This is the ultimate Cavaliers mailbag to finish off the 2013-14 season. It’s been a great season to write about even though they didn’t make the playoffs, but I just wanted to thank you guys for reading and sharing this year and also thank the Cavs for giving us media access all year to provide you the coverage that we did.
I put out on Twitter that I was doing a mailbag and would answer any questions and I got all these questions. I promised I would answer every question so I did:
OK? LET’S GOOOOOO…
@WayneEmbrysKids Did I leave the window down this morning?
This was one of the nice 60 degree days last week that you sent me this question and not today, which is snowy outside. I think you probably left it open on the nice day and closed it today.
@WayneEmbrysKids If Kevin Love becomes available, what would the cost be to get him?
I often think that people make unfair comparisons to what the Denver Nuggets got for Carmelo Anthony or what the Utah Jazz got for Deron Williams when considering the trade value of Love. Really, if Love becomes available, he’s only worth a haul like what Williams brought (Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first round picks and cash) if he’s willing to sign, or at least gives a solid impression that he’s willing to sign an extension with the team that intends to trade for him.
If he’s not willing to sign or it doesn’t look like he’s willing to sign, he’s not really an option at all for the Cavaliers, so the answer in that case would be “prohibitive”.
However, if he is willing to sign, then you give basically almost anything to get him. Meaning, you’d trade anyone other than Irving (Waiters comes to mind, not because I want to trade him, I DO NOT, but because he’s the team’s most valuable non-Irving trade piece) a contract to make it work (Anderson Varejao’s partially guaranteed would fit this perfectly and so would Scotty Hopson’s smaller but also non-guaranteed deal to make salaries match) and two first round draft picks, which would probably have minimal or no protection. I would really really miss Dion Waiters in this scenario, but I would do this deal. Actually, just thinking about it is making me kind of sad. I blame you.
But then you’d have Irving teamed with Love and you’d still have that protected Memphis pick coming in the next couple of years and you could possibly trade back into the draft or buy a late round pick if you felt like you needed to. Man, and you’d have an issue with Anthony Bennett, who would then be in a Derrick Williams kind of situation behind Love. You’d need to find a rim protector somewhere too, but with Kevin Love on the team, these would be funner problems to have than the ones they have right now.
@WayneEmbrysKids why so much positivity for an ownership group who’s done nothing other than changing seats from blue to red!?!
When it comes down to it, there’s two things you really want from your sports team owner: 1. Spend money 2. Hire good sports people and stay out of their way. I would add as #3 to this list: “pay attention to what’s going on” if not “care about what’s happening” (a/k/a “How Mike Dunleavey Remained Head Coach Of The Clippers For So Long”).
As all Cleveland Indians fans from the 1970s and 1980s know, if the owner can’t satisfy #1, then they shouldn’t own a professional sports franchise. It’s kind of a threshold for being any kind of sports owner at all. So, anyway, obviously, everyone knows the the Cavs have gone way beyond to spend a lot of money on the team.
So this ownership group, led by Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert, bought the Cavaliers in 2005 for $375 million. They made $40 million dollars in improvements to the Quicken Loans Arena and they built a $25 million dollar practice facility in Independence, which is like 10 minutes south of Cleveland, if there’s no traffic, and there’s rarely traffic. I got the $40 million number from a 2012 SI piece, and I don’t think that includes the $5 or $6 million that they spent before last season to create the arena wide wifi, which actually works and is pretty nice. I watched the Hawks-Celtics game on the wifi on my phone with it last week.
I’m going to throw a bunch of charts at you now, just to break up this answer. I found one at realcavsfans.com and aother one at shamsports.com. They’re pretty self explanatory, other than the fact that the salary cap for the 2009-2010 season, the last one that the Cavs were in the playoffs, was 57.7 million and the tax level (the level at which the team had to pay $1 to the league for every $1 over the cap) was $69.92 million.
The Cavs salary for 2009-2010 was as follows:
Ok, so you get that the Cavaliers were $33,228,697 over the cap for 2008-2009? The year before they brought in Shaq?
Check this one out, which is a comprehensive list of teams that paid luxury taxes and how much from 2002-03 to 2012-13:
So the Cavs paid $43,126,121 in luxury taxes. It was all in a 3 year period, and it was all the current ownership group. Meanwhile, some teams have paid $0 in luxury taxes. In 2009-2010, the Cavs paid over $100 million in salary and luxury taxes.
The Cavs didn’t pay luxury taxes over the last 4 years, but they did spend a lot of money to get draft picks. First, they traded for Baron Davis and the pick that became number one overall, which became Kyrie Irving, in 2010-11.
Just some quick math on that. Davis was paid a prorated amount of the $14 million he was owned on his contract for 2010-11 by the Cavs. He was also owned $28 million over the next two years. So the Cavs took on about $33 million in Davis’ salary. To be fair, they traded away Mo Williams, who was owned a prorated amount of his $8.5 million salary for 2010-11 and had player options for $8.5 million for the next two years. Jamario Moon was also involved, but his salary for the remaining 2010-11 season was only about a million. Then, Kyrie Irving ended up being the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, making just over $5 million a year for 2011-12 and 2012-13 and beyond.
So essentially, the Cavs paid about $12 million dollars for the Clippers 2010 unprotected draft pick, then paid that pick $10 million over the next two years, raising the price of the pick to a total of over $22 million.
There’s other examples of the Cavs doing this. For one, they paid about $6 million to Luke Walton in order to get back first round draft picks from the Lakers that turned into Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev. Not every ownership group is doing this.
So, the second criteria “hire good people and stay out of their way” is where a lot of people are angry.
38 year old Chris Grant was hired to be the Cavs General Manager on June 4, 2010. Chris Grant was hired from within after Danny Ferry left the team as someone with experience who had handled all of the job duties of a GM while working as an assistant GM to Ferry and had previously turned down the GM position with the Atlanta Hawks in 2008. According to Dan Gilbert at the introductory press conference for Grant, Grant was “running” the head coaching search.
Shortly after Grant was hired, on June 10, Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo visited Cleveland and was presumably offered the head coaching position with the Cavaliers at an estimated $6 million dollars a year. At that time, Byron Scott was supposed to be on “equal footing” with Izzo as a head coaching candidate. Only Kelvin Sampson was also mentioned as a candidate.
Although Izzo and Byron Scott were supposedly on equal footing, Scott wasn’t hired by Grant to be the Cavs to be the new head coach until Izzo turned down the job in favor of staying at Michigan State.
