Cavaliers: one step forward, one step back

Despite having the 2nd best basketball player in the world today on their roster, it’s as though the Management Team in Cleveland is still searching in the dark for a roadmap, detailing how to get their crew safely to the Land of Milk and Honey.

Cavaliers acquire Williams in three-team trade

It says in this corner that … the Cavaliers are no closer today to winning the NBA title, one day in the future, than they were yesterday, before this latest transaction occurred; or, than they were several months ago, when they last attempted (in vain) to upgrade the personnel on their team …

Cavaliers just went backwards

The immmediate take on the ramifications of this three-team trade?

Sam Presti & the ‘Oklahoma Whatsitsnames’ just improved their team, again.

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27 Responses to “Cavaliers: one step forward, one step back”

  1. Travis Outlaw Says:

    Everybody seems to love the trade for the Cavs. Mo Williams might not be much of a point guard. But the Cavs basically got him for nothing (Damon Jones and Joe Smith). Everybodys happy Damon Jones is finally gone. So getting Mo for basically nothing is I think an improvement. Plus, Mo Williams is a scoring guard which helps Lebron more. And Lebron doesn’t have to shoot that much and can pass the ball more.

    If anything I would call the Bucks the losers of the deal. They traded Mo Williams to a division rival and got basically nothing for him. And now their basically counting on their season on Ramon Sessions. Sessions barely played last year until the end. I wouldn’t count on him as my starting point guard.

    The OKC team are winners they replaced Luke Ridnour and Adrian Griffin with Desmond Mason and Joe Smith. Mason and Smith are expiring contracts too and both can still play and contribute. And Desmond Mason is a fan favorite in Oklahoma City.

  2. khandor Says:

    Travis Outlaw,

    It might be easier if you just stick with one ‘moniker’ for the comments you leave on this blog.

    I know it would help me out a great deal. 8)

    ===============================

    re: everybody seems to love the trade for the Cavs

    If that’s the case, then, everybody else just happens to be … wrong. :-)

    NOTE: Mike Brown loves to play solid Man-2-Man D. Mo Williams is a poor Man-2-Man Defender. As a starting PG, at his height (6-1), Mo Williams is a defensive liability for a team with legitimate title aspirations. If it’s true that Mo Williams had ‘personal communication probelms’ with a saintly player like Michael Redd … in all likelihood, he is not going to fit in seamlessly with a team like the Cavaliers. Mo Williams, Delonte West & Daniel Gibson seem like an ill-suited troika to me.

    For the Cavs’ sake … hopefully, time will prove me ‘wrong’, and everybody else ‘right’.

  3. Travis Outlaw Says:

    If the Cavs do sign Delonte West back. Do you see the Cavs using Mo Williams off the bench for his scoring? He isn’t much of a point guard as you noted a bad defender and I think the Cavs got him for his shooting. But to me Mo Williams is very similar to Daniel Gibson who is coming off the bench to score points as well. Did the Cavs just get an identical player in Mo Williams?

  4. khandor Says:

    Gibson is more accustomed to spotting up and shooting 3′s.

    Williams is more of a mid-range scorer than a shooter.

    Neither is good enough, at his own specialty, to provide what Lebron James needs from a Let-Me-Help-You-Get-To-The-Land-Of-Milk-And-Honey running mate.

    ===============================

    You want the name of a current NBA player … not getting any shine right now but … who is an example of someone that Danny Ferry SHOULD be looking at adding to the Cavs roster?

    HINT: His initials are JJR. 8)

    [and ... I'm almost willing to guarantee you that NO ONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE BLOGOSPHERE agrees with me! :-) ]

  5. Dave Says:

    JJ Reddick?

  6. khandor Says:

    The Cavaliers accomplished very little exchanging Joe Smith for Mo Williams.

