Shaq To Cavaliers


Party over here! (AP Photo)


Oh snap. The Arizona Republic, ESPN.com and the Cleveland Plain Dealer are reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns have agreed to a deal that would send Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland and pair him with league's most valuable player LeBron James, which makes the Eastern Conference very, very intriguing. It also adds a lot of spice to the Cavaliers-Wizards rivalry (you ready, Brendan?), injects more excitement to the battles between Cleveland and the Magic (mostly because of Shaq's riffs on Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy), and attaches an interesting sidebar to the LeBron-Dwyane Wade matchups. Should the Lakers and Cavaliers make it to the NBA Finals, you already know that a LeBron-Shaq-Kobe series would be b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Mike Wise reached O'Neal at his home in Orlando after midnight Wednesday. O'Neal said he was aware a deal was close but had not received a call from Suns general manger Steve Kerr. "I'm in the gym about to get in the hot tub," O'Neal said. "I haven't even heard from Steve yet. If something is going down I should know pretty soon. But I haven't heard anything definite yet."

A league source just confirmed the deal a while ago: The Cavaliers are getting O'Neal in exchange for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, the 46th pick in Thursday's draft and $500,000. It's crazy, but the asking price for the future Hall of Fame center that Slam Magazine declared as the fourth-best player in NBA history (I respectfully disagree) is diminishing by the deal. The Heat had to surrender Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and future first-round pick. The Suns had to surrender all-star forward Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. And now, the Cavaliers had to dump a guy who wants to retire and a player they no longer wanted.

I know he's 37, but I'm baffled that his value is so low after averaging 17.8 points, making the all-star team and being named third-team All-NBA last season. I know that Phoenix is looking to dump salary, but they couldn't get one serviceable player out of the deal? Then again, it might make sense.

That the Suns simply shed salary is a firm admission that Kerr's trade for O'Neal in February 2008 was a huge blunder. Phoenix regressed in every season it had O'Neal, going from a controversial second round loss to San Antonio the season before O'Neal arrived to a first round exit in his first season with the team, to not even making the playoffs last season. The absence of Amare Stoudemire after the all-star break contributed to the Suns' struggles, but they were in trouble even with him.

You also have to be worried when you see how the Miami Heat regressed in its last two years with O'Neal. After winning the championship in 2006, the Heat lost in the first round and then traded O'Neal in the midst of a 15-win season. Anybody else noticing a trend here?

This move is definitely a gesture from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and General Manager Danny Ferry to prove to James that they are going to do whatever it takes to keep the team in contention in hopes that James doesn't bolt in 2010.

While the move adds a really, really big piece to the mix, how much better does it make the Cavaliers? Yes, O'Neal can provide a big body to defend Howard but Cleveland still needs to add some bigger, athletic players to complement James on the perimeter. Will O'Neal really be able to defer to James for a full season and be happy about it? And, more importantly, will O'Neal stay healthy? He's going to have to for this deal to work.

Otherwise, the rampant speculation over LeBron's free agency will only get worse.



This is an odd move for O'Neal, who once complained about the cold weather in Oakland because he's a "tropical black man." He played high school ball in San Antonio, college ball in Baton Rouge, and professional ball in Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix. He won't see the sun too often in Cleveland. Maybe he'll see more wins.

O'Neal should be pretty motivated as he enters the final season of his deal, worth $21 million -- and with Kobe Bryant proving that he can do without him by winning his first post-Shaq championship. O'Neal will become the rare player to be paired with three of the best perimeter players to play this decade, with Bryant, Wade and now James. He won four rings with Bryant and Wade. Could the fifth be on the way?

Either way, next season should be a lot of fun.

By Michael Lee |  June 25, 2009; 12:49 AM ET
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Comments

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Shaq coming to the Cavs is bad news for us as we stand.
We are really thin up front and although I like Haywood
v. Shaq a lot more today than a few years ago you always
need fouls when you are playing against shaq. I hope Ernie's
got one more move in him to solidify the big man rotation.

Posted by: AWizinLA | June 25, 2009 1:03 AM

We'll know the Wiz are big time when they pull a "steal deal" the way that Boston (Garnett), the Lakers (Gasol), and now Cleveland have done.

The Butler for Kwame trade was close, but that's just not in the same league as these trades.

Posted by: juice1 | June 25, 2009 1:04 AM

"Phoenix Suns have agreed to a deal that would send Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland in exchange for LeBron James"

Now that would be quite a deal. Not sure what you were trying to say there Michael.. get some sleep!

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | June 25, 2009 1:21 AM

Nevermind, you beat me to it.

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | June 25, 2009 1:23 AM

The Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wants to win a championship people, he's not happy just to make the playoffs!

Can we trade CHEAP ABE?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 1:27 AM

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 1:30 AM

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 1:32 AM

Cheap Abe paid 1 million for the club and now it's worth $353 million I think he can afford to go over the luxury cap once in his lifetime?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 1:33 AM

I'm sorry Abe's idea of taking a chance to win a championship is by trading for Mike Miller? Go Wizards!!!!!!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 1:40 AM

You are way off on Abe and Ernie. They manage the cap really well thats why every off season we can make move to make the team better. Other teams become handcuffed by bad contracts we stay flexible enough to resign the guys we want. Next free agency we have a bunch of money coming off the books. We will have the option to resign guys or go into free agency. With the economic down turn a lot of guys won't get the offers the expected. Also there teams might peruse other guys on the market and feel snubbed. Ernie is handling the club just right.

Posted by: AWizinLA | June 25, 2009 1:46 AM

@ AWizinLA

Manage the cap? How do you explain paying Arenas $111 million dollars when he just had 2 knee operations? Money of that nature could have lured in QUALITY free agents this year. The Wizards management is horrible. What I expect for next season is Arenas out for 60 games and another 30 win season.

Posted by: youngciscero | June 25, 2009 3:01 AM

Who do you propose we sign? Carlos Boozer? Ron Artest? Neither of those guys are putting us over the top. 2008 when gil and twan were free agents our options are Baron Davis, Elton Brand, and Andre Iguodala. Of those guys I would rather be paying Gil big dollars. Its a very rare occasion you can sign a superstar because the team that has him can usually pay the most money. With Gil we got really lucky and they had to make a rule for him. We resigned arenas because he was our best chance. Injuries happen, Brand missed the whole season too and Davis has had plenty of injuries. The other option was going back to perennial lottery team. I am happy with the choice.

Posted by: AWizinLA | June 25, 2009 4:29 AM

lots of overreacting for June... This is not Sqaq of four-six years ago... The current version of Shaq will certainly help the Cavs, but he's not the dominate player he used to be (note: I have my doubts that Big Z and Shaq will effectively share time)...so we should all breathe. We have plenty of time before the Wiz roster is final...

I am comforted by our moves (if you listen to "basketball people" - GM's, coaches and players - they all like where the Wiz are... Certainly we need some help up front, but we have time to address that .

