Every once in a while, we like the pass the mic to our loyal DimeMag.com readers to let them elaborate on topics that are on their mind. After Danny Granger said, “If I was LeBron, I’d go to New York,” this got one reader in particular riled up. Currently the head coach of the Vegas Valley All Stars and coaching AAU ball for 24/7 Hoops out in Las Vegas, the man you know as Drink the Haterade, decided to shed some light on LeBron’s future.
On February 17, the Cavs traded center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his expiring contract to the Washington Wizards for forward Antawn Jamison. When Dime posted the winners of the trade deadline, they listed the Cavs in that group: “Antawn Jamison makes them better, they’re most likely going to get Big Z back before the playoffs, and they’re that much closer to gaining LeBron’s trust that they’ll do right by him if he sticks around.”
My original response to that statement was this: “No, they didn’t. They got a guy who’s old in NBA terms and LBJ wants more than just 1 chip. Jamison may help them now, but they aren’t beating Orlando or the Lakers in 7. If they wanted to show LBJ they were committed to him then they should have offered whatever it took to get Amar’e. Since they got Jamison and NY cleared all that cap space, the Cavs just bought his ticket out of town.”
After discussing this trade in-depth with my former coach and doing some research, I would like to retract that statement. This trade is a thing of beauty. And because of some swift maneuvering by GM Danny Ferry, the Cavs have secured LBJ’s services for what is at least the foreseeable future.
For weeks it was assumed that the Cavs would have to give up J.J. Hickson, a first-round draft pick and Big Z’s expiring contract to get LeBron some immediate help. The problem with that trade scenario was that the Cavs would be giving up a promising second-year player in Hickson and lose two 7-footers in the process. Losing all that height would have killed them in the playoffs if they were to face the Magic or the Lakers. Instead, the Cavs got Jamison for what was essentially a first-round pick (probably No. 29) and the draft rights to Emir Preldzic, a player who was selected late in the second-round last year (and will probably never even play in the NBA).
LBJ now has his best supporting cast ever: one of the 50 Greatest Players of All-Time in Shaq (even if he is a shell of his former self), the current franchise leader in rebounds and blocks in Big Z, the former All-Stars in Jamison and Mo Williams, the gritty Delonte West and Anderson Varejao and Hickson. If LBJ doesn’t win it all this year, there can no longer be excuses. The Cavs have given him his best shot at a title yet, and shown him that they are willing to do what it takes to keep him in a Cavaliers uniform (whatever throwback he’d like).
On July 1, 2010, LeBron will be the most sought-after free agent in the history of the NBA, but trust me – it’s nothing more than a formality. LeBron wants to win multiple championships and his best opportunity for that is in Cleveland. There are rumors circulating now that it’s come down to the Cavs and three other teams.
The Clippers. Sure a starting lineup of Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, LeBron, Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman might look good on paper, but we all know it would never work. Baron needs the ball in his hands too much, and the Clippers are the laughing stock of the League. Not to mention this would be career suicide.
The Knicks. They have enough money to sign two max free agents, but who is going to sign with them? Chris Bosh has better options and Dwyane Wade loves life in South Beach. If they were to sign two max free agents, then they wouldn’t have enough money to re-sign David Lee (their best player) thus making LeBron play with a bunch of scrubs (Eddy Curry anyone?) and didn’t he do that for long enough?
The Nets. New Jersey is the one place that has the ability to steal him from the Cavs, but that’s got more to do with Jay-Z’s influence than the players they have. Currently the Nets have Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, Yi Jianlian and Brook Lopez. Nice young players, but they have a ways to go and have only won seven games so far this year. Let’s just ask the Suns how not playing defense works out in the playoffs.
If LeBron is to ever win the championship that has alluded him thus far, it will be with Cleveland. He’s lived there his whole life; he’s the undisputed King of Ohio and now the Cavs (as Dime stated) have shown him every conceivable reason why he should give every other franchise the middle finger and let them continue to live vicariously through the King.
What do you think?
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