With the NBA Trade Deadline nearing on February 23 at 3:00pm, teams are scrambling to make a move to propel themselves into the playoffs. The New Orleans Pelicans did just that by trading a used car and toothpicks for DeMarcus Cousins. So the question remains, if you’re a contender what do you do? You play your way around the high salary cap and trade rumors just as the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to do as we speak. The team’s options are very different than most teams because they are the premier team in the Eastern Conference and have to make small important moves.
Who Are The Options?
The options are quite limited but aren’t by any means bad. The Cavs have many different ways to acquire talent. The first option is to try to use the trade exceptions it has acquired over the last few years. On February 20 at midnight the Cavs let a $4.4 million exception, which it got from the Anderson Varejao trade, expire. They still have multiple exceptions from the Kyle Korver trade, and the Matthew Dellavedova sign-and-trade.
The Cavs can make minor moves with teams to get a big man or a backup point guard. One option is to use its biggest trade exception, and a pick to acquire guard Shelvin Mack and center Jeff Withey from the Utah Jazz. Also, the Pelicans have made forward Terrence Jones available for trade although he is on a minimum one-year deal. He would fit the Cavs system very well and benefit from having LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the floor with him. The option of Withy and Mack is the most intriguing. They would fill two needs the Cavs have with a big man and point guard.
Both fill needs but may not fit into the Cavs trade exception. By no way are the Cavs trying to make a trade happen but if the right deal is available, they will take it.
The Waiver Wire
This is a spot the Cavs seem to be heavy into when it opens up because they would prefer to give up nothing. Some of those options have yet to actually hit the market. As part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade, both Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans were sent to Sacramento. There is a strong indication that at least one, but maybe both of those guys could be cut. The Cavs would probably prefer Galloway over Evans in that situation because of his age. Also, the fact that he is a more pure shooter than Evans has ever been. The other solid options would be if the Dallas Mavericks cut either Deron Williams or Andrew Bogut. Both would fill a need in some way. Those are just a few of the many options that may occur in the coming days.
The Rest of The Best
The last thing the Cavs could do is— WAIT. Yes, just wait it out and keep the exceptions. It seems clear that the Cavs don’t care to make a trade if it doesn’t make sense for them. One thing they should to do, if not a trade, is to resign Derrick Williams. He has everything the team has needed and more. In just four games, he’s averaging nearly 10 points per game while shooting 60 percent from the field. At this point, anything the Cavs do is because they want to do it. There won’t be any favors to any team for a long time coming.