Artest & Ariza To Cleveland?

Written By Chris C-Ford ---- Thursday, July 2, 2009

The latest reports out of Cleveland are that the Cavs are trying to sign free agents Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza. These two guys would go along with Shaq and Lebron, and would be a very dramatic change in roster for a team that just lost the Eastern Conference finals.

While they still could end up with neither guy, this is scary news in the East. Teams like the Pistons, Cavs, & Celtics are looking to improve via free agency. The Wizards on the other hand are still waiting around.

How can the team with the best player in the NBA afford to sign 2 big name free agents, while the Wizards (worst team in the NBA) can only afford someone for the veteran minimum. Gilbert Arenas & Brendan Haywood better play like Michael Jordan and Old Skool Shaq or else the Wizards are looking at #4 or #5 seed and an early exit from the playoffs once again.


JonathanJoseph said...

If you do a small amount of research you can answer your own question. Cleveland only has 6 NBA caliber players under contract for this season and two of them (Shaq/Big Z) can only play the 5.

They have Shaq/Z/Lebron/Mo W/Delonte West/Boobie Gibson/Hickson/Terrence Kinsey/Darnell Jackson/and Jawad Williams on their entire roster and a payroll of $68M. If they add Artest and Ariza at $5.5M each they will still only have 11 players under contract at almost $80M.

They arent afraid to pay $20M in lux taxes this year to try to keep Lebron because if he leaves, it will cost the team way more than $20M.

OTOH, Grunfeld has 13 quality players under contract and depth at every position and financial flexibility going forward.

These teams (SA, Cleveland, Bos) are making 1 last run before they blow up their rosters and rebuild.

Grunfeld has a talented and deep roster ready for a sustained run at a championship.

I have had enough of the short-sighted fan angst over Grunfelds moves. He is doing great.

Chris Ford said...

It was a rhetorical/sarcastic question about the Wizards payroll being so high while not being an elite team.

JonathanJoseph said...

Who says they arent an elite team? I think they are. Athletic, talented and deep. Compare the Wizards with the Nuggets of 08.

Folks seem to forget this was a 50 win team when healthy with arvis Hayes and Michael Ruffin playing serious role and that was before Butler was a 2-time allstar.

Wizards fans need to relax. Grunfeld is killing it.

JonathanJoseph said...

Further, the Cavs will not be an elite team if they are counting on Terrence Kinsey and Jawad Williams to play roles. And what about Anderson Vareao? He was a big part of that team. They might have a $90M payroll next season.

Boston is in the same boat. If these teams actually do make these signings, they will have payrolls that are at least $10 more than the Wiz and they wont be nearly as deep.