Anybody that has watched the Cleveland Cavaliers the past month have noticed a couple of things: 1) The Cavs roster looks old and unathletic 2) They do not have enough good individual defenders to make a good team defense, which is a big problem against Golden State. With the impending possibility of Lebron James leaving this summer, the Cavs need to make a move, but need to make a move that makes sense for them, not just make a move to do so. So what moves may come available the closer we get to the trade deadline on February the 8th? Let us take a look at some names that may become available that make sense for the Cavs to make with the few pieces of trade bait they have.
- Wesley Matthews
This is not a flashy move that most fans will look at and like too much, but this would help the Cavs out a ton. With J.R. Smith being nonexistent for the majority of the season, this would get the Cavs a new starting shooting guard, who can defend and has shot 38 percent from three this season. Dallas is not contending and may be willing to move Matthews for Tristan Thompson. Thompson has not been very good for the Cavs this year, but any move including Thompson would have to be passed by Lebron James.
- Matthew Dellavedova
This would also not be a very flashy move, but it would get them the backup guard they have needed for the entirety of this season. Off-season signing, Derrick Rose has not proved to be a success, and nobody knows if he will play meaningful minutes the rest of the year. "Delly", to Cavs fans, would give them a gritty, pass first, defending point guard for the second unit. Defense should be the priority for any move that is made. Any offense the acquired player can give the Cavs is a bonus. Dellavedova is shooting 35% from three this year, so he could be a good spot up shooter if he is playing off the ball. A move like this would cost the Cavs a player like Iman Shumpert, who could be another wing defender for the Bucks.
- Nicholas Batum, Marvin Williams and Jeremy Lamb.
This would fix a couple of the Cavs issues here. The Cavs would get there starting 2-guard for the rest of the season. Batum has not shot as well this year on a Hornets team that is playing below expectations this year. Batum is a career 35 percent three-point shooter and some more open shots may help improve on the down year he is currently in. The Cavs do not need a lot of scoring from their starting guards, but the length he can give them on defense would be a big help. Williams would give them a good stretch power forward who is shooting 44 percent from 3 this year. Lamb would give them another good defender off the bench with the second unit. This would cost the Cavs Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. This would also be a move that would probably need to be passed by Lebron as well.
- Deandre Jordan
This move has been talked about a bunch for the past month or so. I personally do not see this a move that would be worth what it would cost the Cavs. As a name, Jordan is someone that many look at and see it as someone the Cavs need to go get if available. First off, the Clippers are half a game out of the 8th seed in the Western Conference this year. If that remains, they will not even be looking to move Jordan. Second, Jordan has not been that great as a defender this year, coming in as the 40th rated defensive center in basketball this year, which is why I do not think he is worth a potential top 3 pick in the draft.
- Courtney Lee
Lee is averaging 13 points on 45 percent shooting, but more importantly is shooting 42 percent from 3 and is a pretty good defender. He could step in and start from the beginning and would be a big boost for the Cavs. He would cost the Cavs one of J.R. Smith or Iman Shumpert and a filler to make the money work out.
So, what would it take for the Cavs to part with the Nets pick, which keeps moving up every game as of late? I think it would take a move that would really move the needle. Some names that would do this would include names such as Paul George, Demarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol or Rudy Gobert. None of these names have been made available and much would depend on playoff situations and contract situations as to if they would even become available, but they would be names that would move the needle.
Another interesting move I could see them doing is entertaining the idea of moving Isaiah Thomas. I have no inside info on this, but the mismatch he presents on the defensive end of the floor is pretty big. I could see them moving Thomas and the Nets pick for a big name if it were presented to them. Thomas is 29 years old and will get a max deal this summer, it just depends on if the Cavs are willing to give him that deal as to if they keep him.
The Cavs have been looking to move contracts for a while now and it seems like the players have been putting pressure on the front office
to make a move. I think at least one move will be made, and it more than likely will be a smaller move or moves. The Nets pick is getting higher each game they play and I think it will take a pretty good deal for them to part ways with that.