August 26, 2014

LeBron rumors and what’s next for the Cavs… While We’re Waiting

WWW_BulletinBoard_Cavs1A weekend recap and primer for the week ahead.

The LeBron James murmurs are at an all-time high after a crazy, crazy Sunday. While many of us were stuck in traffic driving back home after the holiday weekend, Twitter blew up. It was insane. I felt scared to tweet upon my arrival back in Akron. Nothing was sacred.

So what was the result of the Bloody Sunday on Twitter? Nothing really. Everything happened and nothing happened all at the same time. We know very little of what could happen within the next few days. Sure, a Cavs-affiliated plane was in South Florida last night. Sure, Chris Broussard and others have “hunches.” Sure, LeBron plans to meet face-to-face soon with Miami. But that’s not actual concrete information that changes the probabilities or expectations of this madness. We don’t know yet.

There’s a chance LeBron stays in Miami and the math works out for the Big Three. That was generally assumed to be the default likelihood only a few days/weeks ago. We don’t have very much reason to doubt Pat Riley just yet.

There’s also a non-zero chance LeBron leaves for some unknown reasons that we really don’t know about yet because no one has spoken on the record about his decision-making process. It could be Cleveland based on the murmurs. It could be elsewhere. We all should admit Cleveland’s not the best pure basketball choice; that’d probably be Phoenix or Houston.

For the Cavs, obviously it makes sense to hold back on other moves and wait upon LeBron’s choice. He’s the best basketball player in the world. He has made five NBA Finals in his career and quite logically could reach double-digits by the end of his career. This franchise, which has played mostly sorry basketball for the last four years, becomes an immediate contender (especially in the East) upon his return. He’s that dominant.

But what if he doesn’t return? Then the Cavs are back to where they were before: A 33-win team trying to make other mild-to-moderate roster changes to join forces with the David Blatt and Andrew Wiggins momentum.

Gordon Hayward for the mini-max to ensure Utah doesn’t match? Maybe beating out Washington and others for Trevor Ariza? The frontcourt is still in shambles, so I’d expect Channing Frye and/or others to join. A decision has to be made on Anderson Varejao’s future. I’m not personally so confident about Dion Waiters being back, regardless of LeBron’s future.

Changes are happening. It’s going to be a wild, wild ride over the next few days (and hopefully not weeks). The Cavs are set to be on the come-up, inching closer to .500 and above, regardless of whether LeBron might come back. We don’t know yet how excited we should be. Stay grounded and stay tuned.

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Now, for some assorted links and tweets.

Podcast: I joined the folks at Salt City Hoops, an outstanding Utah Jazz site, for a podcast on Thursday. We talked about Gordon Hayward, C.J. Miles, David Blatt and more.

On sports brand-blogging: Rich Campbell is a must-follow on Twitter with the @SprtsMktgProf account. He tweets about sports careers and sports business. He’s also had two recent Q&As about blogging vis-à-vis sports careers, one with Sports Analytics Blog founder Jonathan Gordon and the other with Wages of Wins author Dave Berri. Read both.

Like a Bosh: This might be lost in all of the LeBron mania, but Chris Bosh is really, really good. SB Nation’s Paul Flannery wrote about how he’s the quiet game-changer in free agency. Bosh in Houston would be such beautiful basketball.

Beliefs and facts: “In other words, religious people knew the science; they just weren’t willing to say that they believed in it.” Via The Upshot’s Brendan Nyhan.

Neat Urban quote: “If you go to Eastern Kentucky or Ohio State, you’ll see bits and pieces of everything we learned from Ashtabula, Ohio.” Via BuckeyeSports.com’s Ben Axelrod.

On David Blatt: First, read this from the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto: “Fear. That became one of the subjects in my long talk with new Cavaliers coach David Blatt this week.”

Next, read the article from Hardwood Paroxysm’s Zachary Bennett: “He’s coached NBA talent in the past, but Blatt has not coached in the NBA. In name, then, he is a rookie head coach with an abundance of experience.”

Free agency tracker: Oh hello, I’ve built a little Google Docs spreadsheet of free agency rankings. I’m updating it with signing information. Go explore and enjoy.

Woj Talk: SB Nation’s David Roth interviewed a teenager (!) that created one of the many fake Adrian Wojnarowski Twitter accounts. The Diss’ Kris Fenrich wrote “there’s only one Woj.” The New Yorker’s Jay Caspian King called Woj the NBA’s “draft oracle.” The Cauldron’s Jim Cavan said Woj’s draft spoilers ruined the fun.

For funsies, I’ve compiled some of my favorite Woj tweets from the past week or so.

 

  • MrCleaveland

    “Everything happened and nothing happened.” Ha ha haaa, well put. Is there anything more pointless than a Twitter frenzy? Maybe a sideline/courtside interview, but that’s about it.

  • cmm13

    No matter what the outcome I’ll say this…. this has been fun.

    He’s not here so if he doesn’t come then no big deal, much different than 2010.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Wouldn’t Bosh be a fantastic fit for the Cavs?

  • boomhauertjs

    I can’t believe that I’m rooting for Chris Broussard’s “sources” to be right.

