Report: Cavaliers giving strong consideration to signing E’Twaun Moore

10 Comments

If their portion of the Kevin Love trade occurs as reportedincluding the 76ers wouldn’t necessarily affect Cleveland’s roster – the Cavaliers will have 11 players clearly in their plans for next season:

  • LeBron James
  • Kevin Love
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Anderson Varejao
  • Tristan Thompson
  • Dion Waiters
  • Mike Miller
  • James Jones
  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Brendan Haywood
  • Joe Harris

I figure the players acquired from the Jazz – John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy – will be included in the Love trade or waived. Lucas and Thomas have fully unguaranteed contracts, and Murphy’s is guaranteed just $100,000 – not too much to eat, but enough that him remaining in Cleveland is a possibility.

The Cavaliers want to add Shawn Marion and Ray Allen. But even if they sign both, that still leaves, give or take Murphy, one or two open roster spots. Cleveland can offer nothing but minimum contracts, so the options are thin.

When the Heat had LeBron, they tended to fill the bottom of their roster with over-the-hill veterans. That’s part of the reason Miami ran out of gas at the end of its four-year run.

The Cavaliers are apparently going a different direction, targeting 25-year-old E’Twaun Moore.

David Pick of Eurobasket.com:

I’m not sure which list Moore tops. Players Cleveland can definitely get because there’s no market for them?

The Magic miscast Moore as a point guard before playing him a lot with Victor Oladipo, another miscast point guard. In his third season, Moore showed enough to warrant NBA looks, but he’s not a player who definitely belongs in the league.

The 6-foot-4 Purdue product is a solid spot-up 3-point shooter, and if the Cavaliers ask him to do that in limited minutes – with the open looks LeBron, Love and Irving will create – he should be fine. But if they view him as point guard, they’ll likely be let down. Cleveland needs a backup to Irving, but the solution is someone else. Even in the right role, Moore must improve defensively to carve out a rotation spot.

Moore is not especially inspiring, but he’s gettable, and he could help a little if used right. For the capped-out Cavaliers who are full of top-end talent, that’s enough.

Watch Michael Jordan’s best highlight from each of his playoff runs (video)

Leave a comment

I’ve become a sucker for this highlight format.

Jazz deny rumored promise to draft D.J. Wilson

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michigan forward D.J. Wilson said he’d stay in the draft only if he’d go in the first round. Yet, despite not doing any on-court work at the combine, the borderline first-rounder remained in the draft beyond the withdrawal deadline.

What gives?

Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune:

NBA teams sometimes promise to draft a player. They never reveal that before the draft. So, Utah’s denial doesn’t mean much – even if it’s true.

The Jazz were the last team to give Wilson a full work out before he injured himself in a Spurs workout. So, this rumor could be based on circumstantial evidence rather than leak of a Utah guarantee.

Wilson would make sense for the Jazz, who could see their payroll bloat if they re-sign Gordon Hayward and George Hill (and maybe even Joe Ingles). They could move Derrick Favors, an interior who doesn’t exactly fit with Rudy Gobert. Wilson would give Utah another option with Trey Lyles as developing stretch fours behind Boris Diaw. (Utah could even move Diaw and count on Lyles/Wilson to emerge sooner than later.)

Watch LeBron James’ top highlight from each of his postseason appearances (video)

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
Leave a comment

LeBron James and Tony Parker are the only players to play in the last dozen postseasons.

(If you’re wondering, Manu Ginobili missed the 2009 playoffs due to an ankle injury.)

It’s fair to say LeBron was a bit more spectacular than Parker in that span. As LeBron enters his seventh straight Finals, the NBA released this awesome video showing LeBron’s best playoff highlight from each year:

There’s no entry for this year. Here’s betting it comes against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

David Stern: We thought we could re-work Chris Paul-to-Lakers trade until Mitch Kupchak ‘panicked’

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
4 Comments

NBA commissioner David Stern – acting as New Orleans’ owner representative, he says – infamously vetoed a potential Chris Paul-to-Lakers trade in 2011.

But that didn’t close the possibility of Paul going to the Lakers.

The New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans and not be confused with the current Charlotte Hornets), Lakers and Rockets tried to rework the three-team trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to Houston and Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to New Orleans. But talks fell apart around the time the Lakers dealt Odom to the Mavericks.

Stern on Nunyo & Company (hat tip: Harrison Feigen of Silver Screen & Roll):

In fact, in the course of the weekend, we thought we could re-do the deal. We really thought that Houston would be ready to part with Kevin Lowry, and we had a trade lined up for Odom that would have gotten us a good first-round draft pick – not we, but my basketball folks. But Mitch Kupchak at the time panicked and moved Odom to Dallas. So the piece wasn’t even there for us to play with at the time. So that was it — just about what was good for the then-New Orleans Hornets.

Remember, Stern – roundly criticized for his handling of this episode* – has blamed the Lakers and Rockets for the lingering perception. This could just be him again trying to shift responsibility.

*Somewhat fairly, somewhat not. Owners veto general manager-approved trades often enough, and Stern was acting as New Orleans’ owner after George Shinn sold the franchise back to the league. But Stern had an agenda as commissioner. He never should have assumed such a large conflict of interest. What he did with the Paul trade was reasonable for an acting owner, but because Stern was also commissioner, it’s fair to question how much New Orleans’ interests and how much the league’s interests factored into the decision-making.

But let’s take Stern at his word – that he and the Hornets thought they could re-do the trade and send Paul to the Lakers. That doesn’t mean they were right. Maybe the Lakers and Rockets (who had Kyle Lowry, not the “Kevin Lowry” Stern named) were never going to part with enough to get Stern’s approval.

And maybe New Orleans didn’t properly convey its interest in still completing a deal. Perhaps, Kupchak acted reasonably by trading Odom to Dallas – for a first-round pick, a deal Mark Cuban would ultimately regret – rather than wait around for the Hornets, who eventually sent Paul to the Clippers.

It’s easy to blame Kupchak, but he might tell a different story.