    ===================

    What Danny Ferry NEEDS to do … is go out and get an under-valued Guard with a true specialty … like JJR (ala John Paxson, Craig Hodges & Steve Kerr for MJ’s Mighty Bulls) … and replace Mike Brown with a head coach who has a well-developed wholistic Philosophy of Basketball (ala the ZenMaster), which meshes with the sublime talents of his superstar (LBJ) … i.e. mimicking the exact moves that Jerry Krause made 20 years ago in Chicago.

    ===================

    Right now, it’s painful to watch the useless wheel-spinning that’s going on in Cleveland.

  7. mao Says:

    Agreed, Joe Smith was really an important contributor for the Cavs after the trade last year. He’s not amazing, but he’s solid and a good veteran presence. I think it’s wise that they dumped Damon Jones. He’s terrible and I’m so tired of hearing about all of his suits and shoes.

    As for JJ Redick, you’ve got to be kidding. He’s awful.

  8. khandor Says:

    re: JJR

    Actually … no, I’m not kidding at all.

    Q1. Has he been awful to this point in his NBA career?

    A1. Yes he has.

    Q2. Is he a better NBA player than he’s shown to this point?

    A2. Most definitely.

    He would be a terrific role player to fit with a super-sized big Guard, like Lebron James, with PG tendencies and the need to dominate the ball off the bounce.

    That’s the type of move … i.e. representing novel, out-of-the-box thinking … which a top notch GM would pull off to build a championship calibre team around LBJ.

    PG … Lebron [6-8]
    OG … JJR [6-4]
    SF … ?
    PF … Varejao [6-10]
    C … Big Z [7-0]

    That team, right there, is one Scottie Pippen-esque Wing player … i.e. an athletic, 6-7, Defender/Passer/Slasher/Rebounder … away from being a LEGITIMATE NBA TITLE CONTENDER.

    A real ‘magic’ trick in life … is having the ability to envision something happening BEFORE it actually does … e.g How JJR can/will become a useful player in the NBA, someday soon; How the Cavs can improve their team without (i) breaking open the bank or (ii) making more ridiculous non-progressive player personnel moves [like trading for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak or Mo Williams].

  9. mao Says:

    I agree that the Cavs need some kind of a move that is a little further-reaching than Mo Williams, but I’m just not sure JJ Redick would be it. He’s had injury problems, he’s not actually young since he went four years in college and he needs a bunch of shots per game to get the requisite number of points he’d need to average to be a worthwhile starter in the league. You just can’t start a guy like that. He could be a guy off the bench like Steve Kerr was for both the Bulls and Spurs, not counted on for anything other than a few open three-pointers a game, but he’s too slow and not a good enough defender to be a full-time player in the league.

  10. khandor Says:

    With his size … JJR is plenty Big enough to defend other teams PG’s … especially if he was to have a pair of bookends like LBJ and either Thabo Sefolosha or Jamario Moon, for example, on his sides.

    A player like Lebron James, who creates holes everywhere in the Defense … is the perfect running for a dead-eye shooter like JJR, who has under-achieved to this point in his NBA career.

    Despite his struggles, thus far, do NOT make the serious mistake of thinking that JJR is a poor shooter (at this level) just because he hasn’t shot the ball well to-date.

    Shooters like JJR just need to be paired with the RIGHT running mate … and, Jameer Nelson with the Orlando Magic is NOT it.

  11. Dave Says:

    JJ Reddick is a woeful defensive player that has poor lateral quickness for a shooting guard. He’d be a huge defensive liability at the point.

    He’s also a below par passer and ballhandler for a shooting guard and could not play the point offensively. LeBron needs a guard next to him that can run the show for part of the time while they’re both on the court. James is going to run a large chunk of the offense himself but he needs someone next to him to take some of that burden of his shoulders here and there. There’s no indications that Reddick can do that. This is why combo guards like Delonte West and Daniel Gibson are so valuable.

  12. mao Says:

    Yeah, Dave, right on. Redick is terrible on defense and slow. Like I said, there’s a chance you could use him as an eighth or ninth guy to come in and fire some threes at less-than-critical points in a game, but he can’t be relied on for any kind of consistency.

  13. khandor Says:

    100% wrong.

