Wednesday: Question 3 - Managing Shaq's Minutes
Wednesday: Question 3 - Managing Shaq's Minutes
Tuesday: Question 2 - Who's On Active Roster?
The only topic that irritates me more than this one is the Brady Quinn v. Derek Anderson debate - which consumes every second of local sports talk radio in this town - but nevertheless, here is more pure speculation on the LBJ Summer of 2010:
Where Will LBJ Land - Royce Webb, ESPN:
"Clevelanders can't exhale yet, but perhaps they can take some comfort in our forecast, as 73.1 percent of our panel members now see LeBron staying in Ohio. That's a switch from last year, when less than half the panel saw King James wearing the wine and gold past 2010... "
Now I am not really sure what it means if 73% of this panel thinks LeBron will re-up with the Cavaliers, but I hope it means ESPNwill talk about this topic at least 73% less than they did a year ago. I mean after-all, Brett Farve did re-sign with the Vikings. Further down in the piece though, Webb does lay out a critical aspect of this equation that is worth noting.
"But the Cavs caught a break, it appears, at least in terms of their LeBron retention plan, when the league crunched the numbers and projected a drop in revenues and the salary cap for the coming year. That means, as things currently stand, the Knicks could not sign both LBJ and a friend like Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade to max contracts. Presumably that would dampen LeBron's interest in making the leap to the Big Apple."
The recent restructuring of the salary cap certainly does benefit the Cavaliers. And for a NY to lure LBJ, you have to think that he's right, its gonna take signing 'LBJ and a friend,' something the Knicks frankly can't do. That is, unless James and Chris Duhon become facebook pals in the coming months.
Throughout the week, we will post a series of questions about the Cavaliers Rotation for the 2009-10 season that we imagine Mike Brown to be sitting at his desk with a number two pencil and some filler paper trying to work out answers to in light of an off-season that saw the Cavaliers as a very active player.
Question 1 - Cavaliers Game One Starting Five...
For the first time in the LeBron James era this is a question that involves six, arguably seven, players that could actually start. The most legitimate debate is at the SG position. Its my opinion that Anthony Parkergets that job. I know he was brought in for depth in the back-court, but I have to think that at 6'6" Mike Brown is going to like the size that Parkercan add to a back-court that was undersized a year ago. Can he defend? I don't think he'll be as good as West,but I think he can be serviceable. Additionally, with Williams and Parker starting, I think Delonte West can do more for you coming off the bench as the sixth man. In this scenario, Delonte could be a very realistic Sixth Man of the Year candidate next season. His ability to spell time at the one and two, along with providing an instant spark at both ends of the floor upon entering the game, could prove to be invaluable.
The lesser of the starting line-up debate involves the bigs. If Leon Powe was healthy right now, this would interesting, but he's not, and its definetely not as close a contest as with the SG's. There is no way you can bring in Shaq, with his personality, and his $20 million a year contract, and be the first team in his career to ask him to come off the bench. I don't want that experiment blowing up during the last year of LBJ's contract. Just don't have time for that. So Shaq starts at the C position, and Andy at the PF spot. Will those two guys mesh offensively? Maybe not, but you can't have Z or Shaq stepping out to cover an opposing teams four...it'd be ugly. After the All Star break, if Powe's healthy, who knows, but for now it has to be Andy over Z for defensive purposes.
What I'd love to hear and see is that JJ Hickson just comes on and emerges into the type of player that his talent should one day allow him to be this season. Of the players on the Cavaliers' current roster, I think Hickson's skill set would best suit playing alongside Shaq, but I just don't see that development as happening. Not this season at least.
All that said, the StepienRules starting five looks like this to open the season:
PG: Mo Williams
SG: Anthony Parker
PF: Anderson Varejao
C: Shaquille O'Neal
Assuming nothing comes of Stephen Jackson's mumblings, the recent signing of Danny Green seemingly completes what was a very busy summer for Danny Ferry and the Cavaliers. But with the five new faces, and the resigning of Varejao, there will be a lot of questions dropped into Mike Brown's suggestion box in the coming months about how he plans to structure the new rotation. We'll have more on that throughout the week, but for now, a look at the 2009-2010 roster as it stands today, and links to our postings on each free agent signing, is found below:
Cavaliers 2009-2010 Current Roster:
|14||Daniel Green||G||6-6||210||06/22/1987||North Carolina||R|
|21||J.J. Hickson||F||6-9||242||09/04/1988||North Carolina State||1|
|23||LeBron James||F||6-8||250||12/30/1984||St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (OH)||6|
|15||Jamario Moon||F||6-8||200||06/13/1980||Meridian CC (MS)||2|
|33||Shaquille O'Neal||C||7-1||325||03/06/1972||Louisiana State||17|
|13||Delonte West||G||6-3||180||07/26/1983||Saint Joseph's||5|
|31||Jawad Williams||F||6-9||218||02/19/1983||North Carolina||1|
In responding publicly to a question at an event in NY yesterday about whether or not the Warriors would make the playoffs next season, Stephen Jackson offered the following comment - via Dime Magazine:
"Um…I don’t think I’ll be a Warrior next year. I’m looking to leave.”
Dime Magazine later sat down with Jackson, and posted the following exchange late yesterday:
"Dime: Is there anywhere specifically you want to go?
SJ: Either Cleveland, anywhere in Texas or out here with Al in New York."
