As Cleveland Cavs fans might expect, NBA trade rumors have picked up since the recent 4-1 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals. Previous rumors have speculated on Paul George possibly heading to Cleveland to help them compete with the powerful Warriors’ roster that could be a dynasty for several years now. There have also been lingering rumors that Carmelo Anthony might join the Cavs’ roster so that he can capture his first-ever NBA Championship alongside his pal LeBron James. Now, some newly suggested NBA trades have popped up, one of which suggests the possibilities of Chris Paul or DeMarcus Cousins to join Cleveland.
As reported by Fox Sports, there are four potential trades or moves the Cavs could make this offseason to improve their chances at defeating the mighty Warriors. One of those would be to let Carmelo Anthony waive his “no-trade clause” in his contract so the Knicks can release him and he can sign on with Cleveland. Another suggested trade is Kevin Love straight up for Paul George. That would give Indiana Love and Cleveland more firepower and a better defender in Paul George. However, it could also mean George has to take a lesser role with the Cavs. While Durant clearly took a bigger role in Golden State, it’s unlikely that “PG13” is going to be the main man over LeBron on his team.
Two other suggested trades that have recently found their way into the conversation feature New Orleans Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul. Keep in mind, however, that are just online rumors, so anything is possible. The Cousins’ trade would send Kevin Love to the Pelicans in exchange for Cousins. The interesting aspect of that is the fact that New Orleans just acquired Cousins before this past season’s All-Star break. Would they part ways with a guy like Cousins to bring in Love?
Cousins ranked as No. 9 in the league in rebounding last season with 11 per game. He also averaged 27 points and 1.3 blocks per game. He’d help patrol the paint to prevent those layups from Warriors’ stars Durant and Curry, among others, but the issue might come down to who guards Kevin Durant besides LeBron. In addition, there would be the possibility that Cousins needs to eventually re-sign with the team for a long-term deal. “Boogie” just doesn’t seem like the answer when rumors are suggesting players such as Carmelo Anthony or Paul George, who seem a bit less likely to get frustrated in games.
The other trade in the rumors is one that might be hard for Cavs’ fans to stomach. It would be Kyrie Irving and Edy Tavares for Chris Paul in a sign-and-trade. As mentioned by Fox Sports’ Andrew Lynch, it brings one of LeBron’s good friends, “CP3,” to Cleveland to be his new point guard, and he could play at a slower pace for the offense. Paul has shown great offensive efficiency in terms of assists to turnover ratio in games and would be able to help make those big plays the Cavs need down the stretch.
However, there could be major money issues. As Metro’s Matt Burke mentions, for Chris Paul to move to a contender such as the San Antonio Spurs or Cleveland Cavaliers, he’d have to give up about $50 million in salary. However, if the desire to win that elusive NBA title is there and he gets a strong nudge from LeBron, he just might go for it. Paul has now spent 12 seasons in the league and has yet to capture that ring.
Would the Cavs even trade away Irving after just this Finals loss, though? Cleveland would have to free up a lot of salary cap to bring in Paul, whereas they pretty much have Irving locked up until 2020. At age 25, he’s still got plenty of upside in his blossoming career. Irving averaged 25.2 points but was No. 21 in the league with just about six assists per game. That’s because teammate LeBron James has a pass mentality too and ranked at No. 6 with 8.7 assists per contest. Add in the No. 4 guy in assists, Chris Paul, and you’ve got two guys who can score but are also unselfish. You’d have to wonder who takes the big shot down the stretch, although both players seem capable.
However, Irving admitted he was off in the fourth quarter of the game due to that banged up knee and other issues, which caused him to not make layups or shots he normally would. While “CP3” offers the team more experience as the floor general, the Cavs may want to stick with their younger rising star in Irving and look to move Love or sign a free agent instead.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images]