The Cleveland Cavaliers may have finished the 2018-19 NBA season with one of the worst records in the league, but they don’t seem to have any intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild. In the 2019 NBA offseason, the Cavaliers are expected to try surrounding Kevin Love with players that could at least help them return to the Eastern Conference playoffs in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently created a list of superstars that lottery teams could target next summer. For the Cavaliers, Buckley suggested that they could trade for Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics. Hayward has yet to regain his All-Star form since returning from a grave injury, and the Celtics may no longer have the patience to wait for him to return to his old self.
If they fail to win the NBA championship title this season, the Celtics could find a way to unload Hayward and the $66.8 million he’s owed over the next two years. As Buckley noted, the Cavaliers are “more than interested” in adding Hayward to their roster.
“It’s possible the Boston Celtics will have cost-cutting atop their summer to-do list. If Kyrie Irving wants to stay, they might need the funds to add more established talent around him. If Uncle Drew departs, they could launch into a rebuild around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Either way, that could make Gordon Hayward—owed $32.7 million next season with a $34.2 million player option for 2020-21—expendable and the Cleveland Cavaliers more than interested.”
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Cavaliers will be sending J.R. Smith and Jordan Clarkson to the Celtics in exchange for Gordon Hayward. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help both the Cavaliers and the Celtics in answering their needs as they retool their rosters this summer.
The deal will enable the Celtics to free up some salary cap space that they could use to chase big names in the 2019 NBA free agency period. Jordan Clarkson will give the Celtics a very reliable scoring option in their second unit, but if they aren’t interested in keeping him, they could include him in another trade to acquire a superstar next summer.
Gordon Hayward will be an intriguing addition to the Cavaliers, giving them a player who could ease the load on Kevin Love’s shoulder on the offensive end of the floor. Hayward may have failed to live up to expectations from the contract he signed with the Celtics, but being in a new environment could potentially help him regain his All-Star form.