From the Cavaliers perspective, they think Monday’s trade was a big win. They have up a guy in Dion Waiters that did not fit what they do and did not mesh with the games of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. They got back a guy who should help their wing defense in Iman Shumpert (once he gets healthy), and they got a guy in J.R. Smith who (at least when engaged) should provide a better sixth man presence. They hope this (and getting some guys healthy) will spark a lagging offense.
But their work is far from done.
From the moment LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland the Cavaliers went into “win now” mode (no matter how the GM wants to spin the process). This roster is still not there, specifically the Cavaliers need size in the paint. The Cavs need a shot blocker. They are working on that but not getting far, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Mozgov is struggling in Denver yet, for all his flaws, he would be an upgrade for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have called pretty much everyone who might have a big man they would trade (the Clippers and DeAndre Jordan, the Celtics with Brandan Wright, and so on). So far, no one is interested.
But what exactly do the Cavaliers have on their roster to trade? Waiters was their big chip and it’s going to take something of quality to get a big man. It’s a supply and demand thing: Every team wants more size in the paint, so the teams willing to move a guy have options and can start a little bidding war.
The Cavaliers made a nice little move on Monday, but if they are going to live up to the “win now” mode there is a lot more work to do.
The Knicks had an opportunity to win their second straight game against a team that has performed much better than New York has to this point, but another bone-headed mistake in a season that’s been full of them derailed that chance.
Tied with the Rockets with under a minute remaining, New York inbounded the ball with 16 seconds left on the shot clock. After a miss from Beno Udrih, an offensive rebound from Tyson Chandler and a reset of the offense, Udrih got it back and kicked it to J.R. Smith at the top of the three-point arc with 21 seconds remaining.
As we all realized, both at the time and with the benefit of hindsight, Smith didn’t need to immediately launch the shot. But he did anyway, and once it rimmed out, Houston secured the rebound and won the game by virtue of two free throws from Aaron Brooks.
It wasn’t the smartest of plays, and Smith admitted as much afterward.
The slander is indeed well-deserved, but in Smith’s defense, his shot probably wasn’t as bad as the one Andrea Bargnani took a few weeks back.
It was far from a smart play by Smith, but at some point the overall focus of the team has to be called into question when multiple players aren’t aware of the time remaining and the game’s situation.
Might call some of my Number street homies an put #Detroit on smash for a min!#DeadSerious—
JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) November 14, 2013
We told you that the Knicks’ J.R. Smith and the Pistons’s Brandon Jennings got into a little twitter beef when Jennings questioned whether J.R.’s brother Chris Smith deserved to be in the NBA? (He’s not the only person to question that.)
We told you that the league was investigating the tweet you see at the top of the page, one J.R. Smith sent out (and has since deleted), one that the league didn’t find amusing.
Now the league has come down with a $25,000 fine on Smith for “directing hostile and inappropriate language to another player via his Twitter account, in violation of NBA rules.”
It’s not really a surprise, the league is very image conscious, especially if it is something a critic can tie the word “thug” to. The league has worked hard to lose that image. So Smith gets fined for his tweet.
Now we can all move on. I hope.
This fits in perfectly with the story line — J.R. Smith never wanted to leave the Knicks, but he wanted to get paid as much as he could
So it leads to this, as tweeted by Howard Beck of the New York Times:
JR Smith will decline Knicks option but intends to re-sign for longer term w/NY, source says.
He qualifies as non-Bird, which means he can get 20% raise and multiyear. Won’t need MLE.
Smith made $2.5 million (pro-rated) last year, so the Knicks can start him at $3 million next season and go however many years they agree to (up to four).
Smith will need all the money he can get if he keeps dating Rihanna.
This will not impact their ability to re-sign Jeremy Lin or Steve Novak, or to use some of their mid-level exception (likely only up to $3 million of it due to the fear of imposing a hard cap) to try and lure in a free agent.
What it means is that the Knicks you saw in the playoffs is the Knicks you will see come next season, save for one more free agent and a couple small-time role players. You can decide for yourself how far those kind of improvements take them.
From the Lakers’ official Twitter feed:
BREAKING: The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned forward Devin Ebanks to their
@nbadleagueaffiliate, the Los Angeles @DFenders.
This could mean nothing, but it could mean something significant for the Lakers as well: Gilbert Arenas-to-LA rumors have been swirling for about a week now, although the team has said it doesn’t have “serious interest” in the former Wizards standout. More recently, and perhaps more realistically, the Lakers have been in talks with J.R. Smith, who has been in China all season after spending last season with the Denver Nuggets.
The 22-year old Ebanks has appeared in 12 games for the Lakers this season, and has averaged 2.7 points in 12.6 minutes per game.