Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“How does Deng fit on the Cavaliers? Mainly, the upgrade that he represents on the wing both offensively and defensively is tremendous. The small forward position has been the bane of the Cavaliers’ existence since LeBron James left. Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee are combining to average 9.6 points on 38% with 5.8 rebounds and 1 assist per game in 36.6 minutes this season. I’d probably argue that no team was getting worse production out of that position in the entire NBA.” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]
“The Bulls and Deng’s representatives had informal talks about an extension over the summer, but Chicago never made a formal offer.
The Bulls were unwilling to pay Deng, 28, market value in the $12 million-to-$13 million-a-year range over four or five seasons. Deng spent nine-plus seasons in Chicago, where he often played hurt. Chicago is committed to re-signing shooting guard Jimmy Butler to a lucrative contract extension this summer, and after the loss of Derrick Rose for the season, the Bulls made a move for the long-term.” [Wojnarowski/Yahoo]
“Deng has, at times, suffered from a nagging left achillies injury which required that he wear a walking boot at the end of December. However, has has played well in his last three games since coming back from the injury and missing a number of games at the end of last month.” [Jackson/Stepien Rules]
“After languishing under Vinny Del Negro, Deng bloomed into a two-time All-Star under Tom Thibodeau, who repeatedly called Deng the glue of the team. Deng routinely ranked among the league leaders in minutes under Thibodeau.
But last season ended badly for Deng, who missed the end of the Bulls’ first-round playoff victory over the Nets and all of the second-round series against the Heat after a spinal tap caused serious complications that Deng later termed life-threatening.” [Johnson/Chicago Tribune]
“What the Cavaliers hope to gain in this trade is some measure of credibility, especially when the offseason comes and they need to sign Irving to an extension. Already, Irving has been injury-prone — he is currently out with a knee problem — but remains the franchise’s big bet on replacing departed star LeBron James. Looking ahead to a pivotal offseason in which the Cavaliers have significant cap space and Irving becomes extension-eligible, Cleveland needs some sort of positive momentum.
That’s where Deng comes in. Over the course of the season, the Cavaliers have alternated between Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark as the starting small forward, with disastrous results. Clark is shooting just 37.4 percent from the field, and Gee is not much better, at 38.1 percent. Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, is shooting 27.8 percent off the bench.” [Deveney/Sporting News]