RAISING THE CADAVALIER - many, many thoughts on the Cleveland Cavaliers by ROBERT ATTENWEILER

NBA Basketball



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It’s All-Star Weekend now which, as everyone knows, is partly a chance for the league’s biggest talents to compete on geographically demarcated teams in which all of the participants are, as the name suggests, stars and partly a chance for the league to talk up the next big date on its calendar: the Feb. 24 Trade Deadline.

What this has meant for All-Star Weekend so far is that we’ve gotten to hear from all sides of the Carmelo Anthony situation – which is to say, Carmelo Anthony and everyone else who is sick of talking about the Carmelo Anthony situation.  But there are other players afoot for 2/24, as well, and a few of them happen to be current Cavs.

The Cavs recent hot streak (come on, guys, we’ve won 2 of our past 3) has gotten the attention of some apparently cog deficient teams who think that our guys may be the parts that make their machine giddeyup (and, thankfully, it seems like teams are only given any player’s last 3 games worth of tape when deciding whether to trade for them).  About a week ago, I was terrified (but rather certain) that the Cavs would not end up making any trades, since there didn’t seem to be a market for our players (who, in the midst of playing a historically bad stretch of basketball, just didn’t seem that good).  Now, I’m confident that they’ll make some trades.  However, they are probably not going to make the trades we want them to make.

We want them to trade Mo Williams.  That’s not going to happen, mainly because Mo’s on-again-off-again health has killed whatever interest his offensive talents would have been able to generate.  Besides, as I said before, the best fit for Mo is not going to be a team who is in contention right now.  Mo will be a trade made in the off-season, because it’s then that bad teams make some moves and think they will become good.  Mo becomes more appealing to those teams (be they Sacramento, Minnesota, Memphis or … well, someone will think he’s a good piece) when he is a piece to what they are trying to build rather than the piece that puts them over the top or makes them more competitive against, say, the Celtics in the playoffs because we all know that Mo, say, doesn’t do that.

Jamison might go.  And it looks like his most likely destinations are still the ones mapped out by this blog some time ago:  New York and New Orleans.

But we do have some honest to goodness rumors as well – actual evidence that some other team wants to part with its assets in exchange for some of ours.

Our first rumor is taken from a Chris Broussard tweet – and the other is from a credible journalist.  The tweet in question (expounded upon with good insight here by Kurt Helin) says that Sessions, fresh off his shellacking of the Lakers and generally good basketball play, has drawn the interest of Atlanta, Portland and the New York Knicks.

Portland doesn’t make too much sense to me even if, as Helin supposes, that they are planning to part ways with Andre Miller.  Do you really trade Miller and then make another trade to get Sessions?  I think Sessions as anything more than your back-up point guard is a risky trade because … well, look at how long it took him to heat up here – and he was playing with Mo and Boobie on the shelf for a good chunk of time.  Maybe he’s better with better talent around him, but I don’t see that move making sense for Portland.

Atlanta?  Sure.  For two reasons: 1.) they need to make some sort of trade to show people that they are serious about making moves and improving to become an actual threat in the East and 2.) they cannot part with anyone on their roster of any real value. (quick aside: I actually still dream of the trade I suggested last month, where Atlanta would be able to get Steve Nash because I think we deserve to see him hit a cutting Josh Smith more than we need to see him feed a posted Marcin Gortat, but it does look like that ship has sailed…)  And call me crazy, but ever since we gave up a first round pick to get Jiri Welsch, I’m convinced that anyone set to pick between 20-30 should be willing to give up that pick to get someone they want at the deadline.

I will say this again: the Cavs don’t really care about expiring contracts.  They don’t want to take on stupid long contracts, but they don’t need to cut payroll too much since free agency is not going to be their primary method of building.

Would the Cavs do Sessions to the Hawks for their 2012 first round pick?  Yes, they would (especially with the Hawks being one of those teams who could easily have a horrific season out of nowhere).

It’s tough, because Sessions has started to play well for us.  But he is probably not more than a really good back-up and if we can get good value for him (i.e. something that could turn into someone better than a really good back-up), we take it.

But then there’s the Knicks.  Say, Carmelo doesn’t come through for them (or, maybe, even say that he does and they want to make some moves to better stock the team around him and Amar’e).  Do we send Sessions and Jamison to New York for Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry and his expiring contract (not because it’s valuable, just because it may be one of their only assets at that point) an a pair of second round picks?

That’s a little tougher.  I say, go Hawks and get a first rounder in the mid-20s and be happy.  We’ll see…

The other rumor, as reported by Marc Stein at ESPN.com, has the Celtics and Bulls interested in Anthony Parker.

I’m calling the Celtics bluff here.  They may be making inquiries because Delonte West has been out, but when he comes back he makes taking on Parker a moot point for the playoffs.  But, thank you, Celtics, for making Parker seem in higher demand and possibly upping what the Cavs can get for him.

Parker has played well enough this year (and has had a couple of nice games lately) that it completely makes sense that a contender would bite on him.  And the Bulls have long been rumored as a possible landing place (though, if you look at the Bulls roster, you’ll see they have, like, 5 shooting guards … and, really, none of them is better than Anthony Parker??).  Stein lists the Cavs demands as a “quality draft pick” or a “young big man with promise” which the Bulls have in either Omer Asik or their … well … quality draft picks. Even if the Bulls don’t want to give up on Asik – who, as a young 7-footer, the Cavs would be doing cartwheels to get – they’ll have a first round pick in the mid-late 20s which, to me, is quality enough for Anthony Parker.  If the Bulls offer Asik do the Cavs make the deal?  Yes.  If they offer their 2011 first rounder for Parker, do the Cavs make the deal?  Yes.

So, all is not lost for Cleveland on the trade front. If just the Sessions/Atlanta trade and the Parker/Chicago’s pick trade I offered come through, the Cavs would then have 2 first rounders this year, 2 second rounders this year and 2 first rounders and 2 second rounders next year.  Not bad.  Or, if the Parker/Asik trade occurred, we’d have a front line next year that could feasibly have a rotation of Sasha Kaun/Asik/Anderson Varejao/J.J. Hickson – which could be worse, considering you’d also be bringing in a high-drafted rookie.

All speculation for now.  But possibly the best (only?) thing the Cavs did well this season was to get “hot” at just the right time.

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