The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Grading the Cavs’ offseason

Posted by disappointmentzone on 30 August 2007

Sports Illustrated writer Marty Burns has published his brief take on the Cavs’ offseason. Here it is:

Cleveland Cavaliers

What Went Right:

They didn’t lose Varejao or Pavlovic (at least not yet).
With Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic both restricted free agents, the Cavs were looking at the possibility of losing two key members of their rotation. It now appears that GM Danny Ferry’s strategy of waiting will pay off. Varejao and Pavlovic have seen the free agent market dry up, meaning each likely will re-sign with Cleveland — at least for one more season. It is also possible Ferry could still use one or both in a sign-and-trade.

What Went Wrong:

They didn’t land Bibby.
After last year’s Finals sweep at the hands of the Spurs, it was clear the Cavs could use a true point guard and clutch shot-maker to help LeBron James. Ferry revisited talks with the Kings, but was unable to swing a deal for Mike Bibby. Barring something unexpected, it appears as if the Cavs will be forced to go into the season with combo guards Larry Hughes and Daniel Gibson once again running the point.

They didn’t get in the Draft.
With no draft picks, the Cavs were forced to sit on the sidelines on Draft night. Meanwhile, the Bulls, Pistons and Bucks all picked up decent young prospects. The Cavs might not have been able to find a player to help them much this season anyway, but they at least could have stockpiled some talent for down the road.

GRADE: C

This is a pretty fair analysis of what has transpired, although not landing Bibby is arguably one of the things that went right for the team. Why? Because Bibby would have handcuffed the Cavs over the next few seasons with his bloated salary. If you think Larry Hughes and the Men of 05 are hard to stomach then you would have had problems with Bibby. The reason the Cavs didn’t sign anyone this offseason is because it makes no financial sense to do so. The Cavs are rubbing up against the luxury tax and cannot afford to take on any new big contracts. And the luxury tax is no joke. Just as Steve Kurr, president of the Suns, whose summer has been spent trading away talented (and heavily paid) stars for nothing in an attempt to get under the luxury tax threshold.

As for getting into the draft…No one should be too bummed about that one. There was no way the Cavs were going to get into the top 20 after trading away the 2007 first round pick for Jeri Welch a few years ago and buying their way into the mid-20s range was a multimillion dollar crap shoot that no one should be too bummed about missing. The 2007 class was deep, but not 30-outstanding-prospects deep.

The fact is, the Cavs probably deserve a C for this offseason due only to the fact that the team hasn’t improved. (Although if LBJ can now make jumpers then watch out) But the Cavs also haven’t done enough to drastically implode. Doing nothing is about all the team could do, which is the larger point: This offseason was dictated to the Cavs by the last few years’ worth of offseason moves. There was the Jeri Welch trade that took the team out of the draft and there was the cash orgy of 2005 that hamstrung the team this offseason w/r/t signing or trading for new talent. The only moves the team can make are lateral.

Your 2006 Cavs will be your 2007 Cavs. Let’s just hope that’s enough to make it back to the promise land of the NBA Finals.

UPDATE: ESPN’s David Thorpe answers some questions about LeBron’s sudden shooting ability and shooting form in this TrueHoop post.

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6 Responses to “Grading the Cavs’ offseason”

  1. Haze said

    I’ve said this before but I hated watching the Cavs play. I mean, you need to be a special kind of person to commit to watching sports anyway, but the Cavs are just terrible to watch. Things got a lot better with Gibson and his 3’s but they have so many guys who wade around the basketball and still manage to miss easy dunks and layups much more than they should. I mean, Z going for that “parallel toss-up” in the Finals was beyond redik. YOU’RE 7’2″ RETARD. AND SHAVE YOUR HEAD YOU PISS ME OFF. No passing, no fast plays, just LeBron highlights and honestly that’s starting to get obnoxious. And Ducktails is ALWAYS HIGH. I swear, by the way he walks out of the locker room I just know he’s gonna suck for the next half an hour.

    Oh yeah, and “defense”. Gotta love “defense”. You know, that thing where refs try to decide if all the shoving on the floor would constitute as attempted manslaughter in real life. You’d think a team from Cleveland would be terrible at a game like that, so nice that we have our Choosen One to put a smiling face on.

    And I officially apologize for standing up for Larry Hughes. His contract was so bad and his pre-signing year was so screaming of “one year wonder” it’d be like the division plus division equals mulitplication thang.

    The only redeeming element of this team is that virtually every player on this team seem to have some sort of abnormality in their brains that make them highly entertaining losers. I mean, I think the Cavs would have been more entertaining in Major League than the actual actors they cast. Ducktails, Brazialian Carrot Top, Z, and a guy named Tittie.

    How the hell did we even get to the Finals anyway?

  2. Haze said

    And good call on not wanting Bibby. We need a proven scorer, not a guy who’s going to dish 20 assists to LeBron every night (which is what his stats last year suggest). The first logical step in fixing the Cavs is to bury Hughes in Lake Erie and steal his money.

  3. Ben said

    RE: Bibby.

    To get Bibby they have to trade Gooden. Meaning they’d lose their bargaining chip with Varejao (we’re not paying you more than our starting PF, sign this $16 million 3-year deal and STFU) and their only young/athletic low post threat.

    Teaming Bibby with Hughes for one of the most expensive backcourts in the league would be disastrous. Bibby is coming off an injury plagued season where he shot terribly. Hughes is always injured and always shoots terribly. Plus, they’ll be coached by Mike Brown.

    The Cavs offseason should at least be a C+ for the sole fact that they haven’t overpaid either Varejao or Sasha and they haven’t added any terrible contracts.

  4. Greg Grant said

    Actually, the Cavs will have improved by adding nobody if they are able to keep Shannon Brown healthy.

  5. Haze said

    Shannon Brown hasn’t done jack since joining the d-team. Frankly though, I think trading Gooden is a very good option. Do we need Carrot Top, Z, and Gooden? Carrot mostly came off the bench last season with good results, which is amazing considering how difficult he can make a layup look. Basicly, the team needs someone who can play PG because Hughes can’t play anything. Gooden could fetch that, and a sign and trade with Sasha (who looks like he hates this team dearly) could get a decent rebounder off the bench (in my scenario, Carrot Top is in the starting lineup).

    Don’t kid yourselves everypne: Drew is not going to have the same year he had last year, and even last year he could be very defensively inconsistent. Random urinalisis is recommended.

  6. Graig said

    Personally, unless I missed this somehow, Ferry will sign Earl Boykins. The market has dried up for free agents and Earl can get minutes in his hometown and for a contender. He may be tiny, but he can push the ball.

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