Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
The surprising Cleveland Cavaliers received a devastating blow to close the 2021 calendar year. Veteran point guard Ricky Rubio ended his season after suffering an ACL tear.
As a legitimate contender for the playoffs, losing Rubio is going to hurt a lot. Remember that his teammate Collin Sexton is also lost for the season.
GM Koby Altman is here expected to step forward before the February 10 NBA trade deadline. Below, we take a look at four ideal Cleveland Cavaliers trading scenarios.
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Cleveland Cavaliers trade for Dennis Schroder
- Riders get: Dennis Schroder
- Celtics get: Collin Sexton
It might actually make sense for both teams. Boston will move Schroder before the NBA trade deadline. The team does not have the financial resources under the ceiling to re-sign it in free agency. It also looks like nothing more than a low-end playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. Taking the risk that Sexton (who is out for the season) picking his option for the 2022-2023 campaign makes sense. He could also have a long-term future in Boston.
As for the Cavaliers, they are much more successful relying on Darius Garland to be their best scoring option than last season with Sexton filling the role. Getting a veteran playmaker who is an upgrade from Rubio would see Cleveland move up well in the Eastern Conference standings to move forward.
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Cleveland Cavaliers bring De’Aaron Fox to successful business
- Cavaliers Get: De’Aaron Fox, Tristan Thompson
- Kings get: Kevin Love, Isaac Okoro, two future first-round picks
For some reason, Sacramento has been said to be ready to trade the 24-year-old Fox. It doesn’t make sense with the team looking to rebuild themselves. Shouldn’t he be part of said reconstruction? Rather, GM Monte McNair wants to lean on fellow guards Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell. If this is indeed the case, Fox will have a strong commercial market.
- De’Aaron Fox statistics (2021-22): 20.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.1 APG, 45% shooting, 25% three point
Outside shooting difficulties aside, Fox would be an absolutely formidable fit next to Garland in the backcourt. He’s a more willing passer than Collin Sexton and hasn’t even peaked yet. What a blow that would be for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If the Kings are truly determined to trade Fox, they need to get some future draft capital. Two first-round picks would be the starting point. Meanwhile, Okoro would eventually come in to replace Harrison Barnes on the wing. That would give Sacramento three potential building blocks with Haliburton, Mitchell, and Okoro.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers trade for John Wall
- Cavaliers Get: John Wall, 2022 first-round pick, two second-round picks
- Rockets Get: Kevin Love, Collin Sexton
A trade involving two high-priced, injured veterans? We’ve seen this story in the past with the aforementioned wall traded from the Washington Wizards to the Houston Rockets ahead of the 2020-21 season. Could we see him again? Well, it all depends on their wages for the future.
- John Wall contract situation: Player Option ($ 47.37 million) for 2022-2023
- Kevin Love contract status: Salary of $ 28.9 million for 2022-2023
As you can see, Cleveland would take more financial commitment by adding Wall to the mix. Therefore, why the team is adding a first round pick (via Miami) and two second round picks to make it worth it. At Wall, the Cavaliers would also get a veteran ready to play. He averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists for a poor Rockets team a season ago.
Houston’s role in this trade is fairly straightforward. The team are saving nearly $ 20 million in wages next season and would likely buy Love back. The cost of three draft picks is steep. However, the Rockets must get out of this albatross from a contract if they are to continue their rebuilding.
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Cleveland Cavaliers bring back Kyrie Irving
- Cavaliers Get: Kyrie Irving, Cody Zeller, CJ Elleby
- The Nets Get: CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic
- Blazers get: Isaac Okoro, Cam Thomas, Joe Harris, Kevin Love, two first-round picks
Talk about a successful trade to end all successful trades. As Kyrie Irving is set to come back from his voluntary absence due to a lack of a COVID-19 vaccine, there are now rumors that the Nets may be looking to move him. This is where Cleveland is actually the betting favorite to land their former superstar.
Talk about a match made in heaven. Irving teaming up with Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen would potentially make Cleveland a title favorite in the East. This is not hyperbole.
- Kyrie Irving (2020-21) stats: 26.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.0 APG, 51% shooting, 40% three point
Now, why would Brooklyn help a conference rival? Well, it’s pretty straightforward. This trade would make the team much better – completing their starting five. McCollum would come to the two and play alongside James Harden with Kevin Durant to the three. Nurkic would immediately start at five – providing the Nets with an inside upgrade.
As for Portland, everyone besides Damian Lillard is available for talks before the NBA trade deadline. There have been a ton of rumors that the struggling team will be looking to move McCollum. This is potentially the best he can ask for in return. Two young players to build and two future first-round picks to use as capital to add another star to go with Dame next summer.
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