As we have done in the past, this morning we want our loyal readers to get a glimpse into “how the sausage is made” behind the scenes here at WFNY. This is another in the long line of WFNY email chains that spawn great debate. This one is a back and forth discussing the notion of: if you were Danny Ferry and Dan Gilbert, would you consider doing a sign-and-trade with LeBron James to another team?
DP: I heard Jalen Rose say something interesting on M&M this morning while commuting. In Rose’s opinion, if he were Danny Ferry he *wouldn’t* entertain a sign-and-trade under any circumstances because: if LeBron wants to leave, he should have to do so without the extra money he’d get from a sign-and-trade from Cleveland. Which I think begs an interesting question: is it worth it to give LeBron the cash and trade him to help rebuild the roster, or if he’s leaving does that tick you off enough to scuttle your team in the interest of not giving LeBron the extra $30 mill?
Scott: I’ve been debating a piece on those exact lines for a few days. Definitely a conundrum.
Rick: The sign and trade thing would be so that a team LeBron is going to would have enough cap space to sign another FA.
Denny: Obviously the other team would need cap space to get a FA, because I would hope that the Cavs would at least do their best to scuttle the other roster and get any decent pieces they could from them in “exchange” for his Kingness. I don’t like the idea of it either – I agree with Jalen Rose. /vomits
DP: Yes, but could the Cavs use that to their advantage to get a piece and a couple of picks or something in return? It’d be better than losing him for nothing, and in theory Cleveland wouldn’t be paying the extra money. Refusing to do a sign-and-trade from the Cavs perspective—to me at least—would be ONLY about sticking it to LeBron and forcing him to take less money. It wouldn’t do anything positive for the franchise, IMHO. I guess I’m of the mind that if LeBron wants to go, let him go. But if he wants to go somewhere like Dallas, make Dallas have to hamstring themselves and get your own franchise a little better in the meantime. But, then again, I’m vindictive like that.
Rick: It would be an option to explore if LeBron went to a Western Conference team. NO WAY should they do a sign and trade with Chicago. Give them Rose, LeBron and another star via FA? How would we ever win the division again?
DP: I think that’s fair, Rick. That’s sort of why I went with Dallas in my analogy. I can’t see the Cavs doing a sign-and-trade with Chicago, because Chicago has enough room to sign him without it. I guess if I could reiterate, I would frame my question in the context of going to a team with not enough cap space already.
Andrew: Unless the Cavs are getting an All-Star (a REAL all-star) in return, absolutely under no circumstances should they do a sign and trade. You want to leave, LeBron? You’re taking less money then to do so. We’re not helping you out. And this isn’t spite, this is smart business sense on an NBA economics level. The best asset you can have to build a team is always cap space. Take the cap space if LeBron leaves, and try to trade Jamison and Mo if possible for more expirings, and then start the process all over again.
DP: I guess that’s the fundamental question, Andrew: if he does want to leave, is it officially time to blow everything up? I would guess that draft picks wouldn’t be worth very much in a sign-and-trade, as most of the teams in question would probably be picking toward the bottom of the round in the following year, so in that respect I can see why you wouldn’t want to do it either.
Scott: If picks aren’t enough, what players would be? Kevin Durant is the only guy I would be willing to accept, and would *still* want additional compensation. Tyreke Evans, Brook Lopez, etc. All nice, young pieces. But this is LeBron James.
Craig: If LeBron leaves then Mo and Jamison have to be traded. No question in my mind.
TD: Thing is, who wants Antawn for two more years and $28 million? Even moreso, does anyone really have any interest in a point guard who isn’t really a point guard, can’t defend, and has shown he folds in the playoffs?
Andrew: Yeah, I mean, Luol Deng isn’t carrying the Cavs to a title on his back. You need a superstar in this league to be good. If LeBron leaves, the Cavs need to get a new one. You can either find one in the lottery (like Durant) or you can use your cap space to sign one (much harder to do). The Cavs have played the “flirt with mediocrity” game before, and it wasn’t great: limping into the playoffs with a .500 record and getting bounced in the first round year after year. I’m not interested in that. When LeBron leaves, it’s time to get to work on building the next great Cavs team.
Brendan: “When” LeBron leaves… not “if.” Yikes. Gilbert is a smart businessman but also has an ego that I do not think would make him a willing partner in the departure of LeBron – a historical moment.
Andrew: Haha, oops. Freudian slip??
Craig: I didn’t say it would be easy or you would get great value, but keep in mind this is the same league that found a home for aging, arthritic Tracy McGrady.
Denny: On the Knicks – solely for the cap space this summer. If the Cavs lose out on LeBron, they need to take advantage of the people hoping to get a shot at next year’s free agents when dumping Jamison and Mo.
Rick: Mo Williams and Jamison have much better trade value than Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall and Ben Wallace. Just sayin’.
TD: Thats true, but Larry Hughes turned into Ben Wallace essentially (wash of horrific contracts). Ben did turn into Shaq, but that was a salary dump. So was Donyell. Mo and Antawn aren’t in that same category. They have years and big money left.
Andrew: Jamison will be easier to trade than Mo will be. The Cavs were willing to take Jamison on, and so will another playoff team who feels they need just a little more to compete. But I have no clue who would take on Mo. But we said the same thing about Little Larry Hughes, and Ferry still got that deal done, so never say never with Ferry.
TD: True, about Antawn, but how many teams, maybe 4-5 tops, would be able to do that? Especially in this climate?
Denny: Whichever team wants the ‘perfect answer for Orlando’ will take him. And TD, the climate is different in the south. They don’t get snow or anything.
Andrew: Never underestimate the desperation and stupidity that persists among NBA GMs. Bill Simmons has made an entire career of laughing at these fools. Sure, it sounds unreasonable, but “untradeable” guys/contracts get traded every single season. It’s just the way the league works.
Craig: If LeBron leaves and the Cavs blow it up and build through the draft over time, do you want Danny Ferry running the show? His draft record is mediocre at best, right?
Andrew: His draft record is incomplete. He’s had few draft picks, and the ones he’s had have been mid to late first round. I still hate the Eyenga pick, but Hickson was a great pick at #19. I 100000000% want Ferry to be the one rebuilding this team “IF” LeBron leaves.
So, there you have it, readers. Another rambling screed from your friends at WFNY. What do you all think? Would you be willing to entertain sign-and-trades for LeBron James? If so, what would you *have* to get back in return? If not, why not?