The Cavs saw their best player and reigning MVP take off last season and they were forced to trade him for a trade exception and a handful of draft picks or risk coming out of the summer empty-handed.
The trade exception is worth $14.5 million. The Cavs still haven't used it and the exception expires on the anniversary of the South Beach Defection (July 9). The team has petitioned for the league to allow them to extend the date of the expiration because the league, barring a big change between now and July, will be locked out. If allowed and kept, the exception will become a huge trade chip because of a pending hard cap.
The team will look hard at using the trade until the last minute. There actually may be a better chance of them trading it this week leading up to the draft.
The chance is actually better before or during the draft than between the draft and the July 1 lockout. Teams will be trying to fix themselves financially before the lockout, so there will be a smaller chance that teams would want to shake things up and add to their work (especially considering how many questions there are about the next CBA).
There are quite a few rumors out there. Some are better than others and some are more likely than others.
Rip Hamilton: Hamilton would be acquired only to waive him and receive a first-round pick. This was the rumored first step to a trade with Minnesota for the No. 2 pick in the draft.
There was a report that the Cavs would have preferred to hold on to another high pick than to turn it into one pick. The Cavs though have fallen in love with Derrick Williams, but this isn't going to happen because the Pistons want to keep their pick and the Cavs want to get something from their exception rather than acquire and waive.
Andris Biedrins: This would make sense on a couple of levels. The Cavs are looking for a big man and Beidrins is a legit 7-footer. He is also a great rebounder and a solid shot blocker. Having a presence inside like that would be great for any team. He is also a solid finisher around the rim.
The problem is he is a horrendous free-throw shooter. Beidrins actually shot twice as well last season as he did the season before. The bad is that he 32 percent last year and 16 percent the year previous.This would not work as a trade involving the exception, because the Cavs have bigger needs for wings—wings who can score.
Danny Granger: The Cavs' biggest need is for a scorer on the wing, either a small forward or a shooting guard. Granger is a superb scorer and a small forward. He would fill the hole left by last season's departure. Granger is not a great defender, but that by no means says he is bad defender. He just isn't elite.
Granger, however, doesn't have a history of playing full seasons and that isn't something the Cavs would need. The Cavs would also probably have to throw in extra assets.
For one reason or another those trades would probably not work, but one that would is a trade for Philadelphia 76er Andre Iguodala.
Iguodala is everything that the Cavs need, He is an elite defender (NBA All Defensive 2nd Team 2011). Iguodala can lock down either wing position even though his size is better suited to playing shooting guard full time.
He is also an above-average scorer, averaging better than 15 a game for his career and just shy of that last season. He is also a decent long range shooter making better than a third of his deep shots in 2011. Finding a great defender and a good shooter in one player, especially a shooting guard, is rare.
Iguodala had a better PER than Joe Johnson, Jason Terry and Stephen Jackson. That is telling of his fantastic all-around game. He grabbed almost six rebounds a game and that is amazing for a shooting guard. That rate was good for third amongst 2-guards last season.
He is also an amazing distributor. He was the best passer at his position last year. Iguodala dished out better than six assists a game. Being able to get every player on the floor involved will be easier with multiple high caliber passer on the roster. If the Cavs do select Kyrie Irving, they will need another distributor to be able to help take advantage of Irