CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cavaliers have a media day on Monday and training camp opens. Fans have some questions:
Hey Terry: How could the Cavs seriously consider trading for Ben Simmons when the asking price is the first round pick? Simmons doesn’t seem like a winner / culture changer. – Mike Farina.
Hi Mike: Let’s break that down:
1. Simmons has informed the Sixers that he will not report to training camp. Of course he can change his mind. It’s doubtful he’ll sit out and not get paid, especially when the season starts.
2. Simmons has four years and $ 145 million left for his maximum contract. He’s getting $ 33 million this season.
3. Previously, there were reports (according to what I’ve heard) that the Sixers wanted multiple first-round picks for Simmons. But an NBA source told me this week, “That’s not true. They want real players. You have to win now. Remember how they keep getting kicked out of the playoffs. “
4. That’s why you hear the Sixers want to sell Simmons for Damian Lillard (good luck with that) or another All-Star. I don’t see the Cavs have an established star in their roster. Portland added Larry Nance Jr. of the Cavs to win with Lillard, not to trade him.
5. Simmons is a player who creates strong opinions – for and against him. He is six feet tall and wants to be a point guard – and he can’t shoot from the outside. Not just 3-pointers, but medium-sized jumpers; and it wobbles at the foul line. He can be an elite defender, good passer, and rebounder. But he’s such a strange player.
Hey Terry: Any chance Cavs will start a new trend and play three 7-foot players with a small backcourt? – Craig Foreman, Kent
Hello Terry: Do you think they can play three 7-foot players at the same time and be competitive? – Terry Ramey
Hello Craig and Terry: The three 7-footers would be Jarrett Allen, Lauri Markkanen and Evan Mobley. Allen is listed at 6-foot-11, but we’re talking about three very big guys in a sport that keeps leaning towards the 6-foot-7 fast athletes who shoot 3-pointers.
I don’t see it, at least not for a long time in a game. You’d be too slow for the breakneck pace of the 3-point-obsessed NBA. Then add Collin Sexton and Darius Garland’s 6-foot-1 guards in the backcourt and the Cavs wouldn’t have anyone the right size to defend some of the league’s best wingers.
Speaking of big boys, the Cavs signed the 7-foot-5-tacko case, which has played 26 games for Boston in the past two years. He averaged 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 6.5 minutes per game. He’s 6-for-18 off the foul line.
In the G-League, the 25-year-old, 311-pound case averaged 13 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. He shot .701 off the field and .384 at the foul line in 23 minutes per game. He seems like a player destined to spend a lot of time playing the G-League Canton Charge.
Hello Terry: Do you see Markkanen as a possible trade chip or do you see it playing a significant role this season? – Scott Eaton.
Hello Scott: Markkanen should better play a very meaningful role. They traded a good player in Nance as part of a three-way deal to bring the 7-footer to Cleveland. They signed him to a four-year contract for $ 67 million ($ 55 million guaranteed).
The Cavs love tall men who can take 3-point shots. That is Markkanen’s specialty. I’ve been told the Cavs have liked the 24-year-old for several years.
As I wrote, Nance’s agent Mark Bartelstein reached out to the Cavs and said Nance was open to a deal with a playoff team. It wasn’t a requirement. But Bartelstein knew that the Cavs had turned down several trade offers from playoff teams for Nance in the recent past. That led to the deal with Portland.
Hello Terry: Can you explain the buyout process? How much does a team pay to buy out a player? What do you think it would take to buy up Kevin Love? – John Port.
Hello Johannes: Here we go:
1. A buyout allows a player to become a free agent before their contract ends. For example, last spring Blake Griffin had two years and $ 75 million left on his Detroit deal. He returned $ 13.3 million to the Pistons to become a free agent – and then signed with Brooklyn.
2. Love has two years and $ 60 million left on his deal. His agent said there had been no talks with the Cavs about a takeover – the Power Forward was also interested. Okay this is now. Things can change.
3. Although he didn’t ask for a deal, Love wants out. His injury history and contract make him difficult to deal with. At some point, a buyout makes sense for both sides.
Hello Terry: What was the point of the Cavs hiring a point guard from Europe? Don’t they already have two point guards? How about a little striker? – Darren Donato
Hello Darren: The Cavs have Garland as their starting point. You swapped Ricky Rubio as a backup. They next signed Kevin Pangos on a two-year contract worth $ 3.5 million.
Pangos is a 6-foot-2 all-Euro-League point guard, an excellent 3-point shooter. He has played abroad for the past six years. The Canadian played for Gonzaga. He’s a nice extra guard who was a career .417 shooter in Europe.
The Cavs signed Denzel Valentine at 6 feet 5. He can play a shooting guard and maybe a small forward. But the 2016 former NCAA Player of the Year in Michigan State had many injuries during his NBA career.
Darren, you’re right – they still need a little striker. Right now, this job is owned by Isaac Okoro. He’s had a decent rookie season and won’t be surprised if he makes real progress in his second year as a pro.
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