August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting…More on Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev, and Michael Brantley’s contract

“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.

WFNYBanner www“We should have known the Cavs would pull something like this. They did it with Tristan Thompson two years ago and again with Dion Waiters last year. They also did it earlier this offseason when they rehired Mike Brown for some reason. I’m not saying this can’t work, and there are mitigating circumstances (bad drafts in 2011 and 2013), but with a bona fide superstar to build around (Kyrie Irving), the Cavs and GM Chris Grant have used three top-five picks on guys who may never make an All-Star team. Maybe Bennett will live up to whatever hype convinced the Cavs to do this, but he’s undersized, currently 18 pounds overweight, and will probably be a liability on D for his entire career.

As Brill once told Robert Clayton Dean … Chris Grant, you’re either incredibly smart, or incredibly stupid.” [Sharp/Grantland]

“‘Anthony Bennett didn’t really start playing serious basketball until about eight years ago — now he’s the highest drafted Canadian in the sport’s history. It may have surprised some. Not Mom.

“It’s in the family because I am a hard worker, and he saw me work hard and then he said he wanted to do the same, so it motivated him,” she said. “Never stop working, push to the extreme and achieve what he wants.

“When he started playing, he put everything into it and then he had a goal and once he stuck to his goal and wanted to achieve that, nothing could stop him. So I know he could do whatever he wants to do. I see in everyone that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.”

She is living proof.

Anthony was born in the Jane-Finch area, replete with all the hazards that inner-city life presents to any child, the dangers and distractions lurking on corners and in relationships and his mother wanted better for him. Not because she didn’t like the area necessarily — she seems by very nature an upbeat woman — but because of the possibilities.” [Smith/Toronto Star]

“In addition to my mom thinking that he’s handsome, Brantley has been one of the Indians’ most consistent hitters this season and can hit well anywhere in manager Terry Francona’s lineup. He won’t boast much in the power department (his career high in homers is 7), but he gets on base and is a solid run producer (37 RBI this season). He also is a terrific defender in the outfield and hasn’t made an error all year in 115 chances. All of this adds up to a 1.5 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement) so far in 2013, after he was worth 3.3 bWAR last season.

Brantley doesn’t have any one dominant tool, but he is solid across the board and is a player who definitely should factor into the Indians’ future plans.

With this being said, it is only logical that the Indians begin considering the possibility of offering Brantley an extension. The 26-year old outfielder is still pre-arbitration eligible and won’t be a free agent until after the 2017 season, so the Indians have more than enough time to extend his contract. However, the Indians were reportedly interested in discussing extensions with him and second baseman Jason Kipnis (who also should figure into the Indians’ long term plans), so the potential is there for the Indians to consider such a move.

What kind of extension could the Indians look to offer Brantley?” [Wahoo's on First/Chaney]

“In 2011, while playing for the Under-19 Russian National Team, Karasev scored 17 points in a 79-74 victory over a Team USA. The American squad that day included Meyers Leonard, Jeremy Lamb, Tim Hardaway Jr and Doug McDermott among others.

During the ’12-13 campaign, while playing under the direction of his father, Vasily, Karasev averaged 16.5 points in 45 games for Triumph Moscow.

He went for a season-high 27 in a five-point win over Khalid El-Amin’s Le Mans team on November 7 when he connected on 6-7 three-pointers. Karasev also registered season-highs of 6 assists and 10 rebounds with Triumph last year.

Like his father, Sergey has the ability to create shots for himself and others. He’s most comfortable scoring the basketball, however, and that is the role the Cavaliers will hope he can fill coming off the bench in the Association.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    “My Way” would definitely be Chris Grant’s theme song lets just hope he hasn’t outsmarted himself. Although I like Bennett far more then I did either Thompson or Waiters when they were drafted. Thompson steadily improved last season now it’s Waiters turn. All that aside however it’s time for the Cavaliers to start showing tangible progress. Even if the “W”s don’t pile up if they show a direction and progression it’ll be a huge plus.

  • Harv 21

    In all 3 of his drafts Grant has used his first pick on the guy who wows him offensively, defense be damned. So now that the pattern is clear, he’ll probably reverse course next year.

    I’m still a little stunned how the draft experts’ predictions of Noel as going first or close to it were so at odds with team evaluations of the guy. We could have seen just how far off but for Philly’s trade offer.

  • Harv 21

    Will be interesting to see how quickly someone as young as Sergey adjusts not only to the new country but also being separated from his father/coach. Cavs will be wise to stay patient with him while he deals with the language, the general culture, the NBA player culture, the homesick thing and that concept called defense Brown will be screaming at him from the first day of practice. Of course, none of this will stop local radio shows from deeming him a bust by the all-star break.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t know how the Cavaliers evaluated Noel frankly I don’t think they’d probably say even now. I’m sure you’d hear the patented answers but for me his defensive ability alone could not overcome his lack of experience, his size, his health and most importantly his lack of any kind of game on the offensive end.

    I’ll be watching to see how Noel’s career unfolds. I’m pulling for the kid I hope he can make all the doubters eat crow. Him not playing in the central division makes that easier for me to say.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Maybe the Cavs can grab Andrei Kirilenko to help mentor him. I hear he opted out…and he’d be an immediate upgrade over any SF we have on our team. Including Karasev.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Were you as worried as I was that Washington was going to take him?