The latest NBA trade rumors are following the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers, but only because the rich are looking to get richer. The Cavs have rookie second-round pick Kay Felder slated as their current backup point guard, but he has a concussion and may not be available when the season begins next week. Even if Felder is healthy, Cleveland would like to have a veteran point guard to play behind Kyrie Irving while Felder gains some NBA experience in a limited role.
NBC Sports has reported that the Cavaliers are aggressively pursing a trade for a veteran point guard with the hope that they can obtain such a player in the next few days. In a related story on CSN Bay Area, James Ham discussed a scenario in which the Sacramento Kings may be targeting Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio for a possible trade. As a result of these, and other NBA trade rumors that are stewing in the rumor mill, a new trade scenario has surfaced that involves all three of these franchises.
The rumored trade proposal states that the Cavs would acquire point guard Darren Collison and shooting guard Ben McLemore, while Ricky Rubio would become a member of the Sacramento Kings. Shooting guard Iman Shumpert would be sent to Minnesota as the final part of this three-team swap. This four-player deal does satisfy all NBA trade and salary cap restrictions, so the rumored proposal is legitimate from that standpoint.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are doing their best to keep pace with the Golden State Warriors, who made major off-season noise by signing superstar small forward Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Cavs haven’t made any big moves, other than to bring back starting shooting guard J.R. Smith on a four-year, $57 million contract. Cleveland had been rumored to be looking for a significant trade all summer, but none of those potential deals came through.
The Cavaliers need a backup point guard, and Darren Collison would fill that role well. In addition, the Cavs would get Ben McLemore, a former high first-round pick who has not been able to blossom during his time with the Kings. Even if McLemore falters as the backup shooting guard, Cleveland also has Jordan McRae (who has had an outstanding preseason) and James Jones on the roster. Iman Shumpert would be missed if he is dealt to the Timberwolves, but this would be a good trade for Cleveland as they prepare to defend their 2016 NBA Championship.
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The Sacramento Kings have been in need of point guard help since former starter Rajon Rondo bolted for the Chicago Bulls. Ricky Rubio has his flaws, but he is likely to be a more impactful player than Darren Collison. The Kings have solid depth at shooting guard (Garrett Temple and rookie Malachi Richardson backing up starter Arron Afflalo), so frankly speaking, Ben McLemore is expendable. This deal works well for the Cavs, and it is also a “plus” trade for Sacramento. Will the Minnesota Timberwolves make or break this potential transaction?
For Minnesota, this is essentially a one-for-one swap of point guard Ricky Rubio for shooting guard Iman Shumpert. Shumpert is a very good defensive player and a solid guy to have coming off a team’s bench, but Rubio has more overall trade value than Shumpert, even considering Rubio’s shooting woes (he has an anemic career shooting mark of 36.8 percent from the field). Teams typically won’t make a deal for a player of lesser value, but there are exceptions, and this may be one of them.
The Timberwolves have reportedly been shopping Rubio around the league because they are very high on rookie draft pick Kris Dunn from Providence College. The Wolves want to turn over the point guard duties to Dunn, and move on from Ricky Rubio. Zach LaVine is Minnesota’s current starter at shooting guard, but Iman Shumpert would provide a nice compliment to LaVine in the Timberwolves’ backcourt. LaVine would be the more offensive-minded shooting guard, while Shumpert would fill the “defensive stopper” role at that position.
NBA trade rumors are making the rounds that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, and Minnesota Timberwolves are immersed in trade talks. The rumored scenario would be a good move for the Cavs, and it would also improve the Kings’ lineup if the trade takes place. The Timberwolves wouldn’t quite be getting equal value as this proposed deal is structured, but given Minnesota’s “big picture” goals, it is very possible the team would go along with this three-team, four-player trade. Do you agree that there is enough benefit to all three teams that this NBA trade rumor could become confirmed news in the coming days?
[Featured Image by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]