The Cleveland Cavaliers do not have a head coach and do not know where they will be picking in the 2014 NBA Draft, most likely 9th, but it looks like Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and that draft pick could all be moved. Pro Basketball Draft dropped that information on Twitter:
Cavs will move Tristan Thompson this summer according to a source and could combine him with Anderson Varejao & picks.
— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) May 18, 2014
Thompson has been an interesting and integral piece for the Cavaliers since being drafted. His rookie season he played much of the time as a undersized center before settling in as the Cavs starting power forward his second season. This year he switched his shooting hand, which seemed to help, but struggles with consistency on the offensive side of the floor. He is an adequate defender, with limited shot blocking prowess, who has a high motor going after rebounds.
That is a apt description of Varejao as well who could also be moved. His contract is only partially guaranteed which could be very attractive to a team trying to shed salary. Varejao has been a staple on the Cavs for years and is the last remaining connection to the LeBron James era. Its possible that they would try to hold on to Andy as a courtesy to James as they attempt to recruit him, but a trade for a better player would be a better recruiting tool.
Neither Thompson or Varejao have the kind of shooting or shot blocking that GM David Griffin prefers. Anthony Bennett and Tyler Zeller both have range but lack the brute size to bang down low. Spencer Hawes could be re-signed but his struggles on the defensive end have been long noted. Larry Sanders, Kevin Love and others could be available via the trade market as well.
Trading for Love, or another big name player, could come at the cost of Dion Waiters. Waiters and Kyrie Irving form possibly the best young backcourt in the game, IF they can learn to play together. If Griffin gets the idea that they cannot, Waiters will likely be moved. Thankfully Waiters’ season helped raise his trade value but also the love Cleveland fans have for him.
At this point the Cavs could have 4 new starters when the season opens next year. Luol Deng and Hawes are free agents. Thompson and Waiters could be traded. The youth movement started by Chris Grant could get blown up in one off-season. Maybe that is what is best as it doesn’t seem to be working, or maybe they needed one more year.
What would you think of Thompson being traded? Varejao? Waiters? How much value do you think they all have?