April 19, 2014

Chris Grant and the Cavaliers sit this trade deadline out

“Despite no trade today, Cavs will end season w/better roster and MOAR PICKS than when year started. Not too shabby.” -@WFNYBen

Chris Grant, Byron Scott

A month ago the Cavaliers traded Jon Leuer to the Memphis Grizzlies for Marreese Speights, guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby, and a future first-round draft pick. That was this year’s big move. The Cavs provided Memphis a place to shed a little salary, and in return the Cavs got a couple pieces and a first round draft pick.

Heading into Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Cavs were already ahead of the game for the year.

Of course, the trade deadline which passed by could have been much, much more interesting had the Cavaliers not lost Anderson Varejao for the season. Because of that injury the Cavs really didn’t have much to dangle in front of teams aside from salary relief. There weren’t many teams that thought they were a Daniel Gibson or Omri Casspi away from contending. Probably most phone calls that were taken by Grant the past week had to do with Marreese Speights, but the Cavs certainly did not have to move him.

“We didn’t want to make a bad deal. It’s better to do nothing than to do something that doesn’t fit or takes away some of our flexibility or assets for under value.”

Indeed. And so the Cavaliers stood pat at the deadline this year, for the first time in what feels like forever.

Some will might be disappointed. As Grant himself said, “There’s only three times a year where you can drastically change your team.” Some Cavs fans would rather have seen the team move Speights for whatever the market would bring, because he can walk away from his player option at the end of the season.

He could always decide to re-sign with the Cavaliers this summer. I do wonder if being traded away wouldn’t have left a bad taste in his mouth for the city and the organization that brought him here and is giving him the chance to show his worth, something he wasn’t getting to do in Memphis.

The truth is that we have no idea what the Cavaliers were being offered for Speights, and he is also showing signs that he could be a piece that fits this team, especially coming off the bench. Not to mention, we only gave up Jon Leuer to get him. And Ellington. And Selby. And a first round pick.

Perhaps the most interesting and “outside the box” move the Cavaliers could have made would have involved the Sacramento Kings. The Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd tweeted that the Cavs had discussions with the soon-to-be-Seattle-bound franchise which would have removed the restrictions from the first round pick that Cleveland has yet to receive in the J.J. Hickson for Omri Casspi deal. Unfortunately for the Cavs, the trade made with the Houston Rockets seemed to have killed any chance that the Cavaliers had of getting those restrictions eliminated.

Let me be the first to admit, I never saw that kind of move coming. Had he pulled it off, it would have been another throwing star in Chris Grant’s trade ninja outfit. Two picks in the top 10 again this year? Dang.

And it’s a shame that the Cavs weren’t able to get that kind of move done. There’s a decent chance the Cavaliers might never see that pick. If the calendar turns to 2017 and the Cavs still haven’t gotten a first round pick from the Kings/Sonics because it has been protected, the pick turns into a pumpkin. A second round, top 55 protected pumpkin.

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There was another “outside of the box” move that the Cavaliers could have pulled off. This one is a little, shall we say questionable? Let’s say the Lakers called inquiring about Daniel Gibson. The Lakers are currently sitting outside of that 8th playoff spot in the West by 3.5 games. Of course the team they are chasing (Houston) made some moves and improved themselves at the deadline. Cleveland benefits from the Lakers making the playoffs. If the Lakers get that 8th spot (or better), the Cavs have the right to swap their pick coming from the Miami Heat (sure to be in the 27+ range) with the Lakers’ selection, which would be the 16th pick or somewhere right around there. If the Lakers miss the playoffs, that pick goes to the Suns, and the Cavs are stuck with Miami’s slotted pick.

So what if the Cavaliers would have made a move to help the Lakers a bit? Think Speights and Gibson would help you take that spot? Fine, give us whatever garbage salary you need to make the deal work and throw in a future second rounder or something.

See what I mean? That might have been a bit shady.

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In the end the Cavaliers are right where they were a couple days ago. They still have a nucleus of young players that are developing right in front of us. They still have a draft pick this summer that will likely be a top 8 selection. They will have an additional first round pick somewhere to use, and they will be hoping that Sacramento gets their act together in the next two years, at least a little bit.

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • BenRM

    It’s too bad they couldn’t remove the restrictions from the Kings pick.

  • mgbode

    i’m guessing it was reduced restrictions and not full restrictions. also, quite possibly on future years. this is all spitballing as we don’t even know the parameters of said deal, but it seems like even the Kings wouldn’t be dumb enough to gift-wrap a potential top5 pick to us.

    oh, they did do that for Houston instead. nevermind :)

  • BenRM

    I also like how this indirectly makes the Waiters pick look less insane. I remember people on the tweeter getting crazed about passing Robinson.

