One player away.
That’s the word on the street in Cleveland these days – that the Cavaliers are one player away from becoming a true contender in the National Basketball Association.
And the feeling is that the missing link is none other than guard Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks. Not only is Cavaliers star LeBron James a big fan of Redd, but Redd also is a home-grown talent. He resides is Columbus, Ohio, in the off-season and attended Ohio State University. Redd is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Redd, though, has been side-stepping questions about his impending free agency, saying his efforts are going toward trying to get the Bucks some victories.
“The Bucks have made it very clear they want me back and I’ve made it very clear that I want to stay. This is the team that has nurtured me and gave me an opportunity. Being in the second round, everybody kind of overlooked me.
“When that time comes, free agency comes, I’ll deal with it. This is my first time dealing with something of this magnitude. . . but right now, I just want to continue to stay focused on basketball and not get tied up in the business side of it until that time comes.”
Much of what the Cavaliers do in the off-season will be predicated on what they decide to do with center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1 unless the Cavaliers sign him to a contract extension by March 1. Point guard Jeff McInnis also would become an unrestricted free agent after this season, but Ilgauskas is the main issue, because if the Cavaliers dole out a mega-contract to Ilgauskas, they may not have enough left off in the coffers to offer a maximum contract to a free-agent shooting guard such as Redd.
Redd (above), scored 32 Friday night in the Bucks’ 92-90 win over the Clippers, and another 26 in last night’s 112-94 loss to the resurgent Wizards.