Some of Bill Simmons’s predictions:
6. “Wally Szczerbiak’s Expiring Contract” will become America’s favorite new phrase.
Move over Theo Ratliff, there’s a new sheriff in town! Expect Wally’s contract to be thrown into more than 15 million fake trade scenarios over the next four months, and with reason: The Cavs are desperate. The LeBron Clock is ticking. I threw out the Michael Redd/Dan Gadzuric for Wally/Sasha Pavlovic possibility in Friday’s column. How big of a gamble will Cleveland take? Would the Cavs roll the dice with Vince Carter or Andrei Kirilenko? Would they be desperate enough to trade Wally’s contract and Eric Snow’s expiring deal to Denver for the unseemly Allen Iverson/Kenyon Martin contracts and save Denver from Luxury Tax Hell? I just know that Wally is about to become the mint to the ESPN Trade Checker’s mojito. We should even give him his own link: “Make your own Wally Szczerbiak trade!!!!!”
(My prediction if the Redd trade doesn’t happen: Wally, $3 million and a future No. 1 to Utah for Kirilenko, a move that clears enough cap space for Utah to pay Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap next summer and, more importantly, gives the Jazz an unparalleled Clean-cut White Guy Trifecta of Matt Harpring, Kyle Korver and Wally. Can’t you see those guys riding a ski lift together or crashing a raging Sundance party? I’m excited already.)
10. You will regret not fully appreciating Cleveland for swiping Mo Williams from Milwaukee.
Now here’s a trade that didn’t get enough attention: Cleveland’s swipe of Mo Williams from Milwaukee. Only 25 years old and blessed with grapefruit-sized melons, Mo might be a shoot-first point guard, but shoot-first point guards thrive on teams with a creator in place … and the Cavs have LeBron. Perfect! According to 82games.com, Williams finished second in the league by making 51 percent of his 2-point jump shots. Throw in his 39 percent clip on 3s and that’s a trade that makes sense to me. LeBron creates open jump shots for teammates. Mo Williams makes open jump shots at an alarmingly good rate. Sometimes it’s that easy.
19. We will see LeBron’s first MVP season.
Remember, the Cavs came within a couple of plays of toppling the Celtics last spring. They were damned close … and that was without Daniel Gibson. Assuming they jump a level with Gibson, Williams and Whoever They Get For Wally, and assuming LeBron submits a career year (something like a 31-9-8), and assuming the media gets behind him (and not Chris Paul), LeBron will take the trophy home. He’s due.
20. We will see LeBron win the Finals MVP as well.
My pick: Cleveland over New Orleans in the 2009 Finals. You will remember it as the first LeBron/CP3 Finals some day, a seminal moment in the league’s history, the season when a new generation of stars symbolically moved the previous regime out of the way. The NBA … where rejuvenation happens.
Simmons mentions his Michael Redd trade again. I can’t see the Cavaliers trading for Redd at this point. Why do it? Redd and Williams didn’t work out in Milwaukee, why reunite them here?
But yes, Bill Simmons has the Cavs winning the NBA Finals. I can’t say I disagree, but I won’t have a strong opinion until I see what they do with Wally’s contract.
and if they’re gonna win the finals, they’re gonna need LeBron to knock down his late game free throws. That’s gonna be a must.