Trade targets? Cavaliers have some options
For the second time during general manager Koby Altman's reign, the Cleveland Cavaliers were said to be "on the one-yard line" of a trade and have been unable to punch it through.
That's not Altman's fault as much as it is the nature of pro basketball and trades in general.
The deal in question involved Sacramento Kings guard George Hill and Cavaliers big man Channing Frye and swingman Iman Shumpert. Every national media outlet and the Sacramento Bee reported the trade was basically done. The list includes this very website.
It was what everyone was led to believe.
But now it is quite evident talks have stalled and Hill may be staying put. That may not be such a bad thing for the Cavs -- who are 18-1 when Frye plays 11 minutes or more (and 11-18 otherwise).
Still, they are listening and making offers for Shumpert, and there is a chance Hill could still make his way to Cleveland. The trade isn't dead, it seems, but it is very much on hold with the Feb. 8 deadline rapidly approaching.
Basically, the Cavs are staying active and searching for the right pieces, the right deals to improve the roster and make another late-season run.
Here are some other potential targets for the Cavs:
1. Center DeAndre Jordan and/or shooting guard Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
This talk has been going on for at least month, and the Cavs have indeed have conversations with the Clippers about Jordan, sources said. It's hard to know the Cavs' actual interest in Williams. It doesn't seem to be as intense as what has made its way to social media.
Still, the Cavs have liked Jordan for some time, and now that the Clippers have dealt Blake Griffin to the Pistons, it may be easier to land a package build around Jordan.
2. Swingman Kent Bazemore or center Dewayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks
The Cavs must improve defensively and this would sure be one way to do it -- especially if they could figure out a way to land both players.
While neither Bazemore nor Dedmon are considered stars, they could be the type of fits around the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Love that could put the Cavs over the top.
But like all teams playing for a high draft pick, the Hawks only want younger players and more picks. The Cavs don't exactly have an abundance of either, so pulling off a trade with Atlanta will be nearly impossible.
3. Forward Kenneth Faried, guard Emmanuel Mudiay and/or swingman Will Barton, Denver Nuggets
Faried and Mudiay are having down seasons, as both are averaging career-lows in most categories. Still, either could be a nice player in a limited role, particularly Faried. The Nuggets may give up Faried if the Cavs parted with Jae Crowder (and other stuff), which is something the Cavs might be willing to do.
But Faried and Mudiay would feel like making a trade for the sake of making one. The member of the Nuggets most opponents would probably want and could realistically get would be Barton.
He is among the league's most underrated scorers and winners, a player who is content to come off the bench but can also be a productive starter.
Of course, again, the Nuggets would want a real reason to part with Barton -- and it's up for debate whether the Cavs would have enough to interest Denver.
4. Point guard Kemba Walker, forward Marvin Williams and/or swingman Nic Batum, Charlotte Hornets
According to multiple reports, each of the Hornets listed above are available. And depending on how badly the Hornets want to start over (it should be pretty badly), you might be able to land at least one relatively cheap.
At least, that's the theory -- as teams tend to lower their asking price when they start to feel desperate to make a deal.
The Hornets don't appear to be there yet, but if you're the Cavs, it's worth exploring. The Cavs want to get help without giving away the Brooklyn pick, and that won't be easy, especially when you're talking about a talent such as Walker.
And the Cavs may not even want Walker. But Williams is a quietly efficient winner, and every team that hopes to contend wants a player like that. Don't be surprised if the Cavs and Hornets at least have a conversation or two.
5. Power forward Larry Nance Jr. and guard Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers don't really seem to have a clear battle plan other than to build around LonzoBall and BrandonIngram.
When that's the case, they can be talked into making deals. Nance is a high-flying rim protector, the type of young player who could flourish next to veteran stars such as James.
Clarkson is underrated in his own right and word is, the Lakers are shopping him.
Problem is, the Lakers don't seem to want to trade unless someone takes the over-the-hill and unbelievably expensive LuolDeng off their hands.
Bottom line? The Cavs should make a call to the Lakers. But they should hang up the minute LA mentions Deng or the Brooklyn pick.
(Have some trade candidates of your own? Put your thoughts in the comments section below and we will read every last one.)