Archive for the ‘Rumor!’ Category

Three Trades to Consider

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

So with the trade deadline fast approaching (3 PM Eastern), we threw down the gauntlet and asked for some (realistic) trades we’d like to see the Cavs make.  Here’s what our writers came up with.

Kevin: Let’s try this:

The Cavs should send Daniel Gibson to a contender, and Chicago looks like an ideal team to trade him to.  The Bulls rank 29th in the NBA in made three-pointers per game, they are in the luxury tax, and also employ a big point guard to pair him with in Kirk Hinrich.  When Derrick Rose returns, Boobie helps spread the defense during a Rose drive.

Cavs trade: Daniel Gibson
Bulls trade: Richard Hamilton, Vlad Radmanovic, Marquis Teague

For the Cavs, the trade is mainly about Marquis Teague, a late first-round pick in 2012.  At 19 years old, he could play in the D-League for a season with Livingston backing up Kyrie, then emerge as a youthful, athletic & skilled sub in 2014 – 2015.  If he reaches his full potential, he serves as another trade asset down the road.  Radmanovic, and possibly Hamilton would be immediately waived.  For the Bulls, they give up only one rotation player – and that is a 35 year old shooting guard with an 11 PER.  In return, they receive a 26 year old with career 41% three point shooting, that may finally be able to resume his natural role of floor-spacer.  The Bulls save $4 million, as the move pushes them lower towards the luxury tax line.

Tom: OK, here’s my blockbuster trade idea.

Admittedly, I don’t have a ton of interest in the CBA and all the rules and how often deals are made purely for salary cap relief/luxury tax savings.  The Memphis deal seems more mind boggling every day.  So here is a trade mostly about fit.

Cleveland gives up Tyler Zeller and guys that probably won’t be in a Cavs uniform in 2 years anyway: Boobie, Casspi, and Walton.  Cleveland gets their SF of the future Ersan Illyasova who becomes a top 5 SF in the East.  They also agree to absorb Caron Butler’s 2-year deal and trade him away the following season to a contender.  It’s a Zeller for Illyasova swap as far as I’m concerned.

Indiana needs playmakers.  As much as stat geeks and Jason Whitlock love Paul George, I’m not convinced he can set the other guys up.  Remember, in playoff games, half-court execution is necessary and having ball-handlers that create easy baskets is huge.  Unless you employ the triangle offense.  Indy goes all-in this season acquiring Brandon Jennings and sharp-shooter Boobie Gibson.  They are currently 26th in assists and steals, so adding Jennings helps here.  They got smaller, but they’re front line is beastly on the boards.  They give up?  Ewing-theory candidate Danny Granger to….

LAC!  Danny Granger is great at sitting in the corner and hitting wide open 3s.  Occasionally he’ll put the ball on the floor and score.  But really, he’s a rich-man’s Caron Bulter (perfect!)  With CP3 running the show, Granger certainly won’t be counted on to be the “closer” or the “go-to” guy that he could never succeed at in Indy.  Granger is a big upgrade and on the Clips he’d be content getting a sneaky 16 points every night.  That is a devastating roster and the Clips give up Eric Bledsoe and (now expendable) Caron Butler.

This isn’t Milwaukee’s year and they have about 9 forwards.  So they punt on the potentially well-overpaid Illysova and the mercurial Jennings for the supremely athletic (and huge upgrade on D) Eric Bledsoe.  They also get rookie Tyler Zeller who is on a very favorable rookie contract as well as a bunch of expirings to help them get to an insanely cheap team + Monta Ellis, and go from there in 2014.

Nate: As I’ve stated, the goal of any Mo Speights trade should be to get a future first round pick and/or first round talent.  It should also be to trade Speights to a team with no cap room, so that the Cavs can attempt to sign him in the offseason.  Accomplishing this is as simple as sitting down with Speights and saying, “Look.  We really like the way you’re playing.  But we’re not competing for a playoff spot, and we’re looking to trade you to someone who is.  So go compete in the playoffs.  If you decide to opt out, we would love to negotiate with you this off-season.”  With that in mind, I designed this trade a week ago, which sent Speights to San Antonio in exchange for a first rounder.  The main response was, San Antonio won’t do it.  So I give you the pu pu platter de jour.

