July 25, 2014

Andrew Bynum is no longer with the Indiana Pacers

DSC_0396The Indiana Pacers’ meltdown has been one of the biggest stories of the NBA’s second-half and playoffs thus far. After a 33-7 start to the year, the Pacers limped to the playoffs, barely squeaked past the weak 8-seed Atlanta Hawks and lost at home in Game 1 to the Washington Wizards.

Almost quietly, if you recall, the Pacers added Andrew Bynum back on Jan. 31. The excommunicated former Cavs center played in 36 minutes over two games in mid-March, but primarily continued to rehab and get back to a healthy state from his various physical ailments.

Thus far in the playoffs, he has continued to sit on the bench. But now today, the team has confirmed that Andrew Bynum will not play in the remainder of the playoffs and is no longer with the team.

“We want to thank Andrew and our medical staff for trying to get the issues with his knee resolved,” said Larry Bird, the Pacers President of Basketball Operations. “We wish him the best in the future.”

In total, it appears that Bynum will have earned $7 million for the 2013-14 season. Of that, $6 million was from the deal he signed with the Cavs last July. He was traded to Chicago for Luol Deng just before the rest of the deal kicked in, then Indiana reportedly signed him to a $1 million contract.

After not playing at all last season with the Philadelphia 76ers organization, Bynum’s NBA future certainly looks murky. The 26-year-old looked decent in a handful of games this season, but his presence undoubtedly had a factor in the team’s noted #seasonofhuh.

Andrew Bynum to Indianapolis, “I want to play”

The Luol Deng era in Cleveland will last longer than the Andrew Bynum era ever did, but that’s not saying much. Bynum was traded to Chicago for Deng and subsequently cut. The stories started to come out about the end of Bynum’s time in Cleveland shortly thereafter. Bynum had been suspended by the team and told to stay away after he started undermining the coaching staff. Now that Bynum is looking for yet another fresh start, this time in Indianapolis, he admitted some of the things he did to earn his suspension and exit.

Also, Bynum raged against the shoot-first guards. During a practice, Bynum said that he launched a shot from midcourt, clearly out of the rhythm of the offensive play. Another day during a scrimmage, he did not like a call from assistant coach Phil Handy and mocked him as “a horrible referee.”

“Those are the two things I did,” Bynum says. “I did them on purpose because it was over there for me.”

Of course, Bynum couldn’t possibly take the blame without blaming the “shoot-first” guards. And of course Andrew Bynum just wants “a championship.”

Andrew Bynum wants a championship? Am I supposed to be impressed by that? Does that make me think that Andrew Bynum is somehow operating under an understandable missive that allows him to petulantly push his way out of Cleveland?

Bynum wants a championship? Get in line.

And speaking of getting in line, Bynum better try it soon. He’s running out of places to have colorful articles written about a misunderstood player featuring artistic photos in a new jersey with a basketball on his shoulder.

I wonder if Bynum felt even the tiniest bit fraudulent while posing for this photo with the Indianapolis Star.

Andrew Bynum Indy Star

Probably not.

For Cleveland, it doesn’t really matter that much. Bynum wasn’t a part of whatever solution the Cavs were looking for. The Cavs got at least part of a season of Luol Deng out of the experiment, so all’s just as well without Andrew Bynum on the team today.

Still, the Bynum career arc is a crazy one that just happened to have a brief intersection with the city of Cleveland. We’ll see if it turns out to be longer than the flowery column that another city has spent time writing about the weak-kneed seven-footer.

 

A user’s guide to the Luol Deng trade draft picks

luol deng sixers

The Luol Deng trade was over six weeks ago. Yet it seems to still be a major point of confusion for many in the national media. With today’s trade deadline fast approaching, I felt it would be prudent to review the assets exchanged in that Jan. 7 deal.

[Update: Cavs have traded two second-rounders to Philadelphia for center Spencer Hawes. They're reportedly also shopping Tyler Zeller. We'll keep you updated.]

Both teams involved in the deal have been playing better over the past six weeks. Chicago is a very surprising 14-7 since dealing their beloved small forward, moving closer and closer to a safe spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Cavs have now win six straight, their longest stretch in four years, and are 10-10 since Deng’s debut.

For help in reviewing the trade, let’s go back to the official Cavs press release that was sent out around 12:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Here we go: [Read more...]

Indiana Pacers planning to sign former Cavs center Andrew Bynum

DSC_0475The Indiana Pacers are planning on signing former Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Friday night.

