July 24, 2014

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs unwilling to part with Varejao, pick for Jeff Green

As the smoke clears from the Omer Asik/Jeff Green rumors this past week, Bob Finnan of the News Herald is reporting the Cavs’ would have had to part ways with Anderson Varejao or a first round pick to acquire the services of the Celtics’ Jeff Green — a price Chris Grant and the Cavs weren’t willing to pay.

If the Cavs had been willing to sacrifice either backup center Anderson Varejao or their 2014 first-round pick, they probably could have been involved in a three-way deal that headlined disgruntled Rockets center Omer Asik this week. They weren’t, so they didn’t.

- Bob Finnan, The News Herald

After initially putting a deadline on trading Asik, the Rockets now have said they are not looking to move the Turkish big man for the time being. The Cavs were rumored to be the third team in deals that would send Asik to either Philadelphia or Boston. Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert is on record of saying he wants the Cavs in the playoffs this spring, but with a loaded 2014 draft and the Cavs getting off to a slow start it remains to be seen what the Cavs plans are for the rest of this season.

Jeff Green would provide the Cavs a much needed upgrade on the wing, and add another scoring option to offense that often times goes stagnant. The 6-foot-9-inch Green is averaging a career-best 16.5 points per game for Boston, but the caveat is Green, 27, is under contract for $8.9 million this season, $9.4 million in 2014-15, and has a player option for $9.4 million in 2014-15.

Varejao is averaging 8.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in a reserve role for the Cavs, and if he can stay healthy through the first week of January he will appear in his 32nd game of the year, which will be the most games the Brazilian has played since 2009-2010.

[Related: Cavs vs. Bulls Behind the Box Score: Cavs offense comes back to reality]

 

NBA Trade Rumor: Rockets pausing Omer Asik trade talks

Despite initially setting a deadline of today, the Houston Rockets appear to be postponing their trade talks about center Omer Asik.

ESPN’s Marc Stein and Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski have the latest details this afternoon on the never-ending saga related to Asik’s status in Houston. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the most involved teams, per the ongoing rumor mill.

Both later noted that, of course, the NBA trading deadline is still two months away. That’s why Houston had initially set today’s deadline so involved players could perhaps be packaged again later this season after the required two-month waiting period.

Previous updates from both reporters had Boston and Philadelphia appearing as Asik’s most likely destinations. In one potential three-team trade scenario, the Cavaliers were rumored to be targeting Celtics forward Jeff Green.

With the Cavs now 5-3 in their last eight and playing their best basketball of the season, it’s probably best that these talks are slowing down. I would have recommended for them to not be involved anyway as the Rockets have a hard time finding a suitable taker for Asik.

[Related: The Diff: Should Cavs be involved in an Omer Asik trade?]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs potential members of a three-team deal for Jeff Green

As the Houston Rockets continue to look for a landing spot for disgruntled center Omer Asik, the Cleveland Cavaliers once again find their name in the mix. The latest, coming from ESPN Boston, has the Cavaliers as a third team in a deal that would ultimately net them forward Jeff Green.

The Celtics now are widely regarded as the strongest rivals to the Philadelphia 76ers in terms of likely destinations for Asik. …

Cleveland is another team that has been frequently linked with Asik the past several days, but sources close to the situation maintain the Cavaliers like the fit of Anderson Varejao in their frontcourt rotation better than Asik and thus are more likely to participate in such a trade as a third-team facilitator rather than as the team that winds up with Asik. …

One possible scenario that has emerged, sources say, is a three-way trade in which Boston lands Asik, Cleveland absorbs the contract of Celtics forward Jeff Green and Houston scores no fewer than one of the future first-round picks it covets for surrendering Asik. Other players would have to be involved in such a trade to make the salary-cap math work, but it’s the sort of trade that would fall in line with Cleveland’s well-known focus on upgrading its options at small forward.