On July 2, 2010 Scott was hired. The next day Grant made his pitch to Lebron James to keep James with the Cavaliers. Was Scott hired on that day so that Grant could go into his meeting with James and pitch Scott’s experience as a player and coach?
It’s hard to say how serious this meeting was, since Grant’s pitch to James was basically cartoons with fart jokes. From ESPN per Brian Windhorst:
“One of the videos was a cartoon with James, his friends and even leadership from other teams trying to sign James as characters. It featured plenty of inside jokes and juvenile humor, which, as those who know James best know, is exactly what he loves.
Here’s a video of Grant immediately after the meeting with James. I found it on the Akron Beacon Journal Youtube account. Looks pretty optimistic and said the meeting was “fun”. In retrospect he looks pretty delusional.
The ownership group supposedly spent $500,000 on the presentation to James. The video reportedly contained a clip of Byron Scott – who had only been with the team for hours – talking about his plans to run the team and then it capped off with an emotional speech by Dan Gilbert himself about how he wanted to win a championship with James.
More recently, it has been reported that Chris Grant has a close friendship with Rich Paul, who is one of Lebron James partners in the LRMR agency, and who is currently his agent. It’s hard to say if this “friendship” story is true based on what we know and what’s happened, even though Paul was seen by me in the GM box with Grant this season and that Grant was the Cavaliers employee that Rich Paul called on the night of “The Decision” to advise that Lebron James was not resigning with the Cavaliers. But for purposes of this question, and staying on topic as much as possible, was the 38 year old Grant hired in June 2010 to take over a team with championship aspirations BECAUSE OF a friendship with Paul and a relationship, or perceived relationship with LRMR?
Let’s assume for purpose of discussion that he was. Also, that the consideration of both Izzo and of Byron Scott as head coaching candidates were also calculated to attract Lebron James as a free agent in July 2010. Then let’s assume that the plan to bring James in failed and Grant had to sell the ownership group on a new plan, as of July 9, 2010, the day after the decision.
Let’s assume that Grant sold the idea that he would rebuild the team the way Oklahoma City did, through the draft, which allowed them to go from 23 wins to 50 wins over three years, AND bring back Lebron James as soon as possible to supplement this rebuild.
The Cavs had already missed the 2010 draft, Grant’s first draft, having traded their picks and not being able to trade back in or buy a pick, because even though Grant had expressed interest in Cole Aldrich and Eric Bledsoe, Grant remained confident that Lebron James was going to resign with the team. Ultimately, this miscalculation would set back the team a full year in rebuilding, and contribute to one of the worst seasons in Cavaliers history, which included a still-NBA-record 26 losses in a row.
So Grant’s first time drafting as a general manager was 2011, and of course that was maybe his best moment (making the right decision to take the consensus #1 Kyrie Irving – a decision which was somewhat questioned by certain ESPN talking heads (Google “Cleveland will regret taking Kyrie Irving over Derrick Williams”)) and one of his more questioned decisions (his first real draft judgment call -taking Tristan Thompson, who was represented by LRMR’s Rich Paul (and possibly BECAUSE he was represented by Rich Paul), with the #4 pick).
If you will indulge me, assume for a minute that this was Grant’s plan from 2010 when he was presumably hired to re-sign Lebron James: maintain relationships and build a team that would bring Lebron James back. Assume that the “build through the draft” formula of acquiring talent coupled with maintaining relationships with Lebron James’ Cleveland contacts and with certain members of the Akron media who could write about Akron native James (and his possible return) in a positive light without general objections from still-upset “scorned” Cleveland fans, and perhaps also put other messages out in the public. Assume that this idea, that Lebron James would return, was also fed by the same people that Grant was dealing with in 2010, “emissaries” who were telling Grant as recently as 2012 that James wanted to return in 2014, that they should “hold back on their rebuild, preserve cap space, and wait on him all over again.”
Assume Grant re-hires the former Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown under the belief that the familiarity with the town, the front office, the access that James and his friends had with the organization, plus the head coach and his system, would put Grant in a position to sign Lebron James in 2014, the next time he could be a free agent.
With all these assumptions in place, is going with Grant for 3 and a half years of ownership support so unreasonable that you would blame the ownership group when the team doesn’t progress much in terms of wins and struggles under the weight of losing so many games? Even after Gilbert and the ownership group ate the largest portion of crow they could twice, first by drafting Rich Paul’s client and sitting next to Paul at the press conference where Tristan Thompson was introduced in June 2011 and the then second, when Mike Brown was rehired in June 2013? I don’t think so.
Factor 3, “pay attention”? There are owners in sports that have no idea what’s going on with their teams. Dan Gilbert has way more than enough money to not care at all what happens and be a total absentee owner, but neither he, nor the ownership group has taken this approach.
In fact, the complaint, more often than not, is that the ownership group might be too involved, that a “mandate” (even though a lofty prediction was made no real “mandate” from the ownership group exists, by the way – I looked it up to make sure, because I’d heard this rumor so often) to make the playoffs screwed up this season and the development of the team. Oh, also, that the ownership group would force an immediate trade of Kyrie Irving if he didn’t sign an extension to stay with the franchise this summer, right away.
So breaking this down, ownership of the Cavs:
1. Spent money
2. Hired basketball people a credible plan and stayed out of the way; and
3. Paid attention
Just because you have an actual plan and a bunch of money doesn’t guarantee results though. That doesn’t mean the ownership was bad, things just didn’t work out with the plan that the GM sold them. But yeah, that’s why there’s optimism about the ownership.
One thing I didn’t mention in all of this was that the Cavaliers set up and paid for a basketball analytics department to evaluate talent which is expensive and applicable to both points 1 and 2 above. Jacob Rosen of the popular Cleveland sports blog Waiting for Next Year wrote a piece about everything we know about this analytics department, aptly titled “Everything We Know About the Cavaliers and Analytics”. If you were curious about whether ownership was invested in winning or hired the right people to get information, you should probably check that out too.
Now I will add the two caveats. First, if the ownership was bought in on Grant’s plan including bringing Lebron James back, it was a huge gamble and maybe not a good one, in my opinion, knowing what I know about James and my perception of the odds of him returning in 2014.
If the backup plan was to rely on the development of the draft picks, then the quality and development of the picks was the most important factor of the secondary plan to improve the team. I feel like this is probably going to turn out to be the most significant failure of Grant’s regime. Not because the picks were necessarily bad, but because the failure to surround them with any good veteran players and leaving them on their own damaged the development of the team more severely than the creative use of cap space and more draft picks could counterbalance. So ownership not realizing that this backup plan was not working and not firing Grant and pulling the plug on the plan sooner is something they’re responsible for.
Second, as I wrote about earlier in the week, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reported that there is a perception that Chris Grant was dishonest and a “buffoon” held by other NBA executives (I love the power of a good old school insult by the way). I’m sure that notions like that get around the league, I’m sure that they’re something ownership considered in making the decision to pull the plug on Grant’s plan, and I’m sure it’s something that you can hold them responsible for in deciding for yourself if they did a good job running the team.
I said two caveats, but here’s a third because people always bring it up. The open letter from Gilbert about James on the night of “The Decision” attracted a lot of negative attention outside Cleveland, but inside Cleveland it galvanized a fanbase. It was a perfect marketing tool, even if it wasn’t heartfelt, which I personally think it was. You don’t want the ownership group to go after a player that hard, but on the other hand you want them to care as much as you do when things don’t work out.
You can’t have it both ways and want a dispassionate ownership but want them to care as much as you do and be as passionate are you are and want to win as much as you do or just want them to shut up about it. The owner literally put the onus on himself instead of the players on the court and made some bold predictions and really put some good evidence out there that he cared about winning.
So I remain basically in favor of an occasionally outspoken ownership group and not with those people that get all up in arms about how it wasn’t completely rational. The guy made it feel like he was one of us and, after all, it was addressed to us “Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight”, for us and not to Lebron James or anybody else.
@WayneEmbrysKids what cav player would most likely take you to dinner?
The only Cavalier I’ve ever eaten anything with was Dion Waiters at a charity event. The current Cavalier I would think would be most likely to take me to dinner would be Matthew Dellavedova, who I know appreciates tacos and would really enjoy Taco Tuesday at Sachenheim Hall. $1 tacos and a special “exotic meat” taco every week? Dude on a rookie contract has to appreciate that value.
-note: I went there last night and tacos were $1.25. Huge increase!
@WayneEmbrysKids If I were to Cav, how would I Cav?
Very carefully. It’s a dangerous business even though it can also be really fun.
@WayneEmbrysKids what are the odds that Anthony Bennett comes back next season “In the best shape of his life”
I’m still thinking that Anthony Bennett can be really good. I’m basing this off of seeing him work out, which I did before a game last week, and on the fact that he was a beast at UNLV.
I also figure that Bennett’s horrible season as a rookie and the scale of his contract as the first overall pick makes him pretty untradable, unless you trade him for virtually nothing. Despite what David Thorpe said a couple months ago about how Bennett can still be an All Star because of his size and offensive mechanics, I feel like there’s still a perception that Bennett could totally bust out as a first overall pick.
A lot of this depends on how hard he wants to work to become the player that he can be, and I suspect that we’ll know a lot more about this when we see what he looks like in summer league this year. Basically if he’s in great shape by the middle of the summer, it may be because he’s really concerned about being tagged as a bust and a failure, or inversely, because he wants to be the dominant force of nature that he was at UNLV. I think he has the ability to do this and he should have the motivation to do it too. Guy can make almost 10 million dollars a year in 4 years if he proves he’s worth it.
But the question is “what are the odds…?”. I heard the rumors you heard last fall, that Bennett didn’t take his rehabilitation seriously and that he was seen drinking a lot of beer and intoxicated. Also Wojanorski wrote that there were those rumors that Bennett had dietary issues at UNLV.
If you take those rumors seriously, then you’d probably put the odds at about 1 in 6 that Bennett comes in next season in the “best shape of his life” i.e. in better shape than when he was aggressively jamming the ball all over people at UNLV while also showing off dunk contest agility.
I’m not saying I take them seriously though, but I am going to hedge on this bet. I’ll say there is a 50% chance that Bennett comes into camp next year in the best shape of his life. That’s not a slight at him though, I feel like it would just be naive of me to ignore that he didn’t take the best care of his body coming into last summer and he’s going to have to know that he has to do better than that.
So setting the odds at 1/2.
@WayneEmbrysKids is it possible we know where Kyrie’s extension stands prior to the draft? In which case maybe smart or Ennis @ 9?
The draft is on June 26 and the Cavs can’t officially offer Irving the extension until July 1.
So, is it possible? Sure, if they announce that it’s going to happen then we would know. I don’t think that they will though. I don’t think Irving wants to split or that the deal won’t get done, but I agree with what Irving is doing. Before committing to staying with the franchise for 5 years, he wants to know:
A. Who is going to be the GM and head coach moving forward?
B. What is the plan to improve the team?
C. What kind of influence will he, Irving, have within the organization or continue to have within the organization?
Based on the nature of the offer and numerous things I’ve already said about the unattractiveness of the more or less non-alternative for Irving if he doesn’t sign, I think these questions and the answers will be more or less perfunctory, but he has the right and a good reason to ask them and get answers to them. So no, I don’t think it’s likely that we’ll know that he’s signing the extension before the draft.
Also, I think it’s unlikely that the Cavs will end up with Marcus Smart where they are likely to draft, with the 9th or 10th pick. Tyler Ennis might be there and really, it’s not the worst draft to pick up a point guard if you wanted to draft one in it. And hey, sometimes you just draft the best guy that’s there so you can trade the pick somewhere else and bring in an already developed player in a trade.
@WayneEmbrysKids Would you prefer Taco Tuesday be another day than Tuesday? Like imagine if Taco somehow rhymed w/ Friday. Taco Friday?
Nope. Taco tuesday not only has perfect alliteration, it’s also perfectly positioned. Breaks up the week.
You can eat tacos every night that you want to, particularly Friday, but the fact that there’s a special day each week to eat them really gives you something to look forward to on Tuesdays, which is a day there may not be as many exciting things happening.
The problem answering this question is that we don’t know who is going to be in charge yet. No Cavs fan should want ownership to be making either of these decisions. I think the way it should go down is that the ownership group should interview some guys, including the current acting GM David Griffin, hear out some plans for improving the team, then make a decision on who they want the guy to be and what they want the plan to be. That’s how Gund did it when he hired Embry, and that makes a lot of sense to me.
