Thursday, June 24, 2010

Well... fuck

This is Not Good:
The Chicago Bulls have a deal in place that would move Kirk Hinrich and the 17th pick to the Washington Wizards, freeing up enough cap space to pursue two maximum-salary players in this summer's free-agent market, sources with knowledge of the Bulls' plans said Thursday.
Ruh-roh.

The Bulls scared me before this deal and now I'm absolutely terrified.

If this deal goes through and the Bulls are able to sign two max guys, I can't even blame LeBron for leaving. Can you? Seriously, Derek Rose, Joakim Noah, LeBron and someone of the Wade/Bosh/Amare/Joe Johnson/Dirk group is ridiculous (oh, and Luol Deng. Luol Deng!!). The Cavs simply don't have the parts to match that.

There is one thing to note: this deal can't go through until July 8th. Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie writes:

Most readers know where my allegiances lie, so I'm being careful not to shout too loudly about the deal, which can still be reneged upon in the two week window between now and the 8th, but this seems a pretty curious move unless the Wizards have more deals (either taking in more players, dumping Gilbert Arenas, or both) on the ready. As it stands, Hinrich's stout defense and veteran guidance seem to be coming to Washington at a pretty steep price.

For Chicago, this is a deal to drool over. As it stands, tossing Hinrich away leaves them pretty thin in the backcourt, but in dumping his salary and sending Washington a first round selection (guaranteed money), the Bulls will be nearly $31 million under the salary cap this summer, assuming the cap is set at $56.1 million. With maximum salaries starting at $16.5 million, Chicago could offer a second-tier free agent (perhaps Joe Johnson, whose agent is quite close with Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and owes Reinsdorf an favor after Chicago dumped $60 million on Ben Wallace four years ago) just under the max after pulling in one of the bigger names in the free agent pool.

Of course, this is all for naught if the Wizards back out. And while that would put them in poor standing around the league, it's quite feasible if no other moves are coming down the pike. Or even if a player targeted with the 17th pick is taken higher than expected. Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld has long liked Hinrich's qualities, but to like him this much? It seems like a bit of a reach.

Ric Bucher originally reported that the Sacramento Kings would have a similar offer in place if Washington declines to move on this deal, but that report has been quashed by several media outlets in the time since.

So we got that hope left. The Wizards can still back out.

The sick part of all this is that the Cavs made it all possible. Brian Windhorst tweets:

Irony on Bulls trading Hinrich to clear 10M cap space: Wiz used space Cavs gave in Jamison deal to do it

Kill me now.

5 comments:

Erik said...

Bulls, Knicks and Heat could all sign two max guys, or very close. Cavs shot their wad trying to win with LBJ the past two years. Frankly, I don't know how you could try to do any differently.

If LBJ is all about hooking up with another star player, then yeah, he's probably gone. Cavs just aren't in that market right now. They were banking on surrounding LBJ with the ammo to win a title prior to his free agency, and using that as leverage to get him to re-sign.

Obviously, that all blew up in their face in May, with LBJ as a primary culprit.

The situation just kind of is what it is at this point. Teams like the Knicks and Bulls have been maneuvering for maximum flexibility this summer, and now you're seeing the results. The Cavs sacrificed flexibility to win now, it didn't pay off, and now you're seeing the results.

Instead of continuing on with this farce that we're going to re-sign LeBron with a rookie GM and no coach, maybe it's time for the Cavs to cut bait on LBJ, let the big markets fight over him (which is what LBJ really wants), and re-commit to drafting and developing young talent. Leave this circus on your own terms, with some scrap of dignity left.

That's probably too far-fetched, but as the Cavs fade to the back of the pack in the LeBron sweepstakes, it might be the prudent thing to do.

Graham said...

The real shame of it is we had 7 years with LeBron and could never put the appropriate roster around him. We should have had at least one title. For all the talk of the Cavs always being in "win now" mode, they did a pretty poor job of it.

Erik, as far as the Cavs cutting bait on LeBron - its going to happen soon enough. I don't think they really need to move in that direction, as they won't have a choice in about 3 weeks.

davemanddd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
davemanddd said...

you know, the more i think about this, the more i think that lebron actually will stay here. after all, look at his entire history. when he was with the shooting stars in his pre-teen years, his main desire was to win an aau national championship but he failed, even missing what could have been the game-winning shot. many people marvelled at his game even then as just a 12-year old, but they were quick to put down his other teammates and coaches as supposedly not being up to par. i think that really ate at him and with 4 of the same boys and their coach from that team then going to the same high school at akron st vincent/st mary, they went on to win 3 state titles in 4 years. but after winning in both their freshman and sophomore years, it's the one they failed to win in their junior year is what ate at lebron and renewed his fire to go out and win the mythical national championship his senior year. i can see a lot of the same mindset developing here for him in c-town as he failed to deliver a title to cleveland as he so bombastically said he would when he said he was going to "light cleveland up like vegas". i think what truly fuels lebron's fire is failure. i just don't see him going to another city when he still has unfinished business here. of course many people are saying that chicago has the inside track for luring lebron away based upon their young core of players like derrick rose, luol deng, joakim noah and taj gibson, but i really don't think lebron is dumb enough to ever want to play in the shadow of michael jordan. he wants to make a name for his own self. besides that, there is some really bad blood between him and chicago, especially noah. i really don't see that smoothing over just because they can give him a max contract. if he truly is about winning a title, are the bulls really that good a team to win a title with him??? i mean we are talking about the 8th seed in the east here. does adding james immediately make them the # 1 seed now??? their still not any better than boston or orlando, even with lebron. i think people lose sight of that. most teams that win a title are ones that play together for a long time, suffer some times of adversity before they finally do get over the hump. lebron has to know that the cavs are right there at the hump and for him to leave now would be something akin to quitting and starting over anew someplace else and despite what others may say, i just don't see him doing that. we can only hope. go cavs!!!

Erik said...

Graham, I still think Ferry did a pretty good job of putting a roster around LeBron. The Cavs are still one of the deepest, most versatile and most talented teams in the league. Let's not allow the end result of the playoffs to color our opinion too much.

The Cavs didn't lose to the Celtics because the roster was inadequate. They lost because LBJ was hurt and/or quit. They lost because Rajon Rondo was an unsolvable riddle. They lost because Mike Brown left Jamison in there to get abused by KG time after time.

Realistically, the Cavs are still the deepest and most talented team on LBJ's radar. Any team that has cleared the space to sign two max guys is going to have some major depth issues. Maybe a great starting five, but real problems with the bench.

It's hard to contend without a bench. You lose a lot of versatility with matchups from series to series.

This is where I stand: If LeBron is all about hooking up with another superstar, everything else be damned, then that won't happen in Cleveland, so yes, he's gone. If he is still willing to look at teams as the sum total of their parts, I think the Cavs still have a shot.