Monday, June 29, 2009

Christmas in July

July 1st is officially the start of something big in Cleveland sports. No, not the annual fire sale at Progressive Field... it's the start of the summer free agent signing period in the NBA. And the Cavaliers will be looking to round out their roster with the hopes that the upcoming season will finally put an end to the championship drought in this city. With the mid-level exception (around $5.6 million), the bi-annual exception (around $2 million), and trades still a possibility, expect the Cavs to be active around midnight Tuesday.

First, they will need to decide what to do with restricted free agent Anderson Varejao. I fully expect him to remain a Cavalier, and he has indicated as much in the past saying that he would love to remain on this team. But his agent is Dan Fegan, and if the price gets too high a sign-and-trade could always be a possibility here.

Another pressing need is a power forward that can score. This would allow the Cavs to send Andy (if he is re-signed) back to his natural role of bringing energy off the bench. There may be some intriguing opportunities out there to fill this spot, but I already have my heart set on Charlie Villanueva of the Bucks. He's young (25), has great size (6' 11"), is athletic, and can stretch the floor with his ability to shoot from the perimeter. And he may already be my favorite Twittering (or is it Tweeting?) athlete out there. The Bucks have till Wednesday to extend him the qualifying offer or else he becomes a restricted free agent, and he can sign anywhere he prefers. Please stay cheap Milwaukee. If CV doesn't become available, other options at the 4 include Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, and Joe Smith.

The Cavs will also look to secure a bigger, more athletic wing player to lessen the impact of some of the matchup problems that arise with the currently undersized back court of Mo and Delonte. My top choices here are Matt Barnes and Anthony Parker, in that order. Both can probably be had for relatively cheap and both would fill a need. Barnes is a lot younger and certainly has more in the tank. But Parker is still a quality role player and would also do well in that sport for this team. I'm still dreaming of a chance at restricted free agent Josh Childress, but I'm not sure how much of a possibility he will really be.

Tomorrow will be an interesting and probably late night as we follow the proceedings. But it will certainly be more entertaining to watch the off-season exploits of the Cavs than it would be to torture yourself with the daily happenings of the Indians or the annual false hope offered by the guys from Berea. Only about 120 more days until Cavs basketball...