Thursday, February 19, 2009


Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

And I'm OK with that.

Look, getting Shaq could've been amazing, I won't deny that. It would've spiced up the second half it would've given the Cavs a legit low post threat and I would've loved having the big fella in town (it'd be a lot of fun).

But you have to admit, that's a substantial risk that the Cavaliers don't have to take.

First of all, they would've been giving up Ben Wallace in the (along with Pavlovic). I'm not a huge Wallace guy, but the man is useful. If you give up Wallace, who guards KG? Bosh? Odom? Picking up Shaq would be either a slight net gain or a lateral move. Sure, they could throw the ball down low, but they'd suffer defensively (unless you want all Varejao, all the time).

And it's not like there wouldn't be any offensive adjustments either. LeBron does a lot of drive-and-kick and if you have Shaq out there, he does what exactly? I'm not saying that the offense would be bad, but there would be some kind of adjustment period.

Nevermind the chemistry problems. Though Shaq seems like an (extremely) easy guy to get along with, you'd either have to send him or Z to the bench. I just have a hard time saying to Z, "thanks for all the blood, sweat and tears this past decade, but get on the bench for the title push".

Look, teams weren't willing to trade for those expiring deals this time around. Maybe no one wants to be the next Chris Wallace (or McHale), I dunno. But the Cavs weren't the only team looking to trade a big contract. Porland was dangling Raef LaFrenz and they ended up with nothing as well.

(also, I think the Cavs had a second move planned once they got Shaq. It doesn't make sense from a basketball standpoint to trade Ben and not pick up a PF somewhere else. If they really wanted Shaq, they could've traded Wally instead, but they would've been down to just Tarence Kinsey at the 2).

At the end of the day, the Cavs are 24-4 team when they have their full compliment of starters. That ain't bad. Would I have liked them to make a deal? Sure. But I don't want Ferry making a trade just to make a trade. It has to be the right deal for this ballclub (both short term and long term) and if the Suns wanted too much, then I don't blame Ferry for balking (he was obviously working the lines). At this point, I think you just have to trust his track record with these things.

Basically, I'm fine with them not pulling the trigger. It's not nearly as exciting and having the Big Cactus (Big Cuyahoga? Big Flaming River? Big Ford Plant?) here would've been beyond cool. But they're still 41-11, despite having their share of injuries, and when they're healthy, they're really good.

Let's just hope they stay healthy (and some bigs get bought out. *cough* JoeSmithDrewGooden *cough*)


graham said...

The problem that I'm having with all this is why could they not have swung a deal for a lesser player that is still an upgrade, a la Chris Wilcox or a similar player? Everything we've heard about is on a major name with a big contract. Way too much focus on hitting the homerun IMO.

I understand why they didn't bit on Shaq, but its borderline inexcusable to not upgrade in some way with some combo of Wally or Snow, Pavs, and picks. Now, the Celtics will probably get Joe Smith and Magic get Rafer Alston (not an insignificant pickup IMO).

I'm not gonna bash Ferry, but there's some question marks.

Ben said...

I just don't know what teams were doing. It's telling that Portland couldn't swing a deal with LaFrentz.

and I get that they could use a little upgrade, but Snow wasn't going to be traded unless they got a Bosh/Amare and Wally makes so much it's hard to deal him for a complimentary piece. I agree that it would've been nice to do something, but if it's not there, it's not there.

graham said...

If we sign Joe Smith I'll be cool. According to Ric Bucher the Celtics are targeting Mikki Moore. Hopefully that means Smith comes here.

Geoffrey said...

I am ok with not mortgaging the future to land someone who will only questionably help us.

I know its not the most popular route, but letting these deals expire will still help. How? Since we are saving money now, that means we can spend it later (Gilbert isn't exactly immune to the recession). It will be easier to take on more of a financial burden/luxury tax hit with 20 million coming off the books this summer.