Posted by: cedric_lockhart | June 25, 2009 5:57 AM

No one is scared of Shaq anymore. He's only a factor on the offensive end and even with him, I can't see the Cavs outgunning THIS Wiz team. We're closer to being the Suns of the East now than a couple years ago when we WERE the Suns of the East and scoring all those points. Guarding this team should be an absolute nightmare for anyone...even good defensive teams like Cleveland and Boston.
Mike Miller should start with the Big 3 and BTH. He can guard 3's on defense and play the 2 on offense so that CB is back at his familiar sf spot on offense.

That gives us 3 legitimate 3 point shooters on the court with Miller, Gil and AJ. Even Cb should be able to hit wide open ones. BTH should have plenty or room down low for his ultra slow yet effective post moves. AJ should be able to continue to get his postups on the block since no defender can cheat anymore.

I'm guessing we'll be top 3 offensively if everyone stays healthy. I'm not sure that this is what most of the ppl on this bog want but now more than ever, we should run, run, run. Play uptempo pre-Shaq Suns basketball. That'll get us to 50 wins. We don't have the low post presence on this team to bang in the playoffs but any team that can hit shots has a good chance of winning...even in a 7 game series.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 5:59 AM

While I hated this trade initially because I thought we should get more, it's looking a little bit better to me. The Knicks deal is still preferable. LH + #8 for Mike James and #5?

We could have had LH and a quality young player. Etan's expiring deal would have been good bait later on in the year for a big man, too. Anyway...

I just wonder why we had to throw Pech in. Was his paltry salary needed to get the numbers to work?
He's a big guy who, in my opinion, never got a real opportunity to show what he could do here. In the few minutes that he got, he showed an ability to rebound and get his hands on loose balls (mine not included). He seemed to get a lot of deflections and though he was slow afoot, is he really any slower than Etan or Songaila? Probably not. Keeping Pech would at least have given us a slight insurance policy and another big (slouched) body.

Don't be surprised if Pech beats out Etan for the starting C spot in Minnesota. If he gets a real shot, I don't see how Etan has a chance. Pech's outside game might actually complement Al Jefferson better than Etan's inside 'game'.

Of course, they'll probably wind up with Thabeet, which would relegate Pech to the bench again.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 6:15 AM

"I know he's 37, but I'm baffled that his value is so low..."

That's because he has a big fat mouth. He rides the curtails of his team mates...then bashes them in the media, and let's face it as you said above his skills are in decline.

Shaq is NOT the player he used to be and if I were the Wiz I would NOT be worried. Haywood can stand his own against Shaq and the "glory" of his last ring in Miami are long gone Mike. They had more issues then Shaq leaving town on that team when it folded.

After Lebron fails to win another title in Cleveland and bolts for NY, the first thing you're gonna hear is how Shaq said something about Lebron...blah, blah, blah. Shaq still wants to be "The Man" and he's just not. He has this horrible habit of ripping into people who get more press then he does to satisfy his own ego. It's shameful really for a future hall of famer. The crap he said about Dwight Howard was completely uncalled for.

My question is this:

What are they going to do with Big Z now?

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 25, 2009 7:28 AM

Please name one 37 year old 7 footer who actually made a contribution to their team at that age and lead them to a successful playoff run? This is nothing more than a circus sideshow that will end in failure.

Shaq was done 5 years ago when Lakers choked against the Pistons. And IMO it has not gotten any easier for him.

At this point Z is a better center than Shaq. This move is sure despration to appease Lebron. But the fact of the matter is Cleveland will not be successful until Lebron learns to trust his teammates on the offense end in pressure situations.

This move will mark the end of Danny's career as GM of Cleveland.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | June 25, 2009 7:30 AM

Maybe V2 can finally help this year...updated info.

"Vladimir Veremeenko - 6'10" 240 PF (Unics Kazan)
Remember him? Veremeenko was drafted by the Wizards in the 2nd Round in 2006; the Same draft that saw the Wizards take Pecherov with the 1st Round selection. He looked lost last year in Summer League... and ended up going back to Europe. Perhaps one of the potential fixes for the Wizard's unbalanced roster is to bring Veremeenko over for the Rookie minimum salary; just as an insurance policy against injury. If he's still a bit raw, they could ship him off to the D-League Wizards for seasoning and additional Coaching.

Vladimir Veremeenko was playing for Khimki in the EuroLeague, and was trapped behind some veteran big men on that team. This year, he moved to the Unics club for the 2008-09 season, and earned the starting Power Forward job. He apparently relished the additional responsibility, as well as the added playing time. Veremeenko averaged 12 points, while making 61% of his 2-point shots and 45.5% of his 3-point shots. In addition he averaged 8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game; while helping his team make the final 16 of the EuroLeague playoffs.

Good size and frame for the PF position. Excellent skills (ball handling, shooting, passing). Has the frame to add bulk and strength. Excellent mid-range shooter. Excellent fundamental rebounder. Has improved his athleticism since the Wizard's drafted him. This guy is NOT just another soft Euro player - he likes to mix it up inside."

Posted by: oddjob2 | June 25, 2009 7:36 AM

You are way off on Abe and Ernie. They manage the cap really well thats why every off season we can make move to make the team better.

Posted by: AWizinLA | June 25, 2009 1:46 AM

Is this the same management that 2 years ago had to have assistant coaches practice with the team because they didn't want to sign a player to a 10 day contract because they didn't want to go over the cap?

Or is this the same management that last year had 15 players on the roster and when everyone got hurt couldn't bring in a player?

Wait this is the same management that hasn't made it out of the first round since they let LH walk even with 3 self proclaimed all stars?

Is this the same GM who made ETaps the coach?

When has the team gotten any better in the last 4 years? Maybe that's why this management made sure we only won 19 games last year, too make sure we would be better this year?

Is this the same owner who has 1 title in 46 years?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 7:43 AM

Love this trade for the Wizards. This will make a terribly slow and unimaginative offense in Cleveland even worse. Yeah, the Cavs will be much bigger than us but we will be able to run on them all day. The Cavs needed to get younger and quicker, instead they got older and slower...love it.

http://basketball.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/60028/20090624/ford_cavs_formula_building_around_lebron_was_all_wrong/

Posted by: Berghead | June 25, 2009 7:43 AM

"Don't be surprised if Pech beats out Etan for the starting C spot in Minnesota. If he gets a real shot, I don't see how Etan has a chance. Pech's outside game might actually complement Al Jefferson better than Etan's inside 'game'."

I can't imagine launching an NBA season with either one of them as a starter. Thomas was once a valued contributor, but no more. Pech never achieved that status.

By the way, somebody mentioned Vlad Vereemenko as not your typical 'soft' European player -- that's what the scouts said about Pech. Throwing elbows is good, but it doesn't make up for clumsiness afoot.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 7:47 AM

dcinmd1

Robert Parrish was 44 his final season with the Chicago Bulls in 1996-97, which led to his fourth NBA title.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was 40 when they won their last title.

Please people grasp reality and understand it's a team sport and you need the right parts to win. Clevland understands you need to get by Orlando and Howard if you want to win a title?

That's why I love the Miller trade he will shut Howard down......wait he's another guy who can't play any position on the court really well like AJ at PF or CB at SF or Gil at PG or should I go on since they just traded for two guys who are what Ernie will want to call interchangable parts?

The next time you take your car in for service ask them to use parts from a different make and model and see how well that works out for you?