I personally like Griffin as the next Cavs GM. He’s smart, he’s nice and he’s well respected and those things mean a lot as a GM. I think he would do a great job as the Cavs GM. I know the Cavs may be looking for somewhat of a bigger name, possibly someone with playing experience in the NBA, but the reality is that the job of GM is moving away from former players and trending towards picking guys who have been groomed to be front office executives, who understand analytics, negotiations and competing methods of determinations of player evaluations. Griffin is a guy who can do those things. I’m pretty sure that he’ll end up a GM in the NBA if he wants the job and me personally, I’m in favor of giving someone new a chance instead of using retreads.
Now, with respect to Brown, he might be fired by the time you read this, but what I think will happen is that the new GM will pick a coach and the coach he picks might be Brown. This organization turned over 9 players coming into this season. Plus they’ll be adding a new GM. Consistency has a value in the league and Brown has that working in his favor.
So in essence, I don’t know the answer to this question. I’m man enough to admit it though. As far as the big move:
1. A giant trade for a guy like Kevin Love involving multiple first round picks, a current good player on a rookie contract and cap friendly players with expiring contracts? I don’t think Kevin Love is available, nor do I think that if he was he would be able to give the Cavaliers enough assurance that he was going to sign long term that they would or should be willing to make that deal. I would say the same thing for LaMarcus Aldridge. Al Horford would be more doable, but carries a different kind of risk.
2. Signing a flawed player who fills a position of need? Not sure this would qualify as a “big move”, but the Cavs are going to have no small forward going into 2013-14 unless they sign someone or trade for someone or draft someone. I think it’s highly unlikely that Luol Deng comes back to the Cavaliers, and I think relying on a draft pick to fill the small forward spot on this team is going to set the team back while that player develops. People are pretty high on Gordon Hayward, who is a restricted free agent this summer and it seems like he would be a good fit for a long term solution to the small forward vacuum, kind of a poor man’s Chris Mullin to Waiters’ Mitch Richmond and Irving’s Tim Hardaway?
Could hire a coach who installs an up-tempo offense and call it RUN-WIG.
@WayneEmbrysKids is it really true you’re going to be part of “the pitch” this summer? Are you going to make a giant pizza roll for LRMR?
The moral question at issue that’s implicit here is “Would you make a giant pizza roll for the LRMR guys if you thought (knew) it would help the Cavs chances at bringing in the best Free Agent in the FA class? However, when making the decision to make the pizza roll, you cannot know
A. Will making the giant pizza roll guarantee that Lebron James would resign with the Cavaliers?
B. How much would making the giant pizza roll for the LRMR guys improve the chances of Lebron James signing with the Cavaliers?
…and also requires the threshhold internal determination which I believe is unlikely:
C. Are the Cavs close enough to having a chance at getting Lebron James that even the most delicious giant pizza roll ever would sway the determination of James to play for the Cavaliers?
I’d still make one if the Cavs asked me to. Especially if Austin Carr calls me up and asked nicely.
From: thedoubledeuce via email
A train leaves a city heading west and travels at 50 miles per hour. Three hours later, a second train leaves from the same place and travels in the same direction at 65 miles per hour. how long will it take for the second train to overtake the first train?
This is easy if you think about the fact that the second train is gaining 15 miles each hour and is starting 150 miles behind the first train. You just have to calculate how many hours it will take to make up 150 miles at a rate of 15 miles an hour. 10 hours, bro.
@WayneEmbrysKids hot take! Should the CAVS trade kyrie and build around fantastic Dion?
That’s a hot take. It’s funny to me that people who excuse Lebron James failures as a Cavalier always claim that “he didn’t have enough help” and that the Cavs front office generally did a poor job of building the team, other than getting Lebron James to play for it.
In order for team building to happen organically, and not through immediate free agent collusion, and especially through the draft, teams have to learn how to play together. You can’t just throw a bunch of young talented players together, tell them to learn the system and immediately get results.
Dion Waiters is fantastic. I think he’s probably going to get much much better, and anyone that said he should be traded before he played 100 games because of how he fit in at that point, might hope everyone forgets that opinion by the time we see Dion Waiters play 300 games. Because the idea that that opinion is ridiculous is really going to gain momentum.
That said, as we know, no matter how great one player is, building a team around one guy suffers horribly as a team building plan if and when that guy decides to quit on the team in the playoffs, fake an injury to his elbow and BS about his free agency decision. It’s unwise to rely on one person and it’s probably better to rely on two people and deal with the growing pains as they start to learn to play well together. Two young guys probably take longer than two older guys or one young guy and one older guy, but the payoff with these two guys could be so awesome.
Building around two guys, maybe even adding another good player with them is really the way to go. And if you already have two guys as talented as Waiters and Irving, that’s way better than just having Waiters or Irving.
@WayneEmbrysKids Do you save the 5 year supermax contract for Dion, or go ahead and offer it to Kyrie? Only one per team based on new CBA.
Just for purposes of education, this is what Kevin is talking about with regard to a “5 year supermax contract”:
” 2011 CBA: Players coming off their rookie scale contracts can extend for four additional seasons, although the team can designate one player who is eligible for five seasons at the maximum salary. A team can have only one designated player on its roster at any time.”
Collective Bargaining Agreement guru Larry Coon wrote that, so yeah, it’s not only credible, but it’s the best way of explaining it.
Essentially, if you give Kyrie Irving the extension this season for the supermax five years, you can only give Dion Waiters the 4 year deal next season when his contract comes up. And honestly, I don’t think either way that Irving would be more or less likely to accept the deal based on whether it’s for four or five years.
So it’s a team building and talent evaluation question:
1. Having seen three seasons of Kyrie Irving, a two time All-Star, a starter in the 2013 All-Star game, a Three-Point Shootout Champion, an All-Star Game MVP, a Rookie Of The Year and really, historically, one of the greatest rookie seasons in the history of the NBA, do you think he will be more valuable over the course of the next 5 seasons from now than Dion Waiters will be.
2. Based on how you answer the first question, who will be more important to have control over for 5 years as opposed to 4 years?
As much as I love Dion Waiters and the progress he’s made and the favorable comparisons to Bradley Beal, who was drafted in front of him, keeping Kyrie Irving as long as possible has to be a priority for the Cavs. Irving has already shown more that Waiters in terms of flashes of ability in comparison with his peers and the likely peer group over the next 4 to 5 years.
Now I say this, but I’m myself not 100% convinced that Dion Waiters couldn’t make me regret it, so it’s not as close as you’d think. Irving is a special player, but Waiters is a shooting guard in a league where there’s not a lot of shooting guards. Irving is a great shooter, but Waiters has improved his shooting dramatically. Irving is fearless and relentlessly drives the ball to the rim, even into contact, but Waiters has shown a willingness to be aggressive also, even to a fault at times.