If nothing else this is another interesting twist in what has become a very entertaining post season for Cavaliers' fans. Is the interest mutual though? I would guess not for a number of reasons, shear talent not withstanding. Jackson is under contract through 2012 - 2013, and on his 35th birthday he is scheduled to make $10 million. From an on-the-court-next season standpoint, Jackson would be a nice piece to add. A true two-guardso to speak when compared with Delonte West and Anthony Parker (combo guards)...but he (SJ) comes with a number of question marks both on and off the court - will he pass, will he bum rush Cleveland fans in the stands, etc, etc - and I expect the Stephen Jackson to the Cavs fire to burn out before it ever really sets ablaze. Interesting thought though.
If you are not following StepienRules on Twitter I suggest you do. Why? Well, because we are currently the 34th ranked account on the Cleveland Sports Twitter List, and we are not beyond pandering to improve our ranking.
We only activated the account about a month ago, so in some respects, we're glad to make the Top 40...but you either get better or you you get worse, and based on the fact that it is a Top 40...frankly too much worse might just bump us off the list entirely...so drop me a follow...
Go to Stepien Rules @stepienrules ...you'll be glad you did.
The top 10 looks like this:
1) Shaquille O’Neal @the_real_shaq
2) Cleveland Cavs @cavs
3) Mo Williams @mogotti2
4) Lebron2010.com @lebron2010
5) Donte Stallworth @D_Stallworth18
6) Brian Windhorst @pdcavsinsider
6a) Jay Crawford @jaycrawfordespn
7) Brian Spaeth @brianspaeth
8 ) Eric Knappenberger @cavswitness
9) Cleveland Leader @clevelandleader
10) Orange and Brown Report @theobr
I would call the free agency period an overall success for Danny Ferry and his Cavaliers - hands down. But way back to what seems like years ago, there was an NBA Draft in which most Cavs fans hoped to find a player that could step in and contribute this season. They didn't get that player with the 30th pick, however it appears in signing Danny Green to a two year contract this week that the front office thinks they may have gotten that guy with the 46th.
But did the Cavaliers miss on an impact player amongst those drafted after Eyenga and before Green?
Long way away from knowing that answer to be sure, but if the summer league performances serve as any indicator, a brief look into that answer might be below.
Below are the NBA Summer League statistics of each player drafted after Christian Eyenga, and before Danny Green:
46th Overall Pick - Danny Green: 5 Games, 20.4 MPG, 8.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 29% (3P)
45th Overall Pick - Nick Calathes: DNP
44th Overall Pick - Chase Budinger: 5 Games, 22.2 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 72% (3P)
43th Overall Pick - Marcus Thorthon: 3 Games, 29.7 MPG, 20.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 29% (3P)
42th Overall Pick - Patrick Beverly: DNP
41th Overall Pick - Jodie Meeks: 5 Games, 32.2 MPG, 19.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 53% (3P)
40th Overall Pick - Derek Brown: DNP
39th Overall Pick - Jonas Jerebko: 5 Games, 28.0 MPG, 12.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, 17% (3P)
38th Overall Pick - Jon Brockman: 5 Games, 21.6 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0% (3P)
37th Overall Pick - DeJaun Blair: 3 Games, 25.0 MPG, 16.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0% (3P)
36th Overall Pick - Sam Young: 5 Games, 25.0 MPG, 13.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.6 APG, 50% (3P)
35th Overall Pick - DaJaun Summers: 5 Games, 32.4 MPG, 18.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 27% (3P)
34th Overall Pick - Sergio Llul: DNP
33th Overall Pick - Dante Cunningham: 4 Games, 31.5 MPG, 18.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0% (3P)
32th Overall Pick - Jermaine Taylor: 4 Games, 20.8 MPG, 11.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 15% (3P)
31th Overall Pick - Jeff Pendergraph: 5 Games, 27.6 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0% (3P)
30th Overall Pick - Christian Eyenga: 5 Games, 26.6 MPG, 8.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0% (3P)
Cav-a-linkage is a new series here at SR which features Cavaliers' posts, news, or stories, that I read on a given day and found interesting..today those links are as follows:
Shaq Hate Continues To Pour Out of Phoenix - Scott, WFNY:
"I took the Steve Nash-Shaq Vs. news with a grain of salt...But the latest article to come out out Phoenix? Well, let’s just say that someone isn’t too happy with the way things ended with the Big Cactus...The article [which criticizes Shaq as a teammate] goes on to discuss that O’Neal is no longer “Superman” and "continued to dig up how things went with Kobe Bryant."
From More Than A Game, Forever, Featuring Lil Wayne, Eminem, Kanye - Vince, 64 and Counting:
"A bunch of all-star rappers have gotten together to record a song for the new LeBron James doc, More Than a Game...The big deal about "Forever" is that it marks the first time Lil Wayne and Eminem have appeared together on a track. The song, which gives top-billing to "Best I Ever Had" hitmaker Drake, also includes a verse by Kanye West. It's pretty good — but it's also kinda long..." [video at 64 and Counting]
I Disagree [ Cavaliers Ranked #1 In Yahoo Sports' Ranking of Best Teams Not To Win NBA Title] - Ben, Random Thoughts:
"Now, should this Cavs team be on the list? Probably. But over the 01-02 Kings (#2 on the list)? No sir. Does anyone think that the 03-04 Lakers squad (with Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone and Gary Payton, #6) wouldn't have whooped last years Cavaliers?"
Cavs Wine & Gold Scrimmage - George, Ohio.com:
"The Cavaliers announced Wednesday that the Wine and Gold Scrimmage will return to the University of Akron’s James A. Rhodes Arena for the sixth consecutive year. The intrasquad game will tipoff at noon, Oct. 3 and...represents the first time that fans will be able to see Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James together."