In this trade, Golden State gets Speights, and the Cavs get prospects Jeremy Tyler and Festus Ezeli, the injured Brandon Rush, and a future 1st round pick.  The Warriors can’t send Cleveland their pick this year because it’s committed to Brooklyn, or in 2014 because of the Stepien Rule, so it would be in 2015 or later.  Rush would have to agree to this deal because of his Bird rights, but given that he will probably pick up his player option for next year, I doubt this will be an issue.  Golden State does it because it gets them under the tax  this year and  gets them a quality 4th big.  Cleveland does it because it gets them prospects (Tyler is still an intriguing player with a 7’5″ wing span), a future first rounder, and a guy who could be a rotation player next year in Rush.

The only drawback of this trade is that Cleveland would have to cut two players.  To remedy this problem I propose this trade .  Here, Cleveland trades with Minnesota to get Brandon Roy and Derrick Williams.  They give up Walton, C.J. Miles, and Josh Selby.  Some other picks might be shuffled around, and maybe the Cavs throw a 2nd rounder or two the TWolves’ way, or maybe the right to swap some picks in future years.  Cleveland does this trade to get Derrick Williams, and immediately waives or buys out Brandon Roy.  Minnesota does this to clear Roy’s salary off the books and clear $8 million in cap space for next year (they’ll need it to sign Pekovic), and to get a shooting guard who is actually healthy.


Admittedly, these proposals are all a little underwhelming and not of the Luke Walton, C.J. Miles, and a future 2nd round pick for Kevin Durant variety, but they are the kinds of trades that net assets.  Assets allow teams like Houston to fleece teams like Sacramento for number five overall picks like Thomas Robinson.  Let’s hope Chris Grant channels his inner Daryl Morey today.

Andrew Bynum Trade Machine Fun

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

So, I’ve been toying around with the NBA Trade Machine over on ESPN for the past couple of hours trying to figure out what a Lakers/Magic/Cavs deal would look like, which has been edifying in a couple of ways that I’ll get to in a minute. First, let me present to you a handful of trades that work:

Trade A

Lakers get: Dwight Howard and Jason Richardson
Magic get:  Andy Varejao, Luke Walton, Josh McRoberts, Omri Casspi, Christian Eyenga, and Cavs’ 2013 first-rounder
Cavs get: Andrew Bynum, Quentin Richardson, Glen Davis, and Chris Duhon

The Cavs get their man (Bynum), the Lakers get theirs (Howard), and the Magic get a clean slate by offloading nearly all their bad contracts for expiring ones. They’ll be terrible next year and have a decent shot at the number one pick, and they will have tens of millions of dollars of cap space once the 2012-13 season ends. The one thing that doesn’t make much sense to me is why the Magic would want a thirty year-old defensive big man, but according to Ric Bucher, the framework of the deal involves Varejao-to-Orlando, so I’ll just assume they covet him for whatever reason.

Jason Richardson is overpaid, but it’s not like the Lakers can sign any more free agents, so that point is moot. He played poorly last season (shot 40.8% from the field; he’s a career 44.1% shooter), but he’s only 31 and could be a good bench scorer, especially if he gets a steady diet of open threes when defenses collapse on Howard and/or Gasol. He would also be sharing some court time with Steve Nash, which never hurts one’s offensive game.

Glen Davis shouldn’t make upwards of six million dollars a year, but he would be similarly useful for the Cavs, who don’t have a PF who can knock down an open 13-footer. Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson are dead weight, but that’s the cost of doing business.

You could also sell me on a variant of this trade where the Cavs also give up the Heat/Lakers pick they have in the 2013 draft. If they’re going to roll the dice on a super-talented injury risk with attitude issues, it’s not like the 24th pick in the 2013 draft should be the stumbling point.

(To anyone saying, “Why wouldn’t LA make a play for Andy V?”: it’s a cap thing. The Lakers are paying Kobe/Gasol/Nash a combined $56 million next season and are well over the soft cap, so they can’t take on Howard and Varejao without moving Gasol.)

Trade B

Lakers get: Howard and Richardson
Magic get: Varejao, Walton, Boobie Gibson, McRoberts, Casspi, and Eyenga
Cavs get: Bynum, Hedo Turkoglu, Duhon, and Davis

By offloading that egregious Hedo deal that pays him $11.4 mil and $12.2 mil in 2012-13 and 2013-14, respectively, the Magic get rid of their worst contract. They also dump Davis, J-Rich, and Duhon. The only bad contract they keep is Quentin Richardson’s, which pays him a little under $6 mil over the next two seasons. Every player they acquire has either a team option for next year or is off the books entirely. I didn’t include a draft pick in this scenario because the Magic shed a ton of salary, but if the Cavs were to throw in a first-rounder, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

Trade C

Lakers get: Howard and Turkoglu
Magic get: Varejao, Walton, Gibson, McRoberts, Casspi, Eyenga, and Andrew Goudelock
Cavs get: Bynum, Davis, J. Richardson, Steve Blake, Q. Richardson, and Duhon

Again, a hunk of expirings for Orlando (give or take a draft pick), but this time Turkoglu goes to the Lakers and the Cavs absorb a cornucopia of bad contracts. The difference between the abominable contract amalgam of Q Richardson, Duhon, and Blake and the singular abominable contract of Turkoglu is negligible, since both Quentin Duhon-Blake and Turkoglu make about the same amount of money and their contracts expire in two years. (Technically, Turk’s got a player option for the 2013-14 season, but who wouldn’t cash in a season of mediocre basketball for $12.2 mil?) But the J-Rich and Davis deals run for the next three years, paying those guys a combined $38 million over that time period. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, because those guys are legitimate NBA players, and it’s not like the Cavs have a phenomenal bench, but if the Magic ask for a pick in this scenario, they had better ask the Lakers, because the Cavs are going to be tied down with salaries and will need their draft picks to help fill out their roster over the next couple of years.

Trade D

Lakers get: Howard, Turkoglu, Richardson, and Duhon
Magic get: Varejao, Tristan Thompson, McRoberts, Eyenga, and Andrew Goudelock
Cavs get: Bynum, Metta World Peace, and Steve Blake

so much depends

long tristan

dazed in wine

beside the black

(But seriously, your opinion of this trade revolves entirely around whether or not you like Tristan Thompson. Also, I apologize to William Carlos Williams. Remember when you used the phrase “penniless rumsoak,” and I swooned? I’m so sorry.)

What Does It All Mean?

Nothing right now. We have no idea how close this thing is to fruition or who the principals are outside of—again, I’m leaning on Bucher here—Howard, Bynum, and Varejao. What’s clear is: a.) the Magic want to get rid of some bad contracts, b.) the Lakers are aggressively pursuing Howard, and c.) the Cavs have lots of cap space and expiring contracts. The trade, if it happens, will look something like the ones mentioned above. These deals and very similar variants are the only ones that work cap-wise unless you start getting crazy and throwing Gasol into the mix.

A bit of experimenting leads me to this conclusion: the Cavs’ cap/expiring contract situation makes them an ideal facilitator for this sort of trade, and they can pretty much dictate their terms. While the Magic are desperate to get a fresh start out of the impending departure of their best player and the Lakers are fervently pursuing Howard, the Cavs can be dispassionate about this deal. If they don’t want to take an additional bad contract or give up another first-rounder, they can always pass. They’re not desperate to acquire Bynum, and, if the swap falls apart, they can return to their original plan of building through the draft.

What throws a wrench in this whole thing is the presence of the Houston Rockets, who have a bunch of young players and picks. I’m mildly perplexed about why they think Bynum would put them over the top. Bynum-Irving is a lot more appetizing prospect than Bynum-Lin, but then, they’re in Houston, which is a more desirable free agent destination than Cleveland. Regardless, they’re very capable of facilitating a Howard’s departure for LA, and they would be more able than the Cavs to provide the Magic with decent draft picks (they shipped out Kyle Lowry for a Toronto first-rounder) and recent draftees (Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lamb, and Royce White).

No matter what happens or doesn’t happen on the Bynum-to-Cleveland trade front, this is the first great example of what valuing cap flexibility and acquiring tradable assets can do for a rebuilding team. By carefully managing the cap and his assets over the past couple of years, Chris Grant has put the Cavs in a situation where they might be able to acquire an excellent player because they’re one of the only teams in the league that can help the Lakers land Howard and the Magic push the reset button on their franchise.

Man on Fire

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

On Thursday, after a Heat practice before Friday’s game against the Cavaliers, LeBron James responded to a reporter’s question about a possible return to Cleveland by stating it would be “fun to play in front of [Cavs] fans again. I had a lot of fun times here… I’m here as a Miami player and I’m happy where I am now but I don’t rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me.”

Bron’s statement is the latest Twitter-exploding product of the weird psychodrama in which he has participated since sometime in 2008 when Sportscenter producers, attempting to kill time during slow news days, filled empty content blocks with speculation as to where he would land in the summer of 2010. After two years of playing coy with the media, a summer of placating his id, and a season and a half playing for the most hated team in the league, LeBron now reminds me increasingly of Jeffrey Beaumont. He struck out for the idea of Miami—balmy weather, sex, neon—but the rabbit hole went deeper than he could initially fathom. He’s being beaten to the tune of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams.” He just wants to go home.

Metaphorically speaking. I don’t think LeBron James wants to play basketball in Cleveland again. Rather, he wants everything to be like it was when he played in Cleveland, when he was the closest thing the league had to a nationwide fan favorite. He wants fans in other NBA cities to admire, even covet, him. He wants to win a championship and say he did it for his hometown, even though I think it’s pretty irrelevant to LeBron where and for whom he wins a title. He wants 2008 again, but without Mo Williams clanking wide-open threes. He feels bad, too. Remorse hit him like a sneak-attack hangover. He wants Cavs fans to not hate him anymore, perhaps not so they won’t feel anguished, but so that he won’t have to bear the burden of being the cause of their anguish. His motivations for tone-deaf half-promises of a return to Cleveland are selfish, but also well-intentioned in their own ineffectual way.

The Akron Beacon’s Jason Lloyd, in an article about the feasibility of an LBJ Cleveland homecoming, described Bron as “fairly calculated and savvy with the media,” which was true two years ago. For most of his time in Cleveland, LeBron was an opaque amalgam of talent, team-first platitudes, and exuberance. On a macro scale, he talked about championships; on a micro scale, he wanted “get better” every day; on the court, he conducted himself like a superhero who realized, each day anew, that he could fly. NBA fans knew almost nothing about him. This formula—being great, never saying anything controversial, and playing joyfully—endeared LeBron to even non-Cavs fans. Since deviating from that formula, LeBron has grown increasingly translucent; it’s now apparent that Cavaliers Era LeBron’s immense popularity was an essential component of his identity.

We know this because James spent last season in Miami trying to figure out who he was after realizing he had taken a blowtorch to LeBron James, Universally-Beloved Superstar. He made a token attempt to embrace the villain tag many fans and commentators placed upon him, but when LeBron buried a pair of clutch threes in an overtime game against the Blazers and taunted the Portland crowd, it didn’t feel right. The black hat doesn’t suit him because he’s not a spiteful player. A Kobe-like inferiority complex is the incorrect fuel for his engine. If his on-court actions in seven seasons with the Cavaliers are any indication, a crucial element of LeBron’s game is how much fun he has playing basketball. And fun is sort of an inclusive process: it’s difficult to have fun when the crowd wants to murder you in a well. The experience of knocking that crowd on their ass is fun for some athletes—I recall Derek Jeter once saying that he liked nothing more than to silence Fenway Park—but I’m not sure a stone-faced assassination of 20,000 ornery Bulls fans is LeBron’s ideal night. He would rather those Bulls fans harbor an awful respect for him. Which is why his post-Cavs career, as it unfolds, seems as much a nomadic quest to be liked again as it does the pursuit of a ring. If Kobe’s MJ emulation act is about equaling or surpassing Jordan’s greatness, LeBron most admires Michael’s near-unblemished approval rating. Becoming a global icon, after all, is only incidentally about winning.

Of course, LeBron has probably put the global icon thing on the back burner. He has championships to win, and when he arrived at the Quicken Loans Arena for a Thursday practice, he had fences to mend. This newfound concern over the damage he has inflicted is why Bron gives us puzzling quotes like the ones he made Thursday. He has finally realized that the antipathy generated by The Decision was mostly his fault, and he’s trying to salve the wound without much understanding of how he can repair his relationship with Cavaliers fans. He did all he could do when he admitted that he made a mistake, but the strange prognostication that followed came from a place of unabsolvable guilt. Maybe if I tell Cleveland fans that there’s a slight possibility I will play for the Cavs again, they’ll understand that I didn’t mean to hurt their feelings. It’s logic lifted straight from Kanye’s 2010 apology tour: if you can’t apologize sufficiently, do so in as bizarre a manner as possible.

The timing of this augmented expression of regret is awkward because the mourning process over LeBron’s departure concluded some eight months ago. Or it should have. The popular analogy among embittered fans and commentators is that of being abandoned by a significant other, but that’s lazy and inexact. Free agency isn’t a concept that has a parallel in the romantic sphere, and LeBron didn’t leave Cleveland in its sleep. He held an ill-advised press conference, and ruined exactly one Cavaliers season. Did he crawl into your heart and slash its wiring? Has your self-esteem disintegrated? Do you have trust issues now? I’m sorry, then.

What do you do when you can’t go home again? Or, more pointedly, what does LeBron do? Apparently he tries to convince others that he might go home again. One of the greatest athletes of his generation is experiencing an identity crisis while having the best season of his career. It’s like watching fire try to figure out its motivation. And maybe that’s the best way to think about LeBron James: he’s an exhilarant and nothing else about him makes sense. I hope he can come home one day, maybe after he retires, and start making sense. In the meantime, he’s a ball of flame with nowhere to go. There are worse things in this world.

Cavs reportedly interested in Chris Kaman: is it a good idea?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

According to this report, the Cavaliers are apparently one of the teams in the Chris Kaman sweepstakes. The great Rohan Cryuff of At The Hive emailed me tonight asking, essentially, why the Cavs would want Chris Kaman. Here were my guesses at what’s going on behind these rumors:

– The Cavs want to make the playoffs this year. Badly. I’ve been on the record for a while saying that I hope the Cavs take their time and do a nice, long, patient, rebuild, but Dan Gilbert clearly doesn’t want to have to swallow the pill of a full 3-5 year rebuilding plan, and I think he really likes the idea of a potential Heat-Cavaliers playoff series, no matter how slim the chances of the records matching up or the Cavaliers winning the series — is it unfair to say that if the Cavs did pull of a win in that series, regardless of what happens through the rest of the playoffs, it would be a bigger Cleveland sports history moment than the 2007 Conference Championship, especially since that playoff run was all about LeBron, and all things LeBron are now tainted?

– Kaman’s value is that he’s a true center who can knock down a jump shot, which is important when the Cavs’ two best young frontcourt players who can’t knock down a jump shot, like at all. Kaman isn’t lights-out from midrange, but teams have to respect him from out there, which would free up Varejao and TT to attack the rim instead of being forced to fire up hopeless jumpers whilst paired alongside each other or play out-of-position defensively next to Antawn Jamison.

