NBA teams trade for players to get sweeteners or obtain longer-term team control. But the novel concept of actually trading for someone to help on the court immediately? Only the Cavaliers have done that during this season, dealing for Rajon Rondo.
As I talk to people around the league, the Cavs are one of the most active teams. They’re talking to three or four different teams about scenarios. They want perimeter players. They want guards.
The Cavs are being very active. I would almost guarantee that they’re going to make deals beyond what they just did for Rajon Rondo.
This time, it actually makes sense for the Cavaliers to prioritize the present. They’re 22-18 and in the thick of the competition behind the Eastern Conference-favorite Nets and Bucks. Adding the right guard(s) could make the difference between Cleveland making the playoffs or not, winning a series or not or even winning multiple series or not.
The Cavs have plenty of logical trade pieces that won’t unwind the chemistry this team has. Rubio’s $17.8 million expiring contract could facilitate a deal. Other teams might value matching rights on impending restricted free agent Sexton, who never fit seamlessly with with top guard Darius Garland. Cleveland has the Rockets’ and Spurs’ presumably high second-round picks this year.
Plus, the Cavaliers could trade their own first-rounder. For the first time in years, that’s not slated to land high in the lottery.
Which is another way of saying the Cavs are good enough to justify trading for immediate help.