NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers Want Brooklyn Nets Star

NBA trade rumors are indicating that the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to add another weapon so that they can compete with the Golden State Warriors in a potential rematch in the Finals. According to Hoops Rumors, one of their targets is Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson, a veteran that has desperately been wanting to be cleared of his contract, so he can join a contender.

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, the sting of losing to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors during the NBA Finals last year is still strong. After a humiliating Christmas Day game against the Warriors, David Blatt lost his job as the head coach of the Cavaliers. While there were other reasons why the dismissal took place, the belief is that the big loss forced Cavaliers general manager David Griffin to make a change before the NBA Playoffs started.

David Blatt David Blatt [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]The Cleveland Cavaliers are sitting on a 38-14 record, which puts them first in the Eastern Conference. The Toronto Raptors are closing up on them with a 35-17 record, but the belief is that the Cavaliers will win the conference and secure home court advantage until the NBA Finals. Even though Cleveland hasn’t completely clicked on the court, there’s LeBron James who is just too much for most NBA teams to handle.

With Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love, the Cleveland Cavaliers have three of the best players in the NBA. Since they’re pretty much well set in their ways, it makes it slightly easier for David Griffin to find pieces that will fit around them. That’s the theme in their desires to acquire Joe Johnson from the Brooklyn Nets. The Cavaliers feel that his skills set fits perfectly with one of their biggest needs.

LeBron James LeBron James [Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]Joe Johnson is 6’8″, 230 pounds, which is huge for a guard. That size is more typically found at the forward position. However, Johnson has all the skills of a guard, so it makes him a match-up nightmare at times. He can handle the ball as well as most guards, and Johnson has enough outside range to where NBA defenses cannot sag off of him and crowd the interior paint.

Since Joe Johnson can handle the ball and has size, he’s somewhat interchangeable with LeBron James in the lineup. Johnson is capable of bringing the ball up the court and initiating the offense, so that reduces some of the strain on James. Either one of them can also post up guards and smaller forwards, so it’s hard for NBA coaches to switch up defenders because one of them is bound to be destroyed inside.

Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving [Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]Kyrie Irving loses to beat his man in isolation and drive the ball to the hoop. Since Joe Johnson has range, he won’t be in the way when Irving passes by. Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue can utilize a new lineup that features Johnson and LeBron James at the forward positions and Kevin Love at the center position. Put another sharpshooting guard next to Irving, and opposing NBA defenses will not be able to stop the dribble penetration.

An interesting play that Tyronn Lue can add to the Cleveland Cavaliers playbook is a simple pick and roll between Joe Johnson and Kevin Love. If Johnson were to beat his man, something that he occasionally still do, and the defender drops down into the paint to help out, then Love can simply fade back to the three-point line and nail a wide open jumper, one of his favorite things to do.

[Featured Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]