August 2, 2014

The LeBron James Sports Illustrated cover

LeBron told the world of his decision to join the Cavaliers through Sports Illustrated’s website. It only makes sense that the magazine would take advantage of the piece and the hype surrounding the decision to sell magazines.

Andrew Wiggins splits a double-team and goes baseline for a jam

It wasn’t a behind-the-back 360 like the other day, but then again this one is in a game. Not warm-ups.

Just a behind-the-back, 360-degree dunk for Andrew Wiggins

You know, just an average behind-the-back, 360-degree slam by Andrew Wiggins in Las Vegas Summer League warm-ups.

Swoon.

With LeBron gone, Heat lock up Chris Bosh

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Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Miami Heat have signed free agent Chris Bosh to a five-year deal.

Bosh turned down a four-year offer from the Houston Rockets to stay in Miami. He got the LeBron money.

The Heat have a lot of work to do. They only have a few players under contract, and will now have to compete with the Cavaliers on some of the veterans that were willing to play for the minimum like Ray Allen and Chris Anderson.

Wade and Haslem look like the next targets.

[Related: He selected us]

Report: LeBron leaves Heat meeting without deal

LBJ website

Adrian Wojnarowski, Brian Windhorst and Chris Broussard all report Wednesday night that the meeting between LeBron James and Pat Riley has ended, without any deal being made.

The good news if you are a Cavalier fan hoping for a LeBron return is that he walked away from the meeting without signing with the Heat.

The bad news is that LeBron didn’t inform the Heat he was signing with the Cavaliers.

LeBronJames.com remains unchanged as well.

 [Related: Cedar Point to rename coaster if LeBron returns]

The King: Cedar Point to rename coaster if LeBron James returns

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In what seemed like a twitter joke gone bad, Cedar Point will rename one of their roller coasters if LeBron James returns to the Cavaliers.

Turns out, the offer is real.

A park spokesperson has confirmed the story to several outlets including the AP.

“NBA superstar LeBron James has one more offer to consider in deciding where to play next season: Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park is promising to rename one of its roller coasters “King James” if he returns home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

A park spokesman says it’s a legitimate offer that originated with the CEO.”

Wow. Just… wow.

[Related: Charles Barkley on LeBron: “I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t go back

Charles Barkley on LeBron James: “I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t go back”

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In an interview on 92.3 The Fan’s Bull and Fox show, Charles Barkley told Dustin Fox and Anthony Lima that he would be “very disappointed” if LeBron James doesn’t decide to return to Cleveland.

In addition, he said the Miami media is desperate right now by continuously bringing up the letter that Dan Gilbert wrote immediately after LeBron left. He said that the letter, while foolish to write, wouldn’t keep LeBron from coming home.

“He realizes no matter how many championships he wins in Miami they won’t have same effect as if he won them in Cleveland”

None of this should be a surprise, as Barkley has said since the decision four years ago that he was disappointed that LeBron left Cleveland in the first place.

Barkley also said that if the Cavaliers get James, and make a trade for Kevin Love that the Eastern Conference is a wrap. An Irving/James/Love trio would dominate the East.

Listen to the full interview here.

[Related: Cavaliers trade Jarrett Jack, Karasev and Zeller to clear cap space]

 

Details of LeBron’s meeting with Riley emerge

pat-rileyAccording to several reports, LeBron James will meet with Pat Riley in Vegas at 3 pm Vegas time, or 6 pm Eastern.

Additionally, Chris Broussard reports that the only people at that meeting will be LeBron, agent Rich Paul and Pat Riley.

This after previously believing that Heat owner Mickey Arison, coach Eric Spolestra and Wade would be at the meeting.

The Cavaliers have cleared the amount of cap space needed to offer James a max contract earlier Wednesday by dealing Jarrett Jack, Sergey Karasev and Tyler Zeller.

Rumors are flying about possible deals in place with Minnesota for Kevin Love as well if Cleveland is able to land James.

Stay tuned.

[Related: On LeBron's potential return to Cleveland]

Cavaliers trade Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev for cap space

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The Cleveland Cavaliers found the third team that they needed to move Jarrett Jack’s contract.

Marc Stein reports on Wednesday morning that the Cavaliers have traded Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets. The Boston Celtics will get Marcus Thornton from the Nets, plus Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev from the Cavaliers.

