Tag:Anderson Varejao
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:00 pm
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Kyrie Irving (concussion) cleared to return

Kyrie Irving has been cleared to return after suffering a concussion. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

The Cleveland Cavaliers will get their point guard back.

The team announced Wednesday that standout rookie Kyrie Irving has been cleared to return to the court for Wednesday night's game against the Indiana Pacers.
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has been cleared to resume game play by Cavaliers Team Physician Dr. AJ Cianflocco of the Cleveland Clinic. Irving suffered a concussion during the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers game at Miami on Feb. 7 and missed the past three games. He will be active for tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers at The Q at 7:30 p.m.
Irving missed three games after sustaining the head injury against the Heat last week, missing a Cavaliers win over the Los Angeles Clippers and losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.
 
A front-runner for Rookie of the Year, Irving is averaging 18.0 points, 5.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds and shooting 49.2 percent from the field in 29 minutes per game. Prior to the concussion, Irving had appeared in every game for the Cavaliers.

Last Wednesday, Irving was listed as day-to-day before Cavaliers coach Byron Scott announced last Friday that Irving would miss last weekend's games as he awaited medical clearance.

At the start of the 2011-2012 season, the NBA implemented a new policy for handling concussions and a player's return to the court. 

In other Cavaliers injury news, the team announced last weekend that big man Anderson Varejao suffered a fractured wrist and is out indefinitely.
Posted on: February 11, 2012 4:48 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:13 pm
 

Cavs F Varejao (wrist fracture) out indefinitely

Anderson Varejao has sustained a broken wrist. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

The hard knock life continues for Cleveland Cavaliers big man Anderson Varejao. 

The Cavaliers informed the media via press release on Saturday that an MRI revealed that Varejao fractured his right wrist this week. He will be sidelined indefinitely. 
Cavaliers forward/center Anderson Varejao received a follow-up exam and MRI on his injured right wrist today at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Sports Health with Dr. Thomas Graham and Dr. Tom Anderson. The injury occurred during last night’s Cavaliers game against the Milwaukee Bucks at The Q in Cleveland with 9:01 remaining in the third quarter. Varejao did not return to play the remainder of the game.

The results of today’s MRI revealed a non-displaced fracture of the wrist. He is now listed as Out and a timeline for his return to action will be established next week after further testing and examination is conducted at Cleveland Clinic. His status will be updated as appropriate.
Varejao, 29, appeared in just 31 games last season after a torn tendon in his leg required season-ending surgery in January 2011

Thanks in large part to Varejao and star rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers are just outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, with a surprising 10-15 record that put them in tenth place in the East standings. An extended absence from Varejao kills their playoff hopes, as he was Cleveland's only true big man playing meaningful minutes. Cavaliers coach Byron Scott will likely elect to fill the minutes void by offering more time to 2011 lottery pick Tristan Thompson

Varejao was averaging 10.8 points, a career-high 11.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.4 minutes per game this season. Through Friday, he was the NBA's No. 1 offensive rebounder, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:27 pm
 

Scott says Varejao 'not going anywhere'

By Matt Moore

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a tremendous future. Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson both look good, they have some good supporting pieces, and with another poor year in terms of wins but not team quality, they'll have a great pick in a fantastic draft. Everything's looking up for the future. 

So why then is the team so hellbent on keeping and playing its veterans?

Anderson Varejao is having a a nice rebound season. He missed most of 2011 with injury, and has been back to the sort of gritty play that gets him mentioned as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate every season.  But for a team rebuilding trying to find a new foundation? He could be a tremendous trade chip for teams needing a viable center. He comes with a hefty price tag, being owed over $17 million between this year and next, before his contract becomes non-gauranteed in 2013-2014. 

But the Cavaliers? They're not selling. From the Akron Beacon-Journal:
“It would have to be an unbelievable person to get back,” Scott said when asked if the Cavs could part with Varejao. “I look at him as one of the guys you look at and say ‘He’s not going anywhere.’ I just feel that strongly about him and what he means to this team.”
via Cavs’ Scott on Varejao: ‘He’s not going anywhere’ - Cavs - Ohio.

The same problem with this line of thinking is what's wrong with the minutes Antawn Jamison is getting for the Cavaliers. It's great to try and win games, if you think you have a legitimate shot this season. But the Cavaliers know they don't. They need to be focused on the future, and that means making room for Tristan Thompson and cashing in on Varejao when his value is high. 

