Jan 14, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Wesley Johnson (11) and center Pau Gasol (16) defend Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters (3) in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Cleveland Cavaliers won 120-118. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Should/Could the Cavs Trade Dion Waiters for Lakers Top 3 Pick?


The NBA Playoffs are underway. A playoffs that the Cavs, and their fans, hoped to be a part of. Instead they are all home now. Dan Gilbert is trying to figure out a direction for the team’s future. The fans are dreaming of a big off-season. The players are wondering if they could be moved in trades.

The Los Angles Lakers are not used to being home for the playoffs, which had led to them talking a little bit. Jim Buss told the LA Times that if the team wasn’t successful in 3 to 4 years that he would step out of his position as head of basketball operations:

“I was laying myself on the line by saying, if this doesn’t work in three to four years, if we’re not back on the top — and the definition of top means contending for the Western Conference, contending for a championship — then I will step down because that means I have failed,” he told The Times about the meeting. “I don’t know if you can fire yourself if you own the team … but what I would say is I’d walk away and you guys figure out who’s going to run basketball operations because I obviously couldn’t do the job.

With Kobe Bryant looking at his last few years in the league that could mean the Lakers will be aggressive in trying to upgrade their roster quickly. The Cavaliers have two players that could immediately change the direction of the Lakers. Today we start with Dion Waiters, tomorrow we will look at Kyrie Irving. Should/Could the Cavs trade Dion Waiters to the Lakers for the Top 3 pick that they could get in this year’s up coming draft (Currently 6th best odds for #1)?

For the Lakers

For the Lakers they add a combo guard with the same aggressive nature as Kobe Bryant. Waiters can facilitate the offense, taking the burden off Bryant while also playing off the ball with his improving shooting. With Bryant and an aging roster Waiters gives new energy and athleticism that isn’t currently on the roster. Waiters would then become the heir apparent to Bryant and bring a similar style to the court to build around. They also have money to bring in a top flight free agent as well.

The Lakers would have to give up a high pick in what is considered a great draft to do so. Trading a Top 3 pick for a player who hasn’t yet established himself as an All Star is risky business. That top pick could bring the Lakers a small forward or center to build their next dynasty around. The Lakers could try to get an extra asset from the Cavaliers with Waiters, a young player like Tyler Zeller, to give them more depth that they need but the Cavs would most likely balk at more.

For the Cavaliers

The chance to add a once in a life time 3 man, Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, or a two way center in Joel Embiid could be too much to pass up for the Cavs. Instead of worrying about Irving and Waiters playing together in the backcourt they establish the hierarchy with this trade. Parker, Wiggins or Embiid become the second fiddle to Irving and instead of being forced to be the star right away get to develop slower. The Cavs have Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev who can step in at the 2 spot to take Waiters place.

The Cavs would resist this trade as they see the possible star in Waiters that could be transcendent. Instead of being scared off by 2 high level guards the Cavs decide to build from it. Without Waiters the Cavs lose their lone wing threat. Adding more youth to a team that is young already also goes against the playoff desires of everyone in the organization. Instead of trading for a high level pick the Cavs could actually move their pick for a veteran player. Irving hasn’t proven he is able to carry a team so trading away their other high ceiling guy for a college 1 and done, unknown doesn’t make sense.

What would you do? How high do you think of Waiters? How high are you on the Top 3 guys in the draft?

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters

  • tidho

    Don’t see why the Lakers wouldn’t be just as interested in one of the “once in a lifetime 3 man” or “two way center” availabe as the Cavaliers are.
    I like Dion, but he’s not worth a top 3 pick in this draft.
    As an aside, neither Dion nor Kyrie needs to be traded, they’re 22.

    • Jared Mueller

      The only reason the Lakers would be is the timetable of Kobe. Instead of letting one of the top 3 guys develop in a couple years they get Dion ready to explode in his 3rd.

      I agree that neither needs to be moved but think it creates an interesting conversation: What would the Cavs trade either Dion or Kyrie for?

  • Letterman007

    It’s an interesting thought, and what if the Cav’s could get a center, a real actual center, with this pick, A rim protector for once. Then get a replacement for Waiters with your other first round pick, like Nick Stauskus from Michigan!! Then sign a forward like Ariza and maybe pick up Evan Turner! This is sounding interesting and better as I think about it !!!

