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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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mprofetta 06-26-2011 12:20 am (total posts: 5)
24     25

(con.)I'm not saying Irving won't pan out in the NBA, or that Rose was a "sure thing", but if there is a sure thing, Rose was MUCH closer to it coming out than Irving. I don't know many folks who thought that CHI should have selected Beasley, and we all knew that Oden was even MORE OF A RISK coming out (injury) than Durant. I understand the importance of team chemistry, glue guys, specialists, etc., but they don't make for a strong draft.
mprofetta 06-26-2011 12:13 am (total posts: 5)
26     27

(con.) I have to disagree. Sure, D-Rose didn't post a triple-double on any NBA players, but HE DID put his team on his back and take them to within a whisker of the National Championship as a Freshman. Rose was a PROVEN performer, was taller, stronger, faster, had a longer wingspan and was much more polished than Irving at the same juncture of their development. You could argue that Duke actually seemed to REGRESS with Irving at the point (instead of Nolan Smith).
mprofetta 06-25-2011 11:57 pm (total posts: 5)
26     27


I commend you for posting a lengthy, thought-provoking comment. It's a refreshing break from all of the trollers and "Go Cavs!!" comments. However, I'm not sure just where you are going with your statements. From what I gather, you're insinuating that since there are no "sure things", all drafts are relative, and one can't say that this year's draft is weak.
atownsfinest 06-24-2011 09:10 pm (total posts: 1)
34     46

honestly I think people get wayyyy to held up on the notion that this, or other, drafts are void of talent due to the lack of "sure-thing" picks. Looking at it subjectively, how many people saying that "Kyrie's no Rose" thought that michael beasley should have gone number one instead of rose? That draft was only a few years ago and if I remember correctly there was a 50/50 split on who should go number one (obviously 3 years later we have our answer). How "dumb" are the trailblazers now for taking Oden over Durant? (who by the way was heavily critiziced for not being able to bench 185 and seen as too soft and weak to be able to make a huge impact). That one is an obvious answer, years later. The truth of the matter is it's easy to make rash decision based on "projections" but you really don't know (especially when we're talking about guys who are 19&20 yrs old) how good a player is going to be until they really begin to mature, both physically and mentally. Hell Lebron was already a man-child when he was 18 and sure enough, as he reached his mid-20's, he grew physically and subsequently his game improved. Irving may be slight right now but the kid just turned 19. Wait until he's 22 and starts to develop his "man-muscles." All you hear about this draft is how horrible it is because there's no Durant, Rose, or Lebron. Honestly, how many people have ever really been in agreement about a particular player being a can't miss and being right? (really LBJ and Melo are the only two that worked out recently that I can think of). Speaking of predictions and comparisons, how many times did D-Rose or CP3 put up a triple-double on an NBA player while in college? (the number is 0 by the way). You could make the arguement that Rajon Rondo is a top 3, even the top, point guard in the game. How many times have you ever seen him knock down an open jumper further than 12 ft away? (again the answer is 0). The bulls can have Rose, the Hornets can have CP3, I'll take our point guard who does everything well already, and with hard work could become great in an area or two. This draft was full of guys who will be nice contributors to their teams, with a mix of a few potential all-stars. Looking at recent history, this year, the Dallas Mavericks (a team of one all-star and a lot of "other" players, don't even try to tell me you knew who the hell JJ Barea, and his smokin' girlfriend, were before the finals started) beat a team thats full of all-stars. It takes a team to win, not a roster full of great players. If you want a cross-sport comparison, look at the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers. They always have the most, or almost, the most talent in the NFL but when was the last time they won a game that mattered? All in all I'm extremely pleased the Cavs came away with two quality people who can also play a little ball. Both should serve as quality building blocks. This draft class is unduly catching a bad rap right off the bat but who can fault it really? The "sexiest" player and story was an undersized white guy from BYU who can stroke a 3 ball. The way that dunks and highlights are glorified now, who cares about 3 pointers, shooting ability, team-play, and hard-work? (Ya know, the things that contribute to team success)
mosesgunn 06-24-2011 03:02 pm (total posts: 1)
28     23

Personally I liked the draft although I wished the Cavs took Kawhi Leonard with the 4th pick since he would fill an immediate need for a defensive wing with great upside on the offensive side at SF.

To answer your 'huh?' question on JJ Hickson and Antwan Jamison... Jamison is on the downside of 32 years old with very cranky knees and in the last year of his contract. Look for him to be dealt by the trade deadline. JJ Hickson is also in the last year of his contract although he would be a restricted FA (I think) so my thought is Tristan would be a rebounding/defensive specialist while JJ or Antwan are on the floor eliminating the need to have Varajao on the floor for extended minutes. If you look at his productivity, Varajao is most effective when he serves 20-24 minutes a game. Any more and he tends to break down. Both players will benefit from being in Byron Scott's Princeton offense.
mprofetta 06-24-2011 11:19 am (total posts: 5)
29     49

Am I missing something? Why is Irving universally touted as the undisputed #1 prospect in this draft? He's not NEARLY the athlete that Rose and Wall are, the toe injury is an issue and Duke looked better with Nolan Smith running the point. I understand "upside" and "projection" and all that good stuff, but this kid has done NOTHING.
Matt 06-24-2011 11:08 am (total posts: 1)
27     29

Is the worst talent-pool of rookies ever? Outside of the top-two, all I see are role players at best.
Neal 06-24-2011 10:58 am (total posts: 1)
28     25

Kyrie was the best pick, hopefully we deal Hickson and Andy V since we got Thompson
Dave P 06-24-2011 08:18 am (total posts: 1)
24     29

I'm a big Kyrie fan, but I'm not sold on Thompson.
Cavs fan in Oregon 06-24-2011 12:59 am (total posts: 1)
26     129

I wish we had gone Derrick Williams #1 and grabbed Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker #4. I was hoping we could have traded back into the 1st round and grabbed Bismack Boyumbo too.
John 06-23-2011 11:02 pm (total posts: 1)
27     103

worst draft by a team I have ever seen. Half this team is now power forwards who cant shoot. Wow the cavs are dumb 06-23-2011 12:46 am (total posts: 1)
27     115

The CAVS need a player like Derek Willims,hes 6"8 and can shoot three pointers nearly at will he also seems like a mature and articulate young man with good work ethic and a great attitude. cleveland needs a winner like that.
anthony 06-22-2011 02:56 am (total posts: 1)
19     25

Boogers and tits jus clap ur hands jus clap ur hands.
Walter 06-21-2011 05:02 pm (total posts: 1)
15     15

First comment... we're going to have comment boards like this all over the site soon. We're still working out the kinks, so this is not the finished product.

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