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Source: Moon Will Be a Cavalier

By George Thomas Published: July 24, 2009

A source close to the situation said that the Miami Heat will decline to match the offer the Cleveland Cavaliers made to forward Jamario Moon.
The team signed Moon to an offer sheet earlier this week and Miami has declined to match it.
Moon, who averaged 7.2 pointsand 4.6 rebounds per game in 2008-09, will give the Cavs some depth on the bench.  But the forward adds defensive presence on the perimeter as well.

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Cavaliers: It's Just Summer League But...

By George Thomas Published: July 15, 2009

The Cavs currently own a 0-3 record in the NBA Summer League.  Considering that's the equivalent of watching the Washington Generals play, that's worthy of  a collective "yawn."
What it is good for, however, is getting a look at players who are currently on or could be on the Cavs opening day roster.
So far Tarence Kinsey (14 ppg), Jawad Williams (12.2 ppg)  are making an impact and after a rough first outing Christian Eyenga (9.3 ppg)  is showing something along with fellow rookie Danny Green (10.3 ppg).   From all reports, Eyenga is still very raw, but no one is really expecting him to add anything this year and probably not even next.
Green scored in double digits in his first two games, but had an 0-5 shooting effort Tuesday.
 
Green had a couple of decent offings to start

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Andy's Signed According to ESPN

By George Thomas Published: July 8, 2009

Update: By now you've probably heard Varejao's contract is worth up to $50 with incentives and the sixth year isn't fully guaranteed.  Based on that, the contract makes much more sense.
ESPN reports that the Cavs have come to terms with Anderson Varejao on a six-year $50 million deal.
That's over $8 million per year, giving Varejao a significant raise over the $6.2 million he opted out of for the coming season.
Given how contract negotiations went the last time the two parties bumped heads, this is akin to Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers making nice.   The last negotiations were contentious to say the least.
Varejao had his best year as a pro, starting in 42 games in place of an injured Ben Wallace and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

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Report: Cavs Close to Signing Parker

By George Thomas Published: July 8, 2009

From former colleague Brian Windhorst - the Cavs are on the verge of signing free agent wingman Anthony Parker from the Toronto Raptors.
The move adds depth on the bench.  Although Parker started for the Toronto Raptors at shooting guard, he probably won't start in place of Delonte West.
Parker averaged 10.7 points, four rebounds and 3.4 assists while playing 33 minutes per game for Toronto last season.   His defense is solid and he can shoot from the perimeter.

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OMG: LeBron James Got Dunked On - Tapegate Ensues

By George Thomas Published: July 8, 2009

The world came to an end today when LeBron James got dunked on by Xavier's Jordan Crawford during a meaningless pick-up game at the LeBron James Skills Academy.
You might notice that no tapes of the incident have surfaced because allegedly tapes from two cameramen were confiscated so that the incident wouldn't go viral on YouTube.
How about a little perspective?  LeBron James gets dunked on plenty of times during the course of a season.  So what if it was a college kid.
But if James did have the tapes confiscated for that reason, he shouldn't have even cared that much.   Crawford would have gotten his 15 minutes.  James would have been kidded about it, done deal.
What's lacking? Perspective. 
Because when it comes right down to it, the dunk didn't win a game or an NBA champioship game. 
Amazing what becomes ridiculously interesting during the summer when little, if anything, is going on in the sports world.

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Coach Kuester Heading North to Detroit

By George Thomas Published: July 7, 2009

The Detroit Pistons are in the process of picking off one of the Cavaliers top assistants according to reports.
Several websites are reporting that John Kuester, Coach Mike Brown's chief lieutenant, is heading to Motown as head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
Kuester was widely given credit for the improvement in the Cavs' offense this past year.  He will be returning to the Motor City for a second stint after serving as an assistant under Larry Brown from 2004-06.
Kuester's name had also been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers opening earlier this spring.  He's been an NBA assisant since 1990.  He initially joined the Cavs staff in August of 2007.

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Updated: ESPN: LeBron's Staying?