Okay fans, I'm off to play some golf. Wish me luck that I beat yesterdays round of 78.

Can't wait to get home to read how everyone is as insane to follow this teams leadership like the fools who believed GW when he told you Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 8:02 AM

While flipping channels in the hotel room last night -- appears that cable TV is composed mostly of the various ESPNs and movie channels, plus a half-dozen or so right-wing bloviators complaining about liberal domination of the media -- I came across an actual sports talk show (!) discussing whether white players in the NBA would ever be given credit for athleticism or were doomed to being described as 'tough', or 'hard-working', or 'blue-collar', or other euphemisms for slow and can't jump,

Which made me think of Tyler Hansbrough, so I looked up his measurables on the ubiquitous DraftExpress board. Here's how he stacks up against the two preeminent PFs in this draft class:

Size/ Strength:
Hansbrough: 6'9.5", 234 lbs. 18 bench press
Griffin: 6'10", 248, 22 bench
Jordan Hill: 6/10.25" 232, 11 bench

Wingspan/ Reach:
TH: 6'11.5", 8'10"
BG: 6'11.25", 8'9"
JH: 7'1.5", 9'

NoStepVertical/ Max Vertical:
TH: 27.5", 34"
BG: 32", 35"
JH: 31", 35"

Agility/ Sprint:
TH: 11.12 seconds, 3.27
BG: 10.95, 3.28
JH: 12.23, 3.3

Not a lot of difference, huh? In fact, both Hansbrough and Griffin appear to have a case of T-Rex arms, while Jordan Hill must have run backwards to come up that slow in the agility drill. Otherwise, they're pretty similar, except for that no-step vertical -- where Griffin and Hill have a noticeable advantage.

Leaving out the question of Blake Griffin's actual race -- just looking at the guy, I'd say he's either African-American or Swedish -- Tyler Hansbrough seems quite comparable. And given his extraordinary work ethic, might turn out to be a surprisingly good NBA player.

A 'blue collar' one, no doubt.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 8:04 AM

WIZARDS NEED A BIG BANGER IN THE MIDDLE THAT CAN REBOUND AND GIVE THEM SOME POINTS IN THE FINAL MINUTES......

WE HAVE 4 BIG MEN WHO ARE NOT PLAYOFF WINNERS...
WE NEED TO ADD A ZACH RANDOLPH, MINUS THE OFF THE COURT PROBLEMS.....
MAYBE A BLAIR TYPE REBOUNDER......

Posted by: xrendellx | June 25, 2009 8:30 AM

Re. the Shaq to Cleveland deal -- say what you will about Shaq not being the player he once was, but look at the bottom line: the Cavs gave up a once-great defender who now has a bad back and probably will retire, along with a disappointing big guard whose contract the Suns will probably buy out. Will this put the Cavs over the top? Don't know. Does this make the Cavs better than they were last year? Absolutely.

Posted by: dzl1 | June 25, 2009 8:30 AM

To me, the Foye/ Miller acquisition said several things:

1. the Wiz FO is hedging its bets against another Arenas injury this season (duh)
2. Grunfeld, Saunders, and the coaches weren't overly impressed with the NBA readiness of that group of 'point guards' they brought in a few weeks ago (big duh)
3. they don't regard Nick Young as the reliable off-the-bench scorer they need next season (biggest duh yet)
4. Ernie's heard all these idiots in the media predicting 45-50 wins next year, which if I'm not mistaken, would be the biggest single-season turnaround in memory (or close to it).

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 8:33 AM

Cheap splashy move that won't help Cleveland at all, which has NOTHING besides LeBron. The team doesn't play basketball, which is why the pass-happy Magic zoomed right past Cleveland's "LeBron Goes One-on-One" show.

Posted by: mediaskeptic | June 25, 2009 8:40 AM

The BOTTOM LINE regarding the Wiza trade is that they could've gotten more in TODAY'S MARKET. We've seen two major deals the past few days involving contenders who have fleeced their counterparts, i.e., Cavaliers, Spurs. I'm not saying necessarily that it is a BAD trade per se, but it isn't a steal as we've seen other teams pull off in recent days. That is the reflection of the state of the market...

So now we wait and see if EG can pull of such a lopsided trade/steal in our favor with the remaining James chip (expiring contract) to bring in a big, rugged player.

And as I've said before, Foye is the "wild card" in this deal. Does he elevate his game in the same way that Caron Butler elevated his game here in Washington? That remains to be seen...but will ultimately determine the long end implications of the deal.

Posted by: humen8r | June 25, 2009 8:41 AM

Parish 3.1 pts 2.1 REb 96-97. I would not say he lead the team.

Kareem was a freak of nature but even so the last 3 years of his career he was not the same.

And neither of those 2 where making 21 million a season.

And even with All stars Nash and Stoudemire they could not even make the playoffs last year.

Shaq is done.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | June 25, 2009 8:47 AM

Samson151, I think the no-step vertical is probably important because other similarly sized guys can go straight up and outreach him for rebounds or block his shot more easily.
5 inches is a pretty significant advantage. Any woman will tell you that ;)

One caveat...wide bodied guys can be a little shorter because they take up space and their width nullifies the height disadvantage if they know how to position themselves and use that width effectively. Charles Oakley is a good example of a guy who was strong and fairly wide. You couldn't move him or get around him and he ruled the boards because of it.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 8:55 AM

Samson151:

2007-08 Miami Heat had 15 wins

2008-09 they had 43 wins

Celtics went from 24 one year to 66 the next.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 25, 2009 8:55 AM

AWixinLA, You failed to mention that because they were over the cap, the Wiz would have had to left both Jamison and Arenas go to sign ONE FA. The move that a couple of the resident smart guys on the site were calling for was to sign Brand.

So if Brand went down(which he did) the Wiz would have been without Jamison and Arenas. All of the noise makers on this site fail to mention Philly was making a strong play for Jamison and Arenas had a max offer out of the gate.

Grunfeld didn't pay this money out to Arenas and Jamison because he likes to make up big numbers in his head.

I look for Sheed to be on the Radar with the Wiz having MLE to offer him. If Shaq has to chase Sheed around at the 3 point line for part of the game he won't look very scary.

The deal with Minn. gives Flip enough horses to go to a guy like Sheed(or McDyess) and say lets make another run at it together.

Money isn't the deciding issue for many of the vets, they move to a team that they think can make a run. We'll see what NBA players think of Ernie's move over the next couple of months. I don't think Ernie's done yet.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | June 25, 2009 8:56 AM

If Shaq stays healthy it could be a good move for the Cavs but I don't see that happening two years in a row.
Steve Kerr should have at least gotten the #30 overall pick. The #46,Ben Wallace and Sasha? Thats really all he could get?
I am not that worried about this move provided the Wiz draft a big man who can play D at #32.

Posted by: jeremybozz | June 25, 2009 9:07 AM

Interesting side notes:

I just happened to do some checking on draftexpress because I wanted to see how Dom Mcguire matched up with other guys his height. If you look at all the guys his height (6'7.75"w/o shoes) that have measurements pn that site, there are some interesting things there....

