Cavs’ most recent reported trade is solely about the first-round pick

Cleveland Cavaliers Brandon Knight (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Brandon Knight (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly agreed to a three-team deal with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings that sends Alec Burks to Sacramento, and the key part of the deal for Cleveland was the first-round pick they received.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a three-team trade with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings. Cleveland sent Alec Burks to the Kings, and sent the recently-acquired (via the recently reported Rodney Hood trade to the Portland Trail Blazers, per Wojnarowski) Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin IV to the Rockets, along with a 2021 second-round pick (via Milwaukee, the Cavs announced). Stauskas and Baldwin would soon after be traded to the Indiana Pacers by Houston in exchange for a Rockets’ second-round pick, and of course, the Pacers would soon after follow that up by waiving Stauskas and Baldwin (both per Wojnarowski).

In return, the Cavs received Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, a lottery-protected 2019 first-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick (per the Cavs’ announcement) from Houston. The Kings sent Iman Shumpert to the Rockets, and Houston sent Sacramento a 2020 second-round pick in exchange (again, per the Cavs’ announcement). Clearly, this deal is not about the players Cleveland received, though.

The Cavs are essentially taking on Knight’s deal (he’s due to make over $30 million for this season and next, per Spotrac) in order to grab Houston’s lottery-protected first-round pick this year and the 2022 second-rounder. I like the gamble because Houston is trying to make the postseason with James Harden going on a historic scoring tear.

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It’s unlikely they’ll miss the postseason this year. The Cleveland Cavaliers will have two first-round picks this year, including the potential number one overall pick. With this Houston pick, the Cavs can go a couple of ways with it.

They can try to find a diamond in the rough in the late first round or they can use it in another trade on draft night. I think they’ll draft someone but I wouldn’t count out the possibility that they trade it, either.

They also get Chriss in return. I’m a little down on Chriss as a player; he’s posted just 1.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.5 minutes per game this season, and realistically, lost his spot in the Rockets’ rotation. He didn’t show a lot in his time with the Suns, either, as he’s a player that has not shown signs of any shooting consistency.

In his rookie season with the Suns, he showed that he could possibly be a rim-runner with the ability to shoot the occasional three-pointer (32.1 percent, per Basketball Reference). He’s regressed a lot since his rookie year and he had a nightmarish second year with the Suns. Now, he’s barely played this year. We’ll see if he brings any value at all in the next few months, or if he was just included as an expiring contract (per Spotrac) throw-in.

I wouldn’t expect him to put up numbers with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I do expect him to get a lot of playing time, though, considering he’s only 21, and the Cavs aren’t focused on winning, plus it wouldn’t be shocking if they moved a big such as John Henson.

I also don’t expect a lot from Knight. Aside from his embarrassing moments as a player, he can be a solid guard when he’s healthy. He missed all of last year and he’s only played 12 games this year, per

I wouldn’t expect anything big from him this year because he’s just coming back from his reported ACL injury in the summer of 2017. He’s not going to be 100 percent until next season. He’s got one more season on his deal, as he’s set to make over $15 million.

I think he’ll put up some decent numbers next season. If he’s productive next year, he can be a valuable trade piece at the 2020 deadline.

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You might be able to somehow grab another first-round pick for him around this time next year if Cleveland is willing to absorb more salary and Knight can provide similar numbers to his career averages of 14.9 points and 4.2 assists per game.