Why the Cavs Deadline May Disappoint You

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

LackOfSkill

Rookie
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
34
Points
13
I think people should temper expectations on the trade front for Cleveland. It’s going to be a pretty big challenge for CLE to find a deal that will net them a future asset with the current state of the cap.

A lot of these money dumping deals that teams (including the Cavs) have taken advantage of are the product of the big cap spike in 2016. Tons of teams overspent on players of other teams - these signings, if they didn't have their bird rights, were typically overpays over 4 years. That means the final year of those deals are now in their final year as expirings. There just aren't many bad contracts from that summer left that extend to 2020-21 that were originally signed as 5 year deals that summer - and therefore could be used in a salary dump trade.

Also, the overspending in 2016 probably affected the spending in the following year, meaning there were less of these awful overpays, and therefore fewer opportunities for Cleveland now.

Additionally, the Cavs are extremely close to the tax. They will not be making a trade that increases their salary in the current year. Navigating around this will be difficult, because they don't have any salaries in the $2.5m-$8m range besides key young players, making trade construction less flexible.

I'd also point out that the waiver claim on McKinnie could help the Cavs out in certain trade scenarios. You look at their expirings - Knight, Dellavedova, Clarkson, Henson, Thompson - and you'll notice that none of them are wings. If you're helping a contending team save money for next year, they likely won't want to downgrade their roster much for the current year. Pairing McKinnie with one of the expirings could be enough to entice a team to part with a rotation wing player that they wouldn't have been able to replace otherwise.

The last point worth making is that any deal done to save teams future money will reduce that Cavs' space for this summer. If they already have their eyes on a near-max offer sheet for someone like Brandon Ingram, these deals could become difficult to make. They're likely going to have about $30m in space as is with the Cedi extension, but the deals below will eat into that, and could take them out of the running for a player such as Ingram.

Here are a couple I think are at least worth looking into:

DET Receives:
John Henson $9.73m
Alfonzo McKinnie $1.59m
CLE Receives:
Tony Snell $11.39m
Draft Compensation

These are almost equal salaries for this season, and will not push the Cavs into the tax in the current year. Through this deal, DET adds about $10m in space this summer. By renouncing Reggie Jackson & Langston Galloway, they could then get to about $20m in cap space for this summer. How valuable is that with this free agency crop? That's up to DET's front office. If they see minimal value there, then the trade gets nowhere. I think best case scenario on the draft compensation on this deal is a lottery protected 2020 first from DET with CLE sending back a second.

DEN Receives:
Jordan Clarkson $13.44m
Alfonzo McKinnie $1.59m
CLE Receives:
Will Barton $12.78m
Malik Beasley $2.73m

Again, the Cavs would only increase their current year salary by about $500k here... leaving them just barely under the tax line. DEN is known for their unwillingness to pay the tax. With the Murray rookie extension kicking in next year, having the additional flexibility of removing Barton's contract could help with their future planning. There's a lot up in the air with them, as Millsap and Plumlee are UFAs, and Beasley and Hernangomez are RFA's. Jerami Grant may also opt out and earn himself a nice pay day with a solid playoff performance. There was a report that Beasley/DEN were not close on a rookie extension deal, so my guess would be there's a good chance he gets a decent offer sheet this summer that'll pry him away. Barton has $13.7m due in 2020-21, and a $14.7m player option for 2021-22.

A similar deal like this is still unlikely to me for a few reasons. Why give up to $27m in future spending for Beasley's rights, when he's gettable this summer on his own? Is Beasley even worth the salary he will get? This comes down to CLE's evaluation of him, of course. He's a great offensive talent, but there's questions there defensively. Of course, CLE already has quite an investment in two one-way guards, and have an important upcoming draft with more of the same at the top. A more likely deal may be to replace Beasley with Juancho Hernangomez + a protected pick deep into the future.