It seems that Carlos Boozer, Antawn Jamison, Kevin Love and Carl Landry are all the same height. Boozer has the longest arms of the bunch and is the heaviest. The reason I bring this up is because there is reason to believe that McGuire could potentially be an effective PF for us. All he needs to do is spend a summer in the DR working out with some baseball players.
OK, Disregard that last sentence.

Seriously, though, he's listed at 220. If he could gain 20-30 pounds of muscle over the next year or so he could be that defensive minded rebounding PF that we've been searching for. Why is gaining weight so hard for these guys? Particularly with money and trainers at your disposal, I'd think it would be easy to do.

I'd take a guy with his mindset blocking shots and rebounding. He would be the PERFECT type of player for us at that position.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:09 AM

This deal is shady. Shady deals usually preclude teams winning Championships. The Garnett and Allen Deals were shady and the celts won, the Gasol deal is Shady and the LAL won, and this deal is shady....expect Cavs to win the championship next year.

I fully admit that I'm an NBA conspiracy theorist. Stern knows that he needs to get LeB a ring. I'm just wondering what PHX is getting out of the deal.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 25, 2009 9:17 AM

Is this the same management that 2 years ago had to have assistant coaches practice with the team because they didn't want to sign a player to a 10 day contract because they didn't want to go over the cap?

Or is this the same management that last year had 15 players on the roster and when everyone got hurt couldn't bring in a player?

Wait this is the same management that hasn't made it out of the first round since they let LH walk even with 3 self proclaimed all stars?

Is this the same GM who made ETaps the coach?

When has the team gotten any better in the last 4 years? Maybe that's why this management made sure we only won 19 games last year, too make sure we would be better this year?

Is this the same owner who has 1 title in 46 years?

Sometimes I read the stuff on this board and it's like what are you talking about!?!!?

1. It's funny how quickly fans forget. If the Wizards had signed Larry Hughes then what? No re-signing Blatche, no extension for Caron, and when Arenas opts out...goodbye. It's not NBA Live...you can't just press a button and sign whoever you want. It's not baseball.

I bet you weren't complaining when DeShawn was healthy and knocking down 3s were you? I bet if you went back you were glad we didn't sign Larry Hughes.

Can you even sign another player with 15? Isn't that a full roster? They haven't gotten better because they haven't been healthy. Tapscott was not the guy who was going to coach past last season. INTERIM coach. You think Phil Jackson or any other legitimate coach would come take over a 1-10 team mid-season? No. Tapscott was just there to get them through the end of the season. HE WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE THE ACTUAL COACH. If you don't think they improved by adding Foye and Miller, give me a logical reason why they didn't. Seriously.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | June 25, 2009 9:18 AM

Please name one 37 year old 7 footer who actually made a contribution to their team at that age and lead them to a successful playoff run?

First, Shaq will not be "leading" this team to a "successful" playoff run. LeBron is the franchise. Shaq is a major role player.

Second, Kareem was a major force on the Lakers title teams at 42 years old. David Robinson was a major contributor on the 2003 Spurs when he was 38.

Shaq may very well be getting old, fat and slow, but he's still Shaq. He still takes up a lot of space in the paint, which means that the Cleveland defense can afford to press on the perimeter and gamble on defense. And they gave up virtually nothing to get him. That's the dangerous part.

Now there is the whole Shaq deciding to take entire chunks of the regular season off, which could work against the Cavs. And after 17 seasons, he still hasn't figured out how to hit a free throw. But the Cavs got something for nothing, and if they know what they're doing, they will make a lot out of it.

Posted by: dcinmd1

Posted by: mabkhar | June 25, 2009 9:24 AM

"Foye is a two who has a hard time matching up with a lot of Western Conference counterparts, and therefore would not have been re-signed next summer."

NY POST

http://www.nypost.com/seven/06252009/sports/moresports/wolves_on_path_of_kahn_176015.htm?&page=1

Posted by: humen8r | June 25, 2009 9:25 AM

I like our move. I think it was probably the best we could on following the AJ/CB/GA plan.

The formula for current NBA success seems to be: 3 well-paid contributors, 1 or 2 bad contracts, a bunch of scrum, a good coach, Miracles (or coaching) that turns some of the scrum into contributors. Examples: SA, BOS, ORL, LA.

This offseason we got a good coach and we're down to just 2 bad contracts. now it's time for AB, McGee and some no-name to sign on and contribute.

So many folks are saying another move is coming, but what assets do we have to make another move of significance?

I think Ernie will sell the 2nd rnd draft pick and simply sign some 6'10" banger for the minimum or whatever 6 fouls are worth.

That makes me wonder... which commands a lower salary an undrafted FA,a vet retread or a 2nd round pick?

Posted by: cballer | June 25, 2009 9:25 AM

My first thought when I saw the deal was "Jesus..."

My second...really hasn't changed. I don't care if Shaq doesn't scare anybody anymore. They just added a huge piece in the center for two guys that they wanted to give away. Man, oh man.

The only solace I have is that maybe, just maybe, Shaq's immobility and need to play under the basket impedes Lebron's style of play (which first and foremost relies on him attacking the rim at will).

But after pondering that...it really can't be worse than what Ben Wallace offered. Yep, Cleveland just got that much better.

Jesus...

Posted by: psps23 | June 25, 2009 9:28 AM

how do these wizards get past cleve or orlando?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 25, 2009 9:32 AM

Shaq averaged 30mpg on a faster tempo team. Z averaged 27mpg last year.

You have to think that if each is only playing 22 per game or so, they'll be fresher and more effective. This is a good move for the Cavs.

For the conspiracy theorists:
Winning a championship would solidify Shaq as the best C of all time.
I'm sure Stern wouldn't mind going down as the guy who was in office when the best player (MJ), Center (Shaq), swing man (LeBron eventually), pg (Magic/Stockton), PF (Malone, Duncan) of all time played the game. Stern might be helping to orchestrate the deal.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:33 AM

sign KURT THOMAS.

hes a free agent right now and could defend shaq pretty well

Posted by: forbid | June 25, 2009 9:34 AM

Why do I keep seeing people say we should have traded with the Knicks for LH? Has anyone seen LH since he left the Wiz to Cleveland for rediculous money? LH was a solid player, but Gil made him better. Did he help our team and help Gil as well? Absolutely. However, LH's problem has always been he's injury prone and it gets worse every year. You touch LH and he gets hurt. LH is not a solid player anymore. If you watched him in Chicago or NY you should know that he was terrible. Hell Chicago did so much better after they traded him. Do I think the Wiz trade was a great trade? No I don't. However, I keep hearing that EG and ABE are stupid because they didn't trade Mike James and #5 for the #8 and LH? Frankly, I'd rather take Mike Miller and Randy Foye over LH and # 8. Throw in the fact that we got rid of ET, OP, and DS and you knock this trade?

