Ex-Nets Allen, Prince say they would’ve done the Harden deal

Last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince in a three-team deal with the Rockets and Nets that sent James Harden to Brooklyn. In the deal for Harden, Houston received forward Caris LeVert(sent to Indy for Victor Oladipo), forward Rodions Kurucs, three first round draft picks, and the rights to swap four first round draft picks from Brooklyn.

Obviously, for the Nets, it’s all about winning a championship right now. Brooklyn has a former MVP and a two-time NBA champion in Kevin Durant, another champion in Kyrie Irving, and now they have another former MVP in Harden. With the addition of Harden, the Nets are clearly one the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference and possibly win an NBA title. 

Anytime you can get your hands on a player like Harden, you find ways to make it happen, and the Nets did just that. 

According to both Allen and Prince, if they were the Nets’ general manager, they would have made the move, too.

“In all honesty, I would say I would do it. I’m not going to lie,” Allen said. “If you look at what happened with the Lakers, they did the same thing, and then the next year they went and got their ring. If I take myself out of it, I would love to stay in Brooklyn, but I understand that an opportunity like that, you have to go get it. 

Prince added: “To be completely honest, yeah. You got James Harden, who is probably one of the best scorers we’ve seen in our generation. Same with Kev(Durant), Kyrie(Irving), great point guard he is. I probably would have done the same thing.”

It’s hard to argue with the deal from the standpoint of all parties. The Nets got a big piece for a title run, Houston gets an opportunity to retool with draft picks and players, and Cleveland gets a young center in Allen. So it’s clear, Allen and Prince might have an NBA front office job waiting for them when they retire. Maybe not, but it was a deal the Nets could not pass up.

Watch below as Allen and Prince talk Harden trade:

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on Porter Jr.: ‘I genuinely believe we did our best to make it work’

Kevin Porter Jr.’s time with the Cleveland Cavaliers appears to be over after an outburst last Friday night. 

According to The Athletic, Porter grew angry when he entered the locker room and realized the team gave his old locker to Taurean Prince, who was acquired in a trade Wednesday. Sources said Porter, whose locker was moved to the wall where the younger, end-of-bench players reside, began yelling and at one point threw food. General manager Koby Altman came into the locker room and confronted Porter, and the player remained combative with Altman, and now the Cavs are looking to trade or release the second-year player, according to the report. 

The 20-year-old Porter, who was away from the team this season due to personal reasons, joined the team for the first time on Friday and was on the bench for Cleveland’s win over the Knicks.

Unfortunately, Porter has had his share of off the court issues this offseason, including being arrested and charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle back in November. Ultimately, the charge was dismissed.

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who according to The Athletic, was “disgusted and shocked” by the incident, said Porter was not with the team after practice on Monday. 

In the end, Bickerstaff felt the team did everything it could to help Porter have success in Cleveland.  

“I genuinely believe that we did our best to make it work, so I can rest easy with that,” Bickerstaff said. “Again, all we want is the best for him moving forward. No matter what that looks like, we want the best for Kevin. Still, if there is still any opportunity, we’ll do what we can, and that’s the only thing that really matters is that he reaches his potential, and that’s the only thing that really matters to us.”

Porter, who was the 30th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, was acquired by the Cavaliers in a trade with Detroit on June 26, 2019. Porter played in 50 games (three starts) with the Cavaliers last season, averaging 10.0 points (12th among rookies), 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists (7th among rookies), and 0.92 steals (4th among rookies) in 23.2 minutes.

Porter has a lot of potential, but it’s clear he has some issues he needs to work through. Maybe Porter can get in a situation where he can get the support necessary to be better going forward. The Cavs appeared to have tried their best to help Porter, but now, we’ll see if Cleveland can find a taker for him.

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on loss to Griz: ‘This one was on us tonight’

For most of this young NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have played hard and played together, which has helped this team be an early-season surprise in the NBA despite all of the injuries. 

On Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Cavaliers, who returned home after a six-game road trip to battle the Grizzlies, did not follow their recipe for success, which is playing hard and playing together, and because of that, according to head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland(5-6) fell to Memphis(4-6) 101-91.

Memphis’ Dillon Brooks had a game-high 21 points, while Andre Drummond had his eleventh-straight double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland.