There you go. The Cavaliers now have approximately $24 million worth of cap space. A LeBron James max contract would be $20 million and change.

Update: The Cavaliers also send a protected first round pick to Boston-

And get draft rights to 3 European players-

Does this mean LeBron to Cleveland is a done deal? Of course not. Will LeBron James see that this has happened before his meeting with Pat Riley and the Heat? Absolutely.

[Related: Miami Heat didn't think they'd have to sell this hard]

Better supporting cast, AB in tremendous shape and LEGEN-DARY …While We’re Waiting

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Matt Moore wrote a piece over at CBS Sports breaking down what the Cavaliers might look like if they were able to sign LeBron James. What he did (that I liked) was compare the possible LBJ Cavs of next year with last year’s Heat team and the Cavs team that LeBron walked away from. There are a lot of similarities between them if you look at it.

“Is this team better than the Heat team last year? It’s complex. There’s more raw talent, given that last year’s Heat team was running on Shane Battier’s fumes, Ray Allen’s emergency supply, Wade looked half-dead, and the Heat couldn’t find a single capable big. But the experience issue matters here. The Heat knew how to win. With Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger effectively in Rashard Lewis’ role, and with whatever moves Riley still has up his sleeves, the Heat may not have as much raw talent, but may be better at winning than this Cavs team. But when you look at this prism, combined with the allure of returning home, you see why James could find the Cavaliers very interesting.”

Now, I’ve said before that if the Cavs didn’t make another move *cough Kevin Love* then I think the better chance for him to win a title NEXT YEAR is with Miami rather than the Cavs. James could LOVE what the Cavs are doing, the direction they are going and still decide to sign a one year or two year deal with an opt out with the Heat. Let the Cavaliers play and get a year better while he goes for another title shot in South Beach.

However, I also think that the best thing that could happen to this young group of first rounders would be to spend a year with LeBron. LeBron could put them through the paces and teach them how to train, how to practice and how to win. It may be a season in which they aren’t real title contenders, but it would be the last for a while.

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From summer league practice, Fred McLeod lets us know the shape of Anthony Bennett. It isn’t completely round, which is good for the Cavs and their fans-

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Speaking of twitter, check out this preview of the USA Today front page-

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I really have no idea how anyone could possibly guess what percentage of the Browns’ offense will be pass vs run. First year head coach, plus a receiving corps that without Josh Gordon is suspect AT BEST, plus a complete revamping of the RB staff apparently equals 60% passing. Ok.

7. Browns – 2014 Projection: 60% pass (2013: 70%)
Cleveland called pass 70 percent of the time last season, which made them the league’s pass-heaviest offense. They won’t be anywhere close to that figure in 2014. New coach Mike Pettine has a defensive background, which leaves Kyle Shanahan to call plays for the offense. Shanahan has spent the last six seasons coordinating NFL offenses, spending time in both Houston and Washington. He’s taken both pass-heavy (2009, 2010) and run-heavy (2012, 2013) approaches. It won’t be long until Johnny Manziel is under center in Cleveland, which means we can make comparisons to how Shanahan called plays with Robert Griffin III – also a skilled runner – in Washington. Shanahan called a run-heavy game each of the last two seasons, but the team’s pass/run rates were nine percentage points apart because the team went from leading 40 percent of the time in 2012 to a league-worst 11 percent in 2013. Especially with Josh Gordon suspended long-term, the Browns will look to lean on the run, but probable late-game deficits will mean a balanced pass/run rate by seasons end. “

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For you uni-nerds out there, there is a video here about the Oregon equipment managers. I’m not a big fan of the Ducks’ thousand or so combinations, but that if one amazing outfit.

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More uniform news. Team USA basketball uniforms leaked?

Anyone interested in a Kyrie?

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Finally, a little bit of a game update. You may remember me talking before about Marvel Legendary, which is a co-operative game in which you and your group plays as Marvel heroes against a mastermind villain and various other henchmen. It is a great game that even my wife enjoys.

Upper Deck is the company that produces the game, and they recently released a second version of the game in which the tables are turned and you play as the villains against the heroes. This is more than just an expansion, it is a complete base game with a few tweaks of the original game. The best part is that the components are compatible. You can substitute cards and characters back and forth from the two games.

