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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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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     35

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.

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