“To be honest, I thought we lacked for large periods of the game, the two things that matter to us most,” Bickerstaff said. “Our competitiveness, our selflessness; tonight was the first sign that I saw, more than not, we were lacking in those areas.”

These two teams played last Thursday night in Memphis, where the Cavaliers defeated the Grizzlies 94-90.

Again, Cleveland was without seven players, including their leading-scorer Collin Sexton, who Bickerstaff did not know would be unavailable until right before tip-off. Sexton has missed three games due to a sprained ankle.

With the injuries, players are in spots that they are not used to playing, which makes executing very hard. Cleveland finished the game with 21 turnovers. 

“You look at the entirety of the game,” Bickerstaff said. “You finish the game with 21 turnovers. It’s hard to survive that, especially playing low possession games. Again, asking guys who are out of position to get us in positions and get us organized in a pressure-filled fourth quarter isn’t the easiest thing.” 

Cleveland gave up 64 points in the paint against Memphis, and Bickerstaff believes that comes back to the lack of selflessness on the defensive end. In the end, Bickerstaff believes the loss was on the team.

“That’s(64 points in the paints) apart of the selflessness on the defensive end of the floor,” he said. “There was a lot of me just guarding my man. We protect the paint with not just one guy. Our goal is to protect the paint with multiple bodies so teams don’t get in there. They scored 64 points in our paint. You add the free throws(16 points), and 80 of their points came from our paint and free throw line. Throw in, you turn the ball over 21 times; that’s dang-near impossible to overcome…

“This one was on us tonight.”

With the injuries, many things have to go right for the Cavaliers to win games, and based on the results, it was clear Cleveland did not play the right way against Memphis. Now, they regroup and see if they can turn it around against the Jazz on Wednesday night.

 

Cavs’ Bickerstaff: ‘I feel really good about this team’

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said in the pregame that he wanted his team to make Saturday’s game against Milwaukee as ugly as possible, and they did that, but it was not ugly enough as the Cavaliers(5-5) would end their six-game road trip by losing to the Bucks(6-4) 100-90.

Without Giannis Antetokoumpo(back spasms), the Bucks’ Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with a game-high 27 points. For the Cavs, Andre Drummond had a monster game with 26 points and 24 rebounds, and Damyean Dotson added 21 points.

Cleveland was down seven players again, including their top two scorers, Collin Sexton(ankle) and Darius Garland(shoulder). Even in a loss, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was proud of his team’s performance.

“They gave us what they had tonight,” Bickerstaff said after the game. “Asking guys to play heavy minutes, carry heavy burdens, and they scrapped, and they competed. We just couldn’t manufacture enough points. Again, I thought our defense was solid. We just struggled to manufacture some points and find some easy buckets tonight…

“I can’t say enough about what these guys are doing. They’re many men down, and they haven’t used it as an excuse. They just continue to go out and scrap. They continued to go out and fight, came up short tonight, but I’m proud of their effort and the way they fought.”

Cleveland ended their six-game road trip at 2-4, which is not a bad road trip when you consider all the injuries. As they prepare to head back to Cleveland on Monday to battle the Grizzles, Bickerstaff is happy with his team after ten games. 

“I feel really good about this team, to be honest with you,” he said. “The things that we say matter most to us, our guys have continued to show. They are competitive; they are selfless, they are together… We continue to play this way; we get healthy; we’re going to be a hard out every night.”

Hopefully, this team can get healthy. To Bickerstaff’s credit, this team does play hard every night, and Bickerstaff is right; if they continue to play hard and get healthy, Cleveland will be a hard out every night for any team in the NBA.

Exum out 6-8 weeks with calf strain, Garland could miss one week with shoulder injury

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Danté Exum will be out 6-8 weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced on Wednesday. Exum left Monday night’s road game against the Orlando Magic in the first quarter with the injury and did not return. The 25-year Exum has struggled with injuries in his career, including tearing his ACL back in 2015.

In six games this season, the five-year veteran is averaging 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per contest.

Also, Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, who was held out of Monday night’s game against the Magic with a right shoulder sprain, could miss up to one week with that injury but will be re-evaluated daily through treatment and rehabilitation, the team said.  According to the Cavaliers, the 20-year-old Garland experienced discomfort in the shoulder following the Cavs’ win on Jan. 2 at Atlanta. 

The second-year guard was off to a good start this season. In six games, Garland is averaging 17.2 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per contest.

