April 16, 2014

LeBron James is rightfully jealous of Miguel Cabrera’s new contract

Miguel CabreraReally, who isn’t jealous of Miguel Cabrera’s new contract? His existing deal plus the eight-year extension will pay him close to $300 million in total. Last week, when asked about it by Brian Windhorst, LeBron James said he was jealous of that money, before saying he wishes the NBA “didn’t have a salary cap.”

“He’s the best player in baseball, and the best players in each sport should be rewarded,” James said. “It’d be nice to sign a 10-year deal worth $300 million.”

Of course nobody should feel sorry for LeBron James who earns lots and lots of money in his own right between the NBA and endorsements. Still, consider LeBron’s talent level and his stature in his game as one of about 450 or so players in his league.1 Meanwhile Miguel Cabrera is easily one of the best players in his game, but he’s also one of about 1,300 players in his league.2 So, it does seem a little bit strange that Cabrera could be worth double in overall contract value than Kobe Bryant who once signed a deal for seven years and just over $136 million.

I’ve suggested that one of the ways that the NBA can deal with player movement would be to have a franchise tag for one player on each roster. This franchised player wouldn’t be subject to the salary cap at all. So your team could have a roster of players that need to cost under $70 million for example, but then if you have a Kobe, or LeBron, you can pay them true market value. I haven’t worked out all the particulars, but each team can only have one of these guys making that tag scarce and inflating the value of playing in smaller markets for at least that one player who could be designated. It also might do wonders to break up super teams.

Anyway, it makes me wonder what LeBron James’ true market value might be to his sport considering Miguel Cabrera’s worth $300 million in his sport. Everyone said that the Miami Heat “sacrificed” to put their team together down in Miami. Imagine if they really had to sacrifice though. Imagine if LeBron was making $45 million per year as the “franchise” player and Wade and Bosh had to fight for the right to make $20 million each under the cap while also having teammates.

More importantly, would $45 million even be enough for LeBron’s true market value?

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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Footnotes:

  1. 30 teams times 15 players per team, give or take turnover and the developmental league. []
  2. 32 teams times 40 players is 1280. []

Cavs Kicks by Crown Royal: Melo, KD, Harden and a chance to win a $100 gift card

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Our great friends at Crown Royal have decided that the Reign On Spotlight which ran every Sunday during the 2013 NFL season could use a counterpart on the hardwood. Thus, over the course of the second half of the NBA season, we, as a part of Crown Royal’s Center Court program, will be featuring another spotlight of sorts—this one, shining down on the footwear choices made by members of your Cleveland Cavaliers. There is no denying the emegence of “kicks” in the NBA community, be they player exclusives or retro versions some classics of yesteryear.

It’s been a few weeks since our last entry, but there are a few reasons. First and foremost: The Cavs were playing several teams that typically come pretty strong in the sneaker department. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, James Harden—we wanted to include as many as we could. Secondly…Well, you’ll have to wait and see.

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As promised, WFNY wanted to take this time to roll out another edition of #WFNYCares and provide readers with the chance to win a $100 gift card to NBAStore.com courtesy of Crown Royal. Our good friends know that a disappointing season may be winding down, but there are plenty of great NBA-based items for Cavs fans to purchase.

To enter, all you have to do is comment below with a response to the following question: We already have Melo, Kobe LeBron and others. Who is the next NBA star who should receive their very own line of shoes, brand notwithstanding?

The best reply be chosen by me will be notified via the email attached to their comment ID on Monday, March 31. Good luck to all. And as always, many thanks to the kind folks at Crown Royal! #ReignOn

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Made for royalty, Crown Royal offers a fine array of blended whisky products such as Crown Royal Deluxe, Crown Royal Black, Crown Royal Maple, Crown Royal Reserve and Crown Royal XR. Fit for every occasion, the Crown Royal portfolio caters to those who choose to celebrate with a whisky they can incorporate into every memorable experience.

CJ Miles joins Kobe, McGrady and Deron in the history books

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard CJ Miles set a franchise record on Tuesday night after he hit 10 three-pointers on his way to a game-high 34 points in the blowout win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

miles_mediadayWith his illustrious evening, Miles joins some pretty exclusive company. The only other players in NBA history who made eight threes in a first half were the All-Star trio of Kobe Bryant (in 2003), Tracy McGrady (in 2004) and Deron Williams (who set the NBA record of nine in a half – any half – last March). With only one two-point shot made, a hard-earned lay-up in the second quarter, Miles became just the sixth player to make at least 10 three-pointers and no more than one two-pointer in an NBA game1.

