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 - Draft Pick
There are a number of lower – mid tier guys on the Lakers, including Chris Kaman, Wesley Johnson and Jodie Meeks that could be of interest to the Cavs but all of them will be free agents when this season ends. That leaves the Cavs to pursue the Lakers first round pick. The Lakers, with Kobe Bryant, are in win now mode and may want to move their draft pick to make that happen. Kobe Bryant isn’t going anywhere and Pau Gasol is also a free agent. The Lakers pick is currently slotted for the #6 pick and the worst they could pick is #9.
Fit With Cavaliers
The Cavs perfect off-season would get them a shooter and a shot blocker. If they keep their pick and add the Lakers pick they could get one of each position in the draft in the Top 10. Rodney Hood and Joel Embiid would be a perfect type of draft for the team. Adding another young player, or two, may not be perfect but the Lakers lack talent that could be acquired via trade.
Why the Lakers Could Trade The Pick
The Lakers, as noted above, are in win now mode and will want to make an impact right away. Risking a pick on a 7 footer, even as talented as Embiid, isn’t a guaranteed success, especially in the short term. Instead the Lakers could look to revamp their team with a couple players and maybe a future pick. The Lakers will be able to auction off the pick so the Cavs will have to compete for his services.
Seems like a lot for the Cavs to give up but we are assuming Embiid as the pick at this point. The Lakers get an offensive player in Zeller and an athletic determined defender in either Thompson or Varejao along with a young developing shooter in Karasev. The Cavs get another top level young player that can impact the team right away. Embiid’s back injury and the history of 7 footers isn’t great but his upside and the need for a rim protector on the trade worth it. The Cavs have either Thompson or Varejao to go along with Embiid and Anthony Bennett on the inside. If they trade Varejao they could re-sign Spencer Hawes as the other center on the roster.
Do you think the Lakers would have interest in a 3 for 1 trade given the lack of depth on the roster? What trade would you make instead for their top pick? Who in the Top 6 would you make this trade for?
Up Next: Sacramento Kings