Each year, thousands of people around the globe make out Christmas lists of the gifts they hope to receive on December 25th. Some of these are expected, some mildly likely and then there are some that are just hopeful wishes. While a sports fan cannot get everything they hope for their team on Christmas Day, they can still make a list of what they would like to see happen with their favorite team. On that note, here is the official Right Down Euclid Christmas List, starting with the most likely “gifts” to the wildest, craziest “gift” ideas for a Cavalier fan.
Injuries have really plagued the Cavaliers this year, as Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao have all missed game this season. If the Cavaliers can stay healthy, and get time playing together, they are going to be a better team then they are right now. This is something I think we can expect in the latter part of the season.
I know there is a contingency of Cavalier fans out there who would like Varejao to move on in a trade that nets Cleveland young talent and/or draft picks. I understand that thought, but any realistic deal out there would not give Chris Grant and Co. equal value in return whether the trade partner would be Oklahoma City, Boston or another team we haven’t heard about. Let Anderson (and his relatively inexpensive contract) stay in Cleveland – at least for the rest of the season.
If the Cavs are going to get better as a team now or in the future, Waiters has the potential to make that happen. He plays hard, is tough as nails and stylistically a good compliment to Irving. Once he gets the injury rust off, I’m hoping we see him take the next step in his development and become a top three rookie.
This might be the most important “gift” on the list. Watching Irving play defense is down right maddening at times, and it is by far the biggest chink in his armor. He needs to especially improve on his pick-and-roll defense, as mid-level point guards like Jose Calderon rip him up in that scenario. If he can fix that aspect of his game, nothing is stopping him from being a true NBA superstar.
Until the Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, they had not won a division game since February 21st of last season against the Detroit Pistons. If Cleveland is to be a contender again, they need to win within the Central Division. It’s a division with only one elite team in the Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers need to win those games consistently, and they need to win them now.
Thompson, the former No. 4 overall pick, has played well thus far in his career, especially if you consider how raw he is. But if he is to be a viable long-term piece, I’d like to see him put his game all together. Some nights he looks lost on the court, and those looks should be changing at this point in his career. He has the potential and talent to be a force at power forward – let’s just see if he can figure it out before the Cavaliers look for other options.
Right now, the Cavaliers are the third worst team in the NBA. I think they’ll improve and finish with more wins then they are on pace for. The downside to that is that their chance of getting a high draft pick decreases, meaning their chance of getting an elite player also decreases. Assuming my prognostications are correct, Cavs fans should hope they again get a high pick in the next draft, as it could put them over the hump.
This really should be 7b. The Cavaliers will need to get lucky, and get a top two or three pick in order to snag Muhammad, who may be the best player in the next NBA Draft. The UCLA freshman is skilled, and is the one player at the top of next years draft who would fit in on this roster. Can you imagine a wing grouping of Irving, Waiters and Muhammad with Alonzo Gee and C.J. Miles coming off the bench? Me gusta mucho.
This is not something to hope for this season, but for next season. A Cavaliers playoff berth next season would be a vindication of the current rebuilding process, and would justify another long term investment in Varejao, Gee and other pieces. Also, it could entice a top free agent to come into the fold and put the Cavaliers on the next level – especially since the Cavs will have lots of money to spend. And is it just so happens, a certain St. Vincent – St. Mary product and NBA MVP is likely to be a free agent that offseason. .
Out of any player in the NBA, I’d love to see Love play alongside Irving. They are both humble guys with great skills and the rare ability to make an NBA team instantly better. It’s likely to never happen outside of Team USA, but I truly think this combination would make the Cavaliers an instant contender. Plus, could you imagine Love and Varejao as a frontcourt? Combined, those two average 27.3 rebounds per game. That’s unbelievable, and you’d be hard pressed to get a better starting frontcourt.