I haven’t played the new version, but it sounds good. Is it worth buying a whole new game? Not with my family budget. In fact, we don’t own the first one, though we have played several times.

This is what I actually wanted to hit on today. If you enjoy these games that I have been recommending, or even just want to try them, I highly suggest getting into or starting a gaming group. We get together with a friend or two on Tuesday nights. It is very casual, and includes dinner. We usually play a game including my daughter before her time for bath/bedtime. Then the adults play a game or two. One of the great things about this set-up is that we are able to share games. This really helps with the cost of some of these, which can run anywhere from $20-$80 dollars.

Something to think about. Gaming groups are all over. Check out your local game/comic book store. I bet they can help you find a group. Or drop me a line. Maybe we can hook up for a WFNY game night some time.

Wiggins will join Anthony Bennett on Cavalier summer league squad

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The Cavaliers on Tuesday announced the roster for their summer league team that begins play on Friday, July 11th in Las Vegas.

Here is the roster-

F Anthony Bennett

G Will Cherry

F/C Jack Cooley

G Matthew Dellavedova

F Shane Edwards

G/F Carrick Felix

G Steven Gray

G Joe Harris

G Scotty Hopson

G/F Sergey Karasev

C Alex Kirk

F Andrew Wiggins

 

Cavaliers Preliminary Round Game Schedule

Friday, July 11 Milwaukee vs. Cleveland* 5:00 p.m. PST (8:00 local/EST) COX Pavilion NBA TV

Sunday, July 13 San Antonio vs. Cleveland* 1:00 p.m. PST (4:00 local/EST) COX Pavilion NBA TV

Monday, July 14 Philadelphia vs. Cleveland* 5:00 p.m. PST (8:00 local/EST) COX Pavilion NBA TV

*all three game will air live on NBA TV

 

**the summer league tournament schedule is as follows: first round – July 16, second round – July 17, consolation round – July 18,

quarterfinals – July 19, semifinals – July 20, finals – July 21

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the free agency free-for-all

The following is a guest post by Adam Redling. Adam is a writer and editor born and raised in Cleveland. He has written about the Cavs and Browns for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and Tencentbeers.com, and believes that Johnny Manziel is innocent until proven guilty.

LeBron

The Cavaliers have become adept at turning in-season failures into offseason optimism over the last four years thanks to Dan Gilbert’s virtual monopoly on top-five picks.

So it’s not surprising that the selection of Andrew Wiggins June 26 stirred up all the familiar front-office talk about fresh starts and brighter futures that comes standard after the draft.

“[We’re] really, really excited about what we were able to do with the first pick,” GM David Griffin said on draft night.

“This is a night where the Cavaliers got appreciably better — the kind of night that you really look forward to in our business when you can go home and know things are going to get a lot brighter from here.”

The optimism is understandable. When you get the No. 1 pick in one of the most loaded drafts ever, who also happens to have the size and athleticism of a NBA 2K14 video game creation, there should be hope. [Read more...]

Is it LeBron James or agent Rich Paul that is interested in a Cavalier reunion?

Rich Paul Tristan

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Monday that the real driving force behind LeBron James returning to Cleveland is more agent Rich Paul than LeBron James. According to Woj, Paul has confided in several that bringing LeBron back to Cleveland is something of a “mission” for him.

In order to clear the cap space that they need to sign LeBron James –while retaining Anderson Varejao– the Cavs reportedly have a deal in place for Jarrett Jack to go to the Brooklyn Nets, but need a third team to make the trade work.

“The biggest obstacle remains unloading the contract of Jarrett Jack. The Cavaliers have found a landing spot for Jack and his $6.2 million annual salary in the Brooklyn Nets, but only if the Cavs can find a third team to take on Brooklyn’s Marcus Thornton, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Cleveland is offering Thornton and future draft considerations as incentive to absorb his $8.7 million expiring contract, sources said. The Cavaliers need to unload more contracts and have made 2013 first-round pick Sergey Karasev, among others, available in deals, sources said.”

One reason for Paul to push LeBron’s return to Cleveland is monetary. Cavs forward Tristan Thompson is also a Paul client, and it would seem that James’ return would likely have to coincide with a Thompson extension. Thompson has been a decent player, but realistically isn’t worth what a rookie contract extension will pay him.