Windhorst, the former Plain Dealer star beat writer, later added that the Indianapolis Star was first to report of the Pacers meeting today with Bynum. There is no deal in place yet but talks are serious.

Bynum, 26, was traded to the Chicago Bulls back on Jan. 7 along with a handful of future draft picks for small forward Luol Deng. The Bulls promptly released him and he later cleared waivers.

The two-time All-Star last played for the Cavs on Dec. 26. He was reportedly in Cleveland earlier on Friday, as shared by The Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer. At the time, he was boarding a flight for Indianapolis, was still looking for any NBA work and was not following the Cavaliers drama of the past week.

Although the Bynum signing resulted in Deng, his play for the Cavaliers this season left much to be desired. He shot just 41.9% from the field. The Cavs offense had an abysmal 93.9 offensive rating with him on the court in his 480 minutes.

The Pacers are led by All-Stars Roy Hibbert and Paul George. Ian Mahinmi backs up the center Hibbert and averages 16 minutes per game. Considering Bynum played at a sub-average level in Cleveland, it would be surprising to see him make any substantial difference this season. But crazier things have certainly happened. After all, not many people expected him to play as early as he did this season.

[Related: Know your CBA: Kyrie Irving unlikely to leave Cleveland soon]

Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY

WFNY Stats & Info: Cavs frontcourt’s potential without Bynum

andy tristanIt’s no secret that the Cleveland Cavaliers were not a good basketball team with since-departed Andrew Bynum on the court. Heck, they obviously haven’t been good overall with their 12-23 record, but it was particular awful with the current free agent.

In Bynum’s 480 minutes, the Cavs had a -11.3 net efficiency rating per 100 possessions. That’d easily be the worst team in the NBA. In the remaining 1,240 minutes this season, the efficiency differential is just -3.0, a mark resembling that of a 30-win team, which might just be enough for the playoffs in the year’s historically bad Eastern Conference.

But that alone wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to dig even further into the specific frontcourt combinations that the Cavaliers have used this season. I then looked at all of the iterations of playing time between Bynum, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson. The data was parsed with an eye toward the corresponding plus-minus points and net rebounding data. It’s not easy to track possessions in this way, so I averaged them out per 48 minutes of playing time.

My goal: To look only at Cavs lineups with Thompson and/or Varejao on the court, but never with Bynum. These are the options the team will rely upon going forward in the second half. So their past success (or failures) could tell a sign for the future.

cavs frontcourt plus minus

Looking at only the highlighted combinations, they represent 63% of total minutes this season: 1,077 overall. And, to great fortune for the team’s future: They have exactly a zero plus-minus thus far. They’ve been perfectly average. That’s awesome. That should be music to Cavs’ fans ears.

Obviously, this excludes the lineups we’ve seen without Thompson, Varejao or Bynum on the court. Those will still be possible going forward, so their issues aren’t just immediately alleviated. The Cavs have been very bad during those minutes. Still, it’s pleasing to know of the positive results.

On the rebounding side, the combined Thompson/Varejao lineups — representing 39% of minutes — out-rebound opponents by 6.4 boards per 48 minutes. That’s elite and very impressive. It’s perhaps in line with Varejao’s recent eight-game rebounding hot streak. Although the Cavs are an average rebounding team overall, they’ve been below average in every other lineup iteration.

The biggest factor for the future could just be the health of the team’s best players stars, specifically Varejao. He personally has a -3.7 plus-minus per 48 minutes in the last four years in 3,708 minutes despite all of the franchise’s terrible struggles. If he can stay on the court — and Bynum gone — then this Cavs team could truly have a fighting chance with solid new addition Luol Deng.

[More Andrew Bynum thoughts from WFNY's Scott Sargent: The end of an era]

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

Video: LeBron James counts Dwyane Wade’s illegal steps

There’s a GIF (pronounced Jiff) going viral right now where Dwyane Wade catches the basketball and takes seven steps without dribbling. It is kind of sad for the NBA, but funny at the same time. Because this is the modern world and the Internet exists, it is starting to take on even more new lives. This is my favorite iteration so far. Watch as LeBron counts Dwyane Wade’s steps in this video.

[Also see: The end of an era - Andrew Bynum traded for Luol Deng]

Cavs trade for Deng a win for the present, but a question for the future

Luol Deng

While many of us were sound asleep on Monday night, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant was still hard at work. Glasses on, Grant was looking to capitalize on the flexibility he gave the team in structuring Andrew Bynum’s contract in a way that not only protected the team, but also served as a valuable trade item should Bynum not work out in Cleveland.

