March 15th is the trade deadline in the NBA this year. As Cleveland fans, we are quite used to rumors and speculation throughout the month of February. The Cavaliers have been heavy players at the deadline for a number of years.
In fact, it would seem strange if the Cavaliers weren’t involved in trade discussions. This year the tables have turned a bit and the Cavaliers are sellers instead of buyers. We’ve been through the Anderson Varejao discussions already this season, and his injury coupled with outstanding play this season have pretty much ruled out the Cavs moving the Brazilian big man. The Cavaliers would have to be blown away to let Andy go.
Antawn Jamison is the team’s second-leading scorer behind Kyrie Irving at 17.3 points per game and just over 6.5 rebounds. He also has an expiring contract that would have been like gold previous to the new collective bargaining agreement. Now with the amnesty clause and a few other tweaks, that expiring deal is less attractive. The Cavs would have to really like a young player to take on salary to match the equivalent of Jamison’s $15 million. Contenders aren’t exactly lining up to snatch the 36-year-old volume shooter like they were when the Cavaliers acquired him two years ago.
If you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would have said that Jamison was destined to be bought out later this season so that he could sign with a contender. It turns out that he may not want to be set free which would mean the North Carolina product could finish the season as a Cavalier and the Cavs could use his salary slot elsewhere next year.
Ramon Sessions is the player that the Cavaliers seem to be getting the most calls about, and one that the team would be willing to move. The Lakers appear to be the team most interested in Ramon, but a lot depends on what happens with Dwight Howard and maybe even Rajon Rondo. Let’s put it this way, if Sessions goes to the Lakers it would likely be a deadline buzzer beater.
What would be strange around the shores of Lake Erie is if the Cavaliers are quiet at the deadline. That hasn’t happened since the 2008-2009 NBA season.
Let’s revisit the trade deadline deals with a new perspective.
Cavaliers get C Semih Erden and F Luke Harangody from the Celtics for a 2013 2nd round draft pick.
Cavaliers get G Baron Davis and a 1st round draft pick from the Clippers for F Jamario Moon and G Mo Williams
“If you are a Cavs fan, today is a good day. We’ll see how much better or worse Baron Davis is than Mo Williams was, but to me, that part is more or less a wash. The key is the draft pick the Cavaliers acquired. Some may scoff and point out this is a weak draft class, and sure, if there’s a lock out, the talent pool will be even worse off. Regardless, any time you have a chance to have 2 top ten picks in the draft, you have to like your position. It gives the Cavaliers options.
The skeptics and cynics may see this as the Cavaliers now having two chances to make bad picks, but in reality, the Cavaliers are looking at two chances in the lottery, two opportunities to add some much needed young talent. If the Cavaliers miss on one of the picks, you hope the other one pans out, but should they hit on both picks, then the Cavaliers took a major step in their rebuilding plan.”
This one is everyone’s favorite trade. The Cavaliers somehow convinced the Clippers not to protect the first round pick which famously turned into the ‘What’s Not to Like” first pick in the draft. With that pick the Cavaliers grabbed Duke PG Kyrie Irving, who leads the team in scoring and has won 2 of 2 Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month awards. Not too shabby. The Cavs used their amnesty waiver on Baron Davis, giving them financial flexibility to take on salary at this year’s deadline if they so choose.
As for Erden and Harangody? Well the Cavaliers were high on Semih even coming into this season. I can’t imagine they are still as high on the 7 footer from Turkey. But in the end all it cost the Cavaliers was a 2nd round pick that they actually have several of in the coming years.
Cavaliers get G Sebastian Telfair and F Antawn Jamison for C Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C Emir Preldzic and a 2010 1st round draft pick in a three team trade with the Wizards and Clippers.
What we said at the time–
“The big picture, forward thinker in me is a bit nervous about what the future holds beyond this season. The Cavs fan in me that can’t wait for the day he gets to take off of work to hang out on E 9th St for a parade couldn’t be happier. Our depth remains in tact, if not better. We added a weapon that can score inside and out. Jamison is one of those guys where everyone that has been around him couldn’t have better things to say – two others that are like that are Joe Dumars and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Which is a clever seague into the fact that my feelings on this will obviously be complete when/if Ilgauskas returns. He may not be playing crucial minutes for us, and I do think that this team can win without him – I just want him to be here.
Big props to Danny Ferry for being the polar opposite of Mark Shapiro. Sure, Shapiro has a smaller wallet, but he also wouldn’t trade Adam Miller for Mark Teixeira and held off on dealing Jaret Wright for Pedro Martinez. Sorry, Mark – those are sticking points.”
Obviously this move didn’t work out as well as we had hoped. Jamison wasn’t as effective in the ‘stretch four’ role as we thought he would be. His inability to guard Kevin Garnett, or help shut off the lane in Shaq’s absence killed the Cavaliers against the Celtics. That and a sub-LeBron like performance from James. At the time, the Cavaliers were trying to get Amare Stoudemire from the Suns, but weren’t able to get a deal done. Despite constant communications from both the Cavaliers and the Suns camps, fans of the north coast will always blame the Cavs for not parting with J.J. Hickson in the proposed deal. It simply isn’t the case however. The Suns nixed the deal.
The Cavaliers did not make a move at the deadline, despite constant rumors and speculation about Shaq coming to Cleveland. Of course, the Cavs were able to make that move in the off-season, but fans will forever have to wonder if Shaq would have made a difference for the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals against Howard and the Magic. I think he would have. The Cavaliers had been maneuvering to compete with Boston, and seemed caught off-guard by the younger and more athletic Magic.
Cleveland gets F Joe Smith, C Ben Wallace, F Wally Szczerbiak, G Delonte West and a 2nd round pick for F Donyell Marshall, G Ira Newble, G Shannon Brown, G Larry Hughes and F Cedric Simmons in a three team trade with the Bulls and Sonics.
What we said at the time–
“After our crushing loss to the Pistons (without Larry Hughes, mind you) two seasons ago, many people said that the two things we needed were a defensive stopper down low and a three-point shooter. Remember, that’s what Donyell Marshall (and Damon Jones, to an extent) was supposed to provide. Now we have one of the premier defensive players in the league in Ben Wallace – arguably on a regression – as well as a deadly efficient shooter – albeit overpaid – in Wally Szczerbiak.
Add Delonte West to the mix and I really like what we have. Those that are comparing points scored of the players we traded to those that we received must remember that this 21-year old guard is only a year out of averaging 12 points, 4.5 assists and three boards per game. I honestly feel that the wild card in this whole deal will be Joe Smith. I know that many were upset that Drew Gooden is no longer with the team, but Smith provides a higher basketball IQ, position flexibility, and actually more points per minute than Gooden.”
So many new players. The team was a work in progress the rest of the season. What this trade did for Cleveland fans though was show that just about anything was possible. The Cavaliers got rid of Larry Hughes. Not only did they get rid of him, but they improved the position in doing so. It didn’t get them the star scorer they needed alongside LeBron, and they ran into a buzz-saw in the ‘Big Three’ in Boston.
The Cavaliers made no moves, and they surprised the Pistons and NBA fans around the country by going to the NBA Finals before losing to the Spurs. LeBron James made the leap to Super-Stardom with an all time performance in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Will the Cavaliers be a player at the deadline this year? If they do, it will likely be for a draft pick. The Cavs finally have flexibility, and they are loving that after being limited with contract restrictions for years.