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Cleveland Cavaliers: 2019 NBA Offseason Preview
Author: Keith G. Smith
The Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in a similar position as in 2011. They are a year removed from LeBron James leaving for the Lakers in free agency. Cleveland also had a 19-63 record just as they did the first time James left for Miami. Once again, Cleveland is hoping for some lottery luck to help kickstart a rebuild.
The Cavs need an infusion of talent through the draft, because they don’t project to have cap space at any point in the near future. Because Cleveland had loaded up the roster to chase titles when they had James, they are still digging out from under that. They compounded matters to some extent by handing out big extensions to Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. Koby Altman extended with Love and Nance when the Cavs thought they had a chance to be competitive post-James. Love missed considerable time during the 18-19 season, the younger players didn’t develop as rapidly as hoped for, and the veterans saw their play fall off.
The Cavaliers astutely changed course in-season, selling off as many of the vets as they could, while taking on bad salary in exchange for additional assets. Cleveland owns Houston’s 2019 first rounder, has a future pick coming from Milwaukee, and a slew of additional second rounders coming down the line. This approach of piling up picks while eating bad salary has worked for other rebuilding teams in recent years.
But taking that approach means another rebuilding year is coming for the Cavaliers. First things first, Altman will look to trade J.R. Smith, the last player grandfathered in under the former CBA where his salary counts for the full amount in a trade versus just his guaranteed amount. This could return some more bad salary, but net Cleveland another draft pick. - CLICK HERE to read full story.
As Cleveland Cavaliers expand coaching search, Gregg Popovich aide Ettore Messina set to interview this week
Author: Chris Fedor
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Cavaliers will interview San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina at some point this coming week, league sources told cleveland.com. According to a source familiar with Cleveland’s search, the meeting has not officially been set up yet, as the two sides are working to finalize a specific date and time.
Messina, 59, has been one of Gregg Popovich’s top assistants in San Antonio since 2014, coming to the Spurs after a sterling overseas coaching career.
A four-time EuroLeague champion head coach, two-time EuroLeague Coach of the Year, seven-time Italian Cup winner, five-time Russian League champion and four-time Russian League Coach of the Year, Messina is considered one of of the best European coaches of all time.
The Cavaliers went this route five years ago, hiring David Blatt after an extensive search in 2014. But Cleveland believes hiring Messina would be much different because he has gained valuable NBA experience as a Spurs assistant as opposed to being thrust immediately into the top job without any time to get acclimated to the NBA game. The Cavs also don’t have LeBron James coming back home in free agency, changing them from a young, rebuilding team to title contender. - CLICK HERE to read full story.
NBA mock draft 2019: Examining every possibility for the Cavaliers
Author: Matt Goul
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cavaliers and rest of the NBA will know where they pick in a week.
The lottery is May 14 in Chicago, a day before the league conducts its five-day draft combine.
Until then, there are six possible outcomes for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers ended the season tied with the second-worst record in the NBA. They have an equal chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick or ending up in the top four as New York (which had the worst record) and Phoenix (which had 19 wins like the Cavs).
Cleveland can drop no further than sixth in the draft lottery, which will determine the top four picks. The rest of the order will be slotted based on record. The Cavaliers won a draw with Phoenix and will have a tiebreaker for a higher pick in case both teams end up outside of the top four. - CLICK HERE to read full story.
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