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Can We Talk?

With some members of the Cavaliers organization sure to have some heart to heart conversations this off-season, let’s take a look at what some of those conversations might look like.

Danny Ferry with Anderson Varejao and his agent, Dan Fegan

Fegan: As I’m sure you have guessed, my client will be declining his $6.2 million player option. With what he means to your team and the caliber of player he is, we don’t feel that compensation is fair.

Ferry: Bwahahahahahaha….wait, player of his caliber? What he means to our team? Hahahahahaha….ok, ok, ok, I think I’m alright now. Dan, Andy, what do you feel would be fair?

Fegan: We would like $40 million over 4 years. I think $10 million a year sounds right.

Ferry: (Jaw drops)

Andy: I provide energy and a defensive presence down low. Who else are you going to get that can pester big guys like Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard like I do? I can get to the basket and finish off nice passes from LeBron. I like to think I have one of the better mid range jumpers on the team as well.

Ferry: (Jaw drops further) You’re serious?

Fegan: Damn serious, and if you don’t pay up, we will find teams that will.

Ferry: Ok, let’s wake up from this little fantasy Andy. Last year you averaged a career high 8.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. The rebounds were down a tad from your career high 8.3 in the 07-08 season. There hasn’t been a whole lot of improvement in your game since you started playing consistently three years ago, and your mid-range jumper ranks around J.J. Hickson and Tarence Kinsey and slightly above Ben Wallace. You are going to be 27 next year, why should I pay someone who’s going to average 8 points and 8 rebounds $10 million per year? I could probably get David Lee for that much – he put in 16 points and 12 rebounds a game last year. He provides the same energy, what puts you above him?

Andy: Well he’s 6’8”, I’m 6’11”. He wouldn’t be able to stand in there with bigger guys like me.

Ferry: Is that so? Can we cue up Game 4 against the Magic, IN OVERTIME please? Wow, Andy, with that kind of effort, I should probably give you a $7 million signing bonus too. Did you see how well you pushed him out of there?

Fegan: You’ve got yourself a deal.

Ferry: I was being sarcastic. I should have called Mike Brown right then and told him to glue your Brazilian butt to the bench for that.

Andy: Yes, but Howard is very strong.

Ferry: I understand that, but you couldn’t wrap him up? He shoots 60% from the free throw line, and he has a hell of a lot higher percentage on dunks. Slapping at him like a school girl is not going to get the job done Andy.

Andy: But I am a fan favorite. What about all the people who wear my wigs to games?

Ferry: Great point Andy, it would be tough for the fans to see you go. But once we can get another high energy guy to replace your 8 points and 8 rebounds, I think the fans will get over it. As far as the wigs, I think I have someone to take over your role as “eccentric guy with the crazy hair.”

Fegan: Look, you have some great points Danny, but Andy wants his $10 million. If you’re not going to give it to him, then we will find someone who will. So don’t waste our time. Yes or No?

Ferry: Dan, I know you’re trying to get your client the best offer, but I have the ability to pay 3, maybe 4 players $10 million per year. Those have to be my three best guys, unfortunately I’ve been stuck with Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Larry Hughes and Zydrunas Ilgauskas in those slots in the past. I know that we’re not going to win a championship with those guys as my top players. Sorry to say it, but you will never be one of the three best players on a championship team Andy. If my goal is to win a championship, I’m not going to pay you that much. So good luck trying to find another team to pay you what you’re looking for and let me know if you decide to consider something in the $6-8 million a year range.

Andy: I will miss you, and I was never able to get LeBron back for what he did to me, but I will get paid.

Fegan: Thanks Danny, do you happen to have Isiah Thomas’s number?

Ferry: He got fired.

Fegan: (String of expletives as he and Varejao leave the room.)

Mike Brown to Daniel Gibson, Mo Williams, Sasha Pavlovic and Delonte West

Brown: Ok, guys, I have some great new ideas for offense next year.

West: Am I gonna get to post up more since you saw what I could do down there in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Brown: No, we’re going to make some switches though. Mo, we’ve been running you off some screens and Delonte did a great job getting to the basket last year. Sasha and Daniel, you two were relatively quiet last year, but our new offense is going to play right into your strengths.

Gibson: What’s that, standing on the right wing and watching LeBron?

Brown: No, No, No, that was last year, Daniel, you are going to stand in the left wing. Sasha, you are going to take Daniel’s place on the right wing.

Williams: What am I going to do?

Brown: Well Mo, you are going to start off standing in the right corner. Sasha will back you up.

