Thursday, February 03, 2011

Three Trades To Change The Cavs

(Who the hell is Alonzo Gee?)

When my girlfriend and I decided to forgo getting cable, I was concerned I would miss watching the Cavs.  As the losses pile up in ever-more humiliating fashion, however, I feel more and more like not getting cable was the the best decision I've made in years.  It has become exceedingly apparent that even though there may be some talent on the roster, the Cavs need to turn that roster over, and soon.  There is just too much of a funk hanging over these guys, and it would probably be best if they all tried to reclaim their careers elsewhere.  Hence, my three trade ideas to change the Cavs.  Notice I'm not promising to make the Cavs any better; in order for them to win at the the level Clevelanders have become accustomed to the past 5 or so years, the Cavs are going to need some serious lottery luck (in very likely more than one lottery).  No, these trades will only clear out the bad vibes of the post-LeBron era, while hopefully leaving the roster flexible for future building.  There is no building happening this year; instead, the goal for the remainder of the season should be exorcising every last vestige of this horrible, horrible team.  (Please note: I don't really understand how the trade exception works, so it is entirely possible all three of these trades cannot happen congruently.  Please forgive me if this is the case.)


Cavs get:
C Eddy Curry
F Caron Butler
Dallas 1st Round Pick

Mavericks get:
F Antawn Jamison
C Jermaine O'Neal

Knicks get:
C Brendan Haywood
F Jermario Moon

Celtics get:
G Anthony Parker

The Cavs get two large expiring contracts in exchange for two smaller expiring deals (Parker and Moon) and Jamison's remaining $21 million or so over the next season-and-a-half.  They also get what will likely be a late-first round pick, which is fine since the goal, if you remember, is to purge the roster, and then refill it with as much potentially talented youth as you can acquire.  Butler would most likely be bought out in this case so that he can return to Dallas in hopes of returning to health in time for the playoffs, while Curry would most likely be paid to eat, just as he's been for the past 3 years.  The Mavericks add Jamison's scoring, while also replacing Haywood's ineffective size with O'Neal's cheaper--but older--ineffective size.  The Knicks take a swing at making some noise in this year's playoffs, hoping that Haywood can return to his above-average level of play and be the defensive-minded rebounding force Amar'e needs beside him.  The Celtics get Anthony Parker to replace Marquis Daniels in their rotation, a need I was unaware of but one that Bill Simmons seems to think is keeping the C's from another title.


Cavs get:
C Greg Oden
SF Luke Babbitt

Blazers get:
PF Anderson Varejao

This is a crazy one, I know, but hear me out.  Varejao is undoubtedly the Cavs' best player, but think about what he does.  He rebounds, he help-defends, and he rolls to the hoop exceptionally well on screen-and-rolls.  These are all great attributes to have on a team with scorers and on-the-ball defenders and fearsome shot-blockers (or, in the case of previous Cavalier squads, all of those things-in-one in LeBron), but aren't really going to lift a team that needs all of those things up from the dregs.  Now, I know Varejao is out for the season, but assume Portland realizes that even if they make the playoffs, they aren't going to do anything, so they decide to take an opportunity to solidify themselves for the future while leaving the current roster essentially untouched.  It does mean giving up on Oden, but at this point, doesn't he (and Portland) need a fresh start?  Varejao gives the Blazers a known quantity once he returns from his injury, and there is a cost certainty built in to his contract.  Oden is a restricted free agent after this season, and there is some serious soul-searching going on in Portland about whether to extend him the $9 million qualifying offer or not.  Not so in Cleveland, where Dan Gilbert will gladly pay $9 million on what is essentially another lottery pick.  Babbitt, for what it's worth, was rated number 7 by John Hollinger's Draft Rater coming into last year's draft, so there may be something there, as well.


Cavs get:
G Matt Carroll
G Gerald Henderson
C DeSagana Diop

Bobcats get:
G Mo Williams
C Ryan Hollins

The Cavs make this move to simply get rid of Mo Williams.  Of all of the players left over from the LeBron days, Williams is the one who carries it the most (he almost retired after the Decision, remember?).  He needs to get to a different city, playing for a different team, stat.  Maybe Stephen Jackson can toughen him up.  Who knows?  Henderson may turn into something (although I wouldn't bet on it), but Carroll and the returning Diop are two of the worst contracts in the NBA and are the tax the Cavs must pay for giving the Bobcats a serviceable veteran (the NBA trade etiquette is quite strange).  Alas, that is the going rate to dump a contract that extends past the end of the season, although I'm sure Michael Jordan wouldn't view this as a dump at all, but rather a move that solidifies the Bobcats' playoff position.  (It is this very delusion that I was banking on when I cooked up this trade, because, honestly, I just don't see there being a market at all for Mo Williams's services, and I mean even after his contract expires.  There is so much young point guard talent in the league right now that I can easily see this being the last contract of Williams's career.) 

And so, following these three "blockbusters," the Cavs roster would be completely overhauled:

PG Ramon Sessions
SG Manny Harris
SF Gerald Henderson
PF Luke Babbitt
C JJ Hickson
G Boobie Gibson
G Christian Eyenga
F Joey Graham
C DeSagana Diop

It's still the worst team in the league, but at least there's some youth, and perhaps a change in attitude will accompany that youth.  Really, it would be nice to see the Cavs do something in response to this streak, even if it means trading all of the assets for pennies on the dollar.  Let's blow this up now, before a single other fan is alienated and the Cavs are being introduced as the new Seattle Supersonics in 2015.  

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