April 25, 2014

Cavs and Clippers talking Zeller-Bullock swap

(4pm EST Update: This didn’t happen.)

As the Cavaliers look to get something of substance for Luol Deng, they appear to be also discussing back-up plans at the small forward spot. ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, who continues to crush the Cavs beat from 500 miles away, reports that David Griffin’s team is exploring a deal that would net them Reggie Bullock in return for center Tyler Zeller.

Bullock, a 6-foot-7-inch swingman out of UNC, has all of the tools required for a small forward in the Cavaliers offense, excelling in catch-and-shoot situations as well as in transition. He has unlimited range on his jumper, has good size for his position and is a solid wing defender thanks to a 6-9 wingspan, but is very raw from an NBA standpoint. Selected 25th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, Bullock has been relatively buried on the Clippers’ bench, but has averaged 10 points and five rebounds on a per-36-minute basis.

Interestingly enough, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford pegged Bullock to the Cavs with the 19th-overall pick this past summer, the one that was eventually used on Sergey Karasev.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers reportedly liked Zeller back when he was the coach of the Celtics and the Clippers have no depth behind DeAndre Jordan at center (Sorry, Ryan Hollins.) The Cavs, as you may have heard, recently acquired Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers. Moving Zeller would seem to infer that Anderson Varejao’s wonky back is not as bad as it may seem. What this would mean for next season, when Hawes is a free agent and Varejao is one year older, remains to be seen.

The Sacramento Kings are also interested in Jarrett Jack

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The Brooklyn Nets may have some competition in the suddenly hot race to acquire Cavs guard Jarrett Jack. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Sacramento Kings—yes, those Sacramento Kings—have expressed interest in Cleveland’s veteran shooting guard.

The Nets’ reported talks center around a Jack-for-Jason Terry swap, while it’s unclear what the Kings are offering in return for the veteran combo guard. Jack has played just 18.0 minutes per game over his last five (including a woeful, stat-free 12 minutes against the Washington Wizards on February 7) as the team has largely used CJ Miles, Dion Waiters and Matthew Dellavedova as the rotational guards alongside—and behind—Kyrie Irving.

The deal-happy Kings have already made one of the biggest trades of the season by acquiring Rudy Gay and this was in addition to dealing for former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves. They’re rumored to be shopping shooting guard Marcus Thornton who is locked into a position battle with rookie guard Ben McLemore. The 26-year-old Thornton is due roughly $4 million for the duration of this season in addition to $8.5 million in 2014-15.

(Image via Scott Sargent/WFNY)

NBA Trade Rumors: Luol Deng and Dion Waiters for Harrison Barnes and David Lee?

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The trade deadline is fast approaching and although the Cavs’ fired their GM, speculation surrounding possible deadline deals continues to fly.

The latest comes from Tim Kawakami, Warriors’ beat writer for the Mercury News. In his evaluation of where the Warriors stand at this point in the season, Kawakami suggests multiple scenarios in which Golden State makes a move at the deadline to go after the services of Cleveland’s Luol Deng.

-Lee and Barnes TO CLEVELAND FOR Deng and Waiters. (Because Deng was already traded once this season, he can’t be traded with another player, so these would have to be split into two separate trades.)

-Why Cleveland might consider this: Deng is a pending free agent and I highly doubt he’d want to return to the Cleveland craziness and lousiness; also, Waiters is in the middle of a second bad season after the Cavaliers drafted him 4th overall in 2012 and he reportedly is at odds with star point guard Kyrie Irving.

Also Lee and Barnes might fit that roster better than Deng and Waiters–certainly personality-wise they’d be better than having Waiters brawl with Irving.

I know that Cleveland is probably trying to do what it can to lure LeBron James back as a free agent and that adding Lee’s money won’t help that… but you won’t draw LBJ if there’s nobody any good on the team, and Cleveland probably has to get what it can for Deng right now because if he hits free agency he’s out the door and they get nothing back.

Lee is something. Barnes is something.

Despite the reported chemistry issues that surround Dion Waiters, the Cavs may not want to give up on the 22-year old just yet. If that’s the case, Kawakami outlines a Waiters-less trade, inserting former Warrior, Jarrett Jack, into the deal in Dion’s place.

An alternative deal would be Lee, Barnes, Ezeli and Nedovic TO CLEVELAND FOR Deng and Jack. The Warriors would need to add more money into this one because Jack makes more than Waiters.

