Found February 21, 2013 on Fox Sports Ohio:
CLEVELAND -- Shortly after riding Kyrie Irving to a 105-100 win over visiting New Orleans on Wednesday, Cavaliers teammates Marreese Speights, C.J. Miles and Wayne Ellington headed for a downtown restaurant. Theres plenty of food in the locker room, but they wanted to relax and visit, and maybe grab a little something to eat. Its this type of camaraderie Cavs general manager Chris Grant will take into consideration as the NBAs trading deadline arrives Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. The Cavs (17-37) have won 10 of 22 since the New Year, and suddenly look like a young and developing team thats starting to get it. The play of older reserves such as Speights, Miles, Ellington and Shaun Livingston are major factors in that. All are in their first year as Cavs. Several are in their first weeks. And as good as Irving has been (35 points on Wednesday, including 20 in the fourth quarter) its the cohesion of the bench bunch thats beginning to turn this into a basketball symphony. Now, clearly, Grant is all about the big picture. When you start two rookies and two second-year players, as the Cavs do, thats the sensible approach. The GM wants to see progress from the young guys, and fill in around them while maintaining financial flexibility. So far, Grant has done an admirable job. Without a doubt, Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson are coming along nicely. After his strong showing at All-Star weekend in Houston, some are even calling Irving a top-two NBA point guard. With his play of late, hes certainly in the conversation. What the Cavs must concern themselves with now, however, are their many assets and several expiring contracts. Speights is the biggest of those conundrums. Hes been a 6-foot-10 godsend since arriving in last months trade with Memphis averaging about 13 points and 6.5 rebounds in his 11 games with the Cavs. But he has the ability to opt out of his contract at seasons end and become an unrestricted free agent. That distinct possibility would clearly mess with the Cavs wiggle room. Either that, or they could let him sign elsewhere and receive nothing beyond salary-cap relief in return. Speights is the type of reserve whos hard to find. Hes big, physical, plays with an edge, and at 25 years old, offers experience and attitude. He also appears to really like it here, especially after spending the early years of his career backing up All-Star-caliber forwards in Elton Brand (Philadelphia) and Zach Randolph (Memphis). Grant has done his due diligence leading into the deadline, making calls and likely dangling Speights as a valuable asset. As is typically the case, it appears Grant is on the lookout for more draft picks. There have been no takers, or at least nothing offered thats been close to the type of robbery Grant has pulled lately. That may change, as these things tend to take place at the last minute. The expiring contracts of Daniel Gibson, Omri Casspi and Luke Walton are also major chips, and one or all three could be elsewhere come Friday. While Speights, Miles and Ellington departed for food, Casspi left the locker room alone in silence, failing to emerge from his chair for the fifth consecutive game. He wore the look of a man who would welcome change. But with the deadline quickly approaching, everything involving the Cavs is nothing more than pure speculation. If theres one thing Grant wont do, its make a trade for the sake of it. Trades, after all, dont always make things better. Just different. Im not expecting anything, coach Byron Scott said of the Cavs trade plans. Scott is flying to Los Angeles for the funeral of former Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss on Thursday. Hell arrive in LA about 2 p.m. ET, or an hour before the deadline, then check in with Grant. Like many within the organization, Scott likes more of what hes seeing these days. Hed be just fine with it if the Cavs stayed the course and kept their pieces in place. Same goes for the teammates who are becoming so close, and in the words of Waiters after Wednesday's win, learning to trust one another on the floor. Then again, sometimes business surpasses all of that, and by Thursday afternoon, Grant will have to decide if so, by how much, and what he can do about it. Twitter: @SamAmicoFSO
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

To: NBA, From: Kyrie Irving, Subject: Just getting started

Kyrie Irving did exactly what any other 20-year old All-Star would do after scoring 20 points in just seven minutes of fourth quarter play, leading his team to victory in front of a national television audience as well as 16,103 screaming fans — he checked the messages which awaited him on his smartphone. Sitting slouched in his locker, donning a crisp white shirt a pair of khakis...

Kyrie Irving Doesn't Get Tired

If Kyrie Irving were a normal person he would've still been exhausted on Wednesday after competing for three-straight days at All-Star Weekend. Fortunately for Cavaliers fans, however, dude is anything but normal.  Below is a picture from our friends at RareInk.com that speaks to Irving's out-of-this-world-ness better than I can this morning. Thought it was appropriate...

