NBA Trade Scenarios: How the Cleveland Cavaliers Save Their Season
The Cavaliers’ season has elicited a see-saw of emotions as the NBA Trade Deadline approaches on March 15th. Only wins away from the playoffs, the Cavs have shown promise with quality wins against the Pacers, Clippers, Mavericks, and Celtics.
Then there was the 24-point loss to the Heat at Quicken Loans Arena that made a probable first round matchup with Miami into a nightmare.
The Cavaliers are indeed playoff-contenders, but they are not championship contenders. In order to reach the NBA’s high society, Cavaliers management must continue the arduous road to rebuilding.
The following trades will reinforce the Cavaliers’ strategy of rebuilding through the draft, conceding victories now for contention later.
Writer's Note: All Trades have been validated with ESPN's NBA Trade Machine.
Three Way Deal with Magic and Lakers
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Rumors connecting Dwight Howard and Ramon Sessions to the Lakers have run rampant this season (with, strangely, more discussion around Howard), so let’s make a deal that will help the Magic rebuild from the anticipated departure of Dwight Howard.
Lakers Get: Dwight Howard and Ramon Sessions
Magic Get: Pau Gasol, Anderson Varejao, and Matt Barnes
Cavs Get: J.J. Redick, Quentin Richardson and both the Magic and Lakers 2012 1st Round Picks
This one’s a no-brainer for the Lakers, but why would Cleveland and Orlando participate?
The Magic make the move because they have little leverage with Howard leaving at the end of the season and seek to receive as much as possible before he abandons the franchise.
The Cavs get the short end of the stick in terms of players, but two low first round draft picks will be valuable in this year’s deep draft.
Celtics Get Wild Thing to Perk Up Veterans
The Celtics are desperate to make a final run with their aging trio of superstars (plus Rondo). Varejao could be the spark that’s needed to upset the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
Celtics Get: Anderson Varejao
Cavs Get: Jermaine O’Neal and the Celtics' Unprotected 2013 1st Round Pick
Cavaliers fans will need patience to stomach this trade, as the Celtics aging superstars could soon retire, leading to a very high first round pick from the Celtics in the future.
Jamison Goes Home with Varejao to Help Bobcats
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Antawn Jamison has discussed a return to North Carolina, and the Bobcats need just about everything during their rebuilding process.
Bobcats Get: Anderson Varejao and Antawn Jamison
Cavs Get: Corey Maggette, Tyrus Thomas, Eduardo Najera, and the Bobcats 2012 First Round Pick (Top 5 Protected)
The Cavs are forced to give up a good deal with Varejao, but have the chance to receive a high first round pick in the future. The NBA-worst Bobcats would surely protect the pick, but the value received in the trade could result in minimal lottery protection.
If Lin Fails in New York, Cavs Could Benefit from Rockets Trade
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Houston will likely receive the Knicks’ 2012 1st Rounder, as long as the pick stays out of the top five. Houston could use one of their two first round picks to make a deal to strengthen their chance of contending in the Western Conference Playoffs.
Rockets Get: Anderson Varejao and Ramon Sessions
Cavs Get: Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn, and the Rockets’ 1st Round Pick from the Knicks
The Cavs give up a lot in talent, but if the currently seventh-seeded Knicks fail to make the playoffs, the Cavs will reap the benefits.
Sweetening a Rumored Deal Between Lakers and Bulls
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Zachary Rymer has mentioned a deal involving Carlos Boozer and Pau Gasol on Bleacher Report, but could the Cavaliers help sweeten the deal for both teams?
Lakers Get: Carlos Boozer and Ramon Sessions
Bulls Get: Pau Gasol and Anderson Varejao
Cavs Get: Luol Deng and the Lakers 2012 First Round Pick
With exception to staunch supporters of Anderson Varejao, fans of all three teams could walk away happy from this deal. The Lakers and Bulls strengthen their argument for an NBA Title, while the Cavs address the small forward position and add a pick to the upcoming draft.
And, by the way, it might make things just a bit harder for the Miami Heat.