Welcome to the fortieth installment of Right Down Euclid’s “Weekly Roundtable.” This Friday Jerry Bulone and Zak Kolesar sit down and discuss the latest trending topics concerning your Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA. The combination of rotating RDE duos answer three questions regarding the hometown Wine and Gold and two questions surrounding the league.
Today the discussion revolves around free agent wishes, Dion Waiters’ place in the Rookie of the Year voting, Trevor Magnotti’s draft profiles, the recent play of the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors and Derrick Roses’ absence in the 2012-13 season.
First Question: Is there a free agent that you have on the top of your wish list for the Cavaliers?
Jerry Bulone: To be honest, not really. I guess I am just used to how the Cavaliers (and my beloved Packers) run things. You build through the draft and supplement with a free agent here and there. It is a time-tested strategy that if done right will produce amazing results. That being said, the Cavs No. 1 priority needs to be replacing Gee at small forward. He is a nice player, but no starter. He is much better suited for the bench. I think our future starter is much more likely to come from the draft however.
Zak Kolesar: I couldn’t agree with you more, Jerry. Small forward would be my targeted position in free agency, as we are not sure if we will land Otto Porter in the draft or retain C.J. Miles for the 2013-14 season. With the Houston Rockets in the predicament of having two of their small forwards – Chandler Parsons (whom I love) and Carlos Delfino – lost to free agency, I think either of those two would be tremendous additions. I don’t think the Rockets will depart with Parsons unfortunately, but that would mean Delfino will be let go. He’s not a starter in this league, but would add depth to a team struggling to find someone who can produce with starter minutes. The draft is the way to go with this position, but pulling an upset and landing Parsons would give us a starter, and Delfino would help greatly off the bench.
Second Question: Do you think Dion placed at a fair position in the Rookie of the Year voting?
JB: No. I am sorry, but Bradley Beal? Waiters had more points per game, assists per game, steals per game and played less minutes then Beal. He also shot the ball slightly better from the field. So what are we basing this voting on. It obviously isn’t stats – typical.
ZK: If it wasn’t fifth, it was going to be fourth. I’m on your side with this one again, Jerry. I thought a lot of what Beal did this season was a product of him being on the court next to John Wall. Once Wall returned to action, we saw Beal’s statistics skyrocket. They both played around the same amount of games, so putting their stats next to each other seems like a fair way of arguing who should have finished higher. The thing is, Beal didn’t even finish fourth. Out of that rookie group, I think that Andre Drummond will have the best overall career (not taking away anything from Damian Lillard or Anthony Davis), and he was the one who finished fourth. It was not fair, however, that Dion scored 73 fewer points than Beal in the voting.
Third Question: Which one of Trevor’s draft profiles has had you the most convinced on a player?
JB: It’s got to be the kid from Georgetown, Otto Porter. As I stated above, the Cavs main priority is to get Gee back to the bench where he can thrive in the role he is most comfortable in. Porter has all the skills that Gee does not. He is more athletic and is another slasher type that will fit great with Waiters and Irving. He does need to improve his shooting technique, but he will fit great with Mike Brown’s defense.
ZK: I thought his most convincing argument came in his Gorgui Dieng profile. I think he would thrive in the John Kuester offence that I described in this post as the big man in the rotation. He’s athletic, which would help with the pick-and-roll aspect of Cleveland’s offense. Also, he would provide a blocking aspect to a team that ranked 29th in the league in that category.
Fourth Question: How far do you think Golden State will go and are you a believer in the Grizzlies?
JB: I am a believer in the Grizz. They are going against an undermanned OKC team without Westbrook. I like their chances. Conley and Gasol are good solid players, and Randolph is playing like a stud. How good is a team that can trade three players from their bench – one of them being arguably one of their best players – and still have a chance to go to the Western Conference Finals? As for the Warriors of Golden State, their journey will end with San Antonio. The Spurs (unlike the Nuggets) are the real deal. They have seen these “flash in the pan” offenses before and should slow Golden State down. Parker, the NBA’s most underrated point guard, will outplay the way overhyped Curry and, most likely it will be a wrap by Game 5 or 6.
ZK: When I watched Randolph bear wrestle Blake Griffin on the floor in Game 6, I decided that I would roll with the Grizzlies the rest of the way. With Westbrook out I don’t think that this puts the Thunder far away from making it back to the Finals, but Memphis would be the team that I want to see more of as the playoffs progress. Their energy goes unmatched against any other team in the Western Conference, and they have the best defense left in the playoffs. Both of those categories match two things that I look for when picking teams to go far in the postseason. I tend to disagree with you regarding the Warriors, though. Golden State won’t lose on the road in this series, and we will continue to see the evolution of Stephen Curry. I don’t think he’s overhyped. This is his legend-in-the-making postseason. There’s still more tape left in this film, too.
Fifth Question: If the Bulls advance, would you like to see D. Rose in the playoffs or is there no chance?
JB: I have no respect for Derrick Rose. The man has been 100 percent and a “full go” at practice for what seems like months. The Bulls are playing their butts off and their supposed “leader” isn’t mentally ready to return yet. If you can find a Vegas bookie dumb enough, take every red cent you own and bet it on Rose not playing a minute this year. He is that type of guy. It’s all about him, never mind that his team is fighting (and winning) and has a chance to go to the Eastern Conference Finals. Glad no one like that plays for the Cavs.
ZK: Pretty much. Same with guys like Kirk Heinrich and Luol Deng. Randolph has the right attitude. He knows that the team he is playing on now may not have a better chance to win than now. Rose knows that he will be in Chicago for sometime (UFA in 2017), so the need to win is not imminent, which is sad. The need to win should always be highest in the present, and that means that three of their most important players should be giving their best shot at playing on the court for a series against the Finals favorite Miami Heat. Chicago needs their scorers this series, and it looks like few want to step up.
Make sure to check back next week to see what Jerry Bulone and Chris Manning have to debate at the “Weekly Roundtable.”