Why not offer LeBron James’ personal manicuring service to prospective trade partners?
After advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in team history, the Cavaliers have apparently decided to stand pat for next season. In the meantime, there’s been a flurry of moves throughout the league, including the trade that sent Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics, and the yet-to-be-completed deal that would send Tim Donaghy to New Jersey’s Fort Dix Federal Prison.
What’s frustrating about this is that Cavs GM Danny Ferry, like many GMs throughout the league, appears to be ignoring tradeable assets sitting right under his nose. Minnesota made the same mistake: insiders say the T-Wolves were originally offered a “Yankees Suck” t-shirt, two pints of warm Guinness, and a smoking hot cheerleader to be named later. But GM Kevin McHale's adherence to conventional basketball wisdom – which strangely dictates that good teams are made up of actual players – led him to turn down this deal and pursue real-live men with far less potential impact.
Ferry appears to be making the same mistake.
What could the Cavs do if they shifted their thinking in this way? Plenty. Consider the deals they could make, if they could just expand their horizons:
Mortgage the Past:
Of all the players left from LeBron's first year, only Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ira Newble remain. They are obviously viewed as the foundation upon which the organization stands. Many a GM has surely asked – pleaded, I’m sure -- but never have the Cavs given in. It’s time to finally let go.
Ira Newble, the rights to Ira Newble's offspring, an Ira Newble Fathead decal, and the chance to see Z mingle with the South Beach crowd.
Dwyane Wade, Shaq, and all of the organization’s 2006 championship rings. (Just in case).
Click “more” for more deals the Cavs are missing out on …
Leverage the Past:
“Yes, Mr. Ainge, we're sure that's the guy we want.”
Jay Guidinger played exactly two seasons in the NBA, both for the Cavaliers (1992-1994). Don't let his 1.5 points per game fool you -- he was a monster on the floor and a leader in the locker room. Problem is, after 1994, the Cavs couldn't resign him, and Guidinger refused to play for any other team. You know, out of respect for Cleveland and stuff. It's the same respect that led him to sleep in his Cavs jersey every night since he retired. Solution? Get him hammered, sign him to a three-year deal, and trade his ass.
Jay Guidinger, Jay Guidinger's uniform from 1993, whatever’s left of the Jameson.
Tony Parker, Eva Longoria, and three of her drunkest friends.
Is It Too Early To Take a Mulligan?
One of the few moves the Cavs have made -- or not made, in this case -- was to let go of Scot Pollard, who will take his enthusiastic cheerleading to Boston next season. Not many people argued as Pollard rode the pine last year, but maybe Ferry should reconsider his inaction. Boston has made three moves this off season: trading for Ray Allen, trading for Kevin Garnett, and signing Scot Pollard. Danny Ainge clearly knows something we don't.
Whatever they want. Seriously. It's that important.
Scot Pollard, Scot Pollard's hair, and Scot Pollard's view on drugs, which is that they’re awesome.
All About Aesthetics:
Every athlete is as concerned about his appearance on the court as his performance on it. Some end up GQ models (Dwyane Wade). Some end up looking like that sort of retarded 16-year-old kid in my seventh-grade history class (Chris Kaman). As much as they value pretty, Ferry and owner Dan Gilbert should be willing to give up a little flair in exchange for a little help for LeBron.
Drew Gooden's ponytail, Anderson Varejao's mop, World B. Free's pinstripe suit, all 197,606 pairs of designer glasses owned by Mike Brown, personal manicures by LeBron James, and Damon Jones’s ego (no relocation expenses -- sorry).
Cavs Get: Amare Stoudamire, Steve Nash, and, unfortunately, Nash’s awful salad.
All For One:
You know that motto, "All for one, and one for all?" It’s time the Cavs walk the walk.
Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, Daniel Gibson, Eric Snow, Shannon Brown, Larry Hughes, Ira Newble, Sasha Pavlovic, David Wesley, Anderson Varejao, the water boy, the PA announcer, the Scream team, in-game host Nicole Cuglewski, that stalker guy always following her around, Moondog, Dan Gilbert’s jet, and daily, in-person wake-up calls performed by Usher.
Kobe Bryant. Oh, and Phil Jackson. “All For Two” has a better ring to it, anyway. -- Vince Grzegorek