Give Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert credit. He may have acted churlish in the wake of LeBron James' nationally televised embarrassment in 2010, but he's been more than willing to buy his team into a series of draft picks. Last year's move was an incredible batch of luck -- the Cavs were able to trade for Baron Davis and waive him after only a month of play because of an amnesty clause instituted after the trade, taking on a top-seven pick that jumped all the way up to No. 1 in last year's draft lottery, resulting in Kyrie Irving. This year's trade deadline grab won't result in a lottery pick, but the team will add to its growing depth by taking in the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round selection, in return for sending Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga to L.A., in exchange for Jason Kapono and Luke Walton.
It's a solid deal for both sides. Sessions doesn't fit the Lakers' pressing need for a distributor and defender at the point guard position, but he's come out of nowhere to hit 26 of 62 (42 percent) 3-pointers this year, after hitting just 13 of 71 (18 percent) in his first four seasons, and his scoring will aid a Lakers team that is underachieving at just 16th in the NBA in offensive efficiency.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, will pay Walton's final $5.8 million next year for what is usually a middling asset -- a lower rung first-round pick. In this deep draft, though, it's worth it. Mainly because it's not our money, and the Cavs (after strangely deciding to hold pat following James' departure) are rebuilding slowly and surely. And if the Dallas Mavericks improve their standing in the season's final month, the Lakers can decide to grab their first-round selection, which is protected up to the 20th pick between now and 2017.
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