Over the last few days the names of possible Cavalier trade targets have surfaced, first reported on by Brian Windhorst. Today, Rick has a post up on WFNY taking a closer look at those players - Anthony Randolph, Antawn Jamison, and Troy Murphy- and I recommend you click here to read his full piece on the subject. An excerpt of Rick's summary on each rumored trade possibility is below, followed by what I'd be willing to spend in return for each player, if I was tall enough to go by the government name of Daniel John Willard Ferry.
via WFNY, Rick:
"Randolph is in his second year. He averages 11.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks in just under 23 minutes per game. His PER is 17.82. (For those looking to compare, Hickson averages 7.4 points, 3.8 boards, 0.4 blocks in 19 minutes a contest. His PER is 13.7.)... He certainly doesn’t stretch the defense like the Cavs are looking for. He would be an asset on defense however..."
"Antawn Jamison is the old man in this group. He’s by far the most polished offensive player in this group. He averages a hair under 21 points per game and grabs 8.5 rebounds...He has been a bit banged up this season, but fights through it. In fact, he has missed a total of 30 games in the past 5 seasons for the Wizards...He is due to make $13,358,905 next season, and $15,076,715 the following year."
"ESPN's Chad Ford said Murphy makes the most sense for the Cavs...[but] Let’s hold on a minute. Murphy may be a good three-point shooter, and his 6′11″ frame can usually get a shot over smaller forwards, but is his defensive liabilities worth taking on his deal for next year? Maybe. Murphy isn’t the answer to the screen and roll problem. He also isn’t going to help in transition defense...He will rebound, and he can shoot from outside the paint."What I'd be willing to trade for each player:
With the holiday's upon us, and the turn of the decade near, I felt it only right that we as Cavs' fans take a moment to reflect, and be thankful. While we sometimes find ourselves wishing this team had a stretch four, or a back-up PG, or a better play to run at the end of the game, the truth is, its not really all that bad. And by all that bad, I mean its not ten years ago bad. If the last four seasons - which have included an NBA Championship appearance, an Eastern Conference finals run, a Cavalier winning the league's MVP, and an average of 52 regular season wins per year - have made us forget just how bad it was, I'll remind you. But before I get into specifics, I'll just say this: we didn't even know what a 'stretch-four' was when this decade started, we just hoped four was where the losing streaks would stop.
This date in Cavaliers' history, 10-years ago, December 23rd, 1999:
On December 23rd, during the 1999-00 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-15) squared off against the Atlanta Hawks. Cleveland would ride a 5-game losing streak into the contest, and by the time the backboard lights went red, that streak would be extended to 6, by way of a 108-90 loss to Isiah Rider and the Hawks. The Cavaliers were paced by Shawn Kemp and Bobby Sura that night, who each scored 17. The other three Cav starters, Andrew DeClerq, Brevin Knight, and Lamond Murray combined to score 22. Off the bench, Cedric Henderson (12 points) and Andre Miller (11 points) provided some spark for first year coach Randy Wittman's club, but it wasn't enough to overcome Isiah "don't call me JR" Rider who dropped 30 on the Cavs that night. Jim Jackson scored 19, Diekembe Mutombo 16, and LaPhonso Ellis kicked in 17 off the bench for the ATL. The Cavs' 6-game losing streak would extend to seven on December 26th, before being snapped on the 29th by way of a win over Washington. The win streak would end at one however, as the Cavs would lose the next three in a row, and eventually wind up 32-50 for the season. In short, they were horrible.
Ghosts of Cavaliers past:
As mentioned, the 1999-00 Cavaliers were led by first year coach Randy Wittman, who would go on to be fired after year two. They averaged 97 points per game offensively, which wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't give up an average of 100.5 per night on the defensive end. Shawn Kemp was your best player, averaging 17.8 points, and 8.8 rebounds per game (he would be traded the following year to Portland). Lamond Murray averaged 15.9 and Bob Sura averaged 13.8. That was your Big-3: Kemp, Murray and Sura - sic squad. Andre Miller averaged 11.1 points and 5.8 assists per game off the bench, and Brevin Knight averaged 9 and 7 as a starter. Wes Person averaged 9.2 points per game, shooting 42% from three point land, but he wasn't the leading 3-point shooter by percentage that year. That was Danny Ferry, who shot 44% from behind the arc, averaging 7.3 points per game while appearing in 60 off the bench, and starting 3 during the 99-00 campaign.
