Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why Cavs fans should cheer for an NBA lockout

On Monday's BS Report, NBA commissioner David Stern discussed the very real possiblity of the owners deciding to contract the New Orleans Hornets in the event of a lockout.  While I am almost positive this is just posturing by Stern to gain a little negotiating leverage on the owners' behalf, and while I most certainly don't wish any city to lose a sports franchise after what Cleveland went through with the Browns, if contraction is something that could happen, I definitely want it to happen this year.

 Why?  Dispersal draft, baby.  And, if things hold as they have, the Cavs would almost definitely be holding the first pick, which means hello Chris Paul (although that could then mean goodbye Chris Paul in 2012, but let's dream a little for now).  Going by the standings as of February 15, here's how I see a dispersal draft shaking out.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers-Chris Paul, PG
No brainer.  Paul makes the Cavs relevant again, even if it is for only one season.  Plus, pair him with a high lottery pick, a healthy Anderson Varejao, and a still-developing J.J. Hickson, and the Cavs could make some noise in the bottom half of the East playoff teams next season.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves-Trevor Ariza, SF
Ariza fits well into David Kahn's new master plan of collecting underachieving small forwards (see: Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster).

3. Sacramento Kings-PASS
The best player left on the Hornets is David West, but the Kings don't need him with DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, and Carl Landry already on the roster.  Emeka Okafor makes too much money, and Jarrett Jack makes too much money for how terrible he is.

4. Toronto Raptors-Emeka Okafor, C
Okafor has a terrible contract, but his interior defense and rebounding would fit in well next Andrea Bargnani, who may be the softest big in the NBA.

5. Washington Wizards-David West, PF
Another no-brainer that would push the ultimate No-Brainer--Andray Blatche--to the bench.

6. New Jersey Nets-Quincy Poindexter, SF
Poindexter is still a rookie, so he can still develop, and, more importantly, is cheap.

7. Detroit Pistons-David Andersen, C
Andersen is your typical 7-foot body (with little other contributions) that every team seems to have on their roster.  Now Detroit has one, too.

8. Los Angeles Clippers-PASS

9. Milwaukee Bucks-PASS

10. Charlotte Bobcats-Jarrett Jack, PG
Michael Jordan just seems stupid enough to pick up Jack's remaining 2 years at about $5 million per to back up D.J. Augustin.  If Larry Brown were still there, I'd even go so far as to say Jack would be the Bobcats new starting point guard, which may be why Larry Brown isn't there anymore.

(These are the only players under contract with New Orleans beyond this season.)

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