Penny For Your Thoughts…

Training camp is pretty close. Opening night is pretty close also, and things are getting (kinda) interesting around the league – finally. Seems like since July 9th it’s come to a complete standstill, but alas there is life in this off-season. Things catching my interest this week and in general…

Preaching “patience” with our TPE and not jumping the gun on its use. Hurray for sensibility!! Look, $14.5 million is a lot of money; it’s even more with franchises everywhere bleeding money in harsh times. Let’s hold onto it until the February deadline; let’s see what teams haven’t reached the expectations they’d have set themselves at seasons beginning, and let’s see who’s being shopped. Candidates include Houston (Kevin Martin), Philadelphia (Iguodala), Memphis (take your pick) and Golden State (Ellis/Biedrins). It’s a chip we need to keep out of play for just that little while longer to maximise it’s potential.

Samardo Samuels has been quoted as saying, “the sky’s the limit and I’m getting better” and promisingly with regards to our Cavaliers season hopes “I’m definitely going to play like I want to make the playoffs”. Nothing wrong with the hunger and passion from our rookie power forward, he just needs to get his butt in shape, work his socks off in camp and eat up every minute of action he gets this year behind JJ and Tawn. He could be our Paul Millsap.

Are we really going to keep debating how many wins we’re going to end up with? I’ll give my two cents – somewhere between the Bulls 72 win season and the Nets 12 win campaign.

LeBron’s Q Score has sunk so low they’re considering calling his a W.

Tony Kornheiser stated on PTI started off some sentence on PTI I took no notice of, but at the end he caught my attention when he said”…while the Cavs end up winning 5 to 10 games”. Dude, I used to like you. Now you’re just an old guy who talks to Mike Wilbon on a TV when he can’t be bothered to physically be there. Also, your approval rating with me was waaayyyy up there after you went ballistic on this matter. Now, you’re slightly higher than LeBron on the W rating chart.

Mo Williams seems to have said something or tweeted a comment that prompted reports he was set to retire. My initial thought was, “Oh boy, he’s going to retire, get his contract cancelled then go sign for the minimum in Miami just to be chest bumping with you know who again”. That would have topped off our summer. I then calmed down, put away my Mo Williams voodoo doll (I swear I didn’t use it during the playoffs) and calmed down. And after Mo came out with reassurance for us Cavs fan, I’m feeling ok again. Lucky too – those sleepless nights over a comment taken from a guy who lost his best friend over two months ago were driving me mad.

For what seems like the bajillionth (I made that word up but I’m so using it at least once a week in a blog forever and ever) time I’m going to discuss Carmelo Anthony’s future. It’s been written that the Nets are the frontrunners – Derrick Favors and picks seem to be enough to get Melo. Now here’s what I’d demand from New Jersey – taking into consideration we’d have to do a few adjustments here and there to match salaries – I’d be wanting Favors, at least two first rounders and Terrence Williams or Brian Zoubek. Now, if I’m Denver I’d try get JR Smith in the deal, but then you’re taking on a whole new ball game. Also, because they (Denver) are so high on Ty Lawson, I’d test them on Chauncey Billups future as a Nugget. For the latest on Carmelo (as of today anyways, I’m sure we’ll get updates rapidly in the next 72 hours) go check this out.

How good would New Jersey be with Carmelo? We’ll assume they lose Favors in the deal, so their starting line up would be Harris-Williams/Morrow-Melo-Murphy-Lopez. Where in the East do they fit? Potentially fourth, behind Orlando, Chicago and Boston. Do you fancy their chances of getting past any of them in a seven game series? If he stays a Nugget (not happening) how do they fall in the West? Probably behind LA, Oklahoma and Dallas, maybe Portland. Chances of Denver beating any of those teams in a seven games series? Is he really improving his chances of winning a ring or is he just that intent on getting out of Denver? His best shot would be trying to push a deal with Portland, imagine a Miller-Roy-Melo-Aldridge-Oden starting five. Yep, I peed myself too.

Dwight Howard apparently has decided he’d rather have Durant over LeBron (sorry for all the LeBron related stuff today, I’m typing while inside I’m crying) if given the opportunity. Look, right now as much as it sickens me to say, you pick LeBron every single time. In 5 years time that answer probably changes, but right now Durant can’t pass like LeBron, rebound (consistently) like him, defend like him, and is nowhere near as versatile. He’s a better shooter and perhaps better scorer, but right now if you’re taking a guy for one game (not a seven game series though, not at all) and pinning your hopes on him to win it for you, you take James. You take Durant for the next ten years though, that I’m certain of.

ESPN has us ranked at 27th in their pre-season rankings. For the full rankings click here. Sorry now ESPN and your rankings, but you mean to tell me and keep a straight face doing so that we’re worse off than Detroit, Washington, Philadelphia and New Jersey (without Melo)? Really?

And finally, just like to remind you all in CavsLand that in around 33 days our Cavs will start a new era against Boston at the Q. 33 days and counting…

33 DAYS AND COUNTING!!!!

Contact me for the Stepien Rules mailbag on dol-17@hotmail.com, Twitter @DOL17 or Facebook.

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