Blog Entry

Weekly Post-Ups

Posted on: February 2, 2010 11:48 pm
With a little more than two weeks to go before the Feb. 18 trade deadline, the chatter is starting to pick up. Here’s the latest trade buzz culled from conversations with team executives, agents, and others in the know:

• It’s been well documented that the Cavaliers’ infatuation with Antawn Jamison has been rekindled. What’s been underplayed is the reason behind it: LeBron James is the one driving the team’s pursuit of Jamison, according to a source, and Cavs GM Danny Ferry – as usual – is trying to appease the King. A couple of problems: The Wizards want a young asset in return, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas – while a fit salary-wise – doesn’t fit that description. The sensible piece to include in the deal would be J.J. Hickson, whom the Cavs are reluctant to give up. But if the Cavs got Jamison, what value would Hickson be to them as their fifth big man? One scenario that is believed to be under discussion would have the Cavs hoping the Wizards bought out Ilgauskas after the trade, using some cash added to the deal by Cleveland. That way, the Cavs could sign Ilgauskas back on a minimum deal, giving them the player James covets (Jamison) and a 7-foot-4 insurance policy for Shaquille O’Neal. The Wizards would have to ask themselves if getting out from under Jamison’s contract and adding Hickson is enough to justify a deal that would get them under the tax next summer, but not under the cap.

• If the Cavs can’t get Jamison, Indiana’s Troy Murphy is Plan B. And yes, there’s a Plan C -- Andre Iguodala. Whereas the Cavs’ front office believes Jamison could help them win a championship this year, Iguodala would be more of a long-term solution. And he better be, with four years and $56 million left on his deal.

• Rumblings about Ray Allen being on his way out of Boston are accurate, but only if the Celtics can get back a player who’d crack the top eight in their rotation. One scenario that has been discussed would have Allen going to Chicago for Kirk Hinrich and another piece – John Salmons? – to satisfy the salary requirements. If it came to fruition, what an intriguing swap it would be for teams that waged such a thrilling postseason battle only eight months ago. Since Allen’s $19.7 million contract expires after the season, acquiring him would leave Chicago flush with cap space for a 2010 free-agent binge centered around Chicago native Dwyane Wade and an additional superstar.

• One of Allen’s teammates also is generating some interest: Kendrick Perkins, who’d be a perfect fit for a team like the Pistons, who are desperate for a post presence. But Perkins only makes $4.3 million, and it’s difficult to imagine the Celtics parting with him given the way Kevin Garnett is gimping around.

• Other than Cleveland, only a handful of teams are active in trade talks and willing to take on money. The others are Dallas, Boston, Portland and potentially Denver, which could get ownership approval for a big enough name – though no such possibility is imminent. The Nuggets are steadfastly refusing to include J.R. Smith in any deal, and their quest for a big man will have to go in a different direction with Indiana’s Jeff Foster likely out for the year with back issues.

• The Mavs, behind big spender Mark Cuban, are always buyers at the deadline. Nothing has changed this year, with the Mavs said to be targeting help at shooting guard in a deal that would likely include Josh Howard and Erick Dampier.

• The Blazers’ interest in Wizards center Brendan Haywood is understandable, considering the catastrophic injuries to Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla. But an expiring contract – such as the one belonging to Travis Outlaw – won’t be enough to pique Washington’s interest. As with Jamison, the Wizards want useful assets in return. In this case, sources say, Washington has asked for Rudy Fernandez and has been strongly rebuffed. Consider those talks stalled for now, but don’t discount a revival before Feb. 18 for these reasons: 1) The Blazers’ desperate need for a big man, and 2) Their ability to get ownership approval to take on money in the right deal.

• Miami also has expressed interest in Haywood, but sources say that would require taking on money in the deal – something Heat president Pat Riley has been unwilling to entertain.

• There are differing opinions in Utah as to what strategy to pursue with Carlos Boozer. Ownership wants to trade him to avoid paying luxury tax. Coach Jerry Sloan wants to keep him because he thinks the Jazz can make playoff noise. All in all, the Jazz might be better off keeping him because their payroll will be roughly $58 million – under the projected tax line – after his $12.7 million salary comes off the books this summer. But don’t discount a solution that would solve both problems: Trading Boozer to the Pistons, who have long coveted him, for Tayshaun Prince. Such a swap would give the Jazz a playoff-tested defender with length and all but get them out of the luxury tax for this season. Prince would be on the books for $9 million next season, but he’d be easy to trade because of his expiring contract. Plus, the difference between owing and receiving luxury tax money this season would be roughly a $7 million swing.