Also, I hear about Songolia being traded and people are shocked? The guy gave us 1 decent season which was last year. Other than that he was worthless for us and he's not worth $4.2M a year. He can't play the 5, he's too slow for the 3, and any talented 4 is going to abuse him. EG made a pretty good trade and it could turn into more. Let's wait to see how the offseason plays out before ripping the guy. They cleared Salary Cap room, I bet you that EG made the move because there is 1 or 2 Free Agents they really want or they plan on making another deal to get a big. Personally, I would love to see us sign Wilcox who I believe is a FA, or if he's restricted do a Sign and Trade. We could do a Sign and Trade for probably Mike James because knicks are looking for expiring contracts. Wilcox would give us depth and give us a strong body down low and is freakisly athletic for his size.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | June 25, 2009 9:35 AM


how do these wizards get past cleve or orlando?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 25, 2009 9:32 AM

By bombing away from the outside. We have been competitive with the Cavs even without our best players and without a coach last year. Also, BTH plays about as well as anyone against DHoward.

This team of ours can get hot and beat anyone in the league. With so many scorers, I can't see many nights when ALL of them are cold.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:36 AM

No one is scared of Shaq anymore. He's only a factor on the offensive end and even with him, I can't see the Cavs outgunning THIS Wiz team. We're closer to being the Suns of the East now than a couple years ago when we WERE the Suns of the East and scoring all those points. Guarding this team should be an absolute nightmare for anyone...even good defensive teams like Cleveland and Boston.
Mike Miller should start with the Big 3 and BTH. He can guard 3's on defense and play the 2 on offense so that CB is back at his familiar sf spot on offense.

That gives us 3 legitimate 3 point shooters on the court with Miller, Gil and AJ. Even Cb should be able to hit wide open ones. BTH should have plenty or room down low for his ultra slow yet effective post moves. AJ should be able to continue to get his postups on the block since no defender can cheat anymore.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 5:59 AM

lol, but u see orlando and sunsplyin this style and they ended up didnt win a championship. our goal is to win a ring. not just win 50 games. this run and gun doesnt translate well in the playoff.

Posted by: forbid | June 25, 2009 9:40 AM

Why do I keep seeing people say we should have traded with the Knicks for LH? Has anyone seen LH since he left the Wiz to Cleveland for rediculous money? LH was a solid player, but Gil made him better. Did he help our team and help Gil as well? Absolutely. However, LH's problem has always been he's injury prone and it gets worse every year. You touch LH and he gets hurt. LH is not a solid player anymore. If you watched him in Chicago or NY you should know that he was terrible. Hell Chicago did so much better after they traded him. Do I think the Wiz trade was a great trade? No I don't. However, I keep hearing that EG and ABE are stupid because they didn't trade Mike James and #5 for the #8 and LH? Frankly, I'd rather take Mike Miller and Randy Foye over LH and # 8. Throw in the fact that we got rid of ET, OP, and DS and you knock this trade?


Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | June 25, 2009 9:35 AM

maybe it b/c we also get 1st 8 pick as well from the knicks


Posted by: forbid | June 25, 2009 9:42 AM

Cleveland is still Cleveland when it's all said and done. LBJ plays the Wiz like pinball w/o Shaq, so the Wiz still do not want to see the Cavs in the playoffs. The Wiz are better suited to beat the Celts and Magic. Like the deal because U bring in Foye under the tutelage of Sam Cassell (BTW, Cassell as an asst. helps out the Wiz's guards in a big way), but not so much M. Miller; I rather see DeShawn and Dom in games for defensive purposes than M squared.

Posted by: bernard_thompson | June 25, 2009 9:46 AM

forbid,
the thing is...the Suns were one bad officials call away from getting up in the series against the Spurs and some 'experts' have speculated that they'd have won the championship that year. The Magic made it to the Finals this year and if you recall, were a ply or two away from winning a couple of those games.

Our goal should be to get to the 2nd round and see what happens. Shouldn't we be improving incrementally? We can't realistically expect to go from 19 wins to kissing the cup can we?

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:47 AM

Our goal should be to get to the 2nd round and see what happens. Shouldn't we be improving incrementally? We can't realistically expect to go from 19 wins to kissing the cup can we?

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:47 AM

celtics. its possible, anything can happen if ernie knows what hes doin

Posted by: forbid | June 25, 2009 9:51 AM

The LAC want to move Randolph, Camby or Kamen. Camby has the most favorable contract and can probably be gotten for 3 of the "left out" guards to make the numbers work (James, Crittendon, Stephenson and/or Young) and the #2 pick. As crazy as it sounds, if Shaq can be had for that pile of (garbage), then so can Camby.

Posted by: rocky123 | June 25, 2009 9:51 AM

speaking of Kurt Thomas, he's another guy that was measured at the same height as McGuire.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:52 AM

maybe trade for Camby and sign Kurt Thomas (hes a free agent and a good defender)

Posted by: forbid | June 25, 2009 9:53 AM

"2007-08 Miami Heat had 15 wins 2008-09 they had 43 wins Celtics went from 24 one year to 66 the next. Posted by: rachel216"

So from 13 to 45-50 would be the second biggest turnaround ever?

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 9:55 AM

Dude. Shaq has had an amazing career for sure, but I *really* don't think that winning a 5th championship would solidify him as "the best center of all time". There was another guy used to play in the NBA, you might have heard of him, name of Bill Russell? He won eleven (yes 11) championships. And I believe he beat Wilt Chamberlain for at least one of them, too... so it's not like he didn't have any competition.

Posted by: duffin_j | June 25, 2009 9:56 AM

if Shaq can be had for that pile of (garbage), then so can Camby.

Posted by: rocky123 | June 25, 2009 9:51 AM


I agree. But Camby also comes with a 21 million dollar price tag.

Posted by: CBell29 | June 25, 2009 10:02 AM

"Samson151, I think the no-step vertical is probably important because other similarly sized guys can go straight up and outreach him for rebounds or block his shot more easily. "

That's what I was thinking. Hansbrough isn't a 'pogo stick' rebounder. But neither is Javale McGee -- he tested at an extra 5.5" when he came out of college.

That's the other thing about these tests --they're conducted on players who haven't gone through an NBA off-season strength and conditioning program (like McGee is going through now).

The best pogo stick rebounder I recall was Dale Davis at the Indiana Pacers -- not much of a basketball player, but all it took was a slight bend of the knees to send him skyward for the board or the block.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 10:05 AM

Camby has particular value to a team like the Wiz because he can be effective at the 4 as well as the 5, depending on the matchup. He's a decent offensive player. The Clips' miserable '08 was something of a mystery IMO, given their considerable talent. Hard to imagine how a team with Baron Davis, Camby, Al Thornton, and Eric Gordon, and eventually Chris Kaman, managed to play so poorly. An even bigger disappointment than the Wiz.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 10:09 AM

Glad to see someone else on here is thinking the same thing I am: Camby. He can play the 4 or 5, is defensive minded (a defensive 4 on the Wiz... what a concept!), grabs boards, and scores points without having plays called for him. Seems like a perfect fit.

The other player that springs to mind now, given the Shaq trade, is Anderson Varejao. Big body, good hustle player, rebounder, solid basketball IQ... and us picking him up would really hurt the Cavs. The only real downside to Varejao is that he had real problems guarding the players on the Magic - their 4s were too fast and Dwight Howard was too big/strong. But he'd still be a massive upgrade over our other defensive options at the 4, and a legit back-up for BTH at the 5. And he doesn't need the ball in his hands to be effective most of the time, which is apositive given the whole only-one-ball-on-a-court-and-we-have-Gilbert/Caron/Antawn/Miller wanting it thing.

