The crazy season in the NBA is in full force this week as the All-Star Game is over and the trading deadline is the middle of this week.
It will be tough to top the bomb that went off within the Association after the game yesterday, when the Sacramento Kings dealt perhaps the most talented big man in the game in DeMarcus Cousins to the team who has the other player in that category, the New Orleans Pelicans to Tyreke Evans, rookie Buddy Hield and some draft picks.
The team in the Big Easy now has the two best big men in the sport in Anthony Davis and Cousins.
Of course, with the Cleveland Cavaliers trying to defend their NBA title, and one of their best players down with an injury in Kevin Love, the question that concerns local basketball fans is will the wine and gold make a move to bolster the roster prior to the deadline.
Recent history, of course, says yes.
In his first year as GM, David Griffin traded for JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timofey Mosgov, changing the roster dramatically, and putting the franchise into position to win the first championship in franchise history.
As we all know, injuries to Love and later, Kyrie Irving decimated the Cavs’ roster by the time they battled to reach The Finals, and Cleveland came up just short to the Golden State Warriors.
Last year, Griffin traded for another sharp shooter, Channing Frye, who contributed greatly in the playoffs after kind of being an afterthought in Orlando. Frye showed that sometimes players who aren’t great contributors on bad teams can be very useful on very good teams.
Already this season, Griffin has been very active.
After Smith went down with a thumb injury after the holidays, Griffin traded for another premier three point shooter in Kyle Korver. The veteran was showing signs of decline in Atlanta, dropping to 44% shooting, with 41% behind the arc, but in Cleveland, he has regained the touch.
In 19 games with the Cavaliers, Korver has hit 51% of his shots, both from behind the three point line as well as overall. He has picked up the outside shooting lost with Smith’s injury.
Then, Griffin signed veteran Derrick Williams for added depth, and see our comments about Frye in talking about Williams, who was the second pick in the NBA Draft behind Irving in 2011.
Still just 25 years old, Williams has averaged 9.8 points in his four games in Cleveland, and has been very active on both ends of the floor. He looks very much like he can be a contributor for the wine and gold going forward.
All of this history leads us to believe the Griffin will make some sort of move in the next week or so. It may not be a trade, he could wait for players who will be released after the deadline, who can help Tyronn Lue’s roster.
One player we would advocate looking at is a player we thought about in the late summer, because he didn’t sign until late in the process, and that is Terrence Jones, who is likely to be moved by New Orleans after last night’s deal.
Jones is young (just 25 years old), and Cleveland could use some youth on its roster, and he is also long, another need for the Cavs. Jones is listed at 6’9″ and his primary position is power forward, another need for the wine and gold with Love out.
He’s a career 50% shooter from the floor, but isn’t a three point threat. He’s averaging 11.5 points per night in just 25 minutes per game. He is also grabbing six caroms a game, and his reputation is that of a little better than average defender.
We are also sure that Griffin will come up with another back up point guard, because resting Irving and LeBron James will be very important in March, so Lue will need someone he can trust.
That may be a guy who comes to Cleveland in a buyout situation, perhaps someone like Dallas’ Deron Williams.
It will be an interesting week surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers for sure. We feel very positive that the wine and gold will bolster the roster for post-season push.
To this point, fans need to trust Griffin and his group because they have pushed the right buttons. It helps him when Lue and James are around to assimilate the new players into what the Cavaliers want to do.