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2013 Cleveland Cavaliers

Team Needs, Free Agents, Season Preview

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: 24-58)

2012-13 Season Summary:
The development of the young Cleveland team experienced a hiccup as its top-three players all missed significant time due to injury. Kyrie Irving took the next step as the face of the franchise making his first All-Star Game, but he suffered a couple different injuries that forced him to sit out 23 games.

Anderson Varejao was having himself an All-Star caliber season, averaging 14/14 a night, but surgery on his quads was the first injury before a major medical scare involving a blood clot in his lung. It continues to be one thing after another for Varejao, who has only played in 81 games combined in the past three seasons. 2012 NBA Draft First-round pick Dion Waiters went through his own nagging injuries, too.

As a result, the Cavaliers had to plug the holes for the time being. Tristan Thompson saw a larger role and showed some improvement from his rookie campaign. Rookie Tyler Zeller was serviceable in the middle, but proved what many believed entering the 2012 NBA Draft; that he is best suited an as NBA backup. Cleveland also made a great trade with the Grizzlies, pretty much stealing Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington for practically nothing.

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Anderson Varejao/Tyler Zeller

PF: Tristan Thompson/*Marreese Speights/Kevin Jones

SF: *Alonzo Gee/^C.J. Miles/%Omri Casspi

SG: Dion Waiters/#Wayne Ellington

PG: Kyrie Irving

NBA Free Agents:

*PF-Marreese Speights (RFA)

#SG-Wayne Ellington (RFA)

%SF-Omri Casspi (RFA)

^SF-C.J. Miles (TO)

F-Luke Walton (UFA)

SG-Daniel Gibson (UFA)

PG-Shaun Livingston (UFA)

PG-Chris Quinn (UFA)

2013-14 Team Salary: Approximately $33.3 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Small Forward: Irving, Waiters, Thompson, and Zeller. The Cavaliers have added bright young pieces at every position but small forward. I think Cleveland should draft Georgetown small forward Otto Porter with the top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft since his ability to be a glue guy would be an outstanding addition. If the Cavaliers decide to take Nerlens Noel instead, their best bet might be sticking with Gee and Miles for another year, unless they can land a quality young small forward via free agency or trade.

2. Guard Depth: Cleveland found temporary solutions behind Irving and Waiters last season, but Shaun Livingston is an unrestricted free agent and Wayne Ellington is a restricted free agent. I wouldn't mind Ellington returning as a backup, but if I'm Cleveland, I don't sign him to an extension. The Cavs should also look for a better point guard option especially Irving has been unable to stay healthy during his first two years with the team.

3. Patience: This has been the case for the past couple of offseasons now. Cleveland's front office has played it smart by building through the draft and not blowing its cap space on overpriced, mediocre free agents. The Cavaliers still aren't in a position to land a big name free agent, so they need to stick to the script and let time take its course rather than trying to accelerate the rebuilding process and making a costly mistake in free agency.

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cf 04-01-2014 03:07 am (total posts: 1)
1     1

Andrei the Russian and McDermott. 2 players make a huge difference fast.
Jessica 01-02-2014 05:25 am (total posts: 1)
2     2

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Pelicans fan 06-17-2013 11:18 pm (total posts: 1)
6     9

Lhady I laughed at your comment.mocking the dead BCS!!!!!!!Ad icona pop would say "I love it."
Tank Machine 05-25-2013 08:16 pm (total posts: 1)
34     234

The Cavs are the kings of tanking.
RealCavsFan 04-20-2013 07:55 pm (total posts: 1)
7     306

its DONALD MOTHAFAULKING SOAN. and Alanzo Gee is a forward And the jumping jew sucks.
Jeff 02-05-2013 11:59 pm (total posts: 1)
32     9

You have to be kidding me with Zeller's grade.He fills the big man role with Andy always injured.ot to mention he contributes no matter what so I would give him a solid B or not so solid A
Nick 08-11-2012 10:17 pm (total posts: 1)
43     36

Kyrie Irving=Chris Paul
Tristan Thompson=Serge Ibaka

Obviously this is more than 1 year later but i beleive that the Cavs walked away with the most from the 2011 Draft. Thompson put up nearly the same numbers Derrick Williams did and Irving was a straight up stud. I thought the same thing after we drafted Thompson but in the end, as a Cavs fan I'm happy with the choice. Plus with Waiters and Zeller, as well as 7 first round picks in the next 3 years the future looks GREAT in Cleveland!
Lhady 07-25-2012 12:55 am (total posts: 1)
14     14

i think it's the fairest way there is. it doesn't maettr how bad you suck. you don't throw games. period. it gives the highest chances to the worst teams, without making it a definite so teams are less likely to race for the bottom. the only better (haha in theory NOT practice) way would be to get a committee together and have them sit around and rank all the teams.. heh.. and for a kicks you could throw some computer rankings in there
Mark Hicks 07-01-2012 11:45 pm (total posts: 1)
168     154

While I agree with you with your love for Dion Waiters, I do not totally agree with your assessment of Tyler Zeller. Personally, I would have kept one of those 2nd round picks to take Quincy Miller but otherwise to get a solid athletic center who can run the floor with Irving, Waiters, and Thompson makes the Cavs exciting to watch. I think for them to trade 3 players (who could be D-League players) for a starting center who could possibly be in the league for 10 years was well worth it.
Josh N 06-30-2012 01:44 am (total posts: 1)
13     13

Everyone keeps ripping the Cavs picks, the fact is that I like both and I will decide if they were good when the season rolls back around
Some Guy 06-29-2012 05:31 pm (total posts: 1)
38     14

Guys Walt doesn't write this... Just look at the top of the page.

Also if given the choice between Thompson, Varejao, and Zeller or Thompson, Varejao, and Erden it is very clear which one everyone would take. I feel more confident with Zeller getting minutes that belonged to Erden, Hollins, Samuels etc. I would go at least a c+ on that pick.
Austin 06-29-2012 03:09 pm (total posts: 1)
13     14

Do you hate all white guys drafted in the 1st round? You gonna kill the team that takes Cody Zeller next yr?
Sports 06-29-2012 12:49 pm (total posts: 1)
35     12

I love Waiters at 4. He won't have the ball in his hands to much because of Irving. Waiters has a terrific upside to him and the chance he is a stud is way greater than a bust and that's what the NBA draft is. Zellar trade deserves a C in my mind and it's not because we took Zellar, I like the pick. Zellar a 7'0 footer that is smart, rebounds, not awful defense and can score at times(perfect for this Cavs team). But the problem here is what we gave up, we need something on the small forward position that can defend. Taylor from Vandy would of been wonderful. Love the pics but still need to beef up our wings.
Chaz 06-29-2012 10:47 am (total posts: 1)
50     13

You may not like the Zeller pick, but we got a big man that can run the floor, rebound, score and is a solid basketball player. The Cavs did not want to pick 4 players in the draft because they didn't want that many rookies. They did what many experts said they would do and that is trade picks to move up: done.

Put these two players with Irving and we have a nice young solid base. I give it an A all around.
Not a Cavs fan 06-29-2012 08:40 am (total posts: 1)
59     15

You are way off on the Zeller grade. That is a solid B. He contributes immediately and fills a void in the middle for the Cavs.

Not a bad trade at all.

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