Archive for the ‘ Cleveland Cavaliers Blog ’ Category

channing frye

Through two separate trades, the Cavaliers have acquired F/C Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic. The Cavs traded F/C Anderson Varejao and a protected future first round draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a second round pick. The Cavaliers then traded the second round pick and guard Jared Cunningham to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Frye.

“Anderson is a special player, teammate and person,” said Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin. “Few players have earned the respect, support and admiration of an entire organization, fan base and community as Andy did here. Those are all things that made this a difficult deal to do. At the same time, we have a deep obligation to do whatever we can to reach our ultimate goal and we believe this was a deal that improves our team now and positions us better in the future as well. We thank Andy for his hard work, dedication and contributions to the Cavaliers and our community and wish him and his wife, Marcelle, the very, very best.”

Playing in his 10th NBA season, Frye has appeared in 44 games (29 starts) for Orlando, averaging 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game. He is also shooting .397 from the three-point line and .905 from the foul line. Over his career, the 6-11 forward has played in 701 games (420 starts) with New York, Portland, Phoenix and Orlando, averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game. He is a career .387 shooter from beyond the arc, which includes .404 shooting on catch-and-shoot threes over the last two seasons (446 attempts).

“Channing Frye is someone we know well. His length, floor spacing ability and locker room presence will impact us positively,” said Griffin. “He is a great fit with our group, both on the court and off, and we look forward to Channing, his wife Lauren, and their children, Hendrix and Margaux joining us here in Cleveland.”

Varejao has spent his entire 12-year NBA career with the Cavaliers and holds career averages of 7.6 points on .512 shooting from the field and 7.5 rebounds in 25.0 minutes over 591 games (208 starts). Among franchise leaders, he ranked third in offensive rebounds (1,479), fifth in defensive rebounds (2,955), fifth in total rebounds (4,434), seventh in games played, tied for seventh in blocks (397) and eighth in steals (529). In 2015-16, Varejao has appeared in 31 games with averages of 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.0 minutes.

Cunningham, who signed on as a free agent after the 2015 Cavs training camp, appeared in 40 games (three starts) for the Cavs this season and averaged 2.6 points and 0.7 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game.

anderson varejao traded

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired a future first-round draft pick and forward Anderson Varejao from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for a future second-round pick, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

“This was an opportunistic way to use our cap room to acquire a valuable asset,” said Olshey.

Varejao, 33, holds career averages of 7.6 points (51.2% FG, 63.2% FT), 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists over 12 seasons with the Cavaliers. He is posting averages of 2.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 10.0 minutes in 31 games this season.

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love’s latest shoulder injury appears to be very minor, fortunately. Here’s reporting:

Kevin Love shoulder injury seems very minor

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love exited Cleveland’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers late in the first half on Wednesday with a left shoulder contusion and did not return.

It is the same shoulder Love dislocated in the first round of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics, causing him to miss the remainder of Cleveland’s postseason run to the Finals.

“At the time I didn’t know really what it was,” Love said after the Cavs’ 120-111 win over the Lakers. “Just like when you get hit in the funny bone, the elbow has shooting pain. It felt like fire was running down my arm. Just a stinger, and doctors decided we’ll be cautious and use the break for it to feel better, but it actually feels OK right now.”

Cavs general manager David Griffin told ESPN’s Lisa Salters that Love is not expected to miss much time. Griffin said the injury looked a lot worse than it is. Love told reporters he did not expect to miss any games.

Mike Longabardi has joined Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue’s staff as an assistant coach, General Manager David Griffin and Head Coach Tyronn Lue announced tonight.

Longabardi spent the last two-plus seasons as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns. Prior to that, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers, four of which with Coach Lue. While with the Celtics, he helped them reach three Eastern Conference Finals and two NBA Finals, including winning the 2008 NBA title. Before joining the Celtics, he was an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets under Jeff Van Gundy.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Longabardi played at Newberry College (S.C.) then transferred and graduated from Frostburg State University (Md.).

Tyronn Lue wants the Cavs to play faster

The Cavaliers (30-12, 4th best record in NBA) are getting 25.0 ppg from LeBron James, 15.8 ppg from Kyrie Irving, 15.6 ppg from Kevin Love, and 12.3 from J.R Smith. They recently said goodbye to head coach David Blatt and put assistant Tyronn Lue in charge. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

The Cavs rank 28th in the league in pace, or possessions per 48 minutes. Lue wants to get this team playing faster, but he cautioned Saturday that will take time. This team is used to a slow pace that has proved successful.

When Lue tried to speed that pace up Saturday, all three of his stars asked out of the game early because they were tired. That forced him to use 10 players in the first quarter, jumbled his preset rotation and he struggled to recover. LeBron James didn’t dispute the idea the Cavs aren’t physically ready yet to run Lue’s style of offense.

“We played slow basketball up to this point,” James said. “We walk the ball up a lot. … All of us need to do something different as far as our pace and our conditioning. If he wants us to play faster and you want to be out on the floor, you can’t get tired. And if you do, you’ve got to come out. Something that Coach Lue wants us to do and we’ve all got to accept it.”

Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today that David Blatt has been released from his duties as head coach. Associate Head Coach Tyronn Lue has been named Head Coach. The current Cavaliers assistant coaches and staff remain under contract and will continue working with the team.

“On behalf of the organization, I would like to thank David Blatt for his efforts and commitment to this franchise,” said Griffin. “He spent the last year and a half battling intense scrutiny, working to mold a very willful group and we all recognize that is not at all an easy task.”

“But with that said, when you have the clarity of purpose that our ownership has instilled in this entire organization, decisions often make themselves. Every decision made is an answer to the following question: does it put us in the best position to deliver Championships to Northeast, Ohio.”

“So, today, we are elevating Tyronn Lue, from his role as Associate Head Coach to Head Coach. I am more than confident that he will have the pulse of our team and the buy-in required to enhance the habits and culture that will foster the kind of identity and results we must have.”

Blatt was named the 19th head coach in Cavaliers history on June 20, 2014. During his one and half seasons as head coach, Blatt compiled a regular season record of 83-40 and a 14-6 mark in last year’s playoffs.

“Over the course of my business career I have learned that sometimes the hardest thing to do is also the right thing to do,” said Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner of the Cavaliers. “Our ownership group supports David Griffin’s decision. We would like to thank David Blatt for his work over these past two seasons where the Cavaliers transformed into a playoff team after a rebuilding phase. We believe Tyronn Lue is the right coach at the right time to put us in the best position to take the last but most challenging step to complete our mission to deliver Cleveland an NBA Championship.”

Lue is in his second season with the Cavs after being hired as the associate head coach in June 2014. He was previously an assistant coach on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Los Angeles Clippers, who captured the Pacific Division title with a 57-25 record in 2013-14. Prior to the Clippers, Lue spent four seasons as a member of Rivers’ Boston Celtics staff, the last two as an assistant coach. He began his time in Boston as the Director of Basketball Development in 2009-10.

Originally drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 23rd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, Lue played 11 seasons in the NBA, appearing in 554 career games with the Lakers, Washington, Orlando, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas and Milwaukee. The former University of Nebraska star won NBA Championships in 2000 and 2001 with the Lakers.

Cavs continue to lead the East

With a 27-9 record, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the third best winning-percentage in the league. They are 4.5 games ahead of the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern conference standings. Last night in Dallas they hung on in overtime to beat the Mavericks. Here’s ESPN Cleveland with more:

The Cavs like their chances against anyone these days as they’ve now won 14 of their past 16 games to surge to the top record in the Eastern Conference by a 4.5-game lead over Toronto. As they entered into their toughest portion of the schedule all season on Tuesday — over a six-day stretch their schedule reads at Dallas, at San Antonio, at Houston (on a back-to-back) and home against the defending champion Golden State Warriors — the manner in which they beat the Mavs makes you think they’re ready for whatever comes next.

That’s not to say they’ll sweep the next three games of this murderer’s row to extend their streak to double digits while handing the Spurs their first home loss of the season in the process. It’s just that the way they approached the Dallas game seems like a solid formula for success along the way.

No, not the way they fell down 23-7 in the game’s first seven minutes. And not the way they settled for 44 3-pointers out of their 97 shots. But the way it was a true top-to-bottom type of effort. Seven of the nine players to see the court scored in double figures. Everyone took care of the ball, amassing only nine turnovers as a team in 53 minutes. Everyone shared the ball, too, notching 28 assists on their 40 made field goals.

Cavs trade Joe Harris to Magic

Cavs trade Joe Harris

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the Portland Trail Blazers’ protected 2020 second round pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Joe Harris, the Sacramento Kings’ 2017 protected second round pick, owned by the Cavaliers, and cash, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today.

This season, Harris appeared in five games for the Cavs and 10 games for the Canton Charge.

He was originally selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round (33rd overall pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Today, Harris underwent successful surgery in Indianapolis on his right foot for excision of 5th metatarsal apophysis.

The Cavs roster now stands at 14.

Here’s reporting on veteran Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao, who has struggled with injuries for many years but this season is healthy yet spending most of his time on the bench, playing just 8.8 minutes per game:

Anderson Varejao getting little playing time on Cavs this season

The 33-year-old big man has seen a dramatic reduction in his playing time this season. His statistics all across the board are the lowest of his 12-year career. He has not seen action in eight of his last 10 games.

