Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/18/14
04


While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.


The Cavs, a playoff team? As Lee Corso once said “not so fast my friend.”


Discussions about Cleveland pushing for the no. 7 or no. 8 seed are premature. Kyrie Irving will emerge by the end of this season as one of the league’s 15 best players, Anderson Varejao will help improve a bottom-five defense (if they don’t trade him), and the young guys will develop. But this team is still really green, and its most important veteran import (C.J. Miles) hasn’t even cracked 40 percent from the floor combined over the last two seasons.


There is promise, including a bonanza of future first-round picks courtesy of Miami, the Lakers, and Sacramento. The larger internal debate is how Cleveland uses Varejao, those picks, and $10 million in leftover cap space on the trade market this season. The Dwight Howard deal took away one target the Cavs discussed — Andrew Bynum — so perhaps they’ll sit tight. [Zach Lowe/Grantland]


—-


The development of Alonzo Gee is how the NBA D-League is meant to be used:


An NBA team’s affiliate shouldn’t be to set up to produce the next Jeremy Lin, but the next Alonzo Gee. Sure, Gee-sanity won’t ever invigorate a franchise’s fanbase, but he was a D-League regular that has proven to be a rotation-quality wing in the NBA. In Cleveland, Gee will compete for starter’s minutes but if slotted into a reserve role on a contending team, he’s the perfect example of what a full minor league system can accomplish.


The problem facing the NBA isn’t the inability to develop stars — we almost always see them coming — but that the league outsources the development of many young, end-of-the-rotation-type players like Gee to teams overseas. Due to roster restrictions, NBA teams are simply unwilling or unable to invest 2-3 years in a player with the upside of a 20-minute-a-night reserve. Instead they try to fill those roles primarily with veteran riff-raff and cross their fingers these vets hold off Father Time or their play somehow drastically exceeds their well-established but underwhelming career norms. [Brent Koremenos/True Hoop]


—-


For you College Hoop heads (like me), CBS Sports and their strong stable of beat writers are out with their pre-season predictions. All of you Buckeye honks won’t be happy to see whom all five pick as their Big Ten Champion.


[Goodman, Parrish, Gottlieb, Norlander, Borzello/CBS Sports]


The same guys have come out with their collective top 100 players in College Basketball. The Buckeyes carry two of the top 12:


10. Deshaun Thomas – 6-7, 215 lbs, SF, Jr, Ohio State - With Jared Sullinger and William Buford gone, the focal point of the Buckeyes’ offense will be Thomas. The lefty is an impossible matchup, given his ability to overpower defenders and finish at the rim.


12. Aaron Craft – 6-2, 195 lbs, PG, Jr, Ohio State - The consummate point guard, the Buckeyes junior is arguably the best perimeter defender in the country. He provides leadership, makes his teammates better — and will need to become more assertive on the offensive end. [Goodman, Parrish, Gottlieb, Borzello, Norlander/CBS Sports]


—-


Hey look, speculation already about the first NFL Coach being fired. I bet you can’t guess who’s at the top of that list?


Last year, we had three teams with no wins at this point: Indianapolis, Miami, and St. Louis. Sparano didn’t survive the season, and Jim Caldwell and Steve Spagnuolo were let go after it ended. Shurmur looks like the most obvious guy in trouble in 2012.


Tony Grossi says this can’t go on or Shurmur will not make it through the season. The “this” in this case is not only the 4-17 record since he became head coach, but also the surly behavior with the media and in public.


Shurmur should go the Todd Haley route from last year and go with the homeless look. He has to know he is done. New owner Jimmy Haslem takes over officially in a week, so the guys above him are probably in trouble too. Unless he pulls a “Major League” and starts stripping Haslem’s clothes off in the locker room as the Browns surge to a division title, he’s not coming back. [Jason Lisk/The Big Lead]


—-


People are still asking the question, Why exactly did Terry Francona take the Indians job?


Despite reports and story lines, Francona didn’t take the job because he’s had ties to the organization since his father played six seasons for the team from 1959-1964. And it’s not simply because he has done a good job of keeping in touch with team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti since he worked in the front office in 2001. Nor is it because Francona learned trade secrets from John Farrell, his pitching coach for four seasons with the Red Sox and who had previously been an Indians personnel director.


These relationships might help. But they aren’t as significant as the “something different” that Francona has detected about the Indians. That is, the team maintains one of the most complete player development programs in baseball. It’s a department that is valued by executives and employees throughout the franchise as a critical part of the whole. And it operates with an eye towards training and developing players who understand how what they do contributes to the organization. If track records are any indication, this is very much the kind of place where Terry Francona belongs. [Lee Igel/Forbes]


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Ray McDonald arrested for violating restraining order

Braves, Dodgers complete six-player swap

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Report: Tom Brady suspension appeal date not set yet

Are the St. Louis Rams setting up Nick Foles for failure?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron: Didn't see Cavs reaching Finals at start of season

Pete Carroll: Communication with Russell Wilson is ‘great’

Mike Zimmer: Adrian Peterson can play for Vikings or not at all

RG3 misses 'having fun playing football' after two tough seasons

Houston mayor's office weighs in on Kaepernick Instagram post

Dallas Cowboys using drones to tape practice sessions

Dudley: 'Melo is most overrated player in NBA

Garrick Sherman bashes NCAA in epic drunken Twitter rant

Adrian Peterson denies reports that he wants to be traded

Report: Bulls players told Tom Thibodeau will not be back

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders "gets it"

Bucs DE George Johnson is a dog show enthusiast

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Propaganda season begins with SEC spring meetings

Indians support Aviles, ailing daughter by shaving heads

McIlroy will donate his winnings if he wins Irish Open

Carlos Gomez on tiff with Bumgarner: 'He's not my dad'

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.