With each additional three-ball that would fall—some off of screens, some in the corner, others just fantastic execution—the Cavaliers bench grew more animated. Miles knew that his shots were falling, but according to the veteran swingman, he had no idea how many he had drained until the contest was well in hand.

“I knew what [the record] was, but I didn’t know where I was,” said Miles following the game. “I knew that I had hit a few. I knew from last year that I had the eight from Brooklyn, but I didn’t know where I was at during the game, I was just playing. I knew the last two that I made in the fourth quarter, I knew then because Jack told me because he thought I wasn’t going back into the game because of the score. He said ‘You’re close to having the franchise record.’ I was like ‘I didn’t know!’ and then coach put me back in and I got those other two.

“[My teammates] looked for me.  They ran some plays for me. Kyrie called some plays. Coach called some plays. The big guys screened for me. They got me open. All I had to do was get square with the basket. Everything else was just like you practice every day.”

[Related: All of the Above: CJ Miles' frustration boils over]

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Footnotes:

  1. Thanks, Elias []

NBA Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers will be “vying” for Dwight Howard

The Cleveland Cavaliers were a buried mention as a potential suitor for Dwight Howard in free agency in an ESPNLosAngeles report yesterday. Cleveland was tossed in after meticulously exploring the merits of Houston and Dallas, so it’s reasonable to assume that the Cavs are going to be tossed into every discussion due the the extraordinary amount of cap space they will have this off-season.

Howard is expected to entertain the free-agency process and hear competing offers from Houston, Dallas and others, multiple sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com. Cleveland and Atlanta are teams that will also be vying for Howard, among other suitors.

If I was making the book in Vegas, I’d say there’s a 80% chance that the Cavaliers talk to Howard or his people this off-season, because you kind of have to when you have the cap space and a player of that caliber is a free agent. The idea that it would get past the talking stage and Howard would come join the Mike Brown-led Cavaliers has to be at 5% or less I would think.

We don’t know exactly how Dwight Howard feels about Mike Brown, but in Howard’s first season with Brown, the coach was fired after only five games. At minimum, it would appear that familiarity or some personal connection would be somewhat unlikely to benefit the Cavaliers should they even truly be in pursuit of the big man.

[Related: Cavalier NBA Draft Film Room: Shabazz Muhammad]

Lakers and Jazz both win, but Bryant could have torn Achilles

The Cavaliers would benefit greatly if the Lakers made the playoffs. The Cavs have the right to swap the Heat’s first round pick Cleveland owns this year for LA’s first rounder if they make the playoffs.

If the Lakers fail to make the post season, that pick goes to Phoenix. The difference is around 15 spots.

That’s significant.

The Lakers are currently in the eighth and final playoff spot, but they are just one game up on Utah. The Jazz own the tie-breaker however, so the Lakers must finish a game ahead of Utah.

With 2 games left to play for each team,  it seems that the Lakers will likely have to win out. They play San Antonio on Sunday, and then finish the season against the Rockets.

They may have to play those games without superstar Kobe Bryant.

Reports coming from LA after the Lakers beat the Warriors tonight are that Kobe Bryant may have a torn Achilles. He will have an MRI tomorrow.

If it is an Achilles tear the typical prognosis is a year of revovery.

The Diff: Kyrie Irving’s potential

Today marks the start of a new era: The Diff, where I’ll write lots and lots about sports stats. Kudos to friend and fantasy football semifinalist Marc Sugerman for coming up with the article name, a shoutout to the Q’s scoreboard. And thanks as always to Mike Brenkus for the design.

The Diff

For my first-ever edition of The Diff, I wanted to focus on some thoughts I had about Kyrie Irving over the last week or so. This all started after the Cavs’ impressive 99-83 victory over the Hawks a week ago today. I was at that game with my dad. But the following conversation took place the next day on Gchat with my brother Sam, who you all might recall from our combined offseason post back in June. Hope you enjoy. [Read more...]

