General

While We’re Waiting… Deng it!

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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 tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“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]

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“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]

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“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]

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“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]

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“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]

  • MrCleaveland

    The Cavs made lemonade! Good job, guys.

  • humboldt

    I don’t watch much NBA these days…in terms of resigning Deng, is he a max (or near-max) contract type of player? Is that the type of money we’ll have to throw at him to stay?

  • mgbode

    he will definitely command a hefty contract. I would hope to replace the $12mil we would have owed Bynum, but it will likely be a tad more than that figure. Given that he will turn 30yo during the season next year, I think it would be tough to give him more than $15mil/season for 3 years. But, it might take a longer commitment.

    Here’s the good news though. While Deng has had some injury issues, he also keeps himself in phenomenal shape. One of the most dedicated guys in the NBA by all accounts. As such, he has AVERAGED almost 39min/game the past 4 seasons. The guy doesn’t get winded. Mike Brown is still giggling giddily at the moment.

  • Natedawg86

    He turned down 3 years 30 Mil. I guess he is valued at around 12-13M a year for 4-5 years. We could prob do a 4 yr 48M

  • mgbode

    Given that Deng is Sudanese, perhaps we made Karkadai?

  • Cynic

    so you’re telling me we swapped one of the players most subversive to a winning culture for one of the players most conducive to building the right atmosphere, AND filled the most glaring positional deficiency?

    Nice.

  • Cornelius

    Today is the kind of day where you read every single article, smile, and hope beyond hope that this won’t end in typical Cleveland disaster.

  • mgbode

    that is a great and accurate way of describing this move. yes.

  • Harv 21

    Grant was going to make a move to try and save his job and this was as good as any reported. Cavs gave up essentially nothing at a time when a gesture of commitment to winning was in order as they try to convince Kyrie that Cleveland may be a place he wants to stay.

    For those who wanted them to tank again this year, clearly not something the owner can stomach any longer. And even if Deng walks this summer, that may not be a tragedy. Giving a max contract to a 10 year vet with lots of mileage and a wonky achilles might be worse.

  • mgbode

    hmmm, so our new best potential defensive alignment:
    Delly
    Dion
    Deng
    TT
    Andy

  • Jack

    Anyone know why the Headlines are not showing up?

  • mgbode

    they have been moved into the right-hand sidebar

  • Jack

    Nevermind, WFNY is getting fancy!

  • mgbode

    what? you mean the Cavs relying on constantly injured Kyrie, Andy, and Deng? what could go wrong?

    seriously though, this move was as good as they were getting for Bynum. hats off and full bow to Grant on this one.

  • porckchop

    Just don’t be surprised when we sign him to a long term deal he legally changes his name to “@NattyDeng”, uses his first pay check to buy a pot farm in Colorado, fathers 8 kids in 2 months, 3 of which are Tawny Kitane’s, who in a jealous rage punctures his knee with her stiletto, thus ending his career.
    Strange things this town does to people.

  • Harv 21

    wow. Someone’s wearing his thermals with the Nerd Club logo.

  • Harv 21

    won’t hear a peep from me. Because in his short Cleveland stopover Andrew carried the twin sins of being both sullen and boring.

    Here we are now, entertain us.

  • Pat Leonard

    Still wish we had a true rim protector to put out there at either PF or C.

  • mgbode

    gotta wear the thermals in this weather!

  • Pat Leonard

    But baby, it’s cold outside

  • mgbode

    Deng with a punctured knee would still be a better SF than what we have thrown out there the past few years.

  • Kildawg

    Still not much in the big picture. Besides Crynum the Cavs gave up the 2015 and 16 POR 2nds, the mystery Sacto pick, and the right for CHI to swap 2015 1sts (lottery protected). Still, extending Deng for 3/36 or 4/48 isn’t that bad, and a contingency if James doesn’t re-sign (not that he will).

  • Harv 21

    Mike Sanders – right now, whatever he’s doing or wherever he’s coaching – would be easier on the eyes. I can’t remember a starting player who does so little but suffers so little fan and media blowback as Alonzo Gee. Maybe it’s the lost little boy expression he wears, but the lack of withering criticism when he clearly dogs it on the court is patronizing.

