The NBA calendar has changed over from Christmas to Trade Season, and from now until "Stretch Run" kicks off after the February Trade Deadline, teams will be engaged in negotiations and the rest of the NBA world will be engaged in reporting and speculation.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of a chaotic season, an injury-riddled 34 games of constantly churning starting lineups and equal parts letdown losses and upset victories. With the clock ticking for both Donovan Mitchell and J.B. Bickerstaff, the time is now for the Cavs to win.
Can they do so with the current group? Will the front office look to make tweaks around the edges, or will they take a bigger swing involving one of their core pieces? As the rumor mill springs into high gear and nearly every possibility creeps onto the table, which players on the roster are most likely to be traded? Who is a lock to stay put? Let's count down every player on the roster (excluding Ricky Rubio, who is in the process of agreeing to a contract buyout), starting with one All-Star point guard who isn't going anywhere.
No. 13: Darius Garland
If there is one player on the roster who is as close to a lock as humanly possible to not be traded, that player is Darius Garland. The homegrown All-Star point guard plays a crucial position, is under contract long-term, and has the skillset of a player who should continue to excel in the modern NBA.
Garland is currently out of the lineup due to a broken jaw, and he has been a magnet for a few fluke injuries over the past few seasons, but that shouldn't take away from his dynamic play when he is on the court. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Cavaliers are 6.4 points per 100 possessions better when Garland is on the court this season, an extremely strong number. At 23 years old, the Cavaliers will build whatever is to come around their playmaking point guard.