Cavs ink Moon to offer sheet

Updated: July 20, 2009, 1:07 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The Cleveland Cavaliers have continued their offseason remodeling by signing restricted free agent Jamario Moon to an offer sheet.

Full details of the offer sheet are unlikely to be known until Monday, when the contract is submitted to the league office. But sources said that the deal signed Friday -- which Heat officials confirmed after an ESPN.com report earlier Sunday -- spans two guaranteed years.

The Miami Heat will have seven days to match the offer once it's formally processed, but Cleveland would appear to have a good chance of landing Moon given Miami's well-chronicled desire to avoid new contracts longer than one year to protect its 2010 salary-cap space.

There are exceptions to that policy, as evidenced by Miami's well-chronicled attempts to sign Lamar Odom away from the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat, though, have multiple players at Moon's position -- Daequan Cook, James Jones and Yakhouba Diawara -- even if they don't land Odom, raising doubts about their ability to keep him.

After trading for Shaquille O'Neal and signing Anthony Parker to take their payroll beyond the $80 million mark, Cleveland has spent the past week looking for free-agent bargains as it tries to add depth at the wing positions and find a power forward that can stretch the floor with his jumper. The Cavs had been linked in recent days to forwards such as Rob Kurz and Sean May before signing Moon.

It's believed that the Cavs were hooked on Moon's ability to guard mobile forwards after their struggles to contain Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis in the Eastern Conference finals against Orlando.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Cavs have about $3.2 million left of their $5.9 million mid-level exception that they can use in whole or part to sign Moon.

Moon, 29, is a 6-foot-8 late bloomer with career averages of 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds since breaking into the NBA with the Toronto Raptors in 2007-08. Miami acquired him in February in the Shawn Marion-Jermaine O'Neal trade.

According to the Plain Dealer, Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry typically avoids players who are restricted free agents, as evidenced by the fact that this is the first such offer sheet he has extended in his four years running Cleveland's front office.

The Cavs, however, are clearly hoping that Miami's focus on Odom and the potential trade pursuit of Carlos Boozer will enhance their chances of landing Moon, while an offer sheet also prevents Miami from including Moon in sign-and-trade proposals for the next week.

Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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