Though the majority of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ focus this summer will be on gathering wing and post depth, the Cavs would be mistaken not to view the backup guard trade market as an SOS in the case that Ricky Rubio never returns to form after injury.
The ideal guard trade target would need to fill the minutes on the court that Darius Garland needs to rest. Playmaking and offensive orchestrating duties would fall onto the backup. Secondly, in the case that Rubio does secure steady rotational minutes, trading for a backup guard should have the ability to slot into the two guard spot as well.
On the free agent market, players such as Dennis Schroder come to mind; however, in the trade market many potential targets raise numerous question marks.
These three guards might pique some onlooker’s interest, but they must be absolute no’s from the Cavs, regardless of what the offer may be.
No. 1: Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons
A few years ago, Alec Burks could have been considered a coveted rotational piece on a contending roster. In his early seasons, he tended to defend at an above average level on the perimeter while averaging a handful of assists.
Drafted 12th overall in 2011, Burks has been slowly declining over the most recent seasons. Though this past season Burks averaged almost 13 points in 22 minutes per game, his efficiency from the field has consistently been below the league average. The journeyman guard still fulfills a valuable player, but the Cavaliers would be better off targeting a guard with a more team-friendly contract. Burks is owed over $10 million this coming season if Detroit accepts his team option.
Otherwise, Burks will hit unrestricted free agency this summer. In that case, the Cavaliers could consider taking a flyer on Burks with a veteran-minimum contract, but taking on his current contract should be a no-go for Cleveland.