A decade ago, there was no hope in sight:
It wasn't like anybody was saying during the 1999-00 season: 'just give Bobby Sura and Lamond Murray a few more years to play together and this team will be awesome.' Besides that, there were no real young players to hang your hat on outside of Andre Miller, who was good, but by no means a guy you could think to build your franchise around. That year's lottery pick, Trajan Langdon, appeared in only 10 games during the 99-00 season, and he'd play in only 129 more over the next two seasons before leaving the NBA entirely to play the rest of his career in Europe. Additionally, 3rd year big man Zydrunas Ilgauskas was the second highest paid player on the team that year ($9 million) behind Shawn Kemp ($10.7 million) and he didn't play in one game. He had only played in 5 games the year before, and would go on to appear in only 24 during the 2000-01 season. While we know now it turned out alright for Z, at the time, it sure did look like the Cavs had more than a couple high-paid busts on the roster. And that whole cross your fingers and hope LeBron saves the franchise-thing? That hadn't even started yet. LeBron James was only a freshman in high school the last time the decade turned, and outside of Akron, nobody even knew his name yet.
This yule time's merry, this season's bright:Coming into the 2009-10 season, the Cavaliers were widely regarded as a team capable of winning the NBA title, and rightly so. Sure, it was certainly tough falling short last summer in the ECF after winning 66 games during the regular season, but nobody was claiming the Cavs to be a legit threat to win it all coming into last year. Maybe they were a year ahead of schedule last time around. Maybe this year's the year. Sure, there've been some rough spots so far, but lets put those rough spots into context: Andrew DeClerq's not starting tonight. And you know what else, maybe those rough spots are just growing pains. Coming into tonight's game against the Kings, sitting at 21-8, there's no reason why this team can't still win the NBA title. There are certainly a number of things that have to happen, but at least one of them is not trying to figure out how to get your over-weight, under-achieving PF off your team. There are a number of quality players on this year's club, as we all know, and they are more than capable of putting up big numbers on any given night. Besides that, the best player on the team is still the league's reigning MVP. So if the worst thing that happens to the Cavaliers this holiday season is that Mike Brown designs a bad play for LeBron once an a while, just think...wouldn't you rather see that, than watch Randy Wittman design a great one for Lamond Murray?
The Cavs played one of their best games of the year last night, and there are a number of positive takeaways to discuss. Bullet points include, bouncing back on the road to beat a good team after a tough loss, the defensive intensity and effort on display in the second half, the encouraging effort by Delonte West for a third straight game, as well as others. However, the point I would like to highlight is LeBron James' propensity to include Jason Richardson in highlight reel related plays, while visiting the desert.
If you recall, the last time LeBron was in Phoenix, Jason Richardson attempted a 360 slam against the Cavs, but it didn't go in. To refresh your memory...
This time around, Jason wasn't trying to win a dunk contest, just trying to play defense on LeBron. Until James passed the ball between Richardson's legs...gotcha...for an assist to Varejao...
To be fair to Richardson though, he wasn't the only Sun who found himself as the butt of a LeBron James highlight joke last night. Stoudamire made an appearance as well...
Previewing the Suns, and looking back at the weekend that was...
Previewing Cavs vs. Suns, tonight at 9pm...Suns 10-0 at home: Waiting for Next Year - Andrew
But first, one last look back at Sunday night's loss in Big D: King James Gospel - Cody
And if by chance you still don't know why Dirk didn't play last night, first crawl out from under your rock, then go here: BDL - JE Skeets
To see the commercial that left you confused last night as to why reindeer puppets and Santa Claus were rapping click here: A Stern Warning -Mark Schiralli
While on the subject of Santa, Danny Ferry's letter to him was reportedly leaked over the weekend: PD - Brian Windhorst
And if you missed it, the Ghost defended Youngstown again this weekend: Waiting for Next Year - Brendan
And if you still can't believe it, the Browns won again, a postgame podcast for proof: LeBrownstown - Brian Rosen
More on the Browns...Nice Win, Chief: Cleveland Frowns - Pete
After the Suns, the Cavs play Sacramento, where even when beer is $1, they still can't sell-out...sobering news: The Hoop Doctors - Dr. Browntorious
If the Cavaliers suffered at all last summer from peaking too soon during the regular season, you can cross that off your list of things to worry about for this year's squad. Coming into tonight's game against the Mavericks, the Cavaliers had been riding a 3-game winning streak...but...its tough to argue that they've been playing great basketball in the process. In those three games prior - against the Bucks, 76ers, and Nets who are all under .500 and have a combined record of 20-60 - the Cavs won by an average of 6.6 points per game. With Dirk Nowitzki sidelined tonight while team doctors attempted to pry Carl Landry's teeth out of his forearm, it would have been a nice opportunity to steal one on the road before going to Phoenix tomorrow. But that didn't happen.Part of the reason for that was Shaq's ineffectiveness tonight, going 1 of 7 from the field, against a guy in Erick Dampier he once reffered to as Ericka. The other reason, besides the energy that seemed to be left at Hopkins Airport, was a recurring theme that this time showed itself in the form of Tim Thomas. The 6'10" PF came into tonight's game averaging 7.6 ppg. He played 36 minutes tonight with Dirk out, and proceeded to drop 22 points on the Cavs by way of 50% shooting from the field, and grabbed 7 rebounds to boot. In short, he had a great night against the Cavs; just like PF's Zach Randolph (32pts), LaMarcus Aldridge (22pts), and Jeff Green (26pts) - to name a few - had against Cleveland during recent match-ups with Memphis, Portland, and Oklahoma City respectively.
