The Cavaliers are going for it. They should be applauded for it. They are one of the few buyers in a seller's market - one of the few teams that are willing to take back a contract and add to the payroll. Kudos to Dan Gilbert, Danny Ferry and the rest of the leadership over at The Q for taking advantage of the situation. No matter what happens, you can't say the Cavaliers aren't doing everything they can to get a deal done - even if they really don't HAVE to do it.
At 43-11, the Cavaliers don't have to make a trade. The team is deep and is a solid mix of veteran leadership(Shaq, Z), star power(LeBron, of course) and up-and-coming youth(J.J. Hickson). They also have the players willing to get dirty(Varejao) that every championship team needs. I am leaving out guys like Mo Williams, Delonte West, Jamario Moon and Daniel Gibson, of course, which goes right to one of my points about the Cavaliers. They are incredibly deep, much deeper than last year's squad. That depth is the reason they can even think about a trade right now, since any deal would likely be based on the assumption that Zydrunas Ilgauskas would get bough out and eventually return to the Cavaliers.
That depth is one reason why the Cavaliers could do nothing by this Thursday and still end up acquiring talent. I'm talking, of course, about Leon Powe, set to return from the knee surgery that ended his playoff run last season and in many ways led him to the Cavaliers this season. Sure, there are question marks, and no one knows if Powe will be as effective as his was with the Celtics, but if Powe does come back he provides the Cavaliers with another force inside, a tough defender and rebounder that will allow the perimeter guys to guard the 3-point line.
Powe also provides the Cavaliers a lot of what J.J. Hickson gives the team - meaning it would lesson the sting of his departure. Now, in now way am I comparing the athletic ability of Powe and Hickson - especially after the multiple injuries Powe has encountered, but what Powe has lost in explosiveness he has in basketball IQ and good ole' toughness.
This depth also allows the Cavaliers to play hardball. They can stare down the Suns, or Wizards, in this high-stakes game of chicken knowing that each of those cash-strapped teams need the Cavaliers more than the Cavaliers need them. Really. The major argument I see coming from fans of those teams is the fear-factor.
Do this or LeBron will leave, do that or LeBron will leave.
I'll be honest, I'm done with the threats. It doesn't scare me. As a Cavaliers fan, I am proud of the work Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry have done to try and put the best possible pieces around James. They are doing so again. It will not be the fault of the Cavaliers if James leaves. Think about it. Look at how Miami has treated Dwyane Wade. Why would James want to go to the Heat, where Pat Riley is the biggest star and let's people know he is in charge? The same goes for New York where they Knicks or Nets for that matter, are still years away from contending. If it is truly about winning, LeBron will stay in Cleveland.
So that brings us back to the next 3 days or so. You know the Cavaliers would like an answer sooner rather than later. There are several deals on the table, however, and it will likely come down to the last moments on Thursday. While the rumor-mill is fun, and I can't keep my eyes off of it, I am confident that no matter what the Cavaliers do - if anything - they will be primed and ready to make a run at a NBA Championship.