View Full Version : Ben Wallace to the Cavs

02-22-2008, 03:26 AM
Feb. 21: Cleveland trades Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall to Seattle; Chicago trades Ben Wallace, Joe Smith and a 2009 second-round pick to Cleveland; Seattle trades Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to Cleveland; Cleveland sends Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown to Chicago; Chicago sends Adrian Griffin to Seattle

For Seattle: It's pretty straightforward on their end. The Sonics exchanged two halfway-decent players who weren't in their plans (Szczerbiak and West) for players who make less money. This year and next year, they'll save a total of about $10 million.

In the meantime, Seattle GM Sam Presti has another trade exception to play with; the last time he had a big trade exception, he turned it into three first-round draft picks and a half-season of Kurt Thomas. And if he's lucky, a healthy Marshall will shoot the lights out next year and earn him another first-round pick at next year's deadline. Grade: B+

For Cleveland: Say this for Danny Ferry -- when he swings, he swings for the fences. He hasn't been able to get a deal done for the past two years in part because he's been going for big moves like this, which are harder to pull off. But when it works ... man, does it work.

This one works, big time. Answer me this: Would you rather have Larry Hughes (12.0 PER) or Wally Szczerbiak (16.0)? Shannon Brown (8.5) or Delonte West (10.1)? Donyell Marshall (8.5) or Ben Wallace (12.1)? Drew Gooden (12.8) or Joe Smith (17.4)?

The last one is the only comparison where you'd even hesitate, because Gooden has been better the previous several years. But Smith crushes Gooden on PER this season, and isn't prone to mental gaffes the way Gooden is.

Now consider how this all fits into the larger puzzle. LeBron James now has teammates who can actually shoot! No, seriously: Wally World is at 42.8 percent on 3s this year and 40.7 percent for his career; West is 37.0 percent for his career; and Smith is reliable from 17 feet who can space the floor. All three will help the Cavs space the floor and reduce the number of five-on-one defenses LeBron has to face.

That leaves Wallace, but there's even some upside here. Not for shooting, of course, but for all the other stuff he brings. I have had at least one scout tell me his poor results this year have been partly because he just wasn't playing hard; one wonders if the relocation will improve his spirits. And unlike Phoenix with Shaq, the Cavs didn't give up an All-Star in order to find out the answer to this question -- they just need Big Ben to play with some energy for 20 minutes off the bench as the fourth big man.

All told, this trade is a huge coup for Cleveland. They had to take on more salary (and a bigger luxury tax burden) to do it, so credit Cavs owner Dan Gilbert for busting out his checkbook. But they've been trying for two years to trade Gooden and Hughes; the fact they got something so worthwhile from the exchange is amazing. Grade: A-

For Chicago: Gasol, Garnett, Kobe ... we've all heard the rumors about these top-notch players coming to Chicago, and when they finally make a big trade, it's for the Cavs' leftovers.

But don't despair, Bulls fans -- it's not a bad trade for your team. Hughes gives the Bulls a big guard, finally, given that Thabo Sefolosha is not ready for prime time. And Hughes might be much better in Chicago than he was in Cleveland because there's so much more space on the floor for his drives. If so, it sets Chicago up to unload Ben Gordon this summer, perhaps in a sign-and-trade, and get a piece that fits better.

While Gooden is having a tough year, he is younger than Smith and has a better future -- and at this point Chicago should be thinking about the future rather than the present. Meanwhile, Wallace's departure allows them to get more minutes for Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas without the locker room imploding.

Finally, it didn't cost Chicago any of its long-term assets to make this trade, which means they can still put Gordon or Thomas or somebody of that ilk into a deal this summer.

It's probably a little disappointing to Bulls fans that they didn't pull off something more monumental, but for what it was, it's a decent trade, with Hughes' performance being the key. Grade: B

02-23-2008, 12:51 AM
fuck, if tdot gets cleveland in the first round its not looking good. unless of course these new players dont mesh well with the old ones.

02-23-2008, 02:29 AM
IMO, Cleveland just put themselves on a level playing field with Detroit and Boston IMO

02-25-2008, 01:56 AM
Clevland now has a defensive presence since they got Big Ben.