Tracy McGrady’s level of availability – as in, very available – far exceeds the seriousness of the offers Houston has received, sources say. “A lot of talk,” is how one person in contact with Rockets officials characterized the status of the Free T-Mac campaign. Ditto for Amar’e Stoudemire in Phoenix.

• While there are only a few select buyers in the trade market, there are about two dozen sellers – but none more serious than the Sixers. Philadelphia is said to be open to trading anyone and everyone, and the conversations always start with the guys with the most money committed to them: Elton Brand, Samuel Dalembert, and Iguodala. Good luck.

• On an unrelated note, former Knick John Starks attracted a star-studded crowd in New York City Tuesday night for a celebrity bowling tournament benefiting the John Starks Foundation, which provides college scholarships for kids in the New York City area and Starks’ native Tulsa, Okla. Hall of Famer Earl Monroe, actor Matthew Modine, and Knicks forward Al Harrington were among the headliners.

Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: February 4, 2010 6:36 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

Clippers GM Mike Dunleavy just fired Head Coach Mike Dunleavy. It's about time. GM Mike Dunleavy has done a very good job of acquiring talent. Unfortunately, Head Coach Mike Dunleavy has been unable to bring out the best in that talent and his team is floundering badly. Perhaps this shakeup will be the answer. 

Big Brad
Since: Jul 3, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2010 3:35 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 3, 2010
Posted on: February 4, 2010 2:15 am

Weekly Post-Ups

your comment about Shaq being the the worst move since Phoenix traded for Shaq was what I had the biggest issue with.  Shaq is a clear upgrade and makes our team much more formidable, especially against the elite teams in the NBA. 

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2010 1:00 am

Weekly Post-Ups

my point about hedo is exactly what you are saying.  If he has the ball he does great things sometimes ie. Orlando last year, but if he doesn't well he still gives the defense somethign to think about.  I don't think Hedo is a character guy either, his excuses that I was referring to is that he says he can't do what he did without handling the ball a lot more (no kidding you can't score the basketball if you aren't holding it).  A character guy doesn't make excuses like that, a character guy runs the plays that are called and makes himsself available.  I think Calderon is on his way out soon, and Hedo will get the ball a lot as the two point gaurd line up will not be as effective with banks on the floor with Jack.

All I was saying is you want a player that will casue the defense to second guess doubling any one on the floor.  I never once made any mention of the Cavs going for Hedo.  I would suggest that your ability to read is garbage and not so much the post.  Who on the floor right now for the Cavs other than James will draw a double team?  Parker? Gimme a break.  A smart coach won't double Shaq, it's stupid to take a player off of anyone else on the floor and leave them open when you can send Shaq to the line a few times which is inevitable as there aren't many guys who can match up with Shaq, and  if he gets 20 all form the stripe, well he'd have to be there 45+ times never gonna happen. 

Shaq gives the Cavs a pshycological edge and not much more.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2010 12:45 am

Weekly Post-Ups

Granted it's hard to argue with results, but I think the Cavs (and I don't get to see a lot of Cavs games and I know box scores dont' tell the whole story) could go with a more athletic big...  Amare, would seem like a good fit, but I'm as i said not really familiar with how the team, plays together.  When I see the Cavs I see a dynasty in the making, if they want to keep LBJ, they need to bring in a big that is young can hit free throws, and will sign for a few years.

Jamison I agree would make them virtually unstopable, but again, not exactly dynasty material his age being what it is.  I agreee that this year it's the Cavs championship to loose, but immediate gratification is not the way to go.  It isn't going to keep LBJ in Cleveland.  In my opinion. 

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2010 9:06 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

From reading your post 3 times it's clear you think the Cavs need someone who can have impact with out having the ball.  Shaq for sure does this.  Before the season I too thought that Shaq wasn't a good fit.  I was wrong.  The Cavs look great now, they looked great pretty much all season.  At the moment they have to be the favorite to win the east, and it's not really close at the moment.  If they get Jamison too then it's a championship for sure.  If anyone thinks otherwise I suggest you actually watch the games.

