It’s safe to say that the Cleveland Cavaliers are probably in the midst of their worst stretch of basketball since the return of LeBron James back in 2015. Even though we’ve become accustomed to the ‘mid-season slump’ as many have labeled it from the Cavs every year, for some reason, this particular one seems more serious than the others Cleveland has had to deal with over the past three seasons.
The Cavs have been looking at making perhaps one more trade before the trade deadline passes on February 8th, and with every subsequent loss, that trade inches closer and closer to reality. Cleveland has various assets to trade away, including Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, the coveted Brooklyn first-rounder for the upcoming draft, and could even do something as drastic as trading away Kevin Love or Isaiah Thomas if needed.
Here are four potential moves the Cavaliers could make before the trade deadline.
Kent Bazemore – Atlanta Hawks
Perhaps not a move that would drastically move the needle for Cleveland, bringing in Bazemore from Atlanta would definitely improve their wing depth, and Bazemore, who has improved as an outside threat, could have the potential to replace J.R Smith as the team’s starting SG, as Smith has been dreadful for the Cavs as of late.
Per David Aldridge at NBA.com, the Cavaliers have put in some calls to Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk about Bazemore:
“The Cavs have also asked about Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore, according to league sources. Bazemore is no lockdown wing, but he does give effort, and he is shooting a career-best 37.6 percent this season on 3-pointers. Bazemore has more than $37 million coming to him through 2020 on his current deal, though.”
Trading for Bazemore would be a hefty task for the Cavs, as Cleveland would have to give up at least $13.4 million of this season’s salary to take on Bazemore’s contract, which lasts for another two seasons after the current NBA season ends. A combination of Shumpert, Thompson or even Smith would get it done, but it all depends if Atlanta wants to take on the likes of those guys during their rebuilding phase.
Derrick Favors – Utah Jazz
Favors from Utah is another interesting target that the Cavs have been linked to pursing this trade window.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Cleveland is looking to add a bit of size to their small roster — remember, natural power forward Kevin Love was playing at center for the beginning of the season this year — and are interested in Favors.
.@wojespn today on The Jump: “Cavs are looking to add size. A player who is available that teams are calling about who could help them is Derrick Favors from the Jazz.”
— Spencer Checketts (@1280Spence) January 16, 2018
Favors, who was drafted back in 2010 with the third pick in the draft, has been on a bit of a downward spiral after the emergence of Rudy Gobert and is currently averaging 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest for the Jazz.
With the way Tristan Thompson has been playing for the Cavaliers, Favors could be a worthy replacement if management decides to make a move for him.
George Hill – Sacramento Kings
With the slightly disappointing start of Isaiah Thomas’ career in Cleveland, it seems that the Cavs have been looking at a few other point guard options in case things get even worse.
One name that has continually popped up is the Sacramento Kings’ point guard George Hill, who signed with the team this season. Hill has reportedly grown disgruntled with the team after being told Sacramento would be looking to compete this season, and isn’t happy with the constant losing.
A potential deal that has been discussed between the Cavs and Kings was a deal involving Hill being sent to Cleveland in exchange for Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, and maybe even Derrick Rose and a second-round draft pick.
The deal is still up in the air, and latest reports are telling us that the two teams are further apart with negotiations than once thought, but that doesn’t rule out the chance that Hill could be heading to Cleveland before the All-Star break.
DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers
DeAndre Jordan has been on the Cavs’ radar the entire season it seems, and with the recent collapse — and then rejuvination, probably resulting in another collapse later on — of the Clippers season, the fact that Jordan could become a Cavalier is becoming less of a pipedream and more of a reality with every day that passes.
“Talk of being sellers at the upcoming trade deadline has cooled since the team got hot, but Marc Stein of the New York Times reported late Friday that the Cleveland Cavaliers are “pursuing” a deal for DeAndre Jordan,”
“However, if the Cavs were to throw in the Nets’ first-round draft pick they got from the Celtics as a part of the Kyrie Irving trade, perhaps the Clips would be more tempted to give up Jordan while absorbing an albatross contract like Smith’s. The Nets pick is going to be one of the more sought-after assets on the market over the next few weeks, and, obviously, the Clippers would do well to grab it.”
Even though Jordan wasn’t named an All-Star this season, DeAndre is still an All-Star-calibre player, posting averages of 11.8 points and 14.8 rebounds a night, as well as shooting 66% from the field.
Whether Jordan remains a Clipper or not after the deadline depends on how the Clippers’ season goes between now and then, as if they begin another slide, LA could throw in the towel in order to try and nab that Nets’ first-round pick and begin their rebuilding process.