The campaign by Cleveland fans to make Michael Redd a Cavalier has, in only its second week, ground its way into the NBA trade mills and hit the rumor boards on ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated’s FanNation. The NBA is on notice: the Bucks are looking to trade.
But what do Bucks fans think of trading leading scorer and one-time All-Star Redd to the Cavaliers?
To be brutally blunt, some of the reaction has been brutal and blunt. In fact, terrible things have been said about Lebron’s supporting cast in Cleveland. I can only imagine what Bucks fans think of players on teams that didn’t play in the 2007 NBA Finals or push the Celtics to seven games in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
Other fans have been supportive, even reasonable, while others are naturally skeptical. If there is any concensus it’s that the Bucks might be able to find a team that can offer more player value in a trade for Redd than Cleveland(say, Dallas and small forward Josh Howard). Generally, Bucks fans are more receptive if the Cavs 25-year-old big man, Anderson Varejao, is part of the deal.
A recurring theme is that Bucks fans are surprisingly difficult traders, given a roster that’s won 54 games in two seasons.
“Cavs fans, we aren’t good trading partners,” signs fan ReddBogutCharlieV to his posts at realgm.com. “Stop trying to make us such.”
Let’s review the anatomy of this Redd-to-Cleveland beast:
The trade centers on two players contracts: Michael Redd’s (3 years/$51 million/$15.8M next year) and veteran G-F Wally Szczerbiak‘s (one-year/$13.2M). Cleveland has other “expiring” contracts that when pieced together work with Redd’s, but let’s be realistic: There is almost no chance the Cavs would pay Redd and Szczerbiak a combined $29 million to suit up next year. Wally would come to the Bucks and his contract would expire at the end of next season, creating some salary cap relief, which the Bucks don’t have a dime of now.
What else do the Cavs have to offer the Bucks? Assuming Bucks GM John Hammond will want players who could at minimum join the Bucks rotation next season, two young players who played key roles in the Cavs run to the 2007 Finals stand out: Varejao and 21-year-old guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson.
Gibson is a free agent, which would require a sign and trade deal. The Cavs are loathe to trade their sharpshooter, who made his mark during the run to the Finals. Gibson scored 31 points to eliminate Detroit in Game 6 of the conference finals last year.
Varejao, a relentless 6’10” rebounder and tough defender, will be paid $6 million next year and has a player option for 2009-10, which means he could leave the Bucks in free agency unless Hammond makes the type of commitment Cleveland GM Danny Ferry refused to make. Things got ugly last year during Varejao’s contract negotiations, and Varejao is rumored to be on the trading block.
Varejao’s salary matches Dan Gadzuric’s 3-year/$20M, which the Bucks would love to trade anywhere they could.
Cleveland has the #19 pick in the draft, and that’s simple enough.
Let’s go first to our old friend, Bucks fan Al in Ohio:
“Unless the Bucks decide they really, really want Szczerbiak’s expiring contract (which to me means they decide to kind of write off next year, and look toward 2009-2010), I just don’t see where a Szczerbiak/Gibson/maybe Pavlovic? package makes the Bucks noticeably better. Let’s not forget: Gibson is not much of a PG. He’s a great shooter (although he’s even smaller than Mo) but in terms of PG skills, there’s nothing about him that really stands out.”
BobBoozerJinx: Hold up, Al. Gibson’s not a point guard, he’s a shooting guard; and at 6’2″ Boobie’s taller than Mo (who really is kinda short). We’re not off to a very good start here.
RealGM Bucks forum moderator PaulPressey25:
“I have no problem sending Redd to Cleveland if he takes Gadz contract with him and we bring back [Varejao], #19, and Gibson, plus their salary deadweight.”
Bucks fan Europa on the realGM forum:
“It’s my hope that if Hammond can’t find a better deal for Redd than anything the Cavs can offer on their own that he just keeps him. I really don’t like the idea of giving Redd away.”
GlennInTampa on the JSOnline Bucks Blog:
“Gibson and Szczerbiak for Michael Redd? Loserville! Add Varejao and maybe. Maybe.”
jpaul34 on the Sportsbubbler fan forum:
“I don’t think Gibson, Szczerbiak and the 19th is anywhere near enough for Redd. I’d like to see how this group (the Bucks, with a couple of changes) reacts to playing for a new coach with a strong voice. I think the talent is there, but they definitely need direction.”
Jpaul blogs at The Scores Report, where he predicts that the Bucks will “give Redd, Mo, Yi and Bogut a half of a season to gel before making any major moves.”
Frank at Brewhoop:
“If the Bucks pull a salary dump of Redd then I’d have to get more than Wally World and Boobie Gibson — at the very least I’d want to add Varejao and Gadzuric into the mix plus some picks. Even then I’m not sure how compelling it is. Agent Dan Fegan would love having his clients Yi and Varejao battle for minutes, wouldn’t he?”
DAWG 13 On the JSOnline Bucks forum:
“It’s amazing how many of you guys want to trade Redd. I’ve got nothing against it but lets face it, he’s by far and away our best player. If we trade him we need to get value, not role players as some have suggested. If properly coached Redd can be an allstar again. I’ll bet the people wanting to trade Redd also supported the Ray Allen trade, look how that worked out.”
BBJ: Nope. The Ray Allen trade was a maniacal ploy by George Karl that, to this day, no one understands.