    One of the most difficult things to do as an evaluator of athletic ability is to ‘see with clarity’ what someone is truly capable of doing despite the fact that everyone else is incapable of seeing it at the same time … based exclusively upon what that player has done up to this point in his career.

    JJR is too slow and not athletic enough to defend WING players in the NBA … yes, indeed … but it’s simply a huge mistake to think that he is not athletic ‘enough’ or big ‘enough’ to adequately defend the vast majority of PG’s in the NBA today.

    If you think otherwise … then go ahead and put a list together of the Point Guards you believe that JJR (6-4, 190) would NOT be able to play ‘gap defense’ against and funnell into wing and post defenders like Lebron James, Thabo Sefolosha, Jamario Moon, Anderson Varejao and Big Z.

    Don’t take this the wrong way but … if you think like that … what you are suffering from is one-dimensional ultra-conservative conventional NBA thinking/stereotyping … and you are not alone.

    As a couple of extreme examples …

    Who knew back in 1977 that a 6 foot 9 inch young man could actually defend adequately against almost all existing first-string Point Guards in the NBA?

    Or, that a certain 6-9 player who played Center on his college team and was thought to be slow-footed at the time … could one day play (and revolutionize) the Small Forward position in the NBA as, possibly, the best shooter the game has ever seen? (i.e. 6-9 guys never shot the ball from 28 ft before)

    Or, that a certain 6-4 (maybe 6-5) rotund round mound of rebound that was CUT from Bob Knight’s 1984 Olympic Team could in fact play successfully AT THAT SIZE in the NBA … at the POWER FORWARD spot … to the point that he would eventually carve out for himself a Hall Of Fame career?

    One-dimensional, ultra-conversative conventional thinking has been the root cause of SO MANY TALENTED BASKETBALL PLAYERS FAILING TO REACH THEIR POTENTIAL, as first-class players in the NBA, it’s a complete and utter joke.

    Just go ahead and make that Point Guard list. 8)

  14. Travis Outlaw Says:

    khandor-
    Who on the Cavs would you trade for JJ redrick?

    -I agree with your points on NBA thinking/stereotyping. JJ Redrick hasn’t played enough for people to say he sucks or not. But do you really think JJ Redrick should start on the Cavs? Like what Mao said if he came off the bench and played a Steve Kerr role off the bench that I could understand but to start? I think Jason Kapono would be better than JJ Redrick. Whats the real difference from JJ Redrick and Jason Kapono? Kapono is the better 3 point shooter too.

    Just go ahead and make that Point Guard list. 8)
    -I think theres many point guards JJ Redrick cannot guard.
    Chris Paul & leandro barbosa are way too fast for him. I don’t think he could guard Baron Davis or Deron Williams. Or even slower older point guards like Steve Nash and Jason Kidd.

  15. mao Says:

    Redick couldn’t guard any of those guys. Not even close. Just being 6’4″ doesn’t make you athletic.

    I think he could be a valuable part of a team, for sure, but not as a major part.

  16. khandor Says:

    Travis,

    Contractually … JJ Hickson & Billy Thomas in exchange for JJ Redick works.

    ===============================

    Basically it does me no good to even try and argue this position because no one who I’m talking with right now has ever seen JJ Redick (6-5, 190) play and excel in an athletic way as a Guard in a sqausi PG scenario.

    Fact is … however … I have.

    Regardless, if you look at these bare bones physical measurements:

    http://kfba.net/cs/forums/t/4301.aspx

    then try and tell me with a straight face that you believe JJ Redick is a WORSE athlete, overall, at the PG spot, in the NBA, than Marcus Williams (G-State)?

    Or, that Redick has poorer/less lateral quicks than Jordan Farmar (Lakers), Mardy Collins (Knicks) or Ronnie Brewer (Jazz)?

    Fact is … you can’t.