Needless to say, Andrew Bynum didn’t work out. So late Monday night, Grant finally found the trade partner he was looking for in the Chicago Bulls. At 12:54 am, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert officially welcomed Luol Deng to the team via Twitter.

[Read more...]

NBA News: Cavs reportedly trade for Chicago’s Luol Deng

deng bullsAfter weeks of speculation, the Cavs have reportedly acquired Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst first tweeted out the news very late on Monday night. The Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd also has confirmed the story. (Windhorst has since acknowledged that young RealGM reporter Shams Charania actually was first to tweet.)

We’ll fill in all of the details here shortly. Stay tuned. Presumably, the deal is indeed for center Andrew Bynum for cap relief in Chicago.

Update 12:58 a.m. – Well, that didn’t take long. The Cavs have officially announced the terms of the deal, complete with Deng in uniform.

Chicago will indeed receive Bynum along with three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 picks (lottery protected for the Cavs).

The three future picks are: 1) The Kings convoluted first-rounder1 acquired back in 2011; 2) Portland’s 2015 second-rounder; 3) Portland 2016 second-rounder. Both of the Trail Blazers selections were acquired during this year’s draft.

Trade Analysis — Wow. So nobody really saw that one coming at all. Within seconds, the Cavs had confirmed the reports and posted the exact terms. Luol Deng, 28, is a legitimate starter at small forward. He’s in the final year of his contract, which is worth $14.3 million this season. He is averaging a career-high 19 points and 6.9 rebounds in just over 37 minutes per game.

Deng will easily be the best small forward in the post-LeBron James era for the Cavaliers. He gives them a do-it-all presence on the wing, albeit one that’s not known for his outside shooting. He’ll certainly step in immediately and get 30 minutes per game, taking away wasted time from Alonzo Gee, Earl Clark, Anthony Bennett and those dreaded three-guard lineups.

There’s no doubt that adding Deng makes the Cleveland Cavaliers a better team today than they were yesterday. That’s all this move really is. The three draft picks and the swap are a relatively light price. The two Portland second-rounders could be meaningless, the theoretical Sacramento pick might never be actualized in the first round and a 2015 swap might not even happen in the Cavs do indeed struggle next season anyway.

The biggest issue is whether you preferred the Cavs to tank in 2013-14. Obviously, that was never a option for GM Chris Grant. So he pulled off a big move for the biggest possible upgrade. Deng is an old 28, but he’ll make this Cavs team undoubtedly better this season. After that? It’s anybody’s guess what might happen.

[Related: Cavalier Film Room: The D-Waiters Zone and Stale Inbound Plays]

Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. The intense protection: top 13 in 2013; top 12 in 2014; top 10 in 2015-17; else 2017 second round pick, also protected 56-60 []

Davone Bess, Browns firing of Chud, Cavs’ future – WFNY Podcast – 2014-01-06

WFNY Podcast LogoFirst week in a long time without Scott Raab. First pinch hitter out of the gate was Andrew. We spent some time talking about the Browns and all their maneuvers along with how quiet it has generally been about Davone Bess.

————————-

Scott’s post on Davone Bess is an interesting place to start.

- why is this topic going so under the radar? on the one hand we’ve heard that he has problems in his personal life, likely with his family. I understand the media not wanting to report that, but his pot pictures indicate some sort of meltdown.

- on the other hand, some of the reaction to Scott’s post seemed to indicate, “what’s the big deal? It’s pot and it’s basically legal now!” that’s something we talked about with chris perez earlier this year. Even if you don’t have an ethical dilemma about pot (and I don’t) that doesn’t mean that it isn’t some sort of self-destructive meltdown to have it shipped through the mail / post pics on instagram

- does the Bess thing just have everything to do with the fact that the Browns are such a mess otherwise?

- As for the Browns, obviously confidence is extremely shaken in the entire organization now, but does that preclude them from being right? Is it even possible in your mind that their story is just 100% true and they couldn’t work with Chud despite their reasons for hiring him in the first place?

- if Chud was hard headed about playing McGahee, Little, Lauvao and others as opposed to moving on, would you consider those decent enough reasons for firing a guy? If they were so far off from being on the same page, isn’t it the right move?

