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Winderman: Ferry has done all LeBron could ask

Feb 17, 2010, 7:42 PM EST

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for nba_james1_250.jpgIf LeBron James bolts Cleveland in the offseason, it won’t be for a lack of effort by Danny Ferry.

First Mo Williams. Then Shaquille O’Neal. Now Antawn Jamison.

There simply is not much more the Cavaliers could have done for LeBron, a-damn-the-expense approach that has constructed a supporting cast that now rivals what Kobe is enjoying on the opposite coast.

Yes, Amare Stoudemire might have been the sexier target. But that also would have delivered baggage to Quicken Loans Arena, no matter what Amare and Shaq have been saying.

Instead, one of the league’s truly good guys, a player who deserved an escape from Washington, bolsters what now stands as one of the most versatile power rotations in the league.

The power of Shaq.

The hustle of Varejao.

The uncanny stylings of Jamison (no one plays the angles better).

And, well, what do you know, J.J. Hickson is still there, as well.

(And don’t be surprised if Ilgausksas yet reappears, following the NBA’s mandatory 30-day no-return policy.)

While this might not be on the level of the Lakers’ heist of Pau, it sure comes close.

Cleveland barely surrendered anything. In fact, it could be argued that the Lakers gave up more in the Pau deal, with Marc Gasol coming into his own in Memphis, than what Cleveland surrendered Wednesday.

When the trade-deadline scorecards are tallied Thursday, Cleveland figures to stand at the same place where it resides in the standings, at the top.

Ferry played the Stoudemire game expertly.

Then he trumped the expectations.

The King now has the Eastern Conference’s ultimate court at his disposal.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

  1. Drew - Feb 17, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Agreed, terrific trade. Jamison will fit in perfectly with Cleveland. Danny Ferry has put this team together as well as you possibly could. If the Wizards release Ilgauskas and the Cavs pick him up, the Cavs will truly have no weaknesses left.

  2. bigpapac - Feb 17, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Danny Ferry should be locked up because he is robbing teams left & right. Great move.

  3. Donk - Feb 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    The fact of the matter is there is nobody within the Cavs organization you can blame for anything if LeBron decides to leave (which I don’t think he will). From structuring personnel and coaching to tailor to his styles, to the training facility built 5 seconds away from his house, and the general willingness to take on money for talent, the team can do no more.
    If the Cavs make the Finals at least, and LeBron leaves, it’s gonna be ugly.
    All that said, great move for the Cavs. Jamison is a much better fit than Stoudemire. I’m not saying I buy into the Shaq/Stoudemire thing that “they can’t play together” since the stats say otherwise; I’m just saying we know the Cavs needed a stretch 4 and there was no better one available.
    There is pretty much no facet of the game the Cavs can no longer be competitive at, especially when Z comes back. The ability to score and defend in a big or small lineup, even a big Stretch 4 alignment, quick or tough lineups, etc. They are a nightmare. And I am a Kings fan.

  4. john - Feb 17, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Pressure’s on LeBron to win now. If he doesn’t he can’t blame the supporting cast (it’s almost as good as the Lakers). In 4 months we will know

  5. Tsunami - Feb 17, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    Yes it is.
    Pressure was on Kobe in 2008 and he failed, so we’ll see if LeBron has a different fate.

  6. ey - Feb 17, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    wiz got robbed. cavs winnning the championship this year. what makes you think Z is comin back, no way.

  7. Zink - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Looking good for a Cleveland Championship. Finally at last.

  8. Bernie D. - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    Wow, what a move by Ferry.
    Not only do they keep Hickson, they add Jamison and Telfair (point guard depth)!
    You gotta give Ferry credit. He’s doing all he can to keep the King in Believeland.

  9. Earl - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    I agree Ferry great move and Z will be back i cant see the wizards taking on his contract

  10. Ed - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    Shaq is 37 and is in the twilight of his career. Instead of the 27 year old Amare, Ferry impatiently went after Jamison (who’s turning 34 this summer). Now if the Amare trade was never feasible, then this trade looks better. But I wonder if Ferry flinched a little too early.

  11. ali - Feb 18, 2010 at 3:28 AM

    Ferry is desperate. Unfortunately, while the Jamison move is sexy, it won’t be enough to win a championship this year, and trust me, Stern wants Lebron in NY for the good of the league, and Lebron would be foolish not to go. Nobody’s going to beat the Lakers in a seven game series this year. If the Cav’s stayed together and had a year or two to cohere, then maybe, but the Lakers and Phil Jackson still have the title, and as Kobe’s recent absence attests, the Lakers are absolutely loaded! They’ll be champs at least two more seasons after this one, barring major injury.

  12. Ican - Feb 18, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    Wow! Great comments from everyone. I’m just excited to see how this all plays out.

  13. rrhoe - Feb 18, 2010 at 7:29 AM

    Now if LeBron would declare his intentions regarding Cleveland all would be okay.I have never seen a team try and please a player so much,so what’ll happen when he doesn’t get his way.