    Granted, the move is more about the Kings being one of the worst franchises in professional sports and less about Robinson…but still.

  • ThatAlex

    Judging from that picture, I had no idea Chris Grant was that tall. He’s several inches taller than Byron Scott.

  • Parker

    Keeps the assets and flex we have for Kevin love. He’ll eventually want out and the cavs could be in the driver seat. Being able to offer Thompson and cap space to absorb bad contracts would be tempting to the t wolves. Cleveland is not a destination for top free agents without way over paying and with the new Cba this franchise can’t miss on big contracts . Being flushed with cash and picks keeps the needle going up towards the ultimate goal of winning a championship

  • mgbode

    in their current form, I cannot put another organization beneath them.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Everyone knows I’m a proactive commentator but for one of the rare times I don’t have a problem with a Cleveland sports team not exercising one of the available strategies to improve a team. Like Rick wrote Grant and the Cavaliers made their big move with the trade to Memphis.

    It would have been nice to see Casspi or Walton or my personal favorite Gibson moved but I’m not complaining.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I was never as high on Robinson as others. He has a great opportunity in Houston now however so lets see if he can prove me wrong.

  • Harv 21

    No idea if Grant’s methodical stockpiling of draft choices will pay off quickly enough to keep Kyrie, and that will obviously depend on whether he also has the ability to identify the side-car star or swing a huge trade for that guy.

    But love that this rebuild is absolutely consistent, ripping down to the studs and careful planning. Would be bad if the owner got impatient and switched philosophies now. I think it mirrors Gilbert’s post-LeBron promise that he would no longer leave the team beholden to a single player. Accumulating those draft choices is a good hedge against any eventuality, whether Kyrie stays or not.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Even still the Cavaliers go as Irving does remove him and the heart of the team is gone. If Gilbert was thinking what you said he made a mistake. It wasn’t that LBJ was the heart of the team it was the fact that he was so superior and brought so much to the organization that he was allowed to basically run roughshod over it. That was Gilbert’s mistake. His other big mistake was listening to Danny Ferry and hiring Mike Brown. San Antonio north failed miserably IMO.

  • BROSEPH

    My guess is that would’ve wanted Thompson or Waiters or a Zeller/Gee package in order to get that pick unprotected and to take on a bad contract. In that case, no thanks, another top 5 pick would be great, but in this draft I don’t see anything that is more of a guarantee than what we already have on the team.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    He’s 6-10. Former collegiate center.

  • BenRM

    I don’t think Robinson will ever be an all- star, but I certainly think he can be an average starter for a team looking to fill a PF void. At the very worst, I think he’ll be a good off the bench guy. He has good size and work ethic (or so it appears).

  • Harv 21

    we are not disagreeing. My “beholden” is your “running roughshod.” I heard Gilbert say that he will never again wait for a FA decision like he did for Lebron, and would trade the player rather than chancing it again. At least now the town would support that strategy, having shared this history, though he might have been lynched if he traded LeBron.

    Also agree about SA system not transplanting well here. The system demands unselfishness and subversion of egos. It may largely be the product of the legendary coach running it, and Mike Brown, with his limited offense abilities, just wasn’t going to do it like Pops. Also may be that on his first team LeBron was going to stop the offense and do what he wanted, regardless of what any coach here said.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Hopefully Gilbert won’t be the one making the final decision I much prefer a “basketball” person to be heavily involved.

    Unfortunately we’ll never know as far as the head coaching goes I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if Byron Scott had been hired a year or two sooner. I don’t remember Scott’s availability a year or two earlier but I was in favor of Brown being replaced a year or two earlier then when he was finally fired. Brown is a perfect assistant IMO he’s not head coaching material.

  • SDA

    in fact he would be a perfect assistant here :D

  • Jaker

    Who’s to say that we don’t eventually take the restrictions off of the SAC pick through a trade possibly this summer? If it was on Grant’s mind at the deadline, odds are he won’t just forget about it a day later.

    Assume we don’t get the pick this year. He may dangle some cash or take a guy they don’t want and in exchange, the top 10 protection in 15 and 16 might turn into a top 3 protection. I’m not sure what he would value at what, but I assume that it will be on his mind until 2017.

  • Vensin Gray

    What if Dan Gilbert Tricked us all?

    What if Dan Gilbert made it so that the Cavs could rebuild through the Draft, while ensuring Lebron came back in 2014?

    Crazy? Yes. Impossible? No

    Read more here… http://vensingray.net/2013/02/23/the-dan-gilbert-conspiracy/