The Cleveland Cavaliers will probably be busy this season as the franchise tries to get back into playoff contention. Here’s 3 trade candidates.
The book closed on the 2018-2019 Cleveland Cavaliers, and while this team finished ions away from the talked about goal of making the playoffs, there isn’t much doom and gloom hanging over the franchise.
A step back was expected following LeBron James‘ second departure, and once Kevin Love was lost for a good chunk of the season following the fourth-game of the year, Koby Altman hit the gas on a rebuild.
That resulted in the Cavs tying for the league’s second worst record. It stinks now, but if the lottery reveals the Cavs will have the chance to draft Zion Williamson, then the tank job will have all been worth it.
Even if the Cavs don’t land the first selection, R.J. Barrett and Ja Morant would be nice additions for a franchise that has (probably) an All-Rookie team member in Collin Sexton, as well as other young core players in Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman.
Expect general manager Koby Altman to make some moves this offseason, as the the Cavs’ general manager has never been shy about making trades. He spent the entire season moving players around as the Cavs became draft-pick hungry.
Looking at the roster, there’s
1. Jordan Clarkson: Some view him as a part of the future. Amico Hoops’ Sam Amico said the Cavaliers preference is to keep the former Laker. Amico noted, it doesn’t mean it’s a lock he stays, though.
He’s making $13 million this season. It’s the final year of the four-year, $50 million contract he signed with the Lakers. Would offering him another four-year deal in the $50 million range be something you’re interested in? I think by year two of that deal, the Cavs would be looking for a way out.
2. Tristan Thompson: He makes an awful lot of money for having one elite skill (offensive rebounding). That’s more valuable on a contender than for a rebuilding team.
The future of the front court is Larry Nance, who added to his game this season with the addition of a 3-point shot. Ante Zizic is a classic “pivot” man. He’s still young and I’d like to see more.
3. J.R. Smith: He’s due to make around $14 million next season, but his contract can be bought out for $3.5 million. For a team that wants to clear some cap space, acquiring Smith and then buying him out will clear room.
The Cavs are on record as stating they’re willing to take on bad contract if it means adding draft picks or young players.
4. Nope, I don’t expect the Cavaliers to trade Kevin Love. Year one of the four-year extension he signed last summer actually kicks in during once the 2019-2020 season commences.
You’ll likely hear his name in trade rumors though. What fun would the offseason be without another rumor of Cleveland dealing away this beloved NBA champion?
No one’s calling for a playoff appearance next season, but it’s in the Cavs interest to try and win behind Sexton, Nance, Osman and whomever they end with in the draft. Love would help them immensely. You saw the difference he made when he returned from injury. It’s like the Cavs were a different team.