Jul 23, 2013; Independence, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers vice president of basketball operations David Griffin introduces first round draft pick Sergey Karasev during a press conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Amico Answers My Cavaliers’ Questions


The Cleveland Cavaliers are the center of the off-season world, until Kevin Love is seriously on the market then until LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and a number of other players make decisions on their player options. Until then the Cavs fans get to soak in all of the what ifs, how coulds, and may we cans that the world has to offer. Sam Amico covers the Cavs and the NBA for Fox Sports Ohio. He does a weekly chat during the season and pretty often during the off-season that allows fans to ask him questions and he does a great job of getting to as many of the questions as possible. Sam and I have often communicated there, via Twitter and a couple of times via email. Needless to say I am appreciate his work personally and professionally (realizing some do not, and disagreement is okay).

This week he answered a few of my questions, even though he wasn’t happy about them (jokingly of course) so I thought I would share those communications here and encourage you to check out this week’s chats and join in on Wednesdays at noon when you can. He was also hungry this week FYI:

12:13
Comment From JaredKMueller

Would you trade 1 for 3 and Noel? I have lots today.

12:14
Sam Amico:

Darn it, Jared! You’re making me think again! Haha. Yes. I may do that. Only way I wouldn’t is if I worked out all three prospects and said “I really, really MUST have Prospect X!” Then I take the guy because I’m sure.

He didn’t want to think but he answer is the same answer I have. Unless we MUST have Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, if one of them had a completely separate grade, I would make this trade. The Cavs would be able to make this trade on draft night if they wanted to, assuming the 76ers really want Wiggins, by drafting Wiggins then making sure they were content with who was at #3. Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Jabari Parker and Nerlens Noel would make a pretty amazing young core 4 along with possibly signing a free agent small forward of their choosing. This would basically be a 2 for 1 talent build where the Cavs add a young, hopefully healthy shot blocker along with a wing scorer. Yet last year they passed on Noel so maybe there are concerns beyond the knee? Or maybe David Griffin loved him and Chris Grant did not. Would you make that trade? What if you got Noel and Embiid was the one who fell? Still okay with the 2 for 1 since Embiid can spread the floor a little bit, and less pressure on both players to play big minutes early?

12:24
Comment From JaredKMueller

Should the crop of available players at certain position, such as SF with James, Melo,Hayward, Parsons, etc, impact the Cavs #1 pick?

12:24
Sam Amico:

Jared you’re banned.

12:24
Sam Amico:

Haha!

12:25
Sam Amico:

That is a great question, and something Griffin has to think about. But the bottom line is the draft is first. I say you draft the best guy (in your mind), then take it from there.

12:26
Sam Amico:

For instance, taking Wiggins doesn’t mean you blow off getting another small forward. You can play two at once, etc.

And now I am banned. It is an interesting dilemma in the NBA where the draft is first then free agency. Instead of knowing what they can fill in free agency then go to the draft the Cavs have to go the opposite direction. In a perfect world they would have some idea of who they would/could/planned to sign and draft accordingly but Amico is right, you draft the best player and go from there. Worst case scenario is you have Wiggins and Chandler Parsons and play a little small ball with Parsons at the 4 and trade for a center of some kind. Knowing Griffin’s style a starting 5 of Irving, Waiters, Wiggins, Parsons and Spencer Hawes might be exactly what he wants, though very little defense a ton of shooting. What do you think of how free agency should impact the draft and vice versa?

Do you enjoy these type of chats? If so who do you tend to try to join for chats frequently?

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Sam Amico

  • wildrover4

    “Knowing Griffin’s style a starting 5 of Irving, Waiters, Wiggins, Parsons and Spencer Hawes might be exactly what he wants, though very little defense a ton of shooting.”

    Yeah that is a lay up drill for the other team. How would Parsons guard real PFs in this league? If you can’t get stops in the last five minutes, you can’t consistently win during the regular season and you can never win in the playoffs. I’m very worried about the direction the Cavs might end up taking. Phoenix had Amare, Marion, and Nash in their prime and never won a WCF.

    For the second year in a row, the two teams in the finals are the best two-way teams in the league. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    If Embiid is healthy, and the Cavs are keeping Kyrie, I think it comes down to one very simple quesiton: Can the Cavs win with Kyrie guarding the PG position without a rim protector behind him? There is your answer.

