The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking good these past few weeks, winning nine of their last 10 games. With LeBron James apparently staying in Cleveland, the team should go “all-in” on trying to acquire Hassan Whiteside this summer, Basketball Insiders suggests.
Incredibly, James has been playing the best basketball of his so far 15-year career, producing amazing averages of 27.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 9.1 assists, and 1.4 steals in 37.2 minutes per game. His rebounds and assists numbers are career-highs while his scoring production is at its highest since he came back from Miami, which prompted some analysts to conclude that he is indeed serious about chasing a championship once again for Cleveland.
James still has one year left on his three-year, $100 million deal with the Cavs. However, he has a player option at the end of the season, which means that he could choose to enter unrestricted free agency if he wants to.
The Cavs have been 12-4 during the past month with LeBron leading the charge, as the team secured the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs picture with four games to go in their regular season campaign. Still, many analysts believe that the team would fall short against the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the Finals while others think that they may even have a hard time getting out of the East.
In his article about Whiteside’s potential trade destinations this summer, Basketball Insiders‘ Matt John listed the Cavs as one of the teams that should go after the Miami Heat center. John reported that Cleveland may offer veteran big man Tristan Thompson and the first-round draft pick from Brooklyn to the Heat for Whiteside.
While the Cavs might be “hesitant to trade” the Nets pick especially with a coming draft class that is rumored to be loaded, having the opportunity to release Thompson’s contract off their books would make the management’s decision easier, the reporter said.
John continued that if that kind of deal would not work, then Cleveland could offer George Hill and Larry Nance Jr. instead. The Cavs lose two of their newest acquisitions in this option, but they get to keep the pick and have two reliable bigs to play the five position.
Whiteside’s presence would instantly improve Cleveland’s rebounding and rim protection, which are things that the team has lacked for quite a long time. Adding the former NBA rebounding and blocks leader definitely gives LeBron and company a better chance of winning that second championship.