NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers Should Try to Deal for Jazz's Paul Millsap

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterNovember 28, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 31: Paul Millsap #24 of the Utah Jazz grabs a rebound during a game against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of an NBA game October 31, 2012 at Energy Solution Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers haven't been very active in the trade market recently, but Chris Grant's been money when he's pulled the trigger.

Perhaps his next move should be a call to Salt Lake City, where the Jazz have a number of big men that should pique the interest of Mr. Grant.'s Ian Thomsen says the following about Utah's frontcourt situation:

The real question is whether they should keep all of their big men, and the answer is obvious. Their four-man rotation can't be maintained for the long-term. One of them must go.

Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are the current starters at center and power forward, and they have enjoyed successful careers thus far.

Their career's in Utah, however, may be nearing an end.

Both are in the last years of their contracts with no extension being discussed by the Jazz front office.  This is likely due to the fact that Utah has two younger and cheaper big men who play the same positions in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

Favors was acquired in a trade that sent Deron Williams to the then New Jersey Nets while Kanter was Utah's first round pick, third overall, in 2011.

While it appears Favors is the most untouchable big man of the group, the Cavs would be wise to pursue Millsap.

The 27-year-old Millsap is still young enough to fit into the Cavs' rebuilding plans and has already established himself as a star in the league.  For the season he's putting up averages of 14.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and a PER of 18.11.

Despite being 6'8" and 250 pounds, Millsap is shooting better than 50 percent on three pointers this season, attempting nearly 1.5 a game.

The former second-round pick is in the last year of his deal, making just over $8.6 million.

If Utah decides it has seen enough promise from Favors, Millsap could very well be on his way out.

While the Cavs have the best center in the Eastern Conference right now in Anderson Varejao, the rest of their front line is suspect.  Tristan Thompson is averaging 8.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in a starting role, but he only has six blocked shots in the team's first 15 games.

For a player who should be excelling when it comes to rebounding and defending, that is a frighteningly low number.

The Cavs need a reliable post scorer, someone they can dump the ball down to and let go to work.

Millsap can not only do this, but as evidenced by his three point shooting, he can knock down the outside jumper as well.

The deal could hit a snag when discussing money, as Grant would want to extend Millsap's deal to ensure he wouldn't just be a few month's rental.

I'm thinking somewhere in the four-year, $50 million range would be fair for both sides.  Considering Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets got a four-year, $60 million deal last offseason, getting Millsap for $50 million could even be a bit of a bargain.

Utah would likely want the combination of young talent and draft picks, so here's an example of what the Cavs could offer:


Cleveland Receives: Paul Millsap, PF

Utah Receives: Tristan Thompson, PF, Luke Walton, SF, 2013 first-round pick (via Miami Heat)


With this deal the Cavs would get their man in Millsap and have a great offensive player to pair next to the defensive-minded Varejao.

The Jazz would get a return on Millsap who could have simply left in free agency for nothing. Instead they would come away with a young, inexpensive big in Thompson to back up Favors, $6 million in expiring money with Walton's contract and a late first-round pick from the Cavs via the Miami Heat.

For the Cavs, losing Thompson would hurt, but landing Millsap would be worth it.  They own the Orlando Magic's second-round pick, which could very well end up being close to the first-round pick from Miami they're giving up.

In the end, both teams stand to benefit by swinging a deal.  Any trade would have to be completed by Millsap agreeing to an extension, however, as the Cavs would want to build around their new star with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.

Grant rolled the dice on a trade with the Clippers two seasons ago that worked out pretty well. Why not try this one as well?