Laying out a trade with the Nets
The Cavaliers are not flush with tradeable assets, unless they want to move one of their core four players. There are certainly viable trade ideas out there that involve turning Jarrett Allen into a wing or two. Assuming the Cavs want to upgrade on the margins around those four, they need to use some smaller matching salary and their collection of second-round picks to make it happen.
That was the impetus behind the latest trade idea from Bleacher Report. They concocted a deal where the Cavaliers add 3-and-D wing Royce O’Neale, and in exchange get veteran point guard Ricky Rubio and a pair of future second-round picks. Here’s what it would look like:
The 2026 Los Angeles Lakers pick is probably the most valuable pick they have available to trade, unless you count a pick swap for their 2030 pick. The Brooklyn Nets are holding out for a first-round pick for O’Neale, but if that was available they likely would have pulled the trigger already. Two seconds and a solid veteran might get it done.
For all that the Nets have an overgrowth of wings, they are relatively thin at point guard b behind Spencer Dinwiddie; Cam Thomas is more of a score-first combo guard, and Dennis Smith Jr. is a score-last defensive wing. Both can fill minutes at the 1, but having a veteran point guard who can set everyone up and mentor Thomas into developing as a playmaker is an excellent idea for the Nets.
This seems like fair value for Brooklyn; if they are on board, would the Cavaliers say yes?