Feb 16, 2011, 1:23 PM EDT
The Cleveland Cavaliers do not really have a championship roster.
You probably figured that out somewhere during the 26-game losing streak. Well, you probably figured it out seconds after LeBron James talked about taking his talents south for the winter. Dan Gilbert figured it out later.
What matters now is we are all on the same page. Cleveland sucks and needs to get picks, get young players and start from the ground up.
And so it makes sense that the Cavs are working the trade lines hard, as Ken Berger reported at CBSSports.
The Cavs are aggressively testing the waters to see what kind of assets they can expect to accumulate by volunteering to use their $14.6 million trade exception from LeBron’s departure as a parking lot for other teams’ unwanted contracts. Cleveland is seeking to use that cap space to acquire draft picks and young players — a sound strategy, especially considering that the Cavs can use all the room without putting themselves in luxury-tax jeopardy.
It is a sound strategy, but maybe poorly timed. With the uncertainty of the net Collective Bargaining Agreement looming — nobody knows what is around the corner — teams are tending to hold on to their young players and picks. Even if it means keeping a bad contract on the books a little longer. Teams are being conservative and that doesn’t help the Cavs.
So, they are looking to move players as well, Berger notes.
Sources say the Bulls and Celtics are widely expected to make a move before the deadline, and each is seeking wing help. The Cavs’ Anthony Parker would be an ideal fit in both places….
The Hawks are looking for guard help, and sources say they may be interested in the Cavs’ Ramon Sessions. The feeling among rival execs is that the Hawks may be willing to spend up to or perhaps even a bit beyond the luxury-tax threshold if there’s a deal that would significantly improve their chances in a playoff series with Boston, Orlando or Miami.
Um, I’m a bigger Ramon Session fan than most. He does help the Hawks against the Celtics, Magic and Heat. Not even close. The brain trust in Atlanta continues to think they have a good team that is just a tweak or two away from contention. What they have is a good team that would need major work to take the next step.
But the fact that Sessions, Jamison and Parker are all on the market shows the Cavs are getting that they may need to get even worse to get better. And that they should.
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