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by Kenny Roda
Was new Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman channeling his inner Joel Goodson from the hit movie “Risky Business”? More on that later. Let’s get right to the surprising trade of Kyrie Irving to the Cavs biggest threat in the East, the Boston Celtics.
This is a very risky trade for the Cavs considering that they gave up a four-time all-star in Kyrie Irving who they controlled for two more years even if he was unhappy, for Isaiah Thomas, an undersized, currently injured point guard, who’s terrible on defense and in the final year of his contract. And oh yeah, they made this deal with their Eastern Conference rival, the Boston Celtics!
Yes the Cavs got a decent role player, who’s calling card is defense, in Jae Crowder, plus an unproven rookie center, in Ante Zizic. But I’m not sure how much they will really help the Cavaliers this season, which possibly could be the final season for LeBron James in Cleveland.
If the Cavaliers are in a must win now mode, I feel, especially with the uncertainty of the hip injury Isaiah Thomas is dealing with, that this trade does not help them for this year, with the exception of owner Dan Gilbert reportedly saving $29 million in the luxury tax.
However, if Isaiah Thomas and his seriously injured hip, that forced him to miss games 3, 4 and 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs, is able to get back to being 100% healthy, and Derrick Rose does the same, the Cavaliers will continue to be the best the Eastern Conference has to offer. But as they are constructed right now, I don’t think that the Cavaliers will be good enough to defeat the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Maybe the most exciting thing about this trade is the draft pick the Cavs got from the Celtics. It is actually the Brooklyn Nets draft pick, and Brooklyn could be the worst team in the NBA the season. That would mean the Cavaliers could end up with the most ping pong balls in the hopper (#APPBITH) with a chance to get the number one overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Or the Cavaliers could take this Nets draft pick and potentially flip it for a big-time player which could mean a whole another story.
I was hoping that somehow someway new GM Koby Altman would find a way to trade for Eric Bledsoe, Josh Jackson and a draft pick from the Suns, or if Phoenix continued to be steadfast on not giving up Jackson, I might’ve taken TJ Warren and Jared Dudley and a draft pick along with Bledsoe. But the Suns wouldn’t budge, so Altman took, I guess, the next best deal.
Could he have done worse? Sure! Could he, or maybe David Griffin, if he were still the Cavaliers GM have done more? I think so! Now I’ve been wrong before on trades, but I’ve also been right.
But Altman is the man in charge and it looks like he took the mental approach of Joel Goodson, Tom Cruise’s character in the movie “Risky Business” and went with, “Sometimes you gotta say, what the f***, make your move”! And boy did he ever!
Is this the end of the “Soap Opera” that is the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers? I highly doubt it. I’m sure there’s plenty more drama to come.
CAVALIERS ACQUIRE NBA ALL-STAR GUARD ISAIAH THOMAS, JAE CROWDER, ANTE ZIZIC AS WELL AS THE 2018 BROOKLYN NETS UNPROTECTED 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICK
CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 unprotected first round pick from the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
“This trade needed to include both players and assets that we felt strongly could help us continue to compete for championships and we believe it does,” said Altman. “We look forward to Isaiah, Jae and Ante joining us and also felt that the unprotected first round pick in the deal was very important for us and our future as well.”
“On behalf of the entire franchise, I want to thank Kyrie Irving for the six impressive years he spent in Cleveland wearing the Cavaliers uniform,” said Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert. “From the moment we won the 2011 NBA lottery that put us in position to draft Kyrie to the ‘The Shot’ that sealed our first NBA championship and all of the electrifying play that made him a joy to watch, ‘excitement’ was always in the air when it came to Kyrie Irving. We wish him and his family well as he moves on to the next phase of his NBA career.”
Thomas (5-9, 185) appeared in 76 games (all starts) for the Celtics in 2016-17, averaging a career-high 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 33.8 minutes. He finished as the third-leading scorer in the NBA and had the second highest scoring average in Celtics history, trailing only Larry Bird’s 1987-88 mark of 29.9 points. Thomas also set career highs in field goal percentage (.463), three-point percentage (.379) and free throw percentage (.909, 2nd in NBA) this past season, while setting the team record with 245 three-pointers. An NBA All-Star in each of the last two seasons, Thomas was an All-NBA Second Team selection in 2016-17. He scored at least 20 points or more on 71 occasions, which includes a stretch of 43 consecutive contests hitting that mark (11/19/16-2/26/17), the longest in Celtics history. The six-year NBA veteran out of the University of Washington was originally drafted by Sacramento as the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and has gone on to hold career averages of 19.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists over 441 games (309 starts) with the Kings, Phoenix and Boston.
