Who misses the cut
There’s a number of players who are being omitted from the team, either for being too old, not being able to score, or simply filling a position that makes them a redundancy. Then there’s the chemistry issue guys. The trouble makers, if you will. For ease, every other player not listed will fall into the “not good enough” category.
So who’s too old to be valuable? Firstly, Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal garnered a pitty All-Star selection the year prior to his arrival in Cleveland but had mostly been done as a player in the league for several years at this point. An albatross for all the teams that he played for in this period, O’Neal was never “good” at the technical aspects of the sport. He couldn’t dribble, he couldn’t shoot, and he couldn’t pass. He was just a physical force. At this point in his career, he was extremely overweight, had no stamina, and was a liability on both sides of the court. He single handily killed the Phoenix Suns chance at an NBA title.
Joining him are Joe Smith and Anthony Parker. Two other once-talented players who were shells of themselves by the time they rolled into Cleveland. Parker, however, still had his legs under him, making him effective defensively and on hustle plays.
On the redundant or the “sorry, we already have the position filled” list are Jason Kapono, Drew Gooden, and Sasha Pavlovic. Kapono is the one name I thought about seriously replacing on the team, but Kapono was only a good shooter. He wasn’t a good defender, nor was he a very good passer. Wally Szcerbiak, Larry Hughes, and Boobie Gibson can do nearly the same job as Kapono at shooting the ball. They may not be as good as him on a one to one basis, but they all do well enough and provide something else to add to the team that Kapono lacked.
Sasha Pavlovic was a fine bench player for the team, but they had him heavily involved in the rotation during most of his tenure. He was a fine shooter but this team now has much better and more complete guys, making Pavlovic a guy who’s going to hold down the roster.
Kapono wasn’t the only hard name to cut, as Drew Gooden did a lot for this team. Yet, if we’re being honest, Gooden was a less physical, less talented Carlos Boozer. If Boozer never leaves, there’s no space on the team for Gooden.
Do you want head cases? What about guys who are just as likely to drop 30 points, as well as setting the team jet on fire? Well, look no further than Ricky Davis and Delonte West. Davis is most infamous for trying to get a triple-double by taking a shot at his own basket and getting the rebound. Shockingly, it didn’t count. West, on the other hand, has….let’s say a complicated relationship with James.
Just not good enough
This group of names you’ll all know but shouldn’t have ever been brought on board. For Damon Jones, he was given the nickname “Amon Ones”, cus he had no “D” or “J”; aka he couldn’t play defense or shoot. Shannon Brown was young, but you could tell he was going to be a streaky player at best. Ronald “Flip” Murray was one of the worst perimeter shooters this era of teams had. Not a terrible thing if he were an NBA big but he wasn’t; he was a guard.
As for Dajuan Wagner and Jiri Welsch, they were young players who never showed enough to warrant shots on the team. Ironically enough both were taken in the same draft, and in the case of both, were taken ahead of better players. Wagner was picked ahead of Amar’e Stoudamire and Caron Butler. While Welsch was taken before Carlos Boozer and Tayshaun Prince.