Option 2: Cleveland gets a rim protector
This deal can be paired with the first option. However, it can be executed on its own, still bringing big benefits to the Cavs.
Aside from shooting and playmaking off the bench, the Cavs desperately need a rim protector. Currently, Kevin Love is starting at the center position, not his accustomed power forward spot. He has never been a shot-blocker, averaging just 0.5 per game in his career.
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While Love is a solid rebounder, he can get out-muscled by “true-centers” in the paint. Tristan Thompson, who is currently coming off the bench, has struggled this season. He has dealt with injuries and has since been relegated to his bench role.
Acquiring Tyson Chandler makes a lot of sense for Cleveland. He is not blocking shots like he used to but is a big, physical body in the paint. Chandler is still a great rebounder (9.7 boards per game), bringing in 10+ rebounds in six of his last seven games. He also has experience playing with Love and LeBron James in the 2012 Olympics.
Chandler is under contract through next season at roughly $26.585M total, though the Cavs would be shedding a similar contract in Iman Shumpert. The Suns would likely waive Channing Frye, creating more playing time for their younger guys.
Shump would pair nicely with guard Devin Booker, who is all offense, and could even start at point guard. It is unclear if Thompson would move back into the starting unit, or if Chandler would start games for the Cavs.
Either way, his addition would likely mean Jae Crowder slides to the bench, which may be good for the slumping wing. The Cavs would once again have a strong, interior presence. It would also allow Love to shift back to the four spot.
Chandler may not be a great fit against the Golden State Warriors. However, he would certainly help the Cavs in their quest for the east. He would be perfect to match-up against the likes of Marcin Gortat, Jonas Valanciunas, Al Horford and others.
Though not a super splashy move, this under-the-radar trade gives Cleveland some much needed toughness and defense. That may just be enough to kick-start the team and get them back on their winning ways.