Without leading scorers Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters yesterday, the Cavaliers had the surging Heat against the ropes in Cleveland through three quarters, leading by nine before ultimately losing in a heartbreaker. The last few years have represented some trying times for Cavs fans, although with the rise of Irving as a young potential superstar, Dion Waiters showing flashes as a promising scorer, and Tristan Thompson continuing to improve, the horizon is beginning to look bright in Cleveland. A promising young core on a team with cap space could only be a selling point toward a possible homecoming for LeBron James in 2014, although ESPN's Marc Stein (Twitter link) believes that the Akron native and Dwyane Wade are too close for LeBron to just "bolt Miami." Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes from around the NBA:
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld highlights that several clubs have considered signing Von Wafer, particularly teams looking to bolster their rosters before the playoffs start. The former second-round pick had recently returned from a stint in China and last played in the NBA during the 2011/12 season. In the same piece, Kennedy identifies players who have helped their free agency stock with their strong play this year.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Al Harrington could decide to sit out the rest of the season for the Magic for the sake of their young players benefiting from major playing time. The 33-year-old forward, who overcame a staph infection after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, insists that his knees are fine now and that he will focus on preparing them for next year. Robbins adds that although Harrington is due about $14.7MM over the next two seasons, those years are partially guaranteed and could be bought out for nearly half that number this summer.
- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro discusses his job status with Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times. Now in his third season in LA and nearing the end of his contract, Dwyre writes that Chris Paul's contract status, the level of preference for Del Negro, and the team's performance in the playoffs are all substantial factors that are in play with regard to the coach's future with the team.
- Pistons coach Lawrence Frank tells David Mayo of MLive.com that, considering their record this year, none of the players – as well as the coaches – should feel safe about retaining their role for next season.