This summer has not been kind to the Cleveland Cavaliers. After getting annihilated in the NBA Finals, the team went into Free Agency hoping for a miracle.
But as the weeks raged on, those hopes soon turned into panic. Free Agency flew by, with the team failing to acquire someone new. The front office was shaken up with the firing of David Griffin. Then, Kyrie Irving made his infamous trade request public and sent the league into chaos.
As bad as it has been, the summer is not over yet.
During the Kyrie trade, they acquired the Nets 2018 first round pick from the Boston Celtics. And because the Nets are expected to be so bad, that draft pick has some real value.
LeBron James is 32-years old and he can’t wait for young players anymore. He needs to win now, and the only way for that to happen is to trade the 2018 Nets pick and get an All-Star player. If the Cavs don’t trade the 2018 Nets pick and LeBron James doesn’t win the NBA Championship this season, he will probably leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for good.
A good thing may yet come to Cleveland this summer, so long as they make the right move. Here are the top 5 best offers for that coveted 2018 Nets draft pick:
The Pistons’ Offer
For a long time now, the Cavs have lacked a true, high-quality Center. Timofey Mozgov? Tristan Thompson? Needless to say, the Cavs have been sour in that department. Andre Drummond would not only solve that problem but provide the team with an added bonus on defense.
Drummond is certainly no Kyrie Irving, but playing with a playmaker like James, he’ll be more than able to rack up some points. On the Pistons end, they’ve needed a complete rebuild for years, and that Nets pick could finally help them get started.
Andre Drummond is just 24-years old and he is one of the best rebounders in the league right now, so he can help LeBron James and Kevin Love immediately.
Cavs Get: Andre Drummond
Pistons Get: Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, 2018 Nets Pick
The Grizzlies’ Offer
Iman Shumpert and Tristan Thompson may be a little too much to give up for Cleveland. But if the Grizzlies dangled Marc Gasol for a slightly cheaper price tag, that’d be something Cleveland might consider. While Marc Gasol is on the wrong side of 30, the Cavs only have a few more years to contend anyway. They’re in win-now mode and would only need Gasol to produce at a star level for a few years. In return, the Grizz would get some help on offense while getting a draft pick to add some youth.
Even though the Memphis Grizzlies recently announced that Marc Gasol is untouchable, whenever I see that someone is untouchable, I know that a trade could very well be imminent.
Marc Gasol is the best two-way center in the league, a great passer, and it’ll be the first time in LeBron’s career that he has a center in his prime next to him.
After Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, Memphis need to rebuild their squad, and they can start fresh with the Brooklyn Nets’ pick. It’s not even certain that Michael Conley is untouchable at the moment, that’s how badly the Grizzlies need to rebuild.
Cavs get: Marc Gasol
Grizzlies get: Tristan Thompson, 2018 Nets Pick
The Spurs’ Offer
People forget just how good LaMarcus was back in Portland. Back then, he was a nightly double-double guy who could score from basically anywhere on the court. And now, he wants off the Spurs, which means the Spurs are looking for takers. Admittedly, James/Love/Aldridge would be a weird combo, and it’s certainly not the most star-studded in the league. However, it could very well get the job done with a few other role playing vets. Meanwhile, the Spurs would get some great pieces in return, and another young prospect to train up for the future.
LeBron James is a great passer, and his pick-and-fade game with Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge would be an unstoppable action in the league. LaMarcus was one of the best players in the league 2-3 years ago, but since his move to San Antonio, he has lost that superstar status, which could be regained in Cleveland.
On the other side, Gregg Popovich will get a young pick and he’ll have more space in the salary cap so he can sign one more talent to help Kawhi Leonard in the future.
Cavs Get: LaMarcus Aldridge
Spurs Get: Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye, 2018 Nets Pick
The Warriors’ Offer
By far, this scenario is the unlikeliest to happen. But remember, the main part of the Warriors’ return on this trade isn’t Tristan Thompson, it’s that 2018 lottery pick. Also, the Warriors will still be title favorites without Klay. They still have Steph, Draymond, and KD, and they may not want to give Thompson that huge payday he’s almost surely going to ask for in the future.
Also, Klay Thompson is in the shadow of Durant and Curry, and at the moment he is the 4th best player for the Warriors. He needs a team where he can get more freedom on offense, and there’s no better place than alongside LeBron James.
Imagine that trio – LeBron James, Kevin Love and Klay Thompson. With LeBron James at the point guard position, Klay will just have to follow his lead. If Ray Allen was great with LeBron James, Klay will be twice as good.
The Warriors know that it will be very tough to keep Klay when he hits free agency, so this could be the best opportunity for them to add some young talent alongside Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant down the line.
Cavs Get: Klay Thompson
Warriors Get: Tristan Thompson, 2018 Nets Pick