    Please don’t take this the wrong way but … in general, most basketball observers (whether casual or not) do not have the slightest idea of what they are talking about when they try to tell someone else which NBA players are in fact ‘athletic’ enough to excel are what positions in the League, or not … other than the one position at which these fans have seen this individual play during his career up to that point in time … and it’s really a joke when someone like me steps forward and asserts that Player X would be a terrific Y, if given the chance to play that spot in the League, and get the opportunity to be coached in a way that would allow him to succeed at that spot … only to have others without any expertise in the field try their best to nullify that opinion.

    End of Rant.

    ===============================

    If you say JJ Redick would not be able to stay in front of a quick-silver PG like TJ Ford … you’d be correct … but the reality is few, if any other players in the League can do this either … and, those who do defend a player like Ford well, do so not based on similar levels of quickness but due to other factors which they have intheir favour when matched-up against a player like the Mercury-like Ford.

    The simple fact is … JJ Redick is a BELOW-AVERAGE athlete at the #2/3 positions in the NBA and would have his hands full if/when asked to check the best athletes in the NBA that inhabit these positions for their respective teams, i.e. Kobe, Lebron, D-Wade, etc.

    However, we are NOT talking about JJ Redick having to check these types of mega-athletes when we discuss his chances for success against the likes of ‘good’ but not ‘phenominal’ physical specimens like …

    Deron Williams [6-3, 205]
    Chris Paul [6-3, 175]
    Chauncey Billups [6-3, 202]
    Steve Nash [6-3, 178]
    Baron Davis [6-4, 215]
    Jason Kidd [6-3, 210]
    Tony Parker [6-3, 180]
    Jose Calderon [6-3, 210]

    who populate the very top of the PG rankings in the NBA.

    While Redick would struggle vs Ford (Indiana) and Devon Harris (New Jersey) … there are very few of the other 20 PG’s in the League who would be to much for him to handle with his combination of good size and adequate lane quickness … which are clearly on display when you watch him move closely with and without the ball in a highlight vid-clip like this one:

    from his days in college, as a first-class 2G who had to try and get his shot off against some of the best athletes in the world who played the WING position in college against the former NCAA Player Of The Year.

    Try watching that video more closely a second time … with an eye toward evaluating JJ Redick’s movement skills vs NBA players who are basically the same size as he is himself … instead of epic athletes like Lebron or Kobe.

    Not to mention how the other PG’s in the NBA would fair when asked to defend in the half court vs a spot-up dead-eye shooter like JJ Redick who they could not afford to leave open on the perimeter … if he was the running mate of a mega-star like Lebron James.

    [NOTE: JJ Redick would also be a tremendous player to run any kind of "UCLA cut, into a staggered screen" action with a player like Lebron James receiving the initial Wing Entry Pass from Mr. Redick ... OR, as a serviceable, ballhandling Guard who can easily play within The Triangle Offense which would also be a great fit with a multi-dimensional player like LBJ.]

    ===============================

    The NBA team with a coach that is wise enough to use a player like JJ Redick at the PG-spot in this League … will be rewarded with a very effective player … NOT a superstar by any stretch of the imagination … if that team has a BIG, explosive guard like Kobe or Lebron to pair with him.

    ===============================

    Q1. Do I expect others (including the vast majority of NBA GM’s) to be able to see THIS … in a much-maligned player like JJ Redick?

    A1. NOT A FRIGGIN CHANCE! 8)

    [doesn't mean it isn't 100% true]

  17. mao Says:

    The problem with all that analysis is that it ignores the most important part of the equation: reality. On paper he looks like a guy who should be athletic, if you look at his college record you’d think he should be a prolific scorer. But the reality is that he’s just not very good anymore. His back injuries coming out of school took a lot away from him and honestly, I thought he was drafted too high at no. 11 to begin with.

    Also, read this quote from Redick, “I think I’ll be a role player like 80 percent of the players in the league are. I don’t expect to be a star, I’ll just shoot, be a team player.” That’s his ceiling, a role player who can come in and shoot. He’s not as good laterally, vertically, or any other word ending in -ly as compared to Jordan Farmar, Ronnie Brewer or even Marcus Williams. If he was, we wouldn’t have to be having a conversation about what his potential would be in an ideal system, seemingly designed to give JJ Redick (of all people) the maximum output.

