Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bosh and the Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring power forward Chris Bosh via sign-and-trade from the Toronto Raptors, perhaps in a push to entice LeBron James to stay in the city.

The trade, however, would leave the Cavs roster weaker than it was this season, when it had the best regular-season record in the NBA.

Antwan Jamison, 35, would likely be the centerpiece of the trade, but Cleveland would also likely have to include either J.J. Hickson, 21, or Anderson Varejao, 27, to offset the age factor. That would leave the Cavs with Bosh and Leon Powe at the power forward position.

As mentioned in the report, there is also a good chance Cleveland would have to buy a draft pick and trade it to the Raptors as well as pay some cash. That is a steep price to pay just to try and lure James back to town, but if James does bolt, that would leave the Cavs with a player to build around.

The trade, which I would say is unlikely to happen, would leave Cleveland's rotation looking something like this:

PG - Mo Williams (or Daniel Gibson is Williams is traded)
SG - Delonte West/Anthony Parker
SF - LeBron James (if he signs with Cleveland)/Jamario Moon
PF - Chris Bosh/Leon Powe
C - Zydrunas Ilgauskas/Shaq (if he signs with Cleveland)

I don't know about you, but I see those names and I do not see a championship in Cleveland's future. Williams, West and Z are good players, but they are far from being great underdog playoff players that are needed to win titles. Mo Williams is not Derek Fisher. Delonte West is not Jason Richardson. Both Fisher and Richardson played key roles in their teams' playoff runs this season.

Z is not in the same caliber as the top centers in the league. Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah would both dominate over Ilgauskas at this stage in his career. An aging Shaq can only do so much against the top young centers as well. When that happens, the Cavs lose in the playoffs.

LeBron has shown he can single-handedly win a game when he wants to. Instead of going after a guy for LeBron to share the ball (and contract dollars) with, Cleveland should focus on finding key role players that make the team go. The first step in doing that would be buying a draft pick and spending it on a promising young talent, maybe one that's actually in the U.S. this time.

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