Dion Waiters spent his summer explaining why he deserved to start with LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.
And it worked.
Waiters began the season as the Cavaliers’ starting shooting guard.
But Cleveland has gone just 1-2, a disappointing start for a team with a legitimate chance at a championship. The Cavaliers starting lineup had been outscored by seven points in 42 minute, its offense really struggling.
So, David Blatt is making a change.
Shawn Marion started over Waiters in Utah tonight.
That lineup – Irving, Marion, LeBron, Love and Anderson Varejao – is pretty oversized. It will also probably work better than with Waiters starting, but there’s a real risk a speed disadvantage burns Cleveland.
But there will be benefits. Beyond a good team regressing up to the mean, Marion’s defensive versatility and ability to do the little things offensively will help him mesh with the Cavaliers’ stars.
For Waiters, he’ll get more opportunities with the ball while playing with reserves. That’s his game. Trying to complement three stars just doesn’t suit his skill set, and he probably should have been coming off the bench all along.
I’m not sure Marion – rather than Mike Miller or Matthew Dellavedova or Joe Harris – is the right answer at guard, but he’s a change on a team that needed one sooner than most expected.
If the NBA season is able to resume, and the Brooklyn Nets want Chris Chiozza to be a part of their playoff rotation, they’ve got a decision to make. According to the New York Post that decision could cost Theo Pinson his roster spot.
Chiozza is currently signed to a Two-Way contract with the Nets. Two-Way players are ineligible for the NBA Playoffs. In order for Chiozza to be on Brooklyn’s playoff roster, they’d have to create a roster spot for him.
That’s where Pinson comes in. Pinson is in his second year with the Nets, but hasn’t been a part of the rotation for the majority of the season. Brooklyn holds a team option for Pinson at $1.7 million for 2020-21, but could waive him to create a spot for Chiozza.
At the beginning of March, Chiozza became the Nets backup point guard behind Spencer Dinwiddie. With Kyrie Irving out for the season following shoulder surgery, Dinwiddie and Chiozza are the only available pure point guards on the team. In five March games, Chiozza played 19.1 minutes per game and averaged 10 points. He shot 55.9% from the field overall and 52.6% from behind the arc over that period as well.
Part of the consideration with keeping Pinson would be for trade purposes this summer. Brooklyn is reportedly looking to add a third star player via trade to add alongside Irving and Kevin Durant. Pinson’s $1.7 million salary could help towards matching purposes in a trade.
French point guard Theo Maledon has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft:
The six-foot-five Maledon is declaring as an Early Entry candidate from the international ranks. International players who do not turn 22 in the calendar year of the draft can declare as Early Entry players.
At 18 years old, Maledon was a part-time starter for ASVEL Basket in France in the French Pro A League. ASVEL Basket is owned in part by former NBA player Tony Park, who also serves as the club’s president. Maleon started in 23 of the 46 games he played for ASVEL Basket this season.
In 46 games with ASVEL, Maledon averaged 7.3 points per game. He shot 42.1% from the floor, including 33.3% on three-pointers. He also averaged 2.7 assists per game. In mid-January, against former NBA player Shane Larkin and Turkish club Anadolu Efes, Maledon started and dished out 10 assists, while scoring five points and grabbing six rebounds.
In part due to his size for the point guard position, and his excellent play on the youth level, ESPN has Maledon ranked 15th in their top-100 prospects. He’s widely expected to be in the mix to be a lottery pick.
Players have until Sunday, April 26 to declare as Early Entry candidates. The deadline to withdraw as an Early Entry candidate is Monday, June 15. The 2020 NBA Draft is currently scheduled to be held on Thursday, June 25.
Indiana Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan has reportedly declined an opportunity to interview for a front office job with the Chicago Bulls.
Buchanan joined the Pacers in 2017 as their general manager under President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. Prior to moving to Indiana, Buchanan was the assistant general manager with the Charlotte Hornets.
In turning down the Bulls opportunity, Buchanan cited how well he and his family have been treated in Indiana. Buchanan had previously worked with Pritchard when both were members of the Portland Trail Blazers front office.
Chicago is replacing John Paxson and Gar Forman at the top of their front office structure. Paxson and Forman have led the Bulls basketball operations together since 2009. Chicago’s search will now reportedly focus on Arturas Karnisovas of the Denver Nuggets, Adam Simon of the Miami Heat and Bobby Webster of the Toronto Raptors.
It was fitting he did it with a skyhook.
On April 5, 1984, in a game against the Utah Jazz (played in a sold-out Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took a pass from Magic Johnson, swung left, and drained a hook shot that gave him career point No. 31,420, moving him past Wilt Chamberlain to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
The game stopped as the celebration ensued as Kareem’s teammates swarmed the captain. He was taken out of the game at that point, done for the night.
Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t done scoring, however. H retired five seasons later with 38,387 points, a record that stands to this day.