Tag Archives: Wally Szczerbiak

Lebron, Mo and the Cavs look like contenders; plus Damon Jones

Mo blows town for ClevelandOne could argue that the Phoenix Suns, who defeated the Bucks Saturday, may not be title contenders. I wouldn’t, but it could be argued, Shaquille O’Neal’s age being one talking point.  However, if you come across arguments that the Cleveland Cavaliers are not contenders, then you know those sources didn’t watch the 2008 playoffs.

While NBA wags all over the country were ready to hand the 2008 NBA title to Kobe, Pau Gasol and the Lakers, the real battle was taking place in the East as the Celtics wrested a grueling semifinals series from the Cavs in the waning minutes of game seven.  Once Lebron and his Cavs were dispatched, the Pistons and Lakers were a matter of course for the champion Celtics.

This season, the Cavs are healthy, there are no holdouts to deal with and they’ve improved with the addition of Mo Williams‘ instant offense in the August trade with the Bucks (image at left by Jeremy Janneen) and Sonics-Thunder.

Even without the addition of Mo, the Lebrons of 2008 can’t help but improve:  coach Mike Brown has had more time to integrate the new players acquired last February at the trading deadline — Big Ben Wallace, Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak.

With Mo and rookie power forward J.J. Hickson joining that group, most of Cleveland’s 9-man rotation is new since they played the Spurs for the NBA title in 2007.  The team that Detroit couldn’t beat in the playoffs has been remade.  They are younger and quicker at the guard positions; they are stronger inside with Big Ben; and with Mo and a healthy, more experienced Boobie Gibson, they shoot better than ever.  The only real question is whether the Cavs’ aging big men, Wallace and Zydrunas Ilgauskas can stay healthy into the playoffs.  Currently, backup big man Andy Varejao — who’s name surfaced often over the summer as a guy the Bucks may be interested in — is playing more than Wallace.

I’m not expecting the Bucks to escape from the Q in Cleveland with a win. In fact, coach Skiles should let Michael Redd shoot all night in his home state** and play the deep bench players like Joe Alexander, Dan Gadzuric, Tyrone Lue, Malik Allen and Francisco Elson — save some energy for the home crowd tomorrow night against an injury riddled San Antonio Spurs.  The Spurs without Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker?  It’s a gift, and the Bucks should focus on getting that win.  The early schedule is so tough, the more wins they can cherry pick here and there, the better off they’ll be in January when the schedule eases up, obviously.

**Anybody else wondering why coach Skiles seems in no hurry to get Redd back on the court?

How is Mo doing? So far so good with room to improve.  Through seven games the Cavs are 5-2 and Mo is playing 34 minutes a game, averaging 14 pts and 5 assists.  He and Lebron are doing most of the ballhandling, which is a load off of West – the Cavs best defensive guard – and Gibson, the 3-point gun.  Mo has yet to get his shot going but I’m sure he’d love to turn it on against his old teammates.


Are the Bucks in the Antonio McDyess sweepstakes? No. But before I get to that, McDyess would be a perfect fit on the Bucks roster — a power forward who plays within the game and can stick a fifteen footer a la Scott Williams back in the days of The Big Three. McDyess would very likely be the factor that would launch the Bucks into the playoffs.

According to McDyess’ agent, 19 teams have called about acquiring Antonio, who refused to report to the Denver Nuggets, negotiated a buyout of his contract and was waived yesterday. Once he clears waivers Wednesday, McDyess is a free agent and can sign with anyone but Detroit. The rules say he must wait 30 days before he can resign with the Pistons.

I’m assuming that one of the calls to McDyess’ agent was from Bucks GM John Hammond, simply because Hammond is too thorough to NOT make the call. But if McDyess wouldn’t report to the Nuggets (reportedly because the Nuggets are not a title contender), what chance would the Bucks have? They wouldn’t be able to compete with the Celtics, Cavs, Lakers and Pistons, all of whom are very interested in signing McDyess.

It’s difficult to imagine McDyess abandoning his Pistons teammates of the last four years and jumping to Cleveland or Boston, but stranger things have happened in these self-interested times. I wouldn’t bet on McDyess going anywhere but back to Detroit. NBA fans should keep this in mind when reading the wishful thinking in the Cleveland and Boston media, or watching the any-rumor-for-a story channel, ESPN. 

