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NBA Analysis: Cavs Trade Rumors

CBS’s Ken Berger drops a ton of Cavs trade knowledge:

• One of the most active teams on the trade market has been New Orleans, a development that rival executives are closely monitoring. Hornets GM Dell Demps is said to be seeking a big man who can give New Orleans a little more post presence on the offensive end, and executives are openly wondering if Demps will be so bold as to chase Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison. Despite financial struggles that have resulted in the team being taken over by NBA ownership, the Hornets have cornered the market in the area of taking on future money for short-term improvements (i.e. Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack). Execs expect them to make another such move, but getting Jamison from Cleveland — either via a trade or an unlikely buyout — likely would yield a flood of complaints from many of the 29 teams that essentially own the Hornets. Jamison is owed $15.1 million next season, an obligation that would seem to be pushing whatever boundaries are inherent in the league’s cooperative stewardship of the franchise.

The Cavs would have to be incentivized to part with Jamison, who isn’t said to be pushing an exit strategy and whose leadership will be needed to guide the Cavs through the rest of this trying season. The Hornets have the ability to seek more modest improvements, given their multiple trade exceptions and the $4.6 million they have to spend up to the luxury-tax threshold.

• The Cavs are aggressively testing the waters to see what kind of assets they can expect to accumulate by volunteering to use their $14.6 million trade exception from LeBron’s departure as a parking lot for other teams’ unwanted contracts. Cleveland is seeking to use that cap space to acquire draft picks and young players — a sound strategy, especially considering that the Cavs can use all the room without putting themselves in luxury-tax jeopardy.

• Sources say the Bulls and Celtics are widely expected to make a move before the deadline, and each is seeking wing help. The Cavs’ Anthony Parker would be an ideal fit in both places. Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich would be a good fit, too, but his $8 million salary next season would make such a transaction troublesome.

• The Hawks are looking for guard help, and sources say they may be interested in the Cavs’ Ramon Sessions. The feeling among rival execs is that the Hawks may be willing to spend up to or perhaps even a bit beyond the luxury-tax threshold if there’s a deal that would significantly improve their chances in a playoff series with Boston, Orlando or Miami.

Any or all of these would be fantastic.

I’d absolutely love to part with Jamison and/or Parker. Both are being asked to do too much with this team and are better suited as role players for contenders. If the Cavs get a prospect for Parker, that’d be great, but I’ll take a second round pick and call it a day. Jamison… I mean, the Cavs gave up an expiring contract and a first round pick to get him, so I figure that’s still a fairly reasonable asking price.

As far as using the traded exception goes, the Cavs would basically be picking up an asset for nothing. In general, this would be good. I’m not sold on acquirering someone like Gerald Wallace, but even there, you could always trade him down the road (and if you can nab a pick or two in the process, all the better).

Now, the Sessios rumor is news to me. He’s not usually one the names that come to mind when you think about the Cavs having a firesale, but I’m not opposed to seeing him go. Yes, he’s young, but what’s his ceiling? The guy can’t shoot. He’s fast, he seems like he has a good head on his shoulders (one of the few Cavs who competes every night) and he’s young. I wouldn’t mind him sticking around but I wouldn’t cry if he left either.

I’m glad to be reading about how aggressive the Cavs are being in trade talks. However, I’ll be quite disappointed if trade deadline comes and goes and their roster hasn’t changed. Basically, in my opinion, if the Cavs do nothing at the deadline, then this is a wasted season.


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