Topping L.A. was nice, but Kyrie’s “true test” is in Indiana

Kyrie Irving was ready. The self-proclaimed Cavaliers’ biggest cheerleader was ready to put down his pom poms and swap his suit for a wine and gold jersey. He knew that all of his begging and pleas would fall on the deaf ears of team physicians, keeping a long term, investment-like frame of mind when it came to clearing the reigning Rookie of the Year to resume full basketball activities. The clearance came just in time for Irving to undergo a requisite practice. He then dropped 28 points and 11 assists in a wire-to-wire win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

But the true test, per head coach Byron Scott, is Wednesday night as the Cavs travel to Conseco Banker’s Life Fieldhouse to take on the Indiana Pacers.

[Read more...]

Cleveland Cavs Notes: Kyrie Irving’s Injury, Luis Scola, Andrew Bynum, Start of Summer League

What a hectic week to be a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It seems that almost every single day brings along a new news cycle, and this week has brought along its fair share of hectic news.

From the Kris Humphries-Brooklyn Nets rumors to the possible Luis Scola waiver claim, to the more recent Andrew Bynum murmurs and recent Kyrie Irving injury, there’s been plenty to talk about in Cavs town lately.

Tonight, the Cavaliers begin summer league play in Las Vegas at 8:30 p.m. against the Charlotte Bobcats. With this in mind, I thought this would be a great time to round up some of the recent rumors and my thoughts on the team for this Sunday afternoon. [Read more...]

Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant to go 1-on-1 for Charity

With Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving turning headsand ankles – in Las Vegas, the reigning Rookie of the Year has become the subject of a challenge from Los Angeles Lakers’ shooting guard Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, apparently impressed with Irving’s skills and willingness to talk trash, has issued a challenge to the point guard wherein the two will play a 1-on-1 game for $50,000, with the proceeds going to charity. Though no date, time or location has been set, the 20-year-old Irving quickly accepted.

“I give him credit for his confidence,” Byrant said of Irving. “It’s 50 grand for my charity. It’s greatly appreciated. Easy money, easy money.”

The two players have had a light-hearted bond while practicing for Team USA with Irving being teased about his age and quickly shooting back that he at least attended college. Earlier this week, Bryant shot at Irving saying that he was unaware of the point guard’s skills as the Lakers were “up by 30 after the first quarter” during the lone match-up between the Cavaliers and Lakers. The Cavaliers, however, were down four after the first quarter, eventually losing by five.

“You’re going to have to guard [me],” Irving said to Bryant. “You’re not going to lock me up. It’s over.”

[Related: Cavalier Thoughts: Hope And Patience In A Hopeless And Impatient NBA]

(Source: Duke Blue Planet)

While We’re Waiting… More Tannehill suggestions, tanking at another level and no off season for Pinkston

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.

Now this is just getting ridiculous- “With three teams possibly clamoring for Tannehill, the team that holds the third pick in the draft may finally have a trade market. Whether it’s a flip-flop with the Browns or a five-spot discount with the Dolphins or a nine-position plummet with the Seahawks, three different teams could make a run at the clear shot at Tannehill. At a bare minimum, the Vikings should squeeze the Browns into a one-spot swap, like the Vikings did with the Dolphins back in 2004, when Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman was coincidentally the G.M. in Miami. Then, the Vikings could still pick tackle Matt Kalil and finagle an extra pick (maybe a third-rounder) from the Browns.” [Florio/Pro Football Talk] [Read more...]

NBA Report: Lakers struggling with Mike Brown’s “micromanaging tendencies”

I think Mike Brown is a great guy, but I always questioned the wisdom of keeping Mike Brown for as long as the Cavaliers did. I thought he was a really good defensive specialist, but in terms of managing rotations and enabling the offense to obtain maximum efficiency, I always had serious doubts. Now this from ESPNLosAngeles.

The Lakers had gone 8-2 coming into this three-game road trip, including a win over the Miami Heat on Sunday. During that stretch, it was obvious Brown had made an effort to scale back on some of his micromanaging tendencies that have grated on players this season. He’s noticeably canceled several practices and shootarounds after Bynum spoke out publicly about how the increased practice schedule, combined with an already condensed season, was affecting his play. He’s settled into more consistent offensive rotations after experimenting for much of the season, and he’s let the team read and react on offense instead of calling so many plays.

That effort was seen by the Lakers players as a good start toward repairing what was becoming an increasingly tense first season for the former Cleveland coach. The question now, sources say, is whether Brown and his players can get past this bump, given that Brown himself expressed some frustration after the meltdown against a Wizards team that had just eight wins going into Wednesday night’s game.

