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Cavs Land PG Mo Williams

I was cruising WFNY today and the place has caught fire with excited Cavs fans talking about this three-team deal that brings Milwaukee Bucks PG Mo Williams to the Cavaliers. I am a bit more cautiously optimistic than flat out excited by this news.

On the surface, it looks like a great fit, because Williams is known as a point guard who can make his own scoring opportunities. All Cavs fans know that the team needs more offensive options than what LeBron and Zydrunas Ilgauskas provide. So, with that, it should be a promising outlook as of today. Except, I want to be more cautious.

In 2005, the Cavs needed a player to play opposite LeBron James, so instead of trading, they went out and found a player with a Hollinger PER rating of 21.63. This is a statistical combination used to measure a player’s production per minute of floor time. This player had 22 points per game and almost 5 assists per game to go along with just over 6 rebounds per game. And his name was Larry Hughes.

Just to put it all in perspective, Mo Williams’ PER is 17.06 currently.

Now, I am sorry if it seems like I am trying to be a downer. I am not. I hope Mo Williams turns out to be exactly what the Cavs need in terms of getting to the next level. I think combined with Delonte West (should he return,) Wally Szczerbiak (should he not be traded,) and Daniel Gibson, the Cavs have a pretty good rotation of players ready to play in the back court in the upcoming season.

The plusses are that Williams is still a younger player at 25 years old. He just finished the first year of a 6-year $51.5 million deal that is a relative bargain compared to the amount of money that the Cavs paid Larry Hughes. Also, the Cavs unloaded dead weight in Damon Jones, and an aging veteran in Joe Smith, so they didn’t really lose a ton to pick up Williams.

So, anyway, I am excited at the prospect. I think it is a good calculated risk on Danny Ferry’s part. Then again, I thought Larry Hughes was a good calculated risk when the Cavs signed him in 2005. Let’s just hope it works and that the Cavs won’t sit idly by with Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring contract for too long. It is the largest expiring-contract bargaining chip in Danny Ferry’s arsenal, and I hope he uses it wisely.

Update:  The Cavs have emailed their fanbase about the trade.

“Acquiring Mo strengthens our nucleus of players for both the short and long term. He is entering his prime NBA years and will be part of the foundation of our future success,” Ferry said. “Mo is a player that excels as a traditional point guard, but also brings an extra dimension with his scoring and versatility. His ability to push the tempo, get inside the lane, shoot from the perimeter and distribute the ball will be very valuable for us.”

Cleveland Gearing Up For LeBron’s Contract Year Too

While the national media continues to focus on the fact that Cleveland is undoubtedly going to lose LeBron James, we here in Cleveland continue to think otherwise.  Maybe it is delusion.  Maybe it is desperation.  I don’t know for sure.  The fact is that nobody really knows for sure.  And now, I have a new take on the whole LeBron situation.  I haven’t read anyone else who put this argument together, but I am sure I will hear about it in the next few days if someone already has.

But before I get into my new take, just for the sake of completeness, here are the basic thoughts being tossed around already.  First the camp that insists LeBron has to leave:

  • LeBron has to leave because he is friends with Jay-Z who owns an infinitesimal piece of the New Jersey Nets
  • The New Jersey Nets are moving to Brooklyn and LeBron has to go help kick off the new era of the franchise
  • The Nets traded Richard Jefferson, meaning they are readying themselves for LeBron
  • There are escalators in LeBron’s Nike contract which pay him more if he is in a major market like NYC

Then the other side is basically:

  • LeBron likes his hometown
  • Nobody can give LeBron a bigger NBA contract than Cleveland
  • LeBron reached the finals in Cleveland
  • Terry Pluto’s brilliant argument that says you never know where the talent is going to be centered a year from now let alone two years from now
  • LeBron has stated that he wants to bring a parade to Cleveland because he knows we are suffering as sports fans (this interview answer is one that the national media NEVER mentions because it doesn’t fit their pre-determined storyline that Cleveland doesn’t deserve LeBron James)

Well, I have a new take.  Everyone was so quick to point out that the Richard Jefferson trade on draft night was definitely designed at getting LeBron to the Nets in two years.  Well, you know which team is gearing up to have a ton of cap space when LeBron’s contract year comes around?


As of this writing, the Cavaliers don’t have a single player under contract for more than LeBron’s two year deal.  When next season starts the Cavs might have two players under contract for longer than LeBron and those will probably amount to somewhere in the $10-12 million dollar range COMBINED with Daniel Gibson and Delonte West.  That’s it.  Maybe some draft picks will end up with deals that range longer than LeBron’s two years remaining.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his nearly $11 million comes off.  Ben Wallace’s almost $15 million comes off.  In addition, LeBron’s salary comes off.  And guess what else.  Because LeBron is such an influential guy, the market is going to be flooded with free agents.  Dwayne Wade followed LeBron’s lead and only signed a five year deal when he was up for his first free agent contract.  Chris Bosh also followed LeBron’s lead in that department.

You will also remember that LeBron really did lead the charge on the 5-year deals at that time.  This means that LeBron has influence.  Who’s to say that LeBron wouldn’t be able to recruit some guys to come in and play with him in two years?  Could you imagine Dwayne Wade and/or Chris Bosh playing alongside LeBron?  The bottom line is that these types of situations can only occur where tons of cap space exists.

