Cleveland GM Danny Ferry finally pulled off a deal to try to appease star Lebron James before the 3 PM deadline, brokering a 3-way deal with Central Division foe Chicago and the Seattle SuperSonics.
Cleveland gets: Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Joe Smith, and Delonte West
Chicago gets: Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons, and Shannon Brown
Seattle gets: Donyell Marshall, Ira Newble, and Adrian Griffin
This surprise has come as a shock to many people. Everyone knew Ferry was looking to deal and try to light a fire under an underachieving Cavs team, but it seems that this was the best deal available. Still, I really do not like the deal for any of the teams. But this deal hinges upon many things. Can Ben Wallace find the motivation to be a standout defender again? Can the new pieces in Cleveland and Chicago gain chemistry to make a playoff push?
The fantasy impact seems mostly beneficial for a lot of the players involved. My guess is that Wallace will gain the passion he played with in Detroit now that he is with Lebron James, and will become a rebounding a blocks machine while getting easy baskets due to King James. I think that Szczerbiak is the main winner in the deal. He will get the majority of the open 3-point looks that Lebron causes, especially since Daniel Gibson has had a few injury problems. Pick him up off waivers in your league if he is available! Joe Smith and Drew Gooden should see similar roles and minutes seeing how they really just switched roles. A lot of the Cleveland players may see a bump in fantasy stats, but they lose some perimeter defense in Hughes and Newble and it may actually make them a worse defensive team.
The Bulls had to take in a contract after shipping off the mistake known as Ben Wallace. It turns out to be chronic overachiever Larry Hughes, who will probably see less fantasy value because he becomes congested in the backcourt filled with Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, and Thabo Sefolosha. Each of these players may lose some value due to shared roles. The rest of the players in the deal, except possibly Drew Gooden, who can hopefully become the post presence the Bulls have never had, really have no fantasy value. On Seattle’s end, it really is another white flag, with the shipping off of a few more veterans.
Thus, this might be a big splash that does not really have much real impact, fantasy and actual, for any of the teams involved. It might be the case where the grass looks greener on the other side.