TRADE 3A: Milwaukee trades Drew Gooden, Shannon Brown and Ira Newble for Charlie Villanueva and Bobby Simmons.
Why Cleveland does it: Because the Cavs need to do something and don't have any trade pieces that anyone really wants. They wouldn't miss anyone but Gooden, and he's replaceable because of Anderson Varejao. I also like the thought of Villanueva playing with LeBron because he can shoot 3-pointers and needs the kick-in-the-ass of playing with a great player like LeBron. And Simmons has a gawd-awful contract, but you know what? He's a physical defensive player, a tough dude who could make an impact on a playoff team. I watched him up close for an entire Clippers season -- he definitely has it in him. His contract sucks, but the good thing here is that it expires in 2010 right as do the contracts of Larry Hughes, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and ... (gulp) ... LeBron James, which means they could spend the 2009-2010 season either turning expiring contracts into quality guys, or waiting until the summer to splurge on free agency and make LeBron happy.
Why Milwaukee does it: The Bucks save some money after this season, dump Simmons' deal and turn their umpteenth perimeter guy (Villanueva) into a much-needed banger (Gooden). A no-brainer for them.
(By the way, I'd like to officially apply for Larry Harris' job -- a job we knew would be open three years ago after his deer-in-the-headlights performance after winning the 2005 lottery. Bucks fans, lemme remind you that I pushed long and hard for Chris Paul as the No. 1 pick of that draft. Do you think you'd enjoy rooting for Chris Paul right now? I bet you would. I love the good city of Milwaukee, I'd love to live there, and I'd love to run the Bucks. Come on, you couldn't do worse! Start bugging Herb Kohl right now and vote Simmons for Bucks GM in 2008! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!)
So the Cavs would be giving up most of next years expiring deals (Gooden, Jone, Marshall) while getting back Wally Word (owed $13 million next year), Bobby Simmons (owed $20.5 mil through 09/10) and Charlie Villanueva (owed $8 million through 09/10). So the would the Cavs be starting... Delonte West? They'd be bringing both Simmons and Szczerbiak off the bench?
TRADE 4A: Seattle trades Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and Mickael Gelabale to Cleveland for Damon Jones, Donyell Marshall, my illegitimate brother Cedric Simmons and a 2008 No. 2 pick.
Why Seattle does it: Saves the Sonics nearly $5 million over the next two seasons and dumps their two unhappiest guys. Of course, they'd be acquiring three unhappy guys, but who cares? The Sonics need to keep saving Clay Bennett money so he can devote more resources to needlessly destroying basketball in the city of Seattle and ripping the heart out of a loyal fan base that's only supported the NBA for 41 years and counting. Yeah, let's pull their team from them because they don't want to help a billionaire build a new arena that doesn't need to be built. That's an awesome idea. I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how David Stern could care so little about saving basketball in Seattle. It's completely inexplicable and goes against everything he's ever been about. I don't get it. I don't get it.
Why Cleveland does it: The Cavs are getting two quality 3-point shooters, one of whom (Wally) has playoff experience and could be an X-factor in the right series. While we're here, I think Delonte West is the second-best bargain available for a playoff contender other than Quinton Ross (who's going to end up being the next Bruce Bowen before everything's said and done), and here's why: He shoots 40-plus from 3-point terriroty; he was the second-best player on a great college team; he's scrappy as hell; and he's never played on a good team in the NBA. If he's your 10th man in the playoffs, you're going pretty well. Hey, speaking of Quinton Ross ...
These are exactly the types of moves that the Cavs should avoid. Adding mediocre players owed a lot of money. It's one thing if you turn your expiring contracts into Vince Carter or Michael Redd. It's quite another when you're getting Bobby Simmons and Wally Szczerbiak in return.