NBA teams trade for players for sweeteners or for longer-term team control. But the new concept of exchanging so that someone immediately helps out in the field? Only the Cavaliers have done it this season, dealing with Rajon Rondo.
Unsurprisingly, a minimum wage player his previous team wanted to eliminate isn’t enough with Cleveland guards Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton both out for the season.
Brian Windhorst on ESPN:
As I speak to the folks in the league, the Cavs are one of the more active teams. They discuss with three or four different scenario teams. They want perimeter players. They want guards.
The Cavs are very active. I would almost guarantee that they will make deals beyond what they just did for Rajon Rondo.
This time around, it actually makes sense for the Cavaliers to prioritize the present. They are 22-18 years old and are at the heart of the competition behind the Nets and Bucks, favorites of the Eastern Conference. Adding the right guard (s) could be the difference between Cleveland qualifying or not qualifying for the playoffs, winning a series or not, or even winning multiple series or not.
The Cavs have a lot of logical trading pieces that won’t relax this team’s chemistry. Rubio’s expiring $ 17.8 million contract could facilitate a deal. Other teams might appreciate the matching rights to impending restricted free agent Sexton, who never fits perfectly with top guard Darius Garland. Cleveland has presumably high second-round picks for the Rockets and Spurs this year.
Additionally, the Cavaliers could trade their own first round. For the first time in years, this shouldn’t land high in the lottery.
Which is another way of saying the Cavs are good enough to warrant the swap for immediate help.