Wojnarowski also writes that if the Cavaliers clear the cap space needed, but James signs elsewhere Cleveland will set their sights on free agents Channing Frye and Trevor Ariza.

[Related: David Blatt named Euroleague Coach of the Year]

 

Cavaliers’ David Blatt garners Euroleague Coach of the Year award

Blatt-a-tat-tat

The Cleveland Cavaliers went outside the box with their latest coaching hire, reaching overseas for David Blatt.

Blatt has never been an NBA head coach or even assistant, but the move was met with much approval around the league. The prevailing thought was that Cleveland had gotten Europe’s best coach.

It seems Europe agrees.

On Monday, Blatt was named the Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year by his peers. It is Blatt’s first time winning the award.

“After leading Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv to a pair of dramatic victories at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Milan and bringing the title back to Israel for the first time in eight seasons, David Blatt has been voted by his peers in the competition as the 2013-14 Euroleague Basketball Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year. By almost any measure, Maccabi Electra entered the Final Four as an underdog. It was the only team in Milan without a player on the All-Euroleague First Team, the only qualifier that had lacked home-court advantage in the playoffs, and the Final Four team with the lowest average performance index rating. Nonetheless, Maccabi prevailed, in large part because Blatt built a true team despite incorporating many new players, losing key contributors to injury and having to reinvent the team’s playing style. Instead of letting obstacles become excuses, Blatt made sure that Maccabi was ready for every challenge until he and his players were celebrating the club’s sixth continental trophy, together with countless fans around the world.”

The Cavaliers also hired assistant head coach Tyronn Lue away from Doc Rivers’ staff to help Blatt make an easier transition to the NBA.

[Related: On LeBron's potential return to the Cavaliers]

Miles signs multi-year deal with Pacers per report

miles_mediaday

The IndyStar is reporting that the Pacers have come to an agreement with Cavaliers’ free agent C.J. Miles.

Miles met with the Pacers the first day of free agency, and apparently didn’t leave without a deal getting done. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the deal is worth $18 million over four years.

Two other Cavalier free agents– Spencer Hawes and Luol Deng– are also visiting with other teams and seem unlikely to return to Cleveland at this point. Hawes has been drawing interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, as well as the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, L.A. Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.

[Related: Cavs preparing max offer for Hayward?]

The courtship of Kyrie and what makes you cry …While We’re Waiting

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If you haven’t already, read Terry Pluto’s story on the midnight courtship of Kyrie Irving. There isn’t anything earth shattering in it, but it gives insight into who was there and why. I was a little surprised to learn that not only was Gilbert there, but Jeff Cohen and Nate Forbes as well. Assistant coach Lue has apparently already made an impression on Irving, which is good. Kyrie seems to think that Lue can help him become a better point guard. As Cleveland fans, we all hope that is the case, and if so kudos to Griffin and Gilbert for breaking the bank and making Lue the highest paid assistant coach in the league.

Pluto doesn’t say exactly who he spoke to in order to get the information on this piece, but it is clear a good part of it had to come from the people at the table. That means the Cavs brass. Which means the Cavaliers didn’t want this meeting to become some kind of legend. They wanted to control the message, and you can hardly blame them after all that has been written and said about the franchise over the past few years.

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Oof. We don’t celebrate injuries. the only reason I bring it up here is because it has bearing on the Browns. Cleveland owns Buffalo’s first round pick. Alonso is a big part of that defense, which is retooling after losing Mike Pettine. This injury is a blow to the Bills.

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Some of the money flying around the NBA seems a bit high to me. Gortat 5 years $60 million? Shaun Livingston 3 years $16 million? Jodie Meeks 3 years and $20 million? Glad the Cavs weren’t laying out that kind of money for those three.

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Thinking out loud: Perhaps David Griffin was really serious when he said Andrew Wiggins best chance to be a star was at the two guard. A good percentage of the players that the Cavs have been rumored to have interest in since free agency began are small forwards. The Cavs aren’t interested in signing Chandler Parsons or Gordon Hayward to back up Wiggins, nor do I see Wiggins coming off the bench for long if at all.

Which means Dion Waiters is looking at being the sixth man right? That or traded if I’m reading the cards right.

marley****

A friend lost a pet recently. It made me think of this. You can hate Bill Simmons all you want, but he nailed what it is like to lose a four-legged member of the family.

