NBA Draft 2011: Cavaliers Could End Up with Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams
The usually accurate Chris Broussard of ESPN wrote in this ESPN article that Dan Gilbert is not satisfied with just the No. 1 and No. 4 picks, but instead, is looking to work a three-team trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons.
Now granted, the NBA is full of trade rumors and speculations, but this has a legitimate shot at happening. I am here to break down what each team is receiving if this trade happens to pan out.
Detroit Pistons Trade Their No. 8 Pick and Rip Hamilton to Cleveland Cavaliers
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The trade starts out with the Detroit Pistons shipping their No. 8 pick and Richard Hamilton's contract over to Cleveland.
Because Cleveland has the trade exception from the LeBron James fiasco last summer, they are able to absorb the remaining $25.2 million left on Hamilton's contract.
Why This Helps Detroit: The Pistons are going to pay Hamilton $12.6 million next season and the same amount the year after that. While Hamilton is a solid player, at this point in his career, he is not $12.6 million a year good.
He is also 33 years old.
On the trade market, teams like Chicago and Boston who might be interested in trading for Hamilton do not have the right numbers to match in terms of dollar amount. By having Cleveland absorb his contract, the Pistons are essentially freed up nearly $13 million of cap space to work with.
Why This Helps Cleveland: The Cavaliers gain the No. 8 pick, which they will use to...
Cleveland Trades No. 4 and No. 8 Pick to Minnesota Timberwolves for No. 2 Pick
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The Cleveland Cavaliers already have the No. 4 pick in the draft. Cleveland would package their existing No. 4 pick with the No. 8 pick they received from Detroit and send it over to Minnesota. In return, the Timberwolves would send them the No. 2 pick.
Why This Makes Sense For the Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves have a 21-year-old small forward named Michael Beasley, who just so happened to lead the team in scoring last season. They also have Kevin Love at power forward, who proved last year that he can be the franchise player for this team.
Basically, at No. 2, the prospect of drafting Derrick Williams really doesn't address the holes of Minnesota. The Timberwolves need a point guard and another center. By receiving the No. 4 pick, they will be able to draft Enes Kanter or Brandon Knight/Kemba Walker.
Since the Utah Jazz, who are already loaded with big men, have the No. 3 pick, they will likely draft a guard. The Timberwolves may fall down two picks, but they will still end up with a player they wanted.
Also, at No. 8, there will be plenty of shooting guard and small forward options available.
Why This Makes Sense For the Cleveland Cavaliers: In a draft that most consider to only have two real, All-Star level prospects, the Cavaliers will now have possession of both. With Kyrie Irving at point guard and Derrick Williams at small forward, the fans will have something to cheer about next season.
But Wait, What Happens to Richard Hamilton?
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Since Cleveland would buy out Richard Hamilton's contract, he would become a free agent.
All signs then would point to Chicago.
The Bulls know that their main competition for the next who-knows-how-many-playoffs will be the Miami Heat. In the recent series, the Bulls actually held the Heat in check defensively but couldn't score on the Heat's defense.
Hamilton would open up the floor. He is always active on offense, running off of screens and hitting mid-range jumpers. He would force Dwyane Wade to work hard defensively and not allow Wade to help out clogging the middle on the repetitive Derrick Rose attacks.
The Bulls could probably sign him for a two-year, $15 million deal and see if Hamilton would give them that extra push in the playoffs next season.
For Dan Gilbert, he wants to get his Cavaliers back to respectability, but he also wants LeBron James to fail. I'm sure the thought of Richard Hamilton in a Chicago Bulls uniform as an end result of this trade may have popped into his head once or 300 times.
But Wait, Aren't the Pistons Kind of Getting Screwed Here?
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Yes and No.
Yes, in the sense that they are losing their lottery pick and won't pick again until No. 33.
No, because freeing up Hamilton's large contract is a huge relief.
The Pistons roster is a mess right now. They know they have a stud in Greg Monroe, but after that, things become very dicey. Their best bet is to free up some salary room, say goodbye to the Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton era and start trying to make smart decisions on which players to bring in.
The free-agent bath this year does not have any franchise changing names in it, but the next year or the year after that could. The Pistons can still sign some quality role guys and then go after a big name a few years down the road.
I do think the Pistons should try and get the Cavaliers 2012 first-round pick thrown into this deal. The Cavaliers will most likely be back in the lottery, and next year's draft will have names like Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger and Terrence Jones.
Who Should the Timberwolves Take with No. 4 and No. 8
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At No. 4, the Minnesota Timberwolves should select Enes Kanter. He would give them a boost at center and will most likely still be available since Utah will go with a guard or small forward.
At No. 8, it gets a little bit more difficult. If Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight are available, then the Timberwolves should go with them.
If not, I could see the Timberwolves going after Alec Burks or Marshon Brooks to give them another shooting guard.
Who Gets the Best of the Trade?
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1. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavaliers went from being the lucky franchise that got two top four picks to the franchise that could walk away with the two biggest names of the draft.
This trade would allow the Cavaliers to make the most out of what many consider to be one of the weakest drafts in years. Irving is their point guard of the future, and Williams can help fill in the LeBron sized void left at small forward.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves- The Timberwolves will probably still end up with the selection they were hoping to make anyways without having to stress out over picking Derrick Williams or not. At No. 8, they might be able to pick up a quality piece too.
3. Detroit Pistons- Essentially what you have to ask yourself if you're the Pistons, is whether getting Hamilton's contract off the books is more valuable than drafting Kawhi Leonard or a 7'0'' European player. A 2012 draft pick would help spice up the deal on the Pistons end, but ultimately, they come out OK in this deal.