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2012 NBA Offseason: Cleveland Cavaliers

Draft Grades, Offseason Needs, Free Agents

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Cleveland Cavaliers (Last Year: 21-45)

Live 2012 NBA Draft Grades:

4. Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse: A Grade
I LOVE Dion Waiters. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him. It is shocking he goes this high, but I have been on his bandwagon for months and it looks like I was right - sorry, bragging. It is crazy Waiters goes this high, but he definitely fills a need at shooting guard and it will be exciting to watch him and Kyrie Irving play together for the next few years.

17. Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina: D Grade
Cleveland gives up No. 24, No. 33 and No. 34 for Zeller, which seems like a lot for a big man who will be a solid, but not spectacular, big man in the NBA. The Cavaliers need depth all across the board and could have selected three quality players instead of simply taking Zeller. Don't like it.

*** 2012 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***

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Oh Boy 06-29-2012 02:57 am (total posts: 1)
20     15

waiters is a good player, but i don't see how he's worth a #4 pick. he's going to end up being a 6th man (rather thana starter) because he turns the ball over too much and he's not enough wade and too much like monta ellis.

Walt, you fell in love with kemba walker last year and he is not going to be a star in the league. he wasn't worth the high pick and neither is waiters.
MarkieB89 06-29-2012 12:26 am (total posts: 1)
17     17

I dont get it... I just dont. Nothing on Waiters, and the way he plays. I have watched him play and think he will be a tremendous player, and we do need a slasher, but as many decent to above average jump shooting 2-guards there is in FA this year, I have NO idea why the Cavs didn't trade up for Kidd Gilchrist and sign a guard this year...
Bill Smith 06-29-2012 12:18 am (total posts: 1)
24     23

Thanks so much. Great stuff as always.
Charles 06-28-2012 11:08 pm (total posts: 1)
34     24

Like Walt I absolutely love the Waiters pick a few people compare him to Wade, but physically and playing style wise their identical. Wade is 6'4 and 220 lbs. according to NBA.Com while Waiters is 6'4 and 221 according to DraftExpress. So they are the exact same height and basically the same weight and they both have a slashing style of play. So I don't know why so many people are complaining a back court with Wade(Waiters) and Irving sounds like a dangerous combo. This is probably irrelevant but Waiters and Wade are both #3 as well.
Carter 06-28-2012 09:28 pm (total posts: 2)
211     10

Walt I think Zeller is a 100% A+ pick. Who can you get at 33 and 34 that's actually good? Plus, Zeller is a helluva player at 24 cause thats technically where we drafted him
Aidan 06-28-2012 08:44 pm (total posts: 2)
17     11

Hey Walter, if you see this comment can you please let me know what radio show you're on because I'm from the Cleveland area and I'm curious.
Sam Hore 06-27-2012 11:54 am (total posts: 1)
10     21

The CAVS should get the 2nd best player in the draft in my eyes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. They should also draft Barton, Kevin Murphy, and Jared Sullinger(whose stock is plummeting). The CAVS should also gets Ersan Illyasova,Greg Oden, and O.J. Mayo. They should trade for Chris Duhon/Jason Richardson. Resign Gee and Sloan..That would fill the roster and possibly put us in the outside of the playoffs and once you are there anything can happen with Kyrie on your team with other guys with him also. 06-14-2012 03:45 am (total posts: 2)
11     10

i would love anyone to draft talk with me any team i am not bias just looking for more insight on any team soo please contact me im not trying to nag anyone just looking for opinions on players/teams/drafts 06-11-2012 03:34 am (total posts: 2)
43     17

honestly the cavs should deff draft brad beal he shoots and has an nba body made for driving... that would take care of the 4 spot if they cannot go with beal make a trade with Portland to give up 6 & 11 for 4 and 24 so that they could pick up Barnes at 6 and possibly get lamb at 11 that would give the cavs 3 good scorers on offense with kyrie...lamb..and barnes with the 33 and 34 picks they should trade to get the 1st spot in the second round and get tyshawn taylor. that would give the cavs a young and talented back court also in the free agency they should go for OJ mayo and Javale Mcgee
PG: Kyrie Irving & Tyshawn Taylor
SG: Jeremy Lamb & Oj mayo
SF:Alonzo Gee & Omar Casspi
PF:tristian Thompson & Antwan Jamason
C: Javale & anderson Varjao
i think personally with the miss spellings lol that is a playoff team the guards are deep the big men are deep and they still only need help on the wing but still have someone solid with gee at the wing.
@gchase 05-09-2012 04:29 pm (total posts: 1)
22     17

You pose a tough question, but I would guess our big board for the first pick looks like this:

1. Anthony Davis
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
3. Bradley Beal
4. Andre Drummond
5. Harrison Barnes
6. Thomas Robinson

Thomas Robinson falls to 6 solely because he doesn't necessarily fill a need for us. I believe the hardest decision for Chris Grant and the rest of management will be between Beal and Kidd-Gilchrist. I gave the edge to Kidd-Gilchrist because Byron Scott loves hard nosed defenders and he played on Kyrie's high school team.

