Sunday, June 28, 2009

You Say Goodbye, And I Say Hello

TRANSACTIONS APLENTY for the Cavs and Tribe over the last two games. Let's take a look at who is coming in and who is going OUT.

First off, the one you all know about, Shaquille O'Neal traded to the Cavs for Sasha Pavlovic, Ben Wallace, a 2010 2nd round pick and $500,000. Shaq brings his four championship rings to Cleveland with his massive presence in the middle and a natural chemistry with Lebron James. The move will push Z to the bench for the first time in his very solid career and will add some much-needed physicality to the Cavs interior defense.

Sasha Pavlovic ends a career with the Cavs that was up-and-down with minutes that, in my opinion, were unfair to him at times. He had some very memorable moments in the 2006 season including a chase-down block for the ages vs. Jason Kidd in the playoffs, a monster dunk in a home game vs. Miami (I was there!) and helping us a starter to the NBA Finals.

Sasha ranks in the Top-10 in Cavs playoff history in a few statistical categories including 42 games (7th), 26 3 pointers (8th), 76 3 point attempts (8th), and 90 personal fouls (10th). Overall as a Cav he played in 302 games over 4 seasons, scoring 1,843 points and making 207 three pointers.

I will miss Sasha as a still young wingplayer who bought into Mike Brown's system and went from being a defensive liability to one of our best perimeter defenders. If Phoenix releases Sasha and his non-guaranteed contract, I would be open to bringing him back. Good luck with the rest of your promising NBA career, Sasha!

Big Ben Wallace
, whose NBA career may be over, was also included in the trade as mostly a financial piece. Big Ben was in the twilight of his (maybe) Hall of Fame career as one of the best defensive players in league history.

Ben finished 8th in franchise playoff history with 18 blocks and 9th with 50 offensive rebounds. In a season and a half for the Cavs, Wallace played in 78 games and grabbed 526 boards and blocked 110 shots. Big Ben, a team captain, brought a defensive mindset to the Cavs and grabbed some big rebounds in his tenure he. If his NBA career is indeed over, he will have played in 903 games and finished in the Top 100 in some significant All-Time NBA categories including offensive rebounds (2,989 for 22nd), defensive rebounds (6,277 for 24th), total rebounds (9,266 for 41st), steals (1,182 for 73rd) and blocks (1,947 for 17th).

Thanks for everything, Big Ben!

The Indians recently picked reliever Jose Veras off waivers from the Yankees and sent Jensen Lewis down to the minors, a move I have been clamoring for for quite a while. Hopefully he will figure things out down there.

But in the biggest move, they traded Mark DeRosa to St. Louis for reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named later. It was well-known the Tribe were shopping DeRosa, who brings value to a team needing any kind of infielder with a strong bat, and he knows the NL Central well, while playing with the Cubs. Perez is a flame-throwing 23-year old who hopefully will develop into a solid pen arm for a while for the Tribe.

Two teams going in two different directions. The Cavaliers are gearing up for a title run and the Indians... well, they are sellers. Again.

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