Trade Rumors: It Just Gets Better
By SAM AMICO
FOX Sports Ohio
Feb. 9, 2011
INDEPENDENCE -- With the NBA trading deadline just a few weeks away, and the Cavaliers struggling, it's only natural to assume they will be one of the teams looking to make some moves.
And that would be a mostly accurate assumption.
But word around the league is, so far, the Cavs aren't planning any earth-shattering deals before or on the Feb. 24 deadline. Instead, any attempts at a makeover are more likely to be saved for the off-season.
Granted, that could change quickly -- as things sometimes do when the deadline draws nearer. And the Cavs will most certainly continue to listen and talk to other teams, and the possibility remains they will be intrigued by something.
Right now, though, the Cavs hold a lot of pieces and can afford to be patient. Nothing they do now will have any impact on this season, so there is clearly no need to rush.
That said, there has been talk the Cavs may make some smaller moves within the next few weeks. Much of that dialogue is supposedly centered around shooting guard Anthony Parker, whose professionalism, defense and expiring contract have drawn plenty of interest.
While Parker has not been linked to one team in particular, the belief around the league is he can help a team in contention as a key reserve. And while the Cavs most definitely appreciate him, at 35 years old, he is not part of the long-term plans.
Teams such as Chicago, San Antonio and Dallas all would be ideal landing spots for Parker, and according to sources, each has expressed at least a passing interest.
Also, forwards Jamario Moon and Leon Powe own expiring deals, and forward Joey Graham's contract consists of a team option at season's end. So all three are very movable. Unlike Parker, there hasn't been much of an interest in those three.
Either way, any deal involving Parker, Moon, Powe or Graham would likely garner nothing more than a second-round draft pick in return. And that seems to be all the Cavs would ask for in return.
Of course, potentially bigger deals have been mentioned by some national media outlets. One of those reports stated that the Cavs had been eyeballing a trade that would send Anderson Varejao to Oklahoma City for young big men Cole Aldridge and Byron Mullens (or at least one and a draft pick).
That is not true, according to one NBA executive, who insisted the Cavs "would never do that or have any interest in it, and nor should they."
Another source said Minnesota recently expressed an interest in Varejao, and with the Timberwolves' array of young talent and draft picks, the Cavs would be willing to listen.
It's true Varejao is out for the year with a torn tendon in his foot, and that has likely deterred a lot of teams (particularly those in the playoff chase) from making a push for him. But the interest is still fairly strong -- despite the fact the Cavs would be more than happy to keep him for the rest of his career.
Basically, Varejao isn't untouchable, but it would take quite an offer to pry him away. If that offer comes, it's more likely to come in June than February.
Others, such as Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson, are also on a lot of other teams' radars. So is the Cavs' $14.5 trade exception. The Cavs know all that, and such knowledge gives them considerable leverage.
"[The Cavs] don't have to trade just to make a trade," said a Western Conference executive. "That seems to be their stance and it's a wise one to take. They may not have a good team at the moment -- but the longer they wait, the better their possibilities and their power become."
Dallas owner Mark Cuban echoed similar sentiments prior to the Cavs' loss to the Mavericks on Monday.
"The season's over in what, 60 days?" Cuban asked reporters. "So in 60 days you go from being a suffering franchise to having the best odds of getting the first pick and a ton of [salary] cap room, and you're the hero all summer."
Until then, the Cavs appear to be just fine making a minor move here or there (if any at all), taking their time and using their many assets to tackle the market at a more opportune time.
Follow Sam Amico@SamAmicoFSO