COMMENTARY | Thing's haven't gone as expected for the Cleveland Cavaliers to kick off their 2013-14 NBA season.
Could it be time for a trade already?
Clearly, whatever Mike Brown has been trying to accomplish with his random rotations and nonexistent offensive playbook isn't working. The Cavs need a kick-start, even if we're just a month into the season.
Here are five players the Cavs could try to swing a deal for, and what it would likely take to get them:
The poor Bulls may be entertaining rebuilding plans after Derrick Rose has once again been lost for the season.
The Bulls can't win a championship without Rose, and have to question whether or not they can rely on him anymore when constructing a team. They've handed out large contracts to players like Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah to complement Rose over the years and are now stuck with a high-priced mediocre team.
The Cavs certainly don't want Boozer anywhere near the team, and Noah isn't the most popular person in Cleveland after comments he's made in the past.
Deng could be a fit, however. He plays the Cavaliers' biggest position of need at small forward, is an excellent defender and would bring a much-needed dose of leadership. He comes with an expiring $14.3 million deal.
For the 2013-14 season, Deng is averaging 16.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists in 36.2 minutes a game for Chicago.
What He Would Cost: Anderson Varejao and a future 1st-round pick could get the deal done, as Chicago could decline Varejao's team option next season for the cap space, while also collecting on a 1st-round pick (Sacramento Kings or Miami Heat?) this season or next.
After starting all 81 games he played in a season ago, Barnes has been moved to the bench this year due to the signing of Andre Iguodala.
Still developing as a playmaker, Barnes is at his best when on the floor with a strong point guard who can get him the ball in a position to score. As a starter, this wasn't a problem playing next to Stephen Curry. As a reserve, however, his shooting percentage shows the the difference when he has to create for himself.
Through his first 10 games, Barnes is knocking down a whopping 63.6 percent of his three-pointers as a starter. As a reserve, this number drops down to 50 percent.
The solution? Trade him to the Cavaliers for a better sixth man, obviously.
Cleveland just happens to have a combo guard that's been better off the bench, has roughly the same PER as Barnes, and was actually drafted ahead of him.
Yes, the Cavs should explore a Dion Waiters for Harrison Barnes trade, due to current team fit. Barnes playing next to Kyrie Irving would bring out the best in him and solve the Cavaliers' small-forward woes.
Waiters (16.0 points as a reserve in 2012-13 compared to 14.3 as a starter) would be a perfect sixth man for the Warriors and help make up for the loss of Jarrett Jack in their backcourt.
What He Would Cost: Dion Waiters and a 2014 second-round pickRudy Gay, SF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors' new general manager this season, Masai Ujiri holds no loyalty to any current player and has already traded away former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani.
If he doesn't believe Gay to be a focal point for the rebuilding Raptors, the career 18 point-per-game scorer could be on the block.
Money could be an issue, as Gay is owed $19.9 million this season and holds a player option for $19.3 million for 2014-15. A high price to pay, but getting a scorer and veteran like Gay could propel the Cavs to the top of the Eastern Conference.
What He Would Cost: Anderson Varejao, Anthony Bennett, future 1st-round draft pick.
The Raptors get a tremendous amount of salary-cap relief by unloading Gay and getting the choice to let Varejao become a free agent or not. Bennett has struggled, but returning to his native Toronto may help him relax and unleash his massive potential. Cleveland could also throw in a future 1st-rounder to sweeten the deal.
Greg Swartz is a Northeast Ohio native who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA on the Yahoo Contributor Network and Bleacher Report. You can find a collection of his articles here and follow him for more NBA news.
- Sports & Recreation
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dion Waiters
- Anderson Varejao
- Harrison Barnes
- Luol Deng
- Derrick Rose