Cleveland is Doomed
With LeBron, the Cavs made the playoffs nine times, the NBA Finals five times (four straight), and won the finals once. The Cavs haven’t made the playoffs since 1999 without LeBron James in their uniform. Of course, James had some help the last few years from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, but how did the Cavs manage to get those players (and LeBron)? They tanked and amassed assets.
Tanking sounds easy, but for a small-market team it is more difficult than people realize. Draft picks are too unpredictable and teams tanking have to hit on almost all of their picks. Philadelphia is going through this now after flopping on Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Michael-Carter Williams, and possibly Markelle Fultz. Tanking works if teams draft extremely well or if they are in an attractive market. Thankfully, Philadelphia is more attractive than Cleveland, but they still flopped on attracting a big-name free agent this offseason, and almost let JJ Reddick walk away. As for Cleveland, they’ll have a tougher time signing any top free agents, putting them in a predicament. Do they tank and hope they nail every draft pick knowing there won’t be any free agents coming their way, or do they sign Kevin Love long-term and settle for sustained mediocrity?
Obviously they signed Love.
Cleveland gave a fragile and aging star too much money for too many years (4 years, $120M starting in 2020) in an attempt to stay semi-competitive. They are now stuck building around Love and Collin Sexton and looking at drafting near the end of the lottery or just outside the lottery for at least the next few years. Enjoy the next two dreadful decades, Cleveland.
Does the Spurs Training Staff Gaffe Vindicate Kawhi?
The disconnect between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs was covered religiously for months, culminating in his trade to Toronto last week. The general consensus was that Kawhi was at fault for the rift, because Kawhi wanted out of San Antonio and used a phantom injury as an excuse to push the Spurs to do his bidding. But one tweet from Bleacher Report on Tuesday might have cast a new light on the narrative. The tweet disclosed that Danny Green, Spurs SG, played last season with a torn groin that went undetected by the Spurs medical staff.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 24, 2018
Maybe Kawhi’s lack of faith in the Spurs’ medical staff was warranted after all?
Kevin Durant vs CJ McCollum
More than a week after Kevin Durant went on CJ McCollum’s podcast and laughed in his face at the thought of the Blazers winning a title, a mini-“scandal” erupted after Barstool Sports’ Big Cat baited McCollum into talking trash.
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) July 25, 2018
McCollum, seemingly upset, responded to Big Cat calling Durant’s decision soft and comparing it to switching gangs on the street. Kevin didn’t seem too happy about CJ’s response:
So,I would get into a gang fight, lose, plot on my brother for 2 months in our home and then go get the gang we lost to and beat him up? U think that low of me CJ? I just did your fuckin podcast. Snakes in the grass boy I tell ya 🤣
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 26, 2018
But hey, maybe Kevin ain’t mad.
DeRozan Looks Ready to Learn from Pop
Team USA minicamp started Thursday under new head coach Gregg Popovich. Pop has a nice opportunity before Spurs’ training camp to better acquaint himself with his newly acquired star, DeMar DeRozan.
Pop and DeMar getting acquainted
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 26, 2018
One Team Could Get a Head Start on Vince Carter’s Post-Playing Career
The Atlanta Hawks signed Vince Carter, who will turn 42 during the upcoming season, for 1 year, $2.4M. During Carter’s last four seasons he has averaged 18.9 mpg, 6.5 ppg, and 2.5 rpg. The Hawks general manager, Travis Schlenk, admitted he signed Carter because he wanted his influence around a young, rebuilding roster. Why not save a couple million dollars ($8M in the King’s case last year!), bring him on as an assistant coach, and give the younger players his game playing minutes. Carter’s future could be in coaching and one team could have his influence on their young guys for multiple years opposed to one year.
John Wall Gets Roasted on NBA Twitter
john wall looks how 2018 feels pic.twitter.com/cvsHOrWOtP
— martin rickman (@martinrickman) July 26, 2018
John Wall was just here to get buckets and drop dimes, but thanks to a shitty promo photographer he was the butt of every joke on twitter for an entire day. He seems like a good sport, though.
Because I’m a very serious jorunalist I asked John Wall about the trending picture. He said he hasn’t been on twitter today but saw the photo earlier.
‘I sent it to my mom and said it looks like I just got to jail.’
— Yaron Weitzman (@YaronWeitzman) July 26, 2018