April 23, 2014

NBA Trade Rumor: Cavaliers, T-Wolves Talking Trade Involving Varejao

It’s being reported by Legion Sports (@MySportsLegion) that the Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a trade involving Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao as well as Minnesota forward Derrick Williams and center Nikola Pekovic.

Varejao, 30, is in his ninth year with the Cavaliers and is averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds and a 22.08 PER this season in 25 games. He is under contract for up to two more seasons after this one. Andy has missed the team’s last nine games due to a bruised right knee. This is far from the first time that Varejao’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors this season.

Williams was the second pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, being selected immediately after Kyrie Irving. He is averaging 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds with a 15.64 PER in 26 games (9 starts) and 17.4 minutes per contest. He is a 6’8″, 21-year-old power forward out of Arizona that had similar numbers in more playing time last season. He would be under team control for at least three more seasons, same as Kyrie.

Pekovic, 27, is a 6’11″, 290 lb. center from Montenegro in his third NBA season. Nikola is averaging 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and a 19.35 PER in 28 games (all starts) and 31.5 minutes per night. He is a free agent at season’s end.

Related: Trading Varejao Still Doesn’t Make Sense

2013 NBA Draft: Five players emerging at the top

It’s become an annual tradition in Cleveland to begin talking quite early in all sports about the upcoming draft.

For the Browns in the NFL, I did my first 2013 NFL Draft outlook post back in mid-November, when the Browns were 2-7. They finished at 5-11 and will have the No. 6 pick in April’s draft.

For the Cavaliers in the NBA, who selected No. 1 and No. 4 in 2011, then No. 4 and No. 17 in 2012, they again should be in the top-end of the Lottery this coming June. After an offseason of hype and intrigue that many fans thought could lead to the team potentially competing for the final playoff spot, the Cavs got off to a very slow start.

After Saturday night’s loss to Houston, Cleveland has the second-worst record in the NBA at 8-27. That’s eerily similar to their 35-game starts in each of the past two seasons: 8-27 in 2010-11 and 13-22 in 2011-12. So even if the team finishes strong (as opposed to #tankstrong), it’s likely they’ll finish somewhere in the top 8. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Kevin Love and the Cavs, and Nick Swisher is a character (literally)

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.


“Braxton Miller’s 2012 was more than nice as he led the Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 season on the way to capturing the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year award and the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football as the league’s MVP.

But the franchise isn’t resting on his laurels. Via Twitter comes news that he’s currently working with renowned quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego.

The Massillon native, through his training programWhitfield Football, has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in the game today, a list that includes Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, and Tajh Boyd.” [Priestas/Eleven Warriors] [Read more...]

The Boots: Talkin’ Cleveland Cavs Season Preview

As I’ve been doing for years, The Boots are my way to assign Boot Up or Boot Downs to various items in the sports world. As a reminder, I got the nickname “Boot” from my older brothers when I was young, and thus, I continue to use this segment as my personal sports writing payback.

Boot Up: Optimism for the Future – The Cavaliers are going to be a much-improved team in 2012-13. I do not doubt that at all. While I tend to be a bit of a pessimist with this squad, and I explain that more below, I wanted to share my optimism first. Here are five things that have me really excited to watch this team play real games soon:

1. Kyrie Irving: Now he’s a household name. One of the 30 best players in the NBA, undoubtedly. He’s a budding star and hasn’t even played a full college basketball season or full 82-game NBA season yet. This should be tremendous fun to see him on the court this year and knocking down shots against Eastern Conference foes. Now it actually starts to matter. [Read more...]

Cavs Bounce Back From Toronto Loss, Win Over Wolves

The Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 4-3 last night with an impressive road win over the young and improving Minnesota Timberwolves. Byron Scott’s club methodically ground down the Wolves over the first three plus quarters, building an 18 point lead in the fourth and cruising comfortably to their second road win of the season. The Cavaliers took the lead in the final minute of the first quarter and, aside from the few short runs by the Wolves, never really looked back.

Much of the hype coming into the game focused on the rookie point guard matchup between Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio. Irving, along with veteran Ramon Sessions, got the better of the Minny backcourt all evening. Irving finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists from the starting point guard spot. The rookie had a season-high turnover night, however, giving it away seven times. [Read more...]

The Case For Kyrie Irving

The NBA Finals have come and gone, and though it feels like it’s been 6 months since the Cleveland Cavaliers played a basketball game, the offseason is really only just now beginning. The first step will be the NBA Draft and here we sit, just one week away from the first step toward determining the path the Cavaliers’ rebuilding process will take.

As with the NFL Draft, we are now entering the bizarre pre-week stage of the process of the draft where conflicting reports and misinformation are about to fill the air waves. We’ve already seen our fair share of rumors, leaks, and lies over the past weeks since the Draft Lottery made the Cavaliers the story of the draft, but now that the distraction of the NBA Playoffs are gone, expect the volume on those rumors to be turned up. [Read more...]

Cavaliers to Host Derrick Williams for Workout Today

Ensuring that all of their bases are covered heading into next week’s NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers will play host to Arizona forward Derrick Williams Tuesday morning in Independence.

