If I had to rank the Cavs players most likely to be traded before Thursday’s deadline, this is the order I would go with – number #1 being the player they’d like to get rid of the most- 1) Luol Deng, 2) Jarrett Jack, 3) Anderson Varejao, 4) C.J. Miles, 5) Dion Waiters. The only way I think they trade Dion now is in a blockbuster deal for a player of equal or better talent.
The two positions of need in my opinion for the Cavs as they head towards the trade deadline are a shooting guard who can score from long range and a legit starting center.
The chances of Luol Deng staying in Cleveland beyond this season are very slim unless the Cavs offer him a ridiculous contract and I can’t see that happening with David Griffin or whoever their G.M. might be. So with that in mind in the remaining days left until the NBA’s trading deadline (Feb.20th), Griff has to explore every team and every offer that could come their way. You don’t want to just give Deng away for nothing, but it would be nice to get something in return for him since you’re probably going to lose him. The other option is to keep Deng in hopes of making the playoffs and then just let him go as a free agent which gives you cap space this summer.
Playoff teams that could really use Luol Deng but may not have enough to give in return, or are unwilling to give up what the Cavs may be asking for are the Clippers, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Hawks, Mavricks and Nuggets.
If I’m Cavs G.M. David Griffin I’m calling the Houston Rockets to see what they’re looking for in a deal for center Omer Asik. He’s been hurt this season with a right knee/thigh injury and when healthy has played only about 15 minutes per game as Dwight Howard’s back-up, but last season as a starter for the Rockets the 7’0-255pd-27 year old center averaged 10.1ppg & 11.7rpg while shooting 54% from the field. Then in 6 playoff games in 2012-13 he averaged 12.3ppg & 11.2rpg & shot 56% from the field. His big weakness is he is a horrible free throw shooter, with a career percentage of just 53%. According to Hoopshype.com Asik has 1 more year left on his contract at $14.9 million. His salary for this year is listed at $5.2 million. While playing sparingly this season in Houston, he’s only averaging 4ppg-6.5rpg and shooting a career low 46% from the field, but a career high 63% from the free throw line.
Also if I’m Griff, I’m talking with the Warriors about Harrison Barnes, but in order to possibly get Barnes, Golden State will insist you take David Lee and his remaining contract. The Warriors reportedly are looking for a shooting guard and a big. Jarrett Jack and Anderson Varejao would fit their needs and salary wise it would work out in a deal. Plus Jack was a big part of their post-season success last year, so he knows the system. The downside for the Cavs is you really don’t have a legit starting center and you’re stuck with Lee’s contract of $30.5 million dollars over the next two seasons, but you get your young small forward you’ve been looking for in Barnes and control his rights for a number of years.
The teams that are rumored to be most willing to make trades are the 76ers, Bucks, Bobcats, Nuggets, Pelicans, Rockets, Kings and maybe the Warriors and Wizards. Ersan Ilyasova reportedly wants out of Milwaukee. Andre Miller doesn’t want to play for Brian Shaw again in Denver. Philly wants to get something in return for Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes instead of just losing them to free agency. Washington could be looking to dump salary and need a back-up point guard. New Orleans would love to dump Eric Gordon’s contract on someone. Same with Golden State and David Lee.
If the Cavs only want to make a minor move before Thursday, I’ve always liked Wizards shooting guard Martell Webster. He’s never reached his full potential, but if Washington is looking to dump some salary (he’s signed for 2 more years for $11 million, plus a team option) I’d inquire about him if I’m the Cavs. He would give Mike Brown another 3-point threat (40% this year and 42% last year).
Other players that could be, and I stress could be available in trades according to various reporst- Trevor Ariza, Taj Gibson, Danny Granger, Kenneth Faried, Arron Afflalo, Jeff Green, Javale McGee, Nicholas Batum, Greg Monroe, Kyle Lowery and Perry Jones.