion Waiters, “Much of that can be attributed to a slightly more creative driving style, as Waiters no longer relies purely on the straight-line bludgeoning that became his early season trademark. He’s starting to fiddle with his speed, attempting to plot contingencies mid-drive and getting a better feel for when and how to set up his teammates. He’s nowhere near a finished product, but in his more recent form he’s at least a more constructive — or at least less destructive — player.” [Point Forward]

Bill Simmons at Grantland went into some of the worst contracts in NBA history with plenty of historical perspective on former Cavalier owner/nightmare Ted Stepien. He has this little blurb when he mentions Baron Davis’s horrendous contract too, “The Baron trade should get mentioned more often in any “Secretly Great NBA Trades of All Time” discussion, as well as any “Secretly Worst NBA Trades of All Time” discussion. In February of 2011, the Clippers dumped Baron’s contract on Cleveland, along with their 2011 first-round pick, for the less expensive Mo Williams. The deal saved them about $13 million and allegedly upgraded their point guard spot. Of course, they’re the Clippers, so they never protected the pick and it ended up winning the lottery. That’s how Cleveland ended up with Kyrie Irving. My favorite part of this felony of a trade: After the NBA fixed the lottery for Cleveland because they felt bad after LeBron screwed them over a year earlier the Cavs landed the first pick, the Clips defended the deal by saying they couldn’t have protected the pick because they had already given away a previously protected first-rounder to Boston. (The obvious response to that defense: THEN DON’T MAKE THE DEAL, YOU MORONS!) Why couldn’t the Clippers protect the pick? Because of the Stepien Rule! Woohoo! So if you’re scoring at home, it took nearly 30 years before Ted Stepien helped the Cavaliers, but they wouldn’t have Kyrie Irving without him. Maybe that’s the ending for the 30 for 30 about Stepien that we’ll never do.” [Simmons/Grantland]

So, last night was a little quiet on the NFL free agency front, huh? That’s because Commander, err, Commissioner Goodell sent out an edict warning teams. Doug Farrar from Shutdown Corner has more details, “The next three days will be a very interesting time in the NFL. As of midnight Eastern Time on March 9, NFL teams were allowed to enter into discussions about (but not directly with) potential free agents. However, no potential free agents still tied to teams until the end of the league year can be signed to new teams until 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12. Basically, you can talk up the pretty girl at the dance all you want right now (or her dad, in this metaphorical instance), but you can’t tango until Tuesday. The NFL, as is its wont, has all kinds of rules regarding this strange period of time.” [Shutdown Corner]

Kevin Hetrick and Tom Pestak at Cavs: The Blog go long form on the 2013 offseason for the Cavaliers. Go big or stay home? “With that said though, the franchise has weathered the storm of miserable tanking. Kyrie Irving is a 20-year old All-Star, arguably on a path towards top-three player status.  Dion Waiters, at 21, is in the midst of a 27-game stretch of 15+ points per game with true shooting of 56% (league-average = 53%).  Tristan Thompson is working on an age-21 season of 16+ PER, combined with solid defense, including six weeks when he averaged something crazy like 15 & 12.  The team is competitive almost every night, winning nearly half of their games since Christmas.  Games are routinely enjoyable again.  They are almost SOMEPLACE; we finally get to see what is on the other-side of all the losing and repugnant basketball.  All of this has developed while maintaining pristine cap flexibility and accumulating troves of draft picks.” [Cavs: The Blog]

Big League Stew brings us news that Rawlings will develop a new defensive metric to be used in helping determine Gold Glove winners, “As part of the multi-year collaboration beginning with the 2013 season, SABR will develop an expanded statistical resource guide that will accompany the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballots sent to managers and coaches each year. In addition, SABR will immediately establish a new Fielding Research Committee tasked to develop a proprietary new defensive analytic called the SABR Defensive Index™, or SDI™. The SDI will serve as an “apples-to-apples” metric to help determine the best defensive players in baseball exclusively for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award selection processes. The collaboration also installs SABR as the presenting sponsor of the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award. [Big League Stew]

Buckeye Coach Kerry Coombs is always good for memorable quotes. Eleven Warriors catches him ripping on a Buckeye kicker early in camp.

Finally, this story also from Big League Stew just gave me a new wallpaper for my laptop. Vinnie Pestano, Tribe fans…  

 

  • Grif_E

    I’m thankful that I’m just young enough as a Cavs fan that reading about Stepien can make me giggle.