July 24, 2014

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...]

Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings host suddenly streaking Cavaliers

Cavaliers vs KingsThe Cleveland Cavaliers are suddenly an exciting team to watch. Just like that, after a trade for a two-time All-Star and a double-digit road win – just the third in four seasons – and the season has turned around again.

Tonight, they continue their five-game Western Conference road trip in Sacramento. The Kings are 12-22, even with the 13-23 Cavaliers in the overall NBA standings, and they also had a major trade for a small forward earlier this season. They’ll likely have a much more difficult road to postseason contention over in the West, however.

On the year, Cleveland remains just 3-15 on the road. They have just five three-game winning streaks in four seasons and zero four-gamers. Here’s a preview of what to watch over at the humorously named Sleep Train Arena.
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NBA Free Agency: Sacramento pulls offer to Andre Iguodala

The Sacramento Kings have apparently decided to pass on free agent forward Andre Iguodala, according to USA TODAY’s Sam Amick.

“The Sacramento Kings have pulled their offer to free agent small forward Andre Iguodala, according to a person with knowledge of the decision,” writes Amick. “After making a four-year, $52 million bid, the Kings will now regroup and decide the next move in their rebuilding efforts. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the situation.”

It isn’t clear if the Kings were hoping for an immediate decision from Iguodala, but apparently they feel that they had waiting long enough.

The Kings are approximately $16 million dollars under the cap, but only if guard Tyreke Evans signs elsewhere. If the Kings bring Evans back, plus signing draft picks Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum they will be out of cap space.

The Denver Nuggets are reportedly very interested in bringing back the All-Star and gold medalist, but would not be able to do so at $14 million per season. Iguodala has met with the Detroit Pistons as well, and will meet with the New Orleans Pelicans, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks according to a USA TODAY report.

The Cavaliers had long been linked to potentially trading for Iguodala, but it is not known if they have spoken to him about playing in Cleveland since free agency began earlier this week.

[Related: Cavaliers interested in veteran guard Chauncey Billups]

NBA News: Sacramento hires Chris Jent as assistant coach

Ohio State Buckeyes assistant and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Chris Jent is heading to the West Coast.

The Sacramento Kings have officially hired the 43-year-old Jent as an assistant coach, the team announced yesterday. Previously this offseason, the Kings tabbed former Cavs assistant Michael Malone as their head coach and it had been rumored for the bulk of the last week that he was targeting Jent to join his staff.

“Adding Chris to our coaching staff provides the team with a coach who will remain loyal to the mission of returning this franchise to prominence,” Malone said in the team press release. “He’s experienced at the professional and collegiate levels, is extremely well-prepared, and has made a significant contribution in every stop along his coaching career.”

An OSU alumnus, Jent’s professional career was not that noteworthy. The 6-foot-7 left-handed forward played just six regular season and 11 playoff games in the NBA, yet won a championship alongside the Houston Rockets in 1993-94. He had much more success overseas, where he played in Australia, Italy, Spain and Greece.

He was then an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003-04 followed by a year with the Orlando Magic in 2004-05, when he finished the season as an interim head coach. After being dismissed by Orlando, he joined the Cavaliers organization as their Director of Player Development in November 2006. By 2009, he added on the title of assistant coach under head coach Mike Brown.

Jent gained public notoriety for his work as LeBron James’ “personal shooting coach.” In their four seasons together, James improved his effective field goal percentage each year, thus leading to the increasing Ohio appreciation for Jent’s work. He also worked notably with J.J. Hickson and was the final remaining coach from the Brown era.

Then, shockingly, Jent left to join Thad Matta’s crew in Columbus in the summer of 2011. It must have been a heck of a recruiting push to then bring Jent elsewhere, as all public indications seemed to show that he was thrilled to be at Ohio State, where both he and his wife graduated.

Now, he’ll work on developing the young players on the Kings, as highlighted by the oft-rumored star DeMarcus Cousins.

[Related: DeMarcus Cousins rumors fading, so what’s next for Cavs?]

NBA Rumor: DeMarcus Cousins wants to stay in Sacramento

Lately, Cleveland Twitter has been buzzing with trade ideas revolving around Sacramento Kings star center DeMarcus Cousins. The rampant speculation — of course with no concrete backing — has heated up even more so since the Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery for the No. 1 pick next month.

But today, with the recent sale of the Kings becoming official and the team set to soon hire former Cavs assistant Michael Malone, rumors are circulating that Cousins indeed wants to stay in Sacramento. Via the Twitter account of Sacramento Bee reporter Jason Jones:

Vivek Ranadive is the new lead owner of the Kings. He previously was a co-owner and vice chairman of the Golden State Warriors (a la Jimmy Haslam III and the Pittsburgh Steelers), but later emerged as the main man behind the contingent hoping to keep the Kings in California.