By George Thomas Published: July 7, 2009

Welcome to As the World TurnsChris Broussard now reports that James is denying Ariza's comments.   Back to holding your breath Northeast Ohio. 
It would be odd for James to deliver such a promise when he's allowed himself wiggle room in past statements.
Had he done that, he loses any leverage he has with the team going into free agency. 
Original post:
According to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, LeBron James told Trevor Ariza in a meeting that he plans to be in Cleveland after 2010.
If true, the most significant news coming out of this year's free agency period has to deal with next year's most coveted player.
It could have all be a recruiting ploy to Ariza to sign here, but many have long speculated that James had little interest in the bright lights of New York or other places as long as the Cavaliers organization was doing what was necessary to build a championship caliber team around him.
Of course things can change and the one thing that's always been obvious in James' answers when he answers questions about his future is the fact that he leaves himself some wiggle room.
Only time will tell on this one.
You tell me, does it make sense?

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Free Agency Update: Frye in View?

By George Thomas Published: July 6, 2009

The Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs are hot on the trail of Channing Frye and will be meeting with him.
In light of recent developments, he's a viable option.  He showed plenty of promise coming out of Arizona way back when (2005-06) and made the NBA's All-Rookie team (averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game)  before being dealt by the New York Knicks to Portland to wallow on the bench behind LaMarcus Aldridge.
He's still young (26-years-old) and if the Cavs' coaching staff can tap into that potential he's a viable option in the interim.
Still looking on the power foward a league insider suggests that the despite the fact that he opted out of his contract, the Cavs will pursue Anderson Varejao.  The free agent forward and Quicken Loans Arena favorite hasn't drawn a ton of interest in his pursuit of a more lucrative contract.
Varejao is someone who remains integral to the team's success, the source said, although the native of Brazil took a risk passing on $6.2 million payday for the season.
One entirely plausible scenario has the team interested in Anthony Parker  formerly of the Toronto Raptors, who averaged 10.7 points and four rebounds this past season.
One league source said that the team might even have interest in Josh Childress, the former Atlanta Hawk who bolted the NBA for millions in Greece to play for Olympiakos who can play guard or small forward.  Given the nature of that situation, that would seem unlikely.  Childress is a restricted free agent and he has a lucrative contract with his Greek team that pays him $20 million over three years.
The Cavs would more than likely have to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Atlanta Hawks, the team that still own his rights, to get him there. He has until July 15 to opt out of his contract in Greece.
GM Danny Ferry's pulled off significant trades before. Perhaps he can once again.  What's looking pretty clear, however, from this free agency period is that he's looking for the right fit for the right money that won't blow 2010.
Any of these moves appealing to Cavs nation? Discuss.

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Free agency: Another One Bites the Dust

By George Thomas Published: July 6, 2009

Yet another free agent, who might have been of some help to the Cavaliers, comes off the board. 
The Boston Celtics apparently got Rasheed Wallace to agree to terms - at least orally - last night.
For the Cavs it represents a case of being able to add some depth to the bench, despite the fact that Wallace apparently believes he should still be a starter.
How serious were the Cavs?  Apparently not very, according to a source with knowledge of Wallace's negotiations.
That brings us to Ron Artest, who despite a reported face-to-face meeting with LeBron James ended up going to the Los Angeles Lakers, a fact that didn't surprise one league source who said that Artest, who own a house in L.A. was always interested in playing there should the chance arise.
Artest said on FOX Sports Radio Sunday that things never really got that serious between he and the Cavs:

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Updated: Free Agency: Another Gone - Apparently

By George Thomas Published: July 2, 2009

Ken Berger at CBSSports.com reports that Ron Artest will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Apparently, the Lakers will let Trevor Ariza go and will sign Ron Artest - another free agent that the Cavaliers had been making a heavy push, according to reports.
Reportedly Artest even had a face-to-face meeting with LeBron James this past Tuesday, but it looks as if Artest prefers the bright lights of Los Angeles to the cold winters of Cleveland.
If this indeed proves to be the cases, the Cavs' free agent prospects are becoming limited quickly.  Reports out of Boston have the Boston Three Party - Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce - along with coach Doc Rivers and team president Danny Ainge reaching out to Rasheed Wallace in Detroit.  Wallace's agent was traveling and could not be reached for comment.
Artest would have been a good fit for the Cavs.  His 17.1 points and 5.2 rebounds would have been valued, but his lockdown defense would have been more of an asset. 
If this pans out the Los Angeles Lakers have to be considered the favorite to repeat as NBA champions next season.
UPDATE:  Is it me or is the Western Conference incestuous?  Artest goes to live happily ever after with Kobe.  Trevor Ariza, feeling disrespected, goes to the Houston Rockets, Artest's apparent former team and the Cavaliers are left shadow dancing for now.
SI.com reports only that Wallace is receptive to the Celtics offer.  He's going to leverage his hand to the fullest.  He knows that Boston would love to have him as a backup and that the Cavaliers along with the San Antonio Spurs would love to have his services as well. San Antonio finds itself in the same situation as Boston in Cleveland - working with the mid-level exception which is worth $5.6-5.8 million this year.
Logically speaking this is going to come down to the number of years that a team is willing to offer for 'Sheed's services.

