Tag Archives: Anthony Bennett


Cavs play-by-play man Fred McLeod joined me from “Sin City” to talk LeBron returning to Cleveland, how Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett look and David Blatt.

Fred McLeod Vegas Summer League 2014

(photo courtesy of NBA.com)


2013 Number #1 Overall Pick – Anthony Bennett

Game #1   –  15 points – 7 rebounds  –  5-8fg  –  1-3(3fg)

Game #2   –  13 points – 14rebounds  –  6-16fg  –  1-5(3fg)

Game #3   –  14 points – 4 rebounds   –  5-12fg  –  0-3(3fg0

Totals   –      42 points   –   25 rebounds   –   16-36fg   –   2-11(3fg)

Averages  –  14ppg  –  8.3rpg  –  44%fg  –  18%(3fg)



2014 Number #1 Overall Pick – Andrew Wiggins

Game #1  –  18 points – 3 rebounds – 1 block – 1 steal    –  7-18fg   –   1-8(3fg)

Game #2  –  13 points – 3 rebounds – 2 blocks – 1 steal  –  3-11fg   –   1-3(3fg)

Game #3  –  10 points – 3 rebounds – 2 blocks – 3 steals  – 4-8fg   –   0-1(3fg)

Totals   –   41 points   –   9 rebounds   –   5 blocks   –   5 steals   –   14-37fg   –   2-12(3fg)

Averages  –  13.7ppg  –  3rpg   –   1.7blksg   –   1.7stg   –   38%fg   –   17%(3fg)


My thoughts on the city of Cleveland’s pain over the last four years, and now it’s gain over at least the next four years. The King Has Come Home!

LeBron Powder Toss Photo

(photo courtesy David Richard)


As I told talk show host Ken Carmen last night on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, I can’t figure out what’s taking so long for LeBron James to make this decision.  It’s a two horse race. It’s either Cleveland or Miami. What’s the holdup LeBron?  You played for both teams, so you know both organizations. You’re a student of the game, so you see the two rosters and understand their cap space availability. So make up your mind already!

It’s being reported that he wanted to talk it over some more with his family. From everything I hear from my sources, they all want him to come back to Cleveland. So what is causing the holdup?

Here are a few reasons, and I know I may be reaching here, but what they heck we have time to kill, as to why maybe LeBron is still undecided, if he really is.

David Blatt Solo Photo 6-25-14 1. Since he’s in Vegas for his skills camp and if he doesn’t know too much about new Cavs head coach David Blatt, might LeBron want to check Blatt out in person on Friday as he coaches the Cavs summer league team in their first game against Milwaukee?

2. Maybe LeBron wants to see Cavs number #1 pick Andrew Wiggins in action going up against the player the Cavaliers passed on in Jabari Parker since the Bucks and Cavs are playing each other to see if he feels new Cavaliers G.M. David Griffin made the right pick.Andrew Wiggins Jersey Photo 6-27-14

3. LeBron might also want to get a look at last year’s number #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett to gauge how much he’s improved from his disastrous rookie season, to see if he thinks the kid can play in the NBA.

4. Or “King James” could be waiting on the Cavaliers to swing a deal for Kevin Love, to prove to him that this new regime could follow through on the possible plans they laid out to his agent Rich Paul when the two sides met recently.

5. Is it possible, I guess anything is at this point, that James gave Pat Riley and the Miami Heat once last chance to pull off a major move like maybe bringing Carmelo Anthony to Miami to play with LeBron and D-Wade?

6. How about this one, Nike and the Cavaliers needed more time once they found out where LeBron is going, to get all their TV ads, billboards and other advertising avenues together so they can flood the media market with their new LeBron marketing campaign? And also, maybe LeBron and his team needed more time to get their website ready for the traffic that will be coming their way for when they do make the announcement on his site?

I have no idea if any of these are indeed reasons why LeBron has yet to announce his intentions, but for some reason he hasn’t made the “Decision” public yet, so these were my best guesses.  You got anything better?




