Thursday , Feb , 21 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Supporting Cast Worthy of King LeBron James? Breaking Down Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, & Seattle Sonics Blockbuster Trade

Cleveland initiated today’s mega-trade to correct past mistakes and show James they’re serious about becoming perennial contenders. After all, his opt-out clause is looming and, even though he’s from Ohio, whispers persist that James will head for the bright lights and fat sponsorship contracts of New York …

Supporting Cast Worthy of King LeBron James? Breaking Down Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, & Seattle Sonics Blockbuster Trade

The Associated Press is reporting the following three-way trade:

The Cavaliers sent guard Larry Hughes, forwards Drew Gooden and Cedric Simmons, and guard Shannon Brown to Chicago for Wallace, one of the game’s top inside enforcers, and forward Joe Smith.

Cleveland acquired the sharpshooting Szczerbiak and guard Delonte West from Seattle for forwards Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall.

The Cavaliers will also get Chicago‘s second-round pick in 2009. The SuperSonics will receive guard Adrian Griffin from the Bulls.

My Quick Take: Three years ago, Cleveland GM Danny Ferry had heaps of cap room and a mandate from ownership to surround LeBron James with a supporting cast worthy of a King.

One way or another, Ferry invested a fortune in three players: Larry Hughes (60 million dollars), Damon Jones (18 million dollars), and Donyell Marshall (24 million dollars).

Hughes, Jones, and Marshall each had moments, but, on the whole, they fell well short of expectations.

Cleveland initiated today’s mega-trade to correct past mistakes and show James they’re serious about becoming perennial contenders. After all, his opt-out clause is looming and, even though he’s from Ohio, whispers persist that James will head for the bright lights and fat sponsorship contracts of New York.  

Still, that day is years away, so let’s analyze this  blockbuster.

Why Cleveland Made This Trade …

It was time for a change. There was a feeling the current Cavaliers peaked with last year’s appearance in the NBA Finals. But is this the right move?

Wallace provides very little other than defense; Smith is a veteran throw-in. But the Seattle portion of this trade is intriguing. Szczerbiak played college ball at nearby Miami University in Ohio, so Cleveland are hoping he finds his old All-Star form in a familiar setting. And Delonte West is a tough, underrated combo guard, who Coach Brown will quickly love.

Why Chicago Made This Trade …

A shake-up was necessary. Wallace’s defense and contract is out, Gooden’s post scoring is in. On the perimeter, the Bulls land Larry Hughes –a talented and well-compensated guard, who never fit with the Cavs. Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown are throw-ins.

Why Seattle Made This Trade …

Wally’s World was a pleasant surprise in the Emerald City, but the Sonics clearly wanted out from his thirteen million dollar per year salary. Newble’s contract expires at season’s end, while Griffin and Marshall are each on the book for one more season.

Bottom Line: Cleveland acquired an interesting mix of defense (Wallace) and offense (Szczerbiak). Meanwhile, Seattle keeps shedding salary and adding draft picks to complement Kevin Durant.

Who wins this trade: Cleveland, Chicago, or Seattle? Get at us in the comment box below and stay tuned HoopsVibe’s NBA Blog for more deadline day coverage.