NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers Working On Trade With New Orleans Pelicans

NBA trade rumors have the Cleveland Cavaliers hot on the trail of a Ryan Anderson trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. These Cavs trade rumors were part of a report on CBS Sports Wednesday, February 17. Anderson is about to become a free agent, making it necessary for the Pelicans to trade him in order to get something in return. Otherwise Anderson could simply leave in free agency during the NBA offseason. Enter the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that wants to add offense to the second unit.

Ongoing negotiations for a trade between the Cavaliers and Pelicans have been reported by several sources, likely revealing that a deal could be very close. The question is simply what the Cavs are willing to give up to make sure that they get Anderson and that the Pelicans don’t trade him to another team.

There are still several other NBA trade rumors involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, including that long-rumored three-team deal which includes Kevin Love. Those rumors aren’t dying down, despite the front office in Cleveland stating that it doesn’t want to deal Love. It’s unlikely that the rumors will quiet down until after the NBA trade deadline on February 18.

Ryan Anderson Against OKC
(Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

Since the Cleveland Cavaliers are way over the NBA salary cap, the team will have to match salaries in any deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. It means sending players back in exchange for Ryan Anderson and his salary of $8.5 million this year. It could take a combination of players to make it work, possibly including Richard Jefferson, James Jones, and a third player. That won’t get the deal done, though, as the Cavs also have to include an incentive for the Pelicans. That might be a draft pick or two.

Ryan Anderson is a power forward who can really help the Cavs spread the floor. He attempted 359 three-pointers last year and has already attempted 274 of them this year. This season with the Pelicans he is shooting three-pointers at a 38.3 percentage to go along with 86.2 percent at the free throw line. Anderson’s overall averages are 16.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. He has done that in 31 minutes a night.

This has been a frustrating season for the New Orleans pelicans and fans of the team. A year from making it into the NBA Playoffs, the team has fallen to 20-33 this season. It will put the Pelicans right back in the NBA Lottery, possibly getting the team another young player to put beside Anthony Davis. Unloading veterans before the NBA trade deadline might not end with Ryan Anderson either, as other NBA trade rumors have mentioned Omer Asik, Jrue Holiday, and Tyreke Evans. Evans likely won’t be moved after suffering a season-ending injury.

Ryan Anderson Plays Defense
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

When Anderson was seeing heavy minutes for New Orleans in the 2013-14 NBA season, he averaged 19.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He was averaging 36.1 minutes a night that season, showing what he could do with additional playing time. He likely won’t see as much action if the Cavaliers acquire him, but that three-point line will likely become his home when he is on the court.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying hard to add pieces for the second half, even though the team still holds the top seed in the East for the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Not having enough depth against the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 NBA Finals has had a lasting effect on the front office in Cleveland. If these NBA trade rumors don’t lead to something immediate, Cavs fans should expect the team to explore other avenues before the trade deadline arrives at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 18.

[Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]