Multiple league sources indicated Tuesday that the Cavs are now mulling some offers to move up significantly from the 30th pick in the draft. Most involve largely economic deals that would require the Cavs to take on salary.
The Cavs’ array of options could have changed somewhat Tuesday as the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards agreed to major trades expected to be completed today. The Cavs were believed to have been in talks with both.
The San Antonio Spurs acquired small forward Richard Jefferson from the Bucks for veterans Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto and Bruce Bowen. It is a salary-dump deal for Milwaukee, not unlike the trade it made with the Cavs last season for Mo Williams. The Bucks then flipped Oberto to the Detroit Pistons for young forward Amir Johnson.
The Cavs had some discussions with the Bucks involving Jefferson in February but were not believed to be seriously looking at him this time around. However, the Bucks’ moves could change some of the Cavs’ strategy.
All three players the Bucks picked up in the trades have expiring contracts and it saves the team the $15 million Jefferson was owed for next season. Bowen’s contract is partially guaranteed so the moves could save the Bucks around $5 million this season if they cut Bowen.
The trades, it seems, were aimed to free up money to re-sign restricted free agents Ramon Sessions and Charlie Villanueva. The Cavs are said to be targeting Villanueva, a young and talented power forward, as an option to get younger on their front line depth. It was believed that the Bucks might be willing to let Villaneuva go because of their deep salary commitments. Now those have been eased.
I never was a big Richard Jefferson fan and when I first saw the trade, I didn’t immediately think of the Cavaliers. But Windhorst is right, this probably means that if the Cavs want Charlie Villaneuva (and I think he’d be a great fit), they’ll probably have to bring more than just cap relief to the table.
I do like the idea of moving up in the draft, though it doesn’t entirely make sense. Meaning, the Cavs need some dudes who can play RIGHT NOW. This is a veteran team that won 66 games last year. They expect to go deep in the playoffs. Rookies don’t usually get a lot of run in the Conference Finals (and especially Mike Brown coached rookies). I’m all for the Cavs getting younger and bringing in some fresh legs…. I dunno, I guess I won’t know how I feel about them moving up until I see who they take.
And let me take this opportunity to voice my opposition to Shaq. No thanks. I don’t need a 37 year old center who ***news-fucking-flash*** can’t guard Dwight Howard, who still demands the ball (you thought the offense was ugly NOW, wait til you see a night like this: LeIso-Shaq post-LeIso-Shaq post-Shaq post-LeIso. On the plus side, LeBron can get to stand around and watch Shaq, so he could get some extra rest) and who gets into verbal spats with Orlando’s coach (you know, the guy who outcoached the Cavs). No thanks. Plus, he costs a shit load of money (he makes $21 million(!!!) next year).
Be it the draft, free agency or trades, Danny Ferry has got his work cut out for him.