Welcome to the second installment of Right Down Euclid’s “Weekly Roundtable.” Every Friday Chris Manning and I sit down and discuss the latest trending topics concerning your Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA. We answer three questions concerning the hometown Wine and Gold and two questions surrounding the league.
Today we will be discussing what we would offer Alonzo Gee, potential stars in the Cavaliers Summer League, who will shine come October, who would win between the 1992 Dream Team and this year’s men’s Olympic basketball team and what will happen to Dwight Howard.
First Question: What would you offer Alonzo Gee to return and sign with the Cavaliers?
Zachary Kolesar: The Cavaliers are one of the weakest teams in the Eastern Conference when it comes to the small forward position. If Cleveland cannot come to an agreement with Gee, who has said that we wants to return to Cleveland if the offer is right, then Omri Casspi is slated as the starter. The Wine and Gold had problems with players learning the playbook, and Casspi was one of them. Bringing back someone like Gee into the system is crucial right now, but the Cavaliers are in rebuilding mode. I want Gee back, but I would only offer him a two-year, $6 million contract, a bump up from the Cavs sheet offer.
Chris Manning: If I were the Cavs, I’d offer Gee a three- year deal worth around nine million with six million in guarantees. He’s earned a pay raise from the $900,000 he made last season, but I don’t think he’s earned himself a long term, guaranteed contract yet. If he preforms well on this deal, then pay the man. But he hasn’t earned it yet. Plus, if the Cavs overpay him, it’ll hurt their cap flexibility in the long and short team. Short term with low fiscal commitment is the way to go with Gee.
Second Question: Which young Cavalier star will shine in Cleveland’s Summer League?
ZK: The easy and correct answer has to be reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. Irving is training against the Olympic team right now, so he will come into the Cavaliers Summer League a step ahead of all the other youngsters Playing against players such as Chris Paul and Deron Williams will really help Kyrie toughen his game up, and will come to Las Vegas in excellent shape.
CM: Well, I’ll be honest and say I have no idea who will shine for the Cavs in the summer league outside of Kyrie Irving, who put up numbers against the Olympic squad. But I’ll say that I hope Dion Waiters is the other star of the Cavs summer league. I think the Cavs have three young players (Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson) that need to play well this season for the Cavs to even have a chance to be good. Waiters is the most important of the trio because he’s the only legit two guard the Cavs have on the roster right now. He might start right away, and the Cavs can’t afford to have him not play well.
Third Question: Which player will shine come October?
ZK: Again, Kyrie Irving is by far the most talented and hardest worker on the Cavaliers roster. He surpassed every expectation of what he was going to do in his rookie season, as he averaged 18.5 points and 5.4 assists in his first NBA season after only playing in 12 collegiate games at Duke. He will come out swinging right away, scoring 25+ points on the first night of the Cavaliers 2012-13 season. Expect huge things from the soon-to-be All-Star point guard. He is on the verge of becoming a triple-double machine.
CM: Kyrie Irving. He’s the best player on the roster, and the leader of this. I’m expecting a breakout season for the former Duke Blue Devil. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Irving averages 20 points per game and 9 assists per game this season. I think he’ll make the All-Star team as well. Bold choice, I know.
Fourth Question: Who wins: 1992 Dream Team or this year’s men’s Olympic basketball team?
ZK: If it wasn’t bad enough that Kobe Bryant was copying Michael Jordan’s Olympic goatee, the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard took to the media to say that this year’s team could beat the 1992 squad. Ha-ha, I don’t even think that they could go up against the likes of Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird with Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in their lineup. I think that Bird had the best quote out of all the members of the ’92 team who responded to Kobe’s laughable comment. This is what he said when asked if the 2012 Olympic team could beat the Dream Team:
Probably could. I haven’t played in 20 years.
CM: Is this a real question? The 1992 Dream Team has this roster: Christian Laettner, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, and Magic Johnson. Sans, Laettner (who had a great college career) all of those guys were legitimate stars at the time. The current roster is such: Tyson Chandler, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Andre Iguodala, and James Harden. Nice roster, but it does not compare to the Dream Team. At Center alone, the ’92 Team dominates. No matter what Kobe Bryant says, this 2012 squad doesn’t compare to the ’92 squad.
Fifth Question: Where in the world will Dwight Howard land?
ZK: Dwight Howard will stay put for the 2012-13 season and will remain a Magic player for one more year. The All-Star center will become a free agent next season, so he is better off staying in Orlando for this last season instead of forcing a trade that could land him in a less desirable atmosphere. With the Brooklyn Nets signing Brook Lopez, they are officially out of contention, making Howard’s landing choice out of the question. Howard will get the contract and team of his choice if he waits out this last season, no matter how painful and drama-filled it may be.
CM: The Nets offered Brook Lopez the max, so he’s not likely to ever be a Net. The Rockets are rapidly clearing space for Howard, but it doesn’t seem like he wants to be a Rocket. The talks about Howard becoming a Laker seem like a distant memory as well. All that being considered, where is Howard really going to go to and then commit long term? He wanted Brooklyn, but that’s not going to happen. He wants an elite point guard on his team, and the Rockets don’t have that. And the Lakers have the elite point guard in Steve Nash, but they don’t have the assets outside of Andrew Bynum that the Magic would want. So, no, I don’t think anything will happen with Dwight Howard this week.
Make sure to check back next week to see what Chris Manning and Zachary Kolesar have to discuss at the “Weekly Roundtable.”
Topics: Alonzo Gee, Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dion Waiters, Dream Team, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Olympics, Orlando Magic, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller