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What the Cavs Should Do, Following: the Decision.

July 9, 2010 3 comments

But before we address the main subject of this post, a few ramblings on the fallout…

What can I say except, all Cavs fans are gutted after last night. And, that the scale of guttedness is very wide (from those who will still support him – to those who burned his jersey – to Dan Gilbert).

On Lebron:

Good Move: Basketball Wise – We can all agree that his decision was made with winning in mind. He took less money. He will have to share the ball. He will have to share the spotlight.

Bad Move: PR Wise – This might be the worst PR move in the history of PR. His brand is devalued: not just in NE Ohio, but around the country. This entire process has made him look out of touch with reality, this is a new, changed, Lebron.

We won’t hate him for leaving, but we will hate him for how he did it. We supported Lebron for the past 7 years, by making his jersey the #2 seller in the league, by selling out the Q & by standing by him when the media said he wouldn’t be able to get the job done. And he slaps us in the face. By doing this. The hour long special was utterly cruel. If you want to leave, just come out & tell us. Also, at least LOOK or FAKE some kind of genuine emotions when talking about the hometown fans!

Bad Move: Legacy Wise – By going to Miami, Lebron can never reach the heights of greatness that Jordan & Kobe have reached. He is admitting he needs another superstar & he can’t be the undisputed alpha dog on a team that wins the title. He is telling the NBA that he can’t do it on his own.

Now to Dan Gilbert… Why? Was it worth it?

Mr. Gilbert &The Cavaliers Organization had the opportunity to come away from this on top. Sympathy towards Cleveland was coming from everywhere.  After “The Decision” was made, many tweets from sportswriters, to musicians, to random US citizens said something along the lines of, “I feel sorry for Cleveland.” Then, Gilbert, through, “The Letter” & his subsequent AP interview, threw all the sentiment away. Now, this morning, there are numerous columns & tweets chastising Gilbert for a stupid, childish move.

Now, we can understand how frustrated he feels (& maybe some stuff went down behind the scenes that hasn’t come out), & we know he spent millions in the luxury tax & did everything he could to enhance Lebron’s supporting cast in the past few years, BUT be the bigger man Dan. Instead, he stooped to Lebron’s level & the Cavs are not better off for it. (Gilbert also was partly to blame for this “situation”. He never stood up to Lebron or told him no in the past 7 years.)

For the future, this may sound a bit dramatic but, the Cavs could suffer adverse affects from Gilbert’s tyrannical tirade. Already, Kevin Durant, Ochocinco & several other athletes have said Gilbert’s move was not a smart decision (in their opinions). Free agents this year & in the future may not want to play for Gilbert after seeing this dark side of him.

The classier move would have been to release a letter to the fans saying something similar to this,

“Dear Cavs Fan’s,

The Cavaliers organization consists of more than just one player. We represent a city, a region, a state & will not let one man’s decision stand in the way of our goals. We recognize that last season ended in great disappointment, but we remain 100% committed to bringing a championship to Cleveland. We will make the necessary improvements to accomplish this goal because you, the fans, deserve a winner. We look forward to seeing you at the Q this season & GO CAVS!”

Now, to the main event. Where do the Cavs go from here?

We all know that we just lost our best player & probably, our ability to compete for a championship this season. With that being said, the Cavs have some flexibility to make roster changes & this is the strategy I would employ:

1. The goal for 2010-11 should not be to win. We only have $9 million in cap space this year & most of the 2010 free agent class have already been signed. We simply lack the cap space & trade assets to compete this year, And

The worst position to be in the NBA is a 35-42 win team (just ask the Indiana Pacers). These teams have a shot at getting the #8 seed in the playoffs, but have no chance of even advancing to the second round. Also, if they miss the playoffs, they will be at the end of the lottery where you cannot find a great player.

2. The 2011 Free Agent Class has plenty of talent. A few names for ya: Jamal Crawford, Big Baby, Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, Caron Butler, Carmelo, JR Smith, Tayshaun Prince, Shane Battier, Yao Ming, TJ Ford, Zach Randolph, Michael Redd, David West, Mickael Pietrus, Jason Richardson, Leandro Barbosa, Tony Parker, Andrei Kirilenko. I’m not saying all these players are all in play for us next year, but we could make a run at a few of them. (Also, this list doesn’t include the restricted free agents).

3. Having a poor 2010-11 season we result in a high lottery draft pick. Let’s face it; we need some young talent on this roster. A lottery pick would help do the trick.

2. Bring over Christian Eyenga & Sausha Kaun. Eyenga was 30th pick by the Cavs in 2009 draft. He is 21 years old & is a 6ft6in wing player who played last season at DKV Joventut in Spain. He averaged 11 mins a night and put up about 4 points a game & also won the Spanish league dunk contest, which means he is athletic. Sasha Kaun is a 25 year old center who played 4 years at Kansas before moving over to CSKA Moscow in 2008. In the Euroleague (the best European basketball competition) he averaged 9.1 point on 71.3% shooting & 4.6 rebounds a game.

Additionally, The Cavs have had limited draft picks recently & are devoid of young talent. By coming to the NBA, these two European players, along with JJ Hickson, can gain valuable experience.

3. Get rid of Delonte West. I’m sure everyone has heard the rumors about Delonte’s sexcapades with Glo James last season. We also know that he was arrested for carrying multiple guns, including one in a guitar case, while riding a 3 wheel motorcycle last summer in DC. Simply put, he is not worth it. He is a decent role player, but at times he doesn’t show up. His mental state is screwy. His decision making is questionable.

His contract is favorable for the Cavs. If the Cavs cut him, he will only get $500,000 of his $4.6 million salary that is owed to him. Also, he could be a trade asset since a team can take a chance on him with low risk, or cut him & save money altogether. Cavs GM Chris Grant needs to shop him around, and if no good trades are available then we need to release him. Releasing him would give us $13 million, up from the $9 mil we have now.

4. Re-sign Big Z to a minimum deal (or at least offer him a contract). Talk about a great PR move this would be. The man whose jersey should hang in the rafters of the Q (we know Lebron’s will not). The man whom we traded(!) and he still came back(!). He loves Cleveland. We love him. He represents everything Lebron doesn’t in Cleveland. He is the most loved Lithuanian in our city. Also, Z can also help tutor the young bigs, especially if Kaun comes over, and he can be the ultimate leader & new face of our team. This would be a feel good moment after that stomach punch we received last night.

It is going to be an uphill road for GM Chris Grant & Dan Gilbert, but we know Gilbert will do everything in his power to win a championship (just read his most recent letter).

Any thoughts on what the Cavs need to do?

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