15 Anthony Bennett F 6-8 243 3/14/93 UNLV / Canada Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) 1
56 Will Cherry G 6-0 185 2/8/91 Montana / USA Canton Charge (D-League) R
45 Jack Cooley F/C 6-9 246 4/4/91 Notre Dame / USA Trabzonspor (Turkey) R
8 Matthew Dellavedova G 6-4 200 9/8/90 St. Mary’s (CA) / Australia Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) 1
57 Shane Edwards F 6-7 220 5/31/87 Arkansas-Little Rock / USA Canton Charge (D-League) 1
30 Carrick Felix G/F 6-6 201 8/17/90 Arizona State / USA Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) 1
41 Steven Gray G 6-5 205 4/8/89 Gonzaga / USA BCM Gravelines (France) R
12 Joe Harris G 6-6 225 9/7/91 Virginia / USA Virginia (College) R
24 Scotty Hopson G 6-7 206 8/8/89 Tennessee / USA Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) 1
10 Sergey Karasev G/F 6-7 208 10/26/93 BC Triumph / Russia Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) 1
53 Alex Kirk C 7-0 245 11/14/91 New Mexico / USA New Mexico (College) R
21 Andrew Wiggins F 6-8 194 2/23/95 Kansas / Canada Kansas (College) R

Roster is as of July 8th and subject to change.


                     2014 SUMMER LEAGUE COACHING STAFF

                                                  CAVS  HEAD COACH      David Blatt (Princeton)

                               CAVS ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH     Tyronn Lue (Nebraska)


Cavaliers Preliminary Round Game Schedule


Friday, July 11       Milwaukee vs. Cleveland*  8pm local/EST    COX Pavilion     NBA TV

Sunday, July 13     San Antonio vs. Cleveland* 4pm local/EST    COX Pavilion     NBA TV

Monday, July 14   76ers vs. Cleveland*              8pm local/EST    COX Pavilion    NBA TV

*all three game will air live on NBA TV





Cavaliers                                                                             Heat


Kyrie Irving –6’3–193-22 (20.8p-6.1a-3.6r)       PG      Mario Chalmers –6’2–190-28 (9.8p-4.9a-2.9R)


Andrew Wiggins –6’8-200-19 (17.1p-1.5a-5.9r)    SG      Dwyane Wade –6’4–220–32 (19p-4.7a-4.5r)


LeBron James –6’8-250-29 (27.1p-6.9r-6.4a)         SF      LeBron James -6’8-250-29 (27.1p-6.9r-6.4a)


Tristan Thompson -6’9-238-23 (11.7p-9.2r-1a)   PF   Josh McRoberts – 6’10-240-27 (8.5p-4.8r-4.3a)


Anderson Varejao – 6’11-267-31 (8.4p-9.7r-2.2a)  C    Chris Bosh – 6’11-235-30 (16.2p-6.6r-1.1a)

LeBron Powder Toss Photo

Cavs Bench – Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller, Brendan Haywood, Sergey Karasev, Matthew Dellavedova, Jarrett Jack, Joe Harris and Carrick Felix.





LeBron Disgusted Photo 6-14-14


Heat Bench – Norris Cole, Shabazz Napier, Greg Oden, Udonis Haslem, Ray Allen, Chris Anderson, Michael Beasley, Danny Granger and James Jones.


There is plenty of time in this off season for this to change and hopefully G.M. David Griffin will make it happen, because in order to be a playoff team, moves need to be made to the Cavs roster. And we’re talking significant ones! A lot of teams in the Eastern Conference are already better than the Cavaliers and others are making moves to surpass them as we speak. But for right now, in my opinion, here’s what David Blatt’s starting line up would look like if no major moves were made to enhance the roster.


Kyrie Irving In Game Photo - Wide Shot

While his scoring average (20.8ppg) and shooting percentage (43%) went down last year, he did set a career high in assists with 6.1 per game and made the all-star game for the second straight year and won the MVP.  So not a bad year for “Uncle Drew”.  However his offensive production and efficiency did decline and some people feel it was because of Mike Brown’s system. I don’t buy it. I think Kyrie just missed open shots and continued to dribble the air out of the ball at times allowing the defense to get set and be in better position to guard him. Move the ball more via the pass and not the dribble, and make your open shots and the offensive numbers and efficiency should increase. Also if he wants to go from all-star status to being mentioned as a superstar in this league, he needs to get better on the defensive end of the ball. Max contract or not, that is still the major weakness in his game and it needs to be addressed by the new coaching staff, and more importantly, by Kyrie himself.