Remember that we got Mo Williams over the summer for expiring contracts. The focus this summer will shift to the Wallace contract, Sasha contract, and Z contract. But thats done for now, time to focus on this season....

This team is essentially tied for first in the conference, with injury problems, lets not forget that. Yea it would be nice to get a bought out player (Joe Smith, Mikki Moore, Drew Gooden), but these injuries have shown our deep this team is.

The Other Ben said...

I have no problem with no trade. If you cant get a decent player for wally, wallace, sasha, and 1st rounder, then whats the point. Let us not forgot that Sasha is arguably our best perimeter defender not named Lebron so giving him up creates another hole. I've done my hating on Sasha in the past, but he has stepped his game up this year.

Ben said...

Ya, that's the other thing, trading Sasha creates a hole at the 2, with Delonte out. And trading Wallace creates a hole at the four (which is why I think they had another trade with Wally lined up).

I know they've had stinkers against the Lakers and that they've lost in Orlando, Boston, Atlanta, etc, but they don't have glaring weaknesses. Sure, they could use a backup big man or wing player, but they're not getting kill night in, night out at these spots either.

Nevermind the fact that LeBron (and Mike Brown) have led lesser teams through the playoffs before. This team is actually talented, so who knows what they'll be able to do.

Erik said...

None of what I'm about to write should really matter, because titles aren't won by popularity contests, but...

Did anyone catch the TNT postgame following the Celtics-Jazz game last night? Kenny Smith came right out and said the acquisition of Rafer Alston pushes the Magic past the Cavs in the East. Charles Barkley said the Cavs made a big mistake by not making a trade.

I think a great deal of the national praise heaped on the Cavs so far this season was predicated on the idea that they'd be making a big trade before the deadline to add a Stoudemire or Shaq or the like. Now that they haven't, I wonder if the folks at ESPN, TNT, etc. might be more apt to dismiss the Cavs as pretenders.

It's kind of like a guy falling for a girl with the idea that she's going to get a boob job. Then she doesn't get the boob job, and the guy is repelled. Total "Shallow Hal" stuff.

I mean, Alston is a fine supplementary player, but if all it took was the acquisition of Alston to put Orlando on a collision course with the Celtics in the ECF, I can't think Smith thought that much of the Cavs in the first place. And others likely share his opinion.

I wonder how much of the national media bought the Cavs on spec this year, and are going to be selling now that the deadline is past and LBJ doesn't have a future HOFer running with him.

Ben said...

Ya, that's probably true. Everyone assumed they'd trade Wally for a piece.

But at the same time, I don't think anyone expected them to be 41-11 at this point. Like, we all liked the Williams pick up, but nobody expected THIS, right?

Bottom line is that they could've beaten Boston last year (and almost did) and they're better this time around. They've had to deal with more injuries than the other contenders (certainly more total players, if not something like Bynum) and they're still keeping pace.

I'm not too worried if this team is healthy.

graham said...

I do think the Rafer signing is important though I can't say how much. He has the potential to play really well but I just can't see him putting over the top. That said, it's imperative we get the 1 seed to avoid facing Orlando in round 2 and Boston in round 3. Smith was a good player but he never seems to have any keen insight.

But in the end, the move to get to a big isn't to beat Boston or Orlando in my mind. Its primarily to deal with the Lakers in the Finals. They could care less about Sasha and would've dealt him in a heartbeat. Pavs probably won't be playing much at all come playoff time. The Cavs simply have to get either Joe Smith or Mikki Moore or they don't have much of a shot to beat the Lakers, and if Bynum comes back......

I understand why the Cavs couldn't get a deal done, particularly for the long run, but it does not follow that all is well this season, IMO. They tried like hell to get a big name for a reason. Its a missed opportunity no matter how you look at it or how it went down (or didn't go down).

graham said...

*Clarification - when I state I'm not comfortable with the notion that "all is fine", I'm not saying 41-11 isn't a phenomenal record - it is. Its that I think its inaccurate to say will be fine against the Lakers if we get that far.