Why the Warriors should try to do this: While Deng isn’t a natural PF, is a little duplicative of Iguodala, and isn’t the kind of low-post scorer the Warriors badly need, he’s an excellent all-around player who can score in multiple ways and maybe take some of the load off of Curry and the three-point bombing.

Deng, 28, can’t match-up with the great Western PFs… but Lee (who is 30) doesn’t really, either… and in the toughest situations it’s always Bogut guarding the rough PFs, anyway.

And while Waiters doesn’t have the greatest locker-room reputation, he’s a tough-guy scorer and that’s something the Warriors could use coming off the bench–somebody who is ferocious about getting buckets and not afraid to bark while he’s doing it.

By the way, the Warriors were very high on Waiters in that 2012 draft; West loved Waiters’ toughness–if Waiters got to their 7th spot, I believe the GSWs would’ve taken him over Barnes, though it was a close call. Things have not worked out for Waiters in Cleveland, but I would imagine the Warriors still like him a little bit.

If the Cavs were to make the Waiters/Deng swap for Lee and Barnes it would be a swap of draft picks from two years ago as well as the Cavs landing an All-Star power forward in Lee for, in essence, the King’s protected future first round pick and the two Portland second-rounders that the Cavs’ sent to Chicago in exchange for Deng.

If the Cavs are not going to re-sign Deng they have to trade him before the deadline. As Gilbert has spoken about before, if a high caliber player is not going to re-sign, you can’t let him walk out the door without getting something in return. The second deal outlined by Kawakami would be much more optimal for Cleveland. They could hold on to Waiters and unload Jarrett Jack, giving them a “re-do” on last summer’s signing on top of a “re-do” for the Deng trade.

Lee, while among the worst big men from a defensive standpoint, would give the Cavs a long needed scoring option in the paint. The 29-year-old is having one of his typical seasons, averaging 18.9 points and 9.7 rebounds on 51% shooting.

Exchanging Deng for Barnes in the Cavs’ starting lineup would make the Cavs younger, finally give them some more outside shooting, and make their salary cap flexibility even greater with Barnes under his rookie contract for two more seasons. Barnes is averaging 10 points per game on 39% shooting from behind the arc in his 29 minutes a night for the Warriors. He is also, reportedly, good friends with Kyrie Irving, something that we may not be able to say about others on the Cavaliers’ roster.

The NBA trade deadline rumors are just getting started, be sure to check back at WFNY for all your up to date Cavs’ chatter. 

[Related: New Cavs' GM will have tools in place to rebuild properly]

CJ Miles drawing interest from other teams

CJ Miles vs 76ersAs the real NBA trade deadline nears, impending Cavaliers free agent CJ Miles is reportedly drawing interest from clubs throughout the league. In a line item surrounding Indians Pacers small forward Danny Granger, FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico mentions that Miles, who is currently Cleveland’s starting shooting guard, is on the radar of a few teams, though to a lesser extent than Granger.

The 26-year-old Miles is easily one of the biggest vocal leaders on the Cavaliers, blending his lead-by-example style with veteran experience gained under former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. It was Miles who worked out with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters this past summer, and provided some words during the team’s now-infamous ‘players only’ meeting which occurred earlier this season. He’s a cerebral player who can provide offense from outside, but one who has also been sporatic as of late, following up a 19-point effort in a win over the Denver Nuggets with a six-point outing in the loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

His numbers this season are almost in lockstep with those of 2012-13, averaging just over 10 points per game on 43 percent shooting. It was Miles who, earlier this year, set the Cavaliers’ record for most three-point field goals made in a game, hitting 10 in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Miles is in the final year of a contract with the Cavs that pays him $2.2 million this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent this coming summer.

It is unclear what Miles would garner in a deal, but it would be far-fetched to assume much more than a conditional, future draft selection.

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cavs “seeking other options” in potential Andrew Bynum deal

DSC_0396It appears that the potential Andrew Bynum-to-Los Angeles deal that was reported this week is on life support. ESPN.com’s resident Cavaliers beat NBA writer reports that while the deal which would send Pau Gasol to Cleveland in exchange for the cap space which would be cleared by waiving center Andrew Bynum is no longer progressing and that Chris Grant and the Cavs are looking elsewhere.

