With the Cleveland Cavaliers (relatively) early exit from the NBA Playoffs this past month, everybody is curious as to what the Cavs front office will do to help LeBron James get a championship in 2010.
Obviously, the Cavs are feeling the pressure to make some type of move. Because if they go into the season with the same roster they have now, you can rest assure that anything short of an unlikely championship will guarantee that LeBron James is headed for New York City.
So who are the Cavaliers thinking about bringing into the fold?
Naturally, it’s a bunch of people that really aren’t up to the task of being the Robin to LeBron James’s Batman. Here are a few of the names rumored to be on the Cavs’ short list of possible acquisitions, along with reasons as to why they won’t work out in Cleveland.
Antawn Jamison – I love Antawn Jamison’s game. He’s a perennial 20 and 8 guy, who gives it his all on the offensive end. He doesn’t pass the ball much (Assist Percentage: 8.6%) and turns the ball over more than you want a pure scorer to turn it over, but there’s no questioning that on offense, this guy is the truth. That being said, Jamison brings nothing to the table defensively. At best, he will average a steal a game for you, but he won’t get you any blocks, and his defensive rating of 109 would be a huge blow to a Cleveland Cavaliers Roster that is full of front court guys who make a difference defensively. Besides, Jamison is used to playing out on the perimeter, not d-ing up forwards in the post. To bring him to this system as a starter or the “second leading man” would be a huge mistake on the part of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Shaquille O’Neal – What can I say? I love Shaq, too. But I don’t think he has what it takes to get the Cavaliers over the hump. If we are assuming that any move the Cavs make this off-season has to take the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics into consideration, then Shaq hurts them on both fronts. While Shaq could probably slow Dwight Howard down to some degree, he would ultimately get in foul trouble, and he would probably be ran off the court given how fast Howard can get down the floor. Not to mention, when the Magic go small, that could lead to some serious holes in the defense if Shaq can’t get out and defend the pick-and-roll. Shaq wouldn’t fair well against the Celtics either, who have a standout defensive player in Kevin Garnett, and also have that ability to go small. If KG is playing center, there is no way you can expect Shaq to step out and guard his jumper. So while Shaq would be a bump up over Zydrunas Ilgauskas, he certainly doesn’t guarantee a trip to the NBA Finals.
Vince Carter – Vince Carter averages 23.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 4.3 apg for his career, and yet he has never won a damn thing in his life. Not to say I don’t like his game, but I don’t like his game. Yes, he can be completely unstoppable at times, but if that jumper isn’t going for him, then he can stop himself. A younger Vince Carter, that averaged upwards of 25 points per game, was much more interested in getting to the rim, making plays, and getting to the free throw line. Now at age 32, Carter has fallen in love with his jumper, gets to the free throw line 2.5 fewer times than he did just 3 years ago, and his 3-point shooting has actually gotten worst over the years. Listen, Vince can do it all, and the numbers prove it, but he is probably a lot like Paul Pierce in that playing with a lack of talent has sullied his motivation. So unless you’re talking about bringing in another piece in addition to Carter to the Cavaliers, then Carter himself is not enough to turn this team and LeBron James into champions.