Best Potential Trade Package Every Team Interested in No. 1 Draft Pick Can Offer
"I actually got calls right afterward, while I was standing there doing media," general manager David Griffin said about the immediate aftermath of the draft lottery, when his Cleveland Cavaliers moved up and gained the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft, via ESPN.com. "Teams were already reaching out and texting, so I think it will be an active period of time."
With the draft looming and ready to kick off on Thursday night, the calls presumably haven't stopped.
That No. 1 pick is a rather coveted asset, even if a navicular fracture all but eliminated Joel Embiid from contention and dropped the pool of potential picks to a pair of players—Duke's Jabari Parker and Kansas' Andrew Wiggins.
Plenty of teams would love to roster either of the aforementioned forwards, but getting their hands on that top selection is a difficult endeavor. Difficult, but not impossible.
Thus far, five teams have emerged as primary suitors for the asset Cleveland earned during the lottery. But are their best offers going to be enough to sway the Cavs, who have steadfastly rebuffed any and all offers up to this point?
Potential Trade: No. 6, No. 17, Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green for No. 1 and Anderson Varejao
This isn't going to happen.
The Boston Celtics might be interested in landing the No. 1 pick, per CSNNE.com's A. Sherrod Blakely, but they don't have the assets necessary to actually acquire such a lofty selection. Their best trading chip, other than the two picks included in this potential deal, may well be Rajon Rondo, who plays the same position as Kyrie Irving.
"While no deal is imminent, Boston's pursuit of the top overall pick speaks to their desire to indeed create 'fireworks' in a draft that took a step back in terms of luster at the top following the navicular bone fracture to Joel Embiid's right foot," reports Blakely.
Again, this proposed deal won't get the job done.
Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green are appealing pieces, especially because they fill positions of need for the Cavs, but they aren't enough for Cleveland to look past Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. A third part would surely be needed.
If that's going to happen, the Sacramento Kings would make a great trading partner. Given their interest in Rondo, they may be willing to facilitate something, though the structure of the deal is one that likely couldn't be put together in time for the Thursday night festivities.
Should the C's continue to covet Wiggins or Parker, they'll likely have to acquire said player later this summer, especially because a sign-and-trade for Isaiah Thomas would surely have to be part of the deal.
Potential Trade: Kevin Love and Gorgui Dieng for Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and No. 1
Kevin Love to the Cavs gained a lot of steam in May, right after Cleveland somehow wound up with the No. 1 pick. All of a sudden, the team had the assets necessary to land the superstar power forward and pair him with Kyrie Irving, as opposed to feeling as though Irving had to be included in any deal for Love.
Though there's been no traction lately, this is still a possibility.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have little incentive to trade Love right now, not unless the right offer pops up. And if the No. 1 pick is on the table, it could easily be part of the right offer, especially if Tristan Thompson is also included in the swap.
The concern here comes from Cleveland.
Even with a promising young talent (Gorgui Dieng) around for a few years, is it worth giving up the No. 1 pick and a decent frontcourt piece for a star who might only be around for one season?
Well, it is if the Cavs start winning.
"Similarly, Love has never shared the floor with an offensive talent like Irving," writes Bleacher Report's Zach Buckely. "(Well, outside of their Pepsi MAX-sponsored geezer game, that is.) Two years alongside Irving may convince Love that winters in Cleveland aren't the worst things in the world."
If Cleveland can manage to acquire Love without giving up either Irving or Dion Waiters, it should do it. It should do it without asking any questions.
Especially in the weaker Eastern Conference, a three-man offensive core of the aforementioned players is more than enough to carry a squad into the promised land. And if Love finally experiences the thrill of the playoffs for the first time in his career, anything could happen with regards to his future.
Potential Trade: Arron Afflalo, No. 4 and No. 12 for Jarrett Jack and No. 1
"The Cavs do have some interest in the Magic's offer of Arron Afflalo, the No. 4 pick and the No. 12 pick," report ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford.