- Are you shocked that a first time head coach like Chud would seemingly be willing to push back on his superiors? Do you think it was guidance from Norv Turner – who reportedly blew up at Banner in his meeting – for standing his ground?

- Lastly, we’ll talk Cavs. What are the going to do with Bynum. I’m hoping it’s done before we record, honestly. Otherwise, we can talk about Grant and how hot his seat might be at this point.

Check out this episode

NBA Rumor: Cavs eyeing Utah’s Richard Jefferson in a Bynum trade

richard jeffersonUtah small forward Richard Jefferson is the latest rumored target of the Cleveland Cavaliers in their ongoing efforts in dump center Andrew Bynum by Tuesday’s deadline.

ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein have the latest on Friday evening about the Jefferson-to-Cleveland rumors. Here is their report on the three main exit strategies that the Cavs are weighing with a mind centered around a deal by Monday:

A deal with Utah that would send Jefferson to Cleveland and likewise allow the Jazz to acquire and waive Bynum before the other half of his $12.3 million salary this season becomes guaranteed is one of those three primary options on Cleveland’s board. The other two, sources said Friday, are continuing talks with the Lakers this weekend in hopes of hashing out trade terms both teams can stomach or Cleveland electing to keep Bynum beyond next Wednesday’s deadline and then re-shopping him as a trade asset before the Feb. 20 trade deadline … or, if necessary, again in late June and early July.

Later on Friday evening, The Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer, per an NBA source, reported that no Jefferson deal is likely.

Jefferson, 33, was sent to Utah in the a salary dump from the Golden State Warriors this summer as a soon-to-be expiring deal. He’s not at all the same player that averaged 19 points per game during a seven-year stretch earlier in his career. Yet, this season, he’s averaging 10 points in 27 minutes a game as a starter for the Jazz, winners of 10 of their last 20 entering Friday after a terrible start to the season.

The Jazz would be interested in releasing Bynum to save even more salary cap space. Yesterday’s latest had the Cavs “seeking other options” in Bynum negotiations besides the Lakers’ Pau Gasol. Those talks have reportedly stalled, although that remains one of the three options that Windhorst and Stein reported about tonight.

The final option they discussed has Bynum staying in Cleveland past the Jan. 7 deadline and perhaps into the offseason. His 2014-15 contract becomes due if he remains on a roster on July 10. Thus, he could remain a worthwhile salary piece in a trade.

The Cavs have been looking at various small forward options, they reported, with Jefferson then being a logical option. He could easily see minutes in Cleveland’s rotation alongside Earl Clark, Alonzo Gee and Anthony Bennett.

[Related: The Diff: The Cavs and their terrible, horrible offense]

Matt Gade, Deseret News

The Diff: The Cavs and their terrible, horrible offense

The Diff is your (usually) weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Welcome to 2014. Two weeks ago, I wrote about Omer Asik trade rumors and the Cavaliers. Today, I’m writing about the Cavs’ no good, very bad offense.

The Diff

The Cleveland Cavaliers somehow won last night to improve to 11-21. Within this disappointing season, there have already been a number of issues on and off the court. The most troubling aspect of this year’s terrible start might just have to be the team’s abysmal offense. Overall, the Cavs now sport the NBA’s 27th-best offensive efficiency rating at 97.0 points per 100 possessions. That might surprise you a bit based on the presence of All-Star Kyrie Irving. But 2013-14 has proved to be a collective offensive mess of epic proportions. [Read more...]

WFNY Stats & Info: Notes on Pau Gasol’s decline

the-lakers-want-to-blow-up-their-roster-and-trade-pau-gasol-to-the-wizards-for-the-3-pickPau Gasol is the latest rumored trade candidate for the Cavaliers, according to Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.com. The 33-year-old is a three-time All-Star but his best days are clearly behind him as shown in advanced statistics.

Although he’s averaging 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds in 30 minutes per game this season — fairly solid production on the surface — those numbers don’t tell the exact story about his last few seasons. Here are two specific stats that more accurately depict his changing game:

FG% on non-restricted area two-pointers
From 2008-09 to 11-12: 45.1% (2,321 shots; 59% of FGA)
From 2012-13 to 13-14: 38.1% (635 shots; 66% of FGA)

Offensive Rebounding%
From 2008-09 to 10-11: 10.5%
From 2011-12 to 13-14: 8.0%

This season, when he was playing, Gasol was shooting more than ever: his 16.4 FGA/36 is a career high and his 25.5% usage rate is his highest in seven years. On this very poor Lakers roster, he’s being called upon offensively quite a bit. But his offensive style has changed, perhaps as limited by his several foot injuries, and he’s shooting more often and less efficiently from mid-range.