Owning the first- and fourth- overall selection in the upcoming draft, the Cavs will have at least one crack at selecting the Wildcat forward who rose to a level of national prominence following his team’s win over the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Averaging 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this past season, the knock against the high-scoring forward is that his skill set translates to that of an NBA power forward with the ability to hit mid-to-long-range jump shots.  Garnering comparisons to New Orleans’ David West, Williams will likely endure a litany of tests to see if he could in fact play a small forward role for the Cavaliers, vastly increasing his value and keeping him in the discussion with Duke’s Kyrie Irving at the top spot on the team’s draft board.

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While We’re Waiting…Tribe Gets Rolled and Shaq Retires

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.

Rough outing for Sipp, Tribe falls 11-2:  “With one out and two runners onboard, and Cleveland trailing by only one run, it was the perfect time to turn to lefty Tony Sipp. The percentages were in the Tribe’s favor, but fate was not. A strategically sound call to the bullpen led to a meltdown, and the Indians were dealt a stunning 11-2 loss.

The defeat — helped by an overpowering performance by Texas right-hander Alexi Ogando — continued a rough string of games for the Tribe.

Dating back to May 3, when the Indians were 20-8, Cleveland has gone 13-14. More recently, the Tribe has dropped seven games in a stretch of 10, suffering a handful of blowout losses of 14-2, 7-0 and 11-1 before Friday’s debacle. Cleveland has also lost four in a row at home for the first time this year.

Enter manager Manny Acta — the eternal optimist.

“I feel good,” Acta said. “Hey, we’ve won two out of the last four — .500. Not bad. That’s the way I look at it.”

The fact that the Indians’ remain atop the American League Central with a 33-22 ledger makes the losses easier to shoulder. Even after this latest loss, the Tribe remains 4 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Tigers in the division. That is the same advantage Cleveland had a month ago.”  [Jordan Bastian / MLB.com] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Cavs Draft Strategies, Indians Draft Prospects, Actaball

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.

More on the Cavs draft: “If the [trade exception] is going to be used, I continue to think that will happen on Draft Night.  So what does all this trade talk mean at this point for the Cavaliers? To me it’s exactly what I thought the night Nick won the lottery.  The Cavaliers are good with Irving at 1, as they should be.  Beyond that, they are exploring every - and I mean each and every single - trade opportunity out there with respect to both the TE as well as that 4th pick overall.  I continue to think they will not pick 4th on Draft Night.  All the smoke that appears to be coming off the keyboard of Chris Grant’s blackberry seems to support this too.  Cavs don’t look too content at that position.”  [Bowers/Stepien Rules]

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While We’re Waiting… Analyzing Indians’ Success, Browns Free Agency Targets, Drafting Derrick Williams

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.

Great Sunday read on the Tribe, with analysis of the magic of Brantley and Asdrubal: “To watch the current team and to know the pain that came pouring upon Indians fans’ (particularly in that fateful week in July of 2009) is to gain some measure of respect for the Front Office realizing what needed to be done and to go about doing it. Granted the compelling reasons to make some of those trades were self-inflicted (Mike Aubrey, Jerry Sowers, Crazy Eyes Crowe, Beau Mills…you want me to keep going), but in those mid-season moves, they unquestionably have had more hits than misses and as much as the questions were flying back then (and here’s another piece from yours truly attempting to rationalize what seemed irrational back then) as to what the organization was even doing or what direction they were headed, the Indians asked themselves the hard questions, realized that there were hard answers, and didn’t shy away from what that meant.” [The DiaTribe/Paul Cousineau]

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NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs Discussing Three Team Deal to Land 1st & 2nd Picks in Draft

Chris Broussard is reporting this afternoon that the Cavaliers are discussing a potential 3 team trade that would net them the 2nd pick in the draft.  The Cavs would then take Kyrie Irving at number one and Arizona’s Derrick Williams at number two.

The deal would involve the Timberwolves and the Pistons.  The Cavs would take on Rip Hamilton’s contract via the trade exception and also acquire Detroit’s 8th pick.  They would then spin the 4th and 8th picks into the 2nd overall in a deal with Minnesota.  Broussard added the disclaimer that the trade is being discussed at this point and nothing is imminent.

WFNY’s Scott is reporting that particular deal tweeted by Broussard is unlikely.  An initial source with the Cavs put considerable doubt on that specific trade rumor, indicating that the Pistons would demand more, and that the Cavs don’t value Williams enough to burn picks – they’d rather use the 1st, 4th, and 8th picks in that hypothetical.  A second source told Scott the reported deal is “bogus.” All this stems from the Pistons desperate desire to unload the expensive, aging, and disgruntled Hamilton.  It’s still early in the process with a lot of “discussions” taking place.  No trade is imminent.

It’s certainly an appealing scenario for Cavs fans.  Coming away with Irving and Williams in one night would be a delicious outcome.  Thus, a third source told Scott that the deal between the three teams is not far-fetched.  We have a month to go but, as is his wont, Dan Gilbert is exploring all options, including those where the Cavaliers take on more money to gain the opportunity to add young talent.  Follow WFNYScott on Twitter for the latest draft rumors.