Varejao can make a huge impact for a contender should they choose to acquire him and send Cleveland picks and/or young players. He has more value to those teams than he does to the Cavs, as good as he is. There's certainly value to letting Irving and Thompson play with good players. And Jamison's experience does have value even if his schooting has gone completely. But  Cleveland should be ready to move towards the future. And it's unlikely that Varejao will be in a position to be a part of that. 
Posted on: August 5, 2011 6:45 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 1:14 am
 

The EOB Elite 100, 71-80: Young and old alike

Posted by Ben Golliver

grant-hill-old

This is the third segment of the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Elite 100, counting down the top-100 players in the NBA. 

Check out the earlier installments: 100-91 | 90-81

If you can play the game of basketball, the NBA will find a place for you, and this segment of CBSSports.com’s Elite 100 underscores that point in fine fashion.

This might blow your mind: Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins, ranked No. 77, was born in 1990, just weeks before Phoenix Suns wing Grant Hill showed up on campus for fall semester as a freshman at Duke University. By the time Cousins was in kindergarten, Hill had won two titles as a Blue Devil and was a highly-touted pro prospect, drafted No. 3 overall in 1994. As Cousins finished up elementary school and entered junior high, Hill looked like another talented NBA player robbed of reaching his potential due to injuries. By the time Cousins emerged on the national scene as a highly-ranked high school prospect, Hill was finding rejuvenation in the desert, extending his career and re-inventing his game as a member of the Phoenix Suns. A month or so before Cousins was drafted with the No. 5 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Hill was a key piece on a Suns team that made the Western Conference Finals.

As of last season, Cousins was the sixth-youngest player in the NBA at 20 years of age; Hill became the second oldest, one day younger than Chicago Bulls forward Kurt Thomas, after Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal retired earlier this summer.  

The two players contrast in so many ways. Hill graduated from Duke; Cousins went one-and-done at Kentucky. Hill has won sportsmanship awards; Cousins required a babysitter with the Kings and was suspended for fighting with a teammate. Hill hangs with United States President Barack Obama; Cousins has palled around with rapper Drake. Hill no longer has the explosive athleticism that was his calling card but has mastered every last veteran trick; Cousins possesses an incredibly rare combination of size, strength and quickness but has yet to harness his full potential.

Despite those differences both players have found their way to the NBA and to this list. Let’s take a look at who accompanies them here.

80. Grant Hill, F, age 38, Phoenix Suns

2011 Stats: 13.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, .8 steals, 48.4 FG%, 14.8 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 78, 73, 87 

The only modern equivalent for Grant Hill’s agelessness is Halle Berry. About to turn 39, Hill has missed just three regular season games in the last three seasons, a remarkable achievement considering he played just 47 combined games from 2000-2002. Hill never achieved his full potential as a player because of injuries, but his legacy won’t be stained because of that. His resolve, resourcefulness and consistency have made him a model teammate and league ambassador for as long as anyone can remember.

Hill still contributes in a variety of ways: scoring fairly efficiently, defending multiple positions and chipping in on the glass. His game is mostly floor-bound these days but that fact makes him potentially productive into his 40s.

79. Tyrus Thomas, F, age 24, Charlotte Bobcats

2011 Stats: 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 47.1 FG%, 18.25 PER

Composite rankings (random order):  95, 82, 61

Thomas is a bit of a forgotten man. That can be said for anyone that plays for the Bobcats but is doubly true in his case because he missed a fairly long stretch of last season with a knee injury.

A one-time high lottery pick, Thomas is a guy who is perpetually trying to figure it out. That fact didn’t stop the Bobcats from committing big dollars after acquiring him in a trade from Chicago and it hasn’t stopped him from being an excellent contributor on defense, where he blocks shots with abandon and uses his length to its full advantage. The Bobcats have cleared the decks for next season so Thomas should have every possibility to earn minutes and touches. Remarkably, he’s still just 24 and his best days are certainly ahead of him.  

78. Roy Hibbert, C, age 24, Indiana Pacers

2011 Stats: 12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 46.1 FG%, 15.96 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 92, 91, 52

Hibbert is one of the last of a dying breed: A true back-to-the-basket center whose hulking frame and stiff game would probably have been a better fit in the 1990s. As is, he’s a solid, productive player who does what’s expected for a guy his size: rebounds, blocks shots and finishes plays around the rim.

