Paint Cleveland Redd 08: Cavaliers fans kick off Michael Redd trade campaign

Paint Cleveland Redd '08 artworkIt wasn’t the shot heard ’round the world, but that “Redd to Cleveland” business that began so humbly here at the Bob Boozer Jinx in late April has taken on a life of its own in Cleveland.

The Redd to Cleveland in Cleveland campaign was kicked off earlier this week by “Cavaliers Corner” blogger Dan Labbe and is now a gathering storm, complete with slogans, artwork and calls for mobilization, petitions and letter-writing efforts. An “all-out campaign” is promised under the banner Paint Cleveland Redd ’08.

The heart of the deal proposed by the Paint Cleveland Redd campaign is the same as proposed here April 28 – Bucks get 21-year-old shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson and small forward/shooting guard Wally Szczerbiak, whose name I’m finally spelling correctly, I hope.  With the good input from some Bucks fans on the forum, we added the Cavs #19 pick in the draft. That’s just fine with Labbe and the Cavaliers Corner faithful, whose exploits are hosted on the Cleveland Plain Dealer website In fact, Paint Cleveland Redd’s got the daily behind it — and a hype block on the Plain Dealer’s sports home page.

Let’s Review:

1) Wally Szczerbiak, age 31, has one year left on a six-year, $66 million contract that will pay him $13.5M next season. Michael Redd has three years, $51M remaining on his contract and will make $15.8M next year. Wally’s contract is essential. Cleveland won’t deal unless the Bucks take it, and, well, Wally’s contract makes the deal viable under league rules.

 2) Boobie Gibson is a free agent this summer, and that complicates things somewhat. A sign and trade agreement would have to be made. Gibson made $687,000 this year, so the deal still works under league rules if the Cavs don’t go nuts and give Gibson a $6 million raise. He’s more likely to get a $3-4M bump — Danny Ferry is the Cavs GM, not Larry Harris.

3) The Bucks would then be sending out $15.8 million and taking in $17-18 million or so, which makes this deal doable. Wally’s contract clears out after next season, when Redd’s contract will be up to $17M. Even if Gibson’s contract pays him $7M in 2009-10, the Bucks will have cleared $10M in salary cap room. The Bucks are going to need that sort of cap flexibility if they are going to improve over the next 2-3 years.

So we know the numbers work, and that’s why fans in both Milwaukee and Cleveland have been talking about this deal. If you don’t think Cleveland fans are excited about Redd and ready to mobilize, they’ve even got a campaign song that is perfectly appropriate when ordering that fourth pitcher of beer. We go now to Cleveland where we join the Paint Cleveland Redd anthem (The Redd Spangledd Banner) already in progress ….

“. . . and the shooter’s REDD glare,

Treys bursting in air,

Gave proof through the game

That a legitimate #2 scoring option was there …

Oh say, ddoes Ferry have

What it takes to get the tradde ddone . . .

‘Cause it will suck to not get a real SG – eee

‘But with REDD we’ll have fun!”

(Thank you, thank you — don’t forget to tip your waitress!)

— “The Redd Spangledd banner,” complete with double-dees, comes courtesy of Cavs fan “The Cavalier”.

Let’s review some more:

Bucks fans generally want a lot in return for Redd, but Michael — who really should have been able to pick up a nickname in this town by now — is a guy with one of those difficult-to-move contracts. I can’t see a developing team going for it, which leaves the contenders and playoff teams looking to get that “one more piece” at shooting guard that could put them over the top. The list of teams is short: Dallas, possibly Utah and Phoenix, New Orleans, Orlando and … Denver if George Karl declares Allen Iverson the point guard. That’s it. Cleveland is the most obvious trading partner, having bid on Redd three years ago in free agency.

Philly can’t make the trade because it can’t match the salaries. Toronto? Do we really want to see TJ Ford back? Denver, now that I think about it, has J.R. Smith up-and-coming at shooting guard. Would Phoenix give up Boris Diaw and Raja Bell/Leandro Barbosa for Redd? Would Orlando trade Lewis or Turkoglu or Nelson? Dallas could use a scoring option like Redd at 2-guard, and a trade looks good if the Bucks can get Mark Cuban to give up Josh Howard. Many teams just don’t have a hole at shooting guard.

I realize I’m picking arguments to make my point, but Cleveland, still woozy from the Game 7 loss to Boston Sunday, wants desperately a 2nd scoring option for Lebron and now its fans are on the campaign trail to bring home one of Ohio’s own (Redd’s from Columbus, played at Ohio State). This is a trade the Bucks could make as a courtesy to Redd.

Wally and Boobie are no slouches: 

Both players are great shooters who can play the 2 and would fit in nicely on the Bucks, a team tuned to develop its big men. They’ll replace a player who hasn’t fit in too well with the Bucks development plans for players not himself. Call it addition by subtraction, whatever you will, but the ball has got to move. Szczerbiak is a solid veteran who makes his teammates better with smart, team play. He’s like a coach on the floor, with a Toni Kukoc-type presence sorely lacking on the Bucks ever since, well ever since Toni Kukoc retired.

Boobie Gibson has had a tough year with injuries and is currently recovering from the Celtics series, in which his arm was separated from its shoulder. Gibson was the go-to guard during the 2007 Eastern Conference finals, rescuing Cleveland from the terribly mediocre play of its other guards against the Pistons. Gibson rang up 31 against Detroit in Game 6, helping send the Cavs to the NBA Finals — quite an achievement for a rookie. Needless to say, Cleveland fans love Boobie, and don’t want to see him go. This season, he missed 18 games with an ankle injury and returned to find newly-acquired Delonte West in his starting point guard spot. Gibson then split time with newly-acquired Wally at shooting guard (often playing in the 4th quarter) and backed up West at point. Gibson’s a smart, quick player who shoots 40+ % from behind the arc and has many years in the NBA ahead of him.

At this point I’d like to point out that all three of the principles in this trade are better shooters than the top six guards in this year’s draft, the possible exception being O.J. Mayo. Redd, Wally and Boobie are all proven NBA three-ballers with 40+ % seasons under their belts.

The Cavs would throw in their #19 pick in this year’s draft, which should make Bucks fans more comfortable with the trade (y’all haven’t been too hip to the idea of trading Redd for just Wally and Boobie) — and the #19 pick gives GM John Hammond one more tool to pursue the small forward he’s looking for this offseason.

The best thing about Paint Cleveland Redd ’08 is that I’m not making any of this up!  Not even the anthem!

A lot of good things happen for both teams in this trade; it’s time now to forge ahead by supporting the efforts of our NBA brethren (and sistas) in Cleveland. I’m sure they’d love to hear us grouse about all this over at Knowing the snap pace at which GM Hammond operates, he’s probably contacted the Cavs already. Twice. The least we could do, as Bucks fans, is let our GM know that we’re behind him.

Today could be a great day for NBA fan unity. Si se puede, baby!!!  Let’s make a deal.

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