Why does Jimmer like the Bulls better? @BradsStainbrook
It’s a combination of factors, but the most important is I’m not sure how much interest the Cavs really had in Jimmer Fredette. He’s a terrific shooter, but he’s undersized and he’s a terrible defender. He wasn’t going to supplant Matthew Dellavedova in the rotation, and with the injured guys coming back soon, the Cavs were honest with him and told him he’d be sitting the bench a lot.
Are the playoffs a long shot? @TRUE_CAVALIERS
Depends on your definition of long shot. They began Saturday only 3.5 games out of the final spot, so they’re clearly in the race. But the Cavs’ March schedule is so difficult they could play well and still only win four or five games this month. Ultimately I don’t think they’ll make it, but the progress they’re making should still be encouraging.
I’m not asking the greatest of all time, but your Mt. Rushmore of favorite Cavs of all-time? @CLEVELOVE1
Frankly I’m a little tired of the Mount Rushmore discussions, but I’ll play along since it hasn’t really been addressed in terms of the Cavs. I view “favorite” differently from my years as a boy growing up and now as a reporter.
But if I have to pick four, the boy in me instantly thinks of Mark Price. I’ve also come to respect and admire Zydrunas Ilgauskas both for the person he is and all he endured to carve out a brilliant NBA career. I enjoy seeing Austin Carr every day both at home on the road, so that leaves one more …
The reporter in me gets the final spot and it would be between Daniel Gibson, Luke Walton and Antawn Jamison. Gibson truly loved Cleveland and was disappointed his time ended last season on a down year, Walton was absolutely hilarious and told great stories both from growing up and his days with the Lakers. He was also a regular guy who didn’t get caught up in the diva lifestyle. But my final vote will go to Jamison simply for the way he stood up and answered questions every day during that miserable 2010-11 season. Jamison didn’t sign up for a 26-game losing streak when he was traded here, but he was a true professional in the locker room every day. That counts for something.
Is Luol Deng still on Cavs radar to sign at the end of the season? @StealthNinja1
Both sides are saying all the right things publicly thus far, but I don’t expect Deng to be back. I don’t think the Cavs will want to pay him what he’s seeking and I’m not sure how much Deng wants to be here beyond April. I’d expect them to part ways after the season.
Do you really think Andy is still “sore?” @Everything216
I spoke to Anderson Varejao after Friday’s win over the Jazz and he expects to be back playing in games in the next few days. His knee injury never really healed and he believes overcompensating for the knee may have led to the back trouble.
Both the knee and back are keeping him out right now, but he considers the back a bigger concern. He won’t be 100 percent the rest of the season, but he said if he waited for that, he wouldn’t be ready until this summer.
How important do you believe the acquisition of Hawes is to the chemistry of Dion and Kyrie? Should make things easier right? @AgentAce_
In theory, sure. I’m interested to see how much different this offense looks when Dion Waiters returns. He was really getting more aggressive at attacking the rim prior to the knee injury, and now there should be more room to operate inside.
Where do you stand on the idea of missing the playoffs instead of squeaking in as the 8 seed and getting bounced in Rd 1? @TheBeilski
Has this season been the worst possible outcome? Not good enough for the playoffs but didn’t bottom out for a good pick? @MarkSkog
There is some merit to that, Mark, which is what I hinted at in a column prior to the Luol Deng trade. But ultimately this organization has to start winning again, particularly with Kyrie Irving’s extension looming this summer. It might be a hard sell to Irving this summer if the organization started playing for the lottery again.
This team doesn’t have enough pieces yet to grow into a title contender, but it’s hard to build a championship-caliber team strictly through the draft. If they can sneak in as the No. 8 seed, the postseason experience and exposure will be very good for these young guys, even if they’re swept in the first round.
In 2011, the Indiana Pacers were the No. 8 seed and beaten by the Chicago Bulls in the first round in five games. In 2012 they were the No. 3 seed and won their first-round series. Last year they were again the No. 3 seed and took the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals. Now they have the best record in the East. This is a progression and sooner or later, the Cavs have to take the first step.
Do you think Zeller, if he continues to grow at this rate, could become a top 5 center in the league? @Allison_Burnett
I’m a big Tyler Zeller fan, but top five in the league? That’s a stretch. I do believe, however, that Zeller can grow into a solid NBA starter who averages somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 points and eight rebounds a game. Nothing wrong with that.
Will the Cavs re-sign Matt Dellavedova before the season ends? Or do you think they will take their chances on him leaving? @rpjward
Mike Brown loves Delly and he’s already under contract to the Cavs for next season on a non-guaranteed deal. He’ll be back.
Is Deng’s value less now than he was traded for? @therealbmitch4
I’d have to say yes, only because the Cavs were shopping him at the trade deadline for a first-round pick and were unable to land one. They surrendered a first-round pick for him, although it’s so heavily protected it may be reduced to a second-rounder before the Bulls ever get to use it.
If LBJ doesn’t opt out, and Deng signs elsewhere, will the Cavs show any interest in Carmelo? Any chance Cavs re-sign Hawes? @5bigal
Chances Hawes re-signs? @p_hawkhodge14
Is Hawes in the plans beyond just the end of this season? @futon311
The Cavs are open to bringing Spencer Hawes back, but there will be a long line in front of him and he won’t be the top priority. He’s making $6.5 million this season and will earn at least that much next year. It’s undeniable, however, his addition has made a significant impact on this team already. He’s better than I thought he was, although I’m wondering if he’s just playing over his head right now.
Forget about seeing Carmelo Anthony in a Cavs jersey. He has zero interest in coming here.