Williams: But Coach, I have a solid pull up jumper, I can wear other guards out running them off screens. I can contribute more than that.

Brown: I know Mo, you’re a really good player. But this is the offense we ran the year we made Finals. You’ve got to stick with what got you there.

West: What about me Coach? I’m not cool with standing by the wing and waiting for the ball. The only time I’ll stand by a wing is if they chicken wings with some hot sauce, specially if I got some Tahiti Treat fruit punch, how playa is that mane?

Brown: Delonte, you’ve actually had value going to the hoop, so we’ll let you initiate the offense by dribbling into the front court to pass to LeBron. If you have a lane, you can take it, but don’t go too crazy.

West: But coach, they tried to run me at one in Boston, didn’t turn out to well. I’m most comfortable in the 2 spot. Remember when I was at St. Joe’s with Jameer Nelson and pretty much all of next year.

Brown: But we need to create matchup problems Delonte, and having a 6’4” point guard could do that.

Williams: But then I would be a 6’1” shooting guard coach, that’s a matchup problem that doesn’t favor us.

Brown: Oh yeah, well, I’ll have to think about that.

Pavlovic: I could start coach.

Brown: Sasha, let’s be honest. If you’re here next year and we pass up that Shaq trade again, I’ll probably bench you out of spite.

Pavlovic: Ok.

Brown: Thanks for your input guys, I think this new offense gives us the best chance because that is how we got to the finals the first time. I’ll keep tinkering with it, maybe we’ll have LeBron get the ball on one of the wings and let one of you stand at the top of the key, but I’ll have to talk to him. He’s the one making all the offensive decisions anyways.

Dan Gilbert and The Ghost of Cleveland Past

Gilbert’s Secretary: (paging him in his office) Mr. Gilbert, you have a visitor. He said you made an appointment with him.

Gilbert: I didn’t set up any appointments.

Secretary: He says it’s important.

Gilbert: Let him in, but it better be quick.

The Ghost of Cleveland Past: Hi Dan, you mind if I sit down.

Gilbert: Who the hell are you?

GCP: I’m the Ghost of Cleveland Past, you called me out. Rememeber? “We will win a championship?”

Gilbert: I don’t believe in you. Ghosts aren’t real, the only thing that matters is the future.

GCP: Very true, but I am very real. You can thank the media for that. I get fed every time they show a clip of The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, Jose Mesa and Tony Fernandez, Art Modell, Red Right 88, you name it. I may be a figment of the imagination, but I’m still there. The fact that people think about me and fear my presence at your games means I’m more real than you want to believe.

Gilbert: People don’t think about you at our games. Are you kidding me?

GCP: Didn’t you see how the crowd froze up at the end of Game 1 in the conference finals. That was me, I was actually at my poor sister’s grave until the Magic summoned me, She was killed by the Red Sox 5 years ago after they won their first title in 86 years. My Brother, the curse of the Cubs, and I mourn her every day. It scares us because it's proof that we can be overcome.

Gilbert: I’m so confused…

GCP: Dan, I’m alive because the city of Cleveland has had flawed teams for 45 years. Well, except for the ’95 Indians, I just wanted to flex some muscles there. But for the most part, those flaws just surface at the wrong time. I manifest myself in the minds of Cleveland fans. The energy the fans create causes me to effect the overall atmosphere of the game and, indirectly, the outcome.

Gilbert: So why are you here?

GCP: You’re guarantee was a death threat Dan. I know you meant it, and I wanted to let you know that I will not go down without a fight. LeBron James is a worthy foe, and he’s given me a couple good shots with his game winner and his complete domination of Game 5, but I can take him.

Gilbert: How do I kill you?

GCP: Like I said, you have a flawed team. You are going to have to come prepared to fight not just the other teams your facing, but myself as well.

Gilbert: That’s why we’re trying to get Shaq, he has some experience in getting over that hump and fixes one of our major flaws.

GCP: Absolutely, but if that’s all you plan on doing, you’re still making things easy on me. You’re starting 2 combo guards (Read: short shooting guards). There are plenty of big guards out there that can take advantage of that without even needing my help.

Gilbert: Yeah, but I got some tricks up my sleeve, you just wait. We’re coming to fight.

GCP: I look forward to it.

I’m sure there will be more conversations to come, but what are your thoughts on these? Is Andy out of line? Will Mike Brown show some sort of offensive game plan? Can the Cavs kill the Ghost of Cleveland Past?

- Patrick Bauch


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