This off season has certainly been full of rumors and speculation. Over the weekend, a new one popped up thanks to the folks over at Celtics Blog and Hoops Daily. (via Fear the Sword) This bit of speculation has the Cavs interested in PF Leon Powe-
Leon Powe is considering an offer from Cleveland. Apparently Dallas has an offer to him as well, but with Drew Gooden signing he might be leaning towards taking the Cavs offer. He still has not received an offer from Boston.
We have not heard anything as of yet about an official offer from the Cavs. Even if they haven’t made an offer you can bet that they have at least gauged interest from Powe and his agent.
It is important to remember that Leon Powe is still recovering from season-ending surgery. He sprained his knee a couple weeks before the regular season ended, and tried to come back too soon. The result was a torn ACL and meniscus in the playoffs. The Celtics decided not to tender an offer to Powe, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Here what I like about it-
When healthy, Leon Powe can play the game. He is an experienced (but still young) power forward that has been on the floor during crucial playoff games. He’s been through the NBA Finals and won. He’s banged bodies with Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. His playoff averages from the Celtics championship run: 11.7 minutes, 5.0 points, 2.7 rebounds. That’s decent production from your 9th or 10th man.
Going beyond numbers (and for the record his career PER stands somewhere around 17.0) Leon gives your team second chances to score with his rebounding and nose for the ball. He takes charges well, and is a better defender against the pick and roll than most of our current options.
Powe is currenly a better option than D-Block. He is better – right now – than JJ Hickson. We know that Powe is out until February, but we also we have no idea what is going on with Hickson’s back. He could be back at the beginning of the season, or he could be on the shelf for the majority of the year.
I’d rather take my chances on a somewhat known commodity. The Cavaliers should be able to handle the first half of the season without Powe. Then he would provide a mis-season lift right around the trade deadline. By then the Cavs should know how the team compares against the rest of the league and what they might need to do. It would give them freedom to make a deal knowing Powe was getting set to come back.
Here’s what I don’t like about it-
As much as we need another PF, Powe’s game is very similar to Andy’s. I would much rather have a physical, shot blocking type of defender than another lane stuffer who tries to beat you to a spot. He gets into foul trouble fairly easily (not the best quality for a 15-minute per game guy). Most importantly though, he is a gamble. If they tie up the bi-annual on him and he ends up not being able to contribute, the Cavs will have seriously hurt their chances of improving themselves at the trade deadline.
Would Powe sign for the veteran’s minimum? Hard to say.
The market isn’t good right now, and there are healthy players that should get deals before Leon. He could rehab on his own and then hope a club is ready to use the MLE (or a good chunk of it) when the all-star game comes around. Then again, he could sign with the Cavs on a one year deal and rehab at one of the best facilities in the NBA, paid for by his current team. Then he could treat the second half of the season as his try out for the rest of the league, proving himself to be healthy again.
That sounds like a win-win to me.