Before I get to what the Cavs need to do this offseason, let me address the few comments from Graig and Scott on yesterday’s column. First the Cory Lidle Airlines fantasy baseball team name. I agree with Scott that that is a low blow and the only thing worse than naming your fantasy baseball team Cory Lidle Airlines is having a fantasy baseball team. I don’t understand how you can pay that much attention everyday for 947 straight days. I have tried before and always lose interest by the end of May.
Second, Fausto Carmona’s season is a feel good story. Whether you think putting him in the closer’s role last year was stupid or not, they way he rebounded this year is remarkable. He had the stuff to be a closer it was just he had little to no experience in the bullpen at all. Had they eased him into the role he probably would be a fantastic closer this year or next year. But it didn’t work out and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Had he not been tried as a closer last year, then they probably would still be messing around with the idea this year. What did it hurt to try it out last year? We weren’t making the playoff anyway and we learned he is a starter. It all worked out. But even this year Carmona came out and lost his first start of the year, his 11th in a row. He could have easily been a head case and been useless the whole season. But he turned things around and is an All-Star. If you want to be negative, Graig, and call it a stupid move by the worst manager of all time, fine. Be as negative as you want. But all I know is it takes a special player to rebound like Carmona has.
OK, now that that is out of the way on to the Cavaliers. The Cavs season has been over for less than a week and already all kinds of rumors are being thrown around about what they will and will not do this offseason. Well, I’ve decided to get in on it and throw out some ideas that I think they should do. First, the things they shouldn’t do. They shouldn’t trade to get into the first round unless it’s to get Greg Oden, Kevin Durant or Mike Conley. That’s not going to happen so it makes no sense to trade to take a mid-to-late round pick. We don’t need more rookies.
I think it’s safe to say everyone agrees the Cavs need a point guard. Names being thrown around have been Mike Bibby and Earl Boykins. I like each player but neither would be a good fit on the Cavs. Both are shoot first guards and we know we don’t need that. Boykins is 5’5” and a liability on defense and Mike Brown won’t like that. The best free agent guard for the Cavs is Steve Blake. Blake is a distributor and a quality shooter. He’s not the best point guard by any means but look at what he did in Denver last year. Playing with AI and ‘Melo, he was able to rack up assists and hit open three’s since the defense had other people to worry about. With Blake at point, a healthy, attacking Hughes at the 2 and LeBron, Blake will have a chance to do the same thing.
With that said, I would do just about anything I can to get rid of Hughes. That is going to be difficult to do, however, thanks to his big contract. The thing with Hughes is I think he can be a good, not great scorer on another team. He just doesn’t fit in with the Cavs and needs a new system. If the Cavs can convince another team of that then they might be able to get a real good value for him.
It would be nice to package Damon Jones, Ira Newble and David Wesley together and send them just about anywhere.
It’s going to be tough but they have to sign Varejao and Sasha. If they can’t sign both, I’d rather have Varejao but he will be the tougher sign. He’s such a unique player and teams would much rather have him than play against him. If he gets more than the mid-level exception ($5.5 million) it will be tough for the Cavs to pay him more than Gooden.
Rumor is the Bulls are interested in D-Good. I’d be willing to trade him only if we got an upgrade at PF. Gooden has adapted to his role with the Cavs perfectly over the last two years. To trade him, we’d have a pretty special package and I don’t think the Bulls are willing to give up what the Cavs need. Mainly a point guard like Kirk Hinrich or Ben Gordon, especially if they are still interested in Kobe.
Basically the Cavs have an important offseason but not a lot of options. The biggest thing is what will happen with Anderson and Sasha. I think what it is going to come down to is a disappointing offseason where the Cavs comeback with much the same roster. If that’s the case, let’s hope Mike Brown does what he said he needed to do earlier in the year and hire an “offensive coordinator” to get the most out of his talent.
I hope I’m wrong about a quiet offseason and the Cavs make some good chances but the odds are stacked against them.