This whole Zydrunas Ilgauskas situation, now that it has officially come to pass, make me want to shower. It’s slimy. Just one day after he became eligible to rejoin the Cavs he has a new deal in place for the rest of the year. He joins Antawn Jamison – the guy that he was traded for. The only real cost to the Cavs in this whole deal was that they had to live without Ilgauskas for 30 days, but that’s hardly a big deal for the team because they were already extremely secure in a playoff spot. They could have used a backup center as it turned out, but they still went 16-4 without him, and now they have a rested veteran to join them for the playoffs, and they get him at a very low cost. This absolutely should not be allowed in the NBA. It’s a total joke.
I’ve read a couple of articles today about the future of Alex Smith in San Francisco. Deposed former GM Scot McCloughan was Smith’s biggest supporter on the team, so there are suggestions out there that the team will look to replace Smith – perhaps by trading for Donovan McNabb. I like the Niners in general, and am very optimistic about their playoff chances in the NFC West this year. Because of that I see the temptation for people to look to bring in McNabb. I just think that it would be a terrible idea. He has the same offensive coordinator and QB coach this year as last year – a luxury in his time with the Niners. He showed real progress last year when he started – he was 5-3 in his last eight games, and had a respectable if not perfect 3/2 TD/int ratio. He showed good chemistry with both Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, and the latter will just get better with an offseason to work together. The long term perception of Smith may not be great, but if you look at the latest version of him then there is no reason to count him out as a starting QB, or as a guy who can lead a playoff team. More significantly, it would only make sense to make a bold move if it were all but sure to improve the team, and I just don’t think that that is the case with McNabb. He’s aging, he isn’t exactly made of steel, he’s used to working in one system under one coach, and he’s more than a little bit of a diva. The Niners have a pretty good thing going on right now, and McNabb could improve that, but the chance is at least as good that he would be a powderkeg that could shake the whole thing up. Smith is worth believing in in this case.