Considering how many NBA teams are looking forward to a “LeBron James sweepstakes” next month, the fact remains that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ franchise player still has until June 29 to exercise the option year on his contract. As such, the Cavs are reportedly looking for ways to convince James to stay with the Cavs, and that includes possibly trading up in this week’s NBA Draft, or trading for a tried and tested veteran who could give LeBron the support he needs to win another championship in Cleveland. A new report suggests that Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker could be one of those veterans the Cavs are interested in acquiring.
On Monday morning, Cleveland.com reporter Joe Vardon wrote that the Cavaliers have been open about how they want to make some improvements to the team, regardless of whether James chooses to leave the team or not, as they hope to avoid another embarrassing NBA Finals sweep. These improvements, he noted, could include some sort of trade to move a few places up from the eighth spot in this year’s rookie draft, or to acquire a quality veteran that would be “enticing” to James.
According to Vardon, that could mean swinging a deal for San Antonio Spurs forward/guard Kawhi Leonard, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, or trading for Kemba Walker, a two-time All-Star point guard fresh off his seventh NBA season.
Discussing the Cavaliers’ situation, ESPN analyst and former Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Bobby Marks told Cleveland.com that it will be hard for Cavs GM Koby Altman to make personnel decisions come draft day on Thursday night, given how LeBron James has yet to decide on his future.
“I think the hard part for Koby would come where what happens when there is a potential trade that is presented to him and he can bring back players, NBA players. If that’s the case, it maybe happens Thursday night, and how do you go about doing it without a commitment from LeBron? What’s the communication process like between the front office and LeBron in a scenario like that?”
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 18, 2018
Separately, Fansided blog King James Gospel suggested three trade scenarios that could bring Kemba Walker to the Cleveland Cavaliers, including one where the Cavs would receive Walker and shooting guard Nicolas Batum, and give up guards Jordan Clarkson and J.R. Smith, small forward Cedi Osman, and their No. 8 draft pick this year to the Hornets.
Alternately, the publication suggested a more “straight-up” trade where only Walker would go to Cleveland, with the Cavs giving up Clarkson and the No. 8 pick, and a more complicated three-team deal also involving the Brooklyn Nets where Walker would be joined by forward Marvin Williams in Cleveland. For the latter deal, the Hornets would receive Jeremy Lin and DeMarre Carroll from the Nets and the No. 8 draft pick in 2018 and the veteran George Hill, while the Nets would get Batum from Charlotte and center Ante Zizic from the Cavs.