The Cleveland Cavaliers once again landed the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and it’s no secret that they are considering trading it. While Nerlens Noel and Otto Porter are two interesting players the Cavs are definitely considering adding to their roster, could a potential deal with Portland Trail Blazers involving LaMarcus Aldridge be feasible?
Bill Simmons, Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst recently recorded a podcast, in which they discussed the possibility of the Cavaliers trading the no. 1 pick and the Trail Blazers emerging as a potential trade partner. This is the gist of the suggested — and at this point, purely hypothetical — trade:
Cavs would send the no. 1 overall pick, no. 19 pick and Tristan Thompson for LaMarcus Aldridge. You could subtract and add pieces, but this would be the basic foundation of the deal.
So, does this deal make sense at all? Simmons and Lowe seemed to disagree on it, as Simmons was in favor of the deal from Portland’s perspective, while Lowe didn’t like the deal. Here is my two cents.
Why the deal would make sense for Cavs…
It’s quite obvious why the deal seems quite attractive from the Cavaliers’ perspective. You already have a nice young core that you are building around, with Kyrie Irving being the main guy. Giving up two first-round picks, including the first overall pick, in what is considered a pretty weak draft doesn’t seem like a big price to pay for an All-Star big man. While Tristan Thompson improved in his sophomore year and averaged close to a double-double, he is rather one-dimensional. He is athletic, hustles and plays hard, but doesn’t really have a great offensive game. Putting Aldridge next to Irving would pretty much guarantee the Cavaliers a return to the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference. Then there is also that profound dream that a certain King will return to town and form a Big 3 in Cleveland…
…and why it wouldn’t
While Aldridge is in his prime, he mostly relies on mid-range shooting. While he is a decent shooter and certainly an All-Star, he is not necessarily a dominant player per se. Aldridge would probably help the Cavs get to the playoffs, but the team would still have holes and could hardly make any noise in the postseason. A preferred course of action would perhaps be either picking Noel, waiting him out and tanking for next year’s draft, or trying to fill the hole at the 3-spot by looking for other trades.
Why the deal would make sense for Portland…
A lot of the things that I discussed in the previous paragraphs apply here. While an All-Star in his prime, Aldridge has not really shown signs of being the type of player that can carry his team deep into the playoffs. While the Blazers had a decent starting lineup this season, their bench was horrific and the team still needs some proper rebuilding. They will have cap space this summer and will most likely let go of J.J. Hickson. Picking Nerlens Noel would instantly fill the gap Hickson leaves, and the team could also add another young piece with the 19th overall pick. While Thompson isn’t as versatile as Aldridge, he is still a decent young piece and could grow with the team. This trade would make the Blazers worse on a short-term basis but possibly set the team up for a better future. Damian Lillard is expected to get better and better, and could very well be an All-Star in a couple of years. Going forward with a core featuring Lillard-Matthews-Batum-Thompson-Noel is not the worst thing in the world.
…and why it wouldn’t
The Blazers like LaMarcus. He doesn’t really complain, seems like an overall great guy and is obviously an All-Star. He is the team’s best player, and has belief in the franchise to put the right pieces around him and Lillard. Then there is also that thing with Portland picking centers with knee problems with the top overall pick (Noel is recovering from a torn ACL, in case you missed it).
So what do you guys think? There are obviously a lot of angles to this trade and you can really go back and forth here. Let us know in the comment section below if you think this trade could ever happen, and which team should push harder to get it done?