Cleveland Sports Insiders

Ernie Camacho's favorite blog…


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CSI: The Podcast 66 & 67

Sorry about the very delayed posting of podcasts 66 & 67. Here they are, in all their cynical glory:

The Luol Deng trade and what it means for the Cavs going forward:

Ubaldo, Bynum and the Return of Orbanek:


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The Cavaliers acquire Luol Deng, and what it means

Deng vs. Waiters (Eric P. Mull-USPRESSWIRE)

Deng vs. Waiters (Eric P. Mull-USPRESSWIRE)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng for Andrew Bynum’s contract, a first rounder, and two second rounders. The Cleveland Cavaliers are clearly trying to go after the playoffs with this move, as Deng is a massive upgrade to the roster. The Bulls are clearly focusing their attention on the future, as the loss of Deng hurts their already depleted roster with Derrick Rose out for the year. The draft picks allow them to acquire talent in the coming years, while Bynum’s expiring contract allows them to drop below the luxury-tax threshold, which will save them in the ballpark of $15 million.

Let’s take a look at the “assets” that the Cavaliers are losing, before we take a closer look at Luol Deng. Continue reading


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The Sunday Drive with Bynum trades, New Coaches and BASEBALL!!!

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: an Andrew Bynum for Pau Gasol trade makes zero sense unless you foolishly believe that the Cleveland Cavaliers can either be a factor in the playoffs or sign Gasol long-term. If you honestly believe that the Cavaliers can do either, than I have a bridge to sell you.

I am not saying that the Cavaliers should call it a season and just start losing basketball games for the sake of losing. What I am saying is that every team needs to weigh how much one player can improve a team in the short-term, vs. the long haul.

What will it cost to get Gasol? If it were just Bynum, I’d be all in. The move saves the Lakers money, and it would give the Cavs a player to keep Anderson Varejao‘s minutes down. That would be a win-win for the Cavs and the Lakers.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, a proposed straight up trade can’t be made since the Cavaliers would have to add another player to it to make it work monetarily. It’s been reported that the Lakers want Sergei Karasev in the deal to give them a piece that they can use in the future, but Bynum and Karasev still wouldn’t get the trade done.

The Cavaliers would have to include one other player along with Bynum and Karasev to make the deal work, and that player would likely be a throw-in, such as Henry Sims. Some wouldn’t consider that a throw-in, some may not. Either way, what short-term or long term goal does this achieve for the Cavs?

Nothing positive.

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Bynum for Gasol doesn’t make sense

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

The rumors have been circulating for a couple of days now that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers might partner up for a deal that would send one disgruntled center to the Lakers, while sending another disgruntled big man back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Reports are everywhere that Andrew Bynum and Pao Gasol may change teams.

There are some reports out there that this deal isn’t going to happen, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m just not a fan of this trade.

Why?

The move will definitively help the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers would presumably make the trade, then immediately release Bynum. This would allow the Lakers to get themselves under the Cap, and would ultimately save them over $20 million dollars. On top of that, the Cavs would have to trade them a couple of more assets to get the deal done. Ideally, the Lakers would probably like another expiring contract, as well as a first round draft pick and perhaps someone like Sergei Karasev.

The Cavs would get Pau Gasol for the rest of the year.

Will the Cavs be a better team? Of course they will, this year. In an Eastern conference that doesn’t boast many good teams, it could even get the Cavaliers into the playoffs.

Great.
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The Sunday Drive with Bynum, Ubaldo, JRam and Wendle

Jose Ramirez (photo courtesy of Lianna Holub)

Jose Ramirez (photo courtesy of Lianna Holub)

I’m stuck in the holiday lull.

Christmas is over, and I feel like I’m in a holding pattern for New Year’s Eve. One group of family has left for home, and another group is heading North for more fun and spirits.

I’m in need of some meaningful sports, and I’m not talking about NBA theatrics with a known enigma like Andrew Bynum.