TOR Receives:
Matthew Dellavedova $9.61m
Alfonzo McKinnie $1.59m
CLE Receives:
Norman Powell $10.12m
Draft Compensation

Everyone's already heard about TOR's pursuit of Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021. The key to this deal for TOR is getting off of Powell's player option of $11.6m for 2021-22. They have very little on their books for that summer as is, but an upcoming re-signing of Van Vleet and a possible rookie extension for OG Anunoby will eat into that. We've seen the importance of getting a second star can be for luring FAs. It's safe to say that Giannis will have many suitors, but the opportunity to play with Siakam and another max player could land him. The acquisition of McKinnie could help them a ton this year, with the lackluster start of Stanley Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson.

CLE will save about $1m in the current year of this deal. They could also swap out Henson for Dellavedova, though that would just add to an already crowded backcourt. A deal could also be structured around McKinnie and Brandon Knight, with the Cavs also getting back Stanley Johnson or Hollis Jefferson in the deal. My best guess on draft compensation would be a lightly protected first round pick. CLE would likely want to negotiate for the draft pick to be received as soon as possible, prior to any potential Giannis signing that would send a TOR first into the picks 28-30 range year in and year out. It's also worth noting that Masai Ujiri rarely trades first round picks, making this one a challenge when combined with their already comfortable flexibility.

LAC Receives:
Tristan Thompson $18.54m
Ante Zizic $2.28m
CLE Receives:
Moe Harkless $11.01m
Jerome Robinson $3.57m
Rodney McGruder $4.81m
Draft Compensation

This trade is pretty difficult to make, as both CLE and LAC are up against the tax this year. There are some interchangeable parts that could happen here, but this deal as is would increase LAC's salary by $1.43m this year - bringing them within $300k of the tax line. I would expect McKinnie to once again be involved in this scenario, as losing Harkless and McGruder hurts LAC's wing depth. CLE would have some decent leverage on draft compensation here in my opinion, as they're giving an upgrade in talent, and taking on over $8m in future money. Due to their moves this past offseason, the draft compensation available for the Cavs to go after here is limited. It would have to be this year's first round pick due to the Stepien Rule and their current obligations. LAC has a small handful of 2nd rounders to work with also.

There's also a conversation about whether or not the Cavs would even be interested in moving Thompson. Preliminary talks with his agent about his next contract may have a strong effect on this.

Minnesota Receives:
Tristan Thompson $18.54m
Cleveland Receives:
Gorgui Dieng $16.23m
Josh Okogie $2.53m and/or Draft Compensation

I truthfully am not sure what Minnesota's direction is currently, but I think a Thompson-Towns pairing could be enticing to them. Their effort to try to sign & trade for D'Angelo Russell may indicate they would like to win sooner rather than later. They also have all of their draft picks going forward. I personally believe Okogie would be a solid fit next to either Sexton or Garland and can be taken in via the Sam Dekker trade exception in a non-simultaneous trade. However, the deal could involve draft compensation with one of their minimum players instead. Dieng is due $17.29m in 2020-21.

Portland Receives:
Kevin Love $28.94m
Cleveland Receives:
Hassan Whiteside $27.09m
Draft Compensation

I'm just throwing this one in there for timesake. I feel like a Portland deal for Love would have happened by now if it were going to happen, and I'll leave it at that. Portland has all of their first round picks going forward to make a deal work. I still don't think the Cavs are interested in moving Love. If this deal were to happen, it would free up quite a bit of cap space for this summer, enabling them to pursue additional salary dumping moves.



Lastly, there may be a move out there to move Jordan Clarkson for a young player or 2nd rounder(s). I'm sure Cleveland will call around and shop him. Again, the Cavs are up against the tax so putting together a deal that works for both sides may not always be easy. For example, say the Bucks wanted to upgrade their shot creation off the bench... they just don't have the contracts that can add up to close to Clarkson's $13.44m without giving up a key contributor to the deal.