In this Boston.com story, Sam Cassell, a friend of McDyess’, figures his pal will wait 30 days and return to Detroit, where they’ve missed him in the paint already.


What’s Damon Jones up to? At the tail end of the Cleveland Morning Journal McDyess story linked above (here ’tis again), the MJ tracks down former Cav Damon Jones:

Former Cavs guard Damon Jones, who was traded to Milwaukee in August but never reported, is working out in California under trainer Joe Abunassar. He’s waiting for another shot at the NBA. The Bucks don’t appear over-anxious to give up on his expiring contract, which is why he’s still on their roster. Jones isn’t interested in a buyout.

So what does “Bucks don’t appear over-anxious to give up on his expiring contract” mean?  It means that John Hammond likely views Jones and his $4.5 million contract, which expires at the end of this season, as good to have around when you’ve got to work out a trade. The bigger question is who else on the Bucks roster would Hammond be willing to trade? My speculation is that Bogut and R.J. are safe – and probably Ramon Sessions and the rookies. The rest will likely wait until after some more games are played.

Paint Cleveland Redd ’08: Bucks fans react to trade campaign

Paint it Redd campaign signThe 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.”

Daniel Gibson Detroit Game 6BobBoozerJinx:  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.”

The Brewtown Beat sportsblog:

“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.”

Luke 23:

“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.”

Dow Jones:

“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?”

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.

Sponsored by: Trade Michael Redd

Like ESPN’s Bill Simmons, would-be GM of the Milwaukee Bucks and master of the Michael Redd shootingESPN Trade Machine, I consider basketball-reference.com the bible. A bbr window is almost always open on my desktop, despite that I know basketball refuses to be reduced to a game of statistics.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I clicked to the bbr link for the 2007-08 Bucks and found that our 2007-08 Bucks had, as of April 21, acquired a sponsor: Aporiatwo.

No info is given about our proud sponsor, but “Aporiatwo” has this message for Bucks fans: 

“Why not the Sports Guy for GM? 2nd last in sieve-like defense, another lottery for us loyal Bucks fans. Why not the master of the Trade Machine? Think of what we could get for Michael Redd…”

Yes, it’s come down to this: Bucks fans so disgruntled they welcomed ESPN “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons as GM, probably because Simmons at least promised to make losing a little more fun.

(I’d post a link to Simmons’ fine writing here but “The Sports Guy” has yet to credit the Jinx for the hire-Sam “I Am” Cassell-as-player/coach idea. I wrote it first. Simmons knows it. He’s ducking me, probably because he figures he one-upped me with shock value by proposing Sam as player/head coach. I had Sam in mind for an offensive guru-type assistant. But here’s the kicker, Simmons’ high maintenance “idea” requires an NBA rule change – can’t play and be head coach at the same time. My idea – which came first – is perfectly legal as is. That makes my idea not only first but better – I PLAYED BY THE RULES!!!  Simmons, the ball is in your court.)

(Deep breath) Now that that’s off my chest, where we were we? …. Right, disgruntled Bucks fans entertaining Simmons’ madcap GM campaign;

AND mad enough to pay good money to brand our Bucks on bbr page with a “Michael Redd trade” message. The sponsorship cost Aporiatwo $30 cash money.

Aporiatwo, I realize that “trade Michael Redd” has become the motto of the season for Bucks fans, and I’m down with the cause, but … That’s a case of beer and a six pack!!!  What were you thinking?  


As if some strange synchronicity among Bucks fans was at work, shortly after finding Aporiatwo’s “trade Redd” branding, I clicked over to the RealGM.com Bucks fan forum (which I don’t often do) to see if anything was going on with Scott Skiles’ assistant coach search that I might have missed. Sure enough, at that very moment, the realgms, ballboys and scouts were in the process of trading Michael Redd to Cleveland Cavaliers. Now there’s an idea! (It was the trade of the week last week here on Bob Boozer Jinx).

Although I do admit to taking a certain amount of creative license in calling Lebron James’ cell, I was (and still am) quite serious about the anatomy of the Michael Redd trade to Cleveland. The Cavaliers get Redd; the Bucks get 21-year-old shooting guard Daniel Gibson and the Wally Szczerbiak contract (one more year at $12 million). Keep it simple, get it done.