  18. khandor Says:

    mao,

    That’s not the REALITY at all.

    The REALITY is this, right here:

    COMBINE RESULTS
    Player Rank No step vertical Max vertical Bench press Lane agility Sprint

    Maurice Ager 37 29.5 35 11 11.73 3.22
    Ronnie Brewer 2 35 41 19 11.32 3.14
    Rodney Carney 5 32 38.5 10 10.57 3.06
    Mardy Collins 33 31.5 37.5 9 12 3.27
    Jordan Farmar 12 33.5 42 11 11.07 3.17
    Randy Foye 6 32 38 14 10.53 3.23
    J.J. Redick 51 27.5 33 6 10.94 3.29
    Brandon Roy 30 34 40.5 6 11.13 3.27
    Marcus Williams 73 24.5 28 4 11.3 3.4

    Redick tested out as the 51st best athlete overall … principally because he WAS physically weak (i.e. only 6 reps in the 185 lbs bench press), slower in an all-out sprint, and doesn’t have the explosive jumping ability of a mega-athlete …

    NONE of which are of vital importance to the success of a solid Point Guard in the NBA.

    Especially to a dead-eye spot-up 3-PT SHOOTER who is intelligent enough and skilled enough and big enough … and who is going to get stronger as he continues to mature physically … to excel in the TRIANGLE OFFENSE as a running mate to a sublime talent like LEBRON JAMES.

    If BJ Armstrong or Craig Hodges or John Paxson or Steve Kerr were athletic enough & talented enough to play the PG-spot BESIDE Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen then SO TOO is a player like JJ Redick.

    Do I expect you to be able to see this?

    No I do not.

    ===============================

    You can be a starting player in the NBA for a terrific championship calibre team AND still be a consumate ROLE PLAYER.

    e.g. Dennis Rodman, Reggie Miller, Bruce Bowen, Bill Laimbeer, Norm Nixon, Michael Cooper, Avery Johnson, Derek Fisher, etc. … frankly, the list is endless.

    ===============================

    To this point, Redick still thinks of himself as a role playing SHOOTER in the NBA.

    Well, you know what?

    JJ Redick is wrong, in that regard.

    Just ask Stan Van Gundy.
    Just ask Pat Williams.

    Redick IS NOT going to make it in the NBA as a role playing ‘shooter’ off the bench because he is not athletic enough or tall enough to successfully check bigger or more athletic WING scorers/shooters/rebounders in this League … BUT

    he is plenty ‘athletic’ enough (i.e. in terms of lateral quicks & agility) to effectively check [that DOES NOT mean SHUT DOWN] a player like Steve Nash or Deron Williams or Chris Paul or Jose Calderon or Baron Davis or Chauncey Billups or Tony Parker or Jason Kidd [players who rely on guile and intelligence as much as they do explosive athleticism] at the PG-spot in the NBA.

    That is THE authentic reality of the situation.

    ===============================

    What JJ Redick NEEDS is to be TOLD/MADE by a head coach like Phil Jackson, or Pat Riley, or Gregg Popovich … someone who HE respects and has the ability to SEE the game from an out-of-the-box perspective … that HE (JJ) MUST adapt to the Point Guard spot IF he is EVER going to be a successful STARTING player in the NBA … AND that this specific coach has COMPLETE CONFIDENCE in Redick’s ability to make this conversion.

    When your head coach has the vision to see this FOR YOU it is a powerful motivator … especially when you’re a tough, smart, hard-working and intense player like Mr. Redick … who, in fact, is a much better athlete than the casual observer realizes on first (or second or third, etc.) glance.

    ===============================

    That, my friend(s) … is THE REALITY of JJ Redick’s situation in the NBA.

  19. Dave Says:

    Nope I’m afraid I’m not buying the JJ at point theory. Good attempt though.