A couple of common theoretical trades thrown around that I personally don't think are too realistic:

James Johnson - This one has been talked about for awhile now, as Brandon Knight's salary matches up extremely well. Miami is up against the hard cap due to their sign & trade for Jimmy Butler, but this deal increases their salary by just $300k. They would still be under the apron by about $500k. I've not looked around the league, but I'd imagine it would be difficult for Miami to find an expiring(s) that matches up with Johnson's contract this closely. I have one big issue with this one: what is Miami's motivation for this deal? Dragic comes off their books after this year and they have no impending extensions until 2021, at which point James Johnson's contract is up. They're not up against the tax next season either. If anything, they may see value in James Johnson's contract next season as an expiring to pair with their 2025 pick for a talent upgrade. If you take a step back, what this trade would do is give up Miami's sole future remaining asset for almost meaningless savings.

Caris LeVert - I think this one would have to wait for a few reasons. LeVert's contract falls under what's called the Poison Pill Provision until his rookie contract extension kicks in. His incoming salary is the average of his current year contract and the years under extension - about $13.78m. However, his outgoing salary is just $2.63m for BKN. This makes things extremely difficult, as CLE is near the tax and BKN is about $7m short of it. Both teams are also over the cap, causing both teams having to receive no more than 125% + $100k of what they send out. Because of this, a third team with cap space (ATL is the only team with cap space with about only $3m) or a trade exception is needed. There aren't a ton of decent sized trade exceptions out there either. Who would be giving compensation to the third team, and what would it be? Additionally, what would BKN's motivation be for moving LeVert to the Cavs at this point in time?
 

NMCav

Sixth Man
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
2,404
Reaction score
2,367
Points
113
None of these trades make a lick of sense. Some of them don't make sense for either side. The Wolves one in particular makes little sense for the Cavaliers. Okogie can't hit threes. Coach Beilein wouldn't play him even if his defense is very good. Okogie plays SG and is somehow a worse 3 point shooter then Larry Nance. Also the Wolves love Okogie and play him over their prized rookie Jarrett Culver. Any trade with the Clippers would likely have to include the Cavaliers acquiring Mfiodo Kabengale. Robinson really isn't a need when we already have Sexton, KPJ, Osman and eventually Windler taking minutes at SG/SF.
 

AllforOne

NBA Starter
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
872
Reaction score
2,955
Points
93
Good, thoughtful post. I agree that there aren't as many targets for the type of trade we saw the Cavs execute repeatedly last season (where they send a veteran with an expiring contract in exchange for a veteran with a longer contract + young player(s) + draft asset(s)). And the Cavs are only $1.27 million below the tax line, which limits their flexibility in deals (as you also mentioned).

The other complicating factor is that teams aren't going to be as keen to clear room for next summer, because the FA class is so weak. The one possible marquee FA (Unibrow) will almost certainly stay in LA, barring some real fireworks there between now and next July.

Still, I think the opportunities are there. I like the idea of Dieng as a trade target, and have for some time, for the exact reasons you mentioned -- Minny probably wouldn't mind getting out from under that 2020-21 season, while also possibly upgrading to a better player (if it would be a deal for Tristan).

Possible team-by-team trade targets:

