A trade pitched by Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes has fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Paul buzzing.
Let’s be clear, this is a bad trade. The idea, Chris Paul to the Cleveland Cavaliers, however, is not a bad idea. Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes suggests that the Cavaliers should trade Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Dante Exum, Kevin Porter Jr., and Larry Nance Jr. for Paul. A trade that would bring three All-NBA caliber players together on one team. The only problem is that it guts the squad of some of it’s most important players.
Why doesn’t this work? Because sending off both Sexton and Porter make no sense. This was obviously done by someone on the NBA Trade Machine via ESPN without realizing that Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson’s deal expire this year. That’s over $28 million off the books. Dellavedova will likely be brought back but on a much, much, much smaller contract. If you’re going to get Paul, you would let Thompson walk. It doesn’t make sense to pay a backup center $15+ million a year while paying for Paul’s two remaining years.
Any trade out would need to include Exum and Garland but depending on how the rest of the offseason plays out, you might need to put Nance. into this deal as well. That or a sign-and-trade with Thompson replacing Nance. Keeping one of them is paramount, because of the depth concerns. Yes, Kevin Love and Andre Drummond are your starters but you need bigs off the bench and no one is super excited about Jordan Bell.
You could just trade Nance and re-sign Thompson with his Bird Rights too, or trade one, let the other go and draft a pick in the upcoming NBA amateur draft.
The trade could work and if you’re able to retain Sexton and Porter, then you can have a really gnarly lineup of Paul, Porter, Cedi Osman, Love, and Drummond, with Sexton, Dylan Windler, Nance (if the Thompson sign-and-trade works) and the 2020 1st Round Draft Pick (probably Deni Avdija or Obi Toppin in this situation).
There’s a lot of ways Paul could land in Cleveland. Let’s just hope that if the Cavs have interest in Paul, they don’t gut their young corp to bring him in.