As the NBA Draft slowly approaches, and the 2013 NBA Finals tip tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers are deep in their off-season preparation. Stories, rumors and possibilities abound for the Cavs. With the #1 overall pick, as well as 3 other picks in the top 33 and a significant amount of cap space, the team is squarely in the front seat, if not driver’s seat, of this off-season. The Atlanta Hawks are the other team that may drive this off-season as they have the cap space to sign to maximum players, rumored to be interested in both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard as well as armed with 2 back to back picks in the middle of the first round. The Hawks have 2 players that they may choose to build around; restricted free agent PG Jeff Teague and PF/C Al Horford. Both of these players could be affected if the team is able to lure either or both of their desired free agent targets. The Cavaliers will build around Kyrie Irving and unless included in a blockbuster for another “star” player, like Horford, will also build around Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson.
Today we will review trade options that do not include the #1 overall pick.
Trade Anderson Varejao and a future protected pick (Cavs, Kings or Grizzlies) to Oklahoma City for #12 and Jeremy Lamb
For the Cavs: The Cavs get another high pick that they can use to obtain another player in the draft or package with #19 and their 2 second round picks to move up again. If Noel is selected #1 as expected the pick could be used on a SF. Lamb provides the team with a young player who can shoot and spread the floor for pick and roll players Irving and Waiters and is needed with limited shoot from Thompson and Noel at the 4 and 5 positions. Not wanting to trade away a veteran, especially for another rookie and a second year player could keep the Cavs from making this move.
For the Thunder: The Thunder get a big man in the middle that is athletic enough to play in smaller lineups but has history of success playing against some of the few true centers in the league. A interior defense of a healthy Varejao and Serge Ibaka could be a terror on other teams. Gaining a future pick, in possibly a stronger draft is also positive. The inclusion of Lamb would not happen if Kevin Martin is not resigned. The Thunder may want to trade Perry Jones instead. Varejao’s history of health problems is the biggest concern for the Thunder. While Andy has provided stellar defense, and an ever improving offensive game, his inability to stay on the floor due to fluke type injuries has to concern any team looking to acquire him. A different version of this trade may be made during the season after Varejao proves his health.
Trade #31 and #33 and SG CJ Miles to Dallas for #13 and SF Shawn Marion
For the Cavs: The team acquires another high pick in the draft similar to the Thunder trade but is able to hang on to the veteran Varejao. They pick up the salary of Shawn Marion who could provide some minutes at the 3 while also providing leadership to an up and coming team. Marion is not the best fit from an offensive perspective with his limited 3 point ability but would provide defense fitting Mike Brown’s system. The Cavaliers will have options with 13 and 19 still to add shooters to spread the floor. The Cavs also turn 2 young players into 1 young player and a vet to add to an already young roster.
For the Mavericks: The team loses the salary holds for both Marion and the #13 pick and can also cut CJ Miles on his non-guaranteed contract. If they choose to retain Miles he provides more offense then Marion does for the team. While the 2013 draft is not seen as a strong draft up top, with possibly no game changing players, the draft does have significant depth. The Mavs will then have 2 second round picks, who do not have cap holds, that could have similar talent as found in the mid 1st round. The team then will have enough cap space to sign either Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. These two teams made a trade last year so have a recent history of working together. The team may attempt to draft a European player who does not plan to come over this year, but may not be able to find one to agree to stay overseas at this place in the draft. A player that may be willing to not come over this year may be available with the Cavs 2 second round picks.
Trade #19, 31 and 33 to the Indiana Pacers for Danny Granger
For the Cavs: The team acquires a proven SF to put directly into their starting lineup. Granger has the game to compliment Cleveland’s 3 core guys. Almost as important Granger has 1 year left on his contract still allowing the team to be able to renounce his rights and be able to sign a max free agent; a small forward who happens to be the best player in the game could fit. If the team is unable to sign such a player they could still hold Granger’s Bird Rights and resign him making sure the team has an All-Star level player at the 3.
For the Pacers: The team is now Paul George’s who happens to also play small forward. The team also needs to resign David West and as a small market team may not want to pay the luxury tax. By trading Granger they can add some young athletic players to matchup with their conference rivals the Heat, all while not adding a huge amount of salaries. The team may have some worry about trading within their division but the Cavs will not be a contender for the NBA Finals next year like the Pacers, so the risk may be worth it.
With all of the resources the Cavs have they have many options this off-season. The above trades even have the option of at least 2 of them happening. The Cavs could make both the Thunder and the Mavs trade or the Thunder and Pacers trades. The Cavs could have a great deal of ammunition including #12 #13 and #19 as well as many future #1 picks trying to move up for an elite player in this draft as well. While not likely it keeps options open and puts the Cavs in place to revamp this young talented roster. With cap space the Cavs could look to add players to replace Varejao if traded; David West, Carl Landry or even Greg Oden. Options abound between picks 12 and 19 including SF options of Saric, Karasev and if he drops Muhammed. Below are some lineups possible following these trades. The great thing is options abound. Which trade, which lineup do you like best?
|Thunder Trade||Mavericks Trade||Pacers Trade|
|#13 or #19||#13||Noel|
|Speights (PO)||Speights (PO)|
UFA = Unrestricted Free Agent
RFA = Restricted Free Agent
PO = Player Option