I found myself watching the 1995 Wake Forest / North Carolina ACC championship game on ESPN Classic today, and just couldn't help but post the video of probably the nastiest cross-over ever. At least the nastiest one ex-Cavalier Jeff McInnis ever stumbled into. In a game that featured the collegiate names of Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, and Tim Duncan, I give you the best player on the court that day...Randolph Childress:
HatTip: YouTubeSheed, Stack, and Timmy obviously went on to notable NBA careers, and after getting up off the court that day in Greensboro, McInnis would go on to play 12 years in the NBA averaging over 9 points and 4 assists for his career - which included 107 games in Cleveland where he averaged 12 and 6 before clashing with Paul Silas for his lack of defensive effort (go figure) - but I always wondered what became of Mr. Childress, who went on to have 37 and 7 in that title game, including the game winner with 4 seconds left...so I googled him.
Take two for the Bloguin networks NBA-a-thon series is up this morning, and a special shout out to our boy Lives and the Knicks Fanatics for lacing this together. An excerpt from their assembly of NBA cheers and jeers is as follows:
"We have identified the top 10 resolutions of common people and since there is nothing common about you, we have modified, reshaped and recast them for you, the thinking sports fan. With help from the great NBA writers in the Bloguin network, we could not think of a better vehicle than our second NBA-A-Thon, a carnival of some of the best work in the blogosphere. With a nod to Don at With Malice, who started us off with NBA-A-Thon #1, we present NBA-A-THON #2 and hope that all your wishes and resolutions come true in 2010..."
Read More, check out the Top Ten Resolutions for 2010 NBA-a-thon Style
Ricky from the Philadelphia 76ers blog Sixers4Guidos was nice enough to stop by for a Q and A in preparation for tonights Cavaliers - Sixers game, which tips off at 7pm. If you're wondering about the name, its pronouced g-w-ee-dos...you know, like Tony Soprano's buddies? My questions, and Ricky's answers, are below:
I have to explain the "poor coaching" thing.
To sum it up so far we've seen a bad Xs and O's coach with ZERO psychological skills. His pre game/post game quotes are a rare collection of BS: "Brand is no more a 40 min guy" (start of the season, when he was trying to recover full efficiency after having basically missed the whole year...), "Probably it was (Brand) to tell Green to get Holiday injured (in praccice)" (= so that Brand could be put again into the starting lineup...), "I'll leave Iverson the choice when to pull himself out of the game" (?? I thought coaches were getting paid to do this..) etc etc.
Front office didn't help him much either, signing Iverson, the anti-Princeton offense, 20 games into the season, when Sixers were (slowly...) starting to learn a new system that requires some time to adjust.
But anyway I don't think Jordan's job is at serious risk, he was signed for 3 years and firing him after 25 games would mean the GM admitting a major failure. Remember last year Cheeks was fired and got replaced by Di Leo, so Jordan's successor would be the 4th coach in 2 years. Highly unlikely, to me, but then again so it was Iverson's return...
2. What's your take on the AI situation?
Since the Cavaliers felt like they didn’t have to put forth maximum effort tonight against the Nets, I am going to assume that its okay I don’t put forth maximum effort in my re-cap post either. Prior to watching, I did want to though, I promise. But a game that takes Devin Harris hitting Jamario Moon in the head with 3:48 left to get the Cavs players – and multiple fans throughout the Q – to literally wake up out of a drooling sleep is just difficult to write about.
I could write about all the negatives in tonight's game though, but I don’t want to. What I wanted to talk about was how the Cavs treated the Nets like a jv squad, and dominated them from start to finish. I also wanted to belabour the point about how awful the now 2-23 Nets are. I wanted to argue that 10 players on the Cavs’ roster could have started for New Jersey tonight. I wanted to say that Shaq dropped an early O’Doyle rules on the Jersey front-line with 9 first quarter points, and then bullied his way to a season high 30+. I wanted to poke fun at how ridiculous the speculation that LeBron James would opt to sign with the worst franchise in the NBA next season really is. But after watching those Nets hang in the game all night long, during the most boring Cavs' win in the last two years, I decided none of that really made sense talking about.Brook Lopez gets the player of the game award for me with 22 pts/15 rebs, and before getting ejected, Devin Harris kicked in 22 for the bad guys.