Friday, June 29, 2007

Cavs stand pat

Danny Ferry told news outlets there were about 15 players he'd be willing to maneuver into the draft to acquire.

It looks like all 15 of them passed into the hands of other teams. For the second time in three years, the NBA Draft came and went with no activity from the Cavaliers.

Hopefully, this will be the last time for a long time that they are left pickless on draft night. This isn't a good way to start the offseason for a team that needs to build on a Finals appearance.

For the Cavs, it's time to focus on trades and free agency. The trade market got a little tighter during the draft as two potential Cavs targets -- Ray Allen and Zach Randolph -- were moved to the Celtics and Knicks, respectively.

Kevin Garnett stayed put, at least for the time being. As the Garnett rumor mill continues to churn out new trade scenarios just about every day, I get the feeling this is all one big smokescreen and Garnett is going to begin next season still in Minnesota.

The sorta-kinda good news that did come out of Thursday night is that none of the East's other contenders made a major splash. The biggest pick for a Central Division team was the Bulls taking Florida's Joakim Noah at No. 9. Noah is an energy guy who has drawn comparisons to Anderson Varejao. He's more skilled than Varejao, but doesn't project as the low-post dominator that could turn the Bulls into legit title contenders.

Detroit picked Eastern Washington guard Rodney Stuckey at 15. He could be a replacement for Chauncey Billups .... in about 2010. In other words, he has "project player" written all over him.

Of greater concern to the Cavs was Detroit taking UCLA's Arron Afflalo at 27. He's a good all-around player who will add some depth and toughness to the Pistons backcourt right away. Not a difference maker, but it's still annoying to watch one of the Cavs' rivals improve their backcourt while Cleveland still languishes with Boobie and the boobs.

For the record, the Jiri Welsch Memorial Pick that would have been the Cavs' at 24 was used by Portland to draft Spanish guard Rudy Fernandez, a European star who will probably spend at least one more year overseas. The pick was acquired from Phoenix during the draft. All told, the Blazers picked up Greg Oden, Josh McRoberts and Fernandez. Not a bad day.

Oh, well. Water under the bridge now. The NBA's free agent period begins Sunday.


Hornless Rhino said...

If I never hear the name "Jiri Welsch" again, that will be just fine with me.

The Welsch deal isn't quite the Ron Harper/Danny Ferry deak, but aside from that deal, it may be the worst non-Ted Stepien trade in the history of the franchise.

I'd rank it ahead of the Andre Miller for Darius Miles deal, if only because Miles' horrific performance at least indirectly led to the team drafting LeBron.

Erik said...

Not having draft picks in two of the past three years is absolutely crippling the Cavs. It's not so much the two second-rounders they traded to get Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejao. That was actually a very good trade. But that Welsch trade ... yeesh. It ranks very high on the Stepien scale.

Welsch had zero impact on the Cavs and was later dealt for a second-rounder. As a result of that trade, Jim Paxson had to sign away their '05 first-rounder, which they could have used since they didn't make the playoffs, and their '07 first rounder.

Of course, if that trade doesn't happen, the Bobcats get the Cavs' first-rounder last year through Phoenix to complete the Wesley Person trade, and the Cavs never have a shot to draft Shannon Brown. So at some point they would have lost a first round pick.

But to lose two first-rounders as a direct result of trading for Jiri Welsch ... my goodness. That alone should blackball Jim Paxson from ever becoming an NBA GM again.