The bottom line is the immediacy makes this argument, internal dialog and decision lean in favor of Irving every time. Irving’s development and the Cavs development are tied together. He has the talent to be the franchise. Waiters might also develop enough to say the same thing, but Irving’s contract extension came up first, and even if Waiters comes out and becomes Joe Dumars the way some people think he can, you never look back from locking up a player like Irving for as long as you can.
Hey by the way, just wanted to point out that I think the media and the team is so focused on Lebron James in Cleveland that it’s disrespected Irving. The guy is a legit great player, but nobody in the media hesitates for one second to talk about trading him and the team, at least under Grant, didn’t think he was good enough to build a team around, even coming into his 3rd year and after tanking for two drafts in 2012 and 2013. Zero sense of urgency, because the focus was always on 2014 free agency under Grant.
After the crap that Lebron James pulled on the team and the fan base, how annoying his talking about how exciting his unrestricted free agency was in 2010, it’s quite frankly totally annoying that the local and national media is so obsessed with Irving’s unrestricted free agency. I mean totally annoying. But in light of the fact that Irving’s talent is such an afterthought to the media and wasn’t enough to make the team think they should invest in him, I don’t blame him for being totally pissed off, if he is.
@WayneEmbrysKids do you think having a “designated cat” for games could have helped morale, and maybe been the diff for a couple xtra wins?
In all seriousness, yes I do. This is such a great idea. There’s all kinds of homeless animals out there in shelters and you could designate even just one per game and find that pet a home.
Over 41 games, you could find 41 cats homes. There’s like at least 15,000 people at each Cavs game and even though 41 cats seems like a non-significant number in that context, it helps my morale just thinking about them being happy and not in a shelter.
Could that be the diff for a couple of wins? Positive vibes certainly never hurt anyone ever. I feel good just writing this up. Here’s some information about the Cleveland ASPCA. Call them up if you want to make a cat as a new friend to watch games with if you’re feeling lonely or if you just want a cat.
@WayneEmbrysKids what is the likelihood that Tristan remains on the payroll next year? Cavs number one FA target is?
Both these questions are very difficult without the GM being a known commodity, but I answer even the tough questions. Gotta go through hell to get to heaven? Is that how it goes? Can’t duck from the tough times when the whole team is counting you to be the leader in Game 5, right?
Because of the level of control that teams have with players who are playing on rookie contracts, it’s really tough to move a guy, just because replacing someone, especially a big man, is going to be really expensive. Free agent big man are routinely overpaid.
So objectively, the $4.2 million Tristan Thompson was paid for this season was still a bargain. And the $5.4 million he’s going to be paid next year is also a bargain. However, the $7.1 million qualifying offer for Thompson in 2015-16 is probably where smart people start thinking that he’s making what he’s worth or close to it. Plus, assuming that he gets better over the next 2 years, he could be worth a lot more than that.
So, all that said, although it was suggested by one media outlet that, based on the contract that Larry Sanders just got (4 years/$44 million), or the contract that Derrick Favors just got (4 years $49 million), the Cavs will have to make a decision of Tristan Thompson of whether to give him $12 million dollars a year. This is absolutely ridiculous and the notion that people are putting this idea out there is also crazy to me. I mean, it’s like Tristan Thompson’s agent is floating this idea and these comparisons.
Actually, the Favors comparison I just gave you WAS floated out there by Thompson’s agent. Windhorst in his interview with Robert Atenwieller from Cavs: The Blog said that those are the numbers that Thompson’s agent is looking for.
Like, if you’re a Cavs fan and someone suggests that Tristan Thompson is worth $12 million dollars a year, you’re probably thinking about him getting that contract in the same sense that you are at the same time thinking about drinking bleach. Tristan Thompson has upside, especially on defense. Tristan Thompson is an excellent offensive rebounder. Tristan Thompson did a great job becoming a slightly better shooter switching shooting hands last summer.
But if he’s looking at a $12 million payday, then the “likelihood” of him being traded has to be on the uptrend when the new GM takes over, unless he’s a huge fan of Tristan Thompson coming in to the job or he sees something that we don’t. He’s improved, but he’s still not much of a rim protector, he still doesn’t have much of an offensive game and even though he plays every game, sometimes he just disappears, particularly on defense.
The crazy part about this to me, and this is all in the past and the decision-maker is gone now, but the Cavs drafted Thompson while they already had JJ Hickson playing the position. In 2011 they drafted Thompson and then traded Hickson, at least in part because Hickson was rumored to be wanting too much money, and was coming into Restricted Free Agency in 2012.
So, respectively, if Tristan Thompson is now inching towards restricted free agency in the summer of 2016, then the Cavs are basically in the same situation now that they were in the summer of 2011 with Hickson. Is Thompson a better player than Hickson was at 23? Even Thompson’s agent would have to concede that it’s at least close if not in Hickson’s favor. Does that mean Thompson will melt down like Hickson did in 2011-12 after the Cavs traded him and not get the big RFA payday that he’s looking for? No, not at all.
What it means is that the Cavs have a similar upcoming RFA situation coming with Thompson, and in Thompson they have a guy who’s value should probably be determined by the marketplace in restricted free agency rather than through an Favors-like extension. Also, that he will be playing for under market value for one more season in 2014-15. So that presents a tradable commodity that some team might be excited about.
Anthony Bennett is the one factor that makes this situation completely different from 2011. The Cavs have a guy who probably should be a starter already on the team that should be able to step in and take Thompson’s minutes. Further, AB needs playing time to develop, and will need minutes to get there. Further, Bennett is going to make $5.5 million next year, and if there’s two guys that can play the same position that need the same minutes that are making the same money, you have unnecessarily redundant commodities, and Thompson is the one that’s probably more tradable.
So, what’s the “likelihood” of a trade this offseason? Not knowing the GM, the head coach, who the draft pick is that’s available when the Cavs pick and not knowing if the Cavs will resign Spencer Hawes (which I consider a priority), I would say there’s a 38% chance that Thompson is traded this offseason.
Now you also asked the Cavs top FA target. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it’s Lebron James, even though technically he hasn’t opted out of his contact with the Miami Heat and I also think there’s no way in hell he signs with the Cavs. I would say 0% chance. But top target, sure. I just hope that once that dream has finally died the new GM can get serious about building the team and filling that SF hole with a credible solution.
