Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Should the Cavs make a move?

Both local papers address the prospect of the Cavs making a trade for a point guard.

Branson Wright:

A trade would provide relief, and the Cavs have inquired with several teams about possible deals that include everyone on the roster, with the exception of LeBron James. Several teams have expressed an interest in Anderson Varejao, but management is reluctant to make that deal.

The Cavs made several moves in the first half that contributed to their recent success. One in particular is point guard Daniel "Boobie" Gibson. But Gibson is not ready to lead the team during the postseason. That would mean making a deal for a veteran point guard, especially since the team has given up on Eric Snow as a starter.

There are plenty of quality point guards available. The Nets have shopped Jason Kidd, Sacramento's Mike Bibby can opt out of his deal at the end of the season and if the Knicks don't buy out Steve Francis, he could be available. The Cavs have lukewarm interest in Memphis' Damon Stoudamire, Charlotte's Brevin Knight and Phoenix's Marcus Banks. The NBA trading deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday.

Brian Windhorst:

According to league sources, the Cavs have made everyone on their roster available, with the exception of LeBron James.

But unless they feel it is a slam-dunk move, they won't want to disturb their core.

Especially considering the team played well before the All-Star break, winning six of its last nine games.

Here's a look at point guards who may be on the market and what the Cavs have to offer:

Potential targets

Mike Bibby, Kings -- The Cavs have been in on-and-off talks with the Kings about their point guard for a long time. It is believed the Kings would move Bibby for the right deal but the Cavs don't have the parts needed. A third team needs to get involved and both sides have been looking.

Juan Dixon, Trail Blazers -- He's not a pure point guard. He's more of a combo guard and may be too much like Daniel Gibson for the Cavs to consider. But he can handle the ball, he's available and he could help.

Beno Udrih, Spurs -- He's lost his playing time again and is constantly in and out of coach Gregg Popovich's doghouse. Ferry was a part of the team that drafted Udrih three years ago and he likes the lefty's game. It is questionable whether the Spurs would let him go, though.

Travis Diener, Magic -- The Magic have been shopping their quick guard, according to reports. But potential playoff opponents aren't usually trading partners.

Marko Jaric, Timberwolves -- He's been in rumors for months now, ever since he voiced some displeasure earlier in the season. The Cavs looked at him in the summer of 2005, when he was a free agent, but the hefty contract he eventually signed makes him prohibitive. He's very unlikely to be going anywhere.

Jason Hart, Kings -- Never plays, isn't happy, wants to be traded. He's the type of player the Cavs could get cheap and he could be a change-of-pace ballhandler for the stretch run.

Look at those sexy names. Marko Jaric, Jason Hart, Travis Diener and Marcus Banks. Wow.

Obviously, Jason Kidd and Mike Bibby are the big names out there, but I doubt the Cavs have the parts that it would take to get them. They don't have a lot of big expiring contracts (Pollard, Wesley, Duane Jones, Varejao and Pavlovic), their better players are all overpaid (Zydrunas, Hughes, and I guess throw Damon Jones and Snow in there) and they have no draft picks (thanks Jim Paxson!). The Cavs are in obvious need of a point guard and teams will try to get them to overpay in a deal, but the thing is, I'm not sure the Cavs could overpay even if they wanted to.

And the lesser names on the list? I'll pass on Jaric and Banks for contract reasons alone (don't make a long term problem for a short term fix), Soudamire and Knight are intriguing but old and I have no idea how Stevie Franchise would even begin to mesh on the Cavalier roster. (Say the Knicks buy him out and he signs with Cleveland, could you imagine a backcourt of Larry Hughes and Francis? Their shot selection alone would be enough to drive me insane).

As for the rest, I can't imagine Cavs fans being that pleased with a deadline deal for Jason Hart. Not when Kidd and Bibby are out there (nevermind the fact that Cavs fans are idiots and the Cavs don't have the parts to trade. Fans will still be pissed at GM Danny Ferry).

Of course, there's still that other possibility...

The Cavs are expected to take a hard look and even perhaps make a hard sell on Scottie Pippen, who wants to make a comeback.

Pippen has said he prefers a warm-weather town, especially Miami, but playing for a contender is most important.

He's watched the Cavs play and believes he can help handling the ball.

