For weeks we have waited for the Cavaliers to make a move. It is probably more like months, since that is the amount of time the Cavs have had the $14.5 million trade exception burning a hole in their pocket. At last the moves came and when the clock struck midnight - or in this case 3:00PM et - the Cavaliers had three new players and one ultra important unprotected lottery pick. Let's take a quick look at the good and the bad from the Cavaliers Trade Deadline dash:
Baron Davis, 2011 First Round Pick From Los Angeles Clippers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon - This was a great deal for the Cavaliers - and another indication of Dan Gilbert's desire to get things turned around quickly. Gilbert shelled out $12 million or so in order to purchase the Clippers first round pick in the June NBA Draft. That's the difference in what Mo Williams and Baron Davis will make over the next two years.
If the Cavaliers are going to turn things around they need young, talented players. The only way to get them is through the Draft. In a lot of ways, this mirrors what the Oklahoma City Thunder did when they blew themselves up. Sam Presti traded Ray Allen and others, acquiring draft picks. People thought he was crazy, until he drafted Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder started winning. Presti's plan came to fruition, ironically enough, yesterday when the Thunder acquired Kendrick Perkins from the Boston Celtics. The Thunder are in prime position to make it to The Finals out of the West.
That is what the Cavaliers are trying to do. What Presti did, of course, was use all the pick he acquired exceptionally well. Chris Grant needs to do the same for this to actually work.
As for Baron Davis, he is really at a crossroads in his career. How does he want to be remembered as a professional basketball player. From the Cavaliers standpoint, if Davis doesn't show up - so what - they'll be happy not to pay him the $29 million or so Davis is still owed. Davis' agent, Bill Duffy, has said that Davis will report and be a good soldier. Time will tell, but if Davis can come and help the Cavaliers rebound sooner rather than later, it would be a huge feather in his cap and we know Cavaliers fans will love him for it.
Semih Erden and Luke Harangody From Boston Celtics for a Future 2nd Round Pick - The Cavaliers aren't going to win a NBA Championship based on this deal, but they do acquire some size they sorely lacked. Erden may be nothing more than a backup center, but at nearly 7-feet he has something the Cavaliers do not have - size. With the return of Anderson Varejao next season Erden will gave the Cavaliers a solid backup. He's proven he can contribute on a team like the Celtics, so I am excited to see what he can do.
Harangody was the Big East Player of the Year in 2009 while playing at Notre Dame. They play some pretty good ball in the Big East so I will be interested to see if the Cavaliers really give him a good look. Now is the time to do so, but for the price paid - a 2nd round pick in 2013 - this was another great deal.
Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison Are Still In Wine and Gold: Perhaps 'BAD' is the wrong word. The Cavaliers come into this morning with Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison still on the roster. Parker is the one that really confuses me. Why not get a 2nd Round pick ad be done? It might mean the Cavaliers want to resign Parker for next season. The Cavaliers like Parker - and so does Byron Scott. I will say, he is a veteran player that does things the right way - something you want on a team that is soon to be filled with a ton of youth.
As for Jamison, much like Parker, he plays hard every night and is the consummate professional. He also has another year left on his contract, which means making a deal was harder. There was talk that the Cavaliers were talking with the Golden State Warriors about Jamison but nothing materialized in time. All that could change, of course, this summer when Jamison's contract becomes a beloved 'expiring contract'.
Cavs Still Have TPE: The Cavaliers also have that Trade Exception in their gun, something that could be considered Good and Bad. Sure, we would have loved the Cavaliers to use it to bring in some talent, but usually, at the Trade Deadline, the type of talent available is the wrong kind of talent. This summer, especially around the Draft, when teams are trying to figure out which direction they want to go, there could be some huge value in having the exception. And remember, the Cavs can divide it any way they'd like.
I give the Cavaliers a solid B for what they were able to accomplish. What about you?