April 20, 2014

NBA Trade Rumors Swirl as Raps Top Cavs

Prior to Tuesday night’s contest between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, ESPN’s Marc Stein set the e-world ablaze, adding Ramon Sessions into a line item of column pertaining to the NBA’s trade deadline. Sessions, per Stein, would be heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, LA would send a draft pick to Houston and the Cavaliers would receive point guard Jonny Flynn.

Alas, the Lakers would be willing to part with a draft pick, but it wouldn’t be coming to the Cavaliers. Flynn has long been on the radar of the Cavaliers front office as the team attempted to acquire him in the summer of 2010. Helping matters is the fact the player and his contingent of representatives would love to get him out of Houston where he is buried behind Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. The beneficiary of a team option, one which Houston has already decided to not pick up, finding a team that would be willing to pay the $4 million option would be in the best interest of Flynn, averaging 3.1 points and 2.1 assists per game this season.

Add this reported deal to the list of those that have made Cavalier fans a bit uneasy.

Sessions, however, has been unfazed by all of these discussions; trade talks, of course, have followed him at each of his NBA destinations. The rumor mill is starting to pick up steam yet Sess’ is shrugging off all speculation like would-be defenders. In 27 minutes of work in the loss to Toronto, the Wine and Gold reserve tallied 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, adding six assists. Just one game earlier, Sessions came off of the bench to amass a team-high seven assists. For the season, when Sessions comes off of the bench, he averages 4.5 assists — the third-best total in the league.

The fact that he’s highly coveted is understandable. The fact that the Cavaliers essentially have no choice but to move him is even more so. The variables surrounding Sessions are well-documented: A high-energy, pure point guard with the ability to get to the rim; a player option that will not be picked up, rendering the player free come this off-season. And then there’s this:

Above all else, the Cavaliers need to remember they are a rebuilding team. Whether they somehow sneak into the playoffs or not, that fact won’t change. The Cavaliers need to continue to stockpile draft picks and assets while being mindful of how players fit into their future.

The Lakers’ interest in the point guard has been discussed for weeks. The Atlanta Hawks have expressed desire in upgrading their backcourt, pinging Sessions as means to doing so. But will any of them move the first-round draft pick the Cavaliers are coveting? Per Stein’s report, it appears so — eliminating the third team, however, would be the first step in righting that ship. The Lakers also have a Traded Player Exception that could be packaged with a draft pick, allowing them to absorb Sessions’ $4.3 million without having to move a player.

But the player who would undoubtedly return at least one first-round selection? Presently injured center Anderson Varejao. Teams were skeptical of how Varejao would return from his foot injury one year ago, and he has done nothing but improve. Playing at an extremely high level entering February, even earning an All-Star vote from Milwaukee’s Scott Skiles, Varejao was in the midst of his best season as a professional with per-game averages of 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds.

Witnessing his contagious energy and top-flight ability to defend the pick-and-roll, opposing general mangers had long inquired about Varejao’s availability and, up until this week, have largely been told that the big man is untouchable. However, if the right deal were to be offered, one including at least one lottery pick — just as the stance was last season, Chris Grant may have no choice but to regretfully ship off the 29-year-old Brazilian fan favorite.

Varejao continues to rehabilitate his injured wrist, but if Tuesday night showed us anything, teams are willing to trade for high-upside big men as Milwaukee moved Andrew Bogut to Golden State in a deal for off-guard Monta Ellis.

The Cavaliers have one more game to play before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline arrives. Coincidentally, it’s being played in the same arena where Ramon Sessions got his start in the NBA. Unfortunately, for Sessions fans, Tuesday night’s contest against the Raptors may have been the last time you will have seen him don the Wine and Gold inside of Quicken Loans Arena.

 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Good stuff, Scott. I agree completely on Varejao, as long as the Cavaliers are getting a lottery pick in return. If it’s just a late first or a completely lottery protected pick, though, I feel Vareajo means too much to Cleveland to trade for that.

