Report: Cavaliers interested in trading for Wizards’ Jared Dudley

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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The Cavaliers reportedly want another wing.

How about the Wizards’ Jared Dudley?

Brian Windhorst on ESPN Cleveland:

The Cavs would love to get their hands on Jared Dudley.

They tried to trade for Jared Dudley. They kicked around trading for Jared Dudley last summer.

With the Warriors hoarding so many of the NBA’s few good wings – Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala – and using them simultaneously with Draymond Green and Stephen Curry in their nuclear lineup, the rest of the league is trying to catch up.

The Cavs have a decent start with LeBron James, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, but they could use more depth. When the goal is a championship, it’s better to leave nothing to chance.

Dudley – a 3-and-D player – would be a nice fit. He’s capable of handling bigger opponents in mismatches, which would take some of the burden off LeBron. Dudley could play a role similar to Shane Battier, who played power forward with the Heat so LeBron could remain at small forward.

But would the Wizards trade Dudley?

At 21-26, 10th in the Eastern Conference and four games from postseason position, they look like playoff long shots. On the other hand, they’re getting healthier. Their best path might be staying the course – hoping to play well enough to impress Kevin Durant in free agency. The odds appear further against them landing the Washington D.C. native than ever, but the upside remains so high, it might be worth sticking to the plan.

Unless Cleveland offers enough to pry loose Dudley.

One of the Cavs’ prime trade chips, Timofey Mozgov, probably wouldn’t interest the Wizards, who have Marcin Gortat and Nene. Cleveland has a trade exception large enough to absorb Dudley’s salary, but Washington would obviously want something in return. Cleveland could surrender a future first-round pick, the first available almost certainly being in 2018. But that’s a steep price for a 30-year-old headed into free agency and due a raise.

The more-immediate costs would be large, too. Simply adding Dudley’s salary would increase the Cavaliers’ projected luxury-tax bill by $18,358,897.

Chasing a championship is costly, but the Cavs might need Dudley.

I bet they wish they got in the mix last summer, when the Bucks essentially gave away Dudley to the Wizards. Now, Cleveland is faced with a tougher challenge for getting wing help.