    I loved listening to 92.3 yesterday and the “insiders” giving information, like their friend played golf with someone whose wife was friends with Savannah James or that Cedar Point had pulled all of the James #6 Heat jerseys from their 3-pt shootout prizes.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    You and I, we may have different definitions of “fun”. And while I do see several folks claiming it would be “no big deal” if he doesn’t ultimately come back, i believe a greater number of folks are going to be just as angry, if not more so. Maybe not with LBJ himself (though many will undoubtedly say he’s been fanning the flames from behind the scenes by even letting the speculation happen), but most definitively with the media at large. Of course the only blame should be directed at over zealous fans themselves for getting caught up in it all yet again, but it’s more psychologically satisfying to blame the “other”.

  • Wow

    I personally feel the whole thing is eye rolling.

  • cmm13

    While I believe the number of people who would be angry at his not returning outweigh the “no big deal” crowd that I occupy the thing of it is….. so what.

    Go ahead, be angry, burn another jersey, send hate tweets to Broussard/Woj/Windy whatever makes you feel better.

    Tom Selleck said it best…”baseball (or in this case basketball) is a game, and games are meant to be fun”

  • cmm13

    Well that’s just like your opinion man.

    http://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_le9f5z2xYP1qzusjlo1_500.gif

  • Wow

    LOL well done.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    The “so what”, for me, is that it’s just going to be more ammunition for all those who seem to take such joy in Cleveland futility/misery. And maybe that doesn’t much matter in the grand scheme of things either, but I find it frustrating.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m sure (no, not really) that posting a link to a NY Times(!) opinion piece on the variance between “facts” and “belief” (as they pertain to theories on anthropomorphic climate change and human evolution – neatly (i.e., messily) intertwined with religion and politics) is a good idea; however, these things don’t tend to end well.

    But hey. Have fun.

    Go sports!

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    Sports, religion, politics–these things go with rational discussion and enlightened debate (on the interwebs, no less) like lamb and tuna fish! What could go wrong?

  • cmm13
  • WFNY_DP

    JUST AS LONG AS YOU ACCEPT THAT I AM RIGHT AND THAT NO FACTS SUPPORTING YOUR ARGUMENT WILL BE ACCEPTED AS “CREDIBLE”

    Sincerely,
    Everyone Arguing On The Internet About Everything

  • Garry_Owen

    60 percent of the time, it works every time.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo
  • Natedawg86

    For how much? 10M?

  • Pat Leonard

    Those Woj tweets are just awesome. Loved them.

    There are no real facts yet, except that Woj tweeted that Rich Paul wants LeBron back in Cleveland, which I think is a pretty strong indicator that the Cavs have more than a puncher’s chance. They still have moves to make.

  • Pat Leonard

    Shoot no… I know Miami didn’t use him like one, but Bosh is a max player.

  • CB Everett

    I can’t believe that LeBron would be so cruel yet again—this time to entertain the Cavs’ courtship, if he wasn’t genuinely serious. Right? Right?!!

    I mean, otherwise you think he’d be kind enough to secretly put out the “I’m not interested vibe” and save Dan Gilbert (and us) the public, Say Anything pleading.

    I want to believe that this is not another torment, another cruel Fortuna moment..

  • Pat Leonard

    “Mr C, you’re down 20 points at halftime. What do you need to do to get back into this game”. – Ric Bucher

    “Score 20 more points than the other team before the game ends.” – Mr. C

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    That stupid comic sans letter by Gilbert the night of the stupid decision was finally taken down on the Cavaliers web site – could this be another sign? 4 years to the day tomorrow!

    LBJ returns, trade for K-Love and sign one more All-Star = championship contender!

  • Pat Leonard

    I don’t think they need the other All-Star to get LBJ… just Love or Bosh or someone of that caliber. As much as we bag on our own All-Star (Kyrie), I do believe that virtually every player in the NBA considers him a legitimate All-Star, LeBron included.

  • Kevin Huyghe

    Twitter frenzies are wildly entertaining though. Yesterday was pure comedic gold, and I am still completely hooked today.

  • MrCleaveland

    Sideline bimbo: “Coach, your team put together a great drive late in the half to tie the game. What are your emotions?”

    Coach Leonard: “My emotions? Who gives a flying fig about my emotions? What is this, Dr. Phil? Get outta here.”

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I was being greedy I doubt there would be enough cap space left to add another AS anyways. Unless Gilbert goes all in pushes his chips to the center of the table pays the luxury tax and says lets win a title or bust.

    For me it’s no choice between KLove or Bosh it’s KLove all the way. Bosh won’t be worth the deal he signs IMO even a discounted one to return to Miami.

  • Pat Leonard

    Give me Bosh. Much better defender and I think he had to take a reduced role in Miami’s offense where he is pushed out to the perimeter because Dwyane Wade can’t shoot.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I prefer Love much more dynamic offensive presence IMO. I think Bosh, by nature, is at best a second or third fiddle which is why he’d fit great in Houston. Howard can rebound and block shots freeing Bosh up for jump shots.