The worst trade idea for the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a huge crop of options ahead of them this offseason for potential moves, and with the possibility of being involved in any number of trades, this has caused a lot of writers to pitch their best trade ideas. Folks, if these are the best, I hate to see the worst.
We’re going back to NBA Analysis for this one.
So as you can see, the Cavaliers would get Norman Powell and a 2023-second-round pick, and the Clippers would get back Caris LeVert and the Cavs’ 2025 first-round pick. In a player-for-player swap alone, it’s not bad.
Powell is a better three-point shooter than LeVert but he’s older and not as good of a defender. In fact, LeVert’s a below-average defender on his own, so that would pretty much make Powell an outright bad defender. Since the Cavs need 3-and-D players, Powell isn’t a schematic fit.
Despite the fact that Powell is older than LeVert, the part that makes this a truly terrible trade is the first-round pick attached for no reason. A 29-year-old forward, who can’t play defense and has something like $75 million still owed to him is not worth a first-round pick.
So while Powell coming over on a team-friendly deal would be acceptable, trading a first-rounder, a solid trade asset, and taking on an aging, slow, defender just ain’t it. Let’s go further in why trading for Powell specifically is just a reach of an idea.
Three reasons why this trade is just awful
Hurt too often
Powell is chronically injured. He’s played 70 games just twice in his career. He’s undersized to be a small forward, and that constant contact with bigger forwards is clearly taking its toll on him. Ye’s he’s a solid three-point shooter, but so are a lot of other guys who can play nearly 80 games a year and won’t cost you nearly $20 million per.
Can’t play defense
The lack of being able to play defense on its own is a sticking point. He wasn’t always bad at it, granted, there were years he was a wash on defense, posting 0.0 according to RAPTOR, but that was also six years ago when he was younger, healthier, and hungrier. Now that he has his deal, and has now dealt with injuries, he’s not the same guy and he’s far from it defensively.
Paying a guy nearly $500k per game is absurd if he’s not LeBron James. If Powell only plays 40 games this year, as he did last year (which seems likely knowing his history), that’s what the Cavs would be giving him.