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Cleveland Cavaliers

Rumors and perspectives

By admin Published: June 21, 2007

--There is a report in today's Washington Post that says the Cavs are considering offering a contract to Wizards restricted free agent prospect Andray Blatche.  Blatche is very young (20), 6-foot-11, and has lots of talent.  He's spent most of his first two years in the league sitting and watching, but his future is pretty bright.  What I'm sure the Cavs like about him, whether they truly intend to offer him or not, is that he appears to be offensively gifted, especially as a shooter.  I wrote a story about Blatche and how his rookie season was marred by a shooting for last summer.  You can read it here (I think you need Insider, though).

While I think the Wizards would probably match just about any offer Blatche gets  -- the Post said the Nets and Cavs may offer a five-year deals starting at around $4 million -- I think what you are seeing here is the Cavs working on contingency plans with Anderson Varejao.  I think you'll hear more about it, too.  By the way, as food for thought, the Wizards are believed to be one of the teams that would have interest in Varejao.  So let your mind wander with all this on the table.  Especially considering the Wizards are expected to bring last year's first-round pick, Oleksiy Pecherov, over from Europe this season.  Pecherov, who I was impressed with at summer league last year, is a lot like Blatche.  Not quite as athletic, but he's young, very big (6-10) and is a better shooter.  Perhaps there isn't room for both Blatche and Pecherov, but there surely is room for Varejao in Washington.  We'll see.

--Apparently New York Post rumor man Peter Vecsey has been saying the Cavs may go after Rashard Lewis.  It would take a sign-and-trade with the Seattle Sonics.  I will not rule anything out, because as I said before, expect the Cavs to be aggressive in trying to get offensive talent this summer.  Also, looking at guys like Blatche and Lewis would follow the way the Cavs have built their team.  They want "long" players who can play multiple positions.  Again, this is why Earl Boykins is a long shot to me.

Whether or not this is a valid rumor or not, it reminds us of a point.  Most NBA teams right now aren't in spending mode.  Contracts are getting shorter by average and fewer teams want to use all of their mid-level exceptions.  The Cavs, however, seem like they are willing to spend and that gives them a massive advantage.  In the previous blog, I explained how they can creatively reduce other teams' payrolls with their current roster.

In the past, GM Danny Ferry has used owner Dan Gilbert's checkbook to make cap-reducing deals with Billy King, who is a close friend.  Helping King get the 76ers under the luxury tax line two years ago got the Cavs Daniel Gibson when they made a cap-absorbing deal for a draft pick at the deadline.  Well, two teams looking to reduce costs are the Suns and Sonics.  They both have new general managers (Sam Presti and Steve Kerr, respectively) and Ferry won NBA title rings with both of them and has good relations with each.  Also, both are in the other conference, making a big deal more likely.  So when it comes to Lewis or Shawn Marion rumors or any other Sonics or Suns cash-dumping moves, expect that the Cavs could be very much involved.

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