Despite being fully recovered from an Achilles’ tendon injury he suffered last year, he hasn’t been able to crack the rotation.

“Of course, it’s not easy,” Varejao said. “It’s a different season for me. I said at the beginning of the season that my goal was to stay healthy and help this team. I’m not getting a lot of playing time, but I know the season is a long season. We still have the playoffs coming and anything can happen. I just have to stay ready and help the team when coach needs me.”

His focus on the postseason is telling in that he believes he’ll still be a Cavalier after the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

Since recently returning to action from last season’s injury, Kyrie Irving is averaging a modest 13.0 points and 3.0 assists on disappointing 34% shooting for the 21-9 Cavaliers. Here’s reporting the latest:

Kyrie Irving may soon receive more playing time

It was nearly two weeks ago when point guard Kyrie Irving made his much-anticipated season debut against the Philadelphia 76ers. Since that Sunday contest, Irving has been on a minutes restriction, yet to top 26 minutes in four games.

“We’re getting close to being beyond that,” Cavs head coach David Blatt said Friday when discussing Irving’s workload. “He’s pretty healthy. I don’t see him going out there and playing 40 minutes anytime soon. We’ve moved along pretty well, we’ve been pretty specific and committed to a certain path in terms of bringing him back.”

Part of the Cavs’ plan involved Irving getting rest during a challenging West Coast road trip, a stretch where the team played four games in five nights.

He missed the Portland game, one night after an exhausting game against the Golden State Warriors and sat out the finale against Denver on Tuesday.

Iman Shumpert day-to-day with groin strain

Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert experienced a right groin strain during the Cavaliers game Tuesday night in Boston. He is Out for tonight’s game in Cleveland vs. Oklahoma City and will continue to receive treatment. His status will be Questionable thereafter pending further evaluations.

Shumpert recently returned to action from injury and has played in just two games so far this season, coming off the bench both times. It’s likely that he may eventually return to the starting lineup. But for now, J.R. Smith has played 19 games and started all 19 of those outings at the shooting guard spot.

The Cavs are an Eastern conference-best 16-7 so far this season, and still waiting the return of point guard Kyrie Irving.

No love between Cavs and Celtics

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, who will probably not be getting together for the holidays this year:

There were certainly no pleasantries as the teams met for the first time since a painful Sunday in April when Cleveland completed a four-game, first-round sweep with a win at the Garden. Kevin Love dislocated his left shoulder in a tangle with Kelly Olynyk, and Jae Crowder suffered a sprained left ACL when his knees buckled following a wicked elbow from J.R. Smith.

Crowder said Monday he was hoping for an apology, but no such gesture was made by Smith as the Cavs handed the Celtics a more-thorough-than-the-numbers-would-seem-to-indicate 89-77 defeat.

And clearly the Clevelanders didn’t stop competing when the game was finished. While Love and Olynyk have agreed the latter intended no harm, there is still ill feeling on the other front.

“No, I like it,” Smith said about the physical game that saw him give a couple of hard fouls. “It wasn’t chippy enough.”

LeBron James pre-game music

Wonder which music LeBron James listens to before games? Here’s ESPN Cleveland reporting:

LeBron James pre-game music

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ pregame locker room is noisier this season than it was last season.

LeBron James has taken to turning on his portable speakers from Beats by Dre, a company he endorses, and playing tunes as he and his teammates stretch out and put on their uniforms.

Only it’s not the music that’s the noisy part. It’s the debates that the music sparks. The ribbing usually centers between two people: James and Jared Cunningham. While James picks the songs, Cunningham picks on the songs…

James’ playlist features artists such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, OutKast, Jadakiss, Lupe Fiasco and sometimes even Cleveland’s own Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Cunningham, meanwhile, prefers performers such as Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, Young Thug and Yo Gotti.

John `Hot Rod` Williams dies of cancer

Here’s reporting some very sad news about a well-known, talented former NBA player:

John “Hot Rod” Williams, one of the NBA’s best sixth men in the 1980s and ’90s, has died of cancer at his home near Sorrento, Louisiana. He was 53.

Williams’ agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed his death Friday.

Williams, a 6-11 power forward, played 13 seasons in the NBA but was best known for being a standout with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986 to 1995. The news stunned former teammates and executives who had been encouraged when Williams came through an earlier cancer diagnosis this year.

“It’s devastating,” said Wayne Embry, the Cavs general manager from 1986-99. “He was a hard worker and a great player but I liked him more as a person than a basketball player.”

