McDyess, who was sent to Denver with Billups, has made it known he doesn’t want to play for the Nuggets and is working on a buyout to become a free agent. There have been reports that if a deal can be reached, McDyess will head back to the Pistons. Perhaps, but that’s far from assured for several reasons, which is where the Cavs come in.
Still a little concerned about their big-man depth, the Cavs will likely make a pitch to McDyess if he becomes a free agent and they will probably not be alone. Other than the Pistons, who must wait 30 days to re-sign him under league rules, the Celtics and Spurs are among other teams that may pursue McDyess.
So why would he consider the Cavs? McDyess has a good relationship with Ben
Wallace stemming from the time they played together in Detroit. The Cavs are also a contender, which would likely be a prerequisite for McDyess. But there’s also money and that may well be a big factor.
McDyess has two years and nearly $14 million left on his contract. The Nuggets would prefer he play it out with them but he has made it clear he wants to become a free agent. Just a few million above the luxury-tax threshold and not wanting to pay him not to play, the Nuggets are driving a hard bargain that might require McDyess to give up a significant portion of his salary.
The Pistons have just $1.6 million left from their mid-level exception or their $1.9 million bi-annual exception to offer McDyess. The Celtics also have 15 guaranteed contracts on their roster and have $2.4 million left to offer. The Spurs have just under $2.1 million. The Cavs, though, have just over $5.1 million, which they could use in whole or part.
However, this is the final year of Gooden’s contract and for the first time he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Whether or not the Cavs would be interested would depend on what happens with Anderson Varejao, who can opt out of his contract at season’s end. But Gooden, himself, may have some interest. “I really enjoyed playing here and the people here,” Gooden said. “If they called, I would listen.”
McDyess would be an absolute perfect fit for this team. The Cavs could always use more inside depth, simply due to the bad backs of Ben Wallac and Zydrunas Illgauskas. A big man rotation of Z, Wallace, McDyess and Varejao would be extremely formidable come playoff time. And at this point, I’m banking Wallace or Z (or the wild Varejao) to miss some time due to injury and I don’t really think that this would slow Hickson’s development all too much (plus, having McDyess around would’t be a bad thing for him either).
Lord help me if the Cavs make a push for Drew Gooden next offseason. I don’t miss his basketball IQ, his stupid hair or his 20 rebound games that get followed up by 3 rebound games. I’ll be shocked if he ever plays for a championship team.