Dan Gilbert

Report: Cavaliers efforts to trade for Kevin Love dead; Dan Gilbert says Cavs unified on top pick


I’d say the Kevin Love and LeBron James come to the Cleveland Cavaliers dream is dead, but frankly it was never alive save for in the minds of the delusional.

We’ll leave the LeBron half alone for now (he’s not leaving Miami anyway) and focus on Love — the Cavaliers have made a push to trade for him. At the heart of their offer was the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, the chance for Minnesota to get a very good to potential foundational piece player and jump-start the rebuilding process. Except Minnesota has generally asked for established young players — Klay Thompson, Taj Gibson, Bradley Beal — and more importantly Kevin Love doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. At all.

So the Cavaliers talks are dead according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Cleveland’s pursuit of Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love – which included a package centered on the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft – has sputtered because of Love’s warning that he’d never sign an extension with the Cavaliers, league sources told Yahoo Sports…

Cleveland was eager to build with Love and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and hoped that the pairing could’ve become an incentive for LeBron James to seriously consider a return to the Cavaliers in free agency, sources said. Through Love’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, Cleveland was warned that Love would opt out of his contract in 2015 and never consider the Cavaliers’ offer of a long-term maximum contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Now the question becomes what do the Cavaliers do with the No. 1 pick?

Reports surfaced recently (via Chad Ford at ESPN) that the Cavaliers front office was divided on the Jabari Parker/Andrew Wiggins question. Some wanted Parker, the more NBA-ready player right now, because he could help more next season and get the Cavaliers out of the lottery. Other people want to take Wiggins, the guy with the freakish athleticism that could lead to him being a foundational player for a franchise.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert took to twitter to refute there is a split.

I’ll ignore the whole “why does an owner care what Chad Ford says anyway?” angle of this thing. Although that is a valid question.

Rather my advice to Gilbert is this — if you don’t want people reporting these things shore up the leaks in your organization. Say what you will of Chad Ford’s opinions, or what Adrian Wojnarowski writes, neither just makes up reports. Both have connections.

Certain organizations are leaky, some are not — notice that when the Spurs make a move it seems to come out of left field? Notice how right before the Lakers made a huge trade for Pau Gasol there was no serious discussion of that deal? There are other teams in this camp.

Maybe the Cavaliers are talking out of both sides of their mouth in the run up to the draft as a smoke screen, but based on the organizational history I’m not sold.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block:

John Wall: Wizards shouldn’t have rested me and Bradley Beal together

Bradley Beal, John Wall
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The Wizards scored just six fourth-quarter points in their loss to the Hornets last night.

John Wall and Bradley Beal rested for the first 4:42 of that final period.

Wall, via Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:

“I feel like we can’t have me and Brad sitting,” said Wall, who finished with 14 points on 6 for 18 shooting, with six assists, five rebounds and four turnovers. “That’s just my opinion. Coach makes the decision he feels is best for us. I just feel like one of us has to be in in that situation because when you’re on the road, this is the time when you can step on them.

“I just feel like one of us has to be in. I don’t know. It’s just my opinion because our second unit was just so stagnant. And I’m not saying they lost the game. [Shoot], we all lost the game. We didn’t make shots. We were 1 for 20, right? I think we were just so stagnant. We really didn’t have anybody penetrating and creating.”

First of all, this is how you disagree with a coach. Wall made clear that he respects Randy Wittman’s authority to set the rotation. Two adults should be allowed to acknowledge their differing opinions without it being labeled a feud.

But is Wall right?

Per nbawowy!, here are Washington’s offensive/defensive/net ratings with:

  • Wall and Beal: 103.0/105.0/-2.0 in 224 minutes
  • Wall without Beal: 110.0/111.2/-1.2 in 134 minutes
  • Beal without Wall: 80.2/116.8/-36.6 in 48 minutes
  • Neither Wall nor Beal: 105.2/101.6/+3.6 in 123 minutes

The Wizards have been much better with neither player on the court this season. They’ve also been a disaster when Beal plays without Wall.

But this is a relatively small sample. Let’s look back to last season.

  • Wall and Beal: 108.5/101.5/+7.0 in 1,715 minutes
  • Wall without Beal: 103.0/102.0/+1.0 in 1,123 minutes
  • Beal without Wall: 103.2/110.9/-7.7 in 384 minutes
  • Neither Wall nor Beal: 97.0/107.0/-10.0 in 768 minutes

Washington was – by far – at its best when Wall and Beal shared the court. They just complement each other so well. The Wizards were also fine with just Wall, bad with just Beal and even worse with neither.

If I were the Wizards, I’d generally chance resting Wall and Beal simultaneously so they can play more together. If I’m using just one, it’s Wall. Beal is not a creator I trust to run the offense, and Wall’s defense is important.

But there’s a limit on how much Wall (and Beal) can play. Wall got 36 minutes against Charlotte, and Beal played 38.

To the point, Wall and Beal played the final 7:18 – and the Wizards didn’t make a single basket in that span. They scored just two points on free throws. So, it’s hard to argue Wall and Beal were the answer.

Wittman blamed the players more than his substitutions.

Wittman, via J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

“We don’t have guys that are making plays right now. Again, good looks but until we quit feeling sorry,” said Wittman, who could’ve gone this road after a 123-106 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday but didn’t. “When things go bad like that I had to twice in timeouts and tell them to lift their heads up. There’s plenty of time left. We’re up nine during this whole thing.  We start feeling sorry, start pouting putting our heads down and it becomes a snowball. We got to grow up in that aspect of it. If the shot doesn’t go in, it doesn’t go in.

“Makes, misses, that’s the game. You never give in. We haven’t gotten over that. That’s been that way for the last couple of years. Guys don’t play well, put their heads down and we pout, feel sorry for ourselves.”

When Wittman previously called out a player publicly, Marcin Gortat didn’t take it well. I’m not sure this will go any better.


When confronted with Wittman’s words, Bradley Beal only would shake his head before giving this retort: “I’m not going to comment on that.”

It’s uncharacteristic of the fourth-year shooting guard, who’ll usually give some sort of answer and shrug it off. By saying nothing, he’s staying plenty.

The Wizards, who entered the season a contender for the Eastern Conference finals, are 6-6. They’ve lost two straight, by 17 and 14 – and the end of their last defeat was historically dreadful.

Is this a team in turmoil?

Michael provides plenty of context to that question.

Chris Paul drops Rudy Gobert with stepback (and Gobert says why)

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When Chris Paul recognized he got matched up with Rudy Gobert in transition, he slowed it down and set it up for an isolation — then used his step back to drop him to the ground and drain the open midrange. It’s one of the better highlight plays from the Clippers this season (and they have more than a few in Lob City).

Did CP3 push off on Gobert? Of course. Welcome to the NBA, every player who drives pushes off (including Gordon Hayward). It looked like to be Gobert tried to sell the contact and didn’t get the call he wanted.

However, after the game Gobert tweeted it was something else entirely.

Either way the Jazz got the win Wednesday night, 102-91, snapping a 13-game losing streak to the Clippers. The Jazz are .500 on the season with the win (7-7), while the Clippers drop back to below .500 (7-8) with some issues to sort out still.