April 23, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Are the Sacramento Kings the new Browns?

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.

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This was an enjoyable back-and-forth from two “Cleveland-Raised-Basketball-Writer-in-Exile” on comparing the Kings-Browns situations: “First of all, the fact that the Kings are the only professional sports team in Sacramento makes this slightly different from the Cleveland situation. At the time of the Browns move, the Indians were coming off their first World Series appearance in 41 years a month prior to the announcement so as painful as the Browns move was, Cleveland fans at least had the Tribe to fall back on every April-October. Sacramento has…the San Francisco Giants, I guess? That’s akin to Cleveland fans cheering for Ohio State. As far as the relationship between the fans and owners go, it’s too bad that the SAT did away with the analogies section years ago because Art Modell:Cleveland as The Maloofs:Sacramento would be a perfect fit. Both fan bases are incredibly passionate, and my heart aches for the people of Sacramento who don’t deserve to be jerked around by these idiots.” [Eric Maroun and Amin Vafa/Hardwood Paroxysm]

A nice BDL article on the LeBron craziness, including a shoutout to our very own Scott: “If James were to opt out, it seems about as sure a bet as could exist in the NBA that a still-healthy, still-productive version of James — who will still be just 29 years old on Opening Day 2014 — would be coveted by any team with enough cap space to offer a full maximum-level contract. The Cavaliers are on target to be one of those chock-full-of-cap-space squads come the summer of 2014; at this point, the only guaranteed ’14-’15 money on the Cavs’ books is about $18 million earmarked for young building blocks Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller.” [Dan Devine/Ball Don't Lie]

Capturing 4 positives about the Cavs despite Sunday’s 20-point loss to the Lakers: “Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller. Cleveland Cavaliers fans should be repeating those four names over and over again — especially after losses like the 113-93 hammer job delivered Sunday by the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s because Irving, Thompson, Waiters and Zeller are the future. They’re the second- and first-year guys whom the Cavs are counting on heavily today — and likely will still be counting on in two years. Everyone else on the current roster? Well, it’s hard to say.” [Sam Amico/Fox Sports Ohio]

Are you worried about Dion’s shooting? An old WFNY scribe explains why he isn’t: “The 7-18 shooting display from Waiters, to be fair, was certainly not without it’s cringe-worthy moments. It also marked the 18th time in 31 games that Dion shot less than 40 percent from the field for the night. That level of consistent inefficiency is not good and obviously needs to improve next season. At this point in his NBA development, though, with the Cavaliers currently leading the league in losses, there is no reason Waiters should not take each and every one of the field goals he’s attempting. He might as well keep bombing away until they begin to fall more consistently. Use the entire 2012-13 regular season to find an NBA rhythm if he has to.” [Brendan Bowers/Stepien Rules]

This isn’t huge news, but still worth sharing about why one Browns GM candidate isn’t in the picture anymore: “In the days after the Browns fired G.M. Tom Heckert, word emerged that the Browns requested permission to interview Vikings assistant G.M. George Paton. But an interview never happened. There are two different versions in league circles as to what happened. One source says that Paton passed. Another source says that the Vikings declined permission.” [Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk]

Not necessarily an opinion piece, but it was fun to read through the usual run-of-themill reader comments on ESPN about the Browns hire of Rob Chudzinski: “The Cleveland Browns didn’t make the right move in going with Rob Chudzinski as their new head coach, according to last week’s SportsNation poll. Of the 68,062 votes, 62 percent didn’t approve of the hiring of Chudzsinki.” [Jamison Hensley/ESPN AFC North Blog]

Finally, ending with a look at pitching options for the Tribe: “The 2012 Cleveland Indians had a lot of faults, but none seemed as problematic as the starting rotation. It was statistically the worst in the American League, and one of the worst in all of baseball. The Indians spent the last month or two of the season cycling pitchers into the rotation from Triple-A – names like David Huff, Corey Kluber, and even Chris Seddon took a turn on the mound for the Tribe. Did the Indians do enough this offseason to shore up the rotation? If not, are there any viable options that remain as we are less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting?” [Stephanie Liscio/It's Pronounced 'Lajaway']

NFL Report: Browns ask permission to interview Vikings’ George Paton

With Chip Kelly news at a standstill for the moment, you can add another name to the GM search for the Browns, according to Jay Glazer on Twitter earlier this afternoon:

George Paton (note: just one “t”, not two like the general) was promoted to the Assistant GM position with the Minnesota Vikings in February 2012. This is his sixth year in Minnesota and he has had a long relationship with team GM Rick Spielman. The Vikings improved from 3-13 in ’11 to 10-6 and a Wild Card berth in ’12.

Previously, Paton also spent six seasons with the Miami Dolphins as their Director of Player Personnel after beginning his post-playing days with the Chicago Bears organization.

Also on the Browns reported list at the moment: former Raiders employee Michael Lombardi, San Francisco’s Tom Gamble and Seattle’s John Idzik.

[Related: NFL Report: Lombardi already scouting free agents for Browns]