Danny Ferry to leave Cavs, resign as GM

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Thumbnail image for CAVALIERS_LOGO.pngMike Brown may have been thrown out, but Danny Ferry is choosing to walk out the door. According to Johnny Ludden of Yahoo Sports, the Cavs’ GM will join their star player in free agency:

Ferry’s contract ends this summer. He had said after the Cavaliers’ second-round loss to the Boston Celtics that he would speak with owner Dan Gilbert to decide whether it was
best for him to continue as GM. Gilbert seemed open to having him stay,
but Ferry, who was disappointed about having to fire Brown, a close
confidante from their days with the San Antonio Spurs, decided to leave less than a month before James becomes a free agent. Assistant GM Chris Grant is expected to take over for Ferry.

Though the Cavs haven’t won a championship since LeBron’s arrival, that wasn’t due to Ferry’s lack of trying. He consistently tinkered with the roster, upgraded and capitalized on trades when the opportunity arose. Say what you will about Mo Williams, but Cleveland acquired him for Joe Smith and Damon Jones. That’s a great get, and just one of Ferry’s notable moves during his tenure as GM.

It should be interesting to see if any other teams are interested in making Ferry an offer to run the show elsewhere. He clearly has talent as a manager, even if the components in Cleveland never quite yielded the ultimate compound.

Whether he finds immediate employment or not, this move is odd. Maybe Ferry sees the writing on the wall, and wants to jump ship on a LeBron-less franchise rather than lock-up in Cleveland long-term. Maybe, as Ludden noted, the decision to fire Mike Brown really did play a significant role in Ferry’s decision. Or maybe he already has another, seemingly more attractive on the table (or rather, under it) to be the GM elsewhere. No one knows at this point.

What we do know is that the man who fought and worked to give LeBron the most competitive team possible is walking even before James does (or might), and the head coach of the Cavs for the last five seasons is already gone. Whether LeBron stays in Cleveland or not, this is the beginning of a new era for the Cavs.

Chris Paul’s son joins him on Clippers bench in rout of Lakers (video)

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Is this disrespectful to the Lakers? Absolutely.

And I love it.

Chris Paul and the Clippers crushed their Los Angeles counterparts, 133-109, last night. The Clippers, who’ve won 13 of 14 in the series, have practically run out of ways to show up their crosstown rival on the court. If it now takes bench visitors, so be it.

This is the best late-blowout bench behavior since LeBron James led the Cavaliers in the water-bottle challenge in a December win over the Knicks. This would rank higher if Chris Jr. didn’t also joined the bench in the Clippers’ November win over the Mavericks, which is the pictured on this post.

Jawun Evans leaving Oklahoma State for NBA draft

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You’ve probably heard of the top college point guards for the 2017 NBA draft: Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr., De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. You might have even heard of French point guard prospect Frank Ntilikina.

Which point guard will be drafted next after those six?

One possibility: Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans.

Evan Daniels of Scout:

Evans looks like a second-round pick, but a dearth of point guards projected into the latter half of the first round could boost his stock.

He’s ultra quick and ultra aggressive and led the nation’s top KenPom offense. Evans relentlessly attacks the rim, often while forcing transition opportunities. That gets defenses scrambled, creating kickout-passing lanes and offensive-rebound opportunities.

However, the 6-foot Evans doesn’t finish that well at the rim – creating a major question about how he’ll translate to the NBA. The bigger defenders in the paint might limit his kickout passes, too.

His size also presents major problems defensively, though a 6-foot-4 wingspan at least helps.

Evans is good enough on jumpers to keep defenses honest, and at Oklahoma State, he had to create so much for himself. It’d be interesting to see whether limiting his burden improves his efficiency or whether his helpfulness is limited to having the ball in his hands.

My guess is the latter, and I’m unconvinced he’s good enough to demand such a role in the NBA. But the possibility is strong enough that I’d be excited about rolling the dice on him in the second round.

Shabazz Muhammad awkwardly mentions Collective Bargaining Agreement during halftime interview (video)

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.

Muhammad:

We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Um. What?

To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.

Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.

hat tip: reddit user cjsplash

Duke’s Jayson Tatum, California’s Ivan Rabb declare for NBA draft

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Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.

As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.

Duke announced Tatum’s decision.

Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?

Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.