Last season, Hibbert’s third, wasn’t all smooth sailing. He struggled with his shooting and confidence, and performed much better after Jim O’Brien was replaced as head coach by Frank Vogel. His lack of lateral quickness will likely remain an issue for the rest of his career. It’s unlikely Hibbert will ever develop into a star but he’s an excellent cog for a young, developing team like Indiana.

77. DeMarcus Cousins, F, age 20, Sacramento Kings

2011 Stats: 14.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, .8 blocks, 43.0 FG%, 14.62 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 84, 76, 72

Cousins was a top-10 knucklehead last year. He was benched for making a choke sign at an opponent during a free throw attempt. He was thrown off the team plane for fighting with a teammate. He was kicked out of practice. He was fined for undisclosed reasons. He was ejected from a game for shoving Martell Webster during a fracas. The list goes on and on.

There were two bigger concerns than all of that immaturity: turnovers and efficiency. Cousins committed 3.3 turnovers in just 28.5 minutes per game and shot just 43% from the field. It’s not unusual for young big men to deal with those issues, though, and improvement in both categories going forward is a virtual certainty, as Cousins learns how to adjust to the NBA game, NBA officials and figures out how to best use his huge frame and excellent instincts around the basket. Despite his many flaws, Cousins’ size and skill give him a chance to be a top-25 NBA player far more quickly than you might expect. The talent and potential are there, lurking beneath the surface.

76. DeMar DeRozan, F, age 21, Toronto Raptors

2011 Stats: 17.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 46.7 FG%, 14.52 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 80, 49, unranked

We’re supposed to keep the rankings anonymous but in this case I feel compelled to confess: I did not rank DeRozan in the top-100 nor do I think he belongs here. He was an inefficient scorer with no range playing on a terrible team last season, one of the least valuable things you can be.

Still, his presence on this list speaks to his upward career trajectory. DeRozan used his ridiculous leaping and finishing abilities to double his scoring average from his rookie year last season, putting up 17.2 points per game. He also boasts the physical tools – size, length, quickness – to be a plus-defender. He’s really held back by his lack of three-point range, though, and he will continue to be an incomplete offensive player until his spot-up shooting is at least passable. His highlight reel capability, solid personality and pure marketability make him a bright spot on a roster that needs them. His hard-working, positive approach on a day-in and day-out basis make him especially intriguing to watch develop over the next 3-5 years.

75. Shawn Marion, F, age 33, Dallas Mavericks

2011 Stats: 12.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, .9 steals, 52.0 FG%, 17.09 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 67, unranked, 58

2011 was such a dream season for Marion that he will forgive us for vastly underrating him on this list. A do-everything forward long known best for his unorthodox and downright hideous jumper, Marion was a crucial piece to the Mavericks championship puzzle.

Marion was big on both ends, using excellent shot selection and an underrated post game to get his points, while rebounding at a solid clip for his position. He shined brightest defensively as he was part of a corps of Mavericks defenders that limited some of the league’s elite scorers during the posteason: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James, to name a few. His unwavering confidence was crucial, too, especially when the Mavericks fell behind the Heat in the Finals. He never gave up and neither did Dallas.

74. Anderson Varejao, F, Age 28, Cleveland Cavaliers

2011 Stats: 9.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 blocks, 52.8 FG%, 15.21 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 76, 56, 92

Varejao became a permanent starting player for the first time in his career after LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal departed during the summer of 2010. He rose to the challenge nicely, posting career highs in points, rebounds and blocks until a foot injury prematurely ended his season.

Best known as an energy guy, Varejao has double-double potential now that he’s in his prime age years and playing on a roster that needs every ounce of production that he can provide. Just about everyone would like to see him traded to a contender so his hustle, defense and heady play can impact postseason games. The Cavaliers, to their credit, realize the asset they have and seem to be hoping he can help lead their rebuild.

73. Danilo Gallinari, F, Age 22, Denver Nuggets

2011 Stats: 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, .8 steals, 41.4 FG%, 15.71 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 99, 37, 86

The young Italian was a key piece in the package that landed All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony in New York. He’s a long, silky perimeter player with shot-making ability and a desire to deliver in the clutch. Given his height, 6-foot-10, his rebounding contributions are not overwhelming and he’ll need to continue improving to approach his ceiling as a player.

