Tagged: cavs

[UPDATE] Ariza: LeBron “Had nothing to say about his future”.

Trevor Ariza has contradicted a “source” “close to him” that ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard relied on when reporting that LeBron told Ariza that LeBron would stay in Cleveland past 2010. According to Ariza though (not his sister’s cousin’s friend’s friend Lil’ Pookie),

“He had nothing to say about his future,” Ariza said. “He just told me that if I was to come there, we would have a good chance of winning. That’s all you want to do is win.”

Might Ariza be covering up for LeBron now? Maybe, but the fact remains, LeBron can put pen to paper and ink an extension in 9 days, 1 hour, and 30 minutes.

LeBron Tells Ariza He’ll Stay?

A source told Chris Broussard of ESPN.com that the King, in recruiting Trevor Ariza, told Ariza he would be in Cleveland beyond next season:

“Trevor asked LeBron if he would be in Cleveland after next season,” the source said. “And LeBron said, ‘I’ll be there. Of course, I’ll be there.'”

I’m not going to remove the LeBroptimism meter until I hear it from the horse’s mouth, but maybe I’ll lower it soon after I’ve had time to ruminate. Ariza would evidently have been more convinced if LeBron had put his money where his mouth is (which technically he can’t do for another 10 days, but he can at least publicly pronounce his intention to stay):

“He thought it was just a recruiting tool,” the source said. “LeBron definitely said it, but until he signs the contract it doesn’t mean much.”

Hopefully for LeBron, the dregs of Cleveland won’t mean as much to other free agents as it did to Ariza, who spurned the Cavs for the Rockets, despite LeBron’s alleged promise.

Also, there was always an overwhelming possibility that LeBron would not be a Knick. The 2010 plan is still the right plan.

2010 Update: New Info On LeBron, Bosh, Wade

Let’s take a momentary break from the Draft and focus on a few stories that have emerged over the last day or two regarding the big free agent class of 2010, which is after all, still the most significant horizon of the Walsh/D’Antoni era.

LeBron James:

Word is the Cavs are after Vince Carter.

I think Chad Ford is correct that the Cavs are in panic mode. First they allegedly target Shaq, who, at 37 is definitely in a decline and who probably won’t deliver a title to Cleveland. His contract expires after the upcoming season but then what? Shaq doesn’t really help short term, and the long term impact of a trade is a neutral (unless they resign him, in which case it’s negative).

Then comes word about a Vince trade. This one is even worse for the Cavs long term prospects. Does anyone think that Vince Carter would’ve helped the Cavs beat the Magic in the Eastern Finals? Maybe they wouldn’t have lost in 5 (would’ve been 4 if not for the game 2 miracle shot). Even if Vince could’ve gotten the Cavs into the Finals this year and then also gotten them past the Lakers, the guy is 32, and on the decline, just like Shaq.

Unlike Shaq though, Vince has $33.6 million left on a contract that goes through 2011. This trade saddles them with a long term deal for a declining wing and all but puts them out of the running to seriously improve in the long-term, which we all know is what LeBron wants to see.

Another rumored trade for Antawn Jamison has similar pitfalls in that there is no long-term upside.

Chris Bosh:

Sounds like Jerry Colangelo has resigned himself to losing Bosh:

What’s the situation with Chris Bosh and is there a possibility he signs a contract extension this summer?

“We’ll have the discussion, we’ll talk about the pros and the cons, he’ll most likely not sign it, and then we’ll get in to next season, we’ll figure out where we are.  In respect to the situation for him, there will be a handful of teams next year – I’m guessing between five and ten – which will have maximum allowable free agent money, which means Chris is subject to walk to one of those deals.  But, I have to reiterate the point that keeps being overlooked – we’re the only team that can offer him a full six years versus five years, 10.5% increases versus 8% increases… Basically equates to a $30 million dollar difference.  So, even if he wants to leave, he’s still better served, and we’re better served if he works a sign-and-trade with us where we can get some sort of an asset back from the team that he’s going to.  And, I think that’s probably the thing that we’ll both push for because he’ll benefit from it and we’ll benefit from it, and that’s why it’s probably not time to panic now and make a bad deal.

Seems like Colangelo sees the writing on the wall and is going to, or even has been, fielding offers for Bosh. I still think he’s likely to wind up in Miami, where there is no state income tax, and has a team just about ready to compete, since it has, and will have, Dwyane Wade…probably…

Dwyane Wade:

Wade doesn’t seem happy idling in purgatory after losing to a Hawks team that got throttled by the Cavs. He’s growing impatient and has taken a shot across Pat Riley’s bow:

A day after Heat President Pat Riley said the team could not go forward with a major personnel overhaul without his star guard first agreeing to an extension this summer, Wade indicated he might seek such action by the team before making such a commitment.

“I’m there. Why not fast track this thing anyway while I’m there and let’s not give it a chance to get to 2010?” said Wade, who can extend his contract starting July 12, or can opt out an become a free agent following next season. “I’m in my prime right now, playing the best basketball I’ve ever played, and I feel as good as I ever felt. So let’s not wait. Let’s do it now if we can do it. So it’s not about me signing a contract.”

Riley, however, said it is about exactly that, that the Heat cannot move forward with a renovation amid uncertainty about the franchise’s foundation.

Wade took a contrasting view, that an aggressive personnel approach by the team this summer could lead to his signature on an extension before his potential 2010 free agency.

“They have to do everything they can to make sure they want me there for the future,” he said.

“I have a decision to make on my own and that decision has nothing to do with anything that anyone is going to say,” Wade said. “I always have the best interest of the basketball team every time I take the court. But in this stage, where you’re talking about contracts and free agency, you have to think about yourself and what’s best.”

Is Riley going to risk losing Wade by sitting on his thumbs? Is Jerry Colangelo going to get a better offer than expiring deals, draft picks, and Michael Beasley? (Maybe). Is a one-two punch of Bosh and Wade ultra competitive? (You bet).

One thing is for sure, neither the LeBron, Bosh, nor Wade situations are settled right now.

LeBroptimism Up.

Raptors to offer Bosh an extension

Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo told the Associated Press that his team will offer Chris Bosh a contract extension this summer. If Bosh accepts the deal, a big part of the 2010 plan could be shattered, but if he rejects it and decides to play out the year, the tea leaves would be pretty clear that Bosh is looking to come back south of the border.

Colangelo made clear that his preference is to re-sign, rather than trade Bosh, but if the talented power forward does not turns down the Raptors’ offer, Colangelo would explores the trade route, as well:

“Chris is still the best player on this team and thus will remain the cornerstone of the franchise,” Colangelo said Monday, recapping Toronto’s 33-49 season. “I will sit down and talk to him and his agent this summer about the possibility of signing an extension.”

With the salary cap expected to go down and world financial markets still in flux, Colangelo expects the economy to “change options for players.” As such, he’ll pitch security and stability to Bosh when they begin negotiations.

“It’s not out of the realm of reason, especially with the changing economic climate and where things are, there might be a model that actually looks safer to sign the deal now,” Colangelo said. “We will explore that, we’ll talk about it. I’m sure he’ll review those alternatives and options and we’ll see if it makes sense for him. If not, there’s still no reason to panic and trade Chris Bosh.”

If Bosh rejects the idea of a long-term commitment, however, Colangelo may be forced to explore trade options.

“If it’s there and there’s an opportunity to improve your basketball team, then obviously you make that move,” Colangelo said.

This is certainly interesting. Bosh is terrific. But the Cavs are sure to offer LeBron an extension this summer too. That’s where the real scrutiny is going to be.

50 Losses Might Be the Only Way to Be Truly Great

We all know that the Post is a muck-raking rag. That comes from its muck-raking management issuing edicts to its muck-raking journalists and editors. Marc Berman will stop at nothing to manufacture a story. According to Steve Adamek, Berman tried to I believe that it was Berman who tried to box Mike D’Antoni into a bad situation by asking him if he’s willing to lose 50 games for the sake of the long term plan.

I don’t recall anyone asking Isiah if he was willing to lose 50 games, though teams under his reign almost always did. My point with that is, at least there is a plan here.

D’Antoni told reporters:

“I think that’s one area, plus there’s no guarantee we wouldn’t be on the same pace if we didn’t make the trades. When made the trades, everybody knows the reasons, keeping the team competitive and we have longer-term goals and plans and objectives.
“Really, that doesn’t enter into the discussion. We’re just going to continue on with what we want to do to get the Knicks at the championship level that they deserve to be. We’re not going to waver from that. It’s not going to be like, in the short term we’ll worry about this. We’re not going to waver from what we said at the very beginning and I’m really comfortable with that.”

Basically, Mike D’Antoni took a roundabout path to yes. He said the Knicks have a long-term plan to be special. Not a short term ambition to be OK.

Let me be clearer than Mike D’Antoni: YES! IF STICKING TO THE PLAN MEANS THAT THE KNICKS WILL LOSE 50 GAMES THIS YEAR, THEN THE KNICKS SHOULD BE WILLING TO LOSE 50 GAMES.

Of course, I hope the Knicks don’t lose 50 games, but look at any contender and how they got to be that way. The Celtics for example won 24 games the year before they picked up KG and Ray Allen. The 24 win season followed several other mediocre years, during which they stocked up on guys like Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West, and Sebastian Telfair.

The Spurs had to be bad before they got Duncan in 96-97, winning just 20 games before winning the lottery.

The Cavs history is just one big losing season with dashes of mediocrity and first round exits.

Somebody tell me what the Knicks were up to prior to Walt Frazier and also prior to Patrick Ewing…

The list goes on. Almost every good team went through a rebuilding phase to become a contender. The Lakers are the only exception, remarkably having missed the playoffs just five times in their history.

In the NBA you are rewarded for being good with championships and you are rewarded for being bad with draft picks. Still, you can mess it all up with bad management. For instance, you could already be bad or mediocre, then add salary to the point of being capped out, and give away draft picks in exchange for limited, losing players.

The only way to come back from a scenario like that is to completely reset. The Knicks embarked on the above described scenario for 8 years. They are fortunate that it will probably only take them 2 years (one and two-thirds now) to reset.

Update: Jon informed, me, and he’s right, that Steve Adamek never said that it was Berman that asked the question. I just assumed that, figuring, who else could it have been. So I can’t tell you whether it was Berman or not, and if it wasn’t, I apologize.