Cavaliers Should Be Watching What Minnesota Does With #2 Pick

Predicting what teams will do in the draft is hard enough on its own merits. When it comes to trying to guess what a mercurial and enigmatic GM like David Kahn of the Minnesota Timberwolves will do in a draft makes things even more difficult.

Yet, if we are to give any consideration to what the Cleveland Cavaliers should do with the #4 pick in the draft, we must try to ascertain which players will still be there when they are back on the clock. When it comes to the Timberwolves, the general consensus seems to be that they will take Derrick Williams with the 2nd pick, leaving the Utah Jazz to take Brandon Knight at #3 and giving the Cavaliers their pick of foreign prospects at #4. [Read more...]

Cleveland Cavaliers Interested in Texas PG Cory Joseph?

When discussing the draft in any sport, we as fans, and even many analysts, use a fair amount of assumption to backup our opinions. We take what is assumed to be common knowledge about certain players and apply it to our assumed needs for each team in question. In reality, though, the only thing that really matters is the opinion of those with the power to actually make the draft selections.

In the case of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA draft, I think most would agree that there are two prospects who stand out more than the rest in Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. I think most would also agree that the players the Cavaliers should take if they have the #1 pick is Kyrie Irving. But what if Irving isn’t the player Chris Grant wants? What if Grant thinks the PG position is ok for the next 2 seasons and he would rather fill other needs with the first 2 picks? [Read more...]

Cavaliers NBA Draft Talk: Could position logjams force offseason trades?

In what has become a lost season for Cavalier fans, the lone beacon of hope has been the pair of lottery picks that the team will have in the upcoming June draft. With the Mo Williams-Baron Davis trade and the corresponding Clipper draft selection, the team currently holds the first and eighth best chances at winning the NBA Draft Lottery. In this “weak” draft class, there is a group of players that are all pretty close together in terms of talent. Depending on how the ping pong balls bounce and how the numbers come up, the Cavaliers could have some tough personnel decisions to make.

If the Cavaliers are fortunate enough to land the top overall pick, I feel that they have two legitimate and equally attractive options. They are Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving and Arizona sophomore forward Derrick Williams. Ironically enough, their two teams squared off on Thursday night with Arizona coming out on top and Scott had a recap of those fantastic performances here. Both selections would create the possibility and in my opinion, the absolute necessity of a trade.

If Irving becomes a Cavalier, the wine and gold face a dilemma with their top draft pick, Baron Davis, and Ramon Sessions all demanding playing time. Davis is virtually untradeable with his contract (for the record, I’ll never say never after the Cavs unloaded Larry Hughes), so that leaves Sessions as the primary trade bait. Ramon has done nothing but raise his stock this season after a down year in Minnesota after which he was acquired along with Ryan Hollins for Delonte West and a second-round draft choice. He has been arguably the most improved player on the team from start to finish, averaging 12.7 points and 5.3 assists in 27 minutes per contest. The guard from Nevada’s jumpshot range has improved slightly, and his ability to finish at the rim has rebounded from a hideous run in the early and middle parts of the season. Nevertheless, Sessions’s greatest asset always has been and always will be his ability to drive and draw a flurry of fouls. In my opinion, a contender would highly value Sessions as a consistent backup point guard and bench piece. I believe Sessions is either a starter on a bad team or a key backup on a good team, and drafting Irving would make him the odd man out.

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Irving, Williams Put on a Show for Cleveland

As the Cavaliers inch closer to the NBA Draft, Cleveland fans are using the NCAA Tournament as a scouting mechanism that allows them to potentially catch up on players who they may or may have not had a chance to watch during the regular season.

On Thursday night, as the Duke Blue Devils and Arizona Wildcats battled for a spot in the Elite Eight, dream scenarios ran rampant as the Cavs – boasting two lottery selections in the upcoming draft – have a chance to start righting the 13-win ship.  Duke’s Kyrie Irving and Arizona’s Derrick Williams have long been in the top-five of many draftniks and Cleveland fans (including this one) alike, and for the first time this season, the two players were on the same stage for all of the nation to watch.

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NBA Draft: What the Scouts Are Saying

In case you hadn’t noticed or have been living on the moon for the past four months, the Cleveland Cavaliers have turned into the worst team in the NBA. The only silver lining in hitting rock bottom (which is the correct way to rebuild, might I add) is that the Wine and Gold will have the most ping pong balls in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery. They will have the best shot of getting the #1 pick.

Naturally, this year’s draft class does not boast a clear-cut top pick as in years past with a John Wall or a Blake Griffin or a Kevin Durant (I know that he was the #2 pick after Greg Oden). A number of kids are getting top pick buzz.

Every year, SI.com’s signature College Basketball writer Seth Davis talks to a gaggle of NBA scouts about the top prospects, puts together their comments and gives them to his readers. Its a great read if you are a big college basketball fan, or a big NBA fan who doesn’t watch a lot of the college game. [Read more...]