The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a popular team in recent NBA trade rumors, but superstar small forward LeBron James fanned the rumor mill flames even further when he vented to the media after the Cavs’ loss to the lowly New Orleans Pelicans on January 23, who won despite playing without superstar center Anthony Davis. James has been publicly lobbying for the team to acquire another playmaker, but per Fox Sports, his frustration seemed to boil over after Cleveland’s embarrassing defeat in New Orleans.
“We’re not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint…we’re a top-heavy team. I just hope that we’re not satisfied as an organization. How hard it was to do that (expletive). I just hope we’re not satisfied. I don’t got no time to waste. I’ll be 33 in the winter and I ain’t got time to waste.”
The Cavaliers have been working the phones trying to find the right deal to bring someone to the team who can take some of the ball-handing and passing responsibilities away from James and Kyrie Irving. With no veteran lead guard on the roster, it is extremely likely that any such player the Cavs add will be a point guard. Let’s take a look at a list of players who would fill this need for Cleveland, and who have also been rumored to be on Cleveland’s radar.
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Deron Williams, Dallas Mavericks
Blasting News reports that the Cavs may be contemplating a multi-player deal for Williams. Deron Williams is a three-time NBA All-Star who is averaging 13.7 points and 7.1 assists per game this season for the Mavs. Williams would be a very good fit, but he is also in the final year of his contract and could be a bit expensive to acquire.
Jameer Nelson, Denver Nuggets
Nelson is one of the players Cleveland has been inquiring about, according to Fansided. He is another former NBA All-Star who has the playmaking skills that LeBron James and the Cavaliers covet. Nelson is coming off the bench for the Nuggets, so he wouldn’t cost the Cavs too much in terms of compensation or salary ($4.6 million per season).
Rajon Rondo, Chicago Bulls
CBS Sports reveals that Cleveland is eyeing Rajon Rondo. He is a talented player, having made four NBA All-Star teams, but his behavior and attitude are erratic. Rondo’s play this year has been so underwhelming that he has been benched by the Bulls, but he could be revitalized by joining the Cavaliers (although his massive contract would be a concern).
If the Cavs have to look in the bargain bin for a playmaking guard, there are a few solid candidates there as well. Sergio Rodriguez of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Detroit Pistons’ Ish Smith, or Jose Calderon of the Los Angeles Lakers could be obtained via trade, as detailed by USA Today and Yibada. Jarrett Jack and Mario Chalmers head the list of free agents that Cleveland could sign on the cheap without having to give up any of their current players.
NBA trade rumors are running rampant that the Cavaliers are going to add a veteran point guard to their roster before the February trade deadline, and at this point, that seems like a near-certainty. There are a number of attractive options, but which of these prospects Cleveland adds will come down to obtaining the best player (and the best fit) they can for the most reasonable price. LeBron James is likely to get his wish for an additional playmaker soon, and that has to be a relief to Cavs Nation.
[Featured Image by Rebecca Blackwell/AP Images]