Tag Archives: Anderson Varejao

The Chad Ford Watch and …. Redd to Cleveland hits snag

FordESPN rumor mongerer Chad Ford is at it again. Last week Ford was speculating that the Bucks want to move up in the draft to “add some star power to their team.”  In his mock draft 6.0 today Ford has the Bucks picking Joe Alexander out of West Virginia with their #8 pick.

I have developed what can only be called “The Chad Ford Principle.” Whatever Ford mongers out there as rumoroid fact, expect it to be false and driven by the needs of certain agents whom Ford spends far too much time listening to. And bear in mind when reading him that Ford an ethically challenged journalist who doesn’t seem to be able to put two and two together very well.

Let’s give The Chad Ford Principle a test run. If Ford writes that his sources say the Chicago Bulls are taking point guard Derrick Rose with the number one pick, expect the Bulls to pick forward Michael Beasley.  In fact Ford himself is beginning to back off his “90 percent” assurance that the Bulls would take Rose, writing in mock draft 5.0 that he’s “not as confident as I was a week ago that he’ll be the pick.”

The Bulls will take Beasley and I would bet on it. Again using The Chad Ford Principle, expect the Bucks to take Anthony Randolph (LSU) and not Alexander or do something more creative with the pick.

(Note: I’ve since learned that Rose and Randolph have the same agent — former Chicago Bull B.J. Armstrong, a rep for the Arn Tellem agency. Using The Chad Ford Principle, assume that agent Armstrong is one of Ford’s key sources regarding both Rose and Randolph).

As for the Bucks moving up in the draft, Bucks GM John Hammond said last week that he doesn’t “have a deal to move up or to move down” and that he’s seeing movement among the teams drafting ahead of them. This could mean the Bucks might trade out of the first round altogether or trade whomever the Bucks pick.

That wasn’t the only Ford-broadcasted fire that was extinguished last week. Remember all that talk about trading Yi Jianlian to Golden State in a deal for developing 21-year-old forward Brandan Wright and the Warriors #14 pick?  A rep from the Warriors contacted Ford last week and “took umbrage” at the rumor. This from Ford’s column last Thursday:

“A Warriors representative shot down an assertion made in a couple of my columns that the team was looking to move Brandan Wright. He especially took umbrage at the report that the team coveted Milwaukee’s Yi Jianlian. I’ve been assured that Warriors GM Chris Mullin, who makes the final decisions at Golden State, isn’t trading Wright for Yi.”

The Warriors called to demand a correction, didn’t they Chad?

And it was likely the first contact Ford’s had with the Warriors in all of this. Still, Ford didn’t quite have to the guts to label it a correction and just tacked it on at the end of his column with the following caveat:

“This time of the year, the information is flying fast and furious. Sources often have agendas, and from time to time I just get things wrong.”

That’s well and good, except that in an earlier version of the very same column, Ford wrote that, in still another trade involving Golden State and Wright, Cleveland was set to trade Anderson Varejao and their #19 pick to the Warriors. The Varejao report is apparently what prompted the Warriors to shut Ford’s rumor mill down. Ford was slinging agent slime at Golden State week after week.

Guess who Yi Jianlian and Anderson Varejao have in common? Sports agent Dan Fegan, who obviously fed Ford the Yi trade rumors last season and is at it again now with Yi and Varejao. You bet Fegan’s got an agenda. He wants Yi out of Milwaukee and Varejao out of Cleveland. Ford has been Fegan’s willing accomplice when the agent feels the need to toss grist into the NBA rumor mills. I assume Ford knows fully well that Fegan has no ability to make trades.

Ford’s problem is that this is not a “this time of year” thing; it’s general Chad Ford practice. Ford routinely references agents off the record with tags such as “a source familiar with the talks” — which is how he referred to Fegan in the Varejao rumor write-up.

In Cleveland, the Morning News called its sources and quickly debunked the Varejao to Golden State talk as “nothing more than a rumor.” The Cavaliers are apparently not as upset with Ford as the Warriors were.

Journalistically, Ford’s general practice is unethical. Because he writes for ESPN, NBA teams and the daily newspapers in NBA cities are compelled to react, in large part because he doesn’t let his readers know that he’s spinning rumors from agents — not sources from NBA teams. That’s downright unethical.

Is Ford writing for entertainment purposes only and is that an excuse? No and no, and Ford doesn’t write in an entertaining style anyway. He shows little flair for absurdity, wit, sarcasm or humor, or even the cut-the-crap asshole-ishness that sometimes makes for good writing. Overall, his style is banal. There’s so little there and so many other mock NBA draft outlets for fans, such as Draft Express and NBADraft.net.

What purpose does Ford’s column serve ESPN other than to generate site hits with agent-flushed yellow journalism? And what does that say about ESPN?

Cleveland, we have a problem here:  The Akron Beacon Journal’s Patrick McManamon took an in depth look at Anderson Varejao’s situation last week and revealed something I don’t think any of us wildly speculative blogger types had realized — Varejao can reject any trade up until Dec. 5. That date matters because Dec. 5 is the one-year anniversary of the Cavs matching the contract offer Fegan and Varejao negotiated with the Charlotte Bobcats last fall.

According to NBA rules, a player can reject a trade for one year after a team matches a contract offer to keep him. The Bucks Charlie Bell, for example, could have rejected the trade to the Knicks that Larry Harris had reportedly negotiated before the trading deadline last February because the Bucks last summer matched an offer sheet from Miami to keep Bell. Now Varejao, a key piece of a potential trade for Michael Redd, could be off limits to the Bucks this summer unless Bucks GM John Hammond can make Varejao (and Fegan) happy. Remember that Fegan is also Yi’s agent and that on the Bucks Yi and Varejao would be sharing power forward minutes.

Still, Akron’s McManamon likes a trade for Redd, calling it “logical” and writing that “it all makes sense.”

McManamon does however, have more bad news for the Bucks. Guard Boobie Gibson underwent ankle surgery this offseason and could be considered off the table. If Gibson is off limits it wouldn’t leave Cleveland much to deal with beyond the Wally Szczerbiak contract and the #19 pick — not enough of a return for Michael Redd.

I’m suddenly concerned that the Bob Boozer Jinx — the Bucks jinx at the power forward position — is once again working its crazy mojo.

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 realgm.com 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 Cleveland.com. 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 Cleveland.com. 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.