  14. Kim - Feb 18, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Stern may want Lebron to go to New York but Lebron will make that decision. With the lineup that the Cav’s now have who would deny that they have one of the best teams ever. One thing you are forgetting is that the Cav’s have won 13 straight without Jamison, can you imagine what they will do with him! Oh, and they beat the Lakers this year without Jamison! They have beat most of the teams that are expected to go to the playoffs. Why would Lebron leave the Cav’s for New York to start all over again to build a team when he has a GREAT team in the Cav’s. Another thing is that all Lebron wants to do is win several championships. Not taking anything from Lebron but if Lebron decides to go to New York another superstar could step in with this team and continue to win for a long time. The current Cav’s team have long term contracts with the Cav’s, except Shaq (he has another year) so look forward to seeing them do well for a while.

  15. Jim - Feb 18, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    Now the only thing working against LeBron staying with the Cavs is his team’s home town. Along with this article today, MSNBC is also running a story that Cleveland is the nation’s most “miserable” place to live. Danny has the money to build a solid supporting cast, but I don’t think he has the money to rebrand Cleveland. If Lebron leaves, it will not be because of the team and the support of the Cav organization, it will be because of Cleveland.

  16. Alan/Portsmouth RI - Feb 18, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    Ira:
    Lakers cannot get by this NEW revamped CAV team with Jamison added. Way too deep now. Mitch must pull the trigger on Hinrich.
    I would also love to add BOSH….. which you have disagreed with me in the past. Having two top scorers added would make the Lakers CHAMPS for the next few years.
    Hinrich traded for the Laker under performing Bench Group.
    Bosh traded straight up for Bynam.
    My feelings on Bynam are consistent. He breaks. He is the Toyota on the Lakers. He came back and did great. He will break down again tomorrow. As he has value today. Trade Him NOW.
    CAV with a “real CENTER” logic …. Shak this and Shak that…… if the Lakers drive to the hoop, Shak will get into foul trouble in the first 10 minutes of the game. No more Shak. Then Bosh/Odom/Gasol will tear CAVs apart.
    Your thoughts?
    =a=

  17. phil - Feb 18, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    great trade. what a steal. so do cleveland fans finally get a championship or will our hopes be dashed for the umpteenth time. who knows? in four months it will be film at 11.

  18. JBP - Feb 18, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    If the King can’t win a championship with this team, that will expose his greatness. Then, they shoudn’t even place him next to Kobe or DWade. Base on results alone for now, Kobe (1) DWade (2) and The King (3) in that order. Danny Ferry have done a marveleous job getting him what he needs to reach the promise land and now it’s time for The King to take his troops to the promise land (The Championship). Wishing him well and success.

  19. george - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    I am a huge cavs fan and while i think LeBron is staying here in c-town if he does leave ain’t no way he is going to the knicks why would he they are terrible and why would he want to start over. While i’m excited that we got jamison,it doesn’t guarantee anything we still have to do it in the playoffs. I pray everyday we win it all this year,but i’ll tell you the truth a fully healthey boston worries me as does orlando and the lakers scare the crap out of me. Time will tell,i hope im happy come june. GO CAVS!!!

  20. Noodles - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Lebron is from Akron, which is worse than Cleveland and only 20 minutes away. These are his people so any nagging on Cleveland only makes him want to stay – we stick together so watch what you’re saying playa.

  21. Jim - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    Time will tell, Noodles. people leave home everyday. Brighter lights, bigger city, more money and a piece of the take on merchandise from a bigger franchise is tough to walk away from if you’re a businessman. If he goes another year without a trophy, don’t you think he’d consider a fresh start?

  22. h_dogg - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    not only was this an awsome deal we from Cleveland see a ray of hope and kobe , d-wade or any body else cant stop whats now the cleveland ohio NBA Championship we have waited now i’ts on ” get out the way or get stompped” … cleveland is and will always be my heart no matter how tough it gets there we have what no one else has balls …. H-dogg in new orleans if the Saints can do it so can Cleveland aka Dodge

  23. bobdevo - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    LeBron ain’t going to New York. He is not going to the toxic waste dump that is New Jersey. He has demonstrated time and gain he is without question the best basketball player on the planet – and with his supporting case – including to soon-to-return-Z – he will bring a championship to Cleveland and a ring for Z.
    And speaking of rings being any indicator of greatness, Kobe has 4; Robert Horry has 6, so according to that logic Horry is 1.5 times better than Kobe.
    Oh, and then there’s that guy named Russell who has 11 of them lying around the house.

  24. Ed - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    @rrhoe You mean declare his intentions like he did about entering the slam dunk contest and changing his number because Craig Sager brought it up during a nationally televised, LIVE interview? Yea, let him declare all he wants.

  25. owl - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    People who knock Cleveland are generally people who have never been there like dummies that like to come up with stupid lists–probably an unemployed Conan writer. LeBron lives there. He is from Akron, just built a manison in Bath Twp., and has the Cleveland spotlight to himself. Dan Gilbert is spending now and asking questions later. He can make more money in Cleveland than in NY or anywhere else, he will not have to wait five years for the Knicks to develop, and he is already second to Tiger Woods in endorsement dollars. And, in case you haven’t heard, I think Tiger’s standing may drop a little this year. Folks need to realize the NBA is not baseball…life doesn’t tilt towards the east or west coasts in the NBA like it does in baseball.

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