3 bigs the Cavaliers should consider trading for before the deadline

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been severely impacted by injuries this year. To remain competitive and ensure a return to the playoffs, this piece will explore 3 possible trade scenarios to bring in some more big men to the team.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next

Building a Bridge with Golden State

Toronto has already begun their restructuring phase. With the OG Anunoby trade to the New York Knicks earlier, the Raptors have signaled to the rest of the league they are ready to deconstruct their current roster and build around the former rookie of the year, Scottie Barnes, and other pieces. RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley are just the newest additions to the Raptors, but this trade will see them bringing even more talent in.

On the other side, Golden State is in a bit of a weird spot. The Warriors cannot decide if they want to ride it out with the veterans another time or lean into their youth movement, and it is exactly that uncertainty that has made the young power forward/center Jonathan Kuminga vocally express his lack of faith in the Warriors' head coach Steve Kerr. Given the recent news surrounding both of these teams, the Cavs should look at potentially helping to facilitate a three-team trade here. But, what would that look like?

Cavs-Raptors-Warriors Trade

The final trade scenario has Cleveland bringing in the supposedly disgruntled Jonathan Kuminga for a chance to start over. Andrew Wiggins returns to his home country in Canada, in addition to a veteran guard in Chris Paul and a young piece in Moses Moody. Lastly, Golden State gives themselves a final chance to compete with their veterans by bringing in the biggest piece of this trade, Pascal Siakam, as well as Caris LeVert and Dennis Schroder to help with their depth.

After the New York Knicks acquired OG Anunoby from the Raptors, the next name on the trade block out of Toronto was 2019 NBA champion, Pascal Siakam. The 29-year-old power forward has been playing some impressive basketball this season. With a stat line showing an average of 22.4 points a game, along with 6.6 total rebounds, and 4.9 assists, Siakam would be a huge get for the Warriors.

With the recent news of Draymond Green set to return to the NBA, the Warriors have said they are committed to building around their three veterans. Those vets are Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Pascal Siakam could also play at center alongside Green in the frontcourt. Although Siakam's game this year has been on a slight downward trajectory compared to years prior, he can still elevate a team to contention status.

Golden State also picks up Caris LeVert and Dennis Schroder in the deal. Since Golden State announced their commitment to building around their proven veterans, it makes sense they would try to shed themselves of Chris Paul. But to entice the Raptors into parting with Siakam, Chris Paul's veteran experience and savvy basketball IQ would not be enough. Andrew Wiggins and Moses Moody would make their way to Toronto and join the new-look Raptors in their retooling period.

Golden State's starting lineup would feature Curry and Thompson in the backcourt, while Caris LeVert took over at the three spot, while Green and Siakam rounded things out. Putting LeVert in that lineup gives the Warriors another playmaking guard capable of facilitating the ball to allow Curry and Thompson to get more off-ball action. Pascal Siakam gives the Warriors some much-needed size and helps strengthen their frontcourt. With Chris Paul being shipped out, Dennis Schroder makes for a solid sixth-man replacement too.

Toronto continues their rebuild with this trade. Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul, and Moses Moody are all great pieces for a team looking to reshape their identity. A starting lineup for the Raptors after this hypothetical trade would have Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett at the guard positions, and Scottie Barnes would handle things as the starting small forward, giving the frontcourt duties to Andrew Wiggins and Jakob Poeltl.

Although with Poeltl's ankle sprain the Raptors might have someone else taking minutes at center, Toronto can also utilize the presence of Moses Moody to add some youth to the team. As mentioned before, Chris Paul could bring some valuable veteran knowledge to the younger players on this Raptor's squad. However, alternatively, the Raptors could look to move him in another trade.

Finally, the Cavs get Jonathan Kuminga in this scenario. This only works if Golden State decides their timeline and Kuminga's do not match up and they want to focus all their efforts and resources on competing with their champion veterans. Kuminga is a young versatile big man who could play several different positions for the Cavs. With Mobley out, Kuminga could pair up with Allen in the frontcourt for the time being.

Considering Garland is also out, the starting lineup in Cleveland would look something like Donovan Mitchell at point guard, Max Strus at shooting guard, then either Isaac Okoro or Dean Wade could fill in for small forward, while the newest Cavalier, Jonathan Kuminga takes over at the power forward spot and the big man himself Jarrett Allen anchors it all at center.

When Garland and Mobley return, however, the starting lineup might look a little different. Garland and Mitchell would resume their duties in the backcourt, Strus would probably go back to the starting small forward spot, and Mobley along with Allen would make up the frontcourt. Cleveland has not seen enough of their actual intended starting lineup this season due to all the injuries, so it would make sense that even after making a potential trade for Kuminga, the starters would not be permanent. At least, not right away.

Kuminga has averaged 12.8 points per game this season, in addition to 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists. While his average of 27.3% three three-point shooting is nothing sensational, his 50.2% average field goal range shooting is slightly more impressive. At 21 years old, the Cavs would be getting a player that allows them to turn the clocks back a little. There are a lot of possible outcomes to adding Kuminga to this Cavs roster.

As previously mentioned, once all of the starters are healthy, the Cavs would more than likely want to run with their original lineup first. This would put Kuminga in a bench role for Cleveland, which might be counterintuitive to what he wants. However, there is a possibility that Strus moves into the sixth-man role with LeVert gone, and Kuminga becomes the new starting small forward. Similarly to John Collins, the Cavs could also slide Jonathan Kuminga into the same role. Although he is not as tall as Lauri Markkanen, putting Kuminga at the three spot gives Cleveland a variation of that tall ball lineup they ran a few years ago when Markkanen was on the roster.

Overall, this trade might be a long shot, but if Cleveland were somehow able to pry Kuminga away from the Warriors in the midst of a Pascal Siakam trade with the Raptors, it is absolutely worth considering.

Ranking every Cleveland Cavaliers' player by trade likelihood. dark. Next. Ranking every Cleveland Cavaliers' player by trade likelihood