Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't Count on Mike Bibby

With the season over, everyone is talking about what the Cavs should do this upcoming offseason. Obviously, the need for a point guard is a major issue and many people are throwing Mike Bibby's name out there.


Would the Mike Bibby we know and love (the guy who hit big shots versus the Lakers) look good in a Cavalier uniform? Of course. The problem is, I'm not sure the Cavs would be getting that guy.

But last year Bibby posted career lows in FG% and assists. And that FG%? A Larry Hughes-esque 40.4%. He's 29 years old, which isn't over the hill by any means, but it's not a good sign when you're approaching 30 and your number take a dip. He also doesn't play defense.

And oh, by the way, he'll make more money than Larry Hughes over the next two seasons.

I probably sound a bit harsh. Could Bibby have simply had a bad year? Sure. There was a wrist injury that bugged him all year long which could explain his poor shooting (and the poor shooting could explain the lack of assists, etc). And is he a better point guard than anyone on this roster? of course. But it worries me to go off trading for a guy with an eight figure salary... coming off his worst season.


IF Bibby opts out of his contract (he has an early termination option) and the Cavs can sign him to a more team friendly deal (remember, LeBron's extension kicks in this summer as well) then I'd be all for it. But Bibby doesn't want to risk the (insane amount of) guaranteed money (I mean, er... he wants to give it a shot with his new coach) so the only way he'll be available is through a trade.

And if you think that, since the Cavs and Kings were close to a deal at the deadline, they'll be able to easily put something together now, you're wrong. I'll let Brian Windhorst explain:
There seems to be some belief out there that the Cavs and Sacramento Kings will re-start talks over point guard Mike Bibby, but in reality the time might have passed. The Kings wanted some expiring contracts in the deal; that was a large component of the original talks. With the season over, the Cavs no longer have the same assets to offer. Never say never, but don't assume it's much of an option.
So let's calm down on the Bibby trade scenarios. What Sacramento wanted, the Cavs no longer have. Plus, part of me feels like trading for Bibby and his contract mid-season for a playoff push is OK. But in the offseason, when time isn't of the essence and you can afford to work a bit more, taking on Bibby isn't the best move.

I think it's obvious that the Cavs need to make some moves this summer. They need to upgrade the point guard position. I personally think that Hughes needs to be dealt (I think it''ll be good for all parties involved) and I wouldn't be shocked if he asked for a trade (again?). I'm not saying Bibby isn't a possibility, but I don't think it's the slam dunk move that everyone thinks it is.


The Other Ben said...

When I saw the headline of this post I thought you were referring to his 2005-2006 playoff performance.

Erik said...

When Brian Windhorst said a Bibby deal probably wasn't going to happen, I gave up on it.

It makes sense. The Kings wanted expiring contracts and young players. They probably would have wanted Drew Gooden or Anderson Varejao in a sign-and-trade. The Cavs have few expiring contracts, no tradeable draft picks and really can't trade Gooden unless it is for an upgrade at power forward.

But the question is, who do they go after to upgrade the point if Bibby is a dead end? Some fans are talking about Mo Williams of the Bucks like he's the next big thing, and 17 points and six assists are nice numbers, but can he really be the "missing piece"?

Earl Boykins is way too short to start. Guys like Chauncey Billups would abuse him. Steve Blake ... ehh ... career bench player, I say.

Boobie could start, but defensively, he's more scrappy than effective. And you can't ignore the fact that his best games seem to occur when he's coming off the bench.

So there really aren't a lot of good options out there.

My belief: Larry Hughes will be the starting PG next season. He's obviously going to be difficult to move due to his contract, and he plays D, which makes him OK in Mike Brown's book. So despite what fans might want to believe, I don't think Cavs management is all that eager to move Hughes.

Ben said...

I think Gibson will eventually move into the starting lineup. If not next season, then the year after.

I also still think Hughes has a better chance of leaving than people realize. In a league where Jim Paxson can trade a bloated Shawn Kemp, anyone can be traded.