    • Joe

      I hope Griffin avoids following the Phoenix formula.
      Steve Nash is inimitable.
      We need to find what works for our talent.
      Phoenix was fun to watch, but the formula was ended in failure.
      Good letter.

  • Joe

    To win, you must utilize the talent you have.
    Applying a formula from the Spurs or Suns will not work.
    Positions in the NBA are three in number.
    Big Man, Wing, Point.
    That’s it.
    You can play two big men or none.
    You can play three wings or one.
    You can play 2 points, none or one.
    If Embiid were to fall to us at three, that would be fine, but it is unlikely.

    • Jarod Cook

      And where on the Cavs is the talent you speak of? In your formula the only one the Cavs have right now is a wing. And that would be Irving or Waiters. They don’t have a Big Man who can put fear in opponents, or score down low. And they don’t have a PG.
      Before you try saying Irving is the PG, you should go look at the stats of the team when he’s on and off the court. His selfish me ball attitude hurts the team on the offensive end, and his lack of effort if any on the defensive end is laughable.
      With #1 pick and a stock of young talent that can be used as trade bait. It should be a busy time before the draft for the Cavs, after they finally settle on a coach.

      • Joe

        No, I agree with your assessment for the most part.
        There is talent, but it may not be great enough or skilled enough, but the new coach needs to assess it and develop systems to fit the abilities of the players present.
        Luke Walton made a huge difference on this team when he was on the floor.
        No, we didn’t win a lot of games that year, but we won more than we might have.
        The “Point” position need not be a traditional guard as the Heat have proven.
        Bill Walton, Luke’s dad, was a “Point” on his UCLA teams playing with his back to the bucket and controlling the offense.
        Right now, I don’t see the player on the roster who can provide those skills, and that is why the team underachieved last year.
        Livingston and Walton may both have been physically on the back side of their careers, but both provided on-court leadership and direction.
        Jack is the best we had, and that is why Mike Brown inserted him in the starting lineup.
        We need another player with court sense and off-court leadership as well as on-court.
        Luol Deng may be re-signed despite the near-universal opinion that he won’t be.

        • wildrover4

          The Heat gets away without a PG because they have the only real point forward in the game. If the Cavs keep Kyrie, they need to move him to the 2 guard.

          • Jarod Cook

            The only problem with Irving playing SG is he can’t play defense. So matching him up against the other teams best shooter would be suicide. He might be able to score 25-30 PPG but he’s going to give up 30-35 PPG. The only real options are to wait and see if he develops more, or trade him while he stock is high. I personally am for the later of the two options. The main reason I lean torwards the second potion is he’s only played in about 75% of all games in his career, and last year which was his healthiest he still was under 90%.

          • wildrover4

            Any more shooting guards aren’t the teams’ best shooters. There are so many shoot-first PGs in the league, and so fewer “good” SGs than PGs, that Kyrie would have a much easier time of it. There are many SGs who don’t have good handles and who don’t have the ball in their hands often.

            I’m not opposed to your second option but only if they get fair value.

        • Jarod Cook

          I know the traditional PG has morphed into the more of a 2 guard position you see in the modern NBA. And I know that that no body really plays defense in the NBA any more. And the fact that Irving is a 2 time All Star goes to prove that the NBA is a horrible product.
          The big issue with Irving is he’s only 22, and has had two horrible coaches his first few years of his career. And has been plagued by injuries. He still has 2 years left on current on his current deal, so maybe if they find a coach who can develop players, he might be worth the big contract that he wants. But at this point from what I’ve seen he’s not worth that type of money, and I don’t blame Gilbert for not giving it to him.

  • Jarod Cook

    The biggest hurdle facing the Cavs right now is, who is going to be the coach the team. Depending on who’s the coach and his philosophy will depend on how the Cavs view there personal.
    I agree with you on the 76ers trade. If they can get the #3 and Noel for the #1, they should make the move. Two birds with one stone get a defensive presence down low in Noel(although not as developed offensively as Embiid), and still have a chance at one of the top players in the draft. Might still have a chance of getting Embiid at #3 and getting a tandem of players to play down low.