Happy Wednesday sports fans! If you eat pineapple you're gonna love this.
You'll like it if you don't eat pineapple too.
It actually has nothing to do with pineapple. It's a sports blog.
LET'S BUDDY BALL!
Mo Morri, Mo Problems
- Last week I thought about, pontificated with twitter about, and hosted a round table about trading for Markieff Morris upon rumors that he was looking to get out of Phoenix. The idea earnestly intrigued me, as the Cavs just don't have opportunities to grab that kind of talent anymore. Not with their next first rounder being in 2017 and the midlevel exception being their biggest available free agent dollar to hand out. The Brendan Haywood exception is their last big swing, and getting a talent like Morris is only ever possible because of some issues.
- I was wrong. Very wrong. When I was reading over and answering the replies to our round table, it hit me that it probably wasn't worth the risk. In his own words, he confirmed that yesterday.
- After so many things have happened with these two, their general aloofness and lack of self awareness is astounding. I say this as someone without first hand knowledge other than court documents and their own words. To be shocked that they are called unprofessional, with how they act in games, off the court, and in social media is just confusing. I'm all for an athlete having what social media identity they want, and generally hate the idea that most fans have that every player should be a company man robot. That being said, to act like they do, on top of everything else, and then be surprised at it not being taken well is just ... bewildering.
- It's true the Cavs have precious few opportunities to maintain or add young talent, especially high level talent. From the looks of it though, Morris is not ready to be a role player on a team with title aspirations. He's super talented, but until he starts owning his mistakes, it's gonna be a tough go for him. Maybe this will give the Cavs another kind of opportunity to jump in as a third team and facilitate something. I wouldn't bet on it, as Tristan and JR and probably the last two pieces and then they'll save flexibility for in season moves to respond to injury or tanking teams.
It's schedule day
- The NBA schedule should be released at 6PM tonight, but there have already been a few leaks from the rough copies sent to each team. Among them: the Cavs play in Chicago to open, and in Golden State on Christmas.
-This seems like the first time in forever that the Cavs haven't opened the season at home, but it'll be nice to get a game against Chicago out of the way early. Unless they lose of course, then we'll have to hear about a game that means truly nothing for months. Few things are proven outliers quite like the first game of an NBA teams' season.
- Otherwise, expect the usual trimmings that a team with the Cavs marketability gets. Christmas, Easter, MLK day, a few dozen TNT/ESPN/ABC dates, and all that good stuff.
- Rumor has it that 4 in 5 night sets have almost been completely eliminated. It will be interesting to see how they've worked that out.
A cone of silence for Tristan Thompson talks
- I need to just swear this off. On twitter, with my friends, with my bosses, and in our comment section. Much like the complete waste of time Kevin Love talks were during last regular season, we aren't getting anywhere.
- The Cavs are going to pay him a ton of money because they don't have a way to replace him. He can veto any trade if he signs the QO. He is 24 and hasn't missed any time in years. That is important but nobody ever really thinks about it for whatever reason. ::camera pans to Kobe, Kevin Durant, Kyrie, and Kevin Love in street clothes:: A jump shot isn't the only thing that helps an offense. Mostly though I'll reiterate again that they are pot committed to paying him so all of this hand wringing is just pointless.
**As a funny aside, my mother knows not a single thing about sports, and when I mentioned this to her after picking her up from the airport, her response was "You could be writing about the Browns". Cleveland!**
- There. I'm not changing your mind, you aren't changing mine. We'll meet back up when he signs to talk about how much cap space that didn't exist even if he didn't sign they would have saved by not signing him. Which is none, of course.
Mentioned the Cavs' assets earlier
- Worth reiterating, to know for a rainy day, what the Cavs have to offer teams in a trade. The short answer is "Not much" The long answer is a 2018 first (their 2016 pick was traded, cannot trade 2017 due to the Stepien Rule), a 2020 first (or 2019 and 2021, I guess), and a 2019 second round pick which will the worst of either the Lakers or Timberwolves picks that year. They also own a 31-55 protected pick in the 2016 and 2017 drafts, meaning it has to fall from 56-60. The 2017 is from the Kings, so scratch that, but the Clippers could potentially convey the one they owe this year. Mostly those picks are just paper currency, fulfilling the need to send something in a trade. If/when the team uses their trade exceptions on a salary dump, those two picks likely go with them.
- Player wise, sure, they could include Joe Harris or Cedi Osman I guess. Not exactly a godfather offer, though Osman probably projects as a first round talent when he comes over in a few years at 22 years old (currently 20). If he blows up in Europe, those rights may become very valuable.
- So just keep in mind when pondering Cavs trades, the current window is basically only players teams are willing to give away.
Stay tuned for more about the release of the NBA schedule, and make sure to check out the podcast. This week we hosted ESPN's Dave McMenamin.