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Jason Lloyd’s Twitter Cavs mailbag

Should Kyrie start in the All-Star Game? 

I’m not sure he should, but it sure looks as if he will. John Wall has been terrific this season and has outplayed Kyrie Irving much of this season, although Irving’s recent hot streak offensively has helped even the overall numbers.

Irving is averaging 21.8 points and six assists. He went into Saturday’s game shooting 41.6 percent. Wall is averaging 19.6 points and 9.1 assists (third in the NBA) and is shooting 41.7 percent.

Irving’s popularity is boosted by his Uncle Drew character and appearing in the All-Star Game last season. At last count, he had nearly twice as many votes as Wall. Voting continues for about another month.

What will it take for Zeller to earn more playing time? Better defense or a drop-off from Andy/Bynum? 

At this point, it will probably take a trade or injury. As long as Andrew Bynum is healthy, he’s the starter. The same goes with Anderson Varejao as the backup. It will take much more than a few bad games for Mike Brown to lose faith in either.

The Cavs still like Tyler Zeller and feel he’s part of their long-term plan. Bynum and Varejao are only under contract through next season (Bynum on a team option, Varejao on a partial guarantee). Zeller is only in his second season. If he sits and watches most of this season, it won’t be the worst thing for him.

Why isn’t Karasev playing, just because he’s a rookie? Could use his spot-up ability. @kingF0X23

The Cavs are high on Sergey Karasev and like what they’ve seen so far, but he’s only 19 and, yes, he’s a rookie. He has C.J. Miles, Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters and to a lesser extent Matthew Dellavedova in front of him. Brown has always deferred to veterans over rookies and this is no different. Karasev will probably spend a fair amount of time in Canton this season.

Any chance the new Cavs get traded by the deadline: Jack, Bynum, Clark or the rookies? @yournextboss11

None of them is untouchable; it all depends on the return. I don’t think any of them are being actively shopped, but I suppose of those listed, Earl Clark would be the most likely to go.

Clark was signed to play small forward, but he’s now a stretch-4. The Cavs already have a backup power forward in Varejao, so I’d think Varejao or Clark could be moved before the trade deadline. The Cavs kept coming up in the Omer Asik trade rumors. Part of that may have been strategic just to gauge Varejao’s trade value.

With Clark only under contract for this season (team option next year) at a manageable $4 million, he’d be easy to move in the right deal. Jack is signed for much longer and Bynum has intriguing upside.

When do we get the Grizzlies pick? @smasuga

Unfortunately for the Cavs, they can’t get the Memphis Grizzlies’ pick until next season. If it was this year, they could be looking at the No. 10 pick in a deep June draft.

The Cavs took on the salaries of Mo Speights and Wayne Ellington last season for a first-round pick from the Grizzlies. The pick is protected for the Cavs (15-30) in case the Grizzlies remained a playoff contender (they have not) and it’s 1-5 protected for the Grizzlies, too. So, basically, the Grizzlies’ pick will go to the Cavs in 2015 as long as they miss the playoffs and it doesn’t fall within the top five.

Are the Cavs a Luol Deng away from being a top team in the East? @RY_RY92

Depends on your definition of a “top” team. They aren’t passing the Pacers or Heat anytime soon, but anything after that is wide open. The Hawks are better than I thought they’d be and seem headed toward the third seed, but sure, I’d buy the argument the Cavs are a small forward away from being the fourth seed in the East and holding home-court advantage in the first round.

Given the news about Brook Lopez’s season-ending foot injury, yet another crushing blow to the Nets, the Cavs may get there even without a small forward. But it doesn’t appear the Bulls are in any hurry to move Deng despite their own terrible season. The Cavs will probably have to look elsewhere.

How hot is Chris Grant’s seat? Way too many misses the past few years with prime draft picks. @getsomebuckets

I actually think his seat is cooling off with the Cavs’ improved play recently. The only pick that has looked really bad is Anthony Bennett, and even he looks improved lately. He’s just not playing enough for people to really notice.

I’ve written multiple times over the last couple of years the Cavs were trying to gut and rebuild an NBA roster through one of the worst three-year stretches of drafts in NBA history. They arguably plucked the best player from all three drafts in Kyrie Irving (Anthony Davis may ultimately pass him, we’ll see) but beyond that, there wasn’t much from which to pick. It doesn’t matter how prime of a selection you have if there isn’t elite talent to take.

Critics were slamming Irving’s 2011 draft class as terrible, yet the Cavs actually preferred that talent crop as a whole to the 2012 draft that gave them Dion Waiters and Zeller. And we all know how terrible last summer’s draft was.

Harrison Barnes had a nice postseason run last year, but otherwise his numbers have been comparable (and even a little worse) than Waiters.

The only player the Cavs might take instead on a redraft is Andre Drummond, and while they liked him in that draft, there were simply too many questions about his motor and motivation to take him so high. He has turned out to be terrific, but it’s easy to see in hindsight. At the time, there were legitimate fears (by the Cavs and others) he would bust out of the league. Remember, eight other teams passed on Drummond, too.


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