The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to play a regular season schedule of 66 games this year, starting just after Christmas. If they win 29 of those games, to match the .451 winning percentage posted by the 8th seeded Indiana Pacers last season, they could make the playoffs.
Baron Davis might be amnesty clause'd. If he isn't though, he'll return as the same guy who brought enough swagger to make this Cavs team compelling down the stretch last season. The same guy who made each and every one of his teammates better. A guy who sounds like he doesn't want to really leave Cleveland just yet, offering statements like this to ESPN: "having that opportunity to go to Cleveland and kind of like restart my career is something that I really cherish".
If Kyrie Irving eventually becomes what most people think he will be, he might end up on the Cavaliers for a long time. This new CBA allows for teams to select one "Designated Player", who can be signed to a five-year extension after year three. A deal that can allow the Cavaliers to offer Kyrie a 7.5% annual raise during each of those five seasons, as compared to a max number of only 4.5% allowed to be offered by teams competing for his services.
The Cavaliers may make only one move during this free agency period too, and that's fine with me at this point as well. Even if the only guy they ended up inking to a deal is Anthony Parker. I'm kinda looking forward to having him back actually.
Things like winning too many games to draft outside the Lottery next season, freeing up salary cap space by amnesty clausing right now, thinking that Kyrie may leave after three seasons like everybody else has, and the fact that the Cavaliers will only sign Anthony Parker during the free agent frenzy set to begin are the furthest things from my mind right now. I'm simply glad the NBA is back. The table of Gatorade cups at my house are all half-filled this morning as a result.
During a twitter conversation last week it really hit me, I thought there was a chance this season could be lost forever. I watched video of Ryan Hollins dominating Chris Bosh and company and almost forgot how awesome that night in Cleveland really was. I then watched the Cavaliers beat the Lakers in '88 and it felt like it could be another twenty-three years until I saw them play LA ever again. Then I woke up Saturday morning to a season.
I was honestly talking to some people on Friday night who asked me if I thought the CBA would be resolved anytime soon, and I literally said that I thought it would be resolved by Saturday morning. Those people think I'm Alex Kennedy right now I imagine. I didn't really know that then though, I was just guessing, just hoping, just missing the NBA that much.
Now that it's back, I'm not going to talk about the 2012 draft for a while. I'm not going to talk about amnesty clauses until I have too either. I can't help but look forward to all the positives of this upcoming season. I'm really excited to see Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Omri Casspi all take the floor together wearing Wine and Gold. I'm looking forward to those new faces, and all the old ones too.
Remember that Anderson Varejao guy? Remember Daniel Gibson? My guy Skyenga? Remember that guy Samardo Samuels who completely punked Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony en-route to that Cavaliers win at the Garden last season?
I was trying to forget all of that for a while. These last couple months I wasn't sure we'd be seeing any of that again for a long time. Season's back on now though people, let the 2011-12 Cavaliers campaign begin.
And like Kevin Garnett always says, anything is possible.