The Cavaliers have given their fans some thrills the past two nights, upsetting the Hawks on Alonzo Gee's game-winner on Friday and losing a heart-breaker Saturday in double overtime to the Blazers. The excitement in Cleveland is more often coming in the form of close games than in victories, as the absence of Kyrie Irving has prompted the Cavs to fall into a tie with the Raptors for the league's second-worst record. As Cleveland tries to tread water amid Irving's absence, there's more on the second-year point guard, and we've got that along with other news on the team right here:
- Bob Finnan of The News-Herald looks ahead to Irving's next contract, and interprets recent comments from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to indicate the team would trade Irving if he's unwilling to sign an extension when he's eligible in the summer of 2014.
- One agent called the Cavs' qualifying offer this summer to Luke Harangody "a $1MM gift," and the Cavs are now on the hook for that deal, actually worth a little more than $1.054MM, even though the team waived Harangody this week to make room for Kevin Jones, as Finnan documents. The Cavs wanted to snatch up before other NBA clubs got a chance, Finnan also notes.
- It's easy to tell the Cavs aren't thinking about the playoffs this year judging by the free agents they signed this summer, Finnan opines, observing that coach Byron Scott misses Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker.
- Teams that would covet Anderson Varejao in a trade with the Cavaliers are top-tier clubs with late first-round draft picks, making them unlikely partners in a deal, notes Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer.
- Omri Casspi is disheartened by his lack of playing time for the Cavs, after having spent the summer working on his game as prescribed by Scott, and the Israeli small forward is looking forward to free agency next summer, as HoopsWorld's Lang Greene details.
- Greene also checks in with DeSagana Diop, the eighth overall pick by the Cavs in the 2001 draft. Diop, now with the Bobcats, is also set to hit free agency in the offseason, but the 30-year-old center wants to stay in Charlotte until he retires, which he figures will happen in a couple of years. "I like Charlotte a lot," Diop said. "I get along with the coach (Mike Dunlap), the general manager (Rich Cho) and the good people of Charlotte. I’m just going one day at a time this season and see what happens this summer."