NBA Roundtable

Anthony Parker Heading To Cleveland

In Free Agency on July 11, 2009 at 1:44 pm
Anthony Parker

Anthony Parker

Cavs Plain Dealer reports

Free agent guard Anthony Parker is expected to arrive on Sunday and sign a two-year deal for about $6 million as early as Monday, according to his agent, Henry Thomas

Thomas said Parker, 34, who played with Toronto the past three seasons after starring in Europe, was looking forward to playing with a championship contender in whatever role the team assigns him.

After signing Parker, the Cavs will have about $3 million left of their mid-level exception and another $2 million left in their biennial exception. The two cannot be combined.

I don’t like this signing. Not because of talent, the money is fair enough for the talent, but because the Cavs should not be adding salary that stretch beyond one season.

Cavs 2010 Salaries

  • LeBron James – 30% of the cap, with a minimum of 105% of his previous year’s pay ($15.78) which would be $16.57 million.
  • Mo Williams – $9.3 million
  • Anderson Varejao ~ $7.2 million
  • Daniel Gibson – $4.015 million
  • Anthony Parker ~ $3 million
  • JJ Hickson – $1.53 million

Also,

  • Delonte West – only $500k of his $4.5 million is guaranteed
  • Darnell Jackson – Non-guaranteed $855k
  • Plus their first round picks from the 2009 Draft and 2010 Draft. It’s unknown whether either will be with the Cavs in 2010/11.#

So assuming the Cavs waive Delonte and Hickson, and do not bring over either first round draft pick, the Cavs have a minimum of $26.4 million tied up in contracts … plus LeBron’s max contract which will be worth 30% of the cap.

Let’s quickly look at three figures

[1] The league’s memo talked about a massive decrease in the cap, with the cap falling to $50-53 million. Under a $53 million cap, the Cavs have a minimum of $42.97 million locked up, leaving $10 million for free agent spending.

[2] Let’s say the cap decreases a more modest amount and ends up at $56 million. The Cavs would have $43.2 million locked in, leaving $12.8 million to spend on free agents.

[3] Or by what would appear to be a miracle at this point, the cap increases to $60 million. The Cavs would have $44.4 million tied up already, leaving $15.6 million to spend on a free agent (not enough for a max contract for a Bosh or Amare).

Back To Parker

The Cavs shouldn’t have signed Parker to a two year contract. It’s an unnecessary complication.

The Cavs already faced the prospect of having to move Daniel Gibson is a salary dump – likely having to give up an asset in the process – first round pick? – in order to ensure enough cap space for another max contract … and now they’re going to muddy the picture even further by adding another $3 million onto their payroll? Bad decision.

Danny Ferry

Danny Ferry is boxing his team in. He’s reducing their options.

The 2010 free agent market is Cleveland’s single best opportunity to bring the most talented sidekick for LeBron to Cleveland, and the best opportunity to bring in a relatively young sidekick for LeBron James, someone who is entering the prime of their career and will have 6-8 seasons to play alongside James and go hunting after Championships.

Danny Ferry cannot throw that away over minor improvements.

Vince Carter

If Danny Ferry wasn’t going to protect the Cavs 2010 options, then he should have traded Wally’s expiring contract + JJ Hickson for Vince Carter last season at the trading deadline. The Cavs would won 2-3 championships and had an opportunity to retool around LeBron in 2011.That was a much better opportunity than what Danny Ferry is currently doing.

Anthony Parker and the Cavs in 2009

Okay, enough talk about the cap and how I dislike the second year on that contract.

Scoring Efficiency

Anthony Parker had a fairly poor season last year, mainly because his offensive efficiency dropped in a large way.

  • 2006-07 — true shooting percentage of 59.6%
  • 2007-08 — true shooting percentage of 58%
  • 2008-09 — true shooting percentage of 52.4%

Where did the drop in Parker’s scoring efficiency occur?

  • Field goal percentage — Down from 47.6% to 42.6%. A massive drop.
  • Three point percentage — Down from 44% to 39%. A large decrease too.
  • Three point attempts — Parker took almost one less shot per game from the field, and that shot was one of his three pointers. Parker provides a lot of added value through his three point shooting because he’s so efficient, his overall scoring efficiency takes a drop when he isn’t taking as many threes as usual.

Parker got off to a slow start last season and his shooting did pickup as the season went along, so how did he do after the Raptors trade of Jermaine O’Neal for Shawn Marion?

  • Field goal percentage — 42.2% to 43.3%
  • Three point percentage — 38.6% to 40%

Parker’s field goal percentage has improved after the All-Star break in each of his three seasons in Toronto, by similar amounts. His three point shooting veered in opposite directions in the two previous seasons, improving in his first, and plummeting in his second season.

Why am I talking about this?

Two reasons — (1) The first is that Parker is of little use offensively when his scoring efficiency is so low, and, (2) secondly because I expect him to rebound next year and post better numbers.

  • Delonte West — 54% and 56% true shooting percentage marks in his last two seasons with the Cavs — These are two of the three best marks in his career.
  • Mo Williams — 58.8% true shooting mark — mainly due to an increase in three point attempts and three point accuracy
  • Wally Szczerbiak — 58.1% true shooting mark last season – Wally’s best number since 2006.

The Cavs role players get a lot of open looks from the perimeter thanks to LeBron James brilliance, the amount of defensive attention he draws, and due to the passing abilities that he possesses. The Cavs spacing, passing, and offensive movement as a team has also improved (Kuester given most of the credit) over the last year, which has helped the Cavs shooters even further.

As a result, few teams in the NBA get as many good shots for their shooters as the Cleveland Cavaliers do. Anthony Parker should benefit from this and see a large increase in his shooting next season. I’m doubtful about him reproducing the numbers he held from his first two seasons in Toronto, but I do expect him to post much better numbers than last season.

Defense

Parker’s defense has also dropped significantly over the past two seasons. He’s now a fairly mediocre defender, and his defensive ability is still sliding.

Delonte West played much better defense than Parker did last season. However, West did benefit greatly from having the Cavs team defense around him. So it’ll be interesting to see how much better Parker does when he arrives in Cleveland.

I expect Delonte West to prove the better defender in most situations, but having the bigger Parker around will help with certain matchups.

A Long Defensive Wing

A lot has been made about the Cavs need for a long defender instead of Delonte West but I think most of that is an over-reaction from Mike Brown’s defensive plan in the Conference Finals.

Very few two guards took advantage of West last year. For example, Rip Hamilton didn’t, and neither did Ray Allen. When the team has faced a two guard who is going off, the Cavs have always had the option of sticking LeBron James on him, and keeping a lid on that player.

If Mike Brown had of just kept the normal matchups, and used LeBron against Hedo and left West + Mo to defend Lee + Rafer, would all of this fuss be made about a long defensive wing? I don’t think so.

Final Words

I don’t like the signing because it’s a two year deal.

If it were a one year deal, I’d be very happy with the acquisition for the Cavs … because while I’m not sure whether Anthony Parker is an upgrade over Delonte West or not … Parker most definitely is someone who can help, and the per annum pay is fine.

I would have been happier if the Cavs gave Parker the full MLE ($5.85 million) for one year, than this two year $6 million contract.

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