The rumor that never dies… still hasn’t died.
Brian Windhorst says the Cavs are still pursuing Mike Bibby:
At this moment, there is nothing serious going on between the Cavaliers and Kings, but make no mistake, there probably will be. Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry has made at least three serious attempts within the last year to acquire Bibby. And the signs are there that he soon might be trying again.
As you may or may not know, I’m not particularly fond of these Bibby rumors. Windhorst explains:
It’s not clear just why the Cavs are so enamored with Bibby. They are in desperate need of a true point guard, and Bibby certainly is one. He is, however, not a good defender, a Cavs priority, and his offensive stats, especially his shooting percentages, have been falling off in recent years. He hasn’t played a game this year while recovering from a thumb injury, though he should be back in the next week. As the Kings have started rebuilding, there have been whispers around the league that Bibby has become a problem in the locker room.
Again, not a trait the Cavs desire. The Cavs, though, think that they have some special ties and information on Bibby. Ferry and Bibby share an agent, David Falk, and no doubt there has been indirect information sharing. Cavs coach Mike Brown never has coached Bibby but has some close friends who are close with Bibby and his friends and family. They’ve done their homework.
Some members of the Cavs organization think the thumb injury has slowed him down for two years. Now that it’s fixed, some think that he has a lot left in the tank. They also look at how strongly he played in the playoffs and coexisted on a roster that had other stars when the Kings were in their glory years with Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic. Also, Bibby is on a maximum contract, but he is only signed through next season, which would allow the Cavs to retain flexibility if a Bibby/LeBron James marriage didn’t work.
A year ago, Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie was determined to get back a starter-quality point guard if he traded Bibby. That was the problem — the Cavs didn’t have one to trade and couldn’t find one in a three-way deal that Petrie wanted. That has changed somewhat with newcomer Beno Udrih showing promise with the Kings in Bibby’s absence. Petrie has also made it known since then that his goal is to clear salary-cap space for the summer of 2009.
All of which brings the Cavs back into the game without the need of a third team. Nearly the Cavs’ entire roster has contracts that will be up after next season, giving them all sorts of trading pieces if the Kings make that a priority. The Kings would be interested in moving a player signed past 2009 in addition to Bibby. Most likely it would be Kenny Thomas, who is signed for two more seasons and can’t get off the bench.
If the Cavs want Bibby bad enough, they do have the ammunition to give the Kings what they want. It would take a package that would probably involved a talented big man such as Drew Gooden, a prospect such as Shannon Brown or a draft pick and contracts expiring in 2009. The Cavs have numerous ones, especially Eric Snow, Damon Jones or even both.
It might not seem like a lot for a player such as Bibby, but it would free the Kings of millions in salary commitments, get them a bonafide starting power forward and set them up for rebuilding.
Maybe the Cavs know what they’re getting into. I just worry about his thumb injury hampering him. Bibby’s strength is his offense and if he can’t shoot well… As for Bibby’s poor defense, I don’t particularly care about that, mostly because Cavs point guards have been getting burned all year, so it’s not like they’d be turning a strength into a weakness.
The Cavs do need to make a move, just to shake things up, if nothing else. Most of this team has been together for 2-3 years, they could use some new blood. I don’t mind them trading Gooden, as I’m becoming less and less enamored with him as the season goes on (seriously, watch this guy at the defensive end sometime, ridiculous). Plus, he is only signed for another season after this, so the Cavs would retain some of their cap flexibility.
I dunno though, the Cavs would be paying four players eight figure salaries (James, Z, Bibby and Hughes) with only one of them (James) being an All-Star. That just doesn’t seem right to me.