Cavaliers have interest, but trade is no sure thing

By SAM AMICO
FOXSportsOhio.com
Feb. 19, 2011

When it comes to the Cavaliers and the All-Star break, this much we know: They really would like to make a deal.

And it appears that they could. But right now, no one seems to know for sure what path they’re taking. At least, no one outside the organization knows.

According to multiple league sources, there is plenty of truth to reports that the Cavs aimed to be a part of a trade to send Denver’s Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey. There is also truth the Cavs were planning to use their $14.5 million trade exception to obtain Nets forward Troy Murphy and at least one first-round pick.

Where that first-round pick would come from is anyone’s guess. Some reports say it would belong to Golden State (don’t ask how the Warriors are involved), and others say the pick would arrive via the Lakers (ditto).

All we really know right now is that we really don’t know.

That’s not true of just the Cavs, either. We also have no idea where, when or if Anthony will actually get traded.

The Bergen (N.J.) Record initially reported the Nuggets and Nets already had a deal in place — which involved the Cavs — provided Anthony would agree to a three-year contract extension.

The New York Times followed with a report that Anthony would not agree to such a deal. Then Newsday reported the Nuggets are “hoping to scare him into doing it.”

Somewhere in between, reports surfaced that Anthony was more likely to get dealt to New York. If that’s the case, sources said the Cavs would be left out entirely. It’s too bad, because a trade involving the Knicks and Nuggets would also supposedly include Minnesota, who would receive promising young big man Anthony Randolph from New York.

Of course, all of it may change by the time you read this — as you get the sense Anthony, the Knicks and the Nets are almost basking in this zaniness.

The Cavs, on the other hand, are simply looking to obtain draft picks and continue building for the future. They are in no hurry and, unlike the Nuggets, don’t need to make a deal to appease a superstar who wants out.

So if they can’t help facilitate a trade of Anthony to the Nets, they will likely turn their attention elsewhere and hold on to the trade exception until June.

Other possible deals may involve guards Anthony Parker and Mo Williams. As FOX Sports Ohio reported earlier this week, Parker has drawn interest from Chicago and Boston. If the Cavs can get a first-rounder in return, he could be a goner by Thursday, if not sooner.

As for Williams, the Cavs are said to be eyeing Portland as a trading partner, with their sights especially set on 35-year-old point guard Andre Miller. The Cavs like Miller mostly because his contract consists of a team option ($7.8 million) at season’s end. But the Trail Blazers supposedly aren’t very big on Williams, so like everything else at this point, it might just be all talk.

Finally, one source said Antawn Jamison’s name is being mentioned “maybe more than it should,” particularly since the Cavs forward is 34 with a huge contract (two years, more than $28 million). But Jamison would be a wonderful addition to a potential playoff team or contender. The only trick for both the Cavs and a trading partner would be taking back salaries that matched the one belonging to Jamison.

Still, New Orleans and Houston are considered two teams that have both the interest and the pieces to make a deal for Jamison work.

But as is always the case with a lot of teams at the trading deadline, it’s very possible the Cavs could come close to making several trades, but end up making none. They would be OK with that scenario, too.

After all, any move the Cavs make now would be geared toward the summer. It is then that they will be in an even better position to reshape the roster.