A few posters on realgm came to similar conclusions – Bucks would have to get Gibson or F/C Anderson Varejao or both; Cleveland would require that the Bucks take Wally’s contract, no way around it. The Cavs cannot afford to keep both Redd and Wally at shooting guard. The realgm-ers also added to the mix the Cavs #19 pick in the 2008 draft.

Gibson and Valejao are young players who can ball. Gibson’s been a better shooter than Redd the last two years (Gibson’s first two seasons in the league). Varejao’s like a young Dan Gadzuric, but less of a train wreck — a monster rebounder and a good defender. Because of Big Ben Wallace’s back and Z-Ilgauskus’ age, however, Cleveland’s not likely to risk parting with Varejao.

Gibson’s an up-and-coming player and a good pickup; and Wally (he’s only 30) would be a good veteran to have around for a year. He would fit in. Redd has nothing on either of them as an outside shooter, and the rest of his game would not be missed. The Bucks get better in the trade without the draft pick, and don’t risk the baggage of any other team’s expensive, tradebait “stars” who could hurt the development of the team.  With the pick, it’s a sweet deal.  Why would the Bucks turn it down?


Back to basketball-reference.com  Other teams have sponsors too, but their fans haven’t been so activist with the messages as Aporiatwo, which is why it’s worth a mention. Most fans who buy player and team stat page sponsorships don’t leave any message at all, but there is this little note from the 2007-08 Miami Heat page sponsor, Eduardo Kupfer:

“Ah Riles, you slay me.”

“Riles” being Heat GM Pat Riley, who recently vacated the Heat coaching job – yikes!  How’d you like to see that message for a year on your team’s reference page? Buck up, Heat fans, you’ve got D-Wade.

One last bbr sponsorship note: The charge to sponsor the Michael Jordan page for a year is $520, or $10 per day. It’s much more economical to be a Bucks fan. Marques Johnson sells fo $20; Sidney Moncrief for $25. Kareem‘s takes the sky hook of Bucks players – $220 – but isn’t that the cost of Kareem being a Laker?

Redd to Cleveland? It’s the deal of the month

Lebron James DunkingCan you picture Michael Redd in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform? I did a few times during game four of the Cavs-Wizards series Sunday afternoon, especially on the Cavs final offensive possession.

When Lebron James drove to his left in the final 10 seconds, game tied at 97, drew the Wizards double-team and fired the ball into the corner to an open Delonte West, I saw what the Cavaliers envisioned in the summer of 2005 when they bid on the free agent services of Michael Redd. The Cavs imagined Michael Redd as their shooting guard, set up in three-point territory on the baseline, taking the pass from Lebron and draining the shot. They could not possibly have figured on Delonte West, a point guard picked up this year from Seattle just a few minutes before the trading deadline. 

Fortunately for the Cavs, on Sunday that is, they fell $20 million short in their bid for Redd. West hit the three for the 100-97 game-winner. Maybe Redd hits it, maybe he doesn’t. Who knows? After the game, James talked about how important the shot was for the playoff confidence of his young point guard, West — who looks as though he’d be more at home on a Sunday tagging the side of a train in Philadelphia than playing in the NBA playoffs.

Confidence-builder? Lebron, baby, you can’t win a title if you’re still working on your teammates’ confidence in the playoffs. No wonder the Wizards and that Stevenson thug think they can win the series by roughing things up. This is the playoffs!!!

I started to feel so badly for my buddy Lebron, who I’ve known since his college ball days, that I gave him a call. He picked up his cell on the first ring, because, well, I’m pretty sure I still owe him money. Can’t rightly recall at the moment.

“Hey ‘Bron – great pass. You looked like Oscar Robertson on that play – textbook.”

“J-Mo, you never saw Oscar play.”

“All right, Larry Bird then.”

“Look man, don’t make me hang up on you! I know what you’re calling about, anyway. How many times do I have to tell you I don’t run this team?”

“But I don’t believe you. … So how about it? Delonte’s probably a great guy but … c’mon, Michael Redd?

“How come you’re always trying to get me to take Michael? I tried before and it didn’t work.”

“We gotta new GM. Smart guy from Detroit. And the new coach is buddies with the coach Redd threw under the proverbial bus all year. Redd can’t stay here.”

“But why me? I already got one guy on my team that makes more money than I do (Big Ben Wallace). What makes you think I want two?”

