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Wheeling, any dealing?


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Wheeling, any dealing? Wizards' Jamison, Clippers' Camby top Cavaliers' rumor mill

by Brian Windhorst/Plain Dealer Reporter

Tuesday February 17, 2009, 7:31 PM


CLEVELAND -- By the time Thursday's 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline passes, the Cavaliers may indeed have the exact same look they have now. But it won't be for a lack of trying.

General Manager Danny Ferry and his assistants have been involved in a flurry of talks coming out of All-Star Weekend and the Cavs are actively engaged in a number of trade scenarios. League sources continue to indicate a deal isn't likely at this point, despite lots of haggling.


It bears reminding that a year ago, the Cavs were in the same position only to have a 10-player trade proposed -- and then die -- several times. During the final day it was completed with literally seconds to spare as officials in the league office started a countdown.


Meanwhile, the team's veterans seem to be making pleas for the front office to leave things alone, which is certainly having an effect on how aggressive the team can be.


A year after he openly campaigned for a number of available players including friend Jason Kidd, LeBron James is taking a different approach.


"I'm excited about our team," James said before the Cavs left on a road trip to Toronto and Milwaukee Tuesday. "If can stay injury free, and we haven't had the best of luck with that so far, we have a really good chance of winning it all."



Nonetheless, the Cavs have been trying to take advantage of the market, which has numerous teams looking to dump salary due to the bad economy plus NBA Commissioner David Stern's statements over the weekend that the luxury tax threshold will probably drop next season.


After making a pitch for Amar'e Stoudemire last week when the Suns' organization decided to go another direction by replacing head coach Terry Porter with Alvin Gentry, the Cavs seemingly are in talks about at least three other big men.

One is Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison. A veteran who can play both inside and out with high character and a willingness to come off the bench (he is a former Sixth Man of the Year), he represents the top of the class. According to a league executive, the Cavs recently made pitches for both Jamison and Wizards' forward Caron Butler.


The Wizards have made it known they do not want to pay the luxury tax next season and Jamison is at the start of a four-year, $50 million contract. However, Washington has numerous options to reduce payroll over the next year besides moving one of their stars. This would be a trade with their biggest enemy, which is why it still seems to be a long shot.


The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Wizards are considering trading their first-round draft pick this year to help with the problem.


Another player on the radar is Marcus Camby, the Los Angeles Clippers' defensive center who has two years left on his contract. The Clippers are often in cost-cutting mode and have other strong big men. Coach and GM Mike Dunleavy has constantly told media members and other teams that Camby isn't on the market.


On Tuesday, though, a Western Conference general manager said every Clipper -- with the exception of rookie Eric Gordon -- was available, even as other general managers said Dunleavy's stance had not changed.


Also in the mix is Sacramento Kings center Brad Miller. The Cavs have been in talks with the Kings about Miller, whose contract ends in 2010 as well, for several months. They are considering their options and could pull the trigger to get him in a deal involving Wally Szczerbiak.


However, Miller could harm their financial flexibility next summer when Anderson Varejao is going to be a free agent. The Cavs have the league's third-highest payroll and are monitoring their expenses as well. Not to mention the calls from team leaders.


"Adding talent would not hurt us," Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. "We have developed a good camaraderie and good chemistry with these guys and it would be hard to lose that."



Scott Shaw/The Plain Dealer

Wally Szczerbiak's teammates are endorsing letting the trade deadline pass without dealing him and his $13.9 million contract.



Tipoff: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

TV/radio: FSN-Ohio; WTAM AM/1100.

Notable: Chris Bosh (knee) is questionable, Kris Humphries (leg) is out, Jose Calderon (hamstring) and Joey Graham (shin) are probable for Toronto. ... Tarence Kinsey (ankle) and Ben Wallace (arm) are questionable and Delonte West (wrist) is doubtful for the Cavs. ... This will be the first game for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, traded to the Raptors from Miami last week. ... The Cavs have won four in a row against Toronto and are 2-0 this season with both games being played at The Q.


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