    While I was reading down your latest comments on the topic I found myself wondering about Orlando. Do you think JJ could play the point for Orlando? Hedo has point-skills and is the Magic’s best playmaker. He also played some point for Adelman back in Sacramento. Do you think that could work out?

    I had another question. You indicated in your comments that JJ would need a coach with strong belief in his position to learn the position. How long do you think it would take JJ to make the transition?

    Just to slide off the point guard part for a second …. what do you think of JJ Reddick’s chances of getting playing time for the Magic in the near future? If he’s not playing do you think he gets traded this coming year?

  20. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    Yes, I think a line-up of:

    STARTERS – Redick, Evans, Lewis, Turkoglu & Howard
    BENCH – Dooling, Bogans & Foyle
    RESERVES – Nelson, Arroyo, Garrity & Gortat

    could well have worked last season for Orlando.

    =============

    No, I do not envision Hedo playing PG for the Magic on a full-time basis … although SVG does a nice job using him to handle the ball in perimeter mismatch situations when the Magic’s regular Guards are in disadvanteous situations.

    =============

    With the right head coach, using a sound system … it would not take Redick very long to reach a stage of adequacy at the PG spot, after which his learning would then continue on the job.

    It could be accomplished during the course of 1 off-season.

    =============

    I’m encouraged that the Magic decided to allow Arroyo to walk.

    Personally … I would like to see Anthony Johnson supplant Jameer Nelson, as the Magic’s starting PG by the beginning of the 2008-2009 Playoffs with either Redick or JN coming in off the bench.

    No … I don’t expect Redick to get a lot of PT for Orlando this season.

    I have no idea whether he will get traded anytime soon or not.

    IMO … trade ‘speculation’ is a giant waste of time.

  21. Dave Says:

    I’m not sure if the Hedo part came across right, just to clarify, I meant Hedo-to-JJ for Orlando like LeBron-to-JJ in Cleveland.

  22. khandor Says:

    Ahhh, yes.

    Now I see … what you mean(t).

    I agree, Hedo does have some traits which are similar to Lebron … in which case, for example, Orlando’s current roster might be workable with a line-up of:

    STARTERS – Redick, Turkoglu, Pietrus, Lewis, & Howard
    BENCH – Johnson, Bogans & Cook
    RESERVES – Nelson, Lee, Garrity, Foyle
    EXTRAS – Gortat, Battie

    especially if Courtney Lee develops into a solid NBA player like Otis Smith/SVG thinks he might.

  23. swebber Says:

    Mo Williams was a great pickup, how can someone honestly say that he is a defensive liability, have you seen Damon Jones play D? Exactly! And, his height being a factor, who just won the NBA Championship and how tall was their starting PG:

    9 Rajon Rondo G 6-1 171 02/22/1986 Kentucky 2

    That would be 6’1″ Rajon Rondo!

  24. khandor Says:

    swebber,

    Thanks for your comment. :-)

    Damon Jones is a terrible defender.
    Mo Williams is a terrible defender.

    Therefore … the Cavs haven’t improved defensively at all, especially if Mo is in fact an even worse defensive player than Da-Jones.

    Rajon Rondo may well be the same size as Mo Williams BUT physically the comparison stops right there.

    Have you seen the way Mr. Rondo REBOUNDS? … and gets after his individual check on Defense?

    There’s a huge difference between Rajon Rondo and Mo Williams on the defensive of the ball.

  25. khandor Says:

    For the benefit of those who might have difficulty envisioning JJ Redick as a PG in the NBA some day …

    http://emuss.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-moving-teams-best-shooter-to-point.html

    Enjoy!

  26. Jj redrick | Dinershome Says:

    [...] Cavaliers: one step forward, one step back « Khandor’s SportsJJ Redrick hasn’t played enough for people to say he sucks or not. But do you really think JJ Redrick should start on the Cavs? Like what Mao said if he came off the bench and played a Steve Kerr role off the bench that I could understand but to start? Comments Off [...]

  27. dog facts Says:

    dog facts…

    [...]Cavaliers: one step forward, one step back « Khandor’s Sports Blog[...]…

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