It’s understandable that Gasol’s offensive rebounding percentage dropped when Dwight Howard was around in 2012-13. But a healthy Andrew Bynum also was there previously. And Gasol’s numbers dropped to a new career low (6.2%) this season as he’s playing further away from the basket. His defensive rebounding numbers have slightly improved to make up a difference in his total rebounding rates.

In each of the past two seasons, the 7-foot Spaniard has had an even 16.7 PER. He was never lower than 19.5 in PER in any other season of his career. That’s a very troubling fact when also addressed with his increased usage and similar overall rebounding. There’s possible reason to expect some improvement based on his known frustration this year in Los Angeles. Gasol also would likely provide a boost with his noted passing skills.

While Gasol might not be the same All-Star he was several years ago, he’s still a solid contributor. His shooting zone ratios slightly mirror those of Anderson Varejao, who has refined his game to become a very good mid-range shooter this year at 31 years old. He would likely take away minutes, however, from soon-to-be 24-year-old Tyler Zeller who has impressed of late.

In the end, the biggest benefit with a Gasol-Bynum swap with possibly other moving pieces could just be one last hope at contending for a playoff spot this year and maintaining financial flexibility with an expiring contract. Alone, the Pau Gasol of 2013 or even of 2014 won’t likely be enough to make this Cavs roster that much better.

[Related: Cavs at NBA’s one-third mark: How much patience is left?]

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

ESPN’s Chad Ford calls Cavs one of NBA’s biggest messes

Dan Gilbert, Mike Brown, Chris GrantAt 10-20, it’s undoubtedly been a disappointing start to the season for the Cavaliers. But are they the NBA’s biggest disappointment?

ESPN Insider’s Chad Ford has posted a weekly “Tank Rank” article about the leading worst teams in the league. The Cavs have been occasional entrants into the top-10 listing so far. In Monday’s article (subscription required), they gained premium real estate at the No. 4 spot.

Here is how Ford began his comments on Cleveland this week:

I’m not sure there is a team in a bigger mess than the Cavs are right now. Owner Dan Gilbert wants the playoffs. The team he’s fielding is disjointed and filled with several players that are more interested in their daily stat line then the win-loss column.

Ford also noted that the Cavs are in the “worst sort of space” when it comes to trying to contend, yet actually failing. They have no intentions of actually tanking, per everything that’s been said by Gilbert and the front office. But as of now, they’re one of the NBA’s eight worst teams.

Sure, I believe it’d be preferable for the organization’s long-term future to actually tank and get another top draft pick. I don’t necessarily think a draft-pick core of Sergey Karasev, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller, Dion Waiters Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving will ever be good enough on its own. Ideally, more firepower would come from the draft.

But that’s probably not what the Cavs see at the moment. They’ve been rumored in multiple trade conversations. The Andrew Bynum suspension has placed an odd shadow over the season. It’s unknown what’s coming up next. Ford’s comments seem to hit the nail in the coffin over the terrible status of the team’s failures.

[Related: Cavs at NBA’s one-third mark: How much patience is left?]

(AP Photo/Jason Miller)

Cavs could be sending Andrew Bynum back to LA for Pau Gasol

DSC_0475Could the Cavaliers be adding yet another power forward to the mix?

In one of his recent Below the Rim podcasts, there was a passing moment where the host, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, and his guest, Grantland.com’s Chuck Klosterman, had tossed around a trade that was on the table between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers that would have sent All-Star power forward Pau Gasol to Cleveland and allow the Lakers to save a boat load of money in attempt to ultimately sign impending free agent Dwight Howard. It got little in the way of traction—likely for a few reasons—but it was one that raised a few eyebrows as the Cavaliers continue their disappointing play during the 2013-14 season.

Whatever happened to that deal, it appears that the lines of communication between Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant and the Lakers remains intact. Windhorst, with the help of ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, reports that there is a deal in place, while not imminent, that would send Gasol to Cleveland, but for the expiring contract and wonky knees of the “excused” Andrew Bynum.

