This morning we presented part 1 of this Double Down Trade Scenario.
The Cavs have a great deal of resources including the #1 pick this off-season. The NBA Draft is setup as a Top 3 dominate draft. In the previous deal the Cavs traded down from #1 to #3 with the 76ers. For the purposes of these writeups we will assume that Andrew Wiggins will go #1 to 76ers with the pick acquired from the Cavaliers. The Milwaukee Bucks are then up at #2. We aren’t projecting any trades for the Bucks but will assume that the Bucks will either draft Dante Exum or Joel Embiid. Obviously the Bucks could find Jabari Parker as their pick, but that wouldn’t make things work for us here, so we won’t allow it.
The Cavs will then select Jabari Parker with the #3 pick. That would be their pick even if they don’t trade the pick. Parker would be a good fit with the rest of the Cavs roster but another youngster may not fit the desire of David Griffin and Dan Gilbert. Instead the Cavs hold Parker hostage for the 1 team that would trade a haul to get the wing player: the Utah Jazz.
Because free agency doesn’t start until after the NBA Draft the Cavs would have to have a version of this trade agreed upon but have to wait to get Hayward to agree to a deal with the Cavs. The Jazz would build around Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter and Parker. Parker provides the Jazz the wing scoring needed around the backcourt of Burke and Burks with Kanter providing the rebounding and defense. Parker, a Mormon, also would be a huge draw and a star to build the team around.
For the Cavs they now have traded the #1 pick for Nerlens Noel, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and whoever they have the Jazz draft at #5. A number of players would be available at #5 that the Cavs could develop over time. Noah Vonleh is an athletic power forward with high upside, Dante Exum the electric combo guard could fall to #5 or any other player that the Cavs see as the best fit at that point. If Embiid’s back doesn’t show well in exams the Cavs could take a risk on him here as well. Marcus Smart, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon or Dario Saric also could be fits at #5.
With these 2 trades the Cavs will have added a starting, sweet shooting small forward in Heyward. A strong power forward in Favors who plays strong defense and has an improving offensive game. Noel provides the rim protection at center. The 5th pick could then be used to add to the Cavs bench a player that can be developed over time with the rest of the young roster. The Cavs would start Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Nerlens Noel. The bench would then include Jarrett Jack, the #5 pick, Sergey Karasev, Anderson Varejao, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, and Tyler Zeller. With Favors and Hayward’s contracts added on the Cavs won’t have a huge amount of cap space but would still have a ton of assets to move around.
The starting lineup would have playmaking at point, shooting guard and small forward with a beast player at #4 and a rim protector at the 5 spot. The bench is full of youth and ability that can develop in time.
Are these 2 trades enough to make the Cavs highly competitive? Or just a waste of time to make a second round exit?