Welcome to the fourth installment of Right Down Euclid’s “Weekly Roundtable.” Every Friday Chris Manning and I, along with our newest Roundtable member Dan Pilar, 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 whether or not we like the Cavs trade for Jeremy Pargo and a draft pick, what game we’re looking forward to on the just-released 2012-13 season schedule, if we would rather have Alonzo Gee or C.J. Miles on our team, what game around the NBA we’re looking forward to and Olympic medal predictions.
First Question: What do you think of the Cavaliers most recent trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for point guard Jeremy Pargo, a second-round draft pick in 2014 and cash considerations?
Zachary Kolesar: D.J. Kennedy didn’t put up numbers impressive enough for him to have a secured spot on the Cavaliers roster. He averaged 3.4 points and 4.6 rebounds and shot an embarrassing 22.7 percent from the field. He showed a lot of upside last season, averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from downtown in two games. He didn’t play well enough in summer league to secure himself a spot on the roster, so the future-focused Cavaliers gave him up to the Grizzlies to stockpile another draft pick and bring in more young talent. The Cavaliers are taking slow steps, but they’re in the right direction.
Chris Manning: I like it. Jeremy Pargo is a solid backup point guard, and it fills a need on the Cavs roster. I would of rather had Jonny Flynn, but rumors of Flynn becoming a Cav seem to have disappeared. They also didn’t give up much (second round draft pick) so I overall like the trade. I’m not comfortable with Pargo playing major minutes if Kyrie goes down again, but the Cavs must be. But hopefully, that doesn’t become an issue. If it does, Pargo will become the most scrutinized Cavalier.
Dan Pilar: This was a great trade the Cavaliers front office made. They filled a need on their team, Point Guard, and picked up a draft pick doing so. Grant doing great by bringing in a young group of players and stock piling draft picks. So in three years when they really start to gel as a team and become competitive in the east, we can use our draft picks to pick up a young player we really like or trade picks to for a player that could take us over the top.
Second Question: After looking at the 2012-13 Cavaliers schedule that came out Thursday, what game are you most looking forward to on the schedule?
ZK: I always get excited when I think about premier point guard match ups. After winning Rookie of the Year and gaining respect from his fellow Team USA peers, Irving is making a statement in the NBA. Irving could earn a spot on the All-Star team this season, so I always look forward to when he faces off against guards such as Chris Paul. Byron Scott groomed Paul, so when the Clippers come to the Q this season those two will get to duke it out. Irving may be at the peak of his season when the Clippers visit in March.
CM: Games against teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City, & Miami don’t excite me too much because it’s not likely that the Cavs will be able to compete with the NBA’s elite this season. That being said, it’ll be good to see how the Cavs stack up against teams like Milwaukee & Indiana. Those were teams the Cavs feasted on in the LeBron era, so if they want to be elite again in the Kyrie era, they need to beat those teams consistently. They only went 3-12 against the division last year – that’s not going to cut it.
DP: One game I’ll be looking forward to watching is December 11, when Mike Brown makes his return to Cleveland. In his first year as Lakers head coach they did not make a trip to Cleveland, so Brown lucked out. But when December 11th rolls around, and his name gets announced in Quicken Loans Arena, expect the “boo” birds to be out. And of course I look forward to Miami coming into town, but they don’t make an appearance until late March; who knows what our record will be by then.
Third Question: Who would you rather have: Alonzo Gee or C.J. Miles?
ZK: I’ve always been really big on Alonzo Gee and I think the Cavaliers should have offered him a $3.0 million qualifying offer instead of the $2.7 million contract that Gee received from the Cavaliers and might now have to accept because of limited interest from other teams. Gee played in 63 games last season and started 31 of them, getting good minutes off the bench while averaging 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds. Gee is much more accurate than the seven-year veteran. Gee has only played in the NBA for three years and has shown a lot of explosive improvements in his game. I’d take Gee.
CM: I don’t have a preference. Both are average small forwards who are probably better served better coming the bench as opposed to starting. Both are likely fillers until the Cavs draft or acquire the long term solutions. Miles seems to want to be here, while Gee doesn’t, so if I had to pick one, I’d pick Miles.
DP: These are two good players to compare. Similar size, age, and statistics. And when players are at a tie like that, the front office looks to sign the player with better knowledge of the franchise. Alonzo Gee knows Byron Scott and his system better than C.J. Miles would and Gee became a fan favorite with his hustle plays and thunderous dunks. So yes, Gee is my pick. But not a penny over $3 million a year.
Fourth Question: What games other than those on the Cavaliers schedule are you most excited for going into the 2012-13 season?
ZK: I’m super excited to be having 82 games back on the schedule. I’m very curious to see how the health of players will play out in a less condensed NBA calendar. But we’re talking about games, and I really like apparent rivalries. The Brooklyn Nets will play the New York Knicks in their home and season premier for the first of four times on November 1. The breeding rivalry between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder will begin on Christmas Day in Miami and then the Heat will travel to Oklahoma City on February 14, 2013. And you can’t forget the classic Celtics-Lakers rivalry, which will happen twice in February.
CM: Any of the Lakers – Heat, Thunder – Heat, Spurs – Thunder, Heat – Spurs, & Thunder – Lakers games will be must watch TV. Boston opening at Miami also intrigues me, as the story lines are fantastic. And for fun, I’ll watch any Knicks – Nets game in hope of a New York rivalry being created, as well as it becoming an event with the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce, & Spike Lee being in attendance.
DP: I look forward to watching the Lakers v. Thunder. Nash might be the missing piece to the offense, but no way does it make them better than the Wester Conference Champs. Other than that, I’m excited for Anthony Davis’ debut, the new Knicks-Brooklyn rivalry, Magic at Los Angeles Lakers, and Linsanity’s return to Madison Square Garden.
Fifth Question: With the Olympic ceremonies on Friday officially marking the start of the London games, which teams will earn the top four spots in Olympic basketball play?
ZK: I think Team China will sneak into the picture on the basketball side of things, finishing fourth in a spot I originally had picked for Argentina. The Argentinians gave the United States problems in their exhibition matchup, as the Americans won in an 86-80 battle. Team USA is the almost-obvious choice to win the gold, with Spain being the next closest team to dethroning the Americans. A Brazil team led by Cavaliers power forward Anderson Varejao will make Cleveland proud by bringing back a bronze medal.
CM: In my mind, Team USA, Team Spain, Team Argentina, Team France, & Team Brazil are the best bets medaling. They each have several NBA players, making them clear favorites. As for specifics, Team USA should win gold pretty easily. I like Spain to get silver, as the trio of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, & Serge Ibaka makes them competitive with anyone. If Ricky Rubio was playing, they’d be in the gold medal position. Brazil will get the bronze, led Anderson Varejao & Nene. Argentina will finish fourth, leaving the French out in the cold.
DP: In words of former Iowa QB, Ricky Stanzi, “There’s nothing better than being American, if you don’t love it leave it.” Fourth- Germany, Third- China, Second- Russia, First-USA.
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, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Byron Scott, C.J. Miles, Chris Paul, Cleveland Cavaliers, D.J. Kennedy, Jeremy Pargo, Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder