Blog Entry

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

Posted on: June 29, 2009 6:18 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2009 11:32 pm
With the stunning news that the Milwaukee Bucks decided Monday not to make a qualifying offer to Charlie Villanueva came confirmation of what we already knew: This is going to be a strange free-agent signing period in the NBA, one in which conventional wisdom need not apply.

By dumping Richard Jefferson on the Spurs, the Bucks seemed to be clearing cap space to keep restricted free agents Ramon Sessions and Villanueva. But Sessions got a qualifying offer and Villanueva didn't, making him an unrestricted free agent at midnight Wednesday.

In a league that is increasingly becoming about the haves and have-nots, one team's problem is another team's savior. Fresh off their pre-draft acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal, the Cavs are looking for a versatile big man to complement the Big Cuyahoga while at the same time not clogging the floor for LeBron James. Enter Villanueva, who would appear to be an ideal piece for GM Danny Ferry's plan of making a serious championship run this season.

When the Cavs acquired Shaq, Villanueva wrote the following on his Twitter account: "Very interesting, Shaq to Cleveland, nice, all Cleveland [needs] is a PF now."

Also in that mix is Pistons unrestricted Rasheed Wallace, who could be an attractive option for Cleveland and Orlando, among others.

The problem is, the best the Cavs could offer Villanueva is the mid-level exception of about $5.5 million. Short of that, a sign-and-trade would work, but the Cavs divested themselves of their two most tradable assets -- Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic -- in the Shaq trade. The Villanueva decision also has a direct impact on the Pistons, who are among the teams with the most money to spend on free agents. Joe Dumars is believed to be targeting Carlos Boozer and/or Hedo Turkoglu. But the availability of Villanueva makes his decision a lot more interesting.

UPDATE: The Bucks' thinking behind not extending a qualifying offer to Villanueva was discussed internally at least two dozen times, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The person, who is familiar with the team's strategy, said matching Villanueva's offers as a restricted free agent -- or possibly keeping him on the one-year tender for about $4.7 million -- would've rolled back the flexibility general manager John Hammond had just achieved by trading Jefferson, who was due $29.2 million over the next two seasons.

Whereas most observers -- including rival team executives -- believed the Jefferson trade opened the door for Milwaukee to re-sign both Villanueva and Sessions, there's a chance the team won't keep either one. The organization is determined to get out of the rut caused by overpaying the likes of Bobby Simmons, Charlie Bell, and Dan Gadzuric in similar situations in the past. If the offers received by Sessions on the restricted market are fair, Milwaukee will match. If not, the team is planning to hold the line on not overpaying.

Another factor with Villanueva is that, given the economy and dearth of teams with cap space to sign free agents, the organization believes it is feasible that Villanueva won't be blown away by free-agent offers and thus would have been inclined to accept the one-year offer for $4.7 million. The Bucks didn't want to be in a position of having to rescind the non-binding qualifying offer, which would've hampered Villanueva's efforts to land a free-agent deal. Having chosen to get their financial house in order and preserve the possibility of being as much as $7 million under the cap in 2010, the Bucks' hierarchy felt it was better to be up front with Villanueva and allow him unfettered access to the free-agent market. Although a sign-and-trade technically remains an option, the Bucks aren't interested in jeopardizing their roster and cap flexibility by taking on the kind of contracts that would come back in such a deal.


Clearing up one piece of draft business: While one of the many executives who spoke with the Nets on draft night came away convinced that the team had selected Terrence Williams for someone else with the No. 11 pick, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday that T-Will is most likely to stay in New Jersey. On the heels of trading Vince Carter in the hours before the draft, the Nets had conversations with numerous teams involving, among other things, the No. 11 pick. Nothing came to fruition, and while the Nets are still listening, it appears that Williams is staying put for now.


Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2009 9:03 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

Cleveland trading Damon Jones for Mo Williams was a salary dump for the Bucks. Damon Jones didn't even play for the Bucks. Getting rid of the terrible contracts given to Williams and Simmons was the first move Hammonds did as GM, got nothing in return but the Bucks are having a fire sale for bad contracts of mediocre talent that Larry Harris gave out. Well if Cleveland can't offer Charlie a huge deal I doubt he'll end up there but it wouldn't surprise me if he did. The only thing you have that makes people want to be there is LeBron and that's the only reason V would go there for less money. I hope nobody seriously considers Mo Williams to be a real All-Star PG, All-Stars usually know what the word defense means. And V doesn't play defense either. 

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 2:16 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

I want RON ARTEST!!!!  I know it wont happen but wouldnt that lineup be sweet.

Since: Dec 11, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 2:07 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

Has anybody ever called Charlie the missing piece to anything? He's never even averaged thirty minutes a game. Charlie only cares about himself.

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 1:49 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

when the hell was he a 6'3" guard? i hope you werent trying to say he was that tall when he came into the league...

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2009 1:28 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

I agree with you that they can't trade Z. Who wants that statue? However, the Cavs will spend even if it means going over the luxury tax. They need to win the ring next year to keep Lebron in town plus Shaq is a one year guy so his 20 mil comes of the books after the season, putting them back below the tax.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2009 12:53 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

Charlie did not grow from 6'3 to 6'10 after he got drafted... I reall hope that was a sarcastic comment. Unfortunately I just can't tell.

Mixed feelings on how Villaneuva would fit in with the Cavs. I saw the guy when he played in Toronto a lot, and while he has offensive upside, it was always interesting to see if he would decide to play any defense on a night to night basis. If I'm not mistaken, he was originally projected in the early part of his final season at UConn to be a top 3-5 pick. The reason he fell is because there were questions about his attitude, focus and desire to improve defensively.  Frankly, if the Raptors hadn't taken him at 7, he likely would have fallen to them at their next pick in the first round that year (16th).

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 12:48 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

Yeah and I suppose the Cleveland "Bucks" trading Damon Jones for Mo WIllams was a bad move too?

Cleveland cannot offer Charlie a "huge deal."  They don't have the money too....he will most likely sign for the mid-level exception of $5.5M...hardly over paying...

As for Charlie wanting to be a perimeter "3" instead of a "4" is perfect for of the reason's Lebron is sooooo successful is he hasn't had anybody clogging the paint so he can dominate going to the hoop... "Z" would camp outside and shoot jumpers and Andy is a slasher...with Shaq now clogging the paint, the last thing Cleveland needs is another big body doing the same....

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 12:44 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

WOW, Charlie grew from 6'3 to 6'10 after he got drafted?  That is amazing.

Orlando will not be better without resigning Hedo....Vinsanity is a ballhog who shoots too much and plays no defense...
Only if they re-sign Hedo will they be better...

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 12:42 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

The Cavs didn't "sign" Shaq....they traded for him...B-Wall, Sasha, 2nd rnd pick & $500K to be exact...

How's Charlie's defense?  I am heard people have confused Charlie's "D" for that of a revolving door...

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2009 12:40 pm

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

I disagree.  The NBAis NOT like MLB where you can simply "dump" a player's salary via a trade.  If Cleveland traded "Z" they would have to take back a player or players in return who's salary(ies) come within 15% of what "Z" is due to make.  A "Z" trade opens up no salary space.  Danny Ferry has already discussed the situation with "Z" and he is ok with coming off of the bench.  Now if this team can acquire a player like Villanueva so they can re-sign and bring Andy off of the bench and possibly get someone along the likes of a Matt Barnes so they can bring Delonte off of the bench, this team could sport a line-up as follows:



The above would give Cleveland almost superior depth...and possibly a title...

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