No More Excuses, Danny Ferry Must Earn His Paycheck This Summer

Greg CookseyCorrespondent IJune 2, 2009

CLEVELAND - JUNE 02:  General Manager Danny Ferry of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after the Cavs won 98-82 to win the Detroit Pistons in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2007 NBA Playoffs on June 2, 2007 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Well, everyone in Cleveland  feared the the plug would be prematurely pulled on the Cavaliers' '08-'09 dream season. Saturday night that was exactly what happened.

So now after being broken, battered, out hustled, out coached, and out classed by the Magic the Cavaliers return home for the off season. However, for Danny Ferry and the rest of the Cavaliers front office their just may be no such thing.

This is going to be a very restless, painful summer for Ferry and the rest of the Cavs front office. Not only are they going to once again have to watch the NBA Finals start on  Thursday with out them. They also have to get ready for the most important off season in franchise history.

In a perfect world, things would have gone as expected, the Cavs would have won the championship, and LeBron just might have signed that contract extension the Cavs are expected to offer him on July 18 of this year ending any future speculation about his future in Cleveland. 

All of that seem to be out the window now. It is time to get to work and figure out just what went wrong, how to fix it, and now!

LeBron may reiterated his feelings that he loves playing in Cleveland when he finally did speak to the media one day after the debacle. However, if this happens next season will he be so generous. Most likely not. He could have, and more then likely should have been a little meaner about the situation.

This team is going to have to be mixed again. I full-heatedly agree with Charles Barkley that this team is old. Zydrunas Illgaluskas who is 34 told the media yesterday that he did not know how many next years he has in him and that he realize how elusive winning a championship is.

Ben Wallace talked about retiring after the game. Anderson Verajo may say that he wants to be back, however he will not be if he continues to ask for a $10 million contract that he is not worth.

When of the things that really bothers me about Danny Ferry is that he comes from a organization that has built championships while he was there in the San Antonio Spurs. He knows what it takes to win a championship and he has seen the way a champion is built first hand.

So where are the results of that?

I agree that this team is much better then it was say six years ago at this time when LeBron first came here. I believe that this team is better then the one that was swept by the Spurs two years ago, although some of you will disagree with me.

Now it is time to be the best because you will have to be, if you expect to win a championship. There is no more laying off or hesitation to bring in free agents to add depth to this team (I have some ideas in a later article I plan to write). There may not be much in this free agent class, but there are some players worth going after.

No more being afraid to pull the trigger on trade that could bring a player to help LeBron in either. Will you have to mortgage your future to make a trade of that kind? Maybe, however the reality is your future is now and that means you pull out all the stops to make your star player happy.

To Ferry's credit he has shown the ability to be creative and aggressive in trying to find that player that can be LeBron's Robin so to say. There is a limit to how much credit that he deserves though, because Antwan Jamison, Shaquille O'Niel, Richard Jefferson, Tyson Chandler, and even Amare Stoudemire (even though he ended up with a serious injury).

Who did he end up with. None of them. He came close to landing Shaq, however, the prospect of losing Wally Szczerbiak was a very uneasy thought for Ferry because he did not want to risk disrupting the team's chemistry.

Sure, Szczerbiak may have been important to the postseason, but was Ferry's worry about breaking up the team's chemistry really worth passing up a player that had he brought in may had the Cavs in the NBA Finals instead of being at home. Given it would have been hard to see it then, but sometimes you have to take a deeper look into the future then that.

Yesterday at his year end wrap up press conference with Mike Brown, Ferry told the press that the evaluation and planing on how to improve this team begins now. Glad to hear that, I hope that means an aggressive attitude because he cannot afford not to have one this time.

There is a lot of work to be done and not much time to do it in. The keys to the future success of this basketball team not just next year, but in the years to come are in the hands of Danny Ferry. I will revise something I said last week about it meaning instant death for the NBA in Cleveland if LeBron leaves.

If that happens, the NBA may exists for a few years here; however, now you have to work even harder to find that right for LeBron should that happen because fans will not accept going back to being one of the worse franchises in the NBA.

Not only that, but you may have to fire both Ferry and Brown, and the Cavaliers  might even and up with another cities name such as Nashville or Los Vegas in front of it.

That would be a very far fetched and unlikely scenario, however it is not out the realm of possibility if Ferry does not get the job done properly. There is no longer a room for or margin for error with this organization. To much of th future depends on what Ferry does now.

The clock may night have struck midnight just yet but the hands are moving past 11:30. Ferry must act with desperation because when the clock does strike midnight there will be plenty of consequences for failure.


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