NBA trade rumors are stating that the Cleveland Cavaliers are among the busiest teams in the league before the deadline and badly want to add final pieces before they vie for another crack at Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the a rematch of the finals. According to CBS Sports, the Cavaliers are said to be heavily interested in Washington Wizards forward Jared Dudley.
With the way that the NBA has evolved, outside shooters are now more vital than ever if you want to get to the NBA Finals and win the championship. You need guys that can stretch the floor so that your star players can have more room to operate and dominate. That is why you have seen a surge in the contracts being signed by guys who are “three and D” and “stretch four” players, such as Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks and Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Cleveland Cavaliers already have a stretch four. His name is Kevin Love, and he was once the franchise player for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite being 6’10”, 260 pounds, Love has as deadly of an outside shot as the smaller guards in the NBA. The problem for the Cavaliers, though, is that Love wants to be more than that for the team. Kevin wants the post up opportunities that he had in Minnesota.
With that in mind, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin has been calling around the NBA to see if he can secure himself a player that is willing to stand by the three-point line, while Kyrie Irving and LeBron James break down their opponents from the perimeter to the rim. While looking through the roster of the Washington Wizards, Griffin noticed that very player in Jared Dudley, who happens to be a starting forward for the team.
It’s not going to be easy for David Griffin to get Jared Dudley to the Cleveland Cavaliers, though. The Washington Wizards are said to be quite enamored with Dudley and his willingness to put the team ahead of himself. The veteran is only 6’7″, 225 pounds, but he is more than willing to battle it out against bigger NBA players. He does that because on the offensive side of the court, the Wizards are given an advantage because Dudley pulls those bigger defenders away from the basket.
The Washington Wizards used to run with a traditional NBA lineup. On their front court, they utilized a small forward next to Nene Hilario and Marcin Gortat. Once they started utilizing smaller players, such as Paul Pierce back then, in their front court, it started giving them an advantage in tempo against opponents. Now, the Wizards are going with small ball lineups more frequently, with Nene and Gortat splitting the minutes at center.
With that said, however, Jared Dudley is not considered completely untouchable by the Washington Wizards. The Cleveland Cavaliers just need to put together a package that will convince Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld to pull the trigger. With Nene Hilario and Marcin Gortat getting up there in age, Timofey Mozgov might be a slightly younger option that intrigues them. Plus, every NBA team loves draft picks, and the Cavaliers have some of that laying around.
Even if the asking price is high, the Cleveland Cavaliers should consider it because it might help them beat the Golden State Warriors. A small ball front court of LeBron James, Jared Dudley and Kevin Love would force the Warriors to pull their big men to the perimeter. That means that the James isolation plays have a much clearer path to the basket, which can be almost impossible to guard at times.
[Featured Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]