Gallinari is tantalizing, more than anything, given the fluidity of his play at his size. There are plenty of questions to be answered in Denver – especially concerning the future of Nene and J.R. Smith – but Gallinari’s youth provides hope should there be widespread defections in free agency. He won’t ever replace Anthony but he won’t cost nearly as much, won’t demand as many shots and he is unlikely to hijack the franchise for the foreseeable future. That package is worth something, for sure.

72. Devin Harris, G, Age 28, Utah Jazz

2011 Stats: 15.2 points, 7.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 42.2 FG%, 17.22 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 66, 69, 86

A big guard with a solid skillset, Harris needs to shake the “loser” label and questions about his durability that developed during his time in New Jersey. He was perceived as the best player on a 12-win team and that’s never, ever a good thing for a player’s legacy and reputation.

Still, Harris gets a fresh start in Utah, as he was traded to the Jazz in the deal that sent All-Star guard Deron Williams to the Nets. Utah is clearly in a rebuilding, find-itself phase now that Williams is gone and it’s no guarantee that Harris, who is theoretically entering his prime, is necessarily their point guard of the future. We will learn a lot about Harris in 2011-2012.

71. Jameer Nelson, G, Age 29, Orlando Magic

2011 Stats: 13.1 points, 6.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 44.6%, 15.47 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 72, 82, 66

Nelson has a lot going for himself. He’s tough, scrappy, productive, has three-point range and is on a reasonable contract. Nelson can beat his man off the dribble for the drive-and-kick or stretch the defense as a knock-down shooter. He isn’t a star, though, and that’s what Orlando needed last year. Indeed, a second star is what they need next year too if center Dwight Howard is to remain in town.

Nelson's turnovers and his lack of size and elite athleticism prevent him from really serving as a game-changer offensively and occasionally make him a liability defensively. Right now, Nelson falls into the fairly wide category of “too talented to dump, not good enough to get real value in return.”

Posted on: March 18, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Cavs F Antawn Jamison (finger) done for the year

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison has fractured his finger and will miss 5-7 weeks. Posted by Ben Golliver. antawn-jamison

A few weeks back , we noted that Cleveland Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison had suffered a finger fracture that would keep him out 5-7 weeks and that the timing of the injury coupled with the anticipated recovery timeline meant that it is possibly season-ending. 

On Thursday, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer confirmed that was the case: Jamison is done for the year. 
Jamison admitted Thursday night he's done for the season. It's the first time he has ever broken a bone, and he has been surprised how much having a cast on his left hand limited him.
"No video games," he said with a smile. "It's been straight movie time for the past two weeks."

After the surgery, he spent a week with his family in Charlotte, N.C., but he's back to support his teammates in the final 16 games of the season.
His Cavaliers teammates need all the support they can get, as they dropped a whopper in Portland on Thursday, losing to the Blazers 111-70. After the game, Cavaliers coach Byron Scott bashed his team's focus : "Our team is just so soft mentally, it's unbelievable."

The Cavaliers currently hold the league's worst record, at 13-54. As we noted when Jamison was first injured, Cleveland is headed for a top three pick in the NBA Draft Lottery so there was no good reason for him to attempt a return this season.

The Cavaliers have also endured injuries to big man Anderson Varejao -- a blow that was season-ending -- and point guard Mo Williams this season, who was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers prior to last month's trade deadline.

Jamison had reportedly drawn interest prior to the trade deadline , but the Cavaliers decided not to move him. He is averaging 18.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.9 minutes per game this season. 
Posted on: February 28, 2011 6:17 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 8:53 pm
 

Cavs F Jamison fractures finger, out 5-7 weeks

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison has fractured his finger and will miss 5-7 weeks. Posted by Ben Golliver. antawn-jamison

Just when things were starting to turn around for the league-worst Cleveland Cavaliers -- and, yes, winning three out of their last five games counts as a turnaround after you've set an all-time NBA record for consecutive losses -- the injury bug strikes again.