Iman Shumpert set to return for Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 14-7 this season, which through Thursday’s games is the 3rd best record in the league. And they’ve accomplished this without their starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. The squad is about to get healthier, as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal:

Iman Shumpert set to return for Cavs

Iman Shumpert will be active tonight and is likely to make his season debut against the Orlando Magic.

Shumpert still needed to go through the morning shootaround and pregame warm-ups, but all parties (speaking before shootaround) sounded optimistic.

“If we go through shootaround and everything is straight,” Shumpert said, “I’m going to try to give it a go.”

Added coach David Blatt: “We’re hopeful he can get out there.”

david blatt

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ David Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Luke Walton today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.

Blatt guided the Cavaliers to an Eastern Conference-best 13-4 (.765) record for games played in October and November. After dropping their season opener to the Chicago Bulls, the Cavaliers reeled off eight consecutive victories from Oct. 28 – Nov. 13. The defending conference champion Cavaliers own a 9-0 record at Quicken Loans Arena, and rank sixth in the NBA in both scoring (103.1 points) and team defense, limiting opponents to 96.5 points.

luke walton

While filling in for head coach Steve Kerr (back surgery), Walton has led the defending champion Warriors to the best start in NBA history at 19-0. The Warriors lead the NBA in scoring at 115.3 points, and enjoy the largest point differential in the league at 15.4 points. Walton is in his second season on the Warriors’ staff, and previously served as a player development coach with the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders during the 2013-14 season.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Indiana’s Frank Vogel, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Oklahoma City’s Billy Donovan, Orlando’s Scott Skiles, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Toronto’s Dwane Casey.

Hawks face Cavs on Saturday

Two of the best teams in the Eastern conference face off on Saturday. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

The Cavaliers (9-3) lead the Eastern Conference, with the Hawks (9-5) in third place early in the new season. The Cavaliers are not going anywhere, it would appear. LeBron James carried them last season, and he could very well do it again.

The Hawks will face the Cavaliers without one, and possibly two, starters. Small forward Kent Bazemore (right ankle sprain) has been ruled out. Point guard Jeff Teague (left ankle sprain) is questionable.

The Cavaliers are injured themselves. Point guard Kyrie Irving (fractured left kneecap), guard Iman Shumpert (injured forearm), center Timofey Mozgov (right shoulder sprain) and guard Mo Williams (right lower leg soreness) all will not play. With Mozgov out, Tristan Thompson may start at center. He gave the Hawks fits in the postseason.

“Taking care of the defensive boards is something that is going to be important,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Center Timofey Mozgov experienced a strained right deltoid during the second quarter of last night’s game against Milwaukee at The Q. Additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed the strain. Mozgov will be OUT approximately 10 days to two weeks.

Guard Mo Williams missed last night’s game vs the Bucks and received additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, which showed posterior right ankle inflammation, along with continued soreness. He is listed as OUT for tomorrow’s game at The Q against Atlanta and doubtful for Monday’s contest vs. Orlando, also at The Q.

No LeBron, Blatt drama this season

Here’s reporting on the Cavaliers, who at 9-3 are already a success this season and have the services of Kyrie Irving to eventually look forward to once he heals and is ready to play:

No LeBron, Blatt drama this season

Want to set off some Cavs fans?

Tell them about LeBron James and David Blatt.

The distrust. The undermining and second guessing. The disconnect.

It’s a sore subject for Cavs faithful. Either James shouldn’t treat his coach that way, or Blatt wasn’t right for the job, or the media shouldn’t bring it up.

This season, though, there hasn’t been any James-Blatt drama to discuss.

Hours before Cleveland beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-100, turning in a solid-but-not-perfect performance after days of being ripped in public and private by James and Blatt, the Cavs superstar dropped a different kind of bomb.

“He does his job as great as any coach can do in this league,” James said of Blatt, following the team’s shootaround in the morning.

Cavs struggling from free throw line

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 8-3 this season; a very good start, especially considering the team is without the services of still-healing point guard Kyrie Irving. But things could be even better, as the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

While LeBron James continues to rip his teammates for their lack of effort and David Blatt says they need to get tougher, one of the more perplexing problems facing the Cavaliers in the early season has been free-throw shooting.

The Cavs enter Thursday’s rematch against the Milwaukee Bucks 29th in the league in foul shooting, ahead of only the Detroit Pistons. Poor free-throw shooting was a big reason for their two road losses to the Bucks and Pistons and the Cavs don’t have many explanations for the struggles.

“If I had the sure-fire answer to that I would be a genius,” Blatt said. “I guess I’m not.”

The Cavs are converting less than 69 percent of their free throws, a number that continues to trend in the wrong direction. They shot 58, 63 and 60 percent from the line in their past three games after converting 75 percent at the line last season — 18th in the NBA.

Basketball blog