– The best deal we can figure (it works on Real GM’s trade checker): The Cavs deal Jamison and Hollins’ expiring, along with Sessions and a possible 2nd-rounder, for Kaman and Ariza’s ugly contract. The Ariza piece is the key for me: the Cavs desperately need a wing, and would get to talk themselves into Ariza as a potential above-average 3-and-D wing, just like Houston and New Orleans did, while New Orleans gets to get rid of a guy who’s still riding the high of one hot-shooting playoffs, wasn’t good offensively at all with CHRIS PAUL setting him up, and is currently enjoying a god-awful 44.7% True Shooting percentage.

The real issue here is Sessions — he’d clearly be backing up Jack, and is he really THAT much of an upgrade over the much cheaper Greivis Vasquez? I love Razor Ramon, but his PER is 14.92, and he doesn’t stretch the floor, isn’t much of a playmaker, and plays no defense. Vasquez’s PER is 14.67, and he’s better as a passer and a defender than Ramon, pretty much by default.

Anyways, that’s my run at a justification for this rumor. Have a good Thursday — I know everyone loves a good trade rumor. For the record, I put the chances of Kaman coming to Cleveland at 7%, and that might be generous. But, as always, stranger things have happened.

Sessions to Lakers?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The LA Lakers are potentially interested in acquiring Ramon Sessions, using a first round draft pick and a trade exception.

“Cleveland is interested in stockpiling draft picks in potential deals, sources said. Several teams have inquired about Sessions lately, front-office sources said. The Lakers have a handful of players on short-term deals who can’t be traded until March 1.” [Adrian Wojnarowski]

I’ll reserve comment on the rumored trade for now, and instead just say that it seems Ramon Sessions’ value has fluctuated about as wildly as it can over a short career.  He was drafted 56th (low value), before playing two solid seasons in Milwaukee.  Minnesota signed him to a $16 million contract that alot of people thought was a bargain (high value).  One year later, Minnesota basically gave him to Cleveland in a salary dump (low value); Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins AND a second round draft pick, essentially for Sebastian Telfair.   Since that trade, Sessions has primarily expanded his resume as a focal point on a 19 win team, then shooting 34% this season.  So of course, now “several teams have inquired about Sessions” (high value?).  The NBA is a wacky place sometimes.

The future of the frontcourt

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

The Cavaliers’ immediate future is uncertain, to say the least. The one thing we do know is that Anderson Varejao will almost certainly be a part of it. Given the upcoming CBA battle, it seems unlikely that any teams are going to be making the type of trade that would lead to Varejao’s departure this season. Varejao has also shown that he is almost as effective defending the center position as he is defending the four spot, and that his high-movement, high-energy style of offense can work even without LeBron running the pick-and-roll with him. Those are both good things.

However, there is somewhat of a paradox: Anderson Varejao is a true center on offense and a true power forward on defense. Varejao is a slightly better outside shooter and high-post player than he gets credit for, but he’s infinitely more comfortable when he can make cuts without the ball, roll to the basket, and crash the offensive glass. And while he can guard the post pretty darn well for such a skinny guy, he’s at his best when he can show hard on pick-and-rolls, recover back, and disrupt offenses 25 feet away from the hoop.

So the ideal frontcourt partner for Anderson Varejao is a center who can guard the post, defend the rim, and keep the floor spaced by stepping out and hitting jumpers. That player does not actually exist, which is something of an issue. The 08-09 version of Zydrunas Ilgauskas was a perfect fit with Varejao, but he was overmatched by Dwight Howard, has aged, and plays in Miami. Marcus Camby comes close, but he’s much better at taking 20-footers than he is at making them. Chad Ford’s version of Darko Milicic would be perfect, and reports are that he plans to put in serious work on his game this off-season with Sidd Finch. We’ll keep you updated on that as it develops.

With that in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons of some potential froncourts for the Cavs next season:


The most likely starting unit. If this is going to work, Hickson will have to consistently knock down mid-range jumpers and make good defensive rotations on the perimeter. I have doubts about the former and grave doubts about the latter. I think the chances are that Hickson’s rightful place in this league will be as a first big off the bench, but a Varejao/Hickson backcourt could potentially be serviceable.