Anybody see any other 4/5s that might be a good fit for us and could be plausibly gotten?

Posted by: Ootek | June 25, 2009 10:12 AM

Tim Legler was holding forth on the trade of O'Neal and noted that it may actually cramp James' style. "Varejao could get out of LeBron's way," Legler said. "Once Shaq gets to a place, he's staying there." The implication being that side of the lane occupied by Shaq was closed to incursions by any other Cav.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 10:12 AM

ESPN has Camby as $10M in their trade machine. If it is truly $21M, then there's no way it works for the Wiz. Same with Randolph. But Kamen would work, and fill in for Haywood when he leaves next year.

Posted by: rocky123 | June 25, 2009 10:12 AM

Our goal should be to get to the 2nd round and see what happens. Shouldn't we be improving incrementally? We can't realistically expect to go from 19 wins to kissing the cup can we?

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:47 AM


We can't realistically expect to the kiss the cup EVER with a team built this way, can we?

People up here are crapping on Shaq b/c he's not the player he was 5 years ago. But at least the Cavs are making serious moves to address their area of NEED. They know they NEED a better low-post option to complement James and they got one.

Instead the Wizards enter this offseason with a guard/perimeter-player heavy roster. And their big move is to...(drum roll)...pick up 2 more guards!!

Someone up here was all giddy about becoming "the Suns of the East". THE SUNS NEVER MADE IT TO THE FINALS! And they had a more talented cast of perimeter guys both offensively and defensively than we do.

As it stands Shaq doesn't need to be the player he once was. When Brendan picks up his first 2 fouls and has to go to the bench, 37 year old has-been Shaq is gonna have a field day tossing around JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche in the post.

Posted by: p1funk | June 25, 2009 10:14 AM

First, I like the Wizards trade.

The main wild card is obviously the #5 pick. If EG's wager is correct though, this isn't much of a downside risk for the Wizards -- and, even if the player does pan out-- odds are it won't be for another 3 or 4 years.

The upside of Miller-Foye for Songaila-Thomas-Pech in the near term works on pretty much every level. e.g. in terms of cap space and contracts, in terms of on the court help in 2009-10, and in terms of potential trade bait. Grunfeld makes a deal that increases the range of options. He bought low with Miller, whose production drop probably had more than a little to do with the situation he was in. On a team like the Wizards he should get a lot more clean looks at the basket. He could flourish though as a 3rd option, or coming off the bench. Foye shows a lot of promise.

It'll be interesting to see if the Wizards can get some more insurance for the front court and defensive help, but at this point though they should be competitive. I'm looking forward to seeing how the parts mesh. It'll also be interesting to see if EG has another move up his sleeve.

As far as Cleveland goes, Shaq and LeBron would have been a really interesting combo if Shaq was 30 instead of 37. As it stands Shaq is still going to be a presence in the inside, but sooner or later he's going to hit a wall.

Unlike relatively lean 7 footers like Parish and Jabbar, I don't see Shaq's body carrying him along at a high level into his 40s. I could be wrong, but I don't see it.

If Shaq can squeeze one more season of solid production at 30 minutes per game, he and the Cleveland squad will give a lot of teams heartburn. It's worth pointing out though that it wasn't just the interior play that killed the Cavs against Orlando. It'll be interesting to see if Turkoglu re-signs with Orlando.

Posted by: JPRS | June 25, 2009 10:16 AM

speaking of Kurt Thomas, he's another guy that was measured at the same height as McGuire.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 9:52 AM

but with more "veteran" experience.

Posted by: forbid | June 25, 2009 10:21 AM

On that Peter Vecsey article from the NY Post, here's the part that interested me:

"If it's impossible to snare No. 2, why bother to get to No. 5? Who could be worth surrendering Foye? Who knows; wise men believe Rubio slips to No. 5. At either pick, is Rubio worth surrendering Foye and Miller?"

"Yes, if neither player is in Kahn's long-term plans ... or someone else who'll be given time to succeed or disappoint. Foye is a two who has a hard time matching up with a lot of Western Conference counterparts, and therefore would not have been re-signed next summer. That goes double for Miller ($9.7 million remaining), who was infuriated at playing a one way game of catch with black hole Al Jefferson ... and had begged to be traded all season."

"The Wizards...were the sole team in the top 10 that was prepared to move its pick. That's why there was a trade leak per day oozing out of Washington or from a dejected team whose advances Ernie Grunfeld had just rejected."

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 10:22 AM

Shaq will just clog up the hole and stop Bron from getting in...besides, the court is not big enough for those two egos. This will be a failed experimwnt...Bron will go to NYC in 2010 and play run and gun with D'Antonio.

Posted by: nowhine | June 25, 2009 10:26 AM

original: "If you look at all the guys his height (6'7.75"w/o shoes) that have measurements pn that site, there are some interesting things there...."

What's the bit with the shoes, have you noticed that? How come some players get an extra inch, others get an inch and a half? You'd think they'd buy some thicker soled sneakers -- be worth a couple hundred thousand at draft time...

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 10:29 AM

So what if Foye has a GREAT year this year with the Wiz?

What if he plays out of his mind and then becomes a RFA and fetches a hefty contract offer from another team.

What do the Wiz do?

1)We match it and tie up even more money on a perimeter player to be a backup to GA, making it that much tougher to re-sign Brendan and/or go after a 2010 FA.

2)We don't match it and Foye basically becomes a 1-year rental to back up GA in return for the #5 pick.

The sad truth: If the Wiz want to get long-term value out of this trade, we need Foye to be an average role-player to back up GA so that we can re-sign him on the cheap as a RFA.

Posted by: p1funk | June 25, 2009 10:34 AM

"As it stands Shaq is still going to be a presence in the inside, but sooner or later he's going to hit a wall."

Yup.

Shaq can't run anymore and he's a big blob now. I like the poster above who said Cleveland just got slower because they did.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 25, 2009 10:36 AM

dcsportsfan28: "Also, I hear about Songolia being traded and people are shocked? The guy gave us 1 decent season which was last year. Other than that he was worthless for us and he's not worth $4.2M a year. He can't play the 5, he's too slow for the 3, and any talented 4 is going to abuse him"

Songaila definitely got the furry end of the lollipop from fans. Deciding he's 'worthless' because of the size of his contract is, well, nonsense. They offered the money, he took it, would you have done different?

When he was healthy he played well. Last season with Haywood out he was basically our entire interior defense. And not because he wanted to be -- because our other big men were simply not ready. Rarely did he have the luxury of matching up against somebody even close to his size. So what aren't you criticizing our other big guys for not playing better defense? Then Songaila could have slipped into his natural role off the bench.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 25, 2009 10:38 AM

we luv the funk!
gotta have that funk!

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 25, 2009 10:39 AM

The sad truth: If the Wiz want to get long-term value out of this trade, we need Foye to be an average role-player to back up GA so that we can re-sign him on the cheap as a RFA.

Posted by: p1funk

//////////////////////

The thing is, I don't think the Wizards swung the deal looking for long-term value.