The major issue, sources said, involves the Lakers’ desire to get an additional asset from the Cavs beyond Bynum’s team-friendly contract, which could save the Lakers more than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes. The Lakers are interested in also getting a young prospect or first-round draft pick as part of the deal. The Cavs have been reluctant to part with either.

It was reported earlier this week that the Lakers had coveted a first-round pick in the deal which could also included small forward Alonzo Gee. Talks between the Cavaliers and Lakers hit a bit of a speed bump over the New Year’s holiday as All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving had a scare when he suffered what looked to have been a threatening knee injury. The Cavaliers, potentially without Irving, did not want to add Gasol and his $19.3 million contract if playoff hopes had quickly transitioned from remote to no chance in hell.

There is obvious history with the two teams as they engaged in a similar deal in 2012 when they acquired Luke Walton and a first-round draft selection for the expiring contract of Ramon Sessions. Due to the new CBA, there is some pressure for the Lakers to get out of the luxury tax to help with future flexibility. As Windhorst stated, if the Lakers remain in the tax this season, going into the tax in either of the next two seasons would trigger a “repeater tax.” The Lakers are planning to be major free-agent players the next two summers, similar to the cap-space-hording Cavaliers. Alas, any deal consummated between the two teams would not only aid the Cavaliers’ playoff chances this season, but would also add a potential rival to the mix in what is shaping to be a fairly active 2014 free agency period.

The Cavs have until Jan. 7 to trade Bynum before his contract becomes fully guaranteed for the year.

[Related: WFNY Stats & Info: Notes on Pau Gasol’s decline]

(Image: Scott Sargent/WFNY)

WFNY Stats & Info: Notes on Pau Gasol’s decline

the-lakers-want-to-blow-up-their-roster-and-trade-pau-gasol-to-the-wizards-for-the-3-pickPau Gasol is the latest rumored trade candidate for the Cavaliers, according to Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.com. The 33-year-old is a three-time All-Star but his best days are clearly behind him as shown in advanced statistics.

Although he’s averaging 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds in 30 minutes per game this season — fairly solid production on the surface — those numbers don’t tell the exact story about his last few seasons. Here are two specific stats that more accurately depict his changing game:

FG% on non-restricted area two-pointers
From 2008-09 to 11-12: 45.1% (2,321 shots; 59% of FGA)
From 2012-13 to 13-14: 38.1% (635 shots; 66% of FGA)

Offensive Rebounding%
From 2008-09 to 10-11: 10.5%
From 2011-12 to 13-14: 8.0%

This season, when he was playing, Gasol was shooting more than ever: his 16.4 FGA/36 is a career high and his 25.5% usage rate is his highest in seven years. On this very poor Lakers roster, he’s being called upon offensively quite a bit. But his offensive style has changed, perhaps as limited by his several foot injuries, and he’s shooting more often and less efficiently from mid-range.

It’s understandable that Gasol’s offensive rebounding percentage dropped when Dwight Howard was around in 2012-13. But a healthy Andrew Bynum also was there previously. And Gasol’s numbers dropped to a new career low (6.2%) this season as he’s playing further away from the basket. His defensive rebounding numbers have slightly improved to make up a difference in his total rebounding rates.

In each of the past two seasons, the 7-foot Spaniard has had an even 16.7 PER. He was never lower than 19.5 in PER in any other season of his career. That’s a very troubling fact when also addressed with his increased usage and similar overall rebounding. There’s possible reason to expect some improvement based on his known frustration this year in Los Angeles. Gasol also would likely provide a boost with his noted passing skills.

While Gasol might not be the same All-Star he was several years ago, he’s still a solid contributor. His shooting zone ratios slightly mirror those of Anderson Varejao, who has refined his game to become a very good mid-range shooter this year at 31 years old. He would likely take away minutes, however, from soon-to-be 24-year-old Tyler Zeller who has impressed of late.

In the end, the biggest benefit with a Gasol-Bynum swap with possibly other moving pieces could just be one last hope at contending for a playoff spot this year and maintaining financial flexibility with an expiring contract. Alone, the Pau Gasol of 2013 or even of 2014 won’t likely be enough to make this Cavs roster that much better.

[Related: Cavs at NBA’s one-third mark: How much patience is left?]

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Cavs could be sending Andrew Bynum back to LA for Pau Gasol

DSC_0475Could the Cavaliers be adding yet another power forward to the mix?