One thing the Cavs might be able to offer him to sweeten the pot is a player/coach role, which would enable him to share his experience and give him a place to go without losing face if the comeback doesn't go well.

Pippen as a player-coach? Hell, why not? Maybe coach Pippen can install an offense that doesn't involve 4 guys standing around watching LeBron stand around.

Or am I getting my hopes up?


Erik said...

Bibby and (to a lesser extent) Kidd are still possibilities, Windhorst said, but it will almost certainly take getting a third team involved. Apparently, both the Kings and Cavs are actively seeking a third wheel, which makes me think that both sides would like to make a deal. But they are facing an uphill climb. Somehow, I think it might involve moving Andy V, which I hate the thought of.

I'd think that if Ferry were to make a move for a point guard, he'd want the guy to be a longer-term solution so he's not in an Indians-closer kind of situation. Bibby is signed for three years, albeit at eight figures per.

My guess is that if Bibby can't be had, the next target would be Beno Udrih, if only because he's still on his rookie deal and was drafted by the Spurs, which automatically gives him high marks with Brown and Ferry.

I don't know what the asking price would be for Udrih, or if he would even make much of an impact.

As for the Pippen being a player/coach, I like that idea more than sticking Pippen out there and assuming he'll be the ball-handling X-factor that makes the Cavs competitive with Detroit again.

Pippen's attitude would likely be more valuable than his play. I've been saying for months now that the Cavs could really use a Nate Thurmond figure to come in here and tell these guys to suck it up and start playing like champs.

If the Cavs landed Bibby and then signed Pippen, I'd be on Cloud Nine, which is almost a scary thought in Cleveland.

BW said...

If Ferry and Brown look at this team dynamic, they would be crazy not to lure Pippen to Cleveland if he was at all serious about coming here. A big guy who runs the point and plays all world defense (he was still all defensive team in 2000 with Portland at the youthful age of 35)

As far as point guards go, non of those guys aside from Bibby turn heads. Beno is decent, but hes young and doesnt have that much post season expereince except for riding the bench in SA. All the other guys are no names who simply are not going to fix the problem this year. If we make a trade, it has to be for Bibby. Hes the only guy whos going to bring guaranteed value to our team. Like Erik, I simply dont think you can trade Andy. Big for small is a bad idea especially when you are giving away a guy whos A) Taking away minutes from the current starter and B) consistant on the glass and plays 110% hustle when hes on the court. If anything, I would have a 3 team trade involving Gooden, Hughes, Shannon Brown or possibly all 3.

Erik said...

Hughes' contract is going to be a bitch to move. If he were a big making $13 million a year, I'd say the odds are still decent. But a skinny, average-sized, injury-prone off-guard with a spotty outside shot who is making $13 million a year? That's going to be tough.

The Cavs would be better off just trying to make do with Hughes, play to his strengths and try to find someone who will take the title of "best backcourt player on the roster" away from him.

I still say Gooden is this team's most tradeable piece, based on his value, the size of his contract and the fact that losing him probably wouldn't hurt the frontcourt all that much. Pavs is second. To land Bibby, both those guys would probably have to be involved somehow.

And for the record, if Andy V is traded, I will be pissed, even if it nets Bibby in return. Andy has a set of skills that a lot of players in this league don't have. Game-wise, he is very much in the mold of a Dennis Rodman, and is going to be a valuable piece of a contending ballclub somewhere. I just hope it's here.

Anonymous said...

Trading Andy V might be a good idea if the Cavs don't think they will be able to resign him in the offseason.

Ben said...

Because Gooden is in a base year contract (recently signed) he can only be traded one-on-one (meaning he can't be part of a multiple player package from the Cavs). I'm pretty sure I got that right....

AV (and Pavs for that matter) is a restricted free agent next offseason. Unless some team offers him a 6 year $60 million deal, I can't see the Cavs NOT matching. But hey, teams give big men crazy contracts, so who knows...

Say it takes a Hughes-Andy-Gibson combo to take Jason Kidd... man, I dunno. On one hand you're adding a hall of fame point guard to pair with LeBron James. That's nice. Plus, having Kidd around will make Gooden and Z that much better. Also, LeBron would have less to do and the Cavs could run more (Kidd crashes the boards).