As for Boykins, sign him, bring him off the bench. End of story.

As for the guys I'd pursue, I'd go after Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Shawn Marion. I'd also bring back the experiment of LeBron at the point (which basically was the offense when they had the shooters out there). Sure it didn't work as an 18 yr old rookie, but I think it could have some legs now.

Erik said...

I have to respectfully disagree with the "LeBron at the point" scenario. I hate it when he's setting up the offense. Opposing defenses can smother him 30 feet from the basket while they let lesser players like Sasha Pavlovic roam free. (See Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals.)

What LeBron needs is a point guard who can find him when he is cutting to the basket. LeBron is the most unstoppable player in the league when he finds a lane to the hoop, and he needs to be receiving the ball inside the arc as opposed to bringing it up the floor and allowing the defense to sit on him because they know the rest of the Cavs scorers probably can't hurt them.

Look at the Pistons offense when it is grooving -- not the shitty Pistons offense of the EC Finals. There are no dominant scorers, but when Chauncey Billups is making the key pass to a cutting Rip Hamilton or a spotting-up Tayshaun Prince, that offense is one of the best-executed in the league.

That's what the Cavs should be aiming for, in my opinion, and a true PG is the only way to make it happen.

Ben said...

Well, there's the "LeBron setting up the offense" point guard and the "LeBron holds the ball 30 feet from the hoop" version.

One of the reasons why I'm not pleased about LBJ playing with team USA is the fact that he needs to work on his game. He needs practice.

He needs to learn to not hold the ball, he needs to learn to post up down low (not 20 feet from the hoop). An offense where LeBron attacks early, has shooters on the floor with lots of ball movement is much better than Larry Hughes or Eric Snow bringing the ball up court and holding the ball (or Hughes jacking up a terrible shot).

If the Cavs can't get that classic point guard, I'd rather them put the ball in LeBron's hands and let him create. He at least seems to enjoy passing, unlike (especially) Hughes and Gibson.

graham said...

Bibby definitely isn't coming here, and that's good. As Ben points out, he just makes too much money for a guy about to be on a downhill slide (if he already isn't).

I'd go after Mo Williams if the money isn't too high. If he's getting 9-10 million a year, then I say forget it. Its weird though, Cavs probably need a PG, but if they weren't atrocious shooters LeBron can find open shots all night long no matter what position he plays. Also, I don't need to remind you guys that Mike Brown had better find an offensive coach or gameplan (If I was Ferry, I'd demand an offensive coach)

RJ Mahoney said...

the cavs are set at point guard, shooting guard, and small forward. As we saw in the playoffs, Gibson is the real deal. He will make a great point guard in the future, and we dont need anyone else to fill the position. I believe that Hughes will also pick up his game. He was playing off a finger injury in the 05 06 season, and i think he will show his true colors this next season. And, we all know Lebron can basically do everything.

If anything, we need a strong post player. I think someone like Kenyon Martin or Eddie Curry would do the job. Illgauskas is a solid center for now, but the power forward position has always been a question for the cavs. Sure Gooden is good enough, but they could surely improve.

Now that Gibson will be ready to play this year as his rookie gitters are gone, they will be a solid team to fear in the East. The thing they need is to be feared in the West, which will be a hard task considering the talented teams out there. I think we need a solid and stong PF in order to put the fear in the opponents eyes. We need someone who has been there before; a veteran that can help not only on the floor, but in team leadership as well.

We already have a pretty solid bench as well. Adding someone like Earl Boykins would obviously help as well. We have shooters, passers, rebounders, amd defenders, and that will make the Cavs a tough team to beat. But Lebron needs his Pippen and Kerr that Jordan has. If anything, i think Gibson will turn into his Kerr. As for his Pippen, everyone thought that was Hughes, but untill he picks up his game, they need to pick up someone else to take the spot of Pippen or they (Lebron as Jordan) will not be able to perform to gain a championship.

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