Since: Feb 3, 2010
Posted on: February 3, 2010 8:44 pm

Hey Lakers fan

The reason we are so active in trade talks is a.) we were in the same boat last year and were exposed and b.) teams like Boston Orlando and yes even your belvoed Lakers (chris Bosh?) are in talks as well; ours are just more out in the open.  If Bosotn were to land a big name or if Bosh went to the Lakers there would be serious concerns of keeping up with the rest of the league; conversely the Cavs have not panicked and gien in to outrageous demands (i.e. Troy Murphy for Hickson Z and 2 picks) b/c we are currently content.  The argument that jsut because we have the best record or believe we are the best team has some weight, but I wouldn't fault the Cavs, Danny Ferry, or any otehr team for trying to get better @ the deadline.  Also our priority is keeping Lebron over pretty much everything including food water and shelter, so if this will appease Lebron we should go for it---if we flop in the playoffs good-bye to our franchise, that is why we must make every effort to prepare for the playoffs.   

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2010 8:35 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

Do any of you Cavalier fans doubt your chance to win a title as much as Lebron and Danny Ferry?  They have the best record in the NBA at this moment and are one of the most active teams in trade talks?  i mean really is there anyway better to let a team know without saying it that they are not good enough to win an NBA title then by not only the GM, but their Superstar player out there personally pushing for a trade for Jamison.  i mean really is there!?!? 
And if by some miracle of a chance the Cavs do get Jamison and the Wizards release Big Z, only to bo picked up by the Cavs after the 30 day waiting period, there will be some changes in the off-season to the trade rules.  and i know all the laker haters out there are going to say that the Gasol trade was one of the biggest heists in NBA history.  But in fact the Memphis Grizzlies are now deep in the playoff hunt, and arguably one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA mainly because of that trade which gave them Marc Gasol, and cap space to resign some young talent as well as draft picks. 
But back to the point if your team has the best record in the league, arguably the best player in the game, arguably the most dominant player in NBA history, and a plethora of solid role players.  Why would you be looking into any trades that might ruin the team chemistry??  As a GM, or franchise player, why would you not be confident in your team and make sure that the rest of your team knows that you are confident in your team by not seeking trades that would make your team better?  Unless there is another team out there that you know is better... 


Since: Feb 3, 2010
Posted on: February 3, 2010 7:56 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

gotta completely disagree with your comment regarding Shaq---absolutely beasting the league lately, cavs have best record in NBA, they have solved their issues w/the magic in terms of matchups b/c Dqight Howard got punished by Shaq in their earlier meeting, Shaq is exactly what we needed.  He may not have put up goudy numbers early on, he's certainly dominating at the moment, is arguably the best center of all time, has four rings so has championship experience, he's meshing with Lebron if you read his recent comments about Shaq, he's shooting a good FG%, playing Defense, he's not slowing down the offense, what more did you expect from a 37 year old?  He's doing exactly what he's come here to do, ahs a 20 million dollar expiring contract, and the Cavs are currently en fuego following Mo Williams and Delonte West injurieis primarily b/c Shaq stepped his game up.  He's currently the second best Cavalier, would you prefer we kept Ben Wallace and had Z starting or have Shaq and his ability to matchup with D Howard?  There's no doubt the Cavs lost last year bc they ahd to double Howard b/c Wallace was to small and it left shooters open all series long, now that a double team on Howard isn't necessary with Shaq's ogerish body in the lane, we have little fear of the Magic.  Oh...and your point of we should go for a character guy like Hedo, I'd rather have someone who has meshed with Lebron and shoots a better percentage.  Your point that Hedo doesn't need the ball, have you watched a Raptors game?  or the Magic last year?  Hedo has the ball at teh top of the key all game long; he's a point forward.  That's his game.  Lebron does that and he does that better than Turkoglu ever will.  What woudl his role be on the Cavs?  Shoot 42% and avg 12/5?  garbage post. 

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2010 7:36 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

Boozer might be a good fit in the T-Dot too, but i don 't know much about what Utah might be looking for and if Toronto has it to move, and oh yeah, Shaq to the Cavs... worst basketball move in at least two seasons, or at least since Shaq went to the Suns.  Cavs should go for a character guy who doens't need the ball much but makes an impact when he does, kind of like turkaglu, excpet the part about not needing the ball much, have you heard his excuses for not putting up numbers in Toronto?  but ball or no ball when he is on the floor it gets defenses thinking... that's what Cleveland needs.

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