Monthly Archives: May 2014


Roda and Mike Jackson 5-30-14 Me and former Indians closer Mike Jackson who saved 79 of 88 games for the Tribe during the 1998-99 seasons!

Roda and T.J. House 5-30-14 Nice to meet Indians pitcher T.J. House who made his rookie debut this season.

Roda and Paul Shuey 5-30-14 Chatting with former Indians relief pitcher Paul Shuey.

Roda and Nick Swisher 5-30-14 Looking like I’m asleep at the wheel while interviewing Indians 1st baseman Nick Swisher.



Earlier this week I joined the Jason Smith Show on Fox Sports Radio to talk about, well who else, Johnny Manziel and his trip to Vegas!

Johnny Manziel Money Sign On Stage at NFL Draft


There has been some movement in the “Roda Ratings” 2014 NBA Draft Prospects Top 20 based on talking with individuals who have watched personal workouts, Intel gained via sources and on the internet, along with some film study and the latest rumors.

For now I have flip-flopped the number #1 and #2 picks moving Joel Embiid to the top spot over Andrew Wiggins.

From sources I’ve talked to it’s going to be very hard for the Cavs to pass on the 7-foot athletic center with enormous potential if his back checks out 100 percent. David Griffin and the Cavaliers will have their own personal workout with Embiid soon so they can poke and prod him, X-ray him, MRI him, CT Scan him and whatever other medical tests they feel they need to do to make sure his back injury is healed and it doesn’t look like it will be a chronic injury. If he checks out, Joel Embiid would indeed fit what the Cavs are looking for, a defensive presence, with great foot work that allows him to score inside and a little bit outside. He would also make them tougher as he has a little nasty in him and because of his presence in the low post on offense, he would help spread the floor.  If he becomes half the player he’s being compared to in Hakeem Olajuwon, then the Cavaliers would be thrilled with a selection like that.

I still love the athletic freak, Andrew Wiggins. He’s my favorite player in this draft. He reminds me of a taller version of the old all-around, do everything  Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Sidney Moncrief.  If the Cavs feel Wiggins would be the better fit because of other moves they may be making in free agency and with possible trades, I’d be thrilled with that selection as well. But in the last fifteen years, eleven NBA champions have had an impactful 7-footer on their squad, and when a talented “BIG” comes along and you have the chance to get him, you take him.

One other note, should the Cavs decided to go with the center in Embiid with the first overall pick, if I’m David Griifin I would then try and move back into the first round and get Kentucky shooting guard/small forward James Young a 6’7, 215 pound lefty. I have him rated higher than most people, but I think he would be another perfect fit for this Cavs team as they try and put the pieces of a winning puzzle together. Young can score it, penetrate it, shoot it and defend it with his 7-foot wing span and 36 inch vertical. I love his game and I’d love it even more if he ended up wearing the “Wine and Gold”!

Also moving in to my Top 20 for the first time is UCLA point guard Zack LaVine and Michigan St. power forward Adreian Payne. Both recently had workouts that answered some questions about what GM’s might have been worried about on the floor or physically. LaVine is really shooting up a lot of draft boards after showing off his 41 inch vert and 6’8 wing span. I’ve heard comparisons to Jamal Crawford and Russell Westbrook.

So without further ado, here are my latest “RODA RATINGS” –



(5-29-14 – Subject To Change)


1 Joel Embiid                      C     7’1 – 255 – FR – Kansas

2 Andrew Wiggins            SF    6’8 – 200 – FR – Kansas

3 Jabari Parker                  SF    6’8 – 241 – FR –  Duke

4 Noah Vonleh                  PF    6’10 – 240 – FR – Indiana

5 Julius Randle                  PF    6’9 – 225 – FR – Kentucky

6 Aaron Gordon                PF    6’8 – 210 – FR – Arizona

7 Dante Exum                   SG    6’6 – 188 – 18 years old – Australia

8 Marcus Smart                PG   6’4 – 225 – SPH – Oklahoma St.

9 James Young            SG/SF   6’7 – 215 – FR – Kentucky

10 Dario Saric                    SF   6’10 – 223 – 19 years old – Croatia

11 Doug McDermott       PF    6’10 – 210 – SR – Creighton

12 Gary Harris                  SG    6’5 – 210- SPH – Michigan St.

13 Zach LaVine            PG/SG 6’6  – 180 – FR – UCLA

14 Rodney Hood              SG   6’8 – 180 – SPH – Duke

15 Tyler Enis                     PG   6’2 – 180 – FR – Syracuse

16 Nik Stauskas                SG    6’6 – 200 – SPH – Michigan

17 Adreian Payne            PF    6’10 –240  – SRR – Michigan St.

18 P.J. Hairston                SG    6’5 – 220 – SPH – North Carolina

19 T.J. Warren           SF/SG     6‘8 – 230 – SPH – North Carolina St.

T-20 Cleanthony Early     PF    6’8 – 220 – SR – Wichita St.

