Three days until the trade deadline and things are heating up. Just as of a couple hours ago, Sam Amick reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, and their own 2018 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan. It’s unclear if the trade was completely denied or if further details are being worked out.
There are two strategies Cleveland is working behind. One, they are trying to shed some serious salary and would absolutely do so by trading away Smith ($13.7 million) and Thompson ($16.4 million). Two, they are doing everything they can to either build up their defense or acquire young players with potential and multiple years remaining on their contract. If Cleveland were to make a deal for Jordan (11.6 PTS, 1 BLK), he would be one to give this team the defensive boost they need. Jordan brings size and athleticism Cleveland could utilize in pick-and-rolls and defensive switches.
That being said, if this trade does happen expect their next motive to be based on acquiring a two-way shooting guard. Cleveland wont have much to offer, but this will absolutely be their next potential move. Of course once Cleveland gives up their own first-round pick as well as Thompson and Smith, their options narrow down quite a lot.
However, if Cleveland feels there are no quality trades where a two-way guard can be acquired, don’t be surprised if they begin shopping Isaiah Thomas aggressively over the next 72 hours or so. Then again, Cleveland may feel content with acquiring Jordan and leave it at that.
Ultimately, there is a lot of unknown. As the hours go on, expect more information to surface about this potential trade as well as others around the league.
By: JR DePierro
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com
Image courtesy of ClutchPoints