Matt Barnes, Shannon Brown, and Patience

July 22nd, 2010 by John Krolik

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.