Dec 29, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) dribbles as Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry defends in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
While the Cleveland Cavaliers were playing the Washington Wizards a trade scenario popped up that seems to make sense. The scenario has now become a rumor, that the Cavaliers have interest in a trade with the Golden State Warriors. Gathering information shows that this started with a Warriors beat writer looking at the Warriors and seeing a trade that could benefit the team this year and next.
"How can the Warriors move Lee, get back an instant upgrade and also provide a pathway to a big free agent acquisition when they’re currently capped out until 2016?Here’s how: Find a team that right now is where the Warriors were several years ago, lost, desperate, looking for any marketable All-Star name to help make things palatable for fans and ownership while the ship sinks and sinks.(That was the GSW situation when they acquired Lee. He has given everything they could’ve expected and played well for them, if you don’t count defense.)Who might be desperate enough to give up good talent while also taking Lee’s remaining two years at $15M and $15.5M, maybe with Barnes as extra enticement?Yep, I’m looking at you, Cleveland Cavaliers."
He might be right on the ball with the Cavaliers, they do seem a bit lost. Adding David Lee’s contract is highly concerning but many people like Harrison Barnes, this writer is not overly impressed. The GSW writers makes two trade proposals, once better then the other from the Cavaliers perspective. (Key note: Since the Cavs are 4.5 million over the salary cap Deng can only be traded by himself, no other Cav can be moved with him. All deals must be separate.)
"–Lee and Barnes TO CLEVELAND FOR Deng and Waiters"
The Cavaliers would gain a good offensive power forward, which they currently have zero, who plays little to no defense but is a solid veteran and locker room presence. Barnes is a young player with defensive intensity and long range shooting who hasn’t been able to star in the league yet. The presence of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson could be part of the reason. In exchange the Cavaliers give up Deng who hasn’t been impactful in his short time with the Cavs, if judging by the team’s record, and the ultra aggressive Dion Waiters. Deng is reportedly not interested in resigning in Cleveland, whether that is true or not is up to debate, and Waiters has reportedly had conflict with Kyrie Irving, again debatable.
This move would put Barnes in the starting lineup in place of Deng and open up playing time in the guard rotation with Waiters gone. The Cavs would still have Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson, the current starters, as well as Anthony Bennett and Tyler Zeller to join Lee in the big man rotation. That is a lot of players for those two spots, especially considering the need for Thompson, Bennett and Zeller to develop. Could that lead to another trade, possibly of Varejao?
The second trade doesn’t clear up the front court clog but seems more palatable, especially considering Lee’s enormous contract, over $15 million dollars for each of the next 2 years.
"Lee, Barnes, Ezeli and Nedovic TO CLEVELAND FOR Deng and Jack"
Jack has not been the veteran influence and scoring dynamo off the bench that the Cavaliers had hoped he would be. Returning to Golden State could give him the bump that he needs. Ezeli and Nedovic are both young players with Ezeli providing alot of size while Nedovic is a young developing point guard. This move gets rid of Jack’s longer term contract and means only adding about $9 million a year to the next 2 years of Lee’s deal. Still a lot of salary but the team keeps their backcourt rotation in tact, and could move CJ Miles for future consideration or young players while still adding Barnes to the rotation.
Overall the second trade is much ore palatable but neither trade seems like a slam dunk. Would you be interested in either trade? Does adding Lee’s contract make the addition of Barnes far less attractive or would you add Barnes for any financial cost?