September 18, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
69°F

Cavs stand pat at trade deadline

INDEPENDENCE — The Cavaliers decided the best move was no move.

That’s why the NBA trade deadline came and went Thursday without Cleveland general manager Chris Grant making a deal.

“We didn’t want to make a bad deal,” Grant said at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “It’s better to do nothing than something that doesn’t fit.”

The last time the Cavs didn’t make a deal at the deadline was 2009.

Last year, they traded point guard Ramon Sessions and swingman Christian Eyenga to the Los Angeles Lakers for Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and a first-round pick. That pick, which turned out to be No. 24, was packaged with two second-round choices on draft night for No. 17 choice Tyler Zeller.

“You never know how close you come,” Grant said when asked about the seriousness of talks this year. “It takes two to make a deal.”

The Cavs did make a trade on Jan. 22, acquiring Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby from Memphis for Jon Leuer. Cleveland also got a future first-round pick from the Grizzlies, which will most likely be in 2017.

“Our trading season came a little early,” Grant said. “We looked at a bunch of stuff over the last week and didn’t really find anything that fit what we were trying to do.”

There were rumors the Cavs were shopping the 6-foot-10, 255-pound Speights, who is expected to become an unrestricted free agent rather than exercise a player option on his contract that would pay him $4.5 million next season.

Asked if the 25-year-old’s name came up, Grant said, “We’ve been extremely happy with him, how he’s played and really fit into our culture. It’s almost like he’s been here since Day 1.

“I’m not going to go into any deals or things we talked about, but if you’re a good player in this league, there are calls to see if you are available.”

Other rumors had the Lakers expressing interest in seldom-used and oft-injured shooting guard Daniel Gibson, while San Antonio reportedly considered adding small forward Omri Casspi, both of whom are in the last year of their contracts.

Nothing came to fruition.

“It’s a business,” Cavs swingman C.J. Miles said when asked about the trade deadline. “People say stuff just to say it, to make headlines. I’ve seen on Twitter that we should trade Kyrie (Irving) for somebody. If you think Kyrie is going somewhere, you definitely don’t know what you’re talking about.

“Twitter is the devil,” Miles added. “Socially, it’s used the wrong way. It’s a bunch of nonsense. I just laugh. It’s a waste of time. I could be reading a book or shooting more jump shots rather than reading what people are saying that might not be true in the first place.”

One report that might actually happen is the signing of former Ohio State big man Greg Oden, who hasn’t played since 2009 and has undergone three microfracture surgeries.

Grant confirmed the Cavs have spoken to the 25-year-old Oden, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, but was noncommittal when asked whether he thought the 7-foot, 285-pounder would sign with someone in the next week or so or wait until the offseason.

It is believed the Cavs and Miami are the top choices of Oden, who is currently rehabilitating in Columbus.

“We’ve spoken to Greg,” Grant said. “We’ve had him in. We’ve done a lot of our due diligence with him.

“He’s a great kid. He’s got a wonderful heart. We’ll see. We’ll still talk to him and see what his position is and what his goals are.”

GM’s thoughts

The Cavs are currently 17-37, meaning they entered Thursday with the fourth-worst record in the league, though they weren’t far behind Phoenix (18-37), Sacramento (19-36) and New Orleans (19-36).

“Early on was tough with our injuries and struggles,” Grant said of Cleveland’s 9-31 start and injuries to Irving and Anderson Varejao. “Our guys have really competed. We’ve seen a lot of growth.”

Defense is still a work in progress. The Cavs are 24th in points allowed (101.2) and dead last in opponent field goal percentage (.477).

“It’s a concern,” Grant said. “We know we have to be better defensively to compete and get where we want to be.”

Tip-ins

Cleveland plays in Orlando on Saturday and in Miami against LeBron James and the Heat on Sunday.

Assistant coach Paul Pressey was in charge of practice Thursday. Head coach Byron Scott is expected to be on hand today after attending the funeral of Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

 The Cavs are 6-1 in their last seven games against Eastern Conference teams.

 Irving has scored 30 or more points nine times in the last 21 games. In that span, he’s averaging 24.8 points.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.