The Cleveland Cavaliers eye to win their second consecutive NBA championship title this season. To strengthen their chance, improving their second unit should be taken into consideration. The Cavaliers could look for cheap but quality players available on the trade market.
Here are the possible trade targets for the Cleveland Cavaliers before the February deadline:
The Cavaliers are in need of a quality rim protector to boost their frontcourt. They are currently rank 13th/14th (tied with the Chicago Bulls) in the NBA’s defensive efficiency, allowing 104.4 points per possessions. Defense is Noel’s expertise and most people believe that he’s the odd man out in the City of Brother Love.
The Cavaliers could get Nerlens Noel for a cheap price since he’s set to become a restricted free agent next summer. He could fill the void left by Chris Andersen, who suffered an ACL tear that will require season-ending surgery.
Okafor’s rookie contract will last until 2019, making him a more attractive trade asset for the Sixers. Unlike Noel, Jahlil Okafor is an offensive big man who’s a good low-post scorer. Coach Brett Brown tried to pair him with Joel Embiid as his frontcourt starters.
Though they established an impressive performance on the offensive end, the Sixers’ defense suffers when both of them are inside the court. Aside from Kevin Love and LeBron James, the Cavaliers do not have a true post scorer. If the Sixers will give him for a cheap price, the Cavaliers should grab the opportunity.
The Cavaliers lost Matthew Dellavedova in the recent offseason, giving Kay Felder the primary backup point guard role. However, coach Tyronn Lue revealed that they’re still looking for an upgrade in the position. Felder showed some improvements but trusting the role to a rookie will be quite risky for a team who aims to defend the title.
According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Deron Williams is on the Cavaliers radar. The Mavericks are expected to rebuild their roster and could be looking to empty some of their veterans. The three-time NBA All-Star could play at 1 and 2, making him a good backup or backcourt partner for Kyrie Irving.
J.R. Smith will be sidelined for three months due to right thumb injury. Smith stepped up for the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, knocking down fearless three-pointers to beat the Golden State Warriors. According to Fox Sports, Nick Young could fill the void left by Smith while he’s still recovering from injury.
Young struggled in the past two seasons under Byron Scott. However, when Luke Walton came, he managed to bring back his rhythm and now the Lakers starting shooting guard. In 30 games this season, he averaged 44.3 percent from the three-point range, making him a perfect replacement for Smith. However, for now, the Lakers show no indication that they’re making him available on the trade market.
Several NBA teams are reportedly inquiring regarding the availability of Will Barton on the trade market. The Denver Nuggets have a surplus of wings with Gary Harris and Jamal Murray. Barton is currently on the second year of a three-year, $11 million contract, an obviously cheap price for a player of his caliber.
Will Barton will definitely be a good fit in Cleveland in boosting their second unit. However, acquiring him could cost a lot for the Cavaliers. The Nuggets could ask for several picks along with young players like Jordan McRae or Kay Felder.
As the February deadline approaches, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be facing a tough decision whether to keep or improve their current roster. The upcoming games will show the certain adjustments they need to do to strengthen their chance of defending their throne.
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