  • cmm13

    HAS ORLANDO CALLED BACK YET FOR OUR SESSIONS FOR HOWARD OFFER?  WHY AREN’T WE PURSUING GASOL?  WHAT ARE THE CAVALIERS THINKING??

    /brownsfan’d

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Somehow I missed this Jonny Flynn talk yesterday.  I’d be really disappointed if this is the trade… I’d rather have the 1st round draft pick from the Lakers instead moving that pick to Houston for Flynn.  Flynn is a 6’0″ (being generous) point guard who doesn’t play defense and can’t shoot… a huge downgrade from Sessions in my opinion.  I’d rather roll the dice and see who Chris Grant can grab with the Lakers’ pick.

  • cmm13

    Agreed here.  Roll the dice with the pick or package it and cash for a higher pick.

  • 216in614

    Would the Cavs really want Flynn for 1 year when they can have a low first round draft pick??? I don’t get it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickymcinnes Richard McInnes

    I’d only take Flynn if we’re getting a pick as well.

  • Roosevelt

    Uh, yeah, but the difference is that the Cavs have no shot at Howard right now. If/when he’s an unrestricted free agent and they have cap space, they’d indeed be foolish not to at least put in a call. 

  • dwhit110

    It was in sarcasm font and everything… 

  • Roosevelt

    What exactly is the point of getting a backup point guard in exchange for our backup point guard? 

  • JohnMellor

    Hey at least one Cleveland team is pursuing Flynn, am I right? 

    @cmm13: The ESPN trade machine says we can totally trade Harangody and Erdin straight up for Howard.  DO YOUR JOB GRANT!!!!!! 

  • JohnMellor

    Johnny Flynn wears a headband durr.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Jonny Flynn = LRMR. Clearly this move is all about getting LeBron back in Cleveland. 

  • Roosevelt

    I believe it’s spelled “amirite?”

  • TSR3000

    I thought we are shopping Sesh because we are all set at PG. Why would we ever want Flynn?  Draft picks or bust.

  • mgbode

    yeah, why would we help out Houston without getting something back from them?  they want to get rid of Flynn’s salary, fine.  give us the Knicks pick.

    another trade where ESPN thinks Chris Grant is a buffoon:

    Lakers – get the PG they are after
    Houston – gets salary cap relief from a player they don’t need + 1st round draft pick for clearing cap space (wait, don’t you give up 1st rounders to clear cap space?)
    Cleveland – no draft pick compensation but we get to add a player who flamed out in Minny and is a 3rd stringer signed on for another year.   And, the Rockets are chock full of good prospects.  How about we get one of them if we trade Sessions.

  • mgbode

    is amirite a gemstone?

  • Du

    If the Cavs are getting a lottery pick back for Andy, that means a bottom-feeding team is trading for him. I find this highly unlikely considering the deep talent coming out in this year’s draft. 

    I guess there is always a chance…I just don’t see a team trading their lottery pick for a guy who still is out with a broken wrist.

  • cmm13

    Thank you dwhit.

  • Harv 21

    We have other assets to parlay. After watching Samardo last night, I’m thinking we go to whatever team is looking at Dwight Howard and we dangle 3 of our centers – Samardo, Erden, Hollins – for whatever that team is offering Orlando. Ok, you drive a hard bargain, we’ll throw in Eyenga. We have the quantity, baby, and one of them has to shake out. Or mix and match like a Mr. Potato-center, they’ve all signed the medical waiver. Stick Samardo’s hindquarters on Erden’s feet, add Hollins’s hands, whatever you like.

  • JohnMellor

    Sounds complicated not to mention it involves a highly risky surgical procedure.  I don’t think a team would agree to that.

    /Roosevelt’d  =)

  • Dan

     Nobody wants any of those useless players.

  • Dan

    I don’t know if this would be a good idea for the Cavs or not, but I could see the Lakers parting with Gasol and a draft pick for Sessions and Varejao. The problem for the Cavs is that Gasol is older than Varejao, and we don’t rid ourselves of Jamison.  But it does bring us Gasol and makes us – if not contenders – a legitimate playoff team next year. Maybe.