No deal is believed to be imminent, but both sides are mulling it over ahead of a Jan. 7 deadline when the second half of Bynum’s $12.25 million salary would be guaranteed. By trading Gasol in a package for Bynum and then waiving him, the injury-ravaged Lakers could save more than $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, which could help them maintain financial flexibility heading into the next few summers. […]

The Lakers are reluctant to part with the four-time All-Star in any trade without receiving assets of some value in return, sources said.

The Lakers have been luxury-tax payers for six straight seasons. While the luxury-tax savings this season — and ability to avoid the repeater tax penalty that kicks in when a team is a taxpayer in four out of five years starting with the 2011-12 season — would undoubtedly help the Lakers’ long-term flexibility, the franchise’s history and organizational culture make that a difficult prospect to consider.

While adding another power forward would seem superfluous, Grant is under immense pressure to get this underachieving Cavaliers team into the post-season given their three-year drought. In addition to keeping his possibilities open with the Lakers, Grant has reportedly been in a wide range of discussions with the Chicago Bulls—a team also dealing with luxury tax issues—for All-Star small forward Luol Deng. Naturally, as with any deal of this nature, the devil is in the details. At least one other player (rumored to be small forward Alonzo Gee) and “assets” are said to be included. The Cavaliers have plenty of future first-round selections at their disposal, some fo which include multiple layers of protection.

Gasol, despite shooting a career-low 45 percent from the floor, would provide an offensive threat from the post, something the Cavaliers are sorely lacking. The 6-foot-9-inch Deng has battled Achilles injuries this season, playing in just 20 games, but is adding 20 points per night when healthy. Both players are impending free agents, so the Cavaliers would have to either be confident that a new contract could be agreed to or that they would be able to make a splash in the 2014 free agency season given the cap flexibility that has been accumulated since July, 2010.

(Image via Scott Sargent/WFNY)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Andrew Bynum has potential, lacks commitment

I believe Andrew has always had the potential to help a team when he puts his heart into it. He just doesn’t seem to be consistent with his commitment to the game. That can lead to alot of frustration for any team that has signed him.

When I worked with Andrew I found him to be bright & hardworking but I think he got bored with the repetitive nature of working on basketball fundamentals day in and day out… but they are the keys to long term success.

In my opinion Andrew is the type of person who walks to the beat of “a different drummer”. So we won’t know the facts until Andrew decides to tell us what actually is the issue and shares his thoughts.

— Former Lakers center and legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Andrew Bynum, the recently suspended Cavaliers center. In 2009, Bynum was working with Kareem while with the Lakers, but stopped after he felt that he “outgrew” the help of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. “When I first started working with him, he was eager to learn,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “He appreciated me shortening the learning curve. Once he figured he did everything he wanted to do in terms of learning, he didn’t want me to bother him constantly going over the fundamentals.” Bynum’s suspension was lifted by the Cavaliers Sunday but he remains excused from all activities while the team attempts to find a trade prior to January 7.

[Related: Scott Raab talks about Rob Chudzinski being fired and Andrew Bynum]

Scott Raab talks about Rob Chudzinski being fired and Andrew Bynum – WFNY Podcast – 2013-12-30

WFNY Podcast LogoScott Raab couldn’t be finished with the WFNY Podcast for 2013 after what happened over the weekend, so we decided to do one more in 2013. We touched on all of the obvious topics including…

  • Scott Raab talking about the Browns
  • Dumpster fire’s use in the mainstream
  • Joe Banner and the ego that goes with firing Chud
  • Jimmy Haslam’s role in the firing
  • The informational path from Mike Lombardi to the media
  • How should fans react to this today?
  • Was Rob Chudzinski the wrong guy for the job?
  • Rob Chudzinski’s own issues and how they impacted his own firing
  • Tony Grossi’s post about Chud refusing to cut Greg Little and Shawn Lauvao
  • Professional sports leagues are cartels, not pizza parlors
  • Scott: “We’re prisoners, not customers”
  • Is there anything Haslam and Banner could say for Scott?
  • Media should have an adversarial relationship with the front office
  • The Kyrie Irving situation is going to end the same way the LeBron one did
  • The Art Modell move continues to haunt coverage of the Browns
  • Andrew Bynum, the media and the Cavaliers’ future
  • Brian Windhorst continues to be one of the best Cavs beat reporters
  • The Kyrie Irving scenario and how it’s playing out [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Life without Andrew Bynum

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.