They didn't deal long-term value in exchange either (if EG's estimation of the #5 is correct).

Basically they gave up a solid role player and a so-so prospect TBD, Pech, and a contract in exchange for two players who can help them in 2009-2010.

They also are likely to clear an extra $9 mill. in cap space next year. Maybe they get especially lucky since Miller is in a contract year and has something to prove.

If the Wiz can't sign Foye before the trade deadline -- or decide he's not in the long-term plans, odds are he'll probably still get more in trade than Songaila or Pech. So it's probably still a net for them. EG limited his options with the Arenas deal. But this particular move gives him some wiggle room.

It'll be interesting to see if he still has another deal up his sleeve, or if he decides to stand-pat.

Posted by: JPRS | June 25, 2009 10:58 AM

An obvious desperation move by the Cavs, but a pretty canny one.

Ferry knows that if the Cavs don’t win a title next season, Lebron is quite possibly gone. (In fact, he may be gone even if they do win, but at least then they’ll have something to show for his visit.) Shaq is a shadow of the player he once was, but it’s a pretty big shadow. The Cavs are hoping he can do some of what he did for Wade in Miami, basically let Lebron do most of the heavy lifting and pick up the slack as needed. If O’Neal is healthy, in shape, and motivated he can still be a guy who puts up 16 and 8 and provides a big low post presence in limited minutes/games. But that’s always a big if with O’Neal. I’m sure Ferry is counting on his pride kicking in and him coming in with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, in the wake of the talk that his trade to the Suns was a failure.

On the flip side, it’s a relatively low risk move for the Cavs financially. Shaq has two more years left on his deal. If the Cavs win next year and Lebron stays, they can hold onto Shaq for that final year and try to milk him for another one. If Lebron leaves, they’ve got a $20 mill expiring deal to use as trade bait to start rebuilding.

Moderate risk, high reward potential. Not bad as investments go.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 25, 2009 11:02 AM

duffin_j,

Maybe it's just me but I think that winning championships on completely different teams is more impressive than winning a bunch with essentially the same team.
It's kinda like how ppl used to praise Joe Gibbs for winning Super Bowls with different QB's.

I'd give the nod to Shaq over Russell despite the multiple Celts championships.

I think it's about time the media stops perpetuating the belief that if you win, you're the best. For a while they were all saying that Joe Montana was the best of all time. Does this mean that Roethlisberger is better than Jurgensen or Marino? I don't think so although a lot of ppl do.

Posted by: original_mark | June 25, 2009 11:11 AM

This trade is very reminicent of the Detroit Allen Iverson deal last year. If Shaq can help them get over the hump, then it's a good deal. However, if he flops and stinks, Cleveland can just let his contract expire and use the cap space to get a quality free agent. Actually, Cleveland can also use him as trade bait since he is a mammoth expiring contract.

Posted by: Joran | June 25, 2009 11:14 AM

"The thing is, I don't think the Wizards swung the deal looking for long-term value."

Exactly. If they were interested in long-term, they'd have kept the pick and used it on a player that could develop into a starter down the road. This deal is all about "win now."

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 25, 2009 11:16 AM

Why the hell is anyone trashing Ernie and Abe? Ernie makes great deals (Caron and Jamison) and Abe didnt hold DC hostage and built the arena with his own money. Have a little faith. Before Ernie got here we were terrible for years.

Posted by: lavar609 | June 25, 2009 11:19 AM

This is a good trade for Cleveland because they gave up nothing.

But it will not improve the Cavaliers. This reminds me of Ben Wallace going to Chicago. I knew it wouldn't work.

Even with Shaq they cant get past Orlando or a healthy Boston.

Posted by: kevenjones | June 25, 2009 11:22 AM

I don't know that it is entirely correct to say that the Wizards deal was "win now." I think it is mostly win now - we want to put good, veteran players around our supposed Big 3 core. But I think it was also a deal with an eye towards opening more possibilities down the road. We moved out 3 undesirable players and a draft pick for 2 players with actual trade value. If Mike Miller bounces back - and I think he is likely to given his history and the talent he will have next to him (as compared to the talent in Minnesota) - he is a very valuable trading chip. If Foye makes the 3rd/4th year guard leap next year - now with a full year's recovery from his injury and a lot more talent around him as well - he's a huge trading chip. Add in the intriguing to some Andray Blatche and Nick Young... not to mention McGee... and the Big 3 themselves... I mean, we should have a lot of options as far as moving pieces next year in trades given this bunch, and options are what you need when trying to swing a major deal.

Posted by: Ootek | June 25, 2009 11:25 AM

Cleveland may have improved with Shaq but he's been in decline for at least 4 years. He's no longer a dominant bigman IMO that can play more than 30 minutes a night. Maybe that will be enough to get Cleveland over the top, but this is basically a one-year experiment to pacify LeBron who wanted the deal....if Shaq has injury problems or continues to slow down, this move won't get them past Orlando in the East.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 25, 2009 11:27 AM

"He's no longer a dominant bigman IMO that can play more than 30 minutes a night. "

Which won't be a problem beecause with Lebron on board they won't need him to be dominant and with Ilgauskas available, they won't need him to play more than 30 mpg.

"but this is basically a one-year experiment to pacify LeBron who wanted the deal...."

Yep. So what? If it works, then no one will care why. If it doesn't, then the Cavs will still be in position to leverage Shaq's contract for other moves. There's really no big downside to this deal for the Cavs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 25, 2009 11:32 AM

#1 Here is how that Vecsey article began:

"FOR a draft belittled by one and all as brittle, bunched and burdened with lottery land mines -- major mistakes are all over the place waiting to be stepped on, whereas teams selecting from 14-to-24 have just as good a chance to hit a home run -- the Timberwolves, already proprietors of Nos. 6, 18 and 28, appear to have relinquished an awful lot for the fifth slot and a passel of peripheral players."

#2 Miller is NOT going to start - he will fill the role Nick Young had, only with consistency, bench scoring and sparkplug. He is a SF, he is 6'8" and too slow to guard a SG, but should be OK defending a SF. He is Wally Szcerbiak, only 2" taller.

#3 Foye is the starter at two and is an obvious upgrade over Deshawn Stevenson. Neither Foye nor Gil are either true point guards or shooting guards, but playing together they can compliment one another very well. People want to bring Hughes back, but Foye is a better player at this point, significantly younger and MUCH cheaper. Reminds me of Hughes a little actually, remember when Hughes was young they kept trying to turn him into a PG because he wasn't big enough for SG (and started to decelop the tag of an underachiever, a mini-flop like Foye in MN) - he has had limited success everywhere except when he has played beside another combo guard - AI in Philly for a few years and here with Gil. If you play a combo guard at point, you need another at SG or things can bog down on offense which is why some people talked about how the Wiz offense was sometimes better without Gil in there. Foye will help keep the offense moving, he passes well, is not selfish and unlike Gil, does not need the ball all the time. Foye is a great outside shooter, and with more open looks now that he is on a better offense, his shooting % will go way up this year. Remember he was option #2 last year for MN - now he will be option #4, his looks will be much more appealing when they come his way. This will be the first time since arriving that Gil will have a shooting guard that is actually a good shooter! LH was a scorer not a shooter and DeShawn... will it goes w/o saying. Gil needs someone to kick to that can hit the open jumper and now he has it! Gilbert and Foye are both a little short to guard SG's, but both have long arms that will negate that to a large degree (and he's only an inch shorter than DeShawn) - and the fact that they are relatively interchangeable on the defensive end means that they can switch with one another with no surprising mismatch issues.

