As I traveled out to Pittsburgh for some reason to watch the Browns play the Steelers last night, the Cavaliers and NBA Universe exploded with news.
Coach Mike Brown’s new team traded Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom for Chris Paul. Then they weren’t allowed to get him. Then Dan Gilbert typed out an email to David Stern after the Commissioner nullified the proposed trade in support of that decision. Reports also surfaced that Baron Davis would get Amnestied. The Knicks closed in on Tyson Chandler. The Nets appeared to be front-runners in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. The Anthony Parker courtship continued to loom large over the city of Cleveland. Joey Graham’s days as a Cavalier appeared numbered.
Then today happened. The Chris Paul deal could be back on now possibly. Baron Davis showed up at Cavaliers practice but he didn’t practice. Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson did practice because they signed their new contracts. Another day passed with no decision from AP, and Joey Graham was cut immediately.
As far as the Cavaliers’ rookies deals are concerned, the number one overall pick is now scheduled to earn $21.9 million over four years. Tristan Thompson’s deal totaled $16.65 million over that same time period. The contracts are for two years, with club options for the third and fourth season (Tom Reed of The Plain Dealer Reports). For all those people who said those two guys made a mistake a couple months ago, and were missing out on the joys of playing college basketball for Duke and Texas respectively this season, you are officially wrong now.
I may be officially wrong too as it pertains to the Amnesty Clause and Baron Davis though, because it looks like that’s where we’re now headed. Last night Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! tweeted that the Cavs are expected to use the new amnesty rule on PG Baron Davis once the new CBA is official, and until then Baron will be in Cavs camp.
Today Baron Davis was at Cavs practice, but he was sidelined when his back tightened up. In regards to how long he’ll be here or how long he thinks he’ll be here, he added: “I’m here, I’m here, I’m here . . . I’m living in the present. I love Cleveland, I love the fans.”
To reiterate what I posted on twitter when I first heard this news about Davis last night, I enjoyed having Baron Davis as a member of the Cavaliers during his time here. I continue to believe he would add value in helping Kyrie Irving with his NBA learning curve, and there could be a place for him here in that capacity. I do understand that maybe that’s not in the cards though. If he is jettisoned, I wish him the best of luck and am glad he was able to come through Cleveland for the brief time that he did. So whether you think the I love Cleveland and I love the fans is just PR rhetoric coming from BD on what may be his way out the door or not, I choose to believe him. Wish him nothing but the best too if he ends up leaving.
If he does leave, I’m not totally sure what the starting backcourt will look like right now and I can’t imagine Byron Scott knows that either. That off-guard spot opposite Irving could be anybody, especially if the Cavaliers use the additional cap space gained to sign somebody other than Anthony Parker for that job. I’m not inferring they’d use a lot of that space, but maybe this would be a move to bring in a guy who’d cost about a million or two more per season than Parker would. I have no idea who that’d be at this point though, but I’m sure we’ll find out a lot sooner than we think.
Much is happening right now, and it’s happening quickly.