WFNYBanner www

Where is the hope for the Cavs? “I have a somewhat similar feeling of optimism about the entire franchise right now. Again, it feels out of place. It is possible it is because I am dumb. Hopefully not. The Andrew Bynum era may be done in Cleveland. If so, at least it went according to Plan B. The team saw what they had, decided it wasn’t going to work by January 7th, parted ways, and only sunk $6 million into the project.” [Kevin Hetrick/Cavs: The Blog]

[Read more...]

Cavs at NBA’s one-third mark: How much patience is left?

DSC_0462After three straight miserable seasons, a 10-18 start is not what fans nor the front office expected for the Cleveland Cavaliers this year.

It’s been a myriad of issues plaguing the team, most in the form of inconsistency. For two weeks, they looked like a legitimate playoff team, winning five of six before narrow losses to two of the NBA’s juggernauts. Since then, it’s been back to the basics, especially after Thursday’s heartbreaking home loss.

The good news is that the Cavs remain just 1.5 games out of the Eastern Conference’s terrible playoff picture. All things considered, this first-third of the season could have been much, much worse. Let’s review the ups and downs so far in the style of The Boots.

Boot Up: No major injuries – This is certainly a good thing and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted with this roster. Last season, Kyrie Irving missed 23 games, Dion Waiters missed 22 and Anderson Varejao was out for 57. Only three Cavaliers totaled more than 66 games. This year, 11 players have appeared in at least 21 games already. Nothing has happened significantly to the Cavs core yet. [Read more...]

NBA News: Cavs’ Andrew Bynum suspended from team

Center Andrew Bynum has been suspended from the Cleveland Cavaliers for “conduct detrimental to the team”, the team announced Saturday morning.

In the official release, the Cavs said that Bynum did not travel with the team for its game against Boston today and he has been excused from all team activities indefinitely. The organization will update the media of his status as appropriate.

It’s a surprising and shocking announcement for the 26-year-old. He missed a few games earlier in the season while dealing with a family medical matter. There have been no reports over what the “detrimental conduct” might have been.

We’ll keep this article updated with any further information as it makes its way out into the public.

Update at 11:12 a.m. — Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski delivered a bomb with his latest tweet.

That talk of not enjoying the game of basketball resembles the retirement consideration discussion from earlier in the season. We’ll see if there are any other such updates soon.

Update at 11:24 a.m. — HoopsWorld’s Steve Kyler tweets that he’d be surprised if Bynum is not cut by Jan. 7, the day in which his remaining $6 becomes fully guaranteed for this season.

The Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd already wrote a quick post about the suspension. In his article, he writes: “It is realistic at this point to believe Bynum has played his last game for the Cavaliers.” He also said that those in the organization have started to question Bynum’s desire to play anymore.

Meanwhile, both ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (tweet) and FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico (tweet) report that Bynum is now on the trade block, with his nonguaranteed contract viewed as a possible asset.

Update at 11:50 a.m. – Jason Lloyd (tweet) and the Plain Dealer’s Cavs beat writers (tweet) have some updates from head coach Mike Brown over in Boston. Brown said he’s worried about the players in the locker room and called the suspension an internal matter. He did not qualify what Bynum might have to do to be reinstated. Anderson Varejao will be the new starting center.

Wojnarowski also tweets that Bynum’s presence was reportedly “disruptive” to the Cavs and the team felt the partnership could no longer be sustained.

[Related: Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavalier — WFNY Top 10 Cleveland Sports Stories of 2013: No. 9]

All of the Above

Long after the final buzzer had sounded on the Cavaliers’ most recent contest, CJ Miles was hoisting jump shots. The final box score had been submitted, the Cavaliers falling victim to yet another loss—this one, a decided loss on their own home court to a team that, by all accounts, should have provided the Cleveland franchise with their ninth win within the confines of Quicken Loans Arena. Star point guard Kyrie Irving had long showered, his fire engine red headphones draped around his neck as he took in the requisite inquiries from the media horde in front of his locker. Fellow guard Dion Waiters, missing his third straight game with what is being called wrist tendinitis, was on his way out of the arena, his toddler son, Dion Jr., smiling brightly as he clung to his father’s shoulder. The arena cleaning crew had gone through their nightly detail, removing any and all garbage and remnants from underneath the 20,562 seats which lace the venue. The security detail, clad in their Jack Hannah-like beige uniforms, would typically be packing up for the evening, but several were forced to remain on the floor as Miles, the team’s current starting shooting guard and one of their more vocal leaders, was not ready to close the curtain on this Monday night.

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