Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
As you can imagine, NBA All-Star Weekend isn’t about the festivities, or the quotes, or the MCs throwing free stuff to fans. No, it’s about talk. Business talk, strategy talk, and naturally, lots and lots of trade talk. And as ESPN’s rumor section lays out, some of that talk is double talk.
The Cavs are attempting to get the sweetest deal they can before deadline, negotiating with both the Suns and the Wizards in an attempt to get an impact power forward. Ric Bucher is reporting that the Cavs are using the talks with Phoenix to put pressure on the Wizards, essentially saying, “Look, we’re going to get a deal done. If you want to make sure you get Jamison off your books, we’re one of the only suitors, and we’ve got other options. Your choice.”
The kink in that chain may be the fact that it’s pretty obvious that Amar’e’s not the top target. The “stretch four” everyone’s talking about is ideally Jamison, who would be devastating offensively beside LeBron James, much like Amar’e, but who doesn’t come with the defensive baggage. Then again, LeBron and Amar’e were chilling at All-Star availability, feeding the fires.
Now, ESPN’s Chris Broussard also notes that the Cavs’ interest works in the Suns’ favor, So you’ve got the Cavs working to get the best deal out of the Wizards, who have already pulled the trigger on moving Caron Butler. You have the Suns working to get the best deal for Amar’e. If a team wanted to make a late run to take advantage of the situation, this would be the best time.
Talk may be cheap, but that doesn’t mean that the sheer volume of it doesn’t have value.