We're throwing in Jarrett Jack to make things even more appealing for the Orlando Magic, who might have difficulty parting ways with a fringe All-Star candidate and two lottery picks for just one player, talented as he may be. But given his egregiously high salary, that shouldn't be too painful a loss for the Cavs, who could have access to either Dante Exum or Marcus Smart at No. 4 if they really desire an immediate replacement.
And, just as was the case with the appealing 'Wolves deal, Cleveland gets to keep both Irving and Waiters.
Afflalo might be primarily thought of as a shooting guard, but that wasn't his role with the Magic. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Afflalo spent 49 percent of his time at the 2, 50 percent at the 3 and 1 percent playing power forward in an extreme small-ball lineup. Meanwhile, 82games.com shows that he played 48 percent of Orlando's available minutes at small forward and 47 percent of the possible time at shooting guard.
If there's a "true" swingman in the NBA, at least based on play-by-play data from the 2013-14 season, it would be Afflalo, who nearly split time evenly between the 2 and 3.
Why is this relevant? Because he's more than capable of playing alongside Irving and Waiters.
Let's say that Cleveland feels less compunction about using the No. 4 pick on Joel Embiid and drafts the Kansas center eight spots before taking one of the elite shooting guards—Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris, James Young or Zach LaVine—at No. 12.
All of a sudden, it's looking at a starting five of Irving, Waiters, Afflalo, Thompson and Varejao, with Embiid and the No. 12 pick eventually replacing Afflalo and the long-haired big man.
How can the Cavs pass that up?
Potential Trade: Thaddeus Young, No. 3, No. 32 and No. 39 for No. 1 and Jarrett Jack
A trade that saw Thaddeus Young and the No. 3 pick going to the Cavs for the top selection was revealed by Goodman and Ford, but the ESPN duo reports, "A source says the Cavs aren't enamored by either the Sixers' offer..."
Let's up the offer, then.
This already should be appealing to Cleveland, seeing as it picks up a player capable of excelling at small forward while only dropping back two spots in the draft. Even if Griffin would be losing access to Parker and Wiggins, he could still justify taking Dante Exum or Embiid with the No. 3 pick, either of whom would look good in a Cavs uniform.
Young, let's not forget, averaged 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game during the 2013-14 season while showing off a developing three-point stroke. His athleticism and rim-seeking abilities would mesh nicely with Irving and Waiters.
Is the addition of two second-round picks enough to push this deal over the top?
Probably not, unless Cleveland's indifference is only feigned in an attempt to get the Philadelphia 76ers to include more assets. But at the same time, Philly isn't going to include the No. 10 pick in this deal as well, seeing as that's giving up far too much for a team that needs to add quality players, not just one extremely high-quality player.
Potential Trade: Derrick Favors, No. 5 and 2015 first-round pick (top-five protected) for No. 1 and Tristan Thompson
"Of the offers they've received, a source says the Cavs aren't enamored by either the Sixers' offer (Thaddeus Young and the No. 3 pick) nor the Jazz's offer (Derrick Favors and the No. 5 pick)," report Goodman and Ford for ESPN.
Young and the No. 3 pick should be appealing. Favors and the No. 5 selection should be even more appealing.
But if a high-potential big man who's still only 22 years old and a pick that would likely give the Cavs a shot at Joel Embiid in a spot that's more justifiable isn't enough to sway the Cleveland management, the Jazz can afford to include a future first-round pick as well, so long as they're also getting back Thompson.
Now it's hard to see either side saying no.
Utah, which has consistently shown that it views Favors as more of a center than a power forward, would have a true 4 to pair with Enes Kanter while adding a go-to scorer in the form of Parker. Wiggins would also work, but he'd be less appealing for a team that desperately needs a No. 1 option on offense.
The Cavs would have the ability to start Irving, Waiters, Anthony Bennett (if he improves, which he should), Favors and Embiid by the end of the 2014-15 campaign. And that's a helluva lineup, especially as there are so many rookie contracts that the team could afford to splurge a bit on the bench, or maybe even bring Luol Deng back and complete an extremely competitive starting five.
They might not be enamored with the original form of this potential deal, though they should. Adding in another first-round pick, one that would almost assuredly come in the lottery next year, would be the icing.