Dion Waiters Interview Photo

For now it’s Waiters by default. I like Dion off the bench best because I don’t think he’s a true 2-guard. To me he’s closer to a point guard or as I like to call him, a “ball guard”. He needs the ball in his hands to be effective. He doesn’t come off screens well, nor does he move well without the ball. Also, we haven’t seen any compelling evidence that he and Kyrie play well together when they’re on the floor at the same time. Could that change? Sure, but that’s on Dion realizing when he and Kyrie are out there together, he’s got to learn to play without the ball. Another area of his game that has to improve is on defense.  He needs to understand defense better in the NBA so when he is on the floor he’s not a major liability to the Cavs on “D”. It’s great if he scores 20 points, but he has to realize it’s not great if he lets his guy score 23. Plus G.M. David Griffin got my attention on draft night when he said this about number one pick Andrew Wiggins, “If Andrew finds greatness in this league, it’s going to be as a very big 2-guard.” That tells me the Cavs are hoping to find a small forward, preferably a 6’8 – 260 pound 4-time MVP to play the 3, so they can slide Wiggins to the 2 and use Dion off the bench, or maybe even involve him in a trade. But because there’s nobody else on the roster right now with enough experience to play the 2, Dion Waiters is your starting shooting guard.


Andrew Wiggins Jersey Photo 6-27-14




I have always looked at Wiggins as a 3. His size, length and athleticism, to go along with his inconsistent jump shot from long range at this time make him a small forward in my eyes. Obviously the Cavs front office feels he will eventually improve that jumper to where he can start at the 2. But for right now, until they sign a free agent or trade for someone, Wiggins is your starting small forward. You don’t draft a player with his talents on both offense and defense first overall and sit him. He may the lack the physical maturity right now to guard some of the more powerful small forwards in this league, but based on your roster as it’s constructed today, he’s the best option you have at the 3. Again that could change if the Cavs make a significant move in free agency or via a trade.


Normally when you draft a player number one overall like the Cavs did last year with Anthony Bennett you expect him to start if not in his rookie year, at least in year number two. I can’t see that happening at this point with Bennett. He  had one of the worst rookie campaigns ever for a first overall pick (4.2ppg and 3rpg). He couldn’t shoot (35%fg), play defense or rebound consistently. While Tristan Thompson in my opinion is more suited to be a back-up 4 in the NBA, on this team right now, he’s your starting power forward. He did average 11.7ppg and 9.2rpg last year, so he doesn’t hurt you a ton at that position, but again I expected more from a player when you selected him fourth overall in a draft as the Cavs did with Thompson  in 2011.


Anderson Varejao photo

Varejao is one of the hardest workers not only on the team, but in the entire NBA. Andy gives you everything he has, night in and night out and unfortunately that comes back to haunt him because it’s led to so many injuries throughout his career.  Two years ago he was a 14 point/14 rebound a night guy, but he only played 25 games. Last year his game total went up to 65, but his numbers declined to just 8.4ppg and 9.7rpg. Again, he’s another guy on this team who would be better suited coming off the bench, but because you don’t have anyone else on the roster who is a starting caliber center, Varejao gets the nod. Like small forward, this is an area that David Griffin and the Cavs could address this off season in free agency or via a trade.


NBA Free Agency begins tonight July 1st at midnight eastern time. The Cavaliers have plenty of cap space to go after a big name free agent like LeBron James, or if G.M. David Griffin feels there’s no chance of bringing James back to Cleveland, he can direct his attention and dollars elsewhere on maybe one or two other free agents.

With that in mind here is a look at the Cavs current depth chart that new head coach David Blatt and associate head coach Tyronn Lue have to work with.


