The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to make a deal before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday. The Cavaliers have been struggling over the past several weeks, which will likely force general manager Koby Altman to pull the trigger on a deal in the coming days.
The Cavaliers are being linked to several players on the trading block. And according to Quenton Albertie of the King James Gospel, the Cavaliers should take a gamble on Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton.
Cleveland does not have a lot of attractive assets to offer in the deal aside from their own 2018 first-round pick and the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick, which will likely be in the lottery. Albertie suggested that Cleveland should trade the Brooklyn pick in a trade package with Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder for Gordon and Payton.
Cleveland has been very reluctant to include the Brooklyn pick in possible trades. Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, though, that the Cavs are willing to trade the coveted pick for a “young player under team control” in the coming years.
Gordon and Payton fit the billing. While both players will become free agents after this season, the Cavaliers will have the rights to match offers to Gordon and Payton to keep them in Cleveland.
Albertie pointed out that Gordon will be a good fit for the Cavaliers because of his athleticism and versatility. He could also play a major role in the second half of the season with starting power forward Kevin Love out with a fractured left hand. The 22-year-old is averaging 18.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season.
On the other hand, Payton might be a better fit for the Cavaliers than Thomas, who is struggling to regain his old form. Payton will be an additional target for James, as the 23-year-old point guard is shooting almost 38 percent from the three-point range this season. The fourth-year guard is averaging 13.2 points and 6.2 assists.
It remains to be seen, though, if Cleveland will finally give up the Brooklyn pick. Pluto suggested that the Cavaliers should not “make a rash offer” and just keep the Brooklyn pick.
He added that Cleveland should just offer their own 2018 first-round pick along with Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye for DeAndre Jordan. The Los Angeles Clippers are expected to move Jordan after trading Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets last summer and Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons last week.