I've gotten lots of e-mails over the last week asking me about players the Cavs may want to trade for this offseason. Nobody asked about the draft, which I wrote about in Sunday's paper. I guess LeBron's comments at the end of the season are the reason for that. Anyway, let me go over some things to answer some questions I've been getting.
A couple of things before we start.
1. The Cavs probably aren't going to be signing anybody to a significant contract straight up this summer. All they have is their exceptions ($5.5 million mid-level and $1.8 million bi-annual). Neither of those are likely going to attract impact players. Considering the staggering size of their payroll, I don't expect the Cavs to use all or maybe any of this money. 2. The Cavs have plenty of trade assets, but there are circumstances. Most of them are expiring contracts, especially Wally Szczerbiak's $13 million Teams who are looking to clear cap space and rebuild want these deals. Not everybody wants to rebuild in the summer, usually that decision happens mid-season. So, in general, expiring contracts tend to become more valuable as the season progresses. That means a major move might well not happen until during next season. Not that it is impossible. Last season the SuperSonics broke down their team and the Celtics cashed in with Ray Allen. The Cavs also have two restricted free agents in Daniel Gibson and Delonte West they could use in sign-and-trades. However, the team likes the both and probably wants to keep them. 3. The season isn't over yet, the draft hasn't taken place, and not all coaches or general managers are in place. Which means there's mostly just speculation at this point and all talk of roster movement would be by definition premature. From the Cavs perspective, I don't even believe their coaches and front office have made certain decisions yet. So anything about the Cavs would be total conjecture. But I am paid to do it, so I will. As I did in Sunday's story.
--People are asking me a lot about Elton Brand, there is apparently some rumor that the Cavs want him. Well of course the Cavs would want him, so would almost every team in the league. He is going into the final year of his contract, which he has an option to terminate. But since he is coming off an Achilles tear nobody is 100 percent sure he will do that. Either way, the only way the Cavs would be able to get him is in a trade (straight up or in an sign-and-trade). The Clippers don't like spending money, but they wouldn't trade Brand just to clear cap space. He's their franchise player right now and Corey Maggette may be leaving them soon. At this moment, I don't think it is possible. --Lots have e-mailed about Michael Redd. The Bucks have a new coach and a new general manager and may be looking to move numerous players as they look to rebuild. In time, this could be a legitimate scenario. The Bucks have not prospered with Redd as their centerpiece and his maximum contract ties them up. However, this is not the same Redd from three years ago. He's suffered a knee injury since, his shooting percentage has dropped two straight seasons (he only shot 36 percent on 3s this year) and he's coming off his lowest scoring average in four seasons. Now, he is a highly skilled shooter who has experience playing with LeBron on Team USA. We'll have to see how things develop and what the Bucks do with the No. 8 overall pick. --Baron Davis. Several have raised this one to me. Baron is another player who has an opt out in his contract that no one is sure he will use. The Warriors are at a bit of a crossroads, they have numerous free agents to deal with. It appears Davis wants an extension and probably a massive one and the Bay Area media has reported early talks have not gone well. So it makes sense that his name would be floated in rumors. No one has told me the Cavs would have interest and it is questionable as to whether his style would mesh with LeBron because he is a shoot first guard. But it is a situation that could be worth watching. --Andre Iguodala, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor (I've gotten questions on all) or any other restricted free agent from the draft class of 2004. The Cavs do not have cap space required to give out an offer sheet that would scare anyone. As for sign-and-trades, the Cavs don't have the young talent that would make such a deal possible. Teams don't want to give up their young stars, just as the Cavs wouldn't.
I'll have more as things develop and more about the season as a little more time passes. People still aren't talking much.