Despite losing LeBron James in the recent free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made it clear that they have no intention to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Unfortunately, though they still have Kevin Love, the Cavaliers need to make a roster upgrade to strengthen their chance of earning a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference next season. According to Brent Ong of ClutchPoints, one of the areas the Cavaliers should improve is the small forward position.
After LeBron James left, the Cavaliers is expected to give Cedi Osman more playing time next season. However, with his underwhelming performance in his first year in Cleveland, Osman is obviously not yet ready for the role as the Cavaliers starting small forward. The Cavaliers may be able to re-sign Rodney Hood, but it remains questionable if he can make a huge impact next season.
To have a reliable option in the wing, ClutchPoints suggested that the Cavaliers could engage in a trade deal with the Phoenix Suns. In the proposed trade deal, the Cavaliers will be sending point guard George Hill and a future draft pick to the Suns for a trade package centered on T.J. Warren.
“One realistic way to achieve that goal is to trade for Phoenix Sun’s young gunner TJ Warren, who is an offensively gifted player that can drive to the hoop and get to the free throw line. Best of all, he has the ability to create his own shot, which seems to be a scarcity for Cleveland with severely limited weapons. A possible deal that benefits both teams is a Warren for George Hill swap, with the Cavs adding a future pick to sweeten the pot.”
— The Bright Side (@BrightSideSun) September 1, 2018
As of now, Phoenix is no longer an ideal place to stay for T.J. Warren. Trevor Ariza is set to be the Suns’ starting small forward next season, while Warren is expected to compete for playing time against Josh Jackson and Mikal Bridges. Being traded to a team like the Cavaliers will help Warren further develop his game.
T.J. Warren will immediately address the Cavaliers issue at the wing. He will give the Cavaliers a reliable second scoring option next to Kevin Love. In 65 games he played with the Suns last season, the 24-year-old small forward averaged 19.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.0 steal on 49.8 percent shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, the deal will enable the Suns to address the logjam at their frontcourt, while acquiring a player who could temporarily serve as their starting point guard. George Hill may not be on the level of Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker, but the Suns will benefit from his playmaking skills. Hill could also provide a veteran presence to the Suns’ locker room.