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 Post subject: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
Note: With the impending release of the new FBB, I have decided to post this writing that I had done a while back near the start of the season. I had been planning to post this, but it has slipped my mind since now. Enjoy!

It’s very interesting how I became a GM. Working as a part-time janitor for the Cavs, I didn’t really expect much out of my job except to get a few glances at some Cavalier stars and the little salary I had to keep me off the streets. For sure, I would have never expected to end up as the general manager of the once prestigious franchise, but it was definitely a job I was obliged to take.

The incident itself was quite memorable. It so happened as I was sweeping up the section 4 Row A right after an BEP concert the day before that I realized that I was being watched by none other than owner Dan Gilbert. It was humbling to be in his presence, so I said nothing and continued working on. After a few minutes I glanced back and realized he was still standing there. Shocked, I tried to resume my work, but he spoke. “Mr. Torres, I’m Dan Gilbert, and as you probably already know. the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.” I could only let out a meek nod as he continued. “Yes, very good, young man. It has come to my attention that we are in need of a general manager for the team, as Mr. Ferry has decided to resign from his duties. I have asked about, and your co-workers and peers have all nominated you as the most trustworthy and meticulous worker. For this reason, I would be gratified if you could accept this post, as soon as possible, if you permit.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Dan Gilbert, the Dan Gilbert, wanted a lowly janitor like me to run the team? Stunned, I inadvertently dropped my dustpan and broom and sat down. “Well, I presume that was a yes? Good man!” He followed by patting me on the back, and turned to leave. “Oh, and one more thing. In case you were wondering, you can suspend your current occupations, as I’m sure your salary will be sufficient for your kind of living conditions.” That was all I needed to here. The minute I was sure he was out of hearing range, I jumped up in ecstasy, in turn, breaking my broom.

The next day, I made sure to dress in my finest clothes, and walking with a tall posture, headed down to the Quickens Loans Arena. Before I headed on to my new job, I made sure to thank all my fellow janitors, and promised them season tickets for the rest of their lives. I also brought a broom to replace the one I had broken the day before. Cheerful, I then made my way down to the office room where I would be working. As a janitor, I had the pleasure of cleaning the room for Mr. Ferry the seasons before, so I knew exactly where it was, and its shrewd design. I just couldn’t have imagined that one day; I would be the one in the spacious area, the team, completely under my command. Well, sort of. Looking outside of the window, I realized I had a pretty nice view from where I was, so I decided to move the desk to position in front of it. During this process, I found a stray packet of papers somehow jammed in one of the drawers that had fallen out. Taking a quick glance, I recognized that this was the team roster for the season.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
2010-2011 Cavs Roster

Anderson Varejao
Age: 28
Height: 6'10''
Weight: 240
Previous Season: 8.6ppg, 7.6rpg, 0.9blks
High energy player who can spark up any team in the league…great help defender but not as good defending one-on-one...need to make more free throws as shown at his lowly 60% career average last season

Ryan Hollins
Age: 26
Height: 7’0”
Weight: 230
Previous Season: 6.1ppg, 2.7rpg, 0.5bpg
There’s not much he can’t do on the offensive end, but nothing special…easily one of the worst defenders in the league...good range for a big man with the ability to drain shots from 15-20 feet out

Power Forwards:
J.J. Hickson
Age: 22
Height: 6’10”
Weight: 230
Previous Season: 8.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 0.5bpg
Good post player…attacks the basket with ferociousness…no offensive game outside of the paint however…huge potential, sort of a poor man’s Amare Stoudemire

Antawn Jamison
Age: 34
Height: 6’9”
Weight: 235
Previous Season: 18.7ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.1spg
Has an uncanny talent to post points on the board…rebounding has declined for the past few seasons and seems likely this year as well…bit undersized for a forward, though uses his skinny frame as an asset…don’t expect much defense in the post as his physical skills have diminished quite a lot

Leon Powe
Age: 26
Height: 6’ 8”
Weight: 240
Previous Season: 4.0ppg, 3.1rpg, 0.3spg
Has been a shadow of his former self since coming back from injury…the mechanics are there, but he has been noticeably less confident in his game...jump shot has fallen off quite a bitt, but if his leg can hold up, expect a season similar to his 08-09 campaign

Small Forwards
Jamario Moon
Age: 30
Height: 6’9”
Weight: 210
Previous Season: 4.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 0.6spg
Long, thin player with a knack for picking steals…extremely versatile defender, can play multiple positions without an obvious disadvantage…okay 3-point shooter at 32% a clip

Joey Graham
Age: 27
Height: 6’7”
Weight: 225
Previous Season: 4.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 0.4spg
Energy guy off the bench who can provide some points in quick spurts…no 3-point game, though good free throw shooter

Daniel Green Age: 23
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 210
Previous Season: 2.0ppg, 0.9rpg, 0.3spg
Has the ceiling to become a decent role-player one day…needs discipline on his shot selection...if his play can translate to the pros the way he played at North Carolina, he should be in good shape

Shooting Guards
Anthony Parker
Age: 35
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 215
Previous Season: 7.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.9apg
Seems to be in decline, as his peripheral stat-line has been down each year for the past few seasons…can’t generate any offense on his own, instead operates as a catch and shoot player positioned at the top of the key or in a corner

Christian Eyenga
Age: 21
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 210
Previous Season (ACB): 3.8ppg, 2.0rpg, 37.5% 3PT
Extremely raw, not sure if he’ll see any playing time this season…decent on defense, not reluctant to do the dirty work that other players cringe at

Point Guards
Ramon Sessions
Age: 24
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 190
Previous Season: 8.2ppg, 3.1apg, 2.6rpg
Gets to the line at an alarming rate…needs to develop an outside shot if he is to become a premier point guard…extremely quick off the dribble…but no jump shot to compensate

Maurice Williams
Age: 27
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 185
Previous Season: 15.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 5.3apg
Last season was a down year…it will be interesting to see how he will bounce back now that LeBron won’t be handling every shot…extremely good 3-point shooter…can generate some offense, but I wouldn’t ask him to carry your team

Daniel Gibson
Age: 24
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 190
Previous Season: 6.3ppg, 1.3apg, 47.7% 3PT
One dimensional player who can hit open looks on the perimeter…volume scorer at times, or can shoot himself out of the game…if he could log enough playing time, he could end up a nice rotational player

Overall, this is a squad that leaves much to be desired, as the sheer dominance by LeBron has left empty stat lines across the board for this team. Expect averages to be inflated quite a bit, but the W’s for the season to be cut in half at best.

It didn’t seem Coach Scott had a high expectation on the team not unlike most of the rest of the league. I took a deep breath and planned out my short and long term plans for this team, outlined by Mr. Gilbert’s requirements for me.

Short term goals:
-Trade Antawn Jamison and his 15 million dollars owed next season for a huge expiring of some sort at best, or a package of young studs.
-Build off of the Sessions/Hickson duo and try to blow up everything else around them for now

Long term goals:
-Make the playoffs next year
-Sign a key free agent over the offseason and add in the draft
- Win a ring before LeBron and the Heat do, or I lose my job.

With that written out, I started examining the roster. Our 2 weakest spots were at the wings, where the departure of James has made us noticeably weaker at the small forward. The shooting guard remains quite the same as last year’s roster, but the 35 year old Parker wasn’t exactly the best to begin with either. Our PF position is our deepest, with the veteran Jamison, the young promising Hickson, and the injury-plagued (yet still productive) Powe play.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
As training camp finally went underway, I decided to try to shop the few players that still had trade value on my team. The Los Angeles Clippers were actively trying to trade All-Star center Chris Kaman apparently because he wasn’t interested in a contract extension, so I jumped on it and quickly called their GM up. The proposed trade as follows:

Los Angeles Clippers send:
C Chris Kaman
2013 2nd (LAC)

Cleveland Cavaliers send:
PG Maurice Williams
PF Leon Powe

What this means for the Cavs:
We get a 7’0” big man to pair up with Andy Varejao, who can probably average roughly a double double a night. The 2nd in the future is too irreverent right now to count as anything, but should be quite useful in the future, considering the appalling history of the franchise.

What this means for the Clippers:
It seems like Donald Sterling and Co. rather go with the raw DeAndre Jordan than find a way to retain Kaman. Williams will probably back up the habitually inconsistent Davis, while Powe should play some time at the forwards backing up their rookie duo.

They unsurprisingly accept it, and an All-Star big man was now under our organization. I had been quite fond of Kaman, a hardworking player who had averaged a career high 18.5ppg last season along with 9.3rpg. Despite having a history of various ailments, the 28 year old is still in the midst of his prime and should thrive playing in our thinned out roster. Once considered to be one of the best defensive big men in the league, Kaman averaged a staggering 15.7ppg, 12.7rpg, and 2.8 blocks in 07-08, before an injury kept him out for the rest of the season. Afterwards, he found it hard to return to his old status, and instead focused on offensive instead, leading to his first ever All-Star berth in 09-10. I felt like I’ve done a good job pulling that coup off, but realizing there was no time to waste, I quickly followed up with another trade, this time with the erratic ways of the only and only David Kahn.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
Timberwolves send:
SF Michael Beasley
SG Wayne Ellington

Cavs send:
PG Daniel Gibson
2012 2nd (CLE)
2013 2nd (CLE)
2013 2nd (LAC)

What this means for the T’Wolves:
Minnesota needed to solve the lockjam at SF, and Beasley gets rejected once more, this time by a lottery team, as the T’Wolves chose rookie Wesley Johnson over him. They get inadequate talent in return for his services, even providing the picks end up early to mid 2nds.

What this means for the Cavs:
Another shrewd move by newly hired GM Joseph Torres, as they receive a very promising player in Beasley, who can have put up 15-20 points a night, providing they keep his emotions in check. Gibson was more redundant than wanted, as they also shed his 13 million dollars he is owed over the next 3 seasons. Ellington, like Gibson, is a one-dimensional knockdown shooter, but at less than half the cost.

Beasley is one player I know who can develop into an All-Star if he gets the right breaks. Ever since coming into the league, he has been kicked around like an unwanted puppy, first labeled as being a bust as the 2nd overall pick in ’08, then criticized for causing off court problems with his drug rehabilitation. During the offseason, Miami finally decided they wanted nothing to do with him anymore, and basically gave him away for free to the T’Wolves. And that’s how he ended up here. Personal issues aside, Beasley is still bursting with potential waiting to be used. He averaged 14.8ppg and 6.4rpg last season in his second year, and seems poised to improve on that. There is no question he will be our starting SF, and given him the assurance of keeping his job, I think he can play with more confidence. Ellington is a bonus for us, and while he is still pretty raw, he is not too far off from taking the starting 2 spot away from the aging Parker.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
Season Preview:
We are predicted to finish 32-50, a slight improvement in where we used to be. The Clippers, now without their man in the middle, would finish 27-55, though with B-Diddy carrying most of the offensive load. Alas, the Heat are predicted to win the conference, and the title, winning it in 7 against the defending champs. It looks like my tenure as GM is about to be cut short.

MVP: SF LeBron James – Heat
DPOY: C Dwight Howard – Magic
ROY: PG John Wall – Wizards
6th Man: Jamal Crawford – Hawks
MIP: Anthony Randolph – Knicks

All-League Team:
C: Dwight Howard – Magic
F: LeBron James – Heat
F: Kevin Durant – Thunder
G: Kobe Bryant – Lakers
G: Chris Paul - Hornets

As expected, our whole team got shut out of the awards, with not even a single ballot for Chris Kaman on an All-League team. It’s expected though, as it’s going to be one rocky ride of a season. I suddenly realized that we were clogged up at the power forward position, as they wouldn’t be enough minutes to go around between Jamison, Varejao, and Hickson. Time for yet another trade.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
Bucks send:
SG Michael Redd
C Jon Brockman
2011 1st (MIL)
2012 1st (MIL)
2013 1st (MIL)

Cavs send:
PF Antawn Jamison
SG Anthony Parker
2012 1st (CLE)
2011 2nd (CLE)

What this means for the Bucks:
The Bucks themselves wanted to part way with Michael Redd and his services as they have Salmons and Maggette, and Defino now on the wings. The 1st is projected to be low-lottery, so that’s good for a team of their caliber. Jamison is on his last legs, but should get the starting nod over the streaky Drew Gooden, and should put up around 17 and 7.

What this means for the Cavs:
A very risky choice giving up a first, especially one that’s just next year, but if Redd manages to stay healthy this season, he can easily put up 20 points any given night while he’ll be looking for a big payday, given his expiring 18 million dollar contract. Brockman is a solid (though extremely undersized at 6’7”) prospect as a big man, and bears resemblance to Chuck Hayes on the Rockets.

I took a long look at my team that night, and felt pretty good about it, so I slept easy for the next few nights.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
Training camp ended, and the start of the regular season was drawing closer. Our first preseason just happened to be against the T’Wolves, and we were all pretty excited to try to kick the year off with a W. Minnesota had decided to play all of their projected starters, while we were experimenting with Brockman in the middle, Hickson at the PF, Graham at the SF, and Ellington/Sessions as our backcourt. Chris Kaman got the day off, as Coach Scott was trying to limit his minutes during the preseason.

The opening tip was won by Darko Milicic of the opposing team, but JJ Hickson scored the first 2 points of the game on free throws half a minute later. The first quarter ended on a 7-0 run by the T’Wolves, but the score was still pretty close, at 25-20.

The 2nd quarter ended much the way the first did, as the T’Wolves now sat upon a 48-37 lead. We were shooting an atrocious 32% from the field, and being outplayed in almost every possible way. Hickson led our team with 11 points and 6 rebounds, but that was about the only bright spot. Flynn had 13 for Minnesota, while had 10 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.