In one of his recent Below the Rim podcasts, there was a passing moment where the host, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, and his guest, Grantland.com’s Chuck Klosterman, had tossed around a trade that was on the table between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers that would have sent All-Star power forward Pau Gasol to Cleveland and allow the Lakers to save a boat load of money in attempt to ultimately sign impending free agent Dwight Howard. It got little in the way of traction—likely for a few reasons—but it was one that raised a few eyebrows as the Cavaliers continue their disappointing play during the 2013-14 season.

Whatever happened to that deal, it appears that the lines of communication between Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant and the Lakers remains intact. Windhorst, with the help of ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, reports that there is a deal in place, while not imminent, that would send Gasol to Cleveland, but for the expiring contract and wonky knees of the “excused” Andrew Bynum.

No deal is believed to be imminent, but both sides are mulling it over ahead of a Jan. 7 deadline when the second half of Bynum’s $12.25 million salary would be guaranteed. By trading Gasol in a package for Bynum and then waiving him, the injury-ravaged Lakers could save more than $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, which could help them maintain financial flexibility heading into the next few summers. […]

The Lakers are reluctant to part with the four-time All-Star in any trade without receiving assets of some value in return, sources said.

The Lakers have been luxury-tax payers for six straight seasons. While the luxury-tax savings this season — and ability to avoid the repeater tax penalty that kicks in when a team is a taxpayer in four out of five years starting with the 2011-12 season — would undoubtedly help the Lakers’ long-term flexibility, the franchise’s history and organizational culture make that a difficult prospect to consider.

While adding another power forward would seem superfluous, Grant is under immense pressure to get this underachieving Cavaliers team into the post-season given their three-year drought. In addition to keeping his possibilities open with the Lakers, Grant has reportedly been in a wide range of discussions with the Chicago Bulls—a team also dealing with luxury tax issues—for All-Star small forward Luol Deng. Naturally, as with any deal of this nature, the devil is in the details. At least one other player (rumored to be small forward Alonzo Gee) and “assets” are said to be included. The Cavaliers have plenty of future first-round selections at their disposal, some fo which include multiple layers of protection.

Gasol, despite shooting a career-low 45 percent from the floor, would provide an offensive threat from the post, something the Cavaliers are sorely lacking. The 6-foot-9-inch Deng has battled Achilles injuries this season, playing in just 20 games, but is adding 20 points per night when healthy. Both players are impending free agents, so the Cavaliers would have to either be confident that a new contract could be agreed to or that they would be able to make a splash in the 2014 free agency season given the cap flexibility that has been accumulated since July, 2010.

(Image via Scott Sargent/WFNY)

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs unwilling to part with Varejao, pick for Jeff Green

As the smoke clears from the Omer Asik/Jeff Green rumors this past week, Bob Finnan of the News Herald is reporting the Cavs’ would have had to part ways with Anderson Varejao or a first round pick to acquire the services of the Celtics’ Jeff Green — a price Chris Grant and the Cavs weren’t willing to pay.

If the Cavs had been willing to sacrifice either backup center Anderson Varejao or their 2014 first-round pick, they probably could have been involved in a three-way deal that headlined disgruntled Rockets center Omer Asik this week. They weren’t, so they didn’t.

- Bob Finnan, The News Herald

After initially putting a deadline on trading Asik, the Rockets now have said they are not looking to move the Turkish big man for the time being. The Cavs were rumored to be the third team in deals that would send Asik to either Philadelphia or Boston. Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert is on record of saying he wants the Cavs in the playoffs this spring, but with a loaded 2014 draft and the Cavs getting off to a slow start it remains to be seen what the Cavs plans are for the rest of this season.

Jeff Green would provide the Cavs a much needed upgrade on the wing, and add another scoring option to offense that often times goes stagnant. The 6-foot-9-inch Green is averaging a career-best 16.5 points per game for Boston, but the caveat is Green, 27, is under contract for $8.9 million this season, $9.4 million in 2014-15, and has a player option for $9.4 million in 2014-15.

Varejao is averaging 8.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in a reserve role for the Cavs, and if he can stay healthy through the first week of January he will appear in his 32nd game of the year, which will be the most games the Brazilian has played since 2009-2010.

