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While We’re Waiting… Time to pass out grades

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While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“Where they missed: With their second-round pick used last July on receiver Josh Gordon, the Browns traded their fourth-round pick for a third-round pick in 2014, and then their fifth-round pick for a fourth-round pick in 2014. For a team that needs to get better now, deferring a pair of picks to next year won’t help that effort, regardless of who they eventually get.” [Florio/PFT]

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Grading the Cavs. B- for Gee? A little generous imo- “Alonzo Gee was signed to a three year extension with the squad in the offseason, with this season being the first in that contract. Gee brought pretty much what was going to be expected of him when he was resigned, which is solid perimeter defense and the fact that he can run the floor because he is a great athlete. Alonzo was also one of the two players on the squad to appear in all 82 games during the season – a testament to his durability. Alonzo would consistently be put on the opposing team’s best perimeter threat, meaning he had to go up against the likes of Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James as the season went on. However, Gee was not always content with his role and would try to take over the scoring load for the squad as well, with plenty of ill-advised three point attempts and random drives to the basket that never amounted to much of anything. Simply put, Alonzo Gee is not an NBA starter, and as soon as we can bring him off the bench as a defensive specialist as opposed to making him play thirty minutes a night, the better. Final Grade: B-” [Real Cavs Fans]

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“Here’s the thing about Otto Porter…what are the odds that he is available regardless of where the Cavs pick? Because I have talked myself into some Otto Porter. The two teams with worse records than Cleveland, Charlotte picked MKG last year, and Orlando traded for a 2011 (Tobias Harris) and 2012 (Moe Harkless) first-round small forward. So they are both out of the running, right? There is a 40% chance that a different team jumps all three of these squads. In that scenario, three of the maximum five picks ahead of the Cavs aren’t picking Porter. Draftexpress ranks the Otto-bahn at sixth, and David Thorpe argues for Trey Burke at #1. If Porter was a near-lock to Cleveland in the top-five, I would be stoked. I noted on Friday that Kevin Pelton’s projections consider Porter to be the second-most successful rookie. Turning twenty in June, he is younger than freshmen Ben McLemore and Anthony Bennett. A box-score stuffer, he posted a nightly line of 16 points, almost 3 assists, 7.5 rebounds, 1 block, and nearly 2 steals on 48 / 42 / 78 shooting. Questions abound regarding his ability to be the go-to guy, but Cleveland doesn’t need that anyways. A big, no-nonsense wing that rebounds, moves the ball well (of 94 small forwards in draftexpress’s database, his Pure Point Rating ranks fifth), plays defense, and knocks down jumpers? Yes, please. That is almost the prototype of the small forward to place amongst Irving, Waiters and Thompson.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]

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Remember that white towel fiasco the Browns avoided last season? The Lakers must not have heard about it. “On one hand, yes, the white giveaway towel matches the white home uniforms that the Lakers have long worn during Sunday afternoon Staples Center contests; in that respect, it was an extension of a fun, respected element of tradition and beloved Laker lore.

On the other, there’s something less than rousing about giving fans an item that can serve as both a white flag to wave and a towel to throw in before a do-or-die Game 4 that came after three games in which the Spurs flat-out dominated the Lakers, including a crushing 31-point Game 3 win. Not exactly “Once more into the breach, dear friends”-caliber stuff, right?” [Devine/Ball Don’t Lie]

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Finally, the Indians as a Euchre deck. [Let’s go Tribe]

  • Harv 21

    Maybe this guy just imagines Gee as he played the previous season. This year was the classic case of a fringe NBA guy chilling after finally getting a multi-year deal. The consistent spark he gave, especially the defensive intensity, disappeared most games, and he became Exhibit A for guys who tuned Byron out. Gee had a bunch of box scores during losing streaks that showed nothing but a guy gone AWOL: about 30 minutes, maybe 2 or 3 shots taken, zero or 1 rebound, while the guy he was guarding was getting off.

    I’m guessing Mike Brown is watching his tape and getting ready to make his training camp miserable.

  • mgbode

    Biggest worry on the Cavs. The NBA is proving that little guys get hit and get injured. Look at the rash of PG injuries going on these days (Rose, Parker, Rondo, Westbrook, etc.). It is important to have a good PG, but it is lucky to have him healthy in the playoffs.

    The reason I bring that up is that Irving has already had issues with the injury bug (though it was obvious through his comments that the length was sometimes dictated by outside forces). We need to find guys who can step up and take over when the inevitable happens each year (and hope it’s for a short time and not for the playoffs).

  • mgbode

    I think Mike Brown shows up at his house this offseason and gives him a few choice words now.

    “we coulda been a contenda. you coulda been Tony Allen.”

  • woofersus

    Yeah, I thought Gee was pretty disappointing this year. I do think he can be better than he was, but it’s clear he’s much more valuable as a very good bench player. Mike Brown will love his perimeter defense though, and will probably make better use of him.

    I also think he was a little miscast on offense this year. He’s an athletic guy who excels as a slasher, but this year with the addition of Waiters he was frequently on the receiving end of kick-outs as opposed to driving and delivering them, and when he got the ball the defense had frequently already collapsed in the paint, leaving him with no option other than to shoot the 3 or pass it back out and start over. Sometimes he would beat his man and then get stuck because there were 3 guys in the paint waiting for him, and it would lead to an awkward game of hot potato. You can’t use him as your perimeter outlet guy. Perhaps as a bench player, he can slash like he used to and play off Livingston (he had better be back) the way Dion plays off Kyrie.

  • Harv 21

    For sure, and this is the legacy of point guard as fulcrum of the offense and explosive scorer. But I think the Cavs will use their resources to establish a starting small forward and starting center before they devote a first-rounder or lots of money to a PG with a strong enough game to run the team as a starter.

    Livingston would be a quality back-up, but if he thinks his knee can now handle more significant minutes he’s going for a starting job and the commensurate salary.

  • mgbode

    I don’t think Livingston can get a starting job (or deserves one), but he might want to go to a team with a better style or better contending chances. I’d like to keep him because I worry about another run of guys like Sloan/Pargo/etc. at that spot.