Top Teams Cleveland Cavaliers Should Talk Draft Day Trades with
Cleveland Cavaliers' general manager Chris Grant is known as one of the most creative minds in all of basketball.
His talents landed the Cavs the first overall pick in 2011, thanks to a trade that only required the Cavs to play Baron Davis 15 games at the end of a miserable season.
Last year, Grant managed to convert a late first-rounder from the Los Angeles Lakers into the 17th overall pick, selecting ACC Player of the Year Tyler Zeller.
This season, Grant could very well be at it again.
Already moving up 11 picks thanks to a clause in last year's trade with the Lakers, the Cavs not only own the first overall pick, but the 19th, 31st and 33rd as well.
With rumors that the Cavs could move the first overall pick as well as potentially trading up in the draft much like they did last season, Grant should be busy leading up to draft day.
Here are the five NBA teams the Cavs should try to swing a deal with leading up to the draft.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are going through front-office changes, which means no player on the roster could be deemed untouchable.
The Cavs and T-Wolves could very much be in trade talks leading up to the draft, according to a report from sheridanhoops.com:
The Cleveland Cavaliers are fielding calls from everywhere, but the team they’d really like to to make a deal with is Minnesota.
And if the Timberwolves are willing to surrender Kevin Love, the No. 1 pick is available to them, sources tell SheridanHoops.com.
Love in Cleveland is certainly worth talking about. The All-Star power forward is one of the best rebounders in the NBA, can score from anywhere on the floor and is still just 24 years old.
While it's unlikely the Wolves would do a straight pick-for-Love swap, it's worth looking into just how much they'd be asking for his services.
Would the Cavs give up their own starting power forward, Tristan Thompson, and the first overall pick for Love?
Grant has to weigh his options here, but any chance at getting a player like Love for just a few draft picks certainly seems worth it.
Cleveland and Dallas struck a draft-day deal last year when the Cavs traded the 24th, 33rd and 34th overall picks to the Mavericks for the rights to Tyler Zeller at pick No. 17.
Dallas has been more interested in the free-agent market than the draft the past few years, and were happy to avoid the cap hold that the 17th overall pick carried ($1.4 million in Year 1) compared to the 24th overall pick ($0.9 million).
Could history repeat itself in 2013?
Cleveland once again has a late first-round pick and multiple picks in the second round. Dallas owns the 13th overall pick, and is once again rumored to be shopping it to save the cap hit it would carry.
If the Cavs have the opportunity to trade the 19th, 31st and 33rd overall picks to the Mavs for their 13th overall pick, they should do it.
The 2013 NBA draft isn't exactly top heavy, but does carry exceptional value in the 5-to-15 range.
With the 13th pick, the Cavs could possibly draft a player like Shabazz Muhammad or Alex Len who almost certainly wouldn't have lasted six picks longer.
Going in a different direction, could the Cavs themselves look to trade back from the first overall pick?
If a team like the Washington Wizards was interested, then yes.
If the Cavs are convinced Otto Porter of Georgetown is their guy but don't want to spend the first overall pick on him, they could try to trade back with one of these teams. The Wizards are the logical choice, as they likely wouldn't pass on a player like Porter with a need at small forward.
The Cavs could leverage this trading back into a possible future first-rounder, or ask for a young player (Kevin Seraphin?) in return.
The Hawks will be an interesting team to follow this offseason.
They took a step back on the court when they traded Joe Johnson away last summer, but remain much more deadly off it with the new cap space they'll have from dumping his contract.
Unrestricted free agent forward Josh Smith could be the next star to leave, however, likely making the Hawks a lottery team if they can't add a significant free agent.
If Atlanta goes into rebuild mode, they could consider moving their highest-paid player in center Al Horford.
Horford is about to turn 27 and had his best season last year with averages of 17.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
While Horford to Cleveland is just a pipe dream at this point, he would definitely be worth the first overall pick in a draft such as this. If Danny Ferry decides to call his former employer to make Horford available, the Cavs should definitely listen.
Portland Trail Blazers
Another rumor floating around comes to us courtesy of Yahoo! Sports, which talks about the Cavs interest in another All-Star big man:
Privately, the Cleveland front office has pitched a fantasy of trading young players and picks to Portland for All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, sources said.
Aldridge, like Horford, is severely underrated in the NBA today. The 27-year-old forward averaged 21.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game last season.
A versatile and creative offensive threat, Aldridge has scored 17.8 points per game or more in six of his seven NBA seasons. The thought of an Aldridge-Kyrie Irving combo is certainly tempting, especially when you throw players like Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao in the mix.
To land Aldridge, however, would take work. Honestly, the first overall pick probably wouldn't be enough. Cleveland would likely have to throw in another one of their young post players for the Blazers to sit up and take notice.
Would it be worth it for Cleveland to part with either Tristan Thompson or Tyler Zeller if it meant bringing in a player like Aldridge?
We'll find out June 27.