Crowder (6-6, 235) played in 72 games (all starts) for Boston this past season and averaged 13.9 points on a career-high .463 shooting from the field, including a career-best .398 from three-point range, 5.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steal in 32.4 minutes. He also went .811 from the charity stripe, while scoring in double figures on 54 occasions and posting seven double-doubles. The five-year forward from Marquette was the 34th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by Cleveland before being traded on draft night to the Mavericks. In 383 career games (186 starts) with the Mavericks and Celtics, Crowder has averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 23.2 minutes.
Zizic (7-0, 250), who was selected 23rd overall by the Celtics in the 2016 NBA draft, competed internationally with Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul in Turkey and KK Cibona Zagreb in Croatia last season. He took park in five different competitions in 2016-17, which include the Euroleague, Basketball Champions League, Adriatic League, the Turkish BSL and the Croatian A-1 league and played a total of 65 games. In 21 contests for Darussafaka Dogus in the Turkish BSL, Zizic averaged 8.9 points on .688 shooting from the field and 4.3 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game. Zizic also played in 20 games for Darussafaka Dogus in the Euroleague, helping them reach the quarterfinals after averaging 9.0 points on .649 shooting from the field and 6.7 rebounds in 21.9 minutes. He had his highest scoring average in the Adriatic League for KK Cibona where he averaged 20.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.23 blocks in 29.8 minutes per game. Zizic was named as the 2015-16 Adriatic League Top Prospect which is given to the league’s best young player, aged 22 or under. Previous winners of this award include current NBA players Nikola Jokic and Dario Saric.
Irving (6-3, 193) played in 72 games (all starts) for the Cavaliers in 2016-17, averaging a career-high 25.2 points (11th in NBA) on .472 shooting, including .401 from beyond the arc, 3.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 35.1 minutes. He also shot .905 from the free throw line (3rd in NBA). Irving has spent his entire six-year professional career with Cleveland, appearing in 381 games (all starts) with averages of 21.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.32 steals in 34.2 minutes.
Whether Kyrie Irving is there to play with LeBron James or not, the Cleveland Cavaliers know who, when and where they will be playing their 82 regular season game for the upcoming 2017-18.
Here is the latest update on Indians Manager Terry Francona and his medical situation via the Tribe’s official press release:
MEDICAL UPDATE ON TERRY FRANCONA – July 7, 2017
CLEVELAND, OH – Medical update on Cleveland Indians Manager TERRY FRANCONA:
Thursday afternoon at the Cleveland Clinic, Terry Francona underwent a cardiac ablation procedure to correct a cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). The arrhythmia was detected through diligent monitoring of Terry’s heart rhythm over the past several weeks.
Terry is resting comfortably at the Cleveland Clinic following the successful cardiac procedure. Terry is expected to make a full recovery and will be discharged within the next day or two. It is expected he will resume managing the team beginning Friday, July 14th and Major League Baseball has been informed he will not manage the All-Star Game in Miami.
The Cleveland Indians Organization would like to express sincere gratitude to the entire staff of professionals at the Cleveland Clinic for their care and treatment of Terry.
***According to the Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes, current Indians bench coach and acting manager, Brad Mills will manager in place of Francona for the American League in Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All Star Game.***
The Cleveland Cavaliers and General Manager David Griffin have parted ways after 3 years and one NBA Championship. It was announced Monday night that the two sides could not agree on a new contract and had philosophical differences for the direction of the team.
Here is the official press release from the Cavaliers:
Statement From Cleveland Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert
The Cleveland Cavaliers and its General Manager, David Griffin, have mutually decided not to extend David’s current contract, which ends June 30, 2017.
On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Griff for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including most recently, his role in the franchise’s first NBA Championship.
We have no announcement at this time related to new leadership of the Cavaliers basketball operations group, but we are confident our current front office will continue to aggressively explore and pursue opportunities to improve our team in the weeks ahead.
Names that have surfaced as potential front office candidates in varying roles according to WHBC sources include Chauncey Billups, Justin Zanek, Joe Dumars and Larry Harris.
Via Twitter, Cavs All Star and All NBA First Team forward LeBron James had this to say about David Griffin’s departure:
If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1
11:32 PM – 19 Jun 2017
Tune in to the Kenny and JT Show on 1480 WHBC and WHBC.com Tuesday from 3p-7p for more on this developing story.
