The Cleveland Cavaliers have continued their losing slide after the team dropped their third straight game, 104-101, against the Utah Jazz last Saturday at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. It was a disappointing birthday performance for LeBron James, even though he scored 29 points on 12-for-22 shooting.
It was the fourth loss in five games for the Cavaliers, which had kept the team in the third spot in the East behind the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors. With their recent struggles, trade rumors have again hounded the squad and the same familiar names being linked to them since October have re-surfaced.
According to Nathan Beighle of FanSided’s King James Gospel blog, the Cavs should soon make a move for Los Angeles Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan now that Isaiah Thomas is “almost back” from injury.
The Cavs acquired Thomas in the Kyrie Irving trade with the Boston Celtics last summer but has not yet suited up for Cleveland this season. Thomas has been recovering from the hip injury he suffered during the last postseason in, ironically, an Eastern Conference Finals series versus the Cavs.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that Thomas will finally make his season debut for the Cavs on Tuesday at home against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Beighle noted that Thomas’ addition to the Cavs would give the team’s offense a huge boost. The two-time NBA All-Star was one of the league’s leading scorers last season with a 28.9 points per game clip while playing for the Celtics.
However, Beighle said that the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Thomas would be a liability on defense, as it was the case in Boston last season. Thomas finished 2016-2017 with a defensive rating of 112 while having an impressive offensive rating of 122, per the report.
Beighle then suggested a trade scenario that would send Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Cedi Osman, and the Cavs’ 2018 first-round draft pick (not the Brooklyn pick) to the Clippers for Jordan and sixth man extraordinaire Lou Williams. Jordan would compensate for Thomas’ defensive weakness as the two-time NBA All-Defensive First Teamer is known as one of the best rim protectors in the league.
The inclusion of Osman to the trade package is said to be the key for the deal to push through, Beighle opined.
Osman, 22, is a young and versatile wing player who can “shoot, run the floor, and finish in transition.” He plays only 7.7 minutes per game in 28 games so far for the Cavs but has shown a lot of potential while shooting 38.1 percent from downtown.
The Cavs are reportedly fond of the Turkish international and there are no indications if the team would be willing to give him up at the moment.
Beighle said that Cleveland may have to “re-check how much they value Cedi Osman” soon if they really want to get Jordan.