The Most Critical Offseason for the Cavaliers

Story written by Tim Whelan –

The Cavs are coming off a disappointing NBA finals loss to the Golden State Warriors. It was a series that showed the true weaknesses of the Cavs. Cavs had major problems with the bench, rebounding, defense, and the reality of not having enough firepower on the floor to match with Golden State.

The Cavs offseason has been very entertaining. But took a turn for the worse just before the draft. The Cavs and General Manager David Griffin have decided to part ways due to different visions of the future with the team. Koby Altman, Assistant General Manager, has been fielding the calls and the draft for the time being.

What is next for the Cavs as we head into free agency? First order of business is the finding a new General Manager. The Cavs have been pursuing ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups aka “Mr. Bigshot”. You may have heard of him. Billups is regarded as one best all-around point guards the NBA has seen. Billups was a part of the Detroit Pistons when they were making big in the postseason year after year. Billups has met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert for 2 days. It has been reported he is currently mulling an offer. His position would be President of Basketball Operations. He will then add a General Manager under him.

Now, let’s talk about the current state of the roster. Is it a championship caliber roster? Yes. Is a roster that can beat Golden State? No. Are there moves that the Cavs can make that would make them better, or at least feasible against the Warriors? Yes but not much.

The problem with the Cavaliers appear to be the lack of trade assets they have this offseason. No one is willing to take on the contract of Iman Shumpert. Kevin Love’s trade value is no where near what it was in 2014.

But that isn’t the only problems the Cavs face. They now face a roster that is depleted by age, lack of athleticism off the bench, the lack of defense. The Golden State Warriors were able to exploit that every time LeBron James left the court.

Rumors have been flying about the Cavaliers. Especially ones involving some guy by the name of Paul George. You may have heard of him. George has been linked to the Cavs since the end of the NBA Finals. Paul George recently told the Pacers that he will leave them in 2018. George has insist he prefers to play for the Lakers. But can a trade the Cavs change his mind? Paul George is currently sitting on a 1-year deal and is basically a one year rental for any team that trades for him.

With the NBA free agency upon us, here are some names I believe the Cavs should consider:

Small Forward, Rudy Gay (Sacramento)

Small Forward, Tyreke Evans (Sacramento)

Guard, Tony Allen (Memphis)

Forward, Michael Beasley (Milwaukee)

Small Forward, Vince Carter (Memphis)

Point Guard, Darren Collison (Sacramento)

Center, Dwayne Dedmon (San Antonio)

Forward, Taj Gibson (Oklahoma City)

Point Guard, George Hill (Utah)

Guard, Jrue Holiday (New Orleans)

Of course, there are several other players available to the Cavs. The problem is the Cavs don’t have money to spend. Any free agent they spend money on will put them in a deeper hole in the luxury tax. Making trades, moving contracts in order to add a free agent would most likely be the route for the Cavs. The Cavs will still be in a bad spot heading into next season. But every decision they make will be with the question does this free agent or trade improve our chances against Golden State? It will be a very interesting offseason for the Cavs. One that could change the look of the Cavs future for a very long time.

 

Fly the Parot! Edwin Carries the Indians to 5-2 victory over the Twins.

Story written by Tim Whelan –

The Indians came into father’s day looking for a 4-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins. The Indians did exactly that. The Indians beat the Twins 5-2. The Indians have a 2 game lead in first place. The Indians move their record to 36-31. The Twins fall to 34-33 on the season.

STARTING PITCHING FINAL LINES:

Trevor Bauer (CLE) Win (Record 6-5). Bauer went 7 innings, 2 runs, 2 earned, 2 walks, 8 strikeout, ERA of 5.54.

Kyle Gibson (MINN) Lose (Record 4-5). Gibson went 6 innings, 8 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 2 home runs, ERA 6.56.

SUMMARY: It took until the 4th inning for the Indians get on the board. With a second deck bomb from Edwin Encarnacion. Fast forward to the 6th inning. Edwin did it again. This time a 2-run bomb into left field. Edwin finished the day with 3 hits, 2 home runs (16), 5 RBIs (36) including a Sac fly in the 9th inning.

The Twins would battle. Getting 2 runs from the help of Eduardo Escobar, and Eddie Rosario. The Twins got a nice effort from Kyle Gibson, keeping the twins within 3 runs through the game. But the Indians bats would be too much for the twins to recover in this one.

