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?