CAVS SEND MIKE DUNLEAVY, MO WILLIAMS AND FUTURE FIRST ROUND PICK TO ATLANTA
CLEVELAND, OH – The 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for guard/forward Mike Dunleavy, guard Mo Williams, cash considerations and a protected first round draft pick (first possible pick is Cleveland’s 2019 first round pick), Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to add a player and person the caliber of Kyle Korver to our Cavs family,” said Griffin. “Among the most prolific and dynamic three-point shooters in NBA history, a selfless, and team first competitor, Kyle brings all of the elements of Cavs DNA that we covet on and off the floor. We look forward to welcoming Kyle, his wife, Juliet and their three children to Northeast Ohio and are certain our fans will embrace them with open arms.”
Korver (6-7, 212) played in 32 games (21 starts) for Atlanta this season with averages of 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.9 minutes. He is also shooting .889 from the foul line and .409 from the three-point line, while scoring in double figures 16 times in 2016-17. Korver has spent the last four-plus seasons with the Hawks and currently ranks first on the team’s all-time free throw percentage list at .887 (329-371) and third on the club’s all-time three-point field goals made chart with 818 triples. Korver shot .452 (818-1,811) from the three-point line in his career with Atlanta and hit at least one triple in 311 of 332 games played with the team.
Playing in his 14th NBA season, Korver has appeared in 996 games (417 starts) with Philadelphia, Utah, Chicago and Atlanta, owning career averages of 10.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 26.6 minutes per game. He was an NBA All-Star in 2015 and ranks eighth in NBA history with 1,952 career three-pointers (fifth among active players) and eighth all-time in three-point field goal percentage (.429). Korver has hit 100 threes or more 11 times in his career, including each of the last six seasons.
Dunleavy (6-9, 220), who was acquired in a trade with Chicago on July 7, 2016, played in 23 games (two starts) for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.9 minutes. Williams (6-1, 198) was part of the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA championship team after signing as a free agent on July 10, 2015 and averaged 8.2 points and 2.4 assists in 18.2 minutes in 41 games (14 starts) last season.
TERRY FRANCONA NAMED
AMERICAN LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE YEAR
CLEVELAND, OH – The Baseball Writers Association of America today announced Cleveland Indians Manager TERRY FRANCONA has been selected the American League Manager of the Year for 2016, beating out Texas’ Jeff Banister and Baltimore’s Buck Showalter.
ACTIVE WIN LEADERS
1. Bruce Bochy 1789
2. Dusty Baker 1766
3. Mike Scioscia 1490
4. Buck Showalter 1429
5. TERRY FRANCONA 1381
Francona, 57, recently guided Cleveland to its sixth American League pennant in 2016, compiling a regular season record of 94-67 (.584) followed by a postseason 10-5 mark.
During his four-year stint as Indians manager, the club has qualified for the postseason play two times and finished with a winning mark in each of those seasons.
He owns a 352-294 (.545) mark as Indians manager, the 6th-highest winning pct. in the 116-year history of the franchise.
He is 8th all-time in club history in managerial wins. He owns a 16-year career managerial mark of 1381-1209 (.533), the fifth-highest win total among active managers, and has led his clubs to 12 consecutive winning seasons, including all four with Cleveland.
He is one of 17 managers in baseball history to guide two or more clubs to the World Series.
Today’s award is the second earned by Francona over his 16-year Major League Managerial career after winning in 2013, his first season with the Indians. Francona (2013, 2016) and ERIC WEDGE (2007) are the only Indians Manager of the Year Award recipients.
The BBWAA began voting on the Manager of the Year Award in 1983.
The Cleveland Indians are headed back to the World Series for the first time since 1997 after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 in Game 5 and winning the American League Champion Series 4 games to 1.
Rookie left hander Ryan Merritt making his second ever major league start gave the Indians 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball and then the bullpen took over from there. Brian Shaw got the win, while ALCS – MVP Andrew Miller came on to record 8 outs and Cody Allen got the save.
Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp each hit solo homeruns while Mike Napoli doubled and Francisco Lindor added 3 more hits to provide the offense for the Tribe.
The Indians will now play the winner of the NLCS between the Dodgers and the Cubs in the World Series starting Tuesday, October 25th in Cleveland, as the Wahoo Warriors own home-field advantage because the American League beat the National League in this year’s All-Star game. The winning pitcher in the All-Star game was the Tribe’s Corey Kluber who will be expected to start Game 1 of the World Series.