The Cavaliers put quite a bit of extra salary into Baron Davis at the deadline, mostly to acquire the Clippers’ first round pick. But Davis is still a capable player when motivated, and could be a veteran difference maker on an up and coming team, if the Cavs really had anyone who was up and coming besides maybe J.J. Hickson and Christian Eyenga. But a report from the Akron Beacon-Journal suggests that Davis may not around to be a difference maker for the Cavs.
The Cavs will begin next season (provided a lockout doesn’t wash out the whole thing) with Antawn Jamison’s $15 million expiring contract. They privately believe if Baron Davis comes to camp next season motivated and healthy, they can trade him again for more assets.
This is the kind of strategy you want to hear from the Cavaliers. There should be a concerted effort to move as many of the leftovers from this disastrous squad as possible. Not getting the potential deal with the Warriors for Jamison done was a mistake, as was not moving Ramon Sessions or really anyone else on the team. The entire thing needs a firesale, and no player should be held over.
The upcoming CBA situation will most likely freeze trades on draft night, but as soon as it’s resolved, Davis needs to be moved along with Jamison. It’ll be tough considering the amount of money they’ll pull in, but the attitude needs to be the “Isiah principle” (also called “the Kahn corollary”), which says that if there’s a bad contract, there’s a GM dumb enough to absorb it.
This has been a terrible 12 months for Cleveland. But the future might end up much better.