* ATL: They could decide to take the next step in their ascent and trade for Love. If so, Chandler Parsons (who's in the last year of his contract) would be the likely salary coming back. I could also see them wanting to upgrade from one of their current veteran SGs (Crabbe or Turner) to Clarkson. They have all their future firsts + two others (a Brooklyn and an OKC), so they have plenty of draft assets; they also have some intriguing young players (I wouldn't mind grabbing Bruno Fernando).
* BOS: They're in a sticky cap situation for next season, as they're already up against the tax without adding any draft picks or free agents. They might want to move on from Gordon Hayward (who has a $34 million player option for next year) in order to open up some breathing room. I'd definitely like to see what Hayward could do here; and the Celts have all their future firsts + firsts from Memphis and Milwaukee, so they have the draft ammo if they do want to escape from Hayward's deal and potential tax hell.
* BRK: Not seeing any possibilities for a deal here. The Nets do have a large number of big contracts, and they will be in tax hell soon, but all those deals are for players that they want to keep (KD, Kyrie, Dinwiddie, LeVert, etc.).
* CHI: Probably not much room for a deal here, unless the Bulls decide that they want to move on from Porter ($28.5 million option for next year).
* CHO: The good news is that they might want to move on from Batum (who has a player option for $27.1 million next year). The bad news is that even with Batum, they are far from the cap (let alone the tax line), so they don't have much incentive for a deal.
* DAL: They might want to move Hardaway's deal ($18.975 million player option); alas, they strip-mined their future picks in the deal for Porzingis. So probably nothing to be done here.
* DEN: I can't see them entertaining a salary dump, even with looming tax problems. But would they want to pursue Love or Tristan and part with either Harris or Will Barton? Might be worth keeping an eye on.
* DET: Not seeing room for a deal here.
* GSW: Not seeing room for a deal here; and besides, fuck them. Let them rot in luxury tax hell for the next couple of years.
* HOU: They're over the tax line this year, probably will be next year, and probably will be the year after that, unless they break up the Beard-Russ-Capela-Gordon band. Perhaps they'd want to move on from PJ Tucker (who has a small guarantee for next season)?
* IND: Almost all of their big contracts are ones they've signed recently; we'd have to give them some time to let some buyer's remorse sink in.
* LAC: Same, except they're not going to have any remorse over Kawhi, PG, or PatBev. Next.
* LAL: It has to dawn on them at some point that Bron + Unibrow + Danny Green isn't enough for a title. But they don't really have salaries to dump, unless you count KCP's $8.5 million-ish player option next season.
* MEM: They have $57 million in commitments for next season. They're about the last team that needs salary relief. Next.
* MIA: Over the tax line this season, but they'll lose a lot of salary with Dragic and Leonard coming off the books. Cavs can't really help them with the tax this year, so probably not an ideal trade partner.
* MIL: Same as IND/LAC; plus, they need to do everything they can to keep Giannis, so now's not the time for them to dump possibly useful players to save a few bucks. Next.
* MIN: Dieng (discussed above).
* NO: Well under the tax this year, and under the cap for next season. Not seeing much room for a trade here.
* NYK: No salary pressures right now, but it's the Knicks; anything is possible. I doubt the Cavs have much chance at landing Mitchell Robinson, but I'd like to see them try.
* OKC: They already did their payroll-shedding this past July. However, they might want to shed Schroder's salary to have more room for next summer. I'll also pitch an idea for a very minor deal here: Roberson for either Henson or Delly. It's a nothing-for-nothing trade on the court, but it would get OKC out of the tax (they're currently just over), while not increasing the Cavs' salary above the tax line. Oughta be worth a second-rounder or two, I'd think.
* ORL: Only dump here is if they realize that Terrence Ross is not worth anywhere near $54 million over the next four years; and I wouldn't want to make that deal because, well, Terrence Ross is not worth anywhere near $54 million over the next four years.
* PHI: Lots of salaries and looming tax problems here; alas, the salaries are for players they probably want to keep. Moving on.
* PHX: They haven't been contracted yet?
* POR: Will always be discussed as a possible K-Love destination. In terms of salary relief, the Cavs can't help them much. The Blazers are way over the tax line this season, but that will change once they shed Whiteside and Bazemore this July.
* SAC: Probably not much of a need for a deal here.
* SAS: Perhaps they want to get out from under Gay's $14 million for next season?
* TOR: Well under the tax right now, and they dip below the cap next year with Gasol and Ibaka's deals ending. However, they might want to shed Powell's salary (he's signed for next year + a player option the year after); might be worth keeping an eye on.
* UTA: Anybody they have who is making money, they probably want to keep.
* WAS: Not happening, unless they want to offer a boatload of unprotected firsts to entice taking on Wall's anchor of a contract.

