Before the start of the 2017-18 NBA season, most people predicted the Cleveland Cavaliers will easily dominate the Eastern Conference and face the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive time in the NBA Finals. The East has become less competitive after several NBA superstars joined Western Conference teams this summer.
However, after losing both Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose due to injury, the Cavaliers struggled tremendously. They are currently in the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference after suffering three consecutive losses. These include defeats against the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, projected to be two of the worst NBA teams this season.
The absence of key players, poor chemistry, and lineup experiments are the things to be blamed for the Cavaliers’ performance. However, even though they have all their players healthy, it still remains a big question if they stand a chance against the Golden State Warriors’ “Super Death Lineup.”
Since sending Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics, the Cavaliers are expected to make another blockbuster deal to further improve their roster. They currently have plenty of trade assets to trade for another superstar. Should the Cleveland Cavaliers consider trading the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick?
The acquisition of the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick is expected to help the Cleveland Cavaliers speed up the rebuilding process if LeBron James leaves for the second time in 2018. However, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman made it clear that they are open to trading the Nets’ pick if the right deal comes along.
James looked supportive of the Cavs’ plan to trade the pick. He told Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com that the Nets’ pick “might not even be that good.” With their current performance, it’s quite obvious that the Cavaliers need to make something happen if they plan to reclaim the title this season.
DeMarcus Cousins emerged as one of the Cavaliers’ top trade targets since 2017 offseason started. Cousins will undeniably be a huge help for the Cavaliers, especially in defeating the Warriors in a best-of-seven series. In six games this season, the 27-year-old power forward averaged 32.3 points, 13.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 blocks while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Trading the Nets’ pick could convince the New Orleans Pelicans to send DeMarcus Cousins to Cleveland. However, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com believes the Cavaliers shouldn’t use the pick to acquire Cousins from the Pelicans.
“Along with gaudy stats come chaos, drama, immaturity and childish outbursts — all of which have followed him since his college days. He hasn’t shown the ability to keep his composure, verbally attacking officials and often being one of the league leaders in technical fouls. There have been fines and shouting matches with opponents, coaches and media members. There was even an off-court incident, with Cousins and former teammate Matt Barnes being sued over an alleged assault at a New York nightclub.”
With both of their starting point guards injury-prone, the Cleveland Cavaliers may also consider trading for Eric Bledsoe. The Phoenix Suns made Bledsoe available on the trading block after his controversial tweet. Brian Windhorst of ESPN said that he will not be surprised if the Cavaliers reached out for Bledsoe.
Bledsoe shares the same agent with LeBron James, and the two superstars reportedly have a good relationship. Unfortunately, Cleveland doesn’t have what the Suns want in return – young players. The Suns might demand the Nets’ pick, but it remains questionable if the Cavaliers are willing to give it up for Bledsoe. Before trading for a new starting PG, the Cavaliers will surely want to see how Isaiah Thomas will perform alongside LeBron James.
So far, there is no official information on what the Cleveland Cavaliers plan to do with the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. However, if their struggle continues until the midseason, the Cavaliers may finally decide that it’s time to trade the Nets’ pick.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]