Raise your hand if you found any of this surprising after having Mike Brown in Cleveland over the years? We talked about Mike Brown going to Los Angeles when it was announced and I felt like most Clevelanders still liked him and were rooting for him. Still, we weren’t short on advice for him to hopefully avoid some of the mistakes that plagued the Cavaliers when he was here.

This was the final paragraph of my post back then.

The job should be a little bit easier in L.A. you would think because the personalities that are there working together have already proven that they are good enough to win a championship. Then again, to think that he won’t have egos to manage between Kobe, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and the rest is unrealistic. Because I like Brown, I hope he learned a few things from his time and ultimate exit from Cleveland. He needs to do more than just bring his brand of defensive toughness that everyone knows about. He must continue his path toward being a well-rounded head coach. If he doesn’t, his stay in L.A. will be significantly shorter than he had in Cleveland.

[Related: Byron Bucks the “Timeout Rule” En Route to Win Over Nuggets]

Cavs fall to Lakers, 97-92

It was Irving's fourth consecutive game with 20 or more points

What a difference a year makes, eh?

I’m not one for moral victories and at the end of the season, a 5 point loss counts the same as a 55 point loss, but it was nice to watch this young Cavs squad compete for the full 48 minutes against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

And compete they did.

Kyrie Irving, a night after scoring a career high 26 in a win in Phoenix, finished with 21 points and 4 assists and Anderson Varejao pitched in 11 points and 14 rebounds (not to mention numerous hustle plays) but the Cavs, who trailed by as many as 19, could never get closer than three down the stretch. Cleveland had no answer for that Kobe Bryant guy (42 points, his third straight 40 point performance) and big man Pau Gasol had a ‘quiet’ 19 point and 10 boards.

The Cavs, playing their sixth game on their seven game road trip, trailed by 18 at halftime (59-41) and could’ve easily folded. However, Alonzo Gee’s baseline dunk (Gee’s only field goal) late in the third cut the Laker lead to just 12 heading into the final period. The Cavs’ effort carried into the fourth, as the Lakers started the quarter by missing their first eight field goal attempts and the Cavs were a couple of Boobie Gibson treys from making the game really interesting. [Read more...]

Mike Brown Will Hopefully Apply Lessons Learned

Not that anyone really cares, but I first must say that I am happy for Mike Brown.  By all accounts, Brown is one of the true gentlemen in the game of professional basketball.  Now that he will be the Lakers’ head coach, he has landed the premier coaching position in the game this side of maybe Boston.  I must say though, I sure hope Brown follows the path of another head coach who was once run out of Cleveland; Bill Belichick.

Belichick wasn’t the super-genius that he would later reveal as head coach of the New England Patriots.  Belichick had to take steps along the way including valuable lessons in what not to do in Cleveland.  And really, who could blame him?  He was a first-time head coach here.  Same with Mike Brown.

Brown was a rookie head coach with terrific pedigree from the Spurs organization.  That same organization is the one that humbled Brown and the Cavaliers in 2007 by sweeping the Cavaliers out of the NBA Finals.  After winning a whole lot of basketball games and getting a coach of the year award, Brown was summarily dismissed after the Cavaliers faded (I’m being kind) as LeBron James was plotting his exit from Cleveland. [Read more...]

Kobe on Byron Scott: “This is Killing Him”

Kobe Bryant is a five-time NBA champion who described himself as “pissed” with regard to how the 2010-11 version of his team has played as of late.  But even a recent skid won’t stop one of the game’s best players from discussing his feelings for Cavalier coach Byron Scott, whose skid is considerably worse than the one out in Los Angeles.

“Byron was my mentor when I came into the league,” said Bryant following Wednesday afternoon’s shootaround. ”I have a special affinity toward him.”

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Byron Scott, Browns Roster Moves and Carlos Santana’s Start

While We’re Waiting is WFNY’s way of saying “Hey, we’re not really awake and ready for the day yet, but here are some quality Cleveland sports links anyway.” Enjoyed an article or post recently? Send it over via our staff e-mail: tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

I’ve heard from solid sources that Byron Scott is holding out for the Lakers job, but this seems interesting: “As Byron Scott establishes himself as the clear frontrunner for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coaching vacancy, team executives have reached out to two of LeBron James’ friends – Chris Paul and Jason Kidd – to discuss their former coach.

Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant and assistant GM Lance Blanks made an initial round of calls to New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets officials to research Scott shortly after the firing of Mike Brown, but are now digging deeper as they inch closer to making him a formal offer.” [Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo Sports]
[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Shaq’s Impact, Jamison Over Amare, and the Future

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

Yeah, about that… “Perhaps Shaq’s “win a ring for the King” plan served to damage his own narrative by reaffirming the importance of the perimeter players he has teamed with. The phrase on its face seems like traditional Shaq bravado — “LeBron hasn’t been able to do it for himself, so I’ll handle it” — but it’s really a bit of self-deprecation. O’Neal admitted defeat in Phoenix and attached himself to the league’s best player. He effectively told the world he needed to be a role player, even if that admission came wrapped in his own self-trumpeting.

The fact is that Shaq is simply not a king-maker any longer. In fact, it could be argued he’s a drain: the Suns, after all, are in the Western Conference Finals after essentially trading O’Neal for nothing last summer, and the Cavs have regressed with Shaq in tow. That speaks to an unsure future for the big fella, who has claimed he wants to play a couple more years before hulking off into the sunset. Shaq is a free agent come July 1.” [Tom Ziller/NBA FanHouse]

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… MLB Season Begins, Kobe’s Extension and Brandon McDonald

While We’re Waiting serves up an early morning breakfast buffet of WFNY-esque goodies for your daily viewing pleasure (on weekends too!!) Have something else you think we should see? Send it to our fancy tips email address at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Kevin Kaduk and David Brown continue their MLB previews with this long-winded conversation about the American League Central Division: “I’d like to pick the Cleveland Indians higher. Or maybe I need to get higher to pick the Cleveland Indians. One or the other. The Tribe has some very intriguing young players. Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley are on the verge of something, they hope. I like Lou Marson a lot behind the plate and even if he’s not so good, Carlos Santana awaits in the high minors. Chris Perez has closer’s stuff — which is good, because Kerry Wood’s annual trip to the disabled list has already begun.” [Big League Stew]

On that note as well, take a look at this nice article about how 2010 shapes up with 2009: “With opening day just a weekend away, here is a comparison to this year’s (likely) opening day roster compared to a year ago (when hope was still alive in the world).” [APV/Let's Go Tribe]
[Read more...]

On LeBron and Scoring Titles

“If I really wanted to win a scoring title, I could do it every year — every single year — but it doesn’t matter.” LeBron

Yesterday, Bob Finnan wrote about LeBron’s duel with Kevin Durant for the scoring title. The two are separated by the slightest of margins- 9 points. Think about that. After 70 games and those two are only 9 points away from each other. They get more than that in a quarter most nights. It really is anyone’s to win. Many would probably give the edge to Durant because his team will be fighting for playoff position right down to the final game. The Cavaliers on the other hand could have things wrapped up with a couple games to go and allow LeBron to play fewer minutes or sit completely.

In proper context, LeBron was saying that the scoring title is a distant second to the team’s success. As it should be. But it does bring up an interesting question- could he really win it every year?

Make no mistake- LeBron was dead serious when he said it. I saw the video clip of the interview, and he was emphatically saying that the title could be his if he wanted it. Is that too bold a claim for a guy that’s only won one scoring title in his career? [Read more...]

LeBron Sure Loves Giving Headphones As Gifts

LeBron James Beats by Dr Dre Monster Headphones

Sometimes you set out to write something with the intentions of the article going one way, only to have it take a big U-turn in the middle and go somewhere else. That’s the case with this post. I was initially going to make some light hearted jokes about how LeBron and Kobe teaming up to give away headphones to their fellow All-Star members was a sign that LeBron and Kobe would soon team up on the Lakers. After all, isn’t that what all the kids are saying these days?

However, as I started working on my outline and doing some research, I realized just how frequently LeBron gives away “Beats by Dr Dre” Monster Headphones as gifts. [Read more...]

Grading The Cavaliers: Anthony Parker

parker Report Card.001While the Cavaliers use the All-Star break to rest up (well most of them anyways) we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the season so far, and issue some grades. In addition, we will detail what the Cavaliers will need from each player in order to hoist some team hardware this summer. Next up?  Anthony Parker

He may not have gotten a puppet in a Nike commercial, but Parker is one of two Cavaliers to have started every game through the first half.  Can you guess the other one?

Relevant Stats:

Min Pts Reb 3PG 3P% eFG%
25.5 7.1 2.8 1.3 44.7 54.3

[Read more...]