Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “NBA draft”

Thank goodness for the Twins

Remember how we were happy that the Royals were coming to town?

Yeah … never mind.

The Cleveland Indians head into a much-needed day off on Thursday having lost five of their last six games to close out the month of May.

During that streak, the Tribe’s starting rotation has worked 28 innings and given up 37 earned runs. That’s an ERA of 11.89.


“This was not a good series,” Indians manager Manny Acta said in published reports. “It’s been a rough week for us. Pitching sets the tone, and were not setting the (right) tone.”

Travis Hafner is on the disabled list and is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday and will most likely miss at least four to six weeks … Jack Hannahan is on the disabled list … Carlos Santana is still out with concussion symptoms … Rafael Perez was moved to the 60-day disabled list over the weekend … Acta will skip Ubaldo Jimenez’ turn in the rotation on Saturday so he can make his next start on the road against Detroit, even though Jimenez has a road ERA of 9.00 this year (compared to 3.38 at home) … anything we missed?

At least the last-place Twins are coming to town this weekend. That has to be a good thing, right?

Wait, don’t answer that.

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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?

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The rebuilding continues

The rebuilding continued for the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night in the NBA draft, as the Cavs found coach Byron Scott his point guard in Duke’s Kyrie Irving at No. 1 and selected Texas power forward Tristan Thompson.

Irving is quick, tough and intelligent and if he had played the entire season last year there’s little doubt he would have been a clear No. 1. He made 46 percent of his 3s in college and 90 percent of his free throws.

Scott won in New Jersey with point guard Jason Kidd and in New Orleans with point guard Chris Paul. If there was ever a player to match with a coach, this seems to be it.

As for Thompson, he has a chance to be the second best NBA player to ever come out of Canada. He’s a rebounder – he led the Big 12 with almost four offensive boards a game last year – and a shot blocker. He can also get to the free throw line – he averaged 7.3 free throws a game last year – but was a Shaq-like 48 percent on those free throws.

In a lot of ways, Thompson is a younger version of young J.J. Hickson, which makes us wonder what the Cavs have in mind here.

We know there are plenty of people who wanted the Cavs to select Jonas Valanciunas as he was sitting there when the team picked at No. 4, but we don’t know. Valanciunas only played 14 minutes a game in 14 games last year in the Euroleague and we’re not enamored with foreign players the way some people are.

Plus, Thompson is foreign, even if he did play at Texas.

General manager Chris Grant is going to get some grief for the Thompson pick because too many people fell in love with Valanciunas despite never seeing him. We’ll obviously find out over the next few years if the team made a mistake or not.

But if Irving turns out to be as good as everyone thinks he will be, and Thompson turns into a solid player, then we have to rate this draft as a winner.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

The only Cavs draft preview you’ll need

The Cleveland Cavaliers head into tonight’s NBA Draft in a good position, holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks.

Who will they pick? We’re pretty sure general manager Chris Grant knows what he wants to do.

And that’s all we can really ask for as fans.

Forget mock drafts, even especially detailed ones. Don’t worry about which seven-foot European player – that most people have never seen play – the team may or may not select.

Because when it comes to drafting, the only real certainty is nobody knows.

As fans, we should expect the front office to do its homework, figure out what positions are weakest on the team, and draft the player they think best fits their team’s system.

Consider the past two drafts by the Browns: they needed help in the secondary, they draft Joe Haden and T.J. Ward. This year, defensive line was an issue and they chose Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard.

After that, it truly is a crapshoot. There rarely is ever one singular player that a team must have, so getting too worked up leading into a draft is not really productive.

Clearly there are wrong draft picks. If the Cavs had selected Darko Milici instead of LeBron James in 2003, that would have been a bad pick. But what if the Cavs weren’t picking first that year? If they had selected Carmelo Anthony or Dwyane Wade that year, would things really have been that much different the past seven years?

The thing with draft picks is you just never know.

A team can make the right pick and things can still not work out. Players can have their careers cut short by injury (think Austin Carr and Brad Daugherty), or their time with the team can be limited by bad trade decisions (Mike Mitchell, Ron Harper).

As long as the Cavs have done their homework and identified where they need help, and don’t do anything crazy (someone should keep a close eye on Dan Gilbert), then everything will be fine tonight.

Remember: if fans can figure out what the team’s weaknesses are, then the team can figure it out.

So if the picks are Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter, or Irving and Jonas Valanciunas, or Derrick Williams and Brandon Knight, it will be OK.

Whatever they do, it will help the rebuilding process. Link

Cavs looking to make a deal?

Apparently, the Cavs may not be willing to settle for having the No. 1 and No. 4 pick in next month’s NBA draft.

According to ESPN, “sources” say the Cavaliers are in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons about a three-team trade that would give Cleveland the top two picks of next month’s NBA draft.

Wait, it gets better.

The Cavs would reportedly use their $14.6 million trade exception to trade for Detroit’s Rip Hamilton and also receive the Pistons’ first-round pick, No. 8.

The Cavs would then send the No. 8 pick and the No. 4 pick to Minnesota for the Timberwolves’ pick, No. 2.

Finally, the Cavs would buy Hamilton out of the last two years of his contract, which calls for him to make $25 million.

So let’s summarize: the Cavs would get the No. 2 pick in the draft (meaning they would be picking 1 & 2), they wouldn’t have to give up any players, and it would only cost them cash?

Why would they not make that trade?

As with any rumors originating from ESPN “sources,” it’s impossible to know how much truth there is to this.

Piston beat writers Vincent Goodwill (The Detroit News ) and Vincent Ellis (Detroit Free Press) both say the story has no legs.

