The Cavaliers aren’t likely to launch a complete rebuilding project if LeBron James leaves in free agency, writes writes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. Three of the players Cleveland acquired at this year’s trade deadline — Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and George Hill — are all under contract for next year, and the Cavs want to see what they can do when they’re with the organization from the start of the season.
Cleveland is likely to discuss an extension with Nance, who will make $2.3MM next season on the final year of his rookie contract. Teams have called about trading for Nance, Pluto states, but the Cavaliers seem committed to keeping him. Clarkson struggled in the playoffs, but was a valuable bench scorer during the regular season and the Cavs recognize that this was his first postseason experience. Hill has limited trade value with a $17MM contract.
The future is more unpredictable for Rodney Hood, who seemed like a good young player in Utah but had a miserable time after the trade. Pluto expects the Cavaliers to tender a $3.4MM qualifying offer, giving them the right to match any offer Hood receives in free agency.
There’s more Cavaliers news this morning:
- Cleveland is among the teams trying to pry Kawhi Leonard away from the Spurs, but assembling a workable offer won’t be easy, Pluto adds in the same story. Kevin Love, who will make $24.1MM next season with a player option close to $25.6MM for 2019/20, would be useful for salary-matching purposes, but San Antonio seems more interested in acquiring young talent than an established player like Love.
- Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t think LeBron James should let the pursuit of more championships guide his free agency decision, relays Scott Gleeson of USA Today. “My problem toward the end of my career was I was trying to shut everybody up and I was greedy [for more championships],” O’Neal said. “After I got to three [titles], everybody was saying I couldn’t get another. So I got four. After I got the fourth, they were saying I couldn’t get another one. So I was trying to make quick stops to get it. Phoenix, Cleveland, Boston.” O’Neal adds that it will be difficult for James to overcome the Warriors no matter where he goes.
- James’ decision will dominate the summer, but the Cavs have some under-the-radar moves to make as well, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN. Cleveland has a team option on veteran center Kendrick Perkins that must be exercised by June 29. His $2.4MM salary for 2018/19 would be non-guaranteed. Okaro White, who was signed late in the season, will get a chance to show what he can do during summer league. Half of his $1.5MM salary for next year will become guaranteed if he is still on the roster Aug. 5.
15 thoughts on “Cavaliers Notes: Nance, Clarkson, Hill, Leonard”
Like most of the NBA, if CLE gives up assets worth 5 years of Kawhi, but only get one year before he moves– regrets.
So far Kawhi’s even more frustrating than James or George about intentions! James does have a June 29 deadline, and known affinities, but everything is open with Kawhi. LA & NY is the word. So… Clippers or Nets? Personally I think he would adjust to Philly but probably not Boston.
If you want Leonard that #8 pick is gone
Cleveland could land Kawhi. I don’t think Pop let’s Kawhi stay in the west. And I think he’s going to explore trades to trash teams first then I would expect Cleveland philly Boston to be one of the teams he ultimately gets traded to.
I think Danny green is a free agent.
Cleveland could offer 8th pick, Kyle Korver, Cedi Osman, resign Rodney Hood and include him or put clarkson in the deal instead or Hood.
Or JR, 8th pick, Osman and maybe Hood.
But the cavs need Lebron to commit if they get Kawhi.
Can also swap JR for Tristan and trade him instead in the same deal.
I think three things have to happen.
a) They need to discreetly try and explore possible returns for Love. They can then package that return with the #8 and maybe a smaller piece.
b) Then approach LBJ and explain the trade possibilities and if he likes what the idea of moving Love and the 8th to get Kawhi then ask him to opt in for 2018-19 season and maybe add another opt year.
c) Make the trade and hope you can attract another star willing to come in on a vets minimum and give it one last shot for a chip. Guys like Rondo, Crawford, Redick, Bradley, Carter, Okafor or Noel might consider coming on board on the cheap to compete for a chip of to rebuild their value on a high profile team (Okafor or Noel).
Hill-Hood/Clarkson-Leonard-LBJ-Love would be an interesting bunch.