[Related: Cavs vs. Bulls Behind the Box Score: Cavs offense comes back to reality]

 

While We’re Waiting… Mike Brown leads Cavs turnaround

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Brown deserves credit for the hot stretch: “But stop and take a breath. Take a really deep breath and you might notice something different. Is that hints of azaleas? Notes of coffee and barnyard? Nope. That’s just new Mike Brown smell you’re smelling. So far, even as the team has gradually improved almost in spite of itself, Brown has done some things to buck what many considered the more troubling trends from his first time around.” [Robert Attenweiler/Cavs: The Blog]

[Read more...]

The Diff: Should Cavs be involved in an Omer Asik trade?

The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I wrote about Cleveland basketball’s dominant frontcourt trio. This week, it’s time to talk NBA trade rumors.

The Diff

The Houston Rockets’ self-imposed deadline for trading center Omer Asik is closing in fast. They now have just about 36 hours to make their ideal trade within the NBA’s trading calendar. And, for some unholy and unknown reason, the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to be in the mix of all the Asik rumors. Logically, as many have speculated, the Cavs could be intricately involved solely because they want to be the third team in any such deal. Let’s dive into all the gory details to see what could happen and what should happen. [Read more...]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs potential members of a three-team deal for Jeff Green

As the Houston Rockets continue to look for a landing spot for disgruntled center Omer Asik, the Cleveland Cavaliers once again find their name in the mix. The latest, coming from ESPN Boston, has the Cavaliers as a third team in a deal that would ultimately net them forward Jeff Green.

The Celtics now are widely regarded as the strongest rivals to the Philadelphia 76ers in terms of likely destinations for Asik. …

Cleveland is another team that has been frequently linked with Asik the past several days, but sources close to the situation maintain the Cavaliers like the fit of Anderson Varejao in their frontcourt rotation better than Asik and thus are more likely to participate in such a trade as a third-team facilitator rather than as the team that winds up with Asik. …

One possible scenario that has emerged, sources say, is a three-way trade in which Boston lands Asik, Cleveland absorbs the contract of Celtics forward Jeff Green and Houston scores no fewer than one of the future first-round picks it covets for surrendering Asik. Other players would have to be involved in such a trade to make the salary-cap math work, but it’s the sort of trade that would fall in line with Cleveland’s well-known focus on upgrading its options at small forward.

The Cavaliers pursued Green in free agency two summers ago before Green re-signed with Boston and, as ESPN.com reported Sunday , have shown far more interest recently in finding a new small forward than going ahead with the rumored Varejao-for-Asik swap.

The 6-foot-9-inch Green is averaging a career-best 16.5 points per game for Boston, seeing his usage rate climb above 20 for the first time in his career. Green, 27, is under contract for $8.9 million this season, $9.4 million in 2014-15, and has a player option for $9.4 million in 2014-15.

[Related: Cavs vs Blazers Behind The Box Score: Heartbreaker at The Q]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs linked to potential deal for Omer Asik

TNT’s David Aldridge states that the Houston Rockets will not only trade center Omer Asik during this coming week, but that the Cleveland Cavaliers could be a potential landing spot.

Asik is disgruntled with his backup role in Houston, one that was created when the team landed Dwight Howard. He’s currently sidelined with what the team is calling a ‘bruised thigh.’ It is believed that the Rockets would prefer to deal Asik, who is due $5.2 million this season and a well-documented $14.9 million in 2014-15, to an Eastern Conference team. The Philadelphia 76ers have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot or as a third team, potentially moving forward Thaddeus Young.

Playing in all 82 games for the Rockets last season, the 27-year-old Asik averaged 10.1 points (54.1 percent), 11.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game.

Varejao, a nine-year veteran and local fan favorite, is currently averaging 8.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Due $9 million in this season and next, he has been moved to a bench role with the inclusion of center Andrew Bynum in the starting five. It was believed that the Rockets would also like a fist-round draft selection in return for any deal that involves Asik.

[Related: Cavaliers reach the quarter season mark with more questions than answers]

Cavs thoughts on Dion’s success, trades, Kyrie’s struggles and more

Kyrie Irving, Dion WaitersDuring Thanksgiving eve and the actual holiday itself, I got a lot of questions from family and friends about those pesky 4-11 Cleveland Cavaliers. I’m sure you did too. Here are my assorted takes on the hottest of Cavs topics at the moment.

