Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hey Joe

This Mo Williams trade looks better and better:
Joe Smith is about to bounce back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The veteran forward, traded last summer by the Cavs in the deal that brought them All-Star guard Mo Williams, agreed to terms Tuesday night on a one-year contract with Cleveland, his agent told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"After careful consideration of his options, Joe has decided that the Cavs are the best fit," agent Dan Fegan told the paper.

Smith can not officially sign with the Cavaliers until he clears waivers on Wednesday. But that's the final procedural hurdle in a signing that has been expected since the 33-year-old Smith bought out his contract on Sunday with the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Smith will definitely help the Cavs in both the short term and long term. With Ben Wallace out, Smith should be able to give the Cavs some key minutes over the next month or so. Once Benny makes his triumphant return, Smith will be able to take a key role on the bench as the 4th big (sorry J.J.) for the playoff run.

There's really not a anything about this that Cavs fans shouldn't like. They get a veteran big, who's played with the team, who's used to both the system and the players. Plus, he's filling a small need that got a bit larger with the injury to Ben's leg.

Is he the last piece to the championship puzzle? We'll see, won't we?

(Oh, and Boston, thanks for pursuing Mikki Moore so hard. Much appreciated).


Anonymous said...

I hope that the Cavs don't overuse him because the tribe is going to need a healthy Joe Smith in the bullpen this year.

geoffrey said...

This pretty much marks the end of the J.J. Hickson experiment this season. I'll be surprised if he'll see any significant minutes for the rest of the season. He has 3 and eventually 4 veteran big men ahead of him, not to mention the Wally at 4 lineup. Hopefully he works hard in the summer and comes back the player we think we can be.

Ben said...

Ya, depending on how often they use the small-ball lineup with Wally at the 4, Hickson's time will only diminish.

However, I'm not so he'll ride the pine for the rest of the season. He's impressed with with his rebounding skills and we saw Mike Brown use J.J. in a lineup of Mo-Delonte-James-Hickson-Z and another w/Varejao instead of Z. He's getting playing time with the starters, I think that says something, no?

I don't expect this kid to play at all come playoff time, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a spot stint during May and June if the Cavs get into foul trouble. (which is about as of a season as you could've hoped for the 19th pick)

Erik said...

Ferry's patience was rewarded. I think Danny Ainge was hasty in snatching up Mikki Moore and Stephon Marbury instead of waiting to see if Smith would be bought out.

The Celtics likely would have been Smith's first overall choice, but Ainge acted out of desperation to fortify his bench as quickly as possible, and now the Cavs can reap the benefits of Boston's haste by bringing in a player who will contribute more than Moore or Marbury.

LK said...

Why would celtics be Smith's first choice...He clearly stated he wanted to go to cleveland, above all, he knows the system and is comfortable there. Besides the cavs have 5 million of their mid level exception which is more than boston had even before their signings,,,learn the facts of this before commenting Erik

Ben said...

I've read that Smith would've/could've gone to the Celts as well.

Mostly because of Smith's relationship with KG (remember, Minny got screwed over bc they signed Smith illegally. He was in Minny, left after the controversy and then came back).

Maybe he would've come here all along, but I think the Celtics definitely made it an slam dunk by signing Moore right away.

Erik said...

That's really all I was saying. The Cavs became Joe's undisputed top choice after Ainge took the C's out of the running by signing Moore.

The Cavs could have offered more money than the Celtics, but the Celtics have already won a ring and they have KG, who is a close friend of Smith's. The draw of a superstar friend and a proven championship nucleus is tough to overcome when wooing an aging vet, even with a superior financial offer. I mean, we're talking about the difference between $3.5 million from the Cavs and $1 million and change from the Celtics. Chump change to a 13-year NBA vet.

Maybe the Cavs would have won out in the Smith sweepstakes had they gone head-to-head with Boston. But regardless, I'm glad Ainge made the speculation a moot point.

geoffrey said...

Considering all the rumors we heard were about Joe Smith to Boston, I would bet money that the Celtics were the ones making those rumors (ie KG, Ainge).

Ben said...

re: Ainge and KG: I wouldn't be surprised but I seem to remember a Marc Stein piece where he actually talked to Joe about joining the Celts or the Cavs and Smith played real coy when it came to the Celtics. I dunno.

Again, thanks to Danny Ainge for making this point moot.

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