The Cavaliers had been kicking the tires on a couple of players, most notably Josh Childress, but their pursuit came to a halt yesterday when Childress was traded from Atlanta to Phoenix. But would Childress have helped this team? What would help the Cavaliers in 2011? To answer that, we have to take inventory of what is left.
There are 11 players under contract currently, though Danny Green hasn’t been signed to his second year deal- which will happen. That makes 12, and the Cavs own the rights to 2 players (Christian Eyenga and Sasha Kaun) currently under contract overseas. (Not my phrase Jessie, yell at the NBA for that one.) Gone from last year’s team are LeBron James (29.7 ppg), Shaq (12.0 ppg) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (7.4 ppg). Technically, both Shaq and Z could still be listed as assets of the Cavaliers, as they could use either in a sign and trade deal. They could also re-sign either of them, but it looks like that is highly unlikely to happen.
Here are the guards: Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Delonte West, Daniel Gibson, Danny Green and Sebastian Telfair. Delonte West’s contract is not guaranteed however, and I would be surprised if he wasn’t moved before the season starts. The small forwards are: Jawad Williams and Jamario Moon. The power forwards are Anderson Varejao, JJ Hickson, Antawn Jamison and Leon Powe. There are no centers. Yes, Andy can play the 5 spot on occasion, or against certain line-ups. To go into a season with the expectation that he play center full time is just ludicrous. Sasha Kaun could certainly make the team this year, but not as a starter. They desperately need a center. Hickson just doesn’t have the size or frame to bang in the post with the top 10 centers in the league, and Powe is tough, but again too short and too slow. (Not that a certain WFNY writer wasn’t screaming for Al Jefferson instead of Jamison at the trade deadline because of this very reason…)
Our guard situation was a weakness exposed repeatedly in the playoffs, and the Cavaliers have reportedly been looking under every rock they can to find a new PG. If they are successful in finding one I’m not sure if they move Mo Williams to the 2 guard or bring him off the bench if he isn’t part of the deal. Mo Williams has more value in Byron Scott’s motion offense than he did standing around waiting for LeBron to pass him the ball, but he still has serious limitations defensively.
The free agent market is looking mighty thin. We’re officially in Brad Miller territory. If the Cavaliers are really going to try to be competitive this season, they are going to have to pull some sort of trade the likes of which we aren’t considering already. There would be no shame in the Cavs taking this season to regroup. Perhaps use some of the assets they have accumulated to get younger, and find players that fit Scott’s system.