Catch the fever. Catch the pun.
“Ah, we got another wreck. Dadgummit!” Does a quote better encapsulate the arrant sporting debacle that was Daytona weekend?
Hell, I’m not even talking about the ubiquitous NASCAR pileups (winner and still champion: sports that don’t have cars), or “DeMar DeRozan Presents D-League Saturday Night”… though, let’s be honest, these were unqualified, unmitigated, (insert word that means “sucking horribly”) failures at attempted entertainment.
More specifically, I’m referring to Cavs GM Danny Ferry and his latest efforts to sabotage the entire city of Cleveland. He got away with the Shaqtus move – primarily because in the span of one autumn, LeBron made the leap from Best Player? to Best Player Ever? – and now he’s looking to role the dice with another me-first big man.
The proposed trade, as reported by a slew of ESPN cogs, is a straight-up two for two – Zydrunas Ilgauskas and young gun J.J. “High Ceiling” Hickson to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire and Amare Stoudemire’s ego.
Phoenix would buy out Big Z’s prized $12 million expiring contract, freeing him to go back to Cleveland. No such luck for the on-the-cheap Hickson, who makes $1.5 million this year and would likely re-up with Phoenix. As for Stoudemire, he will make $17 million in 2010-2011 and then take to Cleveland’s cap with the noose of a long-term deal that Ferry will no doubt offer.
The Cleveland GM’s words to live by:
Whenever you can lock up an offensively gifted gunner who needs the ball to be effective, doesn’t rebound, feels about defense the way that Bryan Holt feels about figure skating, will command big money in the offseason, already had one major knee surgery, AND you can give up one of your best young forwards (Hickson) in the process…
… Gotta do it.
Danny, did you ever see Kevin Spacey in “The Negotiator”? You don’t want to do this. Put the phone down. Let’s talk.
As of a week ago, the Cavs were scavenging for two specific assets before the deadline to solidify their already title-caliber roster – namely, another wing defender (hmm, Andre Iguodala?) and a low-post scorer (Antawn Jamison), preferably in the same package.
So instead, Ferry’s making a play for Stoudemire, a forward who’s yet to develop a reliable back-to-the-basket game and who looks at defense the same way Americans look at escargot.
No thanks. Not for me.
Cleveland struggled against Orlando in the playoffs last year because they couldn’t match up against the lengthy shooting combo of Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis. To rectify this situation, they’re looking to jettison an agile, 6-foot-9 22-year-old for a guy who hustles only when he sees the potential for a SportsCenter Top Ten.
There are a couple of little dirty secrets you should know about Stoudemire.
First, he’s averaging a 21-8 playing with the best distributor of his generation on the second-highest scoring team in the league… And you thought the dollar was artificially inflated. Remember what happened to the production of, oh, EVERY OTHER FORWARD THAT’S EVER LEFT A STEVE NASH TEAM?
They don’t call it the “Fun and Sun” for nothing. Ask Shawn Marion, or Boris Diaw, or James Jones, or Shaq. Ask Grant “Over The” Hill how he’d fairing in Houston.
Stoudemire is an explosive athlete and a talented face-up scorer who will thrive in Cleveland’s fast break, but if we know anything about the word “stagnant,” it’s this: it applies to standing water and Mike Brown’s postseason offense, otherwise known as the “Clear Out For LeBron.”
And what of the chemistry issues? Have you seen the Kingsmen during a home game? They look like a bunch of giddy 10-year-olds en route to Disney. Enter Stoudemire, summa cum laude at the Antoine Walker School of Body Language, a guy that bitched out a ref during last night’s all-star game, a guy that changed his number from 32 to 1 – you know, because to Amare, Amare is No. 1.
Enter Buzzkill McGee
I’m not even going to bring up Stoudemire’s relationship with O’Neal. Put it this way: Kobe Bryant thinks this friendship has soured.
The L.A. Times reports that LeBron would prefer Antawn Jamison, and why wouldn’t he? ‘Tawn is a selfless grinder who pounds the boards, scores on the block and never met a Glory he didn’t like to share. He’s a guy who rejuvenated his career by taking a sixth man role on a stacked Dallas team, a guy who posts 20-10 while playing alongside one of the league’s most gluttonous shooters (Gil Arenas, pun intended).
Admittedly, the case against Jamison is a good one. He’d saddle the Cavs with a $50 million contract that pays out $15 million alone in 2012, when Jamison will be 35. On the other hand, Cleveland needs to do whatever it takes to win now, not just to appease The King, but to….
Actually that’s the only reason. The potential for a labor lockout in 2011 just adds to the urgency. And should the NBA write off the ’11-’12 season, the Cavs would get a grand total of one and a third seasons of Under 30 Amare.
Thirty seems like a reasonable tipping point for a big man who’s missed 140 games in his 7 ½ year career and, oh yeah, has the word “microfracture” on his resume. No?
Danny, my free advice: stand pat. LeBron will thank you when you’re fitting him for ring No. 1 and throwing trash bags full of cash at Chris Bosh in the offseason. Bron Bron’s not leaving Cleveland without a title, and he’s not leaving Cleveland on the heels of a title. These things don’t happen with The King. He’s too good for that.
And you’re too good for Amare Stoudemire.