So there are some possibilities. Maybe not as many as last year, but there are some deals to be had.
 

I'mWithDan

"Straight Cash Homie"
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
8,005
Reaction score
13,102
Points
123
None of these trades make a lick of sense. Some of them don't make sense for either side. The Wolves one in particular makes little sense for the Cavaliers. Okogie can't hit threes. Coach Beilein wouldn't play him even if his defense is very good. Okogie plays SG and is somehow a worse 3 point shooter then Larry Nance. Also the Wolves love Okogie and play him over their prized rookie Jarrett Culver. Any trade with the Clippers would likely have to include the Cavaliers acquiring Mfiodo Kabengale. Robinson really isn't a need when we already have Sexton, KPJ, Osman and eventually Windler taking minutes at SG/SF.
I watched player after player at Michigan develop and extend their range. People really need to have an open mind with Beilein here. He is an absolutely masterful player development coach. And he is the hands down shooting whisperer.

I don’t know if we have any interest in Okogie but Beilein has proven over and over again that he has an incredible eye for talent. He recruited players off the reservation at Michigan, where he had resources and brand recognition to pluck 4/5 star guys and turned many of them in to NBA players.....almost always passing on guys who were ranked significantly higher by recruiting services.

One of the more fascinating things with him will be some of the strange trades we are bound to make. Where we acquire a guy that doesn’t make a lot of sense on the surface but we then see Beilein grin ear to ear when he starts talking about him. He did this over and over again at Michigan, so much so that it just can’t be a mistake. Obviously the FO has a say in this but JB, IMO, is the best coach I have ever seen at putting 4 players on the table, with like or untapped skills and without fault, picking the guy who ends up being the best player.
 

Cavatt

Hall-of-Famer
Joined
Sep 7, 2008
Messages
21,183
Reaction score
22,032
Points
135
I watched player after player at Michigan develop and extend their range. People really need to have an open mind with Beilein here. He is an absolutely masterful player development coach. And he is the hands down shooting whisperer.

I don’t know if we have any interest in Okogie but Beilein has proven over and over again that he has an incredible eye for talent. He recruited players off the reservation at Michigan, where he had resources and brand recognition to pluck 4/5 star guys and turned many of them in to NBA players.....almost always passing on guys who were ranked significantly higher by recruiting services.

One of the more fascinating things with him will be some of the strange trades we are bound to make. Where we acquire a guy that doesn’t make a lot of sense on the surface but we then see Beilein grin ear to ear when he starts talking about him. He did this over and over again at Michigan, so much so that it just can’t be a mistake. Obviously the FO has a say in this but JB, IMO, is the best coach I have ever seen at putting 4 players on the table, with like or untapped skills and without fault, picking the guy who ends up being the best player.
I totally agree with this. One of the things I am excited about Beilein is that it seems like he can pump a player up and increase his trade value, and then reclaim players that people think never developed.

One thing that always hurt about having Lebron is that players never got more enticing as they played with him. They only got overshadowed and put in a box. Love and TT are showing that right now.
 

Goldin Brown

Sixth Man
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
2,008
Reaction score
1,496
Points
113
Really like what I'm seeing from Nassir Little on Portland. If they are looking to go all in, I think he's the guy I would target in a Love trade. Bazemore, Collins, Little and a pick would do it for me, I don't think they'd be willing to give up Simons and I want no parts of Whiteside. Little, you could play at the 3/4, he's 6'6 220 and long, good defender, plays with great energy and I think he can guard 2-4. I really like him, I think the only hole in his game is the jumper but I think he can develop that in time to be at least average from range. Collins is a really nice player too, I think he's expendable for them given the injury, their window is now if they want to go all in.
 

The Improv House

Top