The Cavaliers, who fell to the Magic 103-83 on Monday night, will finish their two-game series in Orlando against the Magic tonight.

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on injuries: ‘It is what it is, and we just gotta figure it out’

Throughout the 2020 NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers(4-3) have dealt with their share of adversity. Injuries have hit this team hard in this young season, including Kevin Love and Isaac Okoro, who have missed five games with injuries and are still out.

The injuries hit the team on Monday night in Orlando against the Magic(5-2). Darius Garland missed his first game of the season with a shoulder injury, and in the first quarter, Dante Exum went down with an apparent lower leg injury. Cleveland was depleted in this game, and it showed. The Cavaliers were routed by the Magic 103-83. 

The Magic’s Aaron Gordon scored 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 23 points. Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 24 points.

“It’s tough,” Bickerstaff said. “I think our guys played hard. They tried to do what we asked them to do, but with so many guys out of position tonight. It’s hard to organize guys, especially when you’re losing primary ball-handlers. 

Cleveland does not have the bodies right now, but according to Bickerstaff, they have to find a way to figure it out.

“It is what it is, and we just gotta figure it out; we are down bodies,” he said. “We talked about adversity a few games back. I think this is the epitome of it, so we just gotta figure it out, and we gotta get the most out of these opportunities that we have.”

Cleveland is off to a surprising start, but as the injuries continue to mount, Bickerstaff is right; they have to figure it out, which won’t be easy. The figuring out starts on Wednesday against the Magic.

Notes:

-Collin Sexton has tied the Cavaliers record for consecutive 20-point games to start the season with 7 (LeBron James, 2004-05). Sexton, who has also put up 20+ points in 12 straight contests going back to 2019-20, is the only player in the NBA this season with at least 25.0 PPG, .500 FG%, and .500 3FG%.

-After Wednesday’s game against the Magic, they travel to Memphis on Thursday and finish up their six-game road trip against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Cavs’ Garland on loss to Pacers: ‘We just have to start the game with more energy’

For the Cavaliers, the first quarter has been an issue in the last two games. Against the Knicks on Tuesday night, Cleveland trailed by 14 after one and could not recover, and on Thursday afternoon against the Pacers, the Cavaliers trailed by 11 after one. It was an uphill battle the rest of the way, as Indiana(4-1) defeated Cleveland(3-2) 118-99 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Domantas Sabonis led the way for Indiana with a team-high 25 points and 11 rebounds.

This was Cleveland’s first game of a six-game road trip, which continues on Saturday in Atlanta against the Hawks. In their three wins, Cleveland had the lead or was tied after the first quarter. However, in their two losses, they have trailed by double digits after the opening stanza. Cleveland has been outscored by 25 points in the past two games in the first quarter.

“In these last two games, we’ve allowed the first quarters to impact us throughout the game,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game. “Again, you go back and look at it. We had open shots; we had shots that we didn’t take, and we had bunnies at the rim that we didn’t finish. That carried over into other things.” 

Collin Sexton, who had a game-high 28 points against Indiana, felt the team was not playing together in that first quarter.

“First quarter, I felt like the offense got stagnant. We wasn’t going by our principles, and that’s sharing the ball and feeding the post… We wasn’t playing together. That’s first and foremost. We wasn’t playing together. You can tell. Everybody was like, ‘swing, swing.’. Passing up open shots. We need guys to shoot those open shots every time.”

Darius Garland, who poured in 22 points, including 5-7 from three-point range, believes the team has to come out with more energy.

“We just have to start the game with more energy, set the tone,” he said. “We were on our heels a lot at the end of the first half of the game… We just got to start the game better. That’s all.”

After the game, Bickerstaff kept the team in the locker room a little longer than usual, and he explained why.

“Things are easy when things are good. Things become a little more difficult when things are hard, and our response to that is important,” he said. “We just wanted to have a discussion about that, about the grit we need to play with all the time, about the confidence we need to play with all the time, and believing in what we are doing and believing in ourselves through the good times and bad times.”

Cleveland has a young basketball team, and unfortunately, what comes with that is inconsistency. The Cavaliers have to get back to what made them successful, sharing the ball, creating turnovers, and making open shots. We’ll see if that back to that against the Hawks on Saturday. 