T-20 Jusuf Nurkic               C     6’11 – 280  – 19 years old – Bosnia

T-20 Kyle Anderson    SG/SF    6‘9  – 233 – SPH – UCLA



Joey Burrow from Athens, Ohio high school verbally committed to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes on Tuesday becoming the third member of the the 2015 Recruiting Class. For a breakdown of Burrow’s game Steve Helwagen from joined me in the “Roda Report” to give us the 411.

Ohio State Logo


When the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel, they knew they were getting the “Johnny Football” persona too.  So when Manziel has time off to do what he wants and decides to go Las Vegas it’s going to be a big deal no matter what he does.

He could have stayed in his hotel or maybe just went gambling like many other 21 year olds do at one of the casinos along the strip and that would have been a major story because of who he is and what the was doing. That would have been guilt by reputation. I could just see the TMZ headline – “Did Johnny Football Gamble Away His Signing Bonus“!

But Johnny Manziel didn’t stay in and low key it in Vegas, instead he went out and had what looked to be a kick ass time with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski at a pool party with beautiful women in bathing suits and he also attended a UFC event. Call that one guilt by association if you want to because “Johnny Football” was partying with “Gronk” and hot women! So this WAS the TMZ headline –


Read more:

Did either of them get in any trouble? Have you heard of any arrests or were there any altercations? Did “Gronk or “Johnny Football” break any laws?

Just because Manziel didn’t stay in Cleveland in between OTA’s doesn’t mean he did something wrong.

In fact he wasn’t the only Browns high draft pick who didn’t stay in Cleveland during the time off between OTA’s. Fellow first rounder and 8th overall pick Justin Gilbert was, based on the Instagram pictures posted by former Ohio State Buckeye and current Steeler Ryan Shazier, and  Instagram videos from Gilbert himself, in Miami, Florida hanging with some of the fellas over the weekend.

Ryan Shazier ‏@RyanShazier  1h

Let the night beginnings @bino6@jgil_4 40pvamu 

Ryan ShazierVerified account‏@RyanShazier

Last night Miami Nights!!!!!! @sds1_@jgil_4 40pvamu 

Justin Gilbert –

Another Justin Gilbert Instagram post –

Shouldn’t Gilbert  be scrutinized too? I mean what on God’s green earth what was the 8th overall pick doing out of Ohio? Why wasn’t the higher of the two draft picks back in his hotel room near Berea, Ohio just studying his play book for the next round of OTA’s with the Browns? Granted he wasn’t caught on video with alcohol in his hands or posing for pictures with women in bathing suits, but like Manziel he decided to get away for the weekend.

Why? Because they’re young aduls with lots of money and access to a good time. So they go enjoy themselves and as long as neither broke any team rules or any state laws or jeopardized the safety of the United States of America, it’s OK and you all need to just relax.

If the partying or going out of town on off nights continues during the season and it affects Manziel’s or Gilbert’s performance on the field and hurts the team, then everyone has a right to be upset. But until it gets to that, and hopefully it won’t, everybody needs to just realize you’ve got a rock star in town who’s going to garner attention no matter what he does, and as long as he doesn’t hurt himself, somebody else or the team, again you all need to just chill, because Manziel’s not the only one doing it and he didn’t do anything wrong.


I saw the story yesterday from NBA Writer James Herbert from about the Cavs organization reportedly not wanting to offer a max deal to Kyrie Irving this summer for the reasons he stated. That’s not new news for those who follow the team as there is, and has been, some debate about that reportedly within the organization and it’s also been discussed by media members for quite some time.

What would Kyrie do if he was offered the max contract? I asked him that exact question after the Cavs final game of the 2013-14 season, a 114-85 win over the Nets on April 16th. Here’s the exchange –

Dan Gilbert and Kyrie Irving ROY Photo


As David Griffin and the Cavaliers continue their search for a head coach and who they’re going to select first overall in the June 26th NBA Draft should they keep the pick, let’s focus today on just the draft and one of the candidates who’s being discussed for that top pick – center Joel Embiid.