As a disclaimer I would like to state that I love the direction the Cav's are headed and I trust them to do their homework in order to make our draft picks count. This is due to Great management, a good coach, and an owner that will do anything to win(including being patient and being willing to spend money).
gchase 05-09-2012 03:05 pm (total posts: 1)
27     24

if your the Cavs how does your big board look between: MKG,Robinson, Drummond, Beal, and Barnes?? I would probably have MKG first.

And yes lots of great depth in late first early second. Should have a good young Nucleus when the draft is over.
Rell 05-09-2012 09:47 am (total posts: 1)
19     20

I like the direction Cleveland is going in. This year draft is very deep and they'll be able to draft 4 of the top 34 players. If they draft well and don't overpay for any free agents I think they can compete for a playoff spot next year.
Dweezil 09-27-2011 10:40 pm (total posts: 1)
19     24

YMMD with that asnewr! TX
Delgado 06-30-2011 06:07 pm (total posts: 1)
28     34

I was very surprised to see Cleveland choose Thompson over Valanciunas. I'm a Texas fan, but bad decision by Gilbert. If it wasn't for that pick, I could've had most of my mock draft right!
mprofetta 06-26-2011 12:33 am (total posts: 5)
29     93

(con) Guys who exhibit TANGIBLE traits that allows them to dominate others at their position (like Rose) are the guys who teams can build around, and make for a STRONG draft crop. There are NO PLAYERS that fit the description in this draft, which is why it's universally regarded (by guys who get paid to know such things) as a WEAK draft. You're does take a team to win. You can draft rebounders, defensive-specialists and spot-up shooters until the cows come home, but it won't matter until you have that star to build around. BTW, I think you're underrating Nowitzki...he's a SUPERSTAR.

2011-12 Season Summary:
I make a weekly appearance on a radio show based out of Cleveland, and it's actually rather amazing that a month and a half into the season we were having a legitimate conversation as to whether or not the Cavaliers were going to be a playoff team. However, that talk was quickly put to rest as they finished with the third-worst record in the league.

Still, there were some bright spots, particularly the play from first-round picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. Irving performed better than most expected during his rookie season, and every indication appears that he will be Cleveland's franchise player moving forward. Thompson had a solid rookie campaign even though he spent a decent amount of time late in the season playing out of position at center.

Even with the bright play of their rookies, it was clear that the Cavaliers simply lacked the talent to truly be competitive especially after losing Anderson Varejao to a fractured wrist midway through the season. The team also made a move for the future by dealing Ramon Sessions to the Lakers for a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

That left players like Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker, and Alonzo Gee to shoulder the load as Irving also missed a chunk of time late in the season due to injury. With Jamison's outrageously overpriced contract finally coming off the books, and the likelihood that the team will not pick up the almost $4.8 million team-option on Daniel Gibson's contract, Cleveland will have a ton of cap space this offseason. That provides the Cavaliers with the opportunity to be aggressive in free agency if they so choose.

2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Anderson Varejao/*Semih Erden

PF: Tristan Thompson/*Luke Harangody

SF: Omri Casspi/Luke Walton

SG: *Alonzo Gee/#Daniel Gibson

PG: Kyrie Irving/David Sloan

NBA Free Agents:

#G-Daniel Gibson (TO)

*SG-Alonzo Gee (RFA)

*C-Semih Erden (RFA)

*PF-Luke Harangody (RFA)

PF-Antawn Jamison (UFA)

SG-Anthony Parker (UFA)

PF-Samardo Samuels (UFA)

G/F-Jason Kapono (UFA)

SG-Manny Harris (UFA)

2012-13 Team Salary: Approximately $29 million

NBA Offseason Needs:

1. Wing Help: From the likes of Luke Walton and Anthony Parker to Mychal Thompson, Manny Harris, D.J. Kennedy, Ben Uzoh, and Christian Eyenga; the Cavaliers had quite the revolving door of crap trying to plug the holes at shooting guard and small forward last season. Cleveland sorely needs a wing player who can help take some of the pressure off Kyrie Irving. Expect the team to target either Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, or Harrison Barnes with its lottery pick. The Cavaliers should still look to add another proven perimeter scorer or use one of their other picks on a wing player in hopes of finding an upgrade.

2. True Center: When Anderson Varejao went down with a season-ending injury, Cleveland lacked any sort of inside presence. Guys like Semih Erden and Ryan Hollins don't even deserve to be in the league, and the teams was forced to play undersized power forwards Tristan Thompson and Samardo Samuels in the middle. Even though Varejao will be back next season, he is not a true banging, physical presence down low. The Cavaliers need to find a serviceable big body to clog up space in the paint, and preferably not one named Erden or Hollins.

3. Veteran Point Guard: Since dealing Ramon Sessions, Cleveland has had a void behind Kyrie Irving at point guard. Ideally, finding a veteran who can play 12-15 minutes a night if needed while also providing some guidance to help further Irving's development would be a smart addition.

4. Patience: The worst thing management can do this offseason is blow the team's cap space by overspending on mediocre talent or acquiring expensive, long-term contracts. General Manager Chris Grant needs to stick to the script and follow the Oklahoma City Thunder blueprint of building through the draft and wisely using the Cavaliers' cap space on short-term deals for veterans who can temporarily fill-in where needed.

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