Cleveland Cavaliers: Is Now the Time for Cavs to Part Ways with G Daniel Gibson?

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterSeptember 30, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 19:  Daniel Gibson #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on March 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
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The second-longest-tenured Cavalier, Daniel Gibson, has become a fan favorite over the years with his ability to hit the three ball and overall scrappiness on the court.

Unfortunately, his time on the court has been few and far between the past few seasons, as Gibson has missed 72 games the past three years with various injuries.

Originally a second-round pick out of Texas by the Cavs in 2006, "Booby" has now spent the past six seasons in Cleveland.

His best performance was actually good in his rookie year, where he caught fire in the 2007 playoffs against the Detroit Pistons, scoring 62 points in the series' final three games, including 31 in Game 7 that sent the Cavs to the NBA Finals.

Largely hampered by injuries and big expectations that arose from that series, Booby has been a solid player when healthy but not a star that perhaps some thought he would be.

Last season was especially frustrating, as Gibson averaged 7.5 points on a career low 35.1 percent shooting from the field all while missing 31 games with injuries.

Many in Cleveland are frustrated with Gibson, and rightly so, but does it mean the end of the Booby era with the Cavs?

I say not so fast.

First off, Gibson isn't hurting the Cavs at all financially.

Entering the last year of his contract, Gibson is scheduled to make $4.7 million, with only $2.3 million guaranteed.

No matter what his play looks like this season, Gibson's expiring contract could be used as a valuable trade piece around the trade deadline. The Cavs are still well under the cap, so even if they choose not to trade Gibson his contract doesn't hurt them. At worst, they let the near $5 million come off their books and use the cap space for next summer's free agency.

Another reason to hang on to Gibson is the Cavs' lack of talent at the shooting guard position.

No. 4 overall pick Dion Waiters will get the bulk of the minutes no matter what his role is, but after him Gibson is the only natural shooting guard, with C.J. Miles and Alonzo Gee better suited at small forward.

When healthy, Gibson is one of the elite three-point shooters in the entire NBA. His career 41.6 percent mark from deep is sixth best among all active NBA players and 12th best in league history.

The Cavs were 13th in three-point percentage last season and 25th in the NBA in points per game.  Gibson can be a huge help to both categories in 2012-2013.

His skills go beyond the offensive side of the ball, however, as Booby has been labeled the Cavs' best perimeter defender by head coach Byron Scott. With Kyrie Irving struggling on the defensive end last season and Dion Waiters coming from a zone system at Syracuse, the Cavs need a reliable defender on the wing.

Best-case scenario?

Gibson, still only 26, has a career year and helps form a three-headed monster with Irving and Waiters in the Cleveland backcourt.

Worst-case scenario?

Booby spends most of the season on the trainers' table and the Cavs use his contract as a trade piece or use the cap space created by it in the offseason.

Either way, Cleveland can take away something positive from keeping Gibson on the team.

Booby's time with the Cavs may be coming to an end, but it would be foolish to let him go now.