Cousins, 22, was the No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft after one season at the University of Kentucky. In the last two seasons most notably, “Boogie” Cousins has averaged 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, emerging as one of the elite young prospects in the NBA. He’s also been relatively healthy, playing in 220 out of 230 possible games thus far in his three-year career.

Yet, Cousins has been an constant source of trouble on and off the court, leading to the constant Internet speculation about an eventual departure from Sacramento. Thus far, however, it appears that the new ownership group is doing all they can to keep the team’s best star at least for now.

[Related: Exploring The Trade Angle For Cavs’ Moveable Assets]

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers discussed deal with Kings that would have removed restrictions from first round pick

According to Jason Lloyd, the Cavaliers and Kings had discussions about a deal that would have removed the restrictions surrounding Sacramento’s first round pick owed to the Cavaliers in the Hickson/Casspi deal-

“#Cavs made offer to Sac to remove pick protections from Hickson/Casspi trade, league source said. Deal died with Sac/Hou trade last night” -Jason Lloyd

Those restrictions are as follows-

2013 first round draft pick from Sacramento: Sacramento’s own 2013 first round draft pick to Cleveland (top-13 protected in 2013, top-12 protected in 2014, top-10 protected in 2015, top-10 protected in 2016 and top-10 protected in the 2017 Draft) If Cleveland has not received a first round pick from Sacramento by 2017, then Sacramento shall convey their own 2017 2nd round draft pick to Cleveland provided it is within the top-55 picks. If it is not, then Sacramento’s obligation to Cleveland shall be extinguished. (Cleveland-Sacramento, 6/30/2011)

The deal Lloyd is referring to sent Thomas Robinson to the Rockets and saved the Kings over $3 million dollars in payroll this season.

No details regarding the proposed deal between Cleveland and Sacramento were given, but it is assumed that the Cavs would have taken on salary in exchange for the protections being removed. Sacramento owns the league’s 6th worst record. The Cavaliers currently have the 4th worst record.

[Related: Speights drawing interest, Cavaliers not enticed]

The Diff: Franchise comparisons for the Cavaliers

Thanks to all for your really positive feedback about my first-ever edition of The Diff last week about Kyrie Irving’s potential. I’m back today with more talk about the Cavs. Hope you enjoy yet again.

The Diff

For weeks and weeks, one of my favorite NBA topics has been exploring and researching possible franchise comparisons for the Cavaliers and where they stand right now. I believe my mini-obsession with this topic started with Andrew’s excellent article last month titled “Is There Any Hope Beneath the Frustration for the Cavaliers?” This post really got my stats-focused brain a-churning. [Read more...]

Dion Waiters: “I think we did a pretty good job on the defensive end”

They shared the ball well. They were able to make shots — they made a lot of shots tonight. We contested them. I think we did a pretty good job on the defensive end.

– Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters, Tuesday night, after his team gave up a season-worst 124 points (on 51.2 percent shooting) in a loss to the Sacramento Kings. The Kings (14-24) score an average of 97.7 points per game. In the contest, Waiters scored a game- and career-high 33 points (12-of-18 shooting) off of the bench, adding five assists. Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott labeled it as “one of those games on the defensive end we couldn’t stop them.” The 9-31 Cavaliers have now lost three straight contests and play on Wednesday in Portland.

[Related: NBA Rookie Rankings: Jedi Drummond, Bradley Beal heating up]

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.

WWW_BulletinBoard_Browns1

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']

NBA News: Kings Buyout Former Cav Hickson

According to a tweet from Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sacramento Kings have reached a buyout agreement with former Cavalier first round pick JJ Hickson.

Hickson, who showed much promise playing along side LeBron James in Cleveland was traded this past offseason to the Kings for Omri Casspi and a heavily protected 1st rd pick.

Neither Casspi nor Hickson have worked out well for either respective team, but whereas Casspi has been mostly quiet, Hickson has not been shy about his unhappiness in Sacramento. Despite all of Hickson’s athletic ability, he was never able to find a role in Sacramento and the jump shot he was working on so hard in Cleveland only seemed to regress. With no role and no future with the Kings, a buyout agreement was reached.

Hickson has reiterated a fondness for the Cavaliers this season when the Kings and Cavs played, but Cleveland would seem like a perhaps unlikely destination for him as Hickson and Coach Byron Scott never seemed to be on the same page. One potential destination could be Miami where Hickson could once again thrive under the tutelage of LeBron James, who often mentored Hickson in Cleveland.

