The NBA free agents can’t officially sign with teams until July 11 but already teams are busy wining and dining and spending and improving. The Cavs are one team that is looking to make a splash again this offseason but their choices will be limited. They don’t have much cap space and any big signing will probably put them over the luxury tax. The good news is owner Dan Gilbert said he is willing to spend the luxury tax.
Teams in the East are already getting better and the Cavs have to do something to keep up. With limited money available, Danny Ferry is going to have to get creative, and that kind of scares me. I don’t like knocking on Ferry but he hasn’t demonstrated much on the creative side of GMing. He overspent for Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones since he had the money and felt the pressure of having to do something. Well, he has to do something again but this time, they can’t just reach into the check book.
Boston has added Ray Allen and the sleeper of the Draft, Big Baby Davis, which makes them significant for at least this year, assuming Paul Pierce and Allen stay healthy, which is a big assumption.
Orlando, already a playoff team on the rise, added probably the best free agent out there in Rashard Lewis. Lewis, Dwight Howard and an improving Jameer Nelson makes a good core in Dinsey World.
Chicago will be better whether they add a big guy like Pau Gasol or not. Miami wasn’t a factor last year since they took the regular season off and Wade was hurt in the playoffs. They will be rejuvenated and I’m guessing they will add some young, talented players since the average on their roster is 48.
And Toronto added Jason Kapono. Not sure what that means but still, Toronto is trying.
Reports are in saying the Cavs have talked to Morris Peterson, the Toronto Raptor free agent. All the Cavs can offer Mo Pete is the mid-level exception which is roughly $5.5 million but may be closer to $6 million. When I first heard that, I didn’t think the Cavs should go after him. After thinking about it all morning, I think Mo Pete would be a good on the Cavs. I’d rather have him on the floor than Larry Hughes. If they can’t trade Hughes, which I hope they are trying endlessly to do, Hughes and Peterson could at least split time and see who plays better with LeBron. Peterson is a good defender, he’s long and he can shoot and penetrate. In theory, just what the Cavs need, just what they thought they were getting with Hughes.
The Anderson Varejao/Sasha Pavilovic free agency situation will be interesting. The Cavs seem to be more focused on keeping Anderson, and they should be. I love Sasha and he’s going to be good but with Boobie Gibson and Shannon Brown, Sasha is expendable. A sign-and-trade would be great to work there. Anderson has more value but the question will be if the Cavs will pay him more than Drew Gooden. Anderson will demand a good contract from other teams but has a restricted free agent, the Cavs can match. But they might not want to pay a backup more than a starter. In this case, I would.
One other free agent note, Derek Fisher was release from the Jazz to spend more time with his 11-month old daughter who is suffering from a rear form of eye cancer. It’s very admirable and classy of Fisher to do so. He said, if he plays again, and he stressed if, he would want to play in a select few cities with good cancer treatment hospitals. Well, the Cleveland Clinic is one of the best hospitals in the world and the Cavs could us a veteran point guard like Fisher. Wouldn’t you rather see Fisher than Snow on the court. First things first though with Fisher. Let’s all hope his child beats this thing and then he comes and helps the Cavs get over the hump.
The Plain Dealers Branson Wright reported this morning the Cavs tried to trade Larry Hughes to the Celtics during the draft. Instead, Boston decided to go with Allen. Probably a good move out of New England. Also, Eric Snow was offered to New York for Fred Jones and Dan Dickau but that fell through. At least Ferry is trying to do something because he needs to make some move to keep up.