The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Cavs update 8/19

Posted by disappointmentzone on 19 August 2006

Yesterday the Cavs signed Scot Pollard, formerly of the Indiana Pacers, to a one-year, $2 million contract. He’s a career 4.7/5 player who’s best known for his ever-changing hairstyles. He will share time with Varejao (and Marshall) in relief of Gooden and Ilgauskas, probably playing about 10-15 minutes per game. Pollard is a solid defender who is best offensively when running in the open court, which suits him quite well to this Cavs team. He won’t score a lot of points, but then again the power forward position is not relied upon to provide much in terms of scoring anyway. Anyone who can bring some form of toughness to the frontcourt will be well appreciated. If anything, we won’t have to watch Varejao hack Rasheed Wallace in retaliation for Wallace’s brutal elbow to Ilgauskas’s head–Pollard will certainly be doing the dirty work, a role he embraces with glee. Speaking of which, that no one else stepped up when Wallace put a huge gash in Z’s head is very troubling. Who would have thought the skinniest guy on the team would also be the player with the biggest balls? If there was a single moment in which Varejao endeared himself to me (and to a lot of Cavs fans) it was when he (somewhat) violently hacked Wallace to the floor. Where was Gooden? Where was Marshall? Where was LeBron? Oh, I know where LeBron was–buddying it up with Wallace after the game. For all of David Stern‘s silly worrying about the urbanization of the NBA, nothing signals that all the tattoos and shiny jewelry are just a weak front to cover up the gentrification of NBA players more than the hug session that went on after that Cavs-Pistons game. You think Dennis Rodman or Bill Laimbeer would have been hugging it out like an episode of Entourage? Hell no. Anyway, I could go on, but I’ll stop.

The Cavs also traded Martynas Andriuskevicius to the Bulls for second-year guard Eddie Basden. This trade was partly motivated by financial considerations–Andriuskevicius’s contract is guaranteed while Basden’s is not. Andriuskevicius is also far from an NBA-ready player and the Cavs don’t have the roster space to keep such a player around. Trading him to the Bulls is less about his skill than about the Cavs’ current and future roster options. Also, the Cavs will save on letters for the back of jerseys. Basden played very little for the Bulls last season. Twice he was the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. He’s 6-foot-five and can only play SG, so he comes to the team with a fairly limited range. If he plays at all–first he must beat out Stephen Graham in training camp–it’ll be in spot duty as a defensive stopper.

Basden gives the Cavs about 47 SGs/SFs. Not surprisingly, the Cavs are actively seeking trades for both Sasha Pavlovic and Luke Jackson, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, and the first team to offer anything within the vicinity of a serviceable player will likely walk away with Damon Jones (and his contract). Pavlovic and Jackson are both in the last years of their contracts. Jackson is beginning to look like Larry Hughes but without the skill. That is to say, a player who can’t avoid hurting himself. Pavlovic will always be remembered as the rube on the wrong end of this Dwayne Wade highlight. Assuming he’s able to overcome the stigma of being attached to a play that’ll likely be shown in countless highlight reels for the rest of Wade’s career, he could turn into a solid backup SG/SF capable of starting in the occasional game.

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