The Cavaliers informed the media on Monday that starting forward Antawn Jamison has fractured his left pinkie finger and will undergo surgery on Tuesday that is expected to keep him out of action for 5-7 weeks.
Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison sustained a fracture of his left little finger during last night’s game at The Q vs. Philadelphia. X-rays taken at The Q confirmed the fracture. 
He was re-examined today at the Cleveland Clinic by Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker and Cleveland Clinic Innovations Chairman and Hand Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Graham. It was determined that surgery will be required to repair his fractured finger. 
He is now scheduled to have that surgery tomorrow at the Marymount Surgery Center, which is located in the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Center. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Graham with Dr. Parker assisting. Antawn is projected to miss 5-7 weeks.
The timing of the injury coupled with the anticipated recovery time means that it is possibly season-ending. The Cavaliers will play their final game of the regular season on April 13, just more than six weeks after Tuesday's surgery date. Given that the Cavaliers are currently in last place in the Central Division at 11-48 and are headed for a top three pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, there's no good reason, aside from Jamison's professional pride, for him to attempt a return this season.

The Cavaliers have also endured injuries to big man Anderson Varejao -- a blow that was season-ending -- and point guard Mo Williams this season, who was traded to the Los Angeles Clippres prior to last week's trade deadline.

Jamison had reportedly drawn interest prior to the trade deadline , but the Cavaliers decided not to move him. He is averaging 18.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.9 minutes per game this season. 
Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 2:31 pm
 

It's time for a Cleveland fire sale

With the Cavaliers on the edge of historic failure, it's time for Cleveland to cut ties with everything and start completely over. 

Posted by Matt Moore

We're past panic. We're past desperation. We're past even cold, hard, resignation. The Cleveland Cavaliers have to execute the most prolific fire sale in history over the next 19 days. No "or... ." No "or else." They simply have to. Everything must go. The Cavs tied the record for longest consecutive losing streak in a single season Friday night and are set to break it against the Portland Trailblazers Saturday. Should they win, it'll be a sigh of relief to avoid disastrous history. Then they'll go back to losing nine out of every 10 games. The time has long since come for General Manager Chris Grant to get desperate.

No more "waiting for the best offer," or "trying to get marginal value." You have one of the worst teams in history that is only slightly kept above the waters of all time futility by an emotional start that soon gave way to injury, discord, and failure. It's not these players' fault, really. The amount of negative energy created by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Referenced's departure was enough to sink the most positive of teams. Throw in significant injuries and a severe lack of talent and you've got this mess on Cleveland's doorstep. 

But that's okay. I'm not advocating a fire sale because Cleveland fans deserve better than this dreck (though they do). It's not a punishment, and it's not some pathetic gesture from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert after his foolish promise about Cleveland winning a title. It's just business. You have bottomed out. The stock has hit an all-time low. Liquidate this thing, take your remaining assets, and start over. 
(All salary data courtesy of Sham Sports.)

And it starts with Antawn Jamison. "Toine Spelled Tawn" has $13.3 for this season, or roughly $7.5 left this year, and then $15 million in expiring next season. With the CBA in place, you're going to have to dump him somewhere that actually needs him, and somewhere that doesn't mind paying for him. No one really needs him as he's shooting a career low 42% and is posting a career-low 16.4 PER.  But Jamison can be a solid back-up power forward. The trick is to find a big market team with room to spare that isn't worried about long-term flexibility and has expirings to trash. You have to take back terrible value for Jamison, along with the rest of the Cavs. You're not going to get value for the contract or even really the production. Any offer that can reasonably work under the CBA should be taken, provided the resulting players do not have long-term contracts. Difficult, I admit, but as the deadline ratchets up, there has to be someone on the horizon willing to take a 16.4 PER back-up power-forward who may be amiable to a buyout next season. Again, the objective is not to get good value here. It's simply to get any value that clears space. 

From there, it's Mo Williams. There are teams that need point guards. They're all over. Williams is pricey, with $17 million left over two years on the books after this season, but again, we're talking peanuts in return. The trick here should probably be to pick up a series of contracts that can be moved on draft day or bought out before the start of next season. Williams is still a serviceable point guard, and he does have an ETO in the last year of his contract. This should be easier, particularly if the team can weasel its way into a three-way trade conversation. There simply cannot be a value too low in return for Williams, despite his consistency.  This contract and Williams' may be easier said to move than moved, but as long as Grant is active until the last second of the deadline, he should be able to find someone in need of a move. Teams do make moves for the sake of movement, and these are starting-caliber players. Kind of. 