@WayneEmbrysKids When killing myself, as a direct result of the Cavs, should I use a circular saw, piano wire, or a serrated kitchen knife?
Generally, killing yourself is a really bad idea. What if the Cavs improve and then you miss it because you’re dead? It would be like running onto the court to tell Lebron James you want him to come back, then finding out that he did come back but that you can’t go to the games because you’re banned from going to the arena because you ran onto the court to tell Lebron James that you wanted him to come back. Or there were those other guys that ran on the court to tell Kyrie Irving to stay in Cleveland, but now they can’t go to see him when he plays in Cleveland because they’re banned from all the games.
Makes no sense, really. Actually counter-productive.
HOWEVER, I did say I would answer all questions when I opened up this mailbag. I would say choose the fastest method, just because I’m pain adverse generally, and it’s all going to end anyway. So, circular saw, I guess to the neck?
@WayneEmbrysKids what’s your maximum dollar amount and years for Spencer Hawes?
I don’t think I would have to go to my maximum dollar amount, because I think he would take less. I would give him Anderson Varejao’s contract. 6 years/$42 million with a team option for the 6th year or at least only partially guaranteed for the 6th year like Varejao.
Guys like Hawes are really rare. He’s over 7 feet tall, he can make that long range shot, he’s an adequate rebounder, contrary to what I was told when he was a Sixer, he plays some defense. He’s also 25. So that’s what I do if I have to go to my max, which is what you asked me for.
Just going to throw this in here too, I think Hawes needs to shoot more. Every time I see him pass up an open shot, an angel loses it’s wings, so to speak.
@WayneEmbrysKids who is your daddy and what does he do?
Love the movie Kindergarden Cop. It’s a classic just a step behind “Jingle All The Way” and two steps behind “Commando”. The weird part about that movie is that it relies on these kids being funny for comic relief and it’s kind of cute on a level that these kids are funny and awesome. So you’d think it would be a good family movie, as far as Arnold’s movies go.
But when they kill the grandmother by shooting her in the urinal stall, it really hits home that this cartoonish violence is just bizarre and kind of way too far to watch with a kid. Like fine if you have to shoot the kid’s dad who is the bad guy, and, of course, have some violence in the beginning to establish the character. But a graphic killing of grandma is where I draw the line, even if she is a maniac.
@WayneEmbrysKids What are the odds that Andy Varejao will play his final game as a Cavalier this season?
Anderson Varejao is about 14 games from passing up Brad Daugherty and Lebron James for games played as a Cavalier. I’d like to see him get there. I’d like to see him play his whole career as a Cav for that matter.
But this question is about “odds”. Anderson Varejao will play more games this season than he has in any of the last 3 years, so he’s shown that he can get onto the court and stay out there for a whole season. He missed some games with back problems, and he had a giant ice bag on his shoulder while he was on the bench, but he played enough games to help the Cavs win and he could help some other team win.
Now, also, his contract is set up for a trade. He’s owed around $9.5 million in the last year of the contract, but only about half of it is guaranteed, so if a team wanted to, they could trade an expensive player for Varejao, cut Varejao, pay about $5 million and get out of both deals. Looking back, this season and next season are the ones that there were great concerns about when Varejao got the contract back in 2008 from Danny Ferry. I actually read that Chris Grant is the one that negotiated it. People were all “oh but wait until Varejao is 31 and they have to pay him $9 million” but it actually worked out ok, except for the injuries.
Really, had Varejao not been injured, it would have been a great deal for the Cavs, because he was really pretty underpaid with comparison to the market for big men in the NBA.
So what are the odds that he’s gone? I’m going to say the odds are about 50/50. I could see going into next season with Bennett, Hawes, Zeller, and Varejao or Bennett, Hawes, Zeller and Thompson. I guess I could also see Bennett, Hawes, Zeller and some other guy too. In order for this to work, Bennett has to get a lot better or the other guy has to be really good from the time he shows up.
One other factor here is Hawes. If he bolts, and that could also happen, then it’s tough to lose Varejao or Thompson unless you have a replacement that you can sign or trade for. A starting center could be really expensive.
Ever contemplate that scenario in your mind where Boogie Cousins is available and the Kings are willing to let him go for Thompson, Varejao and two first rounders? Cavs have to make a huge decision and take a massive risk on a guy, but if it paid off it could be awesome? So then it’s Cousins, Bennett, a small forward, Waiters and Irving? Like, it could be a huge disaster, or it could be the greatest time of your life?
Well, the truth is, we get all hyped for stuff and then nothing happens that shocking usually. So probably not. In fact all my % possibilities to this point have been at or less than 50%, so I guess there’s a part of my mind that thinks nothing will happen that’s dominating the probability-o-meter.
However, the Cavs have so many assets that big moves are imminently possible. Like Varejao is only partially guaranteed for next season. Scotty Hopson was signed to a non-guaranteed contract for the explicit purpose of creating a trade asset. Tristan Thompson, as I said, is becoming more movable as he approaches restricted free agency. The Cavs have more draft picks than they can logistically develop players that they take with those picks.
I would say Tristan Thompson is the real bellwether. If he gets the Favors/Sanders contact this summer as an extension, I would personally believe that they did it thinking that it would attract Lebron James as a free agent since Thompson’s agent is LRMR’s Rich Paul. Basically, that would be the only reason to overpay Thompson and if this makes you sick, well, there was this observation from February 19, AFTER Chris Grant was fired.
Of course, since there is a 0% chance that Lebron James is attracted to the Cavs or signs with the Cavs, it would basically be a sign that the Cavs have remained delusional in the summer despite firing the most delusional front office member of all in February. Delusional teams don’t win championships and fans of delusional teams walk around in a haze, surrounded by mysteriously funded neon “Come Home Lebron” t-shirts and accompanying giant roadside billboards.
I WAS SUPPOSED TO PUT A PICTURE OF RICH PAUL IN THE GM BOX WITH CHRIS GRANT HERE, BUT I COULDN’T GET IT TO WORK. SO PLEASE ACCEPT THIS ONE INSTEAD:
@WayneEmbrysKids Tell us about the worst chicken parm you’ve ever eaten.
There’s this one pizza place in town that basically served me a frozen breaded chicken circle, heated up in a microwave with a slice of cheese and some pizza sauce on it. It was served on a regular hamburger bun. Like not a roll, a bun. Like, how could you even serve that? I don’t even go there for pizza anymore. Can’t trust a kitchen if that’s what comes out of it.
