The Cavaliers' announcement Thursday that guard Mo Williams is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained left shoulder presents an interesting dilemma if you're Danny Ferry.
Well, interesting if you're you or me. Distressful if you're Danny Ferry.
The news could've been worse. As Plain Dealer Cavs writer extraordinaire Brian Windhorst pointed out, Williams could've needed surgery, which would've sidelined him for months. Such a verdict would've put the Cavs and Mike Brown in the same boat the Magic and Stan Van Gundy found themselves in last spring with Jameer Nelson -- and we all know how that worked out.
Assuming the worst-case scenario -- that Williams misses six weeks -- his return would be slated for the first week of March. That's still plenty of time to restore normalcy to the Cavs' offense and get Williams in shape for the playoffs. But remember: There's a very real chance that the Cavs will lose Delonte West for an extended period of time once his weapons charges are dealt with in Maryland -- and in NBA Commissioner David Stern's office. With guns galore in the NBA this season, clearly Stern will be in no mood for a slap on the wrist. According to reports, West is due in court Friday for a pre-trial hearing. Barring a plea, trial is set for February.
So ... with two key backcourt members facing lengthy absences, what does Ferry do? His posture to this point in the trade market has been to try to parlay Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his $11.5 million expiring contract into a stretch power forward -- someone like Washington's Antawn Jamison. But now, there are backcourt issues to be addressed. And in all likelihood, neither outcome will be known for sure before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
Play-making guards who currently qualify as very available are the Nets' Devin Harris, the Sixers' Andre Iguodala, and the Knicks' Nate Robinson. Harris and Iggy carry a hefty price for the Cavs, who already have precious little cap space to operate with next summer, when their prized free-agent-to-be, LeBron James, will be weighing his options. It borders on the farcical that the Cavs would take on Harris' $27 million over the next three seasons for a short-term fix -- one that would only further pave the way for the Nets to lure LeBron and another top-tier free agent on July 1.
Iguodala's $57 million over the next four years? Not even worth discussion, in my opinion.
Robinson is the cheapest and least cap-killing option, given that he's on a one-year deal for $4 million. (He also has the right to void any trade, but why would he do that in this case?). The risk with Robinson comes on the court, where he's undisciplined, and in the locker room, where his playful antics rub veterans the wrong way. Maybe Shaq and LeBron could put him in his place. Maybe not.
The Cavs can certainly get by with LeBron handling more of the initiating duties on offense and Daniel Gibson playing increased minutes (although the latter is a lot scarier than the former). Remember, too, that Leon Powe looms as a wild-card addition to the front court once he returns from a season-long absence following offseason knee surgery.
So a logical course of action for Ferry would be to ride it out, make do with what he's got, and hope for the best once Williams returns.
But with so much pressure on this franchise to deliver a championship for LeBron in his walk year, it's certainly worth wondering how much this turn of events will increase the temptation to make a proactive -- and potentially risky -- move between now and Feb. 18.
Ken Berger - CBS sports
Thats an interesting question... Would the Cavs give the Knicks more cap room to go after Lebron with in order to acquire a player that could help them this season?
I have no idea. I doubt they give big Z's expiring contract to the Knicks. Anybody elses thoughts?
Harrington and Nate for Big Z, J. Williams and D Jackson
wont happen but it'd make the cavs more serious of a championship contender
cleveland sends big z and jackson
indiana sends ford and murphy
new york sends nate jefferies
cleveland gets nate and murphy
indiana gets big z and jefferies
new york gets tj ford and jackson
how about the cavs trade ilgauskas and jawad williams for robinson, jeffries, and a 2nd round pick.
cavs get a guard who can score and can give/finish ally oops with lebron. they also get another defensive low post player, so their centers and power forwards would be shaq, varejao, powe, jeffries, and hickson..lots of depth there. they also get a 2nd round pick just to even stuff up salary wise..
new york gets 2 expiring contracts, so they have more room to sign all their "big talent" players next year..
what you think?
Harrington could be a nice consolation, too if the Cavs don't get Antawn Jamison, who is their number one target right now. I would like to see Nate on the Cavs. He could really help with the scoring and would mesh very well with Lebron.
i think the cavs are just gonna stand pat. mo isnt gone for the year and they bet the lakers with mo out and looked pretty good doing it so im pretty sure they think they can beat other teams wsith delonte west playing the point... doubt very very seriously that they make a trade