ReddBogutCharlieV on RealGM:
“Something revolved around Varejao and Gibson plus a pick. Or else we’ll have to get a third team involved.”
Isocleas2 on RealGM
“Bucks trade: Redd, Gadzuric – Cavs trade: Varejao, Wally, #19. This trade is starting to grow on me. We shed salary, pick up a couple of good players in Varejao and the pick, and Wally’s expiring contract could possibly be used in a deadline trade.”
“First, I don’t want Boobie Gibson. The Bucks already have Mo Williams, and seem poised to add Eric Gordon with their 8th pick. That’s three undersized shooting guards if you’re counting at home. Sorry, but no thanks. I don’t want Wally Szczerbiak, but I realize we’ll need to bring back a large contract in return. That being said though, Cleveland is going to have to take some of our bad contracts, just as they expect us to do in return.”
BBJ: That’s not very nice. That Bobby Simmons contract is really bad.
Smooth32, a Cavs fan, weighs in on RealGM:
“Don’t get too high on Boobie guys … The kid isn’t expected to go anywhere this summer. …Varejao is definitely available, as well as the expirings… Everyone else is pretty much fair game but I think they would like to keep West, Smith and the #19 pick.”
BBJ: If the Cavs get to keep Boobie, the Bucks get the # 19 pick. You can’t have it both ways Smooth.
Raferfenix on RealGM:
“Varejao will have a lot of value to a team that wants to commit to him long term — I’m not convinced that’s the Bucks as he’ll probably end up being overpaid, and especially considering he’d be a backup here. I don’t think Hammond would do that.”
love hoops on the Sportsbubbler fan forum:
“I would hope Mr. Hammond wouldn’t even consider this trade with the Cavs. The only player they got is Lebron. Maybe trading CV to the Cavs, but not Redd; we can get more for him. … If we could get quality for quality, then maybe take a look at trade.”
Johnny Newman on Realgm:
“I say fold this topic up. We got enough bait to land us AK47 and Jermaine O’Neal. While keeping Bogut, Yi, Bell, Session. Good enough core and line up.”
BBJ: Sorry Johnny, too early in the hand to fold. Did you say Andrei Kirilenko and Jermaine O’Neil?
NotYoAvgNBAFan on RealGM:
“Hogwash! What are you doing!? Redd is your major chip, you don’t trade him to a divisional rival for cow manure of a motley crew such as that!”
BBJ: Reactions like this are the reason too many expiring contracts do not make for friendly trading. Cleveland’s got some manure, including former Bucks Damon Jones (2003-04) and Joe Smith (who asked to be traded out of Milwaukee in 2007), and Eric Snow (set to retire). “Dung!” barked nuttinbutta Big Dog balla party.
MontanaMan on JSOnline Bucks blog:
“I still would rather see Redd get traded to a team other than the Cavs. It’s too good for the Cavs and for Redd, but may not good enough for the Bucks (as compared to what it can do for the Cavs). … If they included Varejao, Gibson, and a draft pick, and take Gadzuric and his contract away, then I would say it’s very good for the Bucks.
Coolhandluke121 on RealGM:
“West, Varejao, Pavlovic, #19, and some expiring deals have solid value. But for the me the Cavs would have to sweeten the deal by also taking Gadz’s terrible contract and throwing in their 2011 draft pick, which could be top-5 if Lebron leaves. Which he may want to do if the Cavs are paying Redd and Gadz a combined $26 mill starting in 2011. I would give up Redd for a deal like that for the simple reason that Redd is not all that hard to replace. To me, it’s not about whether it’s equal value.”
BBJ: What it does seem to be about is whether Bucks fans want to trade Redd or not. There are Bucks fans who have not/will not renew their ticket packages if Michael Redd is on the team. Others would trade him for a case of beer and a Bob Boozer Jinx subscription. Still others think he deserves a sixth shot at winning in Milwaukee as a starter.
Bucks fans didn’t just begin talking about trading Redd to Cleveland with the start of the Paint Cleveland Redd ’08 campaign. It came up before the trading deadline this year. During the Cavs 1st round playoff series with the Wizards, I proposed a trade here with that phone call to Lebron (he still hasn’t changed his cell phone number, believe it or not).
About ten days later it came up on RealGM. The Cavs had dropped Game 1 of the East semifinals to Boston. The question on the forum: What could the Cavs offer the Bucks in trades for Mo Williams or Redd?
“Mo for Varejao and Gibson. Redd for Varajao/Gibson/Cav’s 2008 #1/Wally as filler.”
“Redd for Wally and #19, and a 2010 pick works for me.”
“Varejao, Pavlovic, Smith and their pick for Redd works for me.”
“I say this in all seriousness that the only player on the Cavs I would actually covet on the Bucks is LeBron. The rest of their roster is just yuck. I can’t even think of a deal for either off the top of my head, considering the Cavs pick 19th, would want a higher pick than that.”
“I guess the issue is whether or not you want to get rid of Mo and/or Redd. If you don’t, then there is nothing that the Cavs could do. If you do, I think Cleveland is one of the few teams that would want to make a deal.
“I don’t really see how the Bucks could get much value for Redd or Mo. I know [there is] talk about a [Josh] Howard for Redd swap, but that type of deal doesn’t make sense for Dallas. What other deals are out there for Redd and Mo that Milwaukee fans would consider?”