“He gives a bunch of his salary to charity, ‘Bron. It’ll be good for Cleveland. And he’s from Columbus, isn’t he? Think of Ohio. Look, what I’m really trying to do here is save the guy’s career. If he stays here, Scott Skiles’ll kill him, one way or another. If he goes to a lousy team, he’ll just keep playing the way he’s playing and he’ll never be on a winner. With you, he CAN’T play his way because YOU’VE got the ball. I’m doing this for his own good. Think of the assists!”

“I do like the dimes.”

“Dimes are the thing. He was fine in the FIBA qualifying games, wasn’t he?”

“Yeah, that worked out good.”

“All you gotta do is figure out which one of the young guys you want to part with.”

“You’re killing me, J-Mo. I can’t separate Delonte and Danny (Gibson). They’re like two puppies from the same litter, finally reunited when Delonte got here. I gotta look at Wallace and Ilgauskas every day – I need those little guys. They’re funny. Plus they’re free agents.”

 “Yeah but they’re too small – you can’t keep ’em both. You only get one. You knew this day was coming. Sign and trade, baby.”

“Alright, alright. Well, after today, I guess you gotta take Danny. West sure has got some grit in him. Needs a course in public speaking, tho.”

“Like yesterday.”

“What else are you fans in Milwaukee going to do for me?”

“Brace yourself.”

“I’m sitting down.”

“We’ll take Wally.”

(Loud crashing noise on Lebron’s end).

“You’ll WHAT? Did I hear that right? Wally’s only got one year left on his contract. You get a player for one year.”

“We’ll take him, bad ankles, $12 million contract for a year and all. We need him. We’ve just lost a coach with a silent “K” of all things in his name, and we can’t ball in Milwaukee without a guy who’s name you can’t spell. Right now, I’m just gonna keep calling him Wally ‘cuz I’m not ready to spell S-c-z-c-e-r-b-i-a-k right. Was that close?”

“Man, I think you got it!”

“Really? First try!”

“Wait a minute, how many zee’s you got?

“I got one. I got two cee’s and one zee.”

“There’s two zee’s, that much I know. I don’t know where they go. He’s only been on my team a coupla months. Sorry bro.”

“You okay? I heard a loud crash over there.”

“Yeah, I’m fine. That was just Ilgauskus and Wallace again, tearing apart the visitors’ locker room.”

“You guys just won – how can they be fighting?”

“Who says they’re fighting? They do that for kicks. Man, you know I played with Z for years and he never talked, not once to anybody, just went about his business with the same stone expression on his face, never even cracked a smile.”

“Nev — (Another loud crash). ‘Bron, what’s going on over there?” 

“I told y– HEY Z WATCH IT!!!! Not even once. Then one day, Big Ben walks onto our practice floor, first time, I look over at Z and his face lights up and he’s got this big grin on and I look over at Big Ben and he’s laughin’. Can you picture that, Big Ben laughin’? Crazy. They’ve been thick ever since. It’s like living with two bears, J-mo!!!

(Another loud crash) WALLACE, that’s MY MOM!!!  Sorry man, I GOTTA go …”

“What about Wally?”

“Done deal!!! You don’t even have to tell me the real reason why. I gotta g-..”

“Well, we need the salary cap flexibility more than we need a -“



Done. Bucks get Daniel Gibson, a 21-year-old guard who, as a rookie out of Texas played the point 20 games in the playoffs last year and this season shot 44 percent from three-point land. Wally couldn’t get in the game in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Wizards because the kids, Gibson and West, were playing too well to take out. This season, Gibson makes about $500,000 and will be a free agent, but shouldn’t be very expensive (he was hurt part of the season). Plus the Bucks get a smart, great-shooting veteran in Wally Szczcerbiak for a year, then his $12 million clears out for 2009-10 when the team starts paying Bogut the $10-plus million or so.

Cavs get Michael Redd, the shooting guard they wanted three years ago and the $51 million remaining on the last three years of the contract Redd  Slickless Larry Harris. The Cavs can hope to contend now before their aging big men expire as NBAers.

Meanwhile, Bucks GM John Hammond gets some much-needed salary cap flexibility 2009-11 to grow the Bucks in Bogut’s prime — and by then it will be more clear what “pieces” could make the Bucks contenders. Right now, that picture is too fuzzy and distorted.

Lebron’s down with it. What do Bucks fans think? Deal or no deal?