In case you haven’t heard, the Cavs pulled off an 11 man trade involving the Bulls and Sonics today. This might be reactionary, but the MLB’s trading deadline has nothing on the NBA’s. There are no MLB trades that will change a team’s entire on the field persona like this one has.
I can see why the Cavs made this move. We’ve known for years that they needed to get some help for Lebron, and apparently the contracts they are acquiring will give them a lot of flexibility in 2010, coinciding with Lebron’s next chance at free agency.
But on the other hand, can you imagine these four players putting Lebron’s crew over the top? Wally Szczerbiak, Ben Wallace, Delonte West, and Joe Smith. The Cavs give up Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes, the two starters they probably would’ve most loved to dump, and a couple more role players : Donyell Marshall and Ira Newble.
Will any of these guys solve Cleveland’s problems? I doubt it. Not this season, anyway. James will benefit from the addition of Szczerbiak on the perimeter, that’s the one piece of immediate progress we can expect to see. And yeah, Wallace is a great defender. But Cleveland’s problems stem from the fact that they have NO offensive movement, and they’ve added Wallace who has been an absolute liability on the offensive end as his career has turned downward.
What they needed was a proven point guard. So who is the key to this trade? Delonte West, believe it or not. Can he become the point guard that he failed to become with Boston and Seattle? It’s not going to happen this season. And since trade deadline deals are supposed to help you in the current stretch, this deal ends up looking pretty so-so from Lebron James’ perspective.
But for Cleveland fans, at least this deal makes the rest of the season interesting. You knew what the old cast was capable of – and what they were definitely incapable of. With this deal, who knows what will happen, who knows what the on-court action will even look like in the near future. And for that alone, this deal was worth making.