Updates from Thursday, July 10
The Brooklyn Nets have acquired guard Jarrett Jack and guard/forward Sergey Karasev from the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a three-team trade which also included the Boston Celtics, General Manager Billy King announced today. In exchange, Brooklyn will send guard Marcus Thornton to Boston, as well as the draft rights to Ilkan Karaman, Christian Drejer and Edin Bavcic to Cleveland. Additionally, the Celtics will receive center/forward Tyler Zeller and a first round draft pick from the Cavaliers, while sending a conditional second round pick to Cleveland.
The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly just took another step in their quest to bring back LeBron James by opening up a large amount of cap space in a three-team trade with the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics. Point guard Jarrett Jack and young center Tyler Zeller headline the trade.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports the deal can't become official until Thursday, when the July moratorium ends, but all parties have agreed to the terms. Here are the details:
Three-team trade will see Nets acquire Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev from Cleveland. Boston gets Thornton, Zeller and a first— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 9, 2014
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski provided additional details about what the Cavs will receive:
In 3-way, Cavs get: Draft rights to Nets prospects: Karaman/Drejer/Bavcic. And cap space -- more than the $20.7M needed -- to sign James.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2014
Essentially, the Cavs are doing this deal to free up as much cap space as possible. The draft rights to Ilkan Karaman, Christian Drejer and Edin Bavcic are ancillary benefits included just to make the trade legal. Cleveland isn't hiding its intentions of adding James or another big-name free agent.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Cavs will have enough cap room to accomplish that mission once the deal goes through:
3-team trade involving Cavs, Celtics & Nets could allow Cavs to open about $24M in cap space. LeBron max is $20.7M— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 9, 2014
Cavs planned to make version of this trade regardless of LeBron plans, sources say. Should not be indication any LeBron decision reached.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 9, 2014
If the Cavaliers don't have a strong feeling about their ability to land James, however, this deal is a major risk. They are giving up some valuable assets—Zeller, Sergey Karasev and a future first-round pick—for basically nothing.
After an extremely successful stint with the Miami Heat, James has remained quiet since entering the free-agent market. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press (via Cleveland.com) had a brief exchange with him between meetings on Tuesday:
Asked by The Associated Press how free agency was going when his afternoon meeting agenda was apparently complete, the four-time MVP said 'no complaints.' He offered a quick greeting, and provided no hints of anything—including when his next 'Decision' will be known—before leaving with a wave.
As for the trade itself, both the Nets and Celtics do well by lending Cleveland a helping hand.
NBA.com's David Aldridge breaks down what the deal could mean for Boston:
Meanwhile, Boston gets significant assets in Zeller, Thornton, future 1st, to take a swing at Love--if CLE doesn't beat them to it.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 9, 2014
Brooklyn adds Jack, who can help back up Deron Williams with Shaun Livingston having departed in free agency. Karasev could also step into the starting lineup if Paul Pierce decides to sign elsewhere this summer.
Boston gets a promising young player in Zeller as well as a future first-round pick to help with its rebuilding process. Marcus Thornton can also be a solid role player, although his value is largely as an expiring $8.6 million contract.
Who wins the trade?
For the Cavaliers, it all comes down to how they use the cap space. If they are able to add James or another big name, it will be easy to crown them the winners of the trade. That's not a guarantee, however, unless they know something the public doesn't.
In other words, stay tuned.