Here are your questions, and my answers, from the Amico Hoops e-mail bag. Today we will focus mostly on the Cleveland Cavaliers. But I welcome inquires about all teams, and will start answering those next week as well. Send NBA-related questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert proved he can swallow his pride when he reconciled with LeBron James. Is there any way Gilbert and David Griffin can bury the hatchet and get back together? It seems like the stability of the organization has taken a hit and it’s too bad after a three-year run like Cleveland has never seen. The timing seems so wrong with LBJ’s final year and all. — Dean Golko
Dear Dean, after the returns of coach Mike Brown and, as you mentioned, LeBron, I have learned never to say never when it comes to the Cavaliers. But in this case, I will say “almost never.” David Griffin wanted more money and more power, and that is not something Dan Gilbert is likely to concede. Those are the same reasons Griffin didn’t take the Knicks job. Eventually, a franchise will give Griffin the things he wants. It is just not likely to be these Cavs. But again, never ever say never.
Why don’t the Cav’s value Iman Shumpert? He plays with energy, can defend, can put the ball on the court, and has a good mid-range game. I just don’t understand why Tyronn Lue doesn’t play him. Secondly, I would gladly pay $20 a year to subscribe to amicohoops.net. You should consider some type of subscription model. Just a suggestion. — Mitchell Schwartz
Mitchell, I think the Cavs do value Shumpert, though he has been more cold than hot on offense over the last couple years, and his defense, while still solid-to-very-good, has slipped. Clearly, Lue sometimes thinks Shumpert values the “lifestyle” more than the “game,” if you know what I mean. As it stands, the Cavs are hoping to trade him and have come close to several deals. I’ve been told the talks will continue. And thanks for the kind words and suggestion. But we have seen the free model work (with advertising, which we have), and Amico Hoops has actually turned into a full-time side gig (along with FOX Sports Ohio). All of that is because of supportive readers such as yourself.
Who are the people in the front office the Knicks won’t fire? The Rangers are always good; why can’t the Knicks get out of their own way? — Pat Sullivan
Pat, that is the question of this NBA era. Everything falls on owner James Dolan. He has put some of the wrong people in place and kept them there out of loyalty. That works in most businesses. Not this one.
I believe Carmelo Anthony will be a member of the Cavs. Also, do you think LeBron stays? I flew in from Florida for Game 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals and hope the Cavs have enough to compete with Golden State. — Howard Mintz
Howard, I’m mostly with you on the Carmelo thought — although I had my doubts when David Griffin was up for the Knicks GM job. But I think, eventually, the Knicks will find they can’t trade Anthony and will have to buy out his contract (despite the fact they keep saying they won’t). But there’s also the chance they finally concede and trade Anthony to Cleveland for draft-and-stash prospect Cedi Osman and parts. The Rockets are the Cavs’ only competition. But Anthony prefers Cleveland.
As for LeBron, I think the majority of the talk about him leaving is absolute foolishness. Does he really want to go to the Lakers and sabotage his chances of reaching goodness knows how many consecutive Finals by coming out of the East? Does he really want to pass on a Supermax contract in Cleveland? Does he really want his kids to play high school basketball somewhere other than LeBron James Gymnasium at his old school, Akron St. Vincent-St Mary?
Come on. Just silliness generated by loudmouths and an uneducated media.
And no, the Cavs don’t have enough to compete with the Warriors at the moment. But stay tuned. There is plenty of offseason remaining.