In dire need of NBA-related content, ESPN is running a series where they ask their blogger network to answer five questions about a specific team. I’m still waiting for my invite, so in the meantime, I’ll answer the five questions about the Cavs. Why the Cavs? Because that’s the favorite team of TSR’s owner, silly.
1. Who should start at PG for the Cavs?
Cleveland has three option with Kyrie Irving: 1) give him the keys immediately, and either bench Baron Davis or trade him, 2) let Davis tutor Irving, or 3) try to play the two together. I fully support option #1. Irving is going to go through some growing pains, but the more he plays the faster he’ll get up to speed. There’s no sense in stunting his growth or asking Davis to be a tutor, which is not something he’s suited for. If this were an affable elder statesman like Steve Nash or Jason Kidd, I could see doing the mentoring thing, but this is Baron Freaking Davis we’re talking about. Trade him.
2. Who should start at SF and PF for the Cavs?
The folks over at ESPN seem torn about whether or not to start Anderson Varejao at power forward, but to me he’s the best center on the team — why are you bringing him off the bench at PF? So then you have to decide between Antawn Jamison, Omri Casspi and Tristan Thompson. I’d give Jamison the veteran nod and let Casspi/Thompson battle it out for the other forward position or play the better matchup.
3. J.J. Hickson for Omri Casspi and a draft pick: Good trade or bad?
Let’s keep in mind that the draft pick that was included is lottery protected in 2012, top 13 protected in 2013, top 12 protected in 2014 and top 10 protected in 2015-2017. If, by 2017, the Cavs have not acquired the pick, they get the Kings’ second round pick. In other words, if the Kings continue to stink, this may end up being a Hickson-for-Casspi swap. But chances are Sacramento will have one good season in the next six and either make the playoffs or nearly make the playoffs. In that case, this pick could end up being in the #11-#16 range.
So is it a good trade? It depends on Casspi. Hickson showed some potential while in Cleveland but was deemed expendable once the Cavs went after Thompson, who is a rather raw (yet athletic) power forward. Casspi is a grinder who showed some flashes in his rookie season but didn’t get much run last year even though the Kings desperately needed good play at SF. If he thrives in Cleveland, this trade will work out, but as it stands, it doesn’t look good.
4. Are the Cavs on the right track or the wrong track?
It mostly depends on Irving. If he turns out to be the franchise point guard that most of us think he is, then they’re on the right track.
5. Can we talk about the Cavs without talking about LeBron James?
I did just that for four questions, but the short answer is “nope.” LeBron and the Cavs will forever be linked, and until the Cavs are once again a playoff team, we won’t be able to discuss them without thinking about LeBron and The Decision.