Trading for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan might be the answer to the Cavaliers’ defensive woes, writes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. Although they have a 26-13 record, defense has been a problem all season for Cleveland, which is allowing 107.2 points per game and ranks 28th in the league in defensive efficiency. One of the issues is the lack of a shot blocker in the middle, which Jordan would immediately solve.
There were reports last month that the Cavs “quietly explored” the possibility of trading for Jordan, who has spent the past decade with the Clippers. He has a player option worth slightly more than $24MM for next year, and L.A. may want to get some value for him now rather than risk losing him in free agency.
Pluto notes that Tristan Thompson at $16.4MM and Channing Frye at $7.4MM would provide a workable salary match for Jordan, and said sources have told him the Clippers would “strongly consider” the deal if Cleveland includes the Nets’ unprotected first-rounder for this year’s draft. However, the Cavs don’t plan to part with that asset given LeBron James‘ uncertain future. Pluto suggests an offer of Thompson, Frye and the Cavs’ draft pick, which falls at No. 25 in our latest Reverse Standings.
There’s more today out of Cleveland:
- Depth at point guard is the most valuable thing Derrick Rose will provide when he returns from his ankle injury, Pluto adds in the same story. Coach Tyronn Lue would like to reduce the minutes for Dwyane Wade, and Rose may take some of his playing time.
- In just two games since returning from a hip injury, Isaiah Thomas is having a profound effect on the Cavaliers’ offense, notes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Thomas came off the bench Tuesday, scoring 17 points in 19 minutes, then added 19 points in 22 minutes in his first start with the team Saturday as Cleveland scored a season-high 131 points in a win at Orlando. “I’m able to push the pace a little more, get the ball out of Bron’s hands and show the defense something different that they haven’t seen all year,” Thomas said. “I think with me being out there it definitely gives us another level that we can reach.”
- After being acquired as part of the Kyrie Irving trade, Jae Crowder is enjoying his surroundings with older, more accomplished teammates in Cleveland, relays Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe [subscription account].