June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern speaks during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The current story revolving around the Boston Celtics and the LA Clippers essentially trading Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and maybe even Paul Pierce for DeAndre Jordan, draft picks, maybe Eric Bledsoe and other fillers. Obviously a trade this size has many ramifications throughout the league including impacting the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Since the Cavs have both significant cap space and numerous picks in this draft and in the future, they are always a possible partner to help make trades work. If the Celtics don’t want to take on a certain amount of salary in the trade the Cavs could take on a player as a way of getting another asset, whether a young player or a draft pick. The teams could get creative with this years draft, trading the Celtics #16 pick to the Cavs for their #19 or the Clippers trading the #25 pick for one of the Cavs 2nd round picks. The Clippers or Celtics could also throw in highly protected picks, think of the Grizzlies and Kings trades the Cavs have made, to get the Cavs to take on salary.
Free Agency and Trades
With these moves, and the Clippers attempts later to sign and trade for Dwight Howard, free agency and the trade market would be deeply impacted. The Atlanta Hawks would most likely miss out on the pair of Chris Paul and Howard which would keep Al Horford in Hawks orange for the foreseeable future. While Horford was highly unlikely to be moved, Danny Ferry may have looked at those options if he brought in his 2 priority free agents. The Hawks also would then have more cap space then anyone else to spend on free agents that the Cavs also might be interested in, thus driving up the price and/or keeping the Cavs from a signing. Players like Andre Iguodala, Kyle Korver and Tony Allen may find a bump in pay from competition for their services. The Celtics also may be bigger players in free agency if the trades go through and provide them salary cap relief.
Two teams mentioned above, the Hawks and Celtics, have 3 picks just before the Cavs pick at #19. With the Celtics rebuilding they may be more likely to take a risk on a player with high upside, since they most likely would acquire the Clippers #25 pick as well. They would also have a significant hole at their small forward position, a position the Cavs may be looking to fill at #19 if Nerlens Noel or Alex Len are selected #1. With the Hawks missing out on Howard and Chris Paul, meaning they probably plan to resign their starting PG Jeff Teague, a restricted free agent, will be in the market for a wing player as well as a center to play next to Horford. Again both of these positions could be of need for the Cavaliers at #19; the big if Porter, Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo are drafted #1 and a wing/shooter if its Len or Noel.
While this trade, as currently constructed, has nothing to do with the Cleveland Cavaliers it obviously could have a great impact on their off-season. Trades of this magnitude rarely happen, but when the rumors are this heavy and deep they likelihood is heightened greatly. The Cavalier front office, specifically Chris Grant, are probably already looking into how they can get involved in this trade to better their team, but also need to look at the implications, wide and varying, it may have on the draft and free agency.