Anderson Varejao's injury is simply devastating. He has close to $36 million left on his contract after this year, is a viable center who can bolster a contender's defense, and would fetch a good price on the market. That he likely cannot be moved due to injury is yet another terrible swing against the Cavs. A trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as was discussed, would have been perfect. Grant should focus all his energies once Varejao is medically cleared to moving Varejao. There will be takers, and their offers should be garnered in bulk. 

Daniel Gibson is cheap, ($4 million this season, $4.5 next) and his 2013 salary is non-guaranteed. He shoots 44% from the arc, turns 25 this month, and is mid-quality backup point guard. There's no reason he can't be thrown into another trade to sweeten a deal or moved to a GM known to love point guards. Veteran, reasonably young, and a crack shooter. He's still Daniel Gibson. But for a set of minimum contracts or used to acquire a useless expiring, Gibson could be a cherry on top. 

Ramon Sessions makes a high amount of mistakes in judgment, turns 25 years old this spring, and has $8 million over two years left after his $3.9 million due this year. He's also, arguably, the Cavs' most valuable contract. A 17.5 PER, while shooting a not-great 44% from the field, he averages 16 points and 7 assists per 36 minutes.  On the one hand, holding onto Sessions might be a good idea. He's young, can play the position, and produces. On the other hand, he's locked in through 2013. He's gotta go. Especially when you consider he actually has value. He needs to be used as bait to take on the other contracts of the Cavs, even if no one's climbing the Cleveland walls to get him. Point guards have value in this league. Move him.

From there, things get easier. Ryan Hollins is a big and he has a player option for next season. J.J. Hickson is a valuable asset in that he's a big man that could flourish in a lesser role under a different coach. Christian Eyenga, you keep. He's the one asset worth holding onto. Everything else is either non-guaranteed or expiring. 

So what are you left with? Almost nothing. And that's fine. The trick should be to capitalize on second round draft picks as throw-aways in any moves you make, then try and swing into the first round using teams that don't want to pay their late first round picks. And there are always those teams. Every year an owner is willing to pay the guys he's got, but not a late first rounder who may turn out to be a steal. It boggles the mind, but that's how it is. Even in a depleted draft like this one, you just need bodies. Bring in D-Leaguers to fill in the gaps, try and find a diamond in the rough, and tank out the rest of the season. Secure a top three pick, pray the Lotto Gods are merciful, and be on your way towards another losing campaign next season, but with a player to build around. It's a painful process, and you'll look like a moron for all the value you'll waste in the next 19 days. But the next two years don't matter. That's how bad things are right now, that's how badly James hurt the franchise. It can't just be blown up. The foundation has to be torn out, the ground smoothed over, and some time spent letting the earth settle. Then you focus on what you can get in the draft and start anew. 

There's no other option. Everything's gotta go in Cleveland. The fans will forget about the team. Maybe by the time the Cavs are ready to compete again, some of the wounds will have healed. 
Posted on: January 28, 2011 9:12 am
 

Shootaround 1.28.11: Desperately wanting

Grizz searching for White Chocolate, Suns looking to keep Nash in the Valley, and Wade joshing about Phil. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Grizzlies are in a rush to try and sign Jason Williams, because they really think he can help the team win. Because they're the Grizzlies. 

Robert Sarver doesn't see the Suns making another trade before the deadline, and definitely doesn't see them trading Steve Nash. Which is a bummer because you'd love to see Nash on a contender rather than feeding Vince Carter in a first round exit at best. 

Deron Williams will have an MRI on his wrist Friday, after hearing it "pop" Wednesday. The word you're looking for is "Yikes."

Dwyane Wade jokes that Phil Jackson just wants to coach the Heat and that's why he's talking up retirement

Were the Cavs close to trading Anderson Varejao to the Thunder before his knee injury?

Well, you can't really blame the Cavs for looking at all options since they're on pace to make history in terms of a downturn year to year. 

Charles Barkley says that the Knicks can never win with Mike D'Antoni's system, which is a popular sentiment. Anything that doesn't prioritize defense and rebounding is going to get shredded by traditional pundits. It would take an overload of talent for the Knicks to get to the promised land with that system, but considering how much matchups rule the NBA playoffs, it's probably a stretch to say they'll never win.  It would take a rare set of circumstances, though.

Julian Wright has to keep shooting, apparently. File under "signs that your team is trouble if you're talking about this."

Tiago Splitter in a cowboy hat. Yee-haw.

Could Larry Ellison be targeting the Kings next? If so, you can kiss Sacramento goodbye. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com