More than likely, the trade falls into the category of “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” At least this far away from the draft. As we get closer to draft night though …

In any event, it is good to think that the Cavs are being creative and aggressive in trying to improve the team.

What a difference a year makes for Cavs

What a long, strange year its been for the Cavs.

A year ago, we were waiting to see if owner Dan Gilbert would fire the most successful coach in franchise history. Once Gilbert made Mike Brown the scapegoat for the team’s playoff failings, we spent time dreading that Gilbert would hire Tom Izzo before wiser heads prevailed and the team hired Byron Scott.

General manager Danny Ferry left when his contract expired.

We all witnessed the debacle at the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn.

Then there was the season filled with injuries, a 26-game losing streak and a nagging feeling that the Cavs were becoming irrelevant in the NBA.

But last night’s NBA Draft lottery wiped the slate clean.

”Shocking events took place last summer and it was a slow, long, painful haul to get through it,” Gilbert said in published reports after the lottery. ”Maybe this will be the final straw in getting over the hump, getting to the other side and having a lot of hope for the future. That’s what we need.

”Above all, it means hope, and this is a lot of hope for one night. When you combine this with everything else going on, optimistic days are ahead.”

The Cavs now hold the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, giving them an opportunity to continue the rebuilding process.

The last time the Cavs found themselves in this position was 1986 and their are similarities to that draft and this one.

The key lies with the front office.

In 1986, the Cavs were able to trade Roy Hinson and cash to Philadelphia for the 76ers No. 1 pick – the first overall – so they could select Brad Daugherty. They then used their own lottery pick – No. 7 – to select Ron Harper. Finally, the Cavs traded a future second-round pick to Dallas for Mark Price.

How’s that for a day’s work?

The current front office deserves credit for making a trade similar to the Daugherty trade, as they were able to turn Mo Williams and Jamario Moon into Baron Davis and the Clippers’ No. 1 pick – the very pick that turned into the top selection in this year’s draft.

Well played.

”This gives us two good, very young players to add to our core and keep growing,” said Cavs General Manager Chris Grant in published reports. ”It’s not a process that happens in one night. It’s a process that takes some time. . . . Regardless of the outcome, we were going to get two good players and we were excited about that. This makes it a little bit sweeter.”

Grant and the scouts now need to do their work to ensure the Cavs really do walk away with two good players – at the least. If they can do that, the Cavs will be that much closer to returning to their winning ways.

Of course it will take time. Don’t forget, the ’86 Cavs went 31-51 in their first year together – it wasn’t until their third season that the team had its breakout 57-win season.

But, while the team would be better if LeBron James was still on the roster, the Cavs are better off than they were when they won the lottery in 2003. That fall, James joined a roster that included Kevin Ollie, Ricky Davis, Dajuan Wagner, Ira Newble, DeSagana Diop and Tony Battie, to name a few.

Now the Cavs will add two potential impact players to a roster that includes Anderson Varejao, Antawn Jamison, Baron Davis, J.J. Hickson, Ramon Sessions and Boobie Gibson.

Not a powerhouse by any stretch, but certainly better than the group from ’03.

And what’s not to like about that?


At every good party someone has to play the fool and last night it was Minnesota general manager David Kahn.

“This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines,” Kahn said after the Cavs won the first pick. “Last year it was Abe Pollin’s widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: ‘We’re toast.’ This is not happening for us and I was right.”

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kahn was at the center of this. He’s the same GM who drafted three point guards in the first round in 2009 (of the three, only Johnny Flynn has played for the Timberwolves), called Darko Milicic “Manna from Heaven” and blamed Michael Beasley’s trial and tribulations on “smoking too much weed.”


Here’s one man’s vote for the Cavs to take Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick.

Cavs hit jackpot in draft lottery

The Cavs hit the jackpot in Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery, taking home the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the upcoming draft.

Things broke right for the Cavs as their pick fell into the No. 4 slot while the pick they received from the Clippers in the Baron Davis deal landed them the No. 1 pick.

Maybe the draft lottery was karma from last summer and the injury-plagued season the team just endured? In any event, the Cavs now have a very real opportunity to accelerate the rebuilding process.

The Cavs should be able to walk away with two solid picks in what “experts” are calling a weak draft class. If it turns out to be true that this draft is thin, having two of the first four picks is definitely the way to go.

The gold standard for the Cavs is obviously the 1986 draft, when the team selected Brad Daugherty and Ron Harper in the first round and traded for Mark Price, a second-round pick by Dallas.

But since then it’s been more miss than hit for the Cavs when it comes to the draft lottery as they have only hit on four picks – Kevin Johnson, Terrell Brandon, Andre Miller and LeBron James.

And just look at some of the draft misses – it’s not pretty: Vitaly Potapenko, Derek Anderson, Trajan Langdon, DeSagna Diop, Dajuan Wagner and Luke Jackson.

But that’s ancient history. It’s a new day in Cleveland basketball.

Wake up and smell the coffee.


How bad was Vin Mazzaro’s performance Monday night against the Indians?

Try historically bad.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mazzaro was:

  • the first pitcher in modern baseball history to allow 14 runs in less than three innings of work
  • the first reliever to allow 14 runs since Tommy Warren in 1944
  • the fifth reliever to allow 14 earned runs (he was the first to do it since Les McCrabb in 1942)

Oh, and he was sent down to the Royals’ AAA team after the game.


Say what you will about David Beckham – he certainly has his share of critics – but the dude still knows what to do with a free kick.

It’s ridiculous what he does here – and he knows it. Beckham tries to keep his cool after the goal, but he breaks into a smile pretty quickly.


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