Which reminds me. I’m secure in my manhood, and so I have no shame in admitting that there are two movies that make me well up and cry like a little girl. Marley and Me is the first. Damn that movie. Sucks me in everytime. It isn’t just a dog movie, it is a life movie. But those last 20 minutes rip me up.

The second is Toy Story 3. Wait, what? Yes. You read that correctly. I’m telling you, have a kid or two get to be about five or ten and then watch that movie. Good grief. Buckets. Bring a towel.

How about you? What movies get you?

NBA Free Agency Rumors: Cavs pondering big offer to Hayward

hayward

The free agent period started with a bang for the Cavaliers, at least when it comes to locking up one of their own.

The next target of new general manager David Griffin? According to ESPN’s Mark Stein, it could be Utah swing man Gordon Hayward.

Hayward is a restricted free agent whose scoring average has gone up in each of his four seasons. Last season Hayward averaged 16.2 points per game and 4.3 rebounds. His three point shooting took a nose-dive however, to 30%. He is a good defender and getting better each season in the league. The Jazz were thought to be willing to match whatever offer is given to him.

Other rumblings involving the Cavaliers-

[Related: The crazy NBA off-season and what it could mean for the NBA]

 

Indians hitters make history with back-to-back one hit games

Cabrera

It wasn’t Kluber’s fault.

Corey Kluber entered the game with a streak of 10 straight scoreless innings. He was superb again, allowing just one run on six hits in six and two-thirds innings. He walked one and struck out five.

Kluber ran into a jam in the fourth. With one out, Adrian Gonzalez beat the infield shift with a grounder down the third base line. Chisenhall made a nice play to get to the ball keeping Gonzalez to a single. After a Matt Kemp double, Kluber struck out Andre Ethier and induced a harmless fly ball to Bourn in center. He escaped a man on second and third with one out situation.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh inning, Andre Ethier hit a ball to deep left center that Michael Brantley was able to get to at the wall, but couldn’t come up with the catch. He had to flip the ball to Michael Bourn after falling down hitting the wall. Ethier was able to get all the way around to third on the play. Cabrera looked Ethier back to third and threw out Juan Uribe on a grounder up the middle. Kluber then froze Ellis on a 3-2 breaking ball right on the outside edge of the plate. After an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Clint Robinson pinch-hit for Haren and singled up the middle (for his first ML hit). It snapped Kluber’s string of scoreless innings at 16. It came on a 3-2 count to boot. Kluber was a strike away from pitching around a lead-off triple and keeping the game scoreless. Instead, the Dodgers scraped out a run and took an insurmountable 1-0 lead.

One hit. [Read more...]

As expected, Cavs reportedly ready to offer max deal to Kyrie Irving

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Let’s make this as simple as possible.

Kyrie Irving has been playing on his rookie deal since being taken No. 1 overall back in 2011. At the time, he signed a four-year $23.2 million dollar deal. Irving is entering the last year of that deal.

The Cavaliers are going to offer Irving an early extension of five years and in the neighborhood of $90 million. On Monday, Chris Broussard tweeted that the Cavs were flying to New Jersey in order to meet with Irving on the first day that they can offer the deal, July 1.

There had been speculation that the Cavs may not offer Irving the max, and of course even more that Irving will not be willing to accept the Cavaliers’ offer.

Irving would become a restricted free agent should he decide to play out his existing deal, meaning the Cavs would have the ability to match any deal offered to Kyrie after the 2014-2015 season.

For a more detailed look at the ramifications of Kyrie’s deal, check out Joe’s piece at WFNY back in late January.

[Related: It's not that difficult for the Cavs to have space for a max contract]

Browns and Hoyer talking contract extension per report

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Monday morning that the Cleveland Browns are working to sign quarterback Brian Hoyer to a contract extension.

Hoyer signed a two-year, $1.97 million dollar contract last spring. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2014 season.

Hoyer, coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL, is in a QB battle with Johnny Manziel to be the starter. If Hoyer wins the job and has anything resembling a decent year, it would cost the Browns a lot more than $2 million dollars to keep him.

The need to sign Hoyer to an extension has been talked about in Cleveland internet circles for a while, but the first we saw of it came from Kanicki. Read his piece from before the draft here.

[Related: Jordan Cameron driving a hard bargain]