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7.15 The Cooler

Cleveland Have-Nots

By 07.15.10

This whole “Win a championship before LeBron” thing isn’t going so well for the Cavs. Even when Cleveland has guys that want to sign, they’re losing them. Yesterday restricted free agent Kyle Lowry inked a four-year, $24 million offer sheet with the Cavs, but before the day was out, Houston matched it. That was right after Cleveland fell out of the running for Al Jefferson and missed out on free agent Josh Childress. From last year’s 61-win squad they’ve already lost LeBron and Big Z, Shaq isn’t coming back, and Delonte West might be wearing all-orange and cheap flip-flops before he’ll wear a Cavs jersey again … So how good can Cleveland be next season? As of right now it’s up to Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison to carry the squad, and the third option could very realistically be Anderson Varejao. Or J.J. Hickson (who did drop 34 points and 9 boards in summer league last night, but still). Are those Lottery balls we hear bouncing? … Maybe the Cavs should have taken a crack at Al Harrington, who just agreed to a five-year, $34 million deal with the Nuggets. Harrington is a jacker, but he’s a good fit for a team that needs offense and has an opening at small forward. As for Al’s place on the Nuggets? Right now he’s probably gonna start at power forward if K-Mart stays hurt, which means Denver loses A LOT in terms of defense and rebounding. But when everybody is healthy and Harrington can come off the bench as a hybrid scoring forward, he’ll be good for them … Speaking of jackers, J.R. Smith was back at it in summer league. In 18 minutes against Houston he went 2-for-12 and finished with 9 points and one assist. During the game, this argument came up in the Dime office: Is Chase Budinger (24 pts) better than J.R. Swish? Obviously J.R. has more raw talent and can jump higher, but which one would you rather have on your team? Budinger knows how to play, he makes good decisions, he will shoot your face off, and he’s a pretty sick athlete in his own right … Raja Bell is headed to Utah, agreeing to a 3-year, $10 million deal. Not only is that big for the Jazz for their roster, who can safely let Wes Matthews go to Portland, but it also means the Lakers won’t be getting Raja. Can you imagine being a two-guard and having to deal with Kobe on one of his “I want to shut somebody down” nights, and when he checks out, Raja checks in? Not fun … Team USA is already gonna be depleted this summer — not one of the ’08 Olympic team members will suit up for the World Championship — and now they’re down one more big man. LaMarcus Aldridge is skipping next week’s Vegas training camp, because according to Jerry Colangelo, “He just decided that he didn’t want to do it.” Dime’s resident patriot, the guy we call “Captain America” in the office, heard this and immediately ordered DVDs of Patton and the Miracle on Ice a sent to LMA’s home … Someone please explain how Billy King tricked the Nets into hiring him? The team has money to burn, they had proven good GM’s in competition for the job, and they decided BILLY KING was the right guy? Was it the $50 million Kenny Thomas deal that swung their vote, or the $60 million Sam Dalembert deal? It’s like somebody walked into a job interview with a resume that highlighted their kleptomania and criminal record for theft, and walked out in charge of security for a major retail store … Other Vegas stat lines: DeMarcus Cousins went for 22 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in Sacramento’s win over Minnesota; DeMar DeRozan scored 23 in Toronto’s win over New York; Jordan Crawford had 20 points and 3 steals in Atlanta’s loss to San Antonio; John Lucas III dropped 25 points and 6 threes and kind of destroyed Eric Bledsoe in Chicago’s win over the Clippers; and Greg Monroe had 20 points in Detroit’s loss to Miami … During Wolves/Kings, Chris Webber was announcing and Minnesota GM David Kahn sat in as a guest for a few minutes. Almost right away C-Webb and Kahn got into a D-swinging contest: Webber was killing Kahn about every bad move he’s made, especially Darko‘s contract, so while Kahn was defending Darko, he asked C-Webb how many years it took for him to feel totally comfortable in the NBA game. C-Webb cut him off and repeatedly said, “Don’t put me and Darko in the same sentence.” Damn. Is C-Webb mad because Darko got a ring in Detroit and he didn’t? … We’re out like Billy King winning Executive of the Year …


TOPICS#KOBE BRYANT#LeBron James
TAGSAL HARRINGTONAl JeffersonANDERSON VAREJAOANTAWN JAMISONCHASE BUDINGERCHRIS WEBBERDELONTE WESTDEMAR DEROZANDEMARCUS COUSINSEric BledsoeGREG MONROEJJ HicksonJORDAN CRAWFORDJosh ChildressJR SMITHKENYON MARTINKYLE LOWRYLAMARCUS ALDRIDGEMO WILLIAMSRaja BellShaquille O'NealSmack

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