We Disagree: Chris Brousard

hughes.jpgSometimes journalists make shit up; this is where we call them out.

Today in his blog, Chris Brousard tackles the Anderson Varejao holdout. He’s in favor of Varejao rejoining the Cavs and accepting their multi-year offer. He puts forward the argument that he either has to sign with the Cavs or wait until the summer of 2009 before he’s an unrestricted free agent, a point where his value may be considerably lower than what it is now. With all this, we agree.

However, he goes on to discuss the Cavs financial situation and this is where he starts to make shit up. Brousard writes:

With financial prudence, the Cavs could be in position to significantly upgrade LeBron’s supporting cast as soon as next season. Only four Cavs — LeBron, Larry Hughes, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Sasha Pavlovic — currently are on the payroll past the 2008-2009 season. That will give several Cavs trade value next season because expiring contracts are great assets on the trade market. Of course, it also means they could have major cap room two summers from now.

Total pigpoop. The four players he lists will make almost $46 million for the 09-10 season. Then there’s Cedric Simmons with a $2.6 million team option. For the sake of argument, let’s assume they decline the option. This century, the salary cap increased at an average of $2.9 million per year. We’ll even bump it up some and say $3.5 million increases in 08-09 and 09-10.  That would put the cap around $62.5 million with $46 million already locked up. That leaves $16.5 million and the MLE to pay the rest of the team. Sound like “major cap room” to you? We didn’t think so.

The Cavaliers financial books are a mess.  Danny Ferry is running a front office built around keeping LeBron in Cleveland, not long-term planning or winning a championship. Just look to the Larry Hughes deal for proof.  Their big contracts can’t be moved (LeBron exempted for obvious reasons) and they won’t have the chance to pick up anything of value until the end of James’ contract. So despite what Chris Brousard thinks, the Cavs have to win with who’s in uniform and cap relief isn’t walking through that door.

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