Why Cavs trade for Eric Gordon, not Caris LaVert, makes more sense

Cavs (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Cavs (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

In Cavs trade talk, it’s been widely reported that the organization is one of the most active teams ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

Cleveland GM Koby Altman is looking to make a move, as he should. The Cavs are the surprise of the league, with 27 wins through Jan. 17, which ties them for the most victories with five other Eastern Conference teams.

Caris LaVert has been the center of rumors, as the Pacers are looking to rebuild and the Cavs need help, but if Isaac Okoro can get an efficient 15 points per game, then there may not be a need to take a swing on LaVert.

Instead, the Cavs may be better off making a deal for Rockets’ guard Eric Gordon–at least in the eyes of The Ringer founder, Bill Simmons.

Simmons Tweeted that the Cavs are one of his favorite teams to watch, and described the squad as the perfect place for Gordon.

Cavs can easily make Eric Gordon trade

Houston is reportedly looking for a first-round pick for Gordon–and with Ricky Rubio’s $17 million expiring contract on their books, Cleveland could easily make the money match on Gordon’s $18.2 million number. Gordon is due $19.5 million in 2022-2023 and has a non-guaranteed figure of $20 million in 2023-2024.

The Cavs picked up Rajon Rondo after Rubio’s injury, and Rubio has come as advertised. He can run the offense, move the ball and play defense. I can’t believe the Lakers just gave him away. That said, he can’t score. Teams will let him shoot from downtown all day.

With Gordon, the Cavs would have a card to play off the bench that defenses must account for.

As for Lavert, the Pacers are rumored to be asking for a first-round pick, as well, in addition to a young player or too, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Gordon, 33, is averaging 14.9 points for a struggling, young, rebuilding Rockets team. He’s shooting a career-high 51 percent from 3-point range.

LaVert is no slouch when it comes to filling in the scoring column, averaging 17.8 points per game. He’s just a 33 percent lifetime shooter from beyond the arc.

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Again, it comes down to Okoro. If he disappears on offense, the need for LaVert becomes great, but if he can contribute offensively like he did against the Nets (5-7 FG, 1-2 3PT), while keeping things together defensively, then Gordon may be the move that makes more sense.