One rumor I’ve heard lately is that the Warriors have talked with Cleveland about acquiring Zydrunas Ilgauskas from the Cavaliers.
(UPDATE: Shoulda been more clear. Warriors, in looking to accomodate Jackson’s desire to leave, talked with Cleveland about trading Jackson for Ilgauskas.) This seems like a move the Warriors would love to make, which leads me to believe Cleveland either isn’t that interested in Jackson (they did sign Anthony Parker and they have Delonte West at shooting guard already) or they want more in exchange for Ilgauskas’ $11.5 million expiring contract.
As Jackson has already said, he would love to go to Cleveland. And a starting perimeter of Mo Williams, Stephen Jackson and LeBron James sounds pretty formidable, especially with the likes of Parker, West and Bobbie Gibson coming off the bench.
The Warriors couldn’t ask for a better return for moving their disgruntled star. Sure, they’d pay more this year. But they’d get Jax’s money off the books and go into the trade deadline with $22.8 million in expiring contracts (Z, Speedy, Acie Law, Devean George, Mikki Moore, C.J. Watson) or have that much come off the cap next offseason.
Of course, the Warriors might have to give up one of their expiring contracts to sweeten the deal for Cleveland, plus probably take another salary off Cleveland’s hands (Delonte West? Daniel Gibson? Anderson Varejao?). The Cavs need to bring in some serious help to keep LeBron, especially if they don’t win a title. Certainly, adding Jax’s extension to their payroll wouldn’t help them land Chris Bosh to pair with LeBron.
If this is on the table (no comment from GM Larry Riley, as is team policy), should the Warriors do it? Or is a possibly retiring center, and maybe a trade exception, not enough in exchange for Jax? What else would you be willing to give up to make the trade happen?