We closed the gap during the 3rd, trailing by only 3 entering the final quarter. When the game was finally over, we had won 99-97, fueled by 17 points from Christian Eyenga off the bench, including 2 clutch 3’s in the closing minutes. Sessions ended up with 16, while Hickson had a quite 2nd half, finishing with 15 points and 8 boards. Kevin Love was on fire all the way through the 4th, concluding with a 22/14 performance on the night, but it was Jonny Flynn who won the POG honors, scoring 17 and dishing out 9 dimes. Wesley Johnson also dropped 19 points and grabbed 11 boards in his NBA preseason debut.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:19 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
The start of the season snuck up upon us, and before we knew it, we were due to head up to Toronto to kick off our campaign. The Raptors happened to be in the exact same position as we have been, trying to rebuild after the loss of their star player, who also happened to head down to Miami. Nevertheless, they still possess one of the most promising big men, in seven-footer Andrea Bargani. While Bargani isn’t your stereotypical NBA big man who rebounds and blocks shots, he has a deadly outside shot for a big man, and can stretch the floor for the other players. PG Jose Calderon is looking to also bounce back from an injury-riddled season, though the Raptors are projected to be one of the worst teams in the East.

It ended being an easy win for us as we come up on top, 115-90. Calderon scored 19 and dished out 9 assists, but he couldn’t handle Sessions all night, as he went off for 24 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, and a rare 3-pointer in his first start for the Cavs. Chris Kaman almost matched that with 23 points and 7 rebounds, while Redd looked healthy to start the season, as he put up 18 points. Anderson Varejao had a very odd, but productive night, scoring 10 points, grabbing 11 boards, and handed out 8 assists, along with 2 steals and blocks each.

Somewhat harder competition the next night proved to be our kryptonite, as we fall to the Hawks in Atlanta, 101-88. Al Horford abused Chris Kaman in the post, scoring a game high 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Josh Smith scored a point less with 23, but also added 6 blocks. Joe Johnson had a quiet 15, but also provided 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Hickson led our team with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but that was our only bright spot of the night.

A day off, and we hold off the Nets at the Q to improve to 2-1 with the score of 90-87. Hickson led our team with 22 points, but it was Chris Kaman’s 18 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists that was the story of the night. Redd regained his form from the 2 nights before by chipping in 17. Devin Harris led the Nets with 18 points and 7 assists.

A rematch with the Raptors turned out to be one of the most exciting games in a while. A Triple OT win by the score of 134-126 helped us advance to a 7 way tie atop the East. Redd was on fire all night, and scored 23 points, including 3-5 from 3 point range, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished out 9 assists. Sessions also scored 23, while Kaman added 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Beasley finally broke 20 during the season, scoring that much, and adding 3 steals. Bargani and Weems each scored 23 for their team, while Julian Wright had a surprise 21 points and 14 boards as well.

A battle for the Central Division between the Bulls served us our 2nd lose of the season, as Luol Deng’s 19 and Carlos Boozer’s 16 points and 14 rebounds are too much for us. Michael Redd repeats for 23 points, this time 4-5 from 3-point range, and Beasley recorded 17 points and 9 rebounds.

Even another day off couldn’t stop the bleeding, as we get crushed visiting the Pacers, 110-78. Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert scored 27 and 23, respectively, while a rejuvenated Mike Dunleavy added 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. Beasley led our team with 19, but that was about it.

We travel back home to face the Lakers, and despite a season high 38 points from Michael Redd, it couldn’t stop Kobe and Andrew Bynum totaling 64 points together on a combined 23-37 shooting on the night to down us, 120-114. Sessions also manage to drop 17 and dish out a season high 10 assists.

Fueled by our loss, Chris Kaman single-handedly lead our team to a 118-97 win over the visiting Spurs, posting 30 points and 11 rebounds on the night. We managed to keep the Spurs big 3 in check defensively all night, as they totaled only 37 points together.

Our high from last night’s win soon cooled off, as we end us getting beat in Dallas, 102-91. Dirk finished with 27, while Butler scored a season high 24 to match the 22 points posted by Kaman, and a surprise 18 points off the bench for Varejao.

Another day’s rest proved to be just what we needed, as we come home to deny the Knicks their first time past .500 in an 89-77 rout. Varejao lead our team off the bench with just 16, but we had a good defensive game all around, limiting them to only 34% shooting, despite Amare’s 21 points, 15 rebounds night.

We avenge our previous loss to the Pacers on 30 points and 11 rebounds from Chris Kaman, to negate 24 points from Danny Granger, and a 17/15 night from Roy Hibbert in our 114-101 win to finish November sitting at 6-5, and the 6th seed as of that time, and only 2 games behind the 8-3 Heat for the top spot in the East. In the West, the Lakers are still a perfect 12-0, with the 9-6 Spurs still a while’s away behind them. The Bucks are really struggling to start the season, and are tied for worst in the East at 5-9. Antawn Jamison has been placed on the IR for inexplicable reasons, with nearly 30 million owed over the next two seasons rotting away on their bench.

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 Post subject: Re: Life without LeBron; How the Cavs Became Winners Again
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:39 pm
Posts: 20
This is a wonderful read, but I'm sad that you've traded Daniel Gibson.

Please continue!

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