Windhorst On Cavs: Thompson, Hawes, Griffin

Robert Attenweiler of Cavs:The chatted with ESPN’s Brian WIndhorst about the Cavs. The entire article is worth a read, but here are some of the highlights from their Q & A session:

  • Windhorst believes re-signing Tristan Thompson is very dangerous. He thinks the team shouldn’t extend him this summer and let him test his market in free agency. Thompson is looking for a salary in the $10MM range, and Windhorst doesn’t think the team should pay more than $8MM.
  • He believes Spencer Hawes has a future with the Cavs, but only at a salary similar to his current $6.5MM. Windhorst mentions that Cleveland will need to overpay to attract unrestricted free agents, but long-term deals to players like Hawes and Luol Deng carry big risks.
  • The team most likely won’t keep David Griffin as GM beyond this season, Windhorst opines. He believes that team owner Dan Gilbert will “swing for the moon” and go out and make a big name hire.
  • One of those names might be Isiah Thomas. Windhorst says that, “Thomas wants the job really bad. He’s pretty much out in New York. His influence is over. He’s met with Gilbert a couple of times – they had lunch or dinner together – and he really wants it. I think Gilbert is charmed by him, as everyone else is.
  • Windhorst believes that Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland. He says, “The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired. This is the last time – once he signs he loses all of his leverage – so this is the last time he gets to enact leverage. I know he’s said all the right things so, fine, on July 1, when they offer a max contract – which they will – and I don’t even know if he’s a max player, but you have to sign him – sign a five-year, no out. That’s what a max contract is. A max contract is five years, no out. If you want out or you want three years, that’s not a max contract. You want three years? Okay, we’ll give you $12MM a year. We’re not giving you the full thing.”
  • He doesn’t think Irving leaving would have a negative effect on their chances to lure LeBron James back to town. Windhorst believes the team would have to trade Irving to accommodate LeBron, and said, “LeBron and Kyrie have drifted apart in the last few years, even to the point that if the Cavs wanted to get LeBron they would maybe trade Kyrie for someone who would fit better with LeBron.”
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