Posts tagged zydrunas ilgauskas

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?

THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

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 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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