As long as Cleveland doesn’t screw this up and load up the roster with too much salary, the Cavs will have $40 million dropping off the cap in order to pull in top talent along with LeBron in his contract year.  Think about what the Clippers just did to try and keep Elton Brand in LA.

I am not guaranteeing that this will happen, but it is JUST as likely as all the presumed OBVIOUS scenarios that get bandied about by the national press when they are looking to pull the greatest sports figure in Cleveland history out of this town.

Cavs Get Ripped (Off) In Milwaukee

Michael Redd nailed a long three-point shot to skip overtime last night in Milwaukee versus the Cavaliers. Normally, I wouldn’t be upset about a Cavaliers loss like that, because Michael Redd is just that good to be able to pull out a huge win on a last second shot. But today, I am upset about the game because Michael Redd’s shot isn’t the story for me. The story comes down to three names; Mike Callahan, Pat Fraher, and Brian Forte. Those were the officials for last night’s game in Milwaukee and they cost the Cavs a game.

The free throw differential for last night’s game was 37-14 in favor of the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks did a nice job of converting those opportunities on the night by hitting 32 out of 37. But last night the Cavs had a game come down to three points and the officiating was so one-sided (by TWENTY-THREE free throws) that they just couldn’t pull out the victory. That will put a sour taste in just about anyone’s mouth.

It is a long season, and one game doesn’t make it, but this one stings a bit.

Oh, and as for the refereeing crew of Mike Callahan, Pat Fraher, and Brian Forte, they are making quite a name for themselves.  They are the same crew that ended up ejecting Kobe Bryant the other night with two technicals, and Kobe isn’t exactly known to be the Rasheed Wallace of the Western Conference.  Mark Cuban has made this an issue for a while now, and he is right.  The NBA needs to have some structure in place to deal with refs who are incapable of calling a decent NBA contest.

Cavs vs. Memphis Live Blog

The Cavaliers reinforcements have arrived. I thought I would talk about it at least for a while.

  • 6:15 – Starting Lineup – Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Ben Wallace, LeBron James, Devin Brown, and Delonte West
  • 6:17 – The team is looking awkward so far. Delonte West hasn’t been bringing the ball up consistently yet, and then…
  • 6:18 – Ben Wallace with the steal LeBron on the break, Delonte gets the ball, throws the oop for LeBron on the slam.
  • 6:19 Delonte West might have to become my favorite player with his uniform number choice of 13. I can’t remember the last Cavalier to wear that jersey number.
  • 6:21 – Wally just walked to the scorer’s table to check in.
  • 6:23 – First time out on the floor and the Cavs lead early 18-8 and there isn’t anything to say of note yet other than the defense is playing well. Wallace really does provide an imposing presence in the middle to anybody driving, and Delonte West seems to play defense with a lot of energy.
  • 6:29 – And here come the rest of the traded players. Looks like we are about to get our first look at Wally and Joe Smith off the bench.
  • 6:32 – Uh oh. Here comes Ben Wallace at the free throw line. This will drive my brother crazy, who doesn’t understand why people will not learn to shoot free throws. And Ben Wallace nails two of them.
  • 6:41 – Even with all brand new players, I find Mike Brown’s rotations to be mind-boggling. He has Dwayne Jones on the court along with Wally, Devin Brown, Joe Smith and Damon Jones. That is just weird.
  • 6:45 – Dan Gilbert, owner for the Cavaliers, has just goaded Fred Mcleod, the Cavs TV announcer into a bet where if the Cavs win the championship, McLeod will have to shave a mohawk into his head.
  • 6:51 – SZCerbiak, SZCerbiak… I gotta remember that. I have trouble remembering whether the C or Z goes first. Z before C when it comes to Wally World.
  • 6:52 – Shit. SZCZerbiak. S – Z – C – Z – erbiak… this is worse than Anderson Verajao by a longshot.
  • 6:59 – I know that this game isn’t going to be proof of anything, but it is exciting nonetheless.
  • 7:00 – Dan Gilbert is talking about Orlando’s reaction to the trade and how someone in Orlando said that the Cavs’ trade will help Orlando. Dan Gilbert is openly laughing at that. Dan Gilbert is pretty outspoken, but I haven’t heard him speak this much before.
  • 7:10 – It is half time and the Cavs have a 21 point lead. That doesn’t suck for a debut, anecdotal as it is.

Well, that’s it for me.  I am done with the live blog, but this is a lot of fun.  If nothing else, it changes the ride from last year.  That rocks all by itself.

    Cavs Starting Lineup Speculation

    So, now that the Cavaliers unloaded Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Shannon Brown, Donyell Marshall and others, who will start tomorrow night?

    I am voting for the following:

    C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
    PF Ben Wallace
    SF Lebron James
    SG Wally Sczerbiak
    PG Delonte West

    That’s right.  I want to see THREE new guys in the first game.  This should be exciting.

    What I am really looking forward to is having Ben Wallace and Anderson Varejao on the court at the same time, defending and rebounding.

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