Kalin Lucas

Report: Cavaliers, perhaps willing to trade Dion Waiters, target Kosta Koufos


The Cavaliers have made no secret about the desire to upgrade their center depth.

A six-game win streak doesn’t eliminate that need.

Timofey Mozgov was Cleveland’s first well-publicized target. But with Mozgov content in Denver and locked up for next season, the Nuggets probably aren’t trading him.

So, the Cavaliers are aiming a little lower.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Cleveland, sources say, has been inquiring with the Memphis Grizzlies about the available of reserve center Kosta Koufos among their various trade pursuits.

Sources say that the Cavs are well aware landing a quality big man likely depends on selling on potential trade partners to take back polarizing shooting guard Dion Waiters. Cleveland rates Waiters’ talent highly, but sources maintain that the Cavs have let a number of teams know they are prepared to surrender him if they can acquire a difference-making center in return.

Koufos, by contrast, is an unrestricted free agent next summer whose camp, sources say, has made it known to Grizzlies management that it has less than pleased with the limited role carved out for the 7-footer over the past two seasons.

Announcement: ProBasketballTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $175,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday’s NBA games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Koufos for Waiters straight up would work under the league’s cap rules, and that would be an intriguing deal. Cleveland could also absorb Koufos with its trade exception.

This could be related to the Cavaliers’ reported interest in Tayshaun Prince, though any Prince-to-Cleveland deal would get complicated. The best I can come up with: Prince and Koufos for Waiters, Lou Amundson, James Jones and Alex Kirk. The Grizzlies would have to waive Kalin Lucas first. Cleveland would have to use $3 million of its $5,285,817 trade exception. And the deal couldn’t happen until Dec. 19. Otherwise, it seems viable.

Koufos, averaging 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game, is posting his lowest numbers in four years. With Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph healthy, the Grizzlies just don’t have much use for him.

But how much do they need a shoot-first guard with selfish tendencies? Waiters is talented, and it might be worth buying low on a young player under contract for next season. But for a Grizzlies team trying to win now, I wouldn’t risk disrupting chemistry and sacrificing frontcourt depth just to get Waiters.

Grizzlies sign Kalin Lucas

Leave a comment

The Grizzlies, 4-0, are off to their best start in franchise history.

But if you’re looking for reasons to be concerned in Memphis, point guard is your position.

Mike Conley had been bothered by a sprained ankle, and though it seems he’ll play against the Suns tonight, Beno Udrih is his only backup. Nick Calathes is still suspended suspended (probably due to trying to reverse his balding).

So, the Grizzlies are adding outside help.

Grizzlies release:

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard Kalin Lucas, the team announced today.

Lucas played for the Grizzlies during the preseason and summer league and for the their D-League affiliate. So, he should know the system as well as any free agent they could have added.

But, if all goes well, Lucas will never see the court, and once at full strength, Memphis will send Lucas back to the D-League. In the meantime, he’ll get a nice NBA paycheck.