[Time Machine: Chris Grant discusses J.J. Hickson trade]

The Dan Gilbert/Kelly Dwyer Rift Reaches Bizarre Levels as Cavs Top Kings

The Cleveland Cavaliers won their thirteenth game of the season on Wednesday night as the Wine and Gold outscored the Sacramento Kings by 10 points in the second half, ultimately winning 97-93.

Evidently, said 13th win was largely coveted.  Not only is it a prime number (which is inherently cool), setting the stage for a potential 17 total wins for the season, but 13 is also exactly one more win than Yahoo! Sports’ Kelly Dwyer had predicted in his team preview back in the early fall. Twitter-using Cavalier fans of all shapes and sizes took to the e-streets, pointing fingers at Dwyer in celebration of this the magical accomplishment, understandable on the basis a home team victory.

What was not great was that Cavaliers’ principle owner Dan Gilbert was one of those pointing fingers, potentially taking things a bit too far.

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Trade Exceptions, Vizquel’s Hall of Fame Odds, 2011 Big Ten

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.

Forecasting what might happen with those fancy trade exceptions this season: “Most years the NBA trade season is defined by the term ‘expiring contracts.’ This season, however, there’s a different phrase that might be at the center of big-name transactions: trade exceptions.

Trade exceptions can be created several ways, but large ones typically are created when a team acquires salary-cap space in exchange for trading a player. The team that receives the cap space then gets a credit — of the amount of the departing player’s salary in the current year of his deal or the first year of a new deal — that it can use in future transactions for a calendar year.” [Brian Windhorst/ESPN.com]

[Read more...]

Cavs Fall Apart in Second Half, Lose 107-104 to Sacramento Kings

Just when the Cavaliers offense looked at its best under Byron Scott, the Sacramento Kings rallied to take a 107-104 victory at the Q Saturday night. It was a classic third quarter debacle that did in Cleveland again, falling apart after taking an impressive 14-point halftime advantage.

Ramon Sessions, Daniel Gibson and the guards led the charge in that first half, showcasing Scott’s new transition style with 67 quick points. Unfortunately, the pace slowed down from there as Sacramento adjusted to the scheme defensively, controlled the rebounding game, and won 31-15 in that third quarter en route to the final win.

Still plenty to learn for Cleveland as the team prepares for Mo Williams’ season debut Tuesday against Atlanta. Now let’s cover the rest of this Sacramento game in abbreviated form:
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Cavaliers/Buckeyes Preview

The Cavaliers and the Buckeyes are back in action tonight as the NBA season and Big Ten conference play heat up. Stay tuned here for comments as both games unfold on this Saturday night and enjoy some previews from around the web after the jump.

For the Cavs, there is not much time to regroup after a disappointing loss to the Toronto Raptors last night. Anderson Varejao is expected to return to the starting lineup at 8 p.m. against Sacramento, but Mo Williams will still sit and is expected to make his debut Tuesday. Hopefully at least Andy can trigger a better overall performance from the offense tonight.

Meanwhile, OSU travels to the new TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to take on the Golden Gophers at 7:30 p.m. After an impressive 49-0 victory over Purdue, the Bucks will hope to keep up the hot play one week before a huge match against Penn State.
[Read more...]

2010-11 NBA Blogger Previews – Pacific Division

Yep, it’s that time of year again already. Once again, CleticsBlog are hosting the annual Blogger Previews for every team in the NBA. How this works is simple, every day a certain NBA team is up and bloggers who write about said team will offer their previews for that team in the upcoming season. Then, once a division is completed, all the bloggers throughout the NBA who are participating will post links for all the previews for that division.

Next up is the Pacific Division. All the previews are linked below, and I encourage everyone to take a few minutes, click on the links, and check out what writers from across the nation are saying about their own teams. We will be posting the Cavaliers preview later today, so stay tuned. [Read more...]

Cavz vs. Kings Preview – Welcome Home Z Day!

The Cavaliers (CAVZ!!!) take on the Sacramento Kings this afternoon (3 PM, FSOhio, WTAM 1100) to start a three-game home stretch over the next six days. The main story of the game is the return of Cavz center Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Z (The Z!!!) after his trade to the Washington Wizards before the trade deadline, followed by his subsequent buyout.

