While We’re Waiting… Are the Cavs buyers or sellers?

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Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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My good friend at FTS shares the usual options, then mentions this possibility too. “And what if the Cavs are actually buyers? Are they willing to put Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, and Anthony Bennett in deals for star type players, even as they have put together really good games of late? You would think so. But what about short term deals for guys like Pau Gasol? The team already went out and added Luol Deng. If the team really is hoping to make the playoffs, doesn’t it make sense to give yourself every opportunity to get there?” [David Zavac/Fear The Sword]

Yes, people, C.J. Miles is valuable. It’s OK. You can breath. “Among wing players, his numbers stack up quite nicely throughout the NBA. Per 36 minutes, he’s averaging 18.5 points, down from 19.2 last year but still second among all Cavaliers and better than any of his 7 years in Utah. His 39.3% mark from deep is tied for 41st in the league; his 79 makes is tied with Spencer Hawes for 38th and only 6 behind Kyrie Irving, who’s attempted 34 more.” [Patrick Duprey/Stepien Rules]

Space Jam recreated in NBA 2K14? Yes, please, I’ll click on that. [For The Win]

Always good to see two Ohio boys succeeding in the NBA. “Today, Jared Sullinger and Trey Burke are at the earliest moments of promising NBA careers. The dual dream started in the Burkes’ basement when they vigorously competed against one another in any and every game they could imagine.” [Jonathan Abrams/Grantland]

The growth of SportVU is only just starting. Here are some great charts from that data. [Statographics]

Is Justin Masterson elite? His 2013 stats seemed to indicate maybe, as led by this phenomenal trait. “Justin Masterson induces ground balls – and lots of them. In five years as a starting pitcher, he has posted ground ball percentile ranks of 95, 98, 89, 95 and 95, respectively. Obviously, very high grounder rates mean very low fly ball rates, but in Masterson’s case, they have also meant very low line drive rates. He has never posted a higher than MLB average line drive rate, and his LD percentile ranks have been below 10 in three of the last five seasons.” [Tony Blengino/FanGraphs]

Indians prospect Kieran Lovegrove shared this article on Twitter about minor leagues being exploited by MLB. A class action lawsuit is being filed by three minor leaguers. “There’s also this: A Triple-A player making $2,150 per month will fall a little short of $12,000 over a five-month season. Therefore, even the best players in the minor leagues are making peanuts every year. It’s no wonder so many players take jobs during the offseason to help make ends meet.” [Zachary D. Rymer/Bleacher Report]

This is the biggest up-and-coming pitching prospect in the Indians system. You better read up. “Cody Anderson is ready, too. However, it wasn’t always that way for the 23-year-old right-handed pitcher from Quincy, California. Anderson signed with the Tribe in 14th round of the 2011 First Year Player Draft out of Feather River Community College in California, having been drafted twice but declining to sign in 2010 after being drafted in the 17th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.” [Laurel Wilder/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

Great research here on the normalcy of below-average MLB players. “Here we see that every playoff team gave more than 1,000 plate appearances (and whatever accompanying defensive innings) to below-average players last year. Most teams used below-average guys at twice that rate. The average playoff team was using below-average position players for 3 spots in the lineup each game.” [9James/Let’s Go Tribe]

Tons of notes and quotes here from Spring Training. “Position players are not required to report until Saturday. Their physicals are Sunday and the first full-squad workout is slated for Monday. There are a handful of players who are not in camp yet, but Indians manager Terry Francona made it clear that he’s not keeping score.” [Jordan Bastian/MLB.com]

Finally, in two weeks, Craig and I will be at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. I’m beyond excited. Here’s the conference agenda.

  • Natedawg86

    I don’t know why everyone thinks the goal of the cavs is to make the PO. If that is the case, we will end up like Memphis or Hous, around .500 each year on the bubble for the PO, but it seems like teams get stuck there and don’t make the leap into contention for the championships

  • woofersus

    Well we think it because they keep saying it, but regardless I don’t think the Cavs are in the same situation as those teams who are chronically just barely good enough to make the playoffs. Teams get stuck there because they don’t really have assets to work with and they’re unwilling to blow it up and free up cap space. It may or may not be the right decision to pass up one more lottery pick, but the cavs have cap space, draft picks, and several very tradable young players, as well as unrealized potential on the current roster. They aren’t backed into a corner by any means.

  • mgbode

    it completely depends. having young players who are good enough to gel and improve and the team naturally goes from a 25-30 win team to a 40+ win team into the playoffs suggests that you have a good team that may continue to get better.

    having a 25-30 win team that you have to force-fit some veteran short-term fixes onto just to squeak out the 8seed suggests that you need more real infrastructure talent and might be best served not making the playoffs just yet.

    honestly, with the ups & downs of this team, I cannot figure out which one they are closer too (which likely means they are the latter).

  • Pat Leonard

    I think Memphis is a good call-out because their stars are at their peak and they don’t have much freedom to make any big moves, but I’m not as sure about Houston. Harden really just started coming into his own last season and is still not at his peak (particularly on defense) and Dwight has only started playing like a more dominant player in the last month or two. Also, they are a team that still has one big move to make. Asik has no business being on that roster and at some point has to be traded for a more useful piece.

    At any rate, I’d like to think that the Cavs’ core still has room to get better, and even to get much better. They’re still so incredibly young that it’s hard to know what their peak is. If Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving continue to look for each other while they’re on the court together rather than playing hero ball or buddy ball with the pick-n-roll partner, then who knows what kinds of numbers they could put up. Remember… the Thunder, the Pacers, and the Bulls were all 8-seeds just a couple years ago as well.

  • mgbode

    where’s nj0 today?

    I found our first true “best shape of his life” article about a MLB player. An Ex-Indian, but good enough for me to smile about baseball season in full force again :)

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/10456605/cc-sabathia-says-shed-extra-offseason-pounds-carry-weight-new-york-yankees-rotation