It was also just nasty. Not even fun. So bummed out just thinking about it, really.
@WayneEmbrysKids dag nasty or gorilla biscuits?
Really torn on this one. Wrote and erased and rewrote my answer to this question two times. I’m going to go with Gorilla Biscuits as my final answer. Dag Nasty is the more mature, clean sound on guitar, but man, you can’t beat those Gorilla Biscuits songs. This isn’t post-hardcore, this is actual hardcore, living right in the moment. You can’t listen to it quietly. It demands to be played loud, even the harmonica solo. You want to know the words so you can yell them out with Civ. And the breakdowns, man this band dominates hardcore breakdowns as much as any band ever. When the apocalypse comes and the comet is just about to crash into the Earth and end it all, “Start Today” might be on my turntable, side two face up.
@WayneEmbrysKids IS THE COLLEGE TRY HARD OF AARON CRAFT THE CURE THAT AILS THE CAVALIERS?
Maybe. Assuming the Cavs left the NBA and joined Euroleague, or a Chinese league. Then he would be a great point guard. Especially on defense.
Really though, did you ever hear about the Nike Skills camp when Craft and Irving went one on one? I know anything can happen in a skills camp, but Craft supposedly looked pretty good defending Irving. Interesting, right?
@WayneEmbrysKids – is Brown the wrong guy, he never developed young players in Cle or LA and that is what we have in CLE
@WayneEmbrysKids Mike Brown?!?! What the fuck man?!?!
The rehire of Mike Brown was really puzzling in retrospect, but I think it worked out and I think they should keep him.
Basically, in 2010 Chris Grant was hired after Danny Ferry quit. Technically at that point, Dan Gilbert had only hired 2 general managers and only fired Jim Paxson, who was the GM when Gilbert bought the team. There’s not a whole lot of Paxson defenders out there anymore, and pretty much everyone assumed that he had to go anyway.
Danny Ferry, of course, was hired as General Manager on June 27, 2005. This was after Mike Brown was hired as head coach the first time, on June 2, 2005. So the first time Brown was hired, he was hired directly by Dan Gilbert. It appeared at the time that there was the an idea that they could get Larry Brown, at least in some capacity, but that never worked out.
Mike Brown came into a team that was playoff-ready in Cleveland and wasn’t really in a position to develop a lot of young talent. Danny Ferry immediately re-signed Zydrunas Ilgauskas, signed Damon Jones, Donyell Marshall, and, of course, Larry Hughes. Larry Hughes was the big one. he got that 5 year $70 million deal. So they started on a campaign of winning 50 and eventually 60 games a season, which is better than developing young talent.
There’s a lot of moves that you regret the team making as a fan watching from the outside. At this point though, I’ve resigned myself to saying that it doesn’t matter what moves they made from 2005-2010, because if the star of the team, the guy you rely on to carry the team when they struggle in big games, if that guy decides to not give 100% or wants a playoff series to end, it’s easy for him to do it.
An underreported aspect of “the letter” that Gilbert wrote to Cavs fans after “The Decision” is that after it he went on the radio and said that he believed that Lebron James had quit in several playoff games, which included, not on the notorious Game 5 against the Celtics in 2010, but also Game 6 against Orlando in 2009. James, of course, dominated the Orlando series, but had that terrible Game 6, when he appeared to have quit, launched an inordinate number of long jump shots, ran off the court without shaking hands with anyone, ripped off his jersey and vanished.
Before he left for ESPN, one of Brian Windhorst’s final Plain Dealer columns was a piece on the formation of the Miami Heat. Essentially, Windhorst picked up a quote from Chris Bosh which implied in June 2010 that he, James and Wade had planned on coming together for months. Here’s the lede that Windhorst wrote:
It was a slip, which some, including Bosh himself, caught. The premise that the trio had been talking about teaming up for months hinted there was a plan in place. That potentially would be against rules, and could raise concerns from the league since Bosh and James were playing for teams battling for the playoffs in Toronto and Cleveland.
Bosh quickly revised the statement and said they had been talking about it for “days.” But it appears James, Bosh and Wade had been discussing this for years.”
So anyway, maybe Gilbert was right? After all, Bosh basically tanked the end of the season for the Raptors, who were locked into the 8th seed in the East when Bosh went down from an elbow to the face from Antawn Jamison on April 6, 2010. Bosh sat out 6 critical games down the stretch when he was medically cleared to play and the Raptors missed the playoffs. Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors GM, basically said he believed Bosh mailed it in:
So what I’m saying is that there’s no way that the Cavs could have won the championship, and there’s no way that the Raptors could make the playoffs. These two guys just quit on their teams and it was over when they quit. If ownership knew what was going to happen, the Raptors definitely trade Bosh and the Cavs definitely trade James before they can quit.
So here’s the problem with evaluating Mike Brown as a guy who develops young talent. As a head coach on the Cavs and later the Lakers, he was never in a position to develop good young talent other than James himself, who basically started playing defense under Brown and became one of the best defenders in the league under him. I suppose you could argue that Andrew Bynum, who had his best year as an NBA player on both sides of the court and appeared to be taking the next step towards NBA superstardom after being a key piece in an NBA playoff run in 2012 for the Lakers was as a result of Brown’s coaching too.
So essentially, the two guys that could be stars in the NBA that Brown coached reached the next level under his coaching. Of course, James quit on the Cavs, and then Brown got fired by the Cavs, then Bynum got traded and things got weird for him, then Brown got fired by the Lakers. It’s kind of ridiculous to say that since Shannon Brown, JJ Hickson and Daniel Gibson never turned into superstars that Brown can’t develop young talent. He developed the two talents that he had before his current tenure as Cavs coach.
Here’s the end timeline. The Cavs lost Game 6 to the Celtics on May 13, 2010. Mike Brown was fired on a Sunday, May 23, 2010. Danny Ferry then resigned on June 4, 2010, the same day that Chris Grant was hired to replace him. For reference, the Lakers beat the Celtics in the NBA Finals on June 17, 2010.
According to Dan Gilbert at Chris Grant’s introductory press conference in June 2010, Chris Grant’s first job was to find a head coach. Then, after a two week courtship of Tom Izzo, Byron Scott was hired July 2 and Chris Grant made the “fart joke cartoon” presentation to Lebron James on July 3. In retrospect, I can’t imagine that Dan Gilbert really wanted Chris Grant going into that meeting with a fart joke video. Sure, James was probably leaving anyway, but Grant and cartoon fart jokes were really the wrong way to leave things.
