Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

It probably won’t happen, but …

Now that the five players who made up the starting lineup for the Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA championship game have all declared for the NBA draft, the speculation starts over where presumed No. 1 pick Anthony Davis will be playing next year.

The Charlotte Bobcats, currently at 7-54, will end up having the greatest chance (25 percent) of landing the No. 1 overall selection in the lottery.

But if you are Davis, or any top player, why would you want to play for the Bobcats?

The team is a mess, playing in a city that already saw one team, the Hornets, move out of town. The fans clearly care more about the college game than the pro version.

The Bobcats are on the verge of becoming the worst team in the history of the NBA. If Charlotte loses its last six games – and they currently have lost 18 in a row so it’s not out of the realm – they will finish with the worst winning percentage in league history at .106.

After Sunday’s loss to Boston, 68-year-old coach Paul Silas had an “altercation” in the locker room with forward Tyrus Thomas that resulted in Silas trying to stuff Thomas into his locker (even at 68 our money is on Silas).

As an owner, Michael Jordan makes Randy Lerner look hands-on.

And Davis should want to play for these guys, why exactly?

We know the odds of Davis pulling a Kobe Bryant and telling the Bobcats he won’t play for them if they have the top pick are remote, at best, but why wouldn’t he, or any other top player consider it? Coming out of high school they picked the college program that they believed was going to give them the best chance at success, why not do that at the pro level?

Admittedly, this is all a dream on our part because, if Davis were to say no to the Bobcats, then Charlotte may be tempted to trade the pick. And with the Cavs having multiple assets they could make a play for Davis, who would look nice running down the court with Kyrie Irving.

But if you’re Davis, you have to at least think about it, don’t you?

***

We’re now one week away from the start of the NFL Draft and Browns general manager Tom Heckert held a news conference today.

The main point Heckert made is the team would “like to stay” at No. 4, unless …

“We always like to stay where we’re at, but if we think we can get a similar type of player and get something for it I just don’t understand why not,” Heckert said. “Why wouldn’t you do that? It has nothing to do with building for the future, I think it’s just smart. The more draft picks you have the better off you are going to be. Everyone knows it’s a crap shoot sometimes. The more chances you have in there the better chances you are going to get a good player. I’ll always feel that way. Now, to trade just to trade, I don’t think we’ve ever done that and I would never do that. I don’t care what our record or depth is or any of that stuff. If there is a good football player we are going to take him, unless someone offers something that makes sense for us.”

Make of that what you will.

And if there is anyone who still thinks the Browns messed up by trading with Atlanta last year so the Falcons could take wide receiver Julio Jones (and you know who you are), you need to read this. (h/t to Terry Pluto)

***

Finally, apparently in Major League Baseball it is OK for a pitcher to hit a batter, shattering his thumb and causing him to miss half the season, then the first time you face that batter the next season hit him again without any penalty.

But if you are a teammate of the guy who is repeatedly hit and you retaliate, then there’s a problem.

That’s the only conclusion we can draw from the ridiculous decision to suspend Tribe pitcher Jeanmar Gomez for his role in last Saturday’s brouhaha with Kansas City while letting Royals pitcher Johnathan Sanchez just walk free.

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