Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bulls, Sonics And Cavs Complete Three Way Trade - Wallace, Wally and Delonte West Headed To Cleveland

ESPN is reporting that the Chicago Bulls, Seattle Supersonics and Cleveland Cavaliers have completed a 3 team trade that will net Lebron James ample support on the offensive and defensive end. The trade is as follows:

Cleveland Gets: Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and 2nd Round Pick (Bulls)

Seattle Gets: Adrian Griffin, Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall

Chicago Gets: Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown

Why Cleveland Did This

Just a great trade for Cleveland as they improve on both ends of the floor and bolster their frontcourt. Their offensive immediately benefits from the additions West and Szczerbiak. West is an underrated true point guard that showed flashes of good skill in Boston last year before being buried on the bench in Seattle this season. He has a good a handle and is a pretty good passer, scorer and defender. The arrival of West allows Lebron to play off the ball more, maximizing his offensive ability.

Wally is a former Ohio high school legend and a pure sharp shooter with an excellent perimeter and long-range shooting touch. He won't give you much on the defensive end or on the boards; however, Szczerbiak will pair with Daniel Gibson to provide the Cavs with two excellent shooters from beyond the arc. Wally's presence will help spread the floor, opening added driving lanes for Lebron and more room to operate for Big Z.

The combination of Ben Wallace and Joe Smith will be more than enough to account for the loss of Drew Gooden and Donyell Marshall in the frontcourt. Smith has been a solid veteran role player in Chicago, displaying an ability to score when given adequate playing time. He will serve as a nice complement to Ilgauskas. Wallace gives the Cavs added toughness inside and makes an already adept defensive squad a bit better. You have to figure a change of scenery to a team with legitimate playoff aspirations will be a good thing for Big Ben.

As much as I hated the previous deal for the Cavs which brought back only Duhon and Wallace, I love this one due to the added offensive boost Cleveland will receive. Szczerbiak and West should more than make up for Ben's ineptness on the offensive end and the inclusion of Joe Smith in the deal gives the Cavs a more offensive minded alternative to Varejao and Wallace when needed.

Why Seattle Did This

Seattle unloads the final big contract on their payroll in the 25 million owed to Szczerbiak over the next 2 years and gains some immediate cap relief. Newble's expiring contract provides Seattle with an extra 3.4 million to spend this summer while Marshall and Griffin will come off the books at the end of next season and gives them 7 million in long-term cap relief or trade chips.

Why Chicago Did This

I still hate this deal for the Bulls and I explained my reasons earlier. Unfortunately, the inclusion of Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown don't really do much to change my opinion. It is also worth noting that the arrival of Hughes immediately hurts the value of Thabo Sefolosha who has been playing well lately. Bulls fans may want to start bringing sturdy umbrellas to the United Center on gameday as the forecast for the new Bulls backcourt of Hughes, Hinrich and Gordon calls for a 100% chance of bricks.

**Update (5pm) - The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that Shannon Brown may be headed to the Sonics rather than the Bulls. Stay Tuned, this one may morph a bit before all is said and done.

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