Cavs near decision time on Speights

INDEPENDENCE -- Its the week of the NBA trading deadline, and if youre a soon-to-be free agent, you can expect your name to hit the rumor mill. The Cavaliers have several players who fit that description, and none are bigger than power forward Marreese Speights. Technically, Speights wont become a free agent unless he decides to exercise the option on his contract at seasons end...

Miles: Twitter is “the devil,” waste of time

Twitter is the devil. Social media is used the wrong way a lot more than it’s uesd the right way. That’s the way I feel. I feel it’s a bunch of nonsense most of the time. I just laugh at a lot of stuff as I see it — I’m not really on Twitter as much as I used to be. I even deleted it once and came back. I saw it as, ‘I’m wasting time” basically. You could be doing...

Hornets can't hold off Irving, Cavaliers

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Bright lights bring out the best in Kyrie Irving. Coming off an impressive showing during All-Star weekend in Houston, Irving carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-100 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. Irving scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, including 11 in a row and 18 of 20, to help the Cavaliers break away from an 83-all...

Irving scores 35 as Cavs defeat Hornets

CLEVELAND (AP) --Bright lights bring out the best in Kyrie Irving. Coming off an impressive showing during All-Star weekend in Houston, Irving carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-100 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. Irving scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, including 11 in a row and 18 of 20, to help the Cavaliers break away from an 83-all...

Kyrie: All-Star weekend was about “putting Cleveland on the map”

“I went out there just being myself. On Friday, I got a chance to do well in the Rising Stars with my teammates. On Saturday, I was blessed to be in the three-point competition. [...] I got going a little bit. A couple of the guys behind me were cheering for me. I knew that I had to bring at least one award back to Cleveland. That was always what it was about: putting Cleveland...

Box Score: Hornets 100, Cavaliers 105

The Cleveland Cavaliers made their ESPN debut with Kyrie Irving tonight, and Kyrie did not fail to deliver a performance worthy of the event. The New Orleans Hornets (who I will refer to as Pelicans from here on out because I can’t wait for it to be official) aren’t a good basketball team, but for most of the evening, the game was a back and forth affair. It started out sloppy...

After little action, Cavs stay same

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio The Cavaliers made a major trade, just not on deadline day. Instead, they did it when nobody was looking, long before Thursdays trading deadline came and went. That would be the deal that delivered Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a first-round draft pick back in January. The price was Jon Leuer, and rumor is, hes still in the NBA. But with...

NBA trade deadline passes; no new moves from Cavaliers

The NBA’s trade 3 pm deadline came and went for the Cleveland Cavaliers, apparently without any trades being made. Daniel Gibson, Marreese Speights, Omri Casspi and Luke Walton are all still Cavaliers. The Cavs did make a trade last month with the Memphis Grizzlies of course, which brought them Marreese Speights, guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby, and a future first-round draft...

Chris Grant and the Cavaliers sit this trade deadline out

“Despite no trade today, Cavs will end season w/better roster and MOAR PICKS than when year started. Not too shabby.” -@WFNYBen A month ago the Cavaliers traded Jon Leuer to the Memphis Grizzlies for Marreese Speights, guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby, and a future first-round draft pick. That was this year’s big move. The Cavs provided Memphis a place to shed a little...

Cleveland Sports Life Boat – Cavaliers Point Guards

Sometimes I make bad graphics using PowerPoint. @dgriff13 and @cre8ive_juice eat your hearts out. I am a huge fan of the Ron and Fez show on Sirius XM Satellite radio. They do a bit on the radio called life boat, and I’m borrowing it for Cleveland sports. Here’s how it works. There are four people and only three seats remaining on the life boat. You must work your way through...

Cavs take progressing show on road

Someday, the Cavaliers will make these road swings and well feel good about them. Someday, it will be about more than taking positive steps. But right now, the Cavs three-game jaunt to Orlando, Miami and Chicago (respectively) is about more learning. And, hey, nothing wrong with that. If theres one thing All-Star weekend reaffirmed, its that Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and...

WFNY Podcast – 2013-02-19 – Ryan Jones talking all stars, pop stars and former NFL stars

One of the younger, newer WFNY’ers, Ryan Jones, came on the podcast to give the young man’s perspective on the NBA All Star game and a bunch of other stuff. Overall there were a few rough audio moments where Ryan sounded like Max Headroom, but I think we survived. Kyrie Irving and the all star break Live music vs. the album Ryan quotes a Kesha song (No, really.) The VMAs and...
NBA 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!

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.