I can’t shake the feeling that if the Cavs don’t get Irving, they’re going with Sullinger. Barnes is the only other guy that can really be sold as a huge potential piece, and Sullinger is more consistent and playing for the good basketball team in Ohio. (Note: if the Cavs pass on Irving willingly and the subsequent five blog entries are pictures of puppies attempting to solve mysteries, it is because I have lost my mind.)

Sullinger can score and rebound, but perimeter defense and outside shooting are his two biggest weaknesses, which means he’d be an iffy fit with Varejao on offense and questionable on defense. I’m going to say this one more time: I’m all about building a defensive frontcourt first. That’s why I’m not really sold on Sullinger.


I know nothing about Valanciunas other than what I’ve read in scouting reports. Apparently he’s tall, has an insane wingspan, doesn’t shoot mid-range jump shots, loves to roll to the basket and finish, is a good shot-blocker, but isn’t the most cerebral defensive player. I like him on paper, but he’s European and was born in 1992. That makes him a huge question mark. Still, he sounds like a legit NBA center if all goes as planned, and I’m willing to sacrifice some offensive hiccups for a real live defensive backcourt. The caveat here is that I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he turns out to be a poor man’s Mosgov. It’s really hard to predict these Euro big mens, especially really young ones.

Perry Jones:

Seems like Mike Beasley without the college production. He will tantalize you with jump shots, he will miss defensive rotations, he will get your hopes up, and he will break your heart. Or he could be a cross between Lamar Odom, Kevin Durant, and Kevin Garnett. A pretty good “fit” on paper, but these versatile forwards will make you tear your hair out.

Those are a few of my thoughts — there’s always the chance that the Cavs could try and develop a center on their own (does anyone know what’s up with Sasha Kaun right now? He was doing well in international play, right?), or try to find another option through free agency or trades. Let me know your ideas.

On Knicks rumors

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

– So the news of the day is that if the Knicks don’t land Carmelo at the trade deadline, they might be looking to move Eddy Curry’s expiring contract for two Cavs players, namely Daniel Gibson and Anderson Varejao. The way I see it, the only players the Knicks would be able to sweeten the pot with are Anthony Randolph and Andy Rautins.

I’m one of the biggest Anthony Randolph apologists in the world, but even I’d have trouble mustering any excitement for him at this point. He’s not a rookie, he’s a poor finisher inside, he’s in love with a mid-range jumper he can’t make, and he takes too many plays off on defense to be the game-changer he should be on that end. And he doesn’t play without the ball enough. There’s a 90% chance he’ll never be anywhere near as good as Varejao because he doesn’t realize how an energy big should play, a 5% chance he’ll make up for that with his skills and be about as good, a 4.9999 percent chance that he’ll put it together and be a key to the future, and a very small chance that he will evolve into the ultimate weapon and break zone defenses with his mind. Also, the team already has one J.J. Hickson. Although a Hickson/Randolph frontcourt would certainly be intriguing. But bad. I need to stop thinking about this.

As for Andy Rautins, I do not think he will get this team back to the NBA Finals.

Suffice it to say that I don’t love this deal, especially with the Cavs being a less-than-attractive free agency destination right now, the Knicks having no draft picks to speak of, and nobody knowing what free agency will look like next season.  Until tomorrow.

Matt Barnes, Shannon Brown, and Patience

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

So the Cavaliers missed out on the Matt Barnes sweepstakes. I’m completely fine with that. Matt Barnes is a very nice player, and he knows how to adopt his game to an uptempo system.

However, getting a player like Matt Barnes without a superstar or anyone who an offense can be built around is putting the horse before the cart. Matt Barnes is a nice role player, but he’s a role player. Overpaying him won’t turn him into a player he’s not. If the Cavs still had LeBron, or even had a guy capable of averaging 7-10 assists per game, then Matt Barnes would have been a nice pickup. They don’t, and he wouldn’t have been.

