Suns still interested in Alonzo Gee, how that may impact Cavs Draft and Daniel Gibson

Four weeks ago I reported that the Phoenix Suns were interested in offering Alonzo Gee a multi-year contract in the $4 million per season range. Below is an excerpt of what I posted here at StepienRules.com after initially breaking that news on Twitter:

Over the weekend I was told by a reliable source that the Phoenix Suns are looking to offer Cleveland Cavaliers restricted free agent Alonzo Gee a multi-year contract in the $4 million per season range. I was also told that the Suns were in the lead for Gee’s services right now too, and I posted my tweet from Saturday morning below.

On Thursday, two days earlier, John Telich tweeted that he “heard at least three teams interested in Alonzo Gee of #Cavs, Phoenix, Minnesota, Detroit”.

My source didn’t tell me who the Suns were in the lead over, but I assumed it meant Minnesota and Detroit with respect to what Telich had said previously. Regardless of what offers do eventually end up coming in for Gee though, the Cavaliers will have the opportunity to match since he is a Restricted Free Agent.

I went on to say that my source did not tell me the length of the contract specifically Phoenix was looking to offer Gee. I suggested that it would most likely be in the neighborhood of four years.

Cleveland Cavaliers Alonzo Gee (C) listens to Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott (R) in the fourth quarter of play against the Miami Heat in their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida, February 7, 2012.
This weekend, Bob Finnan from The News-Herald reported that the Suns could make a “lucrative four year contract offer to Gee”. This was included in Bob’s three points and rumor mill article for June 3rd

Cavs forward Alonzo Gee might draw some serious interest in free agency. The Suns could make a lucrative offer to Gee. One source said they could offer Gee a four-year, $16 million offer and hope the Cavs don’t match it.

Finnan didn’t mention my previous report in his latest on Gee, but that’s totally cool with me in the event anyone was wondering. So let that be my answer to the emails I received yesterday. I appreciate you guys looking out, but it’s all good. Bob’s the man, he tweeted at me to say nice work on my initial report back when I made it, and that’s all he had to do. He is providing new information here with regards to the length of the offer, and I only reference it now in order to follow back up on that conversation from last month.

Alonzo Gee’s impact on who the Cavs could Draft: I’ve heard this question asked, and read it a few places, wondering aloud if re-signing Alonzo Gee could/would have any impact on who the Cavaliers select in this upcoming Draft. That thinking being if the Cavaliers matched an offer like this one for Alonzo [call it 4 years, $4 million per season] they’d be saying they have their Small Forward of the future and not draft someone who plays that position. I guess.  I firmly believe, however, that Alonzo Gee has ZERO impact on who the Cavaliers select on June 28th. 

Moving forward, even with Alonzo Gee next season, the Cavaliers still need wings [Small Forwards and Shooting Guards] in the worst of NBA ways. They need a big too, but they need wings even more desperately. If the Cavaliers were to re-sign Gee, I see him as the player who can back up both the two and the three for what we’d hope is a team that contends for the playoffs next season and the one after that. I believe his ceiling is that of a fringe starter, but more directly a player who can be [and is] a very solid 6th or 7th man on a good team’s bench.

In an ideal world, or in my opinion, the Cavaliers would be best served by going SF, SG, big, then the best player available with picks 4, 24, 33 and 34 respectively. Or maybe that’s wing [SF or SG], wing [SF if you took a SG at 4, SG if you took a SF at 4], big, best player available. You pass on absolutely nobody based on the fact that Alonzo Gee is [still] on your roster. A good team needs three or four wings who can play. Alonzo Gee has proven that he can be one of those guys. The Cavaliers have the opportunity to add two more on June 28th to play with him. Hopefully they do.

So is Daniel Gibson the odd man out then: I’ll never forget what Daniel Gibson did in 2007. Never. He stepped up and shot Cleveland into the NBA Finals. I watched at the Clevelander, leaping into the air with every shot he made as beer spilled all over my friends standing next to me. We took that celebration to the street when the game was over. It was a special night, and Daniel Gibson will always have a place in Cleveland sports history because of what he did.

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 19:  Daniel Gibson #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on March 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.
Daniel Gibson does have a team option this season though, and it is not a given that Cleveland picks that option up. At this point in both of their careers, I’d rather have Alonzo Gee moving forward than Daniel Gibson, as much as I want to apologize for writing that. Assuming that picking Gee over Gibson specifically is ever even a choice the Cavaliers would need to make. It may not be. But it is worth noting that Alonzo Gee did more to help win basketball games last season than Daniel did, and chances are also good he’d do the same for the next couple seasons. Maybe that fourth season is reason for pause, maybe it isn’t. 

I would match the offer for Gee at this point in time though, I think, if it did come in at 4 years $16 million. The team option for Gibson that the Cavaliers will decide to pick up or not is for approximately $4.8 million in total next season. $2.3M of that is guaranteed, and the remaining $2.5M is what the Cavs need to decide on essentially. Do you use that $2.5 million to help pay some of Gee’s hypothetical $4M next year? Do you pick up that deal and try to move Gibson at the deadline? Would anybody want to trade for him and an expiring $5M deal? Do you have any intention of signing Daniel Gibson after this season? Is it worth making him stick around if you don’t after what he’s meant to this franchise?

Those are the questions that Chris Grant and company will need to answer in regards to Gibson’s option. I expect them to wait and see what they come away with on June 28th before they even start to decide. If the Cavaliers still need SG’s to fill out their roster after June’s Draft than you might as well bring back Gibson. If it comes down to picking that option up or matching a deal for Gee, however, I’d assume they’d have to go the direction of Gee. He could be a part of the Cavaliers future coming off the bench no matter who they draft. I’m not certain Daniel is anymore, not that we’ll ever forget what he’s been.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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