The emails and tweets started trickling in right after the deal was first reported. You had questions. Lots of questions. I try to answer as many emails as I can, and I know the other guys do the same. I thought perhaps a frequently asked questions post might be in order, since so many more probably are wondering the same things, but didn’t ask. Here goes-
Will Zydrunas be back?
It’s funny, but no matter how many times it has been written that the Cavs were trying to acquire Jamison or Amar’e or whoever, Ilgauskas’ name is always the one that comes up. But when the deal finally happens it was like some sort of shock that Z is gone.
I really like Zydrunas. I think he is one of the best Cavaliers ever. I think he is one of the nicest pro athletes I’ve ever met. And like we’ve all been saying- his contract will be bought out, and he will be back in 30 days. Is that a 100% certainty? No, but not much aside from death and taxes is. His agent has already stated that they will be asking for a buyout. He has a home here. He has a family here. There are few situations that would even be enticing for Zydrunas at this point. He will be a free agent, but nobody in contention has much spare cash under the cap to sign anyone, so they won’t be offering millions and millions more than Cleveland will offer. The Cavs have just under $2 million that they can use to sign Z. A team (like the Mavericks) would have to use the MLE to sign Z to more. There just aren’t many teams that have the full MLE left to spend, and even fewer of those that are ‘buyers’ right now. From Andrew, here is a list of teams that still have their MLE-
Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Golden State, LA Clippers, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Utah, Washington. Are any of these teams buyers right now? I don’t think so. Miami isn’t really in contention for a title. Even the idea of trading for Stoudemire is more for next season and keeping Wade than trying to win it all this year.
What happened to trading for Amar’e Stoudemire?
This is the million dollar question really. First, it sounds like the Suns just weren’t that impressed with what the Cavs were offering. J.J. Hickson may or not have been part of that package. Reports are sort of conflicting. Ferry has to be commended for eventually pulling the plug on the Amar’e deal and moving on to Jamison. The Arizona Republic has said that the Cavs actually pulled Hickson out of a package offer. Whether it was because they had plans for Hickson, or even just if Ferry was trying to force some action on the deal we may not know.
Will Jamison start or come off the bench?
Good question. Conventional wisdom is that you start your best 5 players. I don’t think that Antawn is a slam dunk to start, especially at first. In order to make this transition as seamless as possible I think the Cavs will want to keep the starting unit together. Andy Varejao hasn’t been the starter for a long time now, but he still gets more time on the court than Hickson. Plus, without Zydrunas for at least a month, Varejao’s role changes slightly. He is now the primary back-up center. It makes sense to me to keep Shaq and Hickson playing together, and let Varejao and Jamison find some chemistry on court together. Don’t forget, Jamsion was a 6th man award winner before. He could provide that punch off the bench we need, especially when LeBron sits.
Will the Cavs make any more moves?
I really don’t think so. (Other than offering Zydrunas a contract of course.) The only other possibility would be if a shooting guard was available. Even then, I just don’t think it is in the cards for another trade to happen. A sign and trade with Wally would take longer to develop than the Cavs have time left.
Why did the Cavs and Wizards need a third team to make this deal?
Well, for one thing the Cavaliers didn’t want to give up Hickson. The Wizards also wanted to be done with the Drew Gooden contract that they had just picked up in the Dallas deal. Certainly the Cavs weren’t going to take Gooden.
The original deal that I heard had Brian Skinner in it, what happened there?
Math. Pure and simple. The Wizards wanted to get under the luxury tax threshold, and after buying Zydrunas out they will be.
Why would the Cavs take on Sebastian Telfair?
They wanted Jamison. Truthfully they would have probably taken you in the deal as long as it brought Jamison and they got to keep Hickson. But he plays the point, and that is not the deepest end of the pool. He will be the little guy at the end of the bench, or in the suit behind the bench when everyone is healthy again. In other words, it doesn’t matter. He is along for the ride for this year and next. Plus, his $2.5 million contract will be expiring next year, and could be used to make a trade next February.
How are the Cavs going to find shots for all these big men?
This question would have been a bigger deal had they gotten Stoudemire. Every account you will find about Antawn Jamison says the same thing- this guy is a team first player. If he needs to take 5 shots a game for the Cavs to win that’s what he’ll take. If he needs to take 10 shots a game then that’s what he’ll take. If you are talking about the playoffs, how could it possibly hurt to have depth? The odd man out in the short term is likely going to be Leon Powe. Coming back from a serious knee surgery takes time, even when you start playing again. Powe will likely have to scrap for minutes in practice before he sees much game time.
Did the Cavs just give the Clippers the cap space they need to sign LeBron James this summer?
Okay, that question didn’t come in my inbox. It was posed by Chad Ford. Seriously? No. Thanks for playing.