Andrew Miller would get the save for the Tribe. It was his first on the season. Why was Indians manager Terry Francona using Miller in the 9th? As of now, it seems as though he is trying to balance the workload between Cody Allen, and Andrew Miller. How long will this switch last? Only time will tell.

PREVIEW: The Indians will travel to Baltimore to take on the struggling Orioles. Two aces will toe the rubber. Corey Kluber who is 5-2 on the season with an ERA 4.15, will take the mound for the tribe. Dylan Bundy who is 7-5 with an ERA 3.29, will be taking the mound for the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch will be at 7:05 pm ET. Watch live on Sports Time Ohio or tune on WTAM 1100.

NBA Has Some Serious Issues to Address This Offseason

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By Jay Alan

This NBA postseason has been unlike any other I have experienced in my 34 years. Not just because the Cavs dominated the number one seed Celtics, but they dominated in a historic manner. A 50 point lead at half time in the Eastern Conference finals is bad enough, but now the defending champion Cavs are on the verge of being swept by a Warriors team that is 15-0 so far in the playoffs this year.

Parody has been an issue in the NBA for quite a few years. The West has been seen as quite a bit better than the East, really since the Michael Jordan Bulls run came to an end. Now I am not going to get into the ridiculous game of comparing teams from different eras like the mainstream sports media loves to do, but history is important to keep in mind.

Lets take a look at a list of NBA Champions since the Bulls run of six championships in 1998…

1999-Spurs (West)

2000-Lakers (West)

2001-Lakers (West)

2002-Lakers (West)

2003-Spurs (West)

2004-Pistons (East)

2005-Spurs (West)

2006-Heat (East)

2007-Spurs (West)

2008-Celtics (East)

2009- Lakers (West)

2010-Lakers (West)

2011-Mavs (West)

2012-Heat (East)

2013-Heat (East)

2014-Spurs (West)

2015-Warriors (West)

2016-Cavs (East)

2017-Warriors lead 3-0 (West)

Lets be honest, without LeBron James’ Miami teams, the East may have 3 of the last 12. LeBron James has been in the last seven finals representing the East, with the Cavs and Warriors playing in the last three.

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This is the first time two teams are meeting three years in a row, and normally this wouldn’t be a bad thing with no team winning in consecutive years, but the Warriors addition of Kevin Durant changes things.

The Cavs and Warriors was a fairly evenly matched contest the first two years. The Warriors won in 2015 with the Cavs missing Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, and the Cavs won in 2016 coming back from a 3-1 deficit, the first team to ever do so.

Enter Kevin Durant…

The 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player (Giving the Warriors the last 3 between Durant and Steph Curry) in the middle of his prime gets added to a team that won a record 73 games in 2016.

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In 2011 commissioner David Stern blocked a three team trade that would have sent Chris Paul from the then New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers. Granted the league had control of the Hornets at that time, so Stern used that as the reason as to why he blocked the trade, but in the interest of parody, the commissioner could have done something…anything to stop Durant from joining the Warriors. Durant was a free agent, not getting traded, but I can’t see any of the leagues other owners objecting to something being done.

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So where does all of this leave us now? The Warriors will likely sweep through the playoffs being the first team to go 16-0, and will in all likelihood dominate the NBA for the foreseeable future. We could see the Warriors in six or seven consecutive finals, potentially winning the next three or four easily. The Warriors are making the team that dominated the East look like a D-League team.

The only way I see the Warriors being stopped is by the Cavs doing something drastic. I am a Cleveland fan so obviously I want to see the Cavs do well, but they are already paying more luxury tax than anyone ever, so what can they really do?

Dan Gilbert has some very tough questions to ask himself this offseason. He can’t continue to pay all this luxury tax on a team that got swept out of the playoffs, so he can either break up the team, or get better. Much better.

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LeBron gave Cleveland a second chance, so lets hope Gilbert doesn’t decide to break up this team and rebuild. He will have to make some tough roster decisions, like possibly parting with Love or maybe even Irving, but for all of Cleveland’s sake he cant give up. Dan Gilbert isn’t a quitter, and Cleveland doesn’t quit, so I think this will be an exciting offseason.

Having two teams dominate isn’t great, but it is better then just having one team run all over the rest of the league.

Check out more posts from Jay Alan at JayAlan.Wordpress.com.