PG – Kyrie Irving (4th year)                Jarret Jack (10th year)            Matthew Dellavedova (2nd year)









SG – Dion Waiters (3rd year)             Sergey Karasev (2nd year)       Joe Harris (rookie)


Andrew Wiggins Jersey Photo 6-27-14








SF – Andrew Wiggins (rookie)          Carrick Felix (2nd year)            Scottie Hopson (2nd year)


photo (38)






PF – Tristan Thompson (4th year)    Anthony Bennett (2nd year)


Anderson Varejao photo








C – Anderson Varjao (11th year)       Tyler Zeller (3rd year)       Dwight Powell (rookie)                        Brendan Haywood(13th year)


The Cavs biggest needs this off season via the draft, free agency or trades are very simple, they need a center and they need multiple wing players.

When you look at their roster they’re overloaded at point guard with Kyrie Irving, Jarrett Jack and Matthew Dellavedova.

While their shooting guards really aren’t shooting guards, they feel they have a young pair in Waiters and Sergey Karasev.  Waiters to me is a point guard, or at least what I call a “Ball Guard”. He needs the ball in his hands in order to be effective and that really doesn’t mesh well when he and Kyrie Irving are on the floor together. The Cavs may be willing to try one more season to see if Irving and Waiters can create chemistry on the floor together, but then again remember; David Griffin didn’t draft either one of them so he may be willing to pull the trigger on a trade of one or the other.  But for now let’s say Waiters stays.

Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett are their power forwards, while neither one of those guys excite meet, at least they have what is considered a starter on this team, in Thompson. So again that takes us back to small forward and center positions.

Anderson Varejao could be the team’s starting center if need be, but there’s the possibility they could trade him this off season. But if they do keep him, he’s really not a true center, he’s more of a power forward.  Tyler Zeller is a nice back-up center, but nothing more and Spencer Hawes is a free agent and he’s not your typical center either.  Hawes is a stretch 5, who prefers to play away from the basket and gives you no defensive presence around the rim at all, as well as no toughness.  So depending on what he’s asking for, the Cavs may not resign him.

After watching Luo Deng struggle to stay healthy all season and with all the NBA miles he’s put on his body, I have no desire to bring him back as the starting small forward, especially for what he’s going to be commanding in free agency dollars. Alonzo Gee is nothing more than the 8th, 9th or 10th player on this team.

So as David Griffin and Dan Gilbert prepare for the June 26th NBA Draft, they must decide where they are going to get their center and small forwards(plural) from. That’s what makes this draft so interesting and important. “G and G” have a chance to fill one of those major needs with the first overall pick and possibly another with the 33rd overall pick. If not there, then in free agency or with a major trade.

Joel Embiid would plug the hole at center and be an immediate upgrade defensively, athletically and physically. He’s a little raw on offense, but that’s because he’s only played basketball for about four years and considering his lack of experience, he has shown great improvement in his offensive game. However with Embiid it all comes down to the health of his back. If he cleared all the Cavs medical tests then I believe they should, and will take him number #1 overall. If his back did not pass the medical exams, then it comes down to Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins in the draft.

Parker is the more ready to play right now of the two both physically and mentally. His offensive game is more well-rounded and his outside shot is better at this point than Wiggins. However Wiggins in my opinion, has a higher ceiling and athletically and defensively he blows Parker out of the water. On top of that, Wiggins will still score the basketball from the wing position, just maybe not as consistently as Parker.

But luckily for the Cavs their biggest needs in the draft coincide with the best players in this draft. Meaning they really can’t wrong with whomever they pick. I would have gladly taken anyone of these three before the draft lottery, so they truly are in a win-win-win situation.  Now will one of the top three picks separate himself from the others eventually, probably, but you’re still going to get what many believe is an all-star caliber player no matter who you take.

My order of preference is Embiid first, but only if 100% healthy. Wiggins second because of defense and more upside and Parker third because unlike the other two, he’s more of just an offensive player.

Is it out of the realm of possibility that the Cavs maybe use the number #1 pick and a player to make a trade for an already established all-star caliber player? No it’s not, but I believe it’s unlikely considering the talent and potential that each of the top three picks possess.

So once the Cavs do make their selection with that first overall pick, that should tell us what direction they’re headed in as far as free agency and that’s when things could get even more interesting than the draft, depending on what you know who does in Miami.


Fred and I look back at the 2013-14 season and look at the Cavs future

Kyrie Irving In Game Photo - Wide Shot