From Sam Amico:
Sources have indicated the Cavs are likely to offer free agent Anthony Parker a two-year deal. Parker, 36, started the majority of games at shooting guard last season. “They want to keep him,” one source said. “They like him as a leader and mentor.”
Parker, who would have to agree to the multi-year deal, was the team’s player representative during the recent NBA labor impasse. When a Twitter follower asked who I thought would be the team’s starting shooting guard roughly one week ago, I said “AP” without hesitation as it has long been a belief that the team would opt to bring back the copacetic vet for his locker room presence and willingness to be a mentor for the younger players. The addition of Omri Casspi, who shares Maccabi Tel-Aviv ties with Parker, only served to further solidify this belief.
I’m probably not totally rational on this, but this news blows me away. Why why why WHY do you need to give a 36 year old shooting guard a multi-year deal? Leadership?! LEADERSHIP? Well that sure makes sense. Could you imagine last year’s Cavs squad without Parker’s leadership? Man, they could’ve been really awful. The season could’ve been a complete clusterfuck without his leadership.
This just really kills me. First of all, if you’re making roster moves based on mentoring and leadership, that’s a bad sign (or if a certain small forward fits with a certain segment of Cleveland’s population). I’d rather you make roster moves for actual basketball reasons.
But I’m weird.
Second, I’m not completely opposed to adding players for chemistry reasons. For instance, I just finished Joe Tait’s book (review forthcoming) and at one point he talks about how much the addition of Nate Thurmond helped the team.
The Cavs were a team full of young players fighting for touches as well as playing time. The players weren’t really listening to Coach Bill Fitch. Then Thurmond came on board, acted professional (he didn’t start but played at the end of halves) and everyone began to accept their roles. Sure, he was saying most of the same things Coach Fitch was saying, but it meant more coming from a future Hall of Famer.
Note: Anthony Parker is not a future Hall of Famer. And the Cavs are not a veteran leader away from contention. I’m totally fine with having non-knuckleheads on the team for leadship purposes, it just helps if they can still play or command the respect of the young guys.
I admit, I’m not completely rational regarding AP (and certainly not regarding Antawn Jamison). Parker drove me nuts during his year with LeBron (“oops, stepped out-of-bounds on the corner trey again, my bad guys, not paying attention. Only a 34 year old vet here”) and watching him have to create his own shot last season was somehow even more painful than watching the rest of that shitty team create their own shots.
Parker seems like a nice enough guy, someone who I’d probably like in Real Life, but I see no reason why the Cavs need to resign the 36 year old shooting guard. If he’s so good with the young guys, hire him as a coach. And it’s not like the Cavs didn’t have locker room issues last year (or the fucking longest losing streak in the history of North American goddamn professional sports). Could things have really been that much worse without AP’s leadership?
Remember when the Browns had Ken Dorsey ‘mentoring’ Brady Quinn? How Dorsey was like a coach and a good sideline presence? He knew Rod Chudzinski’s offense! Then when Ken Dorsey was forced to play, it turned out he was absolutely horrid. Good use of a roster spot! Is this all that different?
As for who should start at the 2 for the Cavs… I don’t know. The 2011 free agent class is abysmal (though I might take a flyer on Chris Douglas-Roberts), Christian Eyenga isn’t ready and I’m not particularly enamored with either Joey Graham or Alonzo Gee. But I see no point in this particular Cavs squad starting Parker at this stage in his career.
What’s that you say? He won’t start? HA. Byron Scott loves his vets (or doesn’t like playing young guys). If you don’t think Davis-AP-Casspi-Jamison-Varejao is the opening day starting five, you’re kidding yourself.