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Cavs: Season Ticket Holders Get Special Welcome

By George Thomas Published: July 2, 2009

It didn't take long for the Cavs to flaunt Shaquille O'Neal's arrival.
Season ticket holders reported getting a video email from the Cavs' new center thanking them for their support.  They also reported getting robocall greetings as well.
Impressive indeed.

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Shaq's Arrived: Prepare for the Ride

By George Thomas Published: July 2, 2009

One thing that became evidently after Shaquille O'Neal sat down to give Cleveland a formal hello was that the upcoming NBA season won't be a dull one.
The Big Diesel arrived with sense of humor in tow and didn't disappoint in that area, but he also made it completely clear that while there will be fun to be had in the upcoming season, this is just as much about business as well.
Sporting a black suit, with pink shirt and matching tie O'Neal knows that GM Danny Ferry traded for him to help get this team over the hump this season.
''Expectations are very high and we want them to be high,'' O'Neal said.
When asked about future matchups, O'Neal said that's not a big issue for him.
''I'm not going to waste this year talking about possible matchups,'' he said before going on the record and saying facing the Lakers could be intriguing.
But talk of the here and now, didn't stop him from dropping hints about the future.  In his eyes, he's got three years left in him and said so, in the process sounding open to the idea of extending with the Cavs.
Given that even on the downside of his career that he averaged 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, there's little reason to dispute that.

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The Spectacle Begins - Shaq's Introduction

By George Thomas Published: July 2, 2009

For those of you lounging around at home, Shaquille O'Neal's introductory press conference will held at 1 p.m. at Cleveland Clinic Courts.  FS Ohio will carry it live.
If you're stuck in the office and want to listen on WTAM (AM 1100) or streamed at their website.

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Free Agency Update: LeBron Reaches Out to Artest

By George Thomas Published: July 2, 2009

Several outlets are reporting that the Cavaliers are making a strong play for Houston Rockets swingman Ron Artest.
In the process, LeBron James reportedly met with Artest Tuesday while in Los Angeles, according ot the Plain Dealer.
Artest made $7 million last year and wants to be with a team that could win  a championship, giving the Cavaliers an advantage considering the Houston Rockets, the team he played for last season, may have little shot of that because of a career-threatening injury to center Yao Ming.
But the other advantage may come in the fact that Mike Brown was on the coaching staff while he played for the Indiana Pacers. Brown said more than once during the regular season how much he admired the way Artest played the game.
That could be invaluable in courting a player who was involved in the infamous Detroit brawl, but who has maintained a low, controversy free profile for the past two seasons.
As for how to get him here? The likelihood that the Cavaliers will play for the mid-level exception of approximately $5.8 million, but the Rockets do covet Anderson Varejao raising the possibility of a sign-and-trade deal.
The Cavaliers may also be on the list of Los Angeles Lakers swingman Trevor Ariza, according to ESPN.com.

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Free Agency Watch: Gordon, Villanueva Going...Gone

By George Thomas Published: July 1, 2009

The Detroit Pistons aren't wasting anytime in rebuilding their team, reportedly reaching a deal with former Chicago Bull Ben Gordon, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Teams cannot officially announce deals until July 8.  In the first day of free agency, Gordon and unrestricted free agent Charlie Villanueva both made visits to the Pistons and nailed both their guys, according to Ken Berger of CBSSportsline.com.
Gordon apparently got a five-year deal worth $55 million with Villanueva's contract still be worked on. 
What's this mean for the Cavs, if Villanueva has agreed to terms with the Pistons, it seems less likely that the Pistons would keep both Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess their two power forwards.

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