David Griffin 2014 NBA Draft Lottery Photo

In talking with numerous people throughout the Association, it’s apparent to me that if there were no injury concerns about Joel Embiid’s back he would be the clear-cut choice to go number #1 overall. But there are concerns, and thus the debate continues for the Cavs. After having your doctors look at Embiid, if you like what you see medically do you take him and don’t worry about it anymore? If there’s even a bit of a concern with Embiid physically, do you shift your focus to either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker? Or do you go in a completely different direction and look to trade that first overall pick?

Joel Embiid photo - Courtesy of USA Today

photo courtesy of USA Today

Here’s my case for drafting Joel Embiid if, and that’s a big “IF”, he is cleared medically by the Cavs teams doctors:

He’s a legit center at 7’0 – 255 pounds with a 7’5 wingspan.

Cavs G.M. David Griffin talked about finding the right fit. Well Embiid fits! The Cavs are looking to get bigger, tougher, become a better shooting team and they want to spread the floor. Embiid does all of that for you right away. He has a nice soft touch for a big man who has only played the game for 4 years. He’s already a 68% free throw shooter.

He has the most upside or potential in this draft!

He will be a rim protector.  An eraser to make up for all of the other players defensive shortcomings like Larry Nance was for the Cavs in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He’s a shot blocker, a shot changer and he plays with a little nastiness in his game which the Cavs need in a big way.

He’s a very good athlete who runs the floor well and has outstanding footwork. He can drop step and spin move on you with ease already. Plus he’s got a face up and back to the basket game that’s only going to get better. Plus he’s a hard worker and wants to improve.

The comparisons I’ve read with Embiid are with Hakeem Olajuwon and Tim Duncan. To me, I see more of Olajuwon than Duncan because of his defense and footwork.

Let’s compare Embiid’s numbers his freshman year at Kansas with those of Olajuwon and Duncan in their freshman years. Remember Olajuwon ended up playing three years of college ball and Duncan four years. Embiid is heading to the NBA after just one year of NCAA action for the Kansas Jayhawks.

Embiid          – 11.2ppg – 8.1rpg -2.6blks – 62%FG – 68%FT – 20%(3FG)

Olajuwon     –  8.3ppg – 6.2rpg – 2.5blks – 61%FG – 56%FT – (No three point line)

Duncan         –  9.8ppg – 9.6rpg – 3.8blks – 54%FG – 74%FT – (1 for 1 in 3-pt shots)


Is Embiid the perfect player? No he is not. Nobody in this draft is. Embiid has to get stronger. He’s inexperienced as far as actual games played and he has the injury issues that need to be put under the microscope. His handle needs to get better as he turns it over in the post a bit, but that can change with more playing time. However he brings an emerging offensive game along with an above average defensive game to the table already and his potential is through the roof. He’s already a two-way player who’s only going to get better.

Check out a recent work out here courtesy of’s Chad Ford and Rodger Bohn –

@chadforinsider – Here’s a nice video compilation of Joel Embiid’s workout on Fri via @rodgerbohn. 


Here’s one more thing to keep in mind about Embiid and big men. We hear how the NBA game is changing to more of wingman’s game and based on the last two NBA Championships won by LeBron James and the Heat you could make that argument. But consider these facts, of the last 15 NBA Championships that have been won, 11 featured impactful, if not dominate 7’0 foot centers as one of the core pieces of the team – (Shaq and Duncan 4 titles each, Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum 2 titles and Kevin Garnett 1) – To me that sample size proves more than what’s happened in just the last two years.

So if Joel Embiid’s back is indeed 100% healthy and there are no red flags about his health, it’s going to be very hard for Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin to pass on such a talented 7-footer who is only going to get bigger, stronger and better.


Dan Shonka from, a scouting service that has been breaking down college player for the NFL Draft for 33 years, came away impressed with Browns G.M. Ray Farmer and his 2014 Draft!

Ourlads Photo

SAM AMICO JOINS ME TO TALK CAVS, THE DRAFT, LEBRON JAMES AND MORE’s Sam Amico weighs in on what Cavs G.M. David Griffin might do in the draft, about trade possibilities, LeBron James coming back to Cleveland and who the coaching candidates might be.

Sam Amico Photo


In case you missed it, here’s my weekly Wednesday appearance on 92.3 The Fan with Cleveland’s Talking Heads as we talk about the Cavs luck in the lottery and who they should draft #1 overall.

92.3 The Fan Logo David Griffin 2014 NBA Draft Lottery Photo