IF everyone is healthy next year, this is the best Wiz team since Gil arrived. They have a legit NBA starter at every position, they are more talented overall and at the same time have a starting five that should compliment one another!

Posted by: cmo101 | June 25, 2009 11:40 AM

"He is Wally Szcerbiak, only 2" taller."

The only thing they have in common is that they're both great shooters and both white. Every other advantage goes easily to Miller. He's 3 years younger than Szerbiak, a better ballhander, passer, playmaker, and rebounder.

That being said, I agree he's most likely (and most likely to be effective) coming off the bench.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 25, 2009 11:49 AM

The Wiz have to deperately get rid of James, and Stevenson then this will make sense. Foye is a match if not an upgrade over either of these two.

Posted by: jtrob_1 | June 25, 2009 11:52 AM

MAN!!!!!

Cleveland did this as a reaction to Ernie's move yesterday! Everybody in the east can see that with a healthy Gilbert and Brendan, along with Anwtan and Caron, and now you throw in Mike Miller and Randy Foye, the east was the Wizards for the taking! Why do you think Danny Ainge is trying to make a trade so bad? He saw what EG was doing. Now wait and see what Otis Smith in Orlando does. ATL bout to make a move too. The east is the Wizards! Besides, you heard what Shaq said about Javale McGhee. He gave main man his props.

LMFAO!!!! That's probably what some of the delusional Wizards fans believe sadly. Somebody mentioned yesterday about my comment that there are no shoestring NBA Champions. There response was the Spurs. SAS may not always go over the cap, but they spend in scouting and other departments. The Spurs go overseas and get Parker, late first round draft pick. The Wiz go overseas and get Pecherov, 18th pick. The Spurs get Ginobli, second round pick. The Wizards get McGuire or Blatche in the second round. It's about spending it the right way also. The Wizards don't do that.

As for Shaq, he may not be Shaq six years ago, but he'll definitely help Cleveland in the post. He's an upgrade over Wallace. Wallace lost his job to Varejao so it didn't matter to Cleveland one way or another. They are making moves to when championships. I don't see that samething in the Wizards moves. The Cavs made a move to get closer to a goal, and it seems like they are getting closer. The Wizards move doesn't move the needle to make you think they even know the goal.

I will give EG time this offseason because I think he'll make more moves to the roster. If he doesn't, and they go to camp with this roster. The offseason was another dude just like last offseason.

Posted by: BigTee13 | June 25, 2009 12:10 PM

Grunfeld continues to make good trades when considered in isolation for what was surrendered.

The question is, though, whether the Wizards can assemble a composite TEAM that is able to win with its parts working together?

Remember when John Nash had Chris Webber, Juwan Howard and Rasheed Wallace all essentially playing power forward on the same team?

A GM like Jerry West would have been able to use those assets to make trades and build a complete team that could have contended for a title.

Instead these players netted little when they finally left town.

It could happen again.

Arenas' value may never have been higher than 2 years ago.

Butler's value may never be higher than it was last year.

And Jamison at 33 and coming off a 20/9.5 season was worth more this offseason.

All three players are likely to be worth less on the market in 2010, 2011 and moving forward.

This trade provides backcourt depth but defense and rebounding are still wanting on this club.

And like the Redskins with the offensive line the Wizards REFUSE to make any substantive moves to address those continuing areas of weakness.

Posted by: leopard09 | June 25, 2009 12:45 PM

songaila got criticism because he was playing center any fan with a brain realizes the man is a rock in his bench pf role, but the criticism of him playing center is justified he was simply overmatched, it was not his fault which is the heart of the problem, still I hammered on him and I still like him why because he had no business playing center ever, this fact needed to be illuminated

Posted by: bford1kb | June 25, 2009 1:20 PM

How is it that other teams like Boston and cleveland are able to make moves that place them squarely in the hunt for the NBA championship and the ZARDS just continue to motor along as if they got all the answers? When will their answers materialize into a real chance? Mike Miller and Randy Foye for several big men? Someone please tell EG and ABE that "ITS THE BIG MEN STUPID." Why didn't we try that with Phoenix, surely they would felt that Pecherov, Thomas, and Songalis and a 5th pick in tonights draft was a better deal than what they got

Posted by: cosborne22304 | June 25, 2009 1:21 PM

The same people that are hard on EG and Abe for signing GA would be the same ones as soon as he came back and doing well with another team would be criticizing EG and Abe for not signing him. If GA ends up not playing or being productive in his career then you can second guess EG and Abe until then you all sound like those loud mouth big head sportwriters on ESPN always predicting and seldom correct.

Posted by: ged0386 | June 25, 2009 2:50 PM

Hilarious! Will they pick up Barry Obama in the supplemental draft of egomaniacs? I would buy a ticket to see that!

Posted by: wcmillionairre | June 25, 2009 3:35 PM

@ ged0386

I hope you are correct that Gilbert will come back 100% and we all are on here sounding like Stephen A. Smith. I'll be the first to admit I'm wrong.

I'm not worried about the players traded. my thing is did they not want the 5th pick that bad? The Wizards aren't the Spurs, Lakers, Celtics, Blazers, or Magic. They can't give away picks like they are set.

You trade the players for a veteran big man presence. Keep the #5 pick and get a player who can help you. You don't want #5. Trade down. Don't give it away.

Let's go back to the veteran big man. Who do is there to teach McGee or Blatche about practice habits and how to understand what a post player does offensively or defensively? It's not Haywood. He doesn't like to be pushed and will cry if there someone on the team remotely close in skill level as him. Etan has more heart than Brendan will ever have. He just doesn't have the size and height that Brendan has. If you look at the upper echelon teams, they kept certain players on their roster for the leadership and work ethic they had. They prob weren't as skilled but it was how they pushed the starters to be better. They showed the young guys how its done. The only 2 guys on the Wizards that can do that are Anwtan and Caron. The thing is the young guys gravitate towards Gilbert's quirks.

It's too early to judge so all we can do is wait until October when training camp opens.

Posted by: BigTee13 | June 25, 2009 4:54 PM

"You trade the players for a veteran big man presence. Keep the #5 pick and get a player who can help you. You don't want #5. Trade down. Don't give it away."

They didn't "give it away." They got a proven, talented veteran and a promising up and comer. It's not like they sold it for cash. They gave up two players who weren't going to contribute, one who solid but hardly untouchable role player, and a pick that was highly unlikely to yield a starting (or possibly even a rotation-quality) player for two guys who can help right away. That's not even close to "giving it away." If you think they could have gotten Miller and Foye from Minnesota without including the pick, you're kidding yourself.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 25, 2009 4:59 PM

shaq suqs he is old!

Posted by: squammy | June 25, 2009 5:39 PM

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