I’m talking about games that mean something. Perhaps there’s a rivalry game in which the Browns could knock the aforementioned rival out of the playoffs. Oh wait, the Browns have to lose that game.

Thanks goodness for Ohio State football, and that game this coming Friday against Clemson. Fortunately for the Tigers, Woody Hayes won’t be patrolling the sidelines. Unfortunately for Clemson Urban Meyer will be there in his stead.

The Buckeyes will be agitated. The Buckeyes will be angry. The Buckeyes will be set to make a statement. Clemson will score their points for sure, but I really think we’re going to see why Urban Meyer is the best coach in the country. Look for Carlos Hyde to have his best day as a Buckeye, and look for Braxton Miller to go over 100 yards rushing, and 200 yards passing.

The Bucks defense will be more than good enough.

What are my predictions for this game?

Ohio State 48, Clemson 24. I don’t know that it’ll be that close.

Next week, while basking in the victory, we’ll take a look at what the Buckeyes look like heading into 2014. They’ll be better than this year if Braxton Miller comes back, and they’ll have a chip on their shoulder….but for next week…

…for today…let’s get driving…
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Quick thoughts on the Cavs post-Bynum

Will Bynum's departure help Thompson and the Cavs? (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

Will Bynum’s departure help Thompson and the Cavs? (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are directly in the middle of the whirlwind of the news that Andrew Bynum is either suspended indefinitely from the team, or is on the trading block, or both. While that story will certainly play out over the next few hours, there’s another interesting tidbit that will take place as well.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have to play basketball. So where do they go from here?

Bynum had been starting for the Cavaliers, and had been averaging 20 minutes per game on the season, and 22.6 minutes in the month of December. He’s averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 boards and 1.2 blocks per game since the start of the year, and 9 1/2 points, 6 1/2 boards and a block since the start of the month.

The numbers certainly aren’t special in and of themselves, but when taken into account what his presence has meant for the team on several levels, including supplementing Anderson Varejao, his presence has certainly been important on the court.

Varejao, as much an injury concern as Bynum, has averaged almost 29 minutes a game, putting up 7.9 points and 8.8 boards a game on the season. When you put the two together as one center, you have some pretty elite numbers: 17 points, 14 boards and two blocks a game. You can also credit Bynum’s presence for allowing Varejao to play fewer minutes, thus keeping him healthy.

While Andrew Bynum has been a surprise, it’s not like he’s been a star, and for stretches, he’s not been a very good basketball player. Perhaps getting  Zeller more playing time allows this team to get better in the long run, and perhaps they lose a few more games this year and get a better pick next year.
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Cavs suspend Andrew Bynum

Bynum Suspended

Bynum Suspended

The Cleveland Cavaliers have suspended center Andrew Bynum for conduct detrimental to the team, according to Cavs General Manager Chris Grant.

The Cavaliers traveled to Boston on Friday night for their Saturday afternoon matinee at the Garden. Bynum didn’t travel with the team, and has been excused from all team activities indefinitely.

It’s currently unknown with regards to specifics of what happened with Bynum, but there are any number of rumors circulation, from Bynum wanting to quit basketball, to his refusal to be benched, to just Bynum being Bynum.

Whatever the reason, the Cavaliers are reportedly trying to “aggressively…trade Bynum,” according to former Cavs beat writer and current ESPN NBA reporter Brian Windhorst.

According to Bill Simmons, Bynum is looking to be traded to the Heat or the Clippers, and would “consider Bynum.” Consider the Bynum news to be in full fledged rumor mode.

We all know Andrew Bynum’s enigmatic history, from his issues in Los Angeles, to not playing in Philadelphia, and now this. With all of that said, it’s completely unknown what the reasons are for the suspension, if he’s truly on the trading block, or what teams he actually wants to go to.

I’m not happy about this, but will gladly wait it out to see the true story as it unfolks through normal media patterns, and not the rampant idiocy that some of these “reporters” resort to with regards to Twitter.

