The Cleveland Cavaliers have two former All-Stars on their roster with Kevin Love and Andre Drummond but should they forgo young talent in favor of a third?
This isn’t a stance that I have a definitive stance on. Part of me wants the Cavs to go get Obi Toppen and Nico Mannion in the 2020 NBA Draft, no matter who you have to give up to get them. That’s how high I am on those two. Yet, with Kevin Love and Andre Drummond making up arguably the best front-court/low-post duo in the game, it may make sense for the Cavs to go get an All-Star caliber guard to compliment them and get back into the playoffs.
Now, in this theory, you aren’t gutting the team of every player under 22 in this trade. You’d want to keep some of the talents. Dylan Windler is an obvious choice, as he’s both unproven, thereby unwanted by teams, while also having a high ceiling on his potential. Darius Garland seems almost like a lock to be traded in this scenario, but maybe not. What do I know, a team may want Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr. While many fans wouldn’t want to lose both players, what if the player they get back helps turn the team into a playoff team?
Now, the salary will be the big issue. You could easily pair Sexton and Porter Jr. into two different packages built with draft picks but getting the right salary will be hard. It’s even harder when you keep in mind the two players who might just be available; Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Neither Paul nor Booker have expressed a desire to leave their current situations, and in fact, Paul seems pretty content in Oklahoma City, but are the Thunder happy with him long-term? Paul to the Cavs for Sexton and Garland would be great. Especially if the money somehow works, which would be a huge stretch with Love and Drummond’s deals.
Booker also has a big contract, yet it’s more moveable considering the cap-space the Cavs would have this year. Booker hasn’t expressed any desire, publically, to move cities but it could all change in an instant. Would a Booker, Love and Drummond starting lineup be able to make an impact in the NBA’s playoff chase? Probably. With the Suns’ penny-pinching ways, it’s not hard to believe that the team isn’t going to get better any time soon. So a trade that sees Booker leave Phoenix could happen, even if it’s not to Cleveland.
The most ideal pick, however, would be Damian Lillard. Lillard wants to retire a Trailblazer, and I love him for that loyalty. Yet, the Blazers suck this year. They suck so badly and it’s only going to get worse. Putting Lillard on a team with Love and Drummond secures him with dynamic players who are different types of scorers. Love is a mid-range, three-point shooter type while Drummond plays basketball like most play Hungry Hungry Hippos. He gobbles up whatever is near him and puts it where it belongs.
All that said, yet it’s easy to accept that none of the three names mentioned will ever likely step on the Cavs court as a member of the home team. These are simply the types of names the Cavs should pursue if they’re going to pursue anyone beyond rookies draft selections. Don’t go get a Ricky Rubio type. Personally, if you can’t get Lillard or Booker, just go all-in on Toppin and Mannion. Even if it means still trading away some young assets in the process.
Either way, the Cavs should make a huge move. You know what the kids are saying these days, go big or, well you know, stay home.