In Cleveland Cavaliers trade rumors, the Cavs have reportedly made their 2018 first-round draft pick available for the right player.
The message at Quicken Loans Arena is clear: Win now.
Dan Gilbert is sparing no expense to winning the NBA title. He made Kevin Love a max-level player last summer, he’s paying $170 to field his current roster, he’s already fired his coach, and he’s the owner of one of the most active teams on the trade market.
One rumor had the Cavs seeking a trade for Washington Wizards swingman Jared Dudley. But how available is the 6-foot-7 swingman? Washington has the easiest schedule after the All-Star break. Their season has been disappointing to this point, but John Wall and company could still make a run. If that’s the case, it’s unlikely they will trade Dudley.
If the Wizards continue to underperform, the Cavs could easily absorb Dudley’s contract with their trade exception from the Brendan Haywood trade. To sweeten the pot for the Wizards, or any other potential trade partner, the Cavs could move their 2018 first-round pick, something ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said is a possibility during his “Hey, Windy” radio show, which airs on ESPN Cleveland (33:30)…
"“It’s my understanding the 2018 first-round draft pick is in play,” Windhorst said. “They are trying to win the title this year. Because they are now looking for players they would hold onto for a couple of years, they are now brining that in…”"
The Cavs don’t have a 2017 first-rounder. They already traded it when they needed to clear cap space to bring LeBron James home.. The Ted Stepien rule prohibits the Cavs from trading first-round picks in consecutive years. But a 2018 first-rounder, attached to the trade exception acquired from trading Haywood, could be very appealing for a potential trade partner.
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The Cavs want a wing, because long-term, they don’t know how much longer J.R. Smith will be a member of the team, Windhorst said, and GM David Griffin may be looking for Smith’s replacement. Dudley can be a free agent this summer. The Cavs would have to feel confident they can sign him if they spend a first-rounder for his services.
Here’s the breakdown of the Cavs current first-round draft-pick status:
-2016 first-round pick: The Cavs don’t have a pick this summer. They moved it to Boston to create cap space for LeBron James. Boston then traded the pick for Isiah Thomas. Phoenix currently owns the pick.
-2017 pick: Can’t be dealt because of the Stepien Rule.
-The Cavs have all of their first round picks after 2017 and can trade every pick up until 2022.
-What about second-round picks? The Cavs have traded their own second rounders through 2021. They do have the Clippers pick this year if it falls between 56-60. That’s not going to happen. The Clippers will keep the pick.
-They have the same situation with the Sacramento Kings in 2017. The Kings would have to be one of the four best teams in the NBA for the Cavs to clam this second rounder. Not going to happen.
-In 2019, The Cavs have the Lakers and Timberwolves pick.
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 18. Except a lot of rumors to flow out All-Star weekend, which takes place just prior to the deadline.