The Cavs should not trade for Russell Westbrook or Cam Reddish.
Fans have been pitching their fantasy trades on Twitter all week after the Cavs exploded with dominant win after dominant win. Each trade offered up a key issue that is completely ignored by all of these arm-chair general managers; any trade affects the chemistry of the team. The Cavs have blindingly bright chemistry, and that alone should be reason enough to stand pat and let the team play out the season without making changes. That’s not enough as Laker fans are pitching trades involving Russell Westbrook and Cavs fans are trying to pitch Cam Reddish.
Both ideas are terrible.
The central point of all of this is team chemistry. It’s too valuable to mess up. The team is playing its best basketball in years, maybe even including the LeBron James-era. They’re at the top of the Central Division and have a legitimate shot of winning the division for the first time without James for the first time in decades.
Trading for anyone, at this point in the season, would be a mistake.
Cam Reddish and Russell Westbrook would cripple the Cavs
I don’t get excited about hype. I get excited about production. Reddish is all hype at the moment. Everyone talks about his age, or what he could be, and his corner shooting but all I hear is a bunch of reasons why Reddish has no business on the Cavaliers. Ignore what people are saying about his shooting and just hear this; this is the worst season of his career. He’s posting a -2.6 on offense according to RAPTOR and a -0.6 on defense.
Why would the Cavs go get someone who’s playing worse than the talent the team already has? Moreover, what does Reddish provide for the Cavs that they need? The Cavs don’t need another wing player. If anything they need a third guard just in case Ricky Rubio or Darius Garland get into trouble.
Reddish is a key reason why the Hawks are struggling this year, and acquiring him isn’t getting one of their assets, it’s getting one of their hindrances. Moreover, Reddish has never shown any marketed improvement in his production and efficiency. He’s always been a negative offensive player (career OFF RAPTOR-2.6). He’s not someone that provides anything valuable for the Cavs. The Hawks need every bit of help they can get, so if they’re willing to trade Reddish, what does that say about him?
As for Westbrook, I was bullish on him with the Rockets. I thought he could fit in well with the team the Cavaliers had at the start of last year and expedite the rebuild. Then I saw him in Washington and I changed my mind. While his stats were good, his play was anything but. As bad as he was last year, he’s somehow worse this year. His stats and efficiency are down, and while his turnovers are down statistically (4.8 in ’20 to 4.5 in ’21), his assist to turnover ratio has gone way up.
He still doesn’t shoot well from three, and he’s a net-negative on defense. He’s a bad fit. I pitched a trade for him because the Cavs were desperate to win games last year. When it became clear that Westbrook couldn’t do for Washington as he did for the Thunder, I pulled out on wanting Westbrook.
In 2021, it’s the Lakers who are desperate to win games, not the Cavs. The Cavs can win them just find.
It should be noted that Reddish is a universal opinion, one that fans all over think works for the Cavs; it doesn’t but fine. While the Westbrook trade to Cleveland is one that Lakers fans are pitching.
Hate to break it to the Lakers fans, but we don’t want him. You can keep him.