  • Harv 21

    4 years would scare the crap out of me, even 3/36. Because his style of play relies on his athleticism and strength and effort, he already has a hard decade in the league, and once that achilles goes she ain’t coming back, not like before anyway.

  • mgbode

    I always preferred Gerald Wilkins to Mike Sanders.

  • mgbode

    guys who are completed dedicated to keeping their body in shape do last into their 30s though. 4yrs would take him to 34yo. I’d be willing to make that gamble (especially for the next couple of years developing the culture we need w/ Kyrie, etc.).

    also, I don’t think he really relies on his athleticism all that much. he obviously needs some of it, but he’s a guy who just hustles and hustles and hustles. he’s not really a high flier. he has crazy quickness and part of that will go, but again, I think it’s a risk worth taking.

  • Yeah, there will be more on this in the near term. Just getting some things ironed out.

  • Harv 21

    not saying they shouldn’t, but it carries a scary risk of paying top dollar for past performance. If the idea is to impress Kyrie and maybe a FA who’s on the fence, that absolutely should be thrown into the calculation. It’s just that in 3 years I see this guy playing a lot more like a $5m/year guy locker room presence guy, the Cavs wishing they had that cap room and Grant working as Ferry’s top assistant in Atlanta.

  • mgbode

    and that is a fair fear. I am more on the side of thinking Deng will be a reliable starter through the next 4 seasons (though likely will miss some games), but it certainly might not go that way.

    4yr/$48 w/ the last year only partially guaranteed on a mutual option seems to be the best route for both parties though (remember, part of that is also convincing him to stay with us).

  • humboldt

    Good, but needs a William Green reference somewhere.

  • humboldt

    Missed opportunity to reference the Sudanese “thawb”. I win this round of the pedantry war, Mr Bode 😉

  • mgbode

    because the synopsis of William Green’s off field career wasn’t direct enough 😉

  • Steve

    “clearly not something the owner can stomach any longer”

    The owner may now have to stomach the mid 90s run of .500 and first round playoff losses and the team spinning its wheels but making no real progress. I’m not sure it’s better.

    Absolutely agree that this was a forced hand move from all the way upstairs, and I am always going to very skeptical of those.

  • mgbode

    you can call it a thawb or a dishdasha or even a tunic, but I’ll always say it’s still a man wearing a dress!

    (also, those are engineered to help you keep cool in blazing hot conditions, not warm in the bitter cold)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Plus the Cavaliers will have almost as many options after the season.

  • mgbode

    Defensive coach
    Potential elite scoring PG
    Hustle-first, good defending PF-C combo guy
    Deng at SF
    A bunch of role players everywhere else

    So, we also could become the recent Chicago Bulls. I’m not going to complain if that is what happens.

  • mgbode

    But, Della-Bowen will make up for it with the Triple-D Defense.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I like that the Lakers got left out in the cold as well. They were dumb for not moving Gasol for Bynum.

  • mgbode

    pretty much every move since Dr. Buss ceded control of the franchise has been dumb.

  • Kildawg

    Any signing (even James) carries inherent risk; some more than others. Bynum had risk but he was also a nice carrot to dangle on a stick, which the Bull(s) ate. Props definitely to Grant for (finally) filling the SF void, if at least temporarily.

  • Steve

    I said elsewhere, I see where the thinking is coming from with the upside. I’m just not sure we’re actually that close. Irving-Thompson-Varejao vs Rose-Boozer-Noah? That’s heavily lopsided toward the latter. I’d say there’s a solid 10 wins worth of difference between those two sets.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yea you ain’t lyin’!

  • mgbode

    I agree they aren’t there yet, which is why I said could. Just trying to lay out what the vision might be for this team.

  • Steve

    I’ll do my best to stay in the optimistic camp too, and I get the “could”. But its tough to back moves seemingly mandated from the owner’s box and one’s that only get us currently into the no man’s land of .500 in the NBA.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    No mention of tonight’s OSU-MSU game??????????????????????????