Of course, I say this, while hitting refresh on my twitter account with the fervor of a five-year old ripping open Christmas presents.

What I refuse to do is act surprised that a pro sports athlete acts or does something odd. This is the norm, not the exception.

Tune in to Cleveland Sports Insiders for more on this as it develops, and look, we aren’t here to break a story…but we are here to talk about it. Leave your comments below, and get ready for a podcast on this very subject in the coming hours.


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The Sunday Drive with winning, losing, dysfunction and Brantley

Michael Brantley (photo: AP)

Michael Brantley (photo: AP)

The Sunday Drive is a bit late today, as all things tend to be in this crazy week leading up to the holidays. It’s also going to be a bit short, as time is running out on the day, and I don’t want to start making this thing a Sunday or Monday Drive.

Here are some really quick thoughts about Cleveland sports, and we’ll get back to a full edition next weekend.

Let’s get driving:

What does being a Browns’ fan entail these days? It’s entirely a Catch-22. The top priority is getting an all-important high draft pick in next year’s draft. Of course, you can’t follow a football team and not root for them to win, right? In a perfect world, the only thing a football fan should be worrying about heading into the final week of the season is either how long to play the starters because the team has already clinched, or how important it is to win to actually clinch.

That’s rarely the case for the Cleveland Browns. Instead, the only thing that matters from year-to-year is how many games the Browns can lose, and because of that, how high up the draft board they can move up.

Talk about dysfunctional.
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Cleveland Sports Insiders: The Podcasts 60 & 61

Welcome to the next TWO editions of Cleveland Sports Insiders, one of the many podcasts here at Indians Baseball Insider! Tonight, you get two for the price of one, as IBI columnists Jim Pete and Michael Hattery tackle both the Cleveland Indians, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the first podcast, Mike and Jim talk about the Indians’ offense in 2014, and how good it is as is, the needs of the Indians going forward with regards to the starting pitching and the bullpen, whether or not the Indians should deal Michael Brantley and what they should get for him if they do, and the perception of this team if the Indians truly don’t do anything in the midst of all this spending.

In the second podcast, Mike and Jim talk about the Cleveland Cavaliers two most recent “breakout” players in Andrew Bynum. Bynum has been playing in 25-to-30 minutes a night, and coming close to a double-double, while Waiters has been showcasing some star-power since allegedly calling out Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson for buddy ball. Have the Cavs found their new stars, or is there something else at play with Mike Brown‘s Cavs?

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The Sunday Drive with playoff implications, fights and rumors

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

I’ve never gotten used to November weather here in North Carolina since I moved here from the North Coast nearly fifteen years ago. There’s always a constant battle of Summer, Fall and sometimes Winter that always leaves me a bit off balance.

I mean seriously, it snowed here this past Thursday night, then climbed up to 70 on Saturday.

It’s November.

There should be no mixing of shorts and jeans, t-shirts and coats, ice scrapers and air conditioning.

It’s nearly as off-putting as Cleveland sports, to be honest. You have the Browns at 4-5, who either have two potential quarterbacks for 2014, or none, depending on who you talk to. Of course, there’s 2013, and a legit chance at winning the division, or getting into the playoffs.

Or not.

There’s the Cavaliers, who are either beating the tar outta each other in players-meetings, or not. They had the #1 pick in the NBA, and he’s been playing like a D-League player. Dion is awesome with the ball, but bad without it. Kyrie is better without the ball, than with it. The Cavaliers will be an exciting playoff contender this year.

Or not.

Then there’s the Indians. They rebuild their team in a season and motor into the playoffs with a ten-game win streak, only to lose the one-game playoff that was instituted for the first time ever last season. They seem ready to make a few moves to take them over the top, but may not have the money to do it. They are ready to make the next move to become better.

Or not.

North Carolina weather and Cleveland Sports…hot and cold.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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