Monday, June 30, 2008
I know exactly what you're thinking because I thought the same thing, "Wait a minute, what? They wanted who?" Yep, I'm not really sure how close this deal was to going down on draft night, but the Cavaliers were on the phone with the Nets about bringing Vince Carter to Cleveland. Wow. That would have been...ummmmm....interesting. From the Plain Dealer:
As they were putting some of the finishing touches on the Richard Jefferson-Yi Jianlian deal, the Nets received a call from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who offered them Wally Szczerbiak and his expiring, $13.2 million salary for Vince Carter. According to two Eastern Conference executives, who asked for anonymity so as not to spill Rod Thorn's secrets (editor's note: are these like the super secret workouts that the Heat had for Mayo and Bayless eventhough everyone knew that they went down making them not a secret at all?), the Nets considered it.
Now we don't know how much they considered it or if they considered it at all, but it still warrants mention that the Cavs felt that VC might be the missing piece and tried to pull off a trade that would have sent shockwaves around the league.
My first thought when reading about this was "ugh". Carter is a prima donna ball hog that has been a me-first player since entering the league. If he came to Cleveland, he would be asked to play second fiddle obviously and he's never shown the ability to defer roles in his entire career. He can still score and is a decent defender, but would he poison the Cavs locker room? Would he put his ego ahead of winning a title like he has in the past? Would he play like shit on purpose to force another trade? That's what you worry about whenever you think about Vince Carter: is he in it to win it or just to look good and whatever the outcome is, than so be it.
After thinking about it a bit, my next thought "hmmmmmmm"? Could this work? Could LeBron, Ferry, Gilbert, and Coach Mike make VC realize that his playing days as a superstar are coming to a close and this may be his last shot at a winner? You know, give him the old Jake Taylor speech. Vince is still a knockdown shooter with a low post game. He's going to have to learn a new role to stay in the league someday. You would think that he wouldn't want to go through the current rebuilding in Jersey and would want to play with a winner while he's still in his prime (although he's at the very last straw of it).
My final thought about this proposed deal was "eh". I'm glad that it didn't go down. Right now, the Cavs have plenty of assets and can afford to wait a bit before making a splash trade that will (hopefully) shift the balance of power in the East. They passed on getting in the Jermaine O'Neal and now the VC sweepstakes...patience is a virtue. When you have 27 million in expiring contracts, there is no need to throw them all away at the first opportunity. Wait for a Gasol-ian like deal to come around from some God awful GM (Kevin McHale) and then make it happen.
And seriously, Cleveland fans, I realize how desperate you are for ANY of your teams to win a title, but do you really want Vince freaking Carter to be the guy who helped bring it here? The guy has less fans than Stephon Marbury! He can't even go into Toronto without armed guards. But I do think that this story shows that the Cavs brass is trying. Whether LeBron James stays or goes in two years, you still need to do what is best for your team. Trading for Vince Carter...not a bright move.