With the 2011-12 NBA season nearly upon us, it's time to refresh your memory. Who are these Cleveland Cavaliers exactly? I know it's been a while so myself and our newest contributor, Aaron McGuire, are here to help. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll have questions and answers regarding every player currently on the Cavaliers' roster. Naturally we'll start with #1, Daniel Gibson.
Conrad: Boobie Gibson started 15 games last year and averaged 27.8 minutes per game. What role do you think he performed best in last year?
Aaron: My first response to this question was befuddlement. It sort of boggles the mind that Boobie actually played 28 mpg. Then I remembered that he only played 67 games, and it all makes sense. Boobie is one of those players who doesn't gain all that much efficiency from tamping his shot count down and taking a more reserved role. Players like Mo gain a lot from not having to create their own shot, but Boobie doesn't really shoot all that much better off the ball, and he's a rhythm player. Hence the issue with Boobie as a backup guard, and why he never seemed all that much better playing a limited role over the last few LeBron years than he did as the starter on a finals team in 2007. Still. Boobie was best as a starter in the early season, pre-exhaustion and injuries -- he was without question our number two player behind Andy, and easily our big trade bait guy. Also, he shot 47% from three as a starter to 33% from three as a bench guy. So I think the answer is pretty clearly "starting."
Conrad: How do you see Gibson fitting in this year with the really crowded backcourt in Cleveland?
Aaron: Trade bait, pure and simple. The problem is going to be getting him enough time on the court for teams to actually consider trading for him. Boobie is undersized, poor-passing uptempo point guard. He's a spindly 6'2" guard who can't defend shooting guards to save his life, but if he's going to get any time at all, he's going to have to play the two. Which is a major problem, since as I just delineated, he's a better starter than a bench guy. While I love that Boobie likes Cleveland and I love his whole "working class hero" schtick, I don't see a place for him on a team with Sessions, Irving, and Davis all thoroughly lapping him on the depth chart. The problem's gonna be getting fair value for him after a season where he doesn't have the time to play more than 15-20 minutes per game.
Conrad: Boobie was relatively embarrassing for the Cavs at the 3-point contest in LA last year; do you see a Cavalier participating in any of the All-Star Weekend events this year?
Aaron: I have an easy pick and a stealth pick for this, because I think there are going to be two to three Cavs in Orlando this year. First the easy one -- Kyrie, barring a massive implosion, will be at the rookie sophomore game. Tristan Thompson may be too, and now that Hickson's gone, I think it's very likely he will. So that's two. The other possibility, and my stealth pick? Christian Eyenga for the dunk contest. Yeah, I know -- all he can really do is dunk, and he's an in-game dunker, and he's got poor English. Don't care. I think he has a stealth chance of making the dunk contest in a season where DeRozan is boycotting it, Griffin probably will refrain in favor of the ASG proper and the Rookie-Soph game, Dwight has trade issues, and the entire world is sick of Nate Rob. They're going to need names to fill the contest, and I see a 10-15 mpg Eyenga (perhaps more, if he learns to play the three) as a strong candidate for a spot. Feel free to call me crazy.