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Fear the Sword Mailbag 1.0


The first Fear the Sword mailbag is officially upon you now after a couple readers posed questions to me in the mailbag thread the other day.

After the jump please check out the questions I selected to answer..

Dear John,

Who is the next superstar to put the NBA on hold a la Dwight our LBJ? Just trying to figure out who else I’m not going to like. With that, do you see this as the new trend?


I think we're going to have a break from this happening with a truly transcendent player like LeBron or Dwight for the short term because none of the other truly game changing players in the league are set to be free agents in 2013 or 2014 other than Chris Paul. He technically could ruin the Clippers by holding them hostage but I think he's going to be fooled by Blake Griffin and resign with the Clips. It will continue to happen down the road but it won't happen again until a monster star in the 26-28 year-old range is about to be a free agent again. (The best move he could make though is to grow 7 inches and sign a max deal with the Cavaliers next summer and be our small forward. Someone tweet him that, please.)

How good will Tristan Thompson be in his prime (once he reaches his full potential) in your opinion?


Although he was touched by God and born a lefty, I'm a bit more bullish on Thompson than most. I think he'll be a solid starter in the NBA but never be a consistent All-Star. If the Cavaliers are actually going to be serious Eastern Conference contenders ever with Kyrie on the team I think we are going to need at least one player (but most likely two) who are going to end up better than Tristan.

There are big men who have a low post game (Al Jefferson), some who are jump shooters (Chris Bosh), some who can only dunk (Blake Griffin) or occasionally some who have it all (Kevin Love). Which of these things is Thompson ever going to be elite at? I say none, although I think he'll be an elite rebounder for sure.

The NBA is all about a big 3 and all the Cavs currently have is Kyrie Irving and a lot of unknown young guys from the draft. Do you see a legit #2 option on the Cavs right now? And would you prefer finding the other components of a big 3 via draft, via trade, or via free agency?


I don't want the Cavs to do too well this year. I was a Jonas Valanciunas guy last year and I wanted either Thomas Robinson or Jeremy Lamb (just like Mr. Zavac) at 4 this year so I guess I'm not yet sold on Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters being good enough to help Kyrie make us into the next hot team in the league. So, I don't see a #2 guy yet on the Cavs but I want the chance to revisit that after half a season of the new and improved Thompson and Waiters playing in the league. I'll revisit my evaluations of their futures around the All-Star break to see if I've seen enough to believe in their stardom. The #2 guy isn't coming via free agency and doing it through trade is pretty tough so the easiest way to do it is to get another top 5 pick! While that is pretty unlikely it's what I hope happens. Also, if I'm way off on Tristan and Dion it would be awesome because then we'd legitimately have one of the sweetest cores in the NBA when you also include the underrated Alonzo Gee and solid rotational center in Tyler Zeller.

I’ve thrown it out a few times but never got an answer if there is one…but what is the mindset of Alonzo Gee right now? Is he hitting twitter with bitter messages about how no one loves him or is he just patiently waiting? Let’s say he gets zero offers from other teams-then what? Does he sign the 2.7 mil offer the Cavs gave him? All in all, how do you see this affecting his play this season?


I have no idea about anything he said on twitter so I can't help you there. I'm just going to guess and say he's just like anyone else and while he's probably humble he knows he had a great season last year and thinks he should be given one of those contracts that all kind of random average players kid for $8 million per. In the end he has two options. He can take a one-year qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent or realize that the Cavaliers have a massive hole at small forward and some potentially freakishly talented young players that he could thrive with and come to a multiyear agreement with the Cavaliers. I'd be a little nervous about his play if he accepts the qualifying offer, but not at all if he signs long term.

Here’s one: How do you see the 4-5 rotation working out this season?

Are you concerned about TT playing alongside Andy? Their games are very similar, and neither is a great shooter. If they both start, will they clog up the paint and make it harder for Kyrie and DW to get to the rim? Would we better off starting Zeller and TT, then subbing in Andy and Leuer or someone else who can shoot? And where do Samardo and Kevin Jones fit in?


First off, that's five and not one. Ideally, while I'm a huge Andy fan, I'd like to see him traded. In a perfect world we play him a bunch early and he does as well as he did last season and stays healthy giving him solid value. Then, we start Thompson and Zeller together for the rest of the season. The backups will be Samardo and Leuer. Neither of them are true centers but Thompson will likely play the backup center role. Ultimately, people are too concerned with "fitting players into the 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 spots" where honestly any combination of those five guys could work. The only one that would give me a bit of a cause for concern would be too much of Tristan and Samardo. But, let's be realistic, Andy won't get traded early in the season so either Samardo or Leuer will get left out.

Would you rather go all in for a playoff spot this year or tank one more season and get another high draft pick?


I don't want the Cavaliers to tank but I want them to get a top five pick again. I think it's definitely possible if there is an injury or two but I don't want that to happen of course. But, there are just simply going to be too many nights where Kyrie's talent or Tristan and Andy's hustle and determination win a random February game for that to happen. I think the Cavs will end up just short of the playoffs and pick 12th.

Who’s winning the EPL this season?


The best question goes last. Manchester United will top the table. Manchester City (it has been a quiet summer for each of the Manchester sides though surprisingly) ends in second with a comfortable distance between them and Spurs who take third while Chelsea snags fourth.