Notes:

Andre Drummond recorded his fifth straight double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

 

 

 

 

Cavaliers’ Lovc on Irving: ‘I think that calling anybody a pawn is a sure sign of disrespect'(VIDEO)

Last week, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving announced that he would not be talking to the media this year.

Irving released a statement explaining why he’s not talking to the media on December 4, which said the following:

“COVID-19 has impacted us all in many ways, so I pray for the safety and health of our communities domestically and abroad. I am truly excited for the season to start and I am also praying that everyone remains safe and healthy throughout this journey.

Instead of speaking to the media today, I am issuing this statement to ensure that my message is conveyed properly.

I am committed to show up to work everyday, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization. My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself.

Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently. So, this is the beginning of that change.”

On Thursday, Irving and the Nets were fined $25,000 apiece by the NBA for his refusal to speak. According to the NBA, Irving violated league rules governing media interview access.

Irving responded to the fine via Instagram on Friday:

“I pray we utilize the ‘fine money’ for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently,” he said “[I am] here for Peace, Love, and Greatness. So stop distracting me and my team, and appreciate the Art. We move different over here.

“I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more.”

Irving’s former teammate with the Cavaliers, Kevin Love, gave his thoughts on the situation and said the following:

“I think that calling anybody a pawn is a sure sign of disrespect, and I understand where Kyrie is coming from in trying to better a number of people’s lives, but I’m just not a divisive person,” 

Listen to Love’s complete thoughts below:

Cavaliers acquire McGee from Lakers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired center JaVale McGee and a 2026 second round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for forwards Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell, the teams announced on Monday.

During the 2019-20 season, the 32-year-old McGee appeared in 68 games, averaging 6.6 points on .637 shooting, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 16.6 minutes. McGee has appeared in 58 career playoff games, averaging 5.6 points on .612 shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 12.9 minutes. Last season also marked McGee’s third NBA Championship after winning two titles with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

The 12-year veteran has played for Washington, Denver, Philadelphia, Dallas, Golden State and the Lakers.

In a separate transaction with the Milwaukee Bucks on November 18th, the Cavaliers acquired the Bucks’ 2025 second round draft pick in exchange for the draft rights to Ilkan Karaman (originally drafted in 2012 by the Brooklyn Nets). The protections on the first round pick for the first allowable draft (2022) previously conveyed to the Cavaliers from Milwaukee in a trade on Dec. 7, 2018 have been removed, making it an unprotected first round pick.

Cavs’ Altman: ‘We are excited about the depth of this year’s draft class’

The Cleveland Cavaliers tonight received the number five overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft which was conducted virtually and aired live on ESPN. The 2020 NBA Draft will be held on Friday, October 16. 

Cleveland finished the 2019-20 season in the second-place position entering the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery, with the following odds: 14.0% chance of No. 1, 13.4% of No. 2, 12.7% of No. 3, 12.0% of No. 4, 27.8% of No. 5 and 20.0% of No. 6.

This draft is an opportunity for Cleveland to add more talent to a roster that won only 19 games last season, and according to Cavaliers GM Kody Altman, Cleveland should be able to get a very good player at five. 

“We are excited about the depth of this year’s draft class,” said Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman. “We are confident that this draft position will allow us to acquire talent that will complement our core mix of young players and established veterans. We look forward to welcoming someone who embodies everything we are building here in Cleveland from a culture, work ethic and commitment to development standpoint, both on and off the floor. We will also continue to explore opportunities that could be impactful for our team both now and in the future as we build toward sustainable success.”

Cleveland held the fifth pick in last year’s draft and selected Darius Garland, who was the only NBA rookie in 2019-20 with at least 700 points, 225 assists and 100 three-pointers. 

The Cavaliers were represented in the lottery by Cavaliers Legend and five-time NBA All-Star Brad Daugherty, who was selected by the Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft and played his entire eight-year career with Cleveland.

With teams not having the ability to meet with these prospects in person due to COVID-19, this will be one of the most interesting drafts in a long time, so it should be interesting to see how Cleveland and other teams handle the draft.

The full results of tonight’s Draft Lottery are as follows:

  • Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Golden State Warriors

  • Charlotte Hornets

  • Chicago Bulls

  • Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Atlanta Hawks

  • Detroit Pistons

  • New York Knicks

  • Washington Wizards

  • Phoenix Suns

  • San Antonio Spurs

  • Sacramento Kings

  • New Orleans Pelicans

  • Boston Celtics