As we continue to debate the ever-impressive LeBron going East argument, the list of players that could be leaving their current teams now (as opposed to 2010) has grown considerably over the last 24 hours.
While Baron Davis turned down his $17.8 million offer, the Clippers have also been put on notice for forwards Corey Maggette ($8.4mm) and Elton Brand ($16.4mm).
We all know that Gilbert Arenas opted out of his contract with the Washington Wizards – but there had been speculation that he would be re-signing. He’s been rumored to be willing to accept less-than-max money from the Wizards, assuming the front office were to reallocate his would-be funds to bring in more talent. ‘
Josh Smith, Beno Udrih and James Posey are just a few of the other names you’ll likely hear about over the next few days. But which players could the Cavaliers offer a contract to?
Zero. None of them. Yes, it would be great to be able to offer a deal to Baron Davis. A point guard that plays defense, can score, and dishes the ball with the best of them. Brand? Sure! He’d solve all of our frontcourt issues in one fell swoop.
But we have next to zero dollars to offer. Recall Rock’s piece (a popular guy, eh?) from a few weeks ago that laid all of this out? Our only hope would be sign-and-trades with a team that would be willing to take on some expiring deals, and a lot of hair. Maybe even the ocassional draft selection.
Until the ink dries, this is all pure speculation. But as a Cavs fan, I would advise you to not hold your breath or pre-order your “DAVIS #5″ jersey any time soon.
So what options does this leave with Danny Ferry moving forward? Not many, unfortunately. The Cavaliers best (and only) option for getting better remains via trade. One problem with that, though, is that suddenly with Baron Davis opting out, the trade market is awfully vacant.
Initially, the Cavs’ best trade partner appeared to be Milwaukee. However, with the trade bringing in Richard Jefferson, the Bucks appear to be more interested in trying to win now. With that trade, it seems highly unlikely that the Bucks would be looking to move Redd in exchange for expiring contracts. It’s possible they could still move Redd if they were high on Daniel Gibson and sought to bring him back in a trade. Gibson’s ability to play at the 1 or the 2 position could benefit New Jersey if Joe Alexander turns out to be the type of player they think he can, as Gibson could move into a rotation with Mo Williams, Richard Jefferson, and Alexander. But until they know what they have in Alexander, I wouldn’t have my hopes up too high on Milwaukee moving Redd. Possibly once we get closer to the trade deadline and Milwaukee has a better idea of what kind of team they have something could happen, but until then, it seems like a long shot.
There aren’t many other names out there being tossed around in trade talks. Maybe a guy like Kirk Hinrich could be available, but is that really going to be the answer to Cleveland’s prayers, and would the Cavs and Bulls even be interested in trading within the division again? Doesn’t seem likely.
The trouble is, things aren’t going to get any easier for Danny Ferry any time soon. One option would be to just let all the contracts expire this year, and then go after a free agent next year. Next year’s unrestricted free agent pool will include Kobe Bryant (although he has a 2-year player option I would assume he’ll pick up), Devin Harris, Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry (player option), Quentin Richardson (player option), Jerome James (player option), Andre Miller, Drew Gooden, Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels, Mike Bibby, Shawn Marion (if he doesn’t reach an extension before then), Jason Kidd, Smush Parker, Bobby Jackson, Steve Francis, Damon Stoudemire, Jannero Pargo, Jacque Vaughn, Allen Iverson, Eduardo Najera, Jason Collins, Ryan Gomes, Chris Wilcox, Carlos Boozer (player option), Mehmet Okur (player option), and Lamar Odom. Is the guy the Cavaliers need in that pool of players, and if so, are the Cavs sure that player would want to sign with Cleveland? Will anyone want to sign with Cleveland in 2009 anyway with the threat of LeBron leaving them behind in 2010?
The sign-and-trade option this year is interesting. You’re hearing rumors that the Clippers have offered Baron Davis a 5-year, $60 million deal. Do the Cavaliers want to offer more than that? If so, can they convince the Warriors, or anyone, for that matter, to take back Wally Szczerbiak? Why would anyone want to do that? What can the Cavaliers throw in to the deal to make the sign-and-trade more enticing? A first round draft pick is unlikely to do the trick. Would a package of Daniel Gibson (signed at approx $5.5 million), Sasha Pavlovic, and Eric Snow’s expiring contract be enough to entice a team? It’s really hard to say.
Who knows what’s going to happen in the next 30 days, the next 3 months, the next year? The one thing that seems evident is that Danny Ferry is running out of options fast, and our worst fear of heading into next season with the exact same roster is becoming more and more likely. We could be in for another long, silent offseason.