    • Jarod Cook

      I see no reason why the Cavs should trade Waiters or Irving, unless they can get a guaranteed top 3 pick. Even then both of them are only 22 years old, and are entering into their 3rd and 4th years of the the NBA. Both show flashes of greatness, and now have the experience to step into stardom. If they could just put their petty on and off the court differences aside, and learn to work together they’d be one of the NBA’s top guard tandem’s. I think that issue could be solved if the Cavs would fire Mike Brown, and get a coach who actual knows how to develop players and demands respect from them.

      On the flip side of the issue lets say they do trade, and end up with a top 3 pick, and they draft either Wiggins, Parker, or Embiid. They’ll have to go threw the same growing pains that Irving and Waiter went threw. And who’s to say that they’ll be any better or worst then who they gave up to get them?

      • Jared Mueller

        Which is what makes it an interesting conversation. Can they get over their petty differences or should the Cavs move on with one of those guys and deal with the growing pains?

        • Jarod Cook

          I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it, hiring Mike Brown back was a terrible move and needs to be fixed this off season. He doesn’t know how to develop players, and doesn’t command respect. Look at Tom Thibodeau he has less to work with on his team and the Bulls still made the playoffs. And he wouldn’t let Kyrie and Dion’s petty differences disrupt the team like Brown does. What the Cav’s really need is a new coach not trading away more assets. They’ve got the talent and players just need some direction and discipline.

          • Letterman007

            Yes, I happen to agree with you about Brown. However I’m guessing since he hasn’t been canned yet , that one of two things is happening. 1) they want to settle the GM thing first and with what I’ve heard from his presses today, Griffin wants to stay here and is waiting final word from Gilbert. 2) Gilbert , for some unknown reason still likes Brown and he will stay. Which is what I’m getting a sense of is happening.
            Also you must try to get an idea of what other teams think of the players we have. Some teams think that Cleveland has too large of a value on some of its players, that we think more highly of their value than they do. Which could also leave us with trade problems! But it’s nice to sit and hope and think what could happen if only??

          • Jarod Cook

            Of there trade-able assets at the moment here’s my overview. Kyrie was a #1 overall pick, and is an all star so he could demand value. Waiters was taking #4 overall, and has shown flash of greatness. But his ego continues to get in the way of him truly developing into an all star. Thompson was also a #4 overall pick, but he’s nothing more then a spot starter and bench player right now. He’ll give you good quality minutes, but don’t expect him to do to much. Zeller was a 1st round pick who just finished his 2nd season and showed development, but will never be anything better then a career backup. Then there’s Varejoe who is getting older and slowing down. Not to mention he’s always a injury risk, so don’t know what kind of value they could get for him. And lastly there’s Bennett and I don’t even know where to begin on this tragedy. Hopefully he takes the off season to fix himself, can’t see a team giving any real assets for him at the moment.

            Of course they overvalue most of them, when you consider where they where drafted. But is it worth it to trade 2 players or a 1 player and a pick, to have a better chance at a higher draft pick? With the luck they’ve had in the lottery the last few years, minds well just take the chance there, and hope it works out again. Just don’t take a project with one of the top picks.

            Griffin seems to be staying, and hopefully he notices the issue isn’t with the players it’s with the head coach. Gilbert proved with the fire sell of the head office he isn’t afraid of change and was tired of people not getting things done. Brown most have some kind of dirty secret about Gilbert he’s holding over his head. Cause I for the life of me can’t figure out why he’s still around. When your supposed to be a defensive minded coach, and players look like they don’t know how to play defense there’s clearly an issue.

          • Letterman007

            The only tradable commodities they have are Irving and Waiters, because of the lousy draft work of the previous GM!! You could couple a few players together like Jack and TT, but I doubt they would get much in return.
            To try and trade for someone like Love or someone they covet, it would take a lot of assets and weaken the team they have now or the draft picks they have compiled to put them in a decent situation! But going with all this youth is part of the problem they have now!! A rock and a hard place!!
            Something big is on the horizon, I just think Gilbert is going to make a move. I just hope it’s a sensible one! Just a guess?

          • Ted

            You guys watching Jonas Valanciunas tear it up in the playoffs. Hes gonna be a beast for years to come. Another mistake by Gilbert.

          • Letterman007

            More like one made by Grant!! To his defense, their have been a lot of one or two and outs. So they need a lot of developing and you hope their ceiling is high and they can learn the speed and systems in the NBA! But Valanciunas would sure have looked good in the Wine And Gold?!