Perhaps I am just overestimating the worth of $13 million of salary cap relief. Especially in this day, when everyone is trying to clear as much space for 2010 as they can, you’d think $13 million was a valuable piece of trade bait. So far, though, the rumors for Wally Szczerbiak and his now famous expiring contract have been pretty underwhelming.
First, there were the rumors of a deal involving Wally and Anderson Varejao going to Miami for Shawn Marion, a trade I wholeheartedly oppose. Now the latest involves another guy who has seemingly has his best days behind him. Bill Ingram for Hoopsworld has the latest. In his evening scoop column last night, he wrote,
“It’s no secret that the Sacramento Kings are in love with Wally Szczerbiak’s ending contract. The Kings are officially rebuilding, and Szczerbiak’s ending deal is exactly the kind of thing the Kings would love to get a hold of. HOOPSWORLD has learned that the Kings would send Brad Miller and a player to the Kings if it would return Szczerbiak and JJ Hickson.”
My initial reaction to reading this was, well, of course the Kings would. They’d be getting out of a contract they don’t want or need, especially with the play of Spencer Hawes and the potential of Jason Thompson. Furthermore, they’re getting back another valuable big guy with potential in J.J. Hickson. But what exactly are the Cavaliers getting return?
They’re getting a 32-year old, 10-year veteran center whose outstanding season last year is looking more like an exception and less like the rule on his downward trending NBA career. There’s no doubt the Cavaliers could use the depth in the front court that Brad Miller gives them. This year he’s averaging 11.3 points and 7.5 rebounds, but he’s doing so in 31.3 minutes per game. With a healthy Ilgauskas and Varejao, I don’t see Miller finding 31.3 minutes per game with Cleveland. I think the Cavaliers would be getting a guy who would replace the role Joe Smith held for the team last year…a veteran big guy who can buy the Cavaliers a few minutes here and there when they need it. Beyond that, Brad Miller hasn’t had a great season since 2004-05, and would not really give the Cavaliers much in return for Wally’s deal.
The worst part of it all would be that the Cavaliers would still owe Miller $12.25 million next year as well. This is just another deal that really makes no sense for the Cavaliers. It’s obvious why the Kings would do it, but less so why the Cavaliers would. Brad Miller isn’t really the kind of player who is going to make a difference between beating the Celtics and losing to them. And at the price tag he carries, it would just be the Cavaliers adding on another overpaid veteran. It’s been said before by Brian Windhorst that Danny Ferry is not going to trade Wally unless it’s a home run…the kind of deal that changes the way teams look at the Cavaliers. Brad Miller is not that player, and I highly doubt anything will ever come of this.