The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Erik Cassano

001 Anthony BennettWhat have we learned about Cavs GM Chris Grant on draft night? He might take a guard, he might take a forward, he might take a center. But he will never, under any circumstances, be predictable.

In this article, penned a year ago, I took note of the fantasy-sports culture that has grown up around draft prognostication. In the weeks leading up to the NFL and NBA drafts, fans absorb mock drafts, scouting reports, soundbites and tweets to the saturation point. By the time the draft rolls around, the advance intelligence has delivered us a consensus-designated group of prospects that so-called “experts” have rubber-stamped as appropriate selections if your team should hold a top pick.

If your team reaches outside of that sphere to make their selection, doubting Thomases flood message boards, Twitter feeds and call-in shows with a collective reaction that is anywhere between sweaty palms and outright anger.

In 2011, three picks after taking Kyrie Irving first overall, Grant passed on Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas to take raw Texas power forward Tristan Thompson. Last year, Grant left North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Connecticut’s Andre Drummond and Kansas’ Thomas Robinson on the board to take Syracuse combo guard Dion Waiters, who didn’t even start for Jim Boeheim in his sophomore season.

The picks were largely panned at the time. In both cases, our fears have calmed to an extent, as Thompson showed marked improvement from Year 1 to Year 2, and Waiters finished among the rookie leaders in scoring this past season.


Demetri Inembolidis

nba u bennett b1 300If there is one thing that we should know after three drafts and four top four picks is to not rush to snap judgements with whatever it is that Chris Grant and the Cavaliers decide to do on draft night. Tristan Thompson was nothing but an undersized power forward who was historically bad offensively early on in his career. Dion Waiters never started a single game for Syracuse, did not put up great numbers in college and didn't even work out for the Cavs. To make matters worse, he was overweight when he was drafted 4th overall by Cleveland.

Both of these guys have proven to be just as good (if not better) than the players that were considered the conventional picks who were taken after them. Chris Grant marches to the beat of his own drummer. It can be frustrating for fans who are convinced that he is leaving a surefire talent on the board, but he has a fairly good track record when it comes to drafting.

The issue is that die-hard fans spend 82 nights a year watching their team. When the losses pile up, it is comforting to take solace in the fact that good will eventually come of it in the way of a high draft pick. When your team is out of playoff contention by January, it is tempting to read prospect scouting websites and watching videos that highlight their strenghts and weaknesses. The fan starts to envision how great a specific player would look on their team and before the season even ends, they form an emotional attachment to their favorite player.

Draft day comes and goes and that player was left on the board. This is something that we have now seen first-hand as Cleveland fans for three straight drafts.

The Cavaliers shocked the world tonight when they selected Anthony Bennett first overall. On the day of the draft, well-respected journalist Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted "Becoming harder to map a scenario where UNLV's Anthony Bennett doesn't slide on board. He could leave Portland with choice at No. 10." This is a guy who is about plugged in as anybody can be on the inner-workings of the NBA, and he believed that Anthony Bennett could fall all the way to the 10th pick.


Thomas Moore

2013 06 cavs noelThe NBA Draft is Thursday and the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves sitting in a pretty good position.

Holding the top pick in the draft for the fifth time in franchise history – and the second time in the past three years – the Cavs completely control what they want to do when Commission David Stern opens the draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 7 p.m. (The team also holds picks No. 19, 31 and 33).

Stay put and add another young player to a nucleus of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller? The Cavs can do that. Make a trade with some of the assets they have spent three years (and 166 losses) compiling so they can be in contention for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference? They can do that, too.

We think we know what we would like to see the Cavs do with the first pick (more on that in a bit), and we’re fairly certain that Cavs general manager Chris Grant has made up his mind what he wants to do. Of course, what they actually will do remains in question as rumors continue to swirl around the team.

So let’s try to figure this all out as best we can.


Erik Cassano

001 LBJ ringSince the summer of 2010, LeBron James has been dead to the Cavaliers.

Any and all references to LeBron’s contributions to the franchise have been obliterated at Quicken Loans Arena. Other than the banners hanging in the rafters that commemorate the 2007 Eastern Conference title and the Central Division titles in 2009 and ’10, any vestige of the LeBron Era has been erased by a very bitter organization, likely at the behest of Dan Gilbert, who still finds it hard to refer to LeBron by name.

While the Cavs were busy wallpapering over any evidence that LeBron once wore their team’s uniform, LeBron has been creating a new legacy in Miami, where he has won two additional MVP awards, and now two NBA titles.

LeBron was a villain to the nation when he kicked Cleveland to the curb on national TV three years ago. But since then, he’s regained his throne. He’s back to reigning as one of the most popular – and now one of the most decorated – athletes on the planet.

Attitudes soften, particularly for the vast majority of people in towns that had no skin in the game. Now Cleveland, once a sympathetic character in LeBron’s production, is becoming a lone pocket of LeBron-spite in a nation that is once again learning to love and celebrate LeBron.

LeBron is positioned to go down in American sports history as an icon. He’s positioned to go down in local history as a scoundrel. And it’s a crying shame, because Northeast Ohio is one of the few places where LeBron’s legacy should truly matter.


Demetri Inembolidis

QMr30.AuSt.79July of 2010 was only three years ago. That is an eternity in basketball time. Not much has changed in real time. The price of gas has increased by about one dollar per gallon, but we still complain about how much it costs to fill up a tank. We still log onto Twitter and have inane debates with people that we don't know about silly things that do not matter in the grand scheme of things. Skip Bayless is still an idiot and has a major platform. ESPN is pushing their asinine "embrace debate" agenda. At the end of the day, we wake up, (hopefully) go to work, come home, sleep and repeat this process.

In 2010, the Cavaliers, Magic, Bobcats, Mavericks, Suns, Jazz and Trailblazers were in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers came off a third straight Finals appearance with a win that secured the franchise its 16th championship. The Washington Wizards won the lottery and the rights to draft John Wall.

With the Wizards still in the lottery, some things didn't really change all that much.

The point is that a lot of basketball time has passed since the Cavaliers were last in the playoffs. In the three years since 2010, they have drafted three players in the top 4 of the draft and have the rights to pick the top player in this year's upcoming draft later this month. The Cavs have lost a lot of games to get to where they are. The franchise has only won 64 and they have lost 166 games in that time span. It has not been easy. The Quicken Loans arena has transformed from a place where the fans are plentiful and loud to one where the local fans ranked at 29th at home game capacity percentage.

The payoff has not been as quick as the fans would probably prefer. Hell, it isn't a guaranteed thing at this point. Kyrie Irving is great, but his ability to stay healthy has to at least be a question for the team to be asking itself. Anderson Varejao should have an all-time high trade value given how great his play has been, but his injuries have rendered his value to probably the lowest that it has ever been. Tristan Thompson has played very well in his sophomore season, but it is not clear what kind of ceiling he has. Dion Waiters quietly improved in his rookie year, but it is unclear if he and Kyrie Irving can coexist in the back court. The Cavs have the top pick in the 2013 draft, but it is supposed to be one of the worst in the modern era and the consensus #1 pick is an offensively-challenged 206 pound 6'11" center who is coming off an ACL tear. The team won 29.3% of their games last year (which was worse than the previous season). When you add everything up, the future appears a little murky.


More Articles...

Page 4 of 150


The TCF Forums