I think they need to keep love. Maybe Tristan, 8th, cedi, clarkson or hood take back Gasol, Leonard.
The Spurs will never get value for for Leonard. Tristan slides into starting lineup TT, Aldridge, Murray, Rudy Gay, and let Pop have his pick of Hood Clarkson or Hill. Then they also get the 8th pick. They still have Manu and Parker off the bench, bertans, Kyle Anderson. Still solid
None of those guys are coming for cheap.
As for (a), Denver has a lot of 4s but still doesn’t have it right. Love for Faried, Plumlee and Lyles provides maneuverability for such as a Kawhi deal and loads up Denver’s front line. The deal strips CLE of their #2 but if it lands Kawhi, there you go.
Cavs have limited cap space. Best they might be able to is to re-purpose bad money and take on a bad contract another team wants to move but fill a need.
**JR Smith to Brooklyn for Mozgov and one of their 2nd round picks. Smith’s contract is only guaranteed for $3.4 mil in 19-20 so his contract is basically a 1/$17 mil. Mozzy is guaranteed 2/$32 mil. Mozzy improves our interior defense and gives us depth at the C position. Brooklyn saves $15 mil for use the summer of 19-20.
Note: If Clarkson is not viewed as a long term piece then maybe add him to the Smith-for-Mozzy deal and we take back Jeremy Lin and his expiring 1 year deal. We get a decent playmaker at the guard position for 2018-19, we clear Clarkson’s guaranteed 2/$25 off the books and Brooklyn gets a young scorer who might benefit from a change of scenery.
**Tristan Thompson and Cedi Osman to Detroit for Andre Drummond. Tristan is owed 2/$35 mil. Drummond is owed (incl his PO) 3/$90 mil. They can save $55 mil overall and still get a guy who is nowhere near as prolific as Drummond but still will give you 10 hustle points and 8-10 rebounds per game. Cavs take on more salary but get an upgrade over Thompson as a legit 15/15 guy who blocks shots too.
**Smith, Hill, Clarkson and Osman to Toronto for Lowry and Ibaka. If Toronto decides to break the team up and retool this would make sense. Both Lowry (2/$64 mil) and Ibaka (2/$44 mil) aren’t worth their contracts. Neither are Hill or Smith but in terms of total money guaranteed their total cost is effectively, 1/$38 mil as combined they are only guaranteed 4.7 mil in 19-20. Toronto can save $70 mil and they can be rid of Hill’s and Smith’s contracts after the 18-19 season. Osman gives them a young and cheap player that could be used off the bench.
**Tristan Thompson and Cedi Osman to Dallas for Harrison Barnes. Barnes could be another playmaker for the Cavs and would fit should LBJ leave. Barnes is owed $24 mil in 18-19 and a $25 mil PO for 19-20. Thompson is owed 2/$32 mil. If Dallas isn’t ready to contend or wish to move salary to sign a FA then they can save about $14 mil. Last year, Dallas’ best PF/C rebounder was Nowitzki with 6 rebounds per game. Tristan averaged 7 coming off the bench (20 min). He can easily give you 8-10 points and rebounds per game as a high energy hustle guy.
**Tristan, Clarkson and Osman to OKC for Melo if he opts in. Cavs get another playmaker than can come off the bench and in cases, share the floor with LBJ. OKC get from under Melo’s contract but get two potential starters in Thompson at PF and Clarkson at SG. Those two might prove to be more useful than a Melo from OKC’s standpoint.
I advocated trading for Mozgov last year but it was never a thing. That was the last the Cavs played D, with Mozgov.
Lebron is going to use up Leonard for defense and ruin his career. Kawhi is too special to play under Lebron who won’t take a backseat.
Cavs D switches.
They could use Tristan and 8th in a trade for Kawhi and then have a team help facilitate a sign and trade with cousins.
Lebron, Kawhi, Cousins, Love
I think if The King leaves town again, the team won’t compete, they will be doomed for a long time, no way they can salvage anything. By the way, how can anyone thing that Detroit, which is trying to compete will trade an all-star center like Drummond for an extremely limited TT, in which world.