The one question is: assuming Grant’s backup plan to try to bring Lebron James back in 2014 was deemed to be failing to progress as of the end of the 2012-13 season so severely that Grant was allowed to fire Byron Scott three years in, why was he allowed to hire Mike Brown? Also, why was he not fired at that point? I don’t know.
That’s why the rehire of Mike Brown was puzzling. Maybe he was the best head coach on the market that was available? Maybe Grant thought that Lebron James would be lured by the familiarity of playing for Brown? Maybe Grant knew that the idea of rehiring Brown would appeal to Gilbert because Gilbert liked Brown, having hired Brown himself in 2005 before hiring a GM, and identifying Brown with the team’s period of success?
But also maybe Mike Brown really was the best guy for the job.
Brown’s season this year for the Cavaliers is really a small sample of his work, but can you say that Tyler Zeller and Dion Waiters got better this year? I think you can. How much of that is due to the way Brown coached and how much is just normal expected improvement due to their own work and maturity as players is impossible to say, but some of the defensive characteristics of the team over the 2013-14 season are way different than the Byron Scott Cavaliers of the last 3 years.
I think Brown helped the Cavaliers win games that they wouldn’t have won without him. There were some difficult moments during this season, but overall the Cavs will have a record 8 or 9 games better than the 24 win season of a year ago. Cavs rank 5th in the league in points in the paint allowed despite not having a rim protector. Cavs have allowed the 8th lowest fast break points per game this season. The Cavs have the 3rd best third best home defense in the NBA, which wasn’t happening without Mike Brown.
So did he teach these young guys anything? Pretty sure he did. Pretty sure he can improve on that going forward. And I’m pretty sure if they fired him again they’d regret it. And not just because this is a team desperately in need of continuity and in need of avoiding a third coach for Kyrie Irving in four years.
What do you do if you’re Gilbert and you decide you want to go down this road? You’d basically need to find a way to keep Brown, but also allow the new GM that you hire to replace Grant decide on his own who the coach should be. You have to find a GM that not only wants the job but who also genuinely wants Mike Brown to stay and he his coach.
So this is the part where I say that I love David Griffin, but I don’t think Brown would be his first pick. And you know who might make Brown his first pick? I think it’s Joe Dumars.
A lot of people crap on Joe Dumars as a GM, and you might want to punch me for saying it, but Dumars was actually able to attract free agents to the Pistons while the best free agents that Grant was able to attract to the Cavs over three years were CJ Miles, Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum. Dumars isn’t beholden to any small group of agents or one particular player or plan to get him. And although he made one pretty disastrous draft decision in 2003 with Darko Milicic at second overall instead of Carmelo Anthony, his drafts have been pretty solid, most notably grabbing Andre Drummond for the Pistons in 2012.
I didn’t mention it, but Dumars also built a championship team that won the NBA Finals in 2004. Not saying he’s the clear path for the Cavs to win a championship, but I don’t think there’s reason for panic that his name is being brought up. Also, I think he would work well with Mike Brown and the team would get better, and I think it would be the end of LRMR playing the Cavs and send the team building in an actual, legitimate direction. Which is what people should be wanting at this point.
Again, not saying this is the only way they could go, but it would preserve continuity at the coaching position, allow the progress to continue, and at the same time allow the team to cleanse itself of the misguided last direction the old GM took it down.
@WayneEmbrysKids who is in your punk super group?
Born Against is my #1. Sam McPheeters and Adam Nathanson with Tony Joy and Brooks Headley on that 8″ Split with Man Is The Bastard. That cooks like nothing you’ve ever heard ever ever. Just thinking about it is making my brain swell. Here’s a clip.
Seriously, makes my heart go pitter patter. Also, “Wearing a Lampshade” might be the hardest core political song ever written. You should do whatever it takes to get this 8″ on vinyl, including coming to my house and robbing me.
@WayneEmbrysKids favorite bass player/bass line?
I’m just going to stick with Born Against. The baseline on this song is so boss. “Are you a good team player?”
There’s a couple Stiff Little Fingers songs that would also qualify, but I’m really feeling this one. My favorite bass player is Dee Dee Ramone though, as it should be.
@WayneEmbrysKids Why does anyone f*cking care whether Daniel Gibson is still in the NBA? He sucks!!!!111!!
I guess it’s just an interesting story. Dude used his brief NBA fame to meet a beautiful famous woman, married her, had a kid, quit his job. Livin’ the American dream?
Man I had some aspirations for that dude back in the day. Thought he could be big time like Mike Bibby. Once you take a year or two off from being an NBA role player, it’s basically over though. You’re right.
@WayneEmbrysKids assuming the next Cavs home playoff game is at night & you are still able bodied, please describe your day leading up to it
Honestly, I just hope they wake me up in time to watch it and my nurse changes my diaper that day. Also being able to eat some solid foods would be nice. Maybe a phone call from my family.
1. I don’t think Alonzo Gee will be in the NBA next season. Definitely not with the Cavs.
2. Tyler Zeller’s contract and age makes him one of the best bargain bigs in the NBA. His mid range game is improving and he’s actually gotten stronger, but he’s going to be on his rookie contract as a 17th pick until he’s 26, which is kind of amazing.
3. Kyrie Irving is awesome and his next 6 years as an NBA player are going to be spectacular. SPECTACULAR. People need to get on board, if they aren’t already. He’s still the next big thing.
4. I liked Luol Deng in that he showed playing injured how much different the team can look if they had been willing to add even a replacement level small forward. I think he’ll bounce back to his normal level of play next season and that the Cavs will offer him a contract, but he’ll get more somewhere else.
Window picture from Premierleagueguide.com
Picture of the Q from nba.com
Letter picture from geekosystem.com
Picture of Kyrie Irving from balljunkie.com
Draft picture from Slam Magazine.
Train picture from deviant art @255Express
Picture of cat from ASPCA
Picture of Tristan Thompson Rocky Widner/Getty Images
Picture of Arnold from ugo.com
Picture of Gorilla Biscuits from brooklynvegan.com
Picture of Mike Brown and Bynum from cbssports.com
Picture of Mike Brown, Delonte West and Lebron James from Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Picture of Joe Dumars winning the Eastern Conference Finals via Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images
Picture of old man watching television is from the movie “Being There”
Picture of Tom Izzo is an AP Photo