While Z has played in two games since his return to the Cavz, both games were on the road. There has been an ongoing debate to the method in which the Cavz will play Z in his first game back in front of the home crowd that influenced his return. The game plan according to the team has been to bring Ilgauskas off the bench towards the end of the first quarter. While starting Z would be a nice gesture, the argument has been that bringing him off the bench will allow the fans to focus on him as he enters the game. With Andy Varejao out with a hamstring injury, Ilgauskas will still likely come off the bench. [Read more...]

NBA Buyout News: Done Deal, For Hughes That Is

Larry HughesI’m probably going to get lynched for that headline. This is actually not about the Wizards and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The latest we have seen is this Washington Post piece saying that a buyout is coming soon- Wednesday at the earliest. I’m a little confused by that addition to the article on Howard’s season ending injury because it is dated Wednesday. Whatever. Check out Andrew’s buyout piece from earlier today for Z news, also an excellent piece from David Aldridge about what it is going to cost Zydrunas to take a buyout. I ask you, would you take a million dollar loss for your company?

No, the buyout news I’m talking about is coming from Sacramento. It appears that the Kings have waived Larry Hughes after reaching a buyout deal on his contract. The oft-injured guard is dealing with a fractured finger and never took the court for the Kings after being part of the three team deal that sent T-Mac to New York and Kevin Martin to Houston. Hughes reportedly wants to sign on with another team to finish the season, and…wait for it…. apparently the Charlotte Bobcats have an interest in the ex-Cavalier! [Read more...]

Late Game Defense, Flawless OT Powers Cavs Over Kings

90042401JJ010_CLEVELAND_CAVWhile the box score may show that the Cavaliers topped the Kings thanks to huge scoring nights from LeBron James and Mo Williams, the real story of the 117-104 overtime win in Sacramento was the crunch time defense coupled with timely execution on the offensive end.  The Kings’ Tyreke Evans (more on him later) was abusing the Cavaliers for the majority of the evening until midway through the fourth quarter when LeBron James opted to cover him on the defensive end.  It was from this point that Evans would go on to shoot 1-for-8 though the fourth quarter and into overtime, allowing the Cavaliers to pull away and nail the proverbial coffin.

But things did not come easy.  Until the overtime period, the Cavaliers biggest lead was eight points; the Kings managed one of six points.  There were several lead changes, a slew of clutch shots on both sides, and all around exciting play for 54 minutes. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preivew #30 – Cavaliers at Kings

Cavaliers vs KingsCleveland Cavaliers (21-8) vs. Sacramento Kings (13-14)
Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
10:00 PM ET
FSOH, WTAM 1100AM

The Cavaliers looked flatter than ever agasint the short-handed Dallas Mavericks but managed to bounce back against a high-scoring Phoneix Suns offense.  Tonight, they get to play one of the younger teams in the league in the surprising Sacramento Kings.  

With one of the league’s best rookies in Tyreke Evans, the Kings have managed to play .500 ball without their leading scorer in Kevin Martin as well as key role player Francisco Garcia.  Evans has done more than his share of stepping up by averaging more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists – something that only three other players in the NBA are currently accomplishing.  Thankfully, for Cavaliers fans, one of those three is LeBron James.  This one has the makings of another trap game that the Cavaliers have been prone to dropping, as the Kings are an amazing 10-3 at home.  However, the Kings lack considerable size in their front court and could have some issues if Shaquille O’Neal and the rest of the Cavs post players are on their game. [Read more...]

Merry Christmas Cavs: 4 Games, 6 Nights, 5700 Miles, Partridge in a Pear Tree

NicholsonSince the release of the schedule, Cavs observers have been looking at these first two months as the toughest stretch with the biggest hurdles to clear.  The Cavs are not winning in the convincing manner that they did last season and they certainly look shaky at times on both ends of the floor.  Yet we lag only a few games behind the crème of the league in the loss column with our first major Western Conference trip kicking off tomorrow night in Big D.  Marc Stein, a Western Conference guy and the lead writer in charge of ESPN’s power rankings, fairly or unfairly, is typically hard on the Cavs.  But Stein reminded us this week that “the Cavs — for all the lukewarm reviews so far — are a tidy 7-2 against teams at .500 or better.” 

Let’s hope they continue to play to the level of their competition on this trip because they will be facing 3 of the top 4 records in the West and a fourth team that, while under .500, is 10-3 at home.  In addition to the tough competition, the 4 games come with little rest in a 6 day span – as a frame of reference, the Cavs second West Coast swing, which happens a mere two weeks after this one ends, consists of 5 games in 9 days.  Lebron, in his postgame remarks last night, was referring to it as “business trip to the Wild, Wild West.”  We will bring you your game previews for each specific game this week but let’s take a quick look at each team and what we should expect/hope for on this trip as a whole.

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