Earlier this week, following the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, we asked the question if the Cleveland Cavaliers were 1 player away from winning? Yesterday we looked at the vaunted 2014 NBA Draft to see if the team was one drafted player away from winning. Unfortunately it is tough to see one of the young studs in that draft changing the direction of the team. While Joel Embiid has the best chance of being that game changer his inexperience and the problems with the team make that a difficult sell.
Today we look at the possibility that the Cavs are one trade away from winning. Could a big trade bring in the necessary pieces to create an environment and talent combination of a winning franchise? Is there a trade that could bring in both talent and some veteran experience to gel a team that seems to have some talent? Lets take a look at a couple players that could possibly be available (we know players like Kevin Durant could be impactful but are not available) to surrond Kyrie Irving and the remaining team with a winning equation.
We have beat this horse a little bit this year, as have many others in the past. Love was unhappy in Minnesota but the team hope bringing in Flip Saunders would help stem the tide of losing and put the team back on track. They added a couple free agents and remade the roster around Love and Ricky Rubio only to still find themselves on the outside looking in of the tough Western Conference playoff chase. They currently sit 2 games out in the West but would be in 4th place in the East. Love has vocalized his frustrations a couple times this year, if the team falls apart between now and the trading deadline, or at the end of the season, Love could be available at either of those points.
Love would cost the Cavs a great deal of resources, unfortunately those resources do not have the value that they did before the season. Looking at the Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams trades gives some idea of what could be expected in the trade. Those trades included young players, draft picks and financial filler/relief. The Cavs have a bunch of all of these. A trade would start with the 2014 1st rounder from the Cavs, most likely include a future Cavalier first rounder (with the TWolves hoping Love and Irving move on) and one of the Cavs picks acquired from Memphis and Miami. So with at least 3 first rounders the Cavs would add talent and salary that would most likely include Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and either Tyler Zeller or Anthony Bennett.
This would strip the Cavs of most of their interior depth but give them a core of Love, Irving and Luol Deng. If completed during this season the Cavs would run out a starting 5 of Irving, CJ Miles, Deng, Love and Anderson Varejao with a limited bench of either Zeller or Bennett, Jarrett Jack, Matthew Dellavadova, Sergey Karasev and others. If the trade takes place after the season the Cavs would have a decision to make on Varejao’s contract option and Miles and Deng would be free agents.