Saturday, December 20, 2008

The One

One of my favorite websites is Waiting For Next Year. Currently its poll question asks if the Cavs should make the rumored trade of Anderson Varejao and Wally Szczerbiak to Miami for Shawn Marion. It's a question I had been pondering since first hearing the rumor a week or two ago. Here are my thoughts.

1) The value of Andy and Wally to the Cavs is huge.

This season it seems like everyone on the team has improved dramatically. Delonte has been spectacular since moving off the ball. Ben has regained his intimidating defense after an offseason in the system (albeit in only 23.7 mpg).

Although not quite as spectacular as Delonte's improvement, Andy's and Wally's have been just as valuable. A career .497 shooter, Andy's average this season is at .568. His points per game at 8.9 is 2.7 points above his career average. And although Wally is only shooting .425 this season, it is a huge improvement on the .359 he shot with Cleveland last season after the trade.

The value these two provide is much more than numbers. On a team with few big men, Andy is crucial. The minutes he occupied while Z was injured were huge. He is more of a pick and roll guy than the pick and pop guy that Z is, but effect is nearly the same on the defense. Not to mention the obvious hustle and defense Andy provides at the center position.

Wally has been much better on defense this season when he is playing on the pf because he doesn't have to worry about getting blown past by a quicker player. And his shooting threat, although not as pronounced as it once was, still scares defenses.

2) Value of Shawn Marion is not as high for us as it would be for others.

His numbers have declined since leaving the fun and gun offense of the old Phoenix Suns. But Marion can still play. That said, even if he were still a complete stud, he wouldn't be right for Cleveland. Marion may have played some pf in Phoenix with Amare at the 5, but that was definitely out of position. He is only 6'7". We already have a small forward and LeBron be thy name.

3) Obvious Conclusion

No trade. The only thing that would make me consider this trade is the coinciding rumor that Wally would get bought out by his new team and come back here 30 days later for cheap. The problem is that we still lose Andy, a legit pf/c and replace him with a sf/pf. Our centers outside of Andy are ancient. Yes, Andy may want a big contract. The Cavs may not want to give it to him. But we need him. We need him now and we need him for the future. Now is the time for the Cavs to win the NBA title. Andy is an important part of that. Keep him here. Make it happen.


Anonymous said...

Ignoring the financial aspect and just looking at this as Varejao and Wally World for The Matrix, you'd be insane not to make this trade. Marion is a solid defender who would give Pierce fits, which would save LBJ energy for the offensive end. Marion has the ability to drain a three, dunk over someone in transition and start transition with a steal, a block or a rebound. Wally is 1 dimensional and couldn't defend an above average college player. Andy is improved but isn't defending anyone on the perimeter, can't keep up with LBJ on a break and doesn't have Matrix's range (Think Vlade Divac with better hair). If Cleveland thinks they've only got LBJ for this year and next, I'd suggest pulling the trigger. They aren't beating the Celts in seven with the team they've got now.

Alvaro Espinoza said...

I think the fact of the matter is - the Cavs have one major move to make before Lebron leaves - so the question becomes is Marion the best we can get? If we know Andy is gone after the year - then this move makes more sense (if we aren't playing on keeping Marion beyond this season). If not - I'd prefer to make a move for a big man - rather than depleting are already thin big man depth