Paying Matt Barnes real money with the team the way it is now would have been a “statement signing” — the team would’ve overpaid Barnes to show the rest of the league that they plan on being competitive in the coming years. The problem is that statement signings don’t impress anybody, and eventually the team would’ve ended up owing real money to a player who wasn’t helping them achieve their goals.

LeBron + quality duct tape was the best plan Ferry had available to him after the Summer of 2005, but it still kept the Cavs from ever having a true core. Now that LeBron’s gone, the duct tape strategy makes no sense whatsoever. If the Cavs get a player, he better be two of the following three things: cheap, young, or good. If those opportunities aren’t there, the team has plenty of time to wait for them.

All of the above leads me to Shannon Brown. He’s young, he’s got talent, he should thrive in the full-court game, and he’s worth a lowball offer. If he wants real money, he can take a hike. He’s not a playmaker, his shot isn’t all that good, and is not an available domain. Until tomorrow.

Cavs interested in sign-and-trade for Marvin Williams?

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

The report, courtesy of David Aldridge:

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ pursuit of Hawks swingman Marvin Williams centers at the moment on trying to convince the Hawks to do a sign-and-trade deal that would send Shaquille O’Neal to Atlanta, according to a league source.
The Hawks do have an interest in the 38-year-old O’Neal, who is not likely to return to Cleveland next season. But Atlanta has budget limitations after agreeing to give guard Joe Johnson a $124 million max contract, with ownership unlikely to approve a deal for O’Neal or any other backup center that goes much above the veteran minimum. The Hawks are also interested in free agent center Brad Miller and Bucks free agent center Kurt Thomas.
Cleveland got a $14.5 million trade exception by agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal for LeBron James to Miami, in addition to two future draft picks from the Heat. The Cavs could use part of the exception to absorb Williams’s $6.7 million salary for next season.

Atlanta also got a trade exception, worth about $2.9 million, when it agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will send free agent forward Josh Childress to the Phoenix Suns for a future draft pick, and can use that exception to acquire a player making that much money. O’Neal made $20 million last year in the final year of his contract but knows he will have to take a major pay cut next season. He has expressed an interest in playing for the Spurs, though it is not known if San Antonio’s interest, if any, is reciprocal.

– The Cleveland Cavaliers’ pursuit of Hawks swingman Marvin Williams centers at the moment on trying to convince the Hawks to do a sign-and-trade deal that would send Shaquille O’Neal to Atlanta, according to a league source.The Hawks do have an interest in the 38-year-old O’Neal, who is not likely to return to Cleveland next season. But Atlanta has budget limitations after agreeing to give guard Joe Johnson a $124 million max contract, with ownership unlikely to approve a deal for O’Neal or any other backup center that goes much above the veteran minimum. The Hawks are also interested in free agent center Brad Miller and Bucks free agent center Kurt Thomas.Cleveland got a $14.5 million trade exception by agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal for LeBron James to Miami, in addition to two future draft picks from the Heat. The Cavs could use part of the exception to absorb Williams’s $6.7 million salary for next season.Atlanta also got a trade exception, worth about $2.9 million, when it agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will send free agent forward Josh Childress to the Phoenix Suns for a future draft pick, and can use that exception to acquire a player making that much money. O’Neal made $20 million last year in the final year of his contract but knows he will have to take a major pay cut next season. He has expressed an interest in playing for the Spurs, though it is not known if San Antonio’s interest, if any, is reciprocal.

So, that’s a thing. Williams is a nice player, but the Cavs should hold off on going for guys like him until they find somebody capable of actually running the offense next season. (Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison: not that somebody.) We’ll see how the Cavs’ search for players that can run an uptempo offense goes.

Your daily Brian Windhorst hope tweet

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

”All these teams working on big-name partnership includes #Cavs. Source said Raptors like some of Cavs players in potential sign-and-trade.”

-Brian Windhorst, via his twitter account.

Thinking Varejao must be a key piece, but he’s got 6 years left. Maybe they’ll take two years of Jamison and try to get the Cavs to eat Turkoglu or something like that. Whatever the details, this is good news. We’re in this thing.