On the Dion Waiters trade options listed so far … meh. That’s what I have to say. The three main options rumored via ESPN’s Chris Broussard: Chicago’s Luol Deng, New York’s Iman Shumpert and Philadelphia’s Evan Turner. Don’t get me wrong; Deng and Turner would be excellent fits on this small forward-lacking roster. But both are free agents on the verge of big paydays in summer 2014.

Deng is an old 28 because he has nearly 25,000 career NBA minutes including playoffs. He never has been a major offensive weapon, but has been a consistent piece for Chicago for the last decade. Turner, on the other hand, is having a breakout season at still only 25. He’s averaging 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the overachieving 76ers. Which means his agents will make some unfortunate team pay massive money for his services next year. [Read more...]

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers offer No. 1 pick to Pelicans for Vazquez, picks

The Cleveland Cavalier have reportedly offered the first-overall draft pick to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD reports that the Cavs have offered the top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft for New Orleans point guard Greivis Vasquez, the No. 6 overall pick and a 2014 first-round pick. As Kennedy states, the 2014 NBA Draft is widely considered to be substantially better from a top-end player standpoint.

The Cavaliers have reportedly been attempting to decide between six different players, so acquiring the sixth-overall selection in any potential trade would ensure that Chris Grant would leave Thursday evening’s festivities with one of their top targets.

The 6-foot-6-inch Vazquez is coming off of a solid season where he averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game. He was the 28th-overall selection in 2010 by the Memphis Grizzlies. How he would fit in with the Cavaliers, given the presence of Kyrie Irving, would be worth pondering. The Cavaliers, naturally, have not confirmed the reported trade offer. The Pelicans, however, have denied receiving any such offer.

[Related: Are the Cavaliers on the verge of making a huge mistake?]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs interested in forward Thomas Robinson

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly one of a few teams who are interested in acquiring Houston Rockets forward Thomas Robinson. Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets are looking to clear salary, presumably in attempt to sign free agent center Dwight Howard, and that a salary cap-clearing trade involving Robinson is “imminent.”

“There are 16 teams with the cap room, trade exceptions or non-guaranteed contracts needed to make such a deal without sending the Rockets corresponding salaries,” writes Feigan. “The Cavaliers can make that kind of deal with some of their available cap room. In addition to their own pick, the Cavaliers have the 19th pick and two second-round picks before the Rockets’ selection with the 34th pick.”

Robinson, the fifth-overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, is still on a rookie pay scale, due to make just $3.5 million in 2013-14. This past weekend, it was reported that the Rockets had been offered a first-round draft pick for Robinson. The 6-foot-10-inch forward averaged just 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds during his rookie campaign, split between the Sacramento Kings and Rockets. When provided the playing time, the Kansas product did show some flashes of brilliance, averaging 11.4 points, 10.7 rebounds and a block on a per-36 minute basis.

[Related: Are the Cavaliers on the verge of making a huge mistake?]

NBA Rumors: Cavs interested in trading for Luol Deng; No. 1 pick in play?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of two teams who are reportedly expressing high levels of interest in Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Cavaliers join the Washington Wizards as teams who could potentially acquire the All-Star small forward. The Wizards, owner of the No. 3 pick, would reportedly have to move it to Chicago along with center Emeka Okafor due to salary-matching reasons.

While there is no word on what, if anything, the Cavaliers have offered Chicago for Deng’s services, acquiring the swingman would provide at least a one-year upgrade at the small forward position. Given that the Wizards would be trading away the No. 3 pick, and the Cavaliers have reportedly received calls regarding their No. 1 selection, it is not far-fetched to imagine that the first-overall pick is in play. The team has also reportedly been in talks for Boston small forward Paul Pierce.

Deng, 28, is coming off of a solid season where he averaged 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the Bulls. In the last year of his contract, Deng is set to make $14.3 million. The notoriously tight Bulls have dangled his name out in the trade market for several seasons, but have yet to execute a deal.

[Related: The Worst Case Scenarios for the Cavs’ Offseason]

NBA Rumors: Several teams have explored trading for Cavs’ No. 1 pick

Though fans have repeatedly been told that the 2013 NBA Draft has little value, more than 10 teams have reportedly inquired about the first-overall pick, currently owned by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports that Chris Grant’s phone has been seeing some increased use, most recently with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans testing the waters. Amico adds that the Cavs appear to be most intrigued by an offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but are “not keen on” moving all the way down to the No. 9 selection. Recent rumors regarding the Cavaliers and Timberwolves involved tweener forward Derrick Williams.

The Cavaliers have long been rumored to exploring the trading of the No. 1 pick given the value of the asset, but are reportedly looking for a “serious haul” in return. If Grant and his staff have shown anything over the years, it is that they will not make a trade simply to make a trade—all transactions have to undoubtedly be for the betterment of the franchise.

These trade rumors are all in addition to recent speculation surrounding the Cavs entertaining discussions with the Boston Celtics for small forward Paul Pierce, and the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 13 selection in Thursday’s draft. Both trades would involve the Cavaliers taking on additional salary. The Cavs are expected to enter the free agency period with roughly $19 million in available space.

[Related: The Worst Case Scenarios for the Cavs’ Offseason]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs looking to acquire Paul Pierce from Boston?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly exploring a trade with the Boston Celtics that would net them future Hall of Fame small forward Paul Pierce.

Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports, while unable to confirm, that the Cavaliers would send the Celtics the 31st and 33rd selections in the 2013 NBA Draft in return for Pierce. The Milwaukee Bucks have also expressed interest in Pierce, per the report.

These rumors are on the heels of reports that the Cavs have also engaged with the Dallas Mavericks to move up to the 13th-overall spot, presumably using the No. 19 pick in addition to other assets which may or may not include the pair of second-round selections. Cleveland has expressed considerable desire to upgrade their small forward position and appears willing do so either via the draft or through trades with free agency being the worst-case scenario.

It is presumed that the Celtics would receive a sizable trade exception if they did indeed move Pierce who is due $15 million ($5 million guaranteed) in 2013-14. Boston is potentially looking at a rebuilding period, having entertained the possible trade of forward Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers for younger, less-costly options. Pierce, if moved to Cleveland, would seemingly represent a one-year rental of a player who averaged 18.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game (19.14 PER) in 2012-13. He will be 36 years old next season.

Amico also reports that the Cavaliers have discussed a trade that would qualify as “something big,” including the team’s first-overall selection, but talks have recently cooled down.

[Related: NBA Draft: On Dion Waiters, Ben McLemore and starting]

DeMarcus Cousins rumors fading, so what’s next for Cavs?

cousins kingsAlthough absolutely nothing has happened for the Cavaliers in the 12 days since winning the NBA Draft Lottery, it has seemed like an eternity to fans. There’s still another 26 days remaining until the actual draft — showing how all of the team’s options can start to wear on an exhausted Twitter base.

But most notably in the past week, Cleveland Twitter has been electric with the allure and mystique of 22-year-old Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. One of the most polarizing players in the NBA, Cousins was “potentially” on the block with the Kings being sold and changing their leadership structure.

Alas, as of last night, it now appears that Cousins will not be anywhere close to the trade block. Would this have been a fruitful exploration? Moving forward after that fantasy, what can Cavaliers fans do now? What’s next on the horizon? Let’s take a look through the stats and the narratives. [Read more...]

NBA Rumor: DeMarcus Cousins wants to stay in Sacramento

Lately, Cleveland Twitter has been buzzing with trade ideas revolving around Sacramento Kings star center DeMarcus Cousins. The rampant speculation — of course with no concrete backing — has heated up even more so since the Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery for the No. 1 pick next month.

But today, with the recent sale of the Kings becoming official and the team set to soon hire former Cavs assistant Michael Malone, rumors are circulating that Cousins indeed wants to stay in Sacramento. Via the Twitter account of Sacramento Bee reporter Jason Jones:

Vivek Ranadive is the new lead owner of the Kings. He previously was a co-owner and vice chairman of the Golden State Warriors (a la Jimmy Haslam III and the Pittsburgh Steelers), but later emerged as the main man behind the contingent hoping to keep the Kings in California.

Cousins, 22, was the No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft after one season at the University of Kentucky. In the last two seasons most notably, “Boogie” Cousins has averaged 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, emerging as one of the elite young prospects in the NBA. He’s also been relatively healthy, playing in 220 out of 230 possible games thus far in his three-year career.

Yet, Cousins has been an constant source of trouble on and off the court, leading to the constant Internet speculation about an eventual departure from Sacramento. Thus far, however, it appears that the new ownership group is doing all they can to keep the team’s best star at least for now.

[Related: Exploring The Trade Angle For Cavs’ Moveable Assets]