Although at times since he took over as Majority Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert has allowed his emotions to get the best of him, I have always admired him for his passion and respected him for sticking to his principles. By all accounts, Gilbert was a vocal hard-liner that helped extend the NBA Lockout this past season.
There were also reports that when the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets agreed on a three-team deal, that would have sent point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers, Gilbert called Commissioner David Stern and helped convince him to veto the trade for the good of the Association. Stern, would do that as Paul would end up with the Clippers in a later deal.
That is why I am having such a tough time coming to grips with reports that surfaced on “ESPN.com” Monday night, that claim the Cavaliers will possibly take part in a four-team trade, that will make two franchises appreciably better, without getting significant help for their own roster. According to the website’s sources, Cleveland could be part of transaction, that sends Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, making them on paper at least one of the most formidable franchises in the NBA, as well as improving the Clippers by that team acquiring talented, young guard MarShon Brooks in the deal.
The website’s sources state that the Orlando Magic would send Earl Clark, Chris Duhon, Howard and veteran Jason Richardson to the Brooklyn Nets and in return they would receive Brook Lopez, Damion James, Armon Johnson, Luke Walton, Shelden Williams, as well as three future first round Draft picks, two from the Nets and one f rom Los Angeles who would have Brooks on their roster for the upcoming campaign.
What would the package that the Cavaliers would get in this four-way deal? Well according to the report, Cleveland would end up with the short straw in the transaction, as they would acquire forward Kris Humphries, veteran Quentin Richardson, guard Sundiata Gaines, a future first round pick from New Jersey and $3 million in cash. Certainly not a deal worthy of helping the Nets become a so-called “Super-Team” and giving the Clippers, yet another talented young player.
The only player that the Cavaliers would get that could help them in the upcoming campaign, would be Humphries, a good but far from great big man who the Nets would have allowed to walk away from the team, if not for his salary slot being needed to help Brooklyn get D-Howard. Gaines is at best, an end of the bench player that has been with four teams in his three-years in the Association. Q-Ball is an “almost-was,” a forward who reached his peak in the fourth year of his 12 year career in the Association and his numbers have gone downhill ever since.
Now Cleveland would not be giving up anything of value in this trade, but why would Gilbert consent to put aside his convictions, to help two teams become the kinds of rosters he fought to eliminate? Especially, in a move that will not radically improve his own squad. If the Cavaliers were able to acquire a package that could help return the club to the days when they ended the regular season with the best record in the Association, two-years running, some would call him two-faced, but at least there would be some rationale for him going against the grain. That is not going to happen in this deal, so why would Gilbert allow General Manager Chris Grant to enable Brooklyn and the Clippers?
Dwight Howard most likely will end up with the Nets, but Cleveland does not have to be a link in the chain that gets him there. For the sake of the Association, his team and his reputation, Gilbert should not allow the Cavaliers to take part in this rumored deal.