The Cavaliers pursued Green in free agency two summers ago before Green re-signed with Boston and, as ESPN.com reported Sunday , have shown far more interest recently in finding a new small forward than going ahead with the rumored Varejao-for-Asik swap.

The 6-foot-9-inch Green is averaging a career-best 16.5 points per game for Boston, seeing his usage rate climb above 20 for the first time in his career. Green, 27, is under contract for $8.9 million this season, $9.4 million in 2014-15, and has a player option for $9.4 million in 2014-15.

[Related: Cavs vs Blazers Behind The Box Score: Heartbreaker at The Q]

Silver lining on the Varejao injury, the rebuild moves forward

Anderson VarejaoIt’s hard not to feel some pain for Anderson Varejao after hearing the news that his knee contusion was in fact a torn muscle in his leg. Memories of Andy winning the game with a buzzer beating 3-pointer against Atlanta, and giving Ray Allen the business during a national televised game against the Celtics are two of my favorite moments I’ve enjoyed at the Q. I’ve really never enjoyed watching basketball more than watching Andy and LeBron fly around the court together.

That being said, Andy’s injury increases the Cavs’ chances of completing a successful rebuild.

The longer Andy is off the court, the worse this team is.

The worse this team is, the more ping pong balls they have in the lottery.1

The more ping pong balls in the lottery, the better chance of landing a superstar.

[Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. The lottery is won with a winning four ball combination. For simplicity’s sake let’s use ping pong balls as the example instead of how many four ball combinations a team has. []

Cavaliers’ Trade Exception Will Be a Running Story in the 2010-11 Season

Despite no longer having LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers will still have several interesting storylines to follow this year. Of course everyone will want to watch and see how the Cavaliers play with their franchise player no longer a part of the franchise. I’m sure an ongoing storyline will be Byron Scott’s performance in his first season with the Cavaliers. How will Andy Varejao adapt without his partner in crime in the pick and roll game? Will JJ Hickson continue his development or will he go backward without the safety net of LeBron? Will/can the Cavaliers trade Mo Williams and/or Antawn Jamison? Will Ramon Sessions rebound back to his Milwaukee form?

Those are all interesting storylines to keep an eye on, but perhaps the biggest question that will linger over the Cavaliers all season long has to deal with the Trade Exception the Cavaliers picked up in the LeBron James trade. Until they either use it or it expires, you can count on Cavalier fans relentlessly inquiring as to whether the Cavs will use it and who they might use it to acquire. [Read more...]

LeBron James’ 44 Points Propels Cavs over Thunder

90041349LM004_CAVS_THUNDEROn the cover, this could have been another one of “those” games.  On the road against an up-and-coming Oklahoma City team full of young, talented scorers that have been playing very well as of late.  In fact, up until midway through the fourth quarter, it was just that.  But thankfully, the Cavaliers got the job done in the second half, finishing the contest with a 13-point win, 102-89.

On paper, much of the success will be pinned on the shoulder of LeBron James who finished with 44 points (a season high), seven rebounds, and six assists.  James sank five of eight three-point attempts, tacked on four steals, and added yet another chasedown block – the most recent victim, Thabo Sefolosha. 

But James was not alone in this win as Mo Williams was electric yet again, finishing with 22 points and four assists to go with what may have been the biggest shot of the night.  [Read more...]

Cavaliers at Thunder: Open Thread

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Cleveland Cavaliers (16-7)
@ Oklahoma City Thunder (12-9)
Ford Center, Oklahoma City, OK
7:00 PM EST FSN, WTAM 1100-AM

The Cavaliers look to collect another W tonight on the road against the suddenly above average Thunder in Oklahoma City. Still weird to consider there is a basketball franchise in that state, but it is definitely acceptable to refer to them as the Zombie Sonics, as popularized by ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Kevin Durant is absolutely tearing it up yet again this season for them, averaging 28.3 points per game while Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and James Harden represent a very young and productive core overall. This will not be a given for the Cavs and they need to recapture some of their fire and intensity from a few weeks back.
[Read more...]