Is Next Year Too Late?
Brian Windhorst from the Akron Beacon Journal said he took some heat for what some readers think of his defending of Danny Ferry.Â He goes on to write:
They could get both Pau Gasol and Jason Kidd. Shaquille O’Neal and Mike Bibby at the same time. Andre Miller, Mike Miller and even Shawn Marion together fit the parameters, too.
In theory, the Cavaliers realistically have the bullets to get them all. Which is exactly what fans desperate for help for LeBron James want to hear. But here’s what they don’t: None of it is probably going to happen now.
The NBA trading deadline is less than two weeks away, and it isn’t that General Manager Danny Ferry has decided to stand pat, it has been decided for him. As of this moment, the Cavs just don’t have what other teams want. But it won’t always be that way.
The only young player the Cavs have that is desired by the rest of the league is Daniel Gibson, who James calls his younger brother.
He is not going anywhere. Other than James, the player teams would want the most in a trade is Anderson Varejao, and he cannot be traded under league rules.
The largest expiring contract the Cavs have is $3.4 million and belongs to Ira Newble, who actually has been indispensable recently with the Cavs’ multiple injuries. Even then, it’s not that much money to pick up a major piece. Short of a collapse, the Cavs’ draft pick next June will not be in the lottery so that’s hardly attractive.
Now, pretend you are Ferry calling around and try to get Kidd or someone of his caliber with those facts not in question. He’s certainly tried and will continue to do so, but so far there just don’t seem to be any bites.
So how can it be said they have bullets? Well, just take a little look into the near future, the 2008-09 season when the Cavs will have about $35 million in potentially expiring contracts. The deals of Donyell Marshall ($5.9 million), Eric Snow ($7.3), Damon Jones ($4.5), Drew Gooden ($7.1) and Cedric Simmons ($1.7) will all be in their final seasons. Varejao ($5.7) has a player option that he plans on not picking up, and it is the final fully guaranteed year of Sasha Pavlovic’s ($4.5) deal.
Which means the Cavs will be in position to help a team with a star or a midlevel player looking to rebuild. And there are always teams in that position. In the last year alone, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat have dumped All-Stars for rebuilding reasons.
Whether or not it will happen in the summer or during the season next year, some or all of those players will be traded and largely for their contracts. For who will depend on circumstances and Ferry’s foresight and patience.
They will be vitally important moves because how Ferry uses those contracts to remake the roster will largely determine what the team looks like in 2010 when James’ contract is up. Until then, though, it’s probably just going to be scheming and watching to see what unfolds.
The Cavs might well be able to pull off a minor deal by Feb. 21, but it looks like the blockbuster is going to have to wait.