The Cleveland Cavaliers off-season won’t start for a little while but that doesn’t stop us from looking forward to what could happen. We will look at every team in the NBA, starting from the worst record to the best, and one player from each team that the Cavs could trade for. The player would have to be somewhat available, Kevin Durant is getting traded, a trade that would be approved by the NBA will be presented and the player would have to fit with the Cavaliers. This morning we are to the Utah Jazz. You can click on the team and player below to check out our previous posts.
Player - Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter just finished his 3rd year with the Utah Jazz. He was in the same draft class as Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, and many hoped he would be available at #4 when the Cavs pick but the Jazz took him #3. Kanter is a solidly built center who is eligible to be a restricted free agent at the end of next year. This season was his breakout year, starting 37 games, hitting on almost 50% of his shots, while averaging 12 points and 7.5 rebounds. Kanter isn’t a rim protector but can provide solid interior defense.
Fit With Cavaliers
The Cavs are in a need of a long term center to allow them to play inside out. Kanter has the footwork and offensive skill set that could continue to develop with experience. As such a young player he is barely scratching the surface of his upside. He can set solid screens, roll to the basket and is developing his 15 foot shot. Kanter would be a solid pairing with the more defensive minded Thompson. He doesn’t have the range or passing of Spencer Hawes but is a far better and more nimble defender, which isn’t saying much. The bigger issue for the Cavs is having Kanter, Thompson and Irving all set for restricted free agency in the same year. Are they, along with Dion Waiters, a core that could contend for a title?
Why the Jazz Could Trade Him
The Jazz are still in rebuilding mode. They have locked up Derrick Favors who can play either the 4 or 5 spots, he still seems to be growing and may be their center of the future. Favors is a dominate player and the Jazz also got Rudy Gobert last year from the draft. Kanter may just be numbered out of the equation. If the Jazz get a high pick they could select Joel Embiid which would further limit Kanter’s future with the team. The Jazz have a big decision with Gordon Hayward as well, and could look to sign and trade him if he gets offered a huge contract (another Cavs target). With Trey Burke, Alec Burks and Favors the Jazz have a young core that could be hard to deal with in 2 years. Adding assets to that could strengthen the long term growth.
The Jazz will want real talent in return for Kanter. They also may want to hedge their bets with Gordon Hayward’s pending restricted free agency.
The Cavs trade Tyler Zeller and #9 pick for Kanter.
The Jazz get a backup offensive minded big man in Zeller as well as a pick that could help them deal with the possible loss of Hayward. The Cavs get a strong big man for a year before having to make a decision on his future. The Cavs then start offensive players with Irving, Waiters and Kanter along with Thompson and whoever is brought in for the small forward spot.
What do you think about Kanter? Do you think he is worth that much? Do you think the Jazz will look to move him?
Up Next: Boston Celtics