Marcus Camby, Los Angeles Clippers
2008-09: 11.7 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 2.5 BPG
Upside: Camby will turn 35 in March, but he's still one of the premier defensive big men in the game. He can score to the tune of double figures per game, but it's his defense, rebounding and shot blocking that set his game apart.
If the Cavs had Camby patrolling the paint, it would allow Ben Wallace, Anderson Varejao and even Zydrunas Ilgauskas to roam away from the basket and pressure players on the wings. That could come in handy if the Cavs draw the Magic in the playoffs. The Cavs will need tall defenders who can bother Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis, Orlando's 6'-10" perimeter bombers.
Downside: Camby has been an injury case for much of his career. Though he has remained healthy in recent years, a 35 year old with an injury history always gives reason to pause. Camby recently returned to the Clippers' lineup after missing several games with an ankle injury.
Camby, with a $10 million salary this year, is another player who would pose numbers problems in a trade involving Szczerbiak.
Having said all of that, Camby could be a prime target for Ferry.
Camby to the Cavs: 20 percent
Vince Carter, New Jersey Nets
2008-09: 21.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.6 APG
Upside: Carter is a scoring machine. He's 32, but can still drive and shoot at an elite level. In the Cavs lineup, it would be virtually impossible for opposing teams to stop Carter, LeBron and Williams simultaneously.
Carter isn't a terribly physical player, but he has the size to grab rebounds, as his career 5.5 rebounds per game average would indicate. He has the black mark on his resume of having admittedly sandbagged as a member of the Raptors, but he has historically been a solid team player. This year, he willingly took a supporting cast role as the Nets began to construct their team around Devin Harris.
Downside: Acquiring Carter could easily turn into a case of too many chefs in the kitchen for the Cavs. Averaging nearly 17 shots per game this year, and just over 19 per game for his career, Carter would fight for touches on a Cavs team that already has two dominant scorers and a sharpshooting big man. For Carter to get his shots, every other Cav besides LeBron would have to sacrifice, which generally isn't a recipe for maintaining good team chemistry.
Szczerbiak for Carter straight up works financially, and the two teams reportedly discussed that very trade last summer. But be careful what you wish for.
Carter to the Cavs: 15 percent
Brad Miller, Sacramento Kings
2008-09: 11.9 PPG, 8 RPG
Upside: Nearly two full months without an effective Zydrunas Ilgauskas showed us exactly how much the Cavs miss him when he's not out there. No other player on the roster matches Z's skill set or size. Miller, a seven-footer who excells at passing and shooting, would replicate Z's skill set closely enough to act as an insurance policy against injuries, and with a roster at full strength, would allow Mike Brown to have a shooting big man on the floor at all times.
Downside: Miller doesn't bring a ton in the way of defense, and he has virtually no low-post game. At age 32, he's starting to become increasingly injury-prone, which could lead to a nosedive in his production. In the end, there are probably better places to spend Szczerbiak's contract.
Miller to the Cavs: 5 percent
Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns
2008-09: 21.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG
Upside: Stoudemire is a flat-out lethal scorer with an array of moves to free himself for shots. As a big man, he doesn't really have a traditional low-post game, but when you can fill the bucket the way Stoudemire does, who cares? If an opposing defense has to decide whether to guard LeBron or Stoudemire, someone is getting dunked on, early and often.
Downside: If Ferry and Brown are the staunch disciples of Gregg Popovich defensive basketball that we think they are, Stoudemire could be a poor match for the Cavs. He has never developed himself as a defender, and when he tries to dig in his heels, he usually ends up committing fouls. Some of that might be due to spending a good portion of his young career playing for offensive guru Mike D'Antoni. Brown could reform Stoudemire into a good defender, but it might take some time.
A more pressing issue is the fact that Stoudemire wants to be the focus of the offense in Phoenix. That sentiment probably won't disappear if he gets traded, even to LeBron's team. As with Vince Carter, Stoudemire's touches are going to have to come at the expense of other players, which could create tension. Stoudemire is a top-1o player in the NBA, but he really can't influence a game without the ball in his hands.
But this might all be a moot point. There have been media rumblings that the Suns might be on the verge of blowing up their roster and rebuilding, but it seems far-fetched to think they'd part with Stoudemire on such short notice, unless GM Steve Kerr was bowled over by a trade proposal.
Stoudemire to the Cavs: 2 percent
Elton Brand, Philadelphia 76ers
2008-09: 14.3 PPG, 9 RPG
Upside: You want low-post scoring? Brand can give you low-post scoring. Possessing solid footwork and a deft shooting touch that includes a mid-range jumper, Brand is a member of a dying breed: a basketball player who makes his living by boxing out and scoring off the block. Basketball, particularly NBA basketball, has become a wing player's game, so a big man with Brand's skill set can pose all kinds of matchup problems for defenses.
Brand hasn't really fit in with the Sixers, largely because they have a team full of floor-runners who want to push the ball. Brand excels at half-court basketball, and the Sixers don't play at the slow, methodical place needed to truly take advantage of Brand's skill set. What it means for the Cavs is that Brand could be available for the right price.
Downside: He's coming off a severe ankle injury that ruined his final season with the Clippers, and might affect his lateral mobility for the rest of his career, something to consider when saddling yourself with the bulk of a five year, $80 million contract that Brand signed with the Sixers last summer. That's a lot of money and years to pay for a guy who looks to be on the back nine of his career at age 29.
Of course, if all he needs is a change of scenery, whoever is able to pry him loose from the Sixer might look like a genius.
Brand to the Cavs: 5 percent
Joe Smith, Oklahoma City Thunder
2008-09: 6.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG
Upside: Smith is already familiar with the Cavs system, having played three months here last season. If the Cavs are looking for some bench depth, as opposed to a making a major splash, Smith would fit well. He can't absorb major minutes, but he makes the most of the minutes he gets.
Downside: The Cavs can't trade for him, since they dealt him after last July 1. The Thunder would have to buy Smith's contract out and make him a free agent. It seems simple enough, but once Smith is on the market, any team can sign him. You had better believe the Celtics and Magic would make strong plays for Smith. Now that Andrew Bynum is out for up to three months, the Lakers might get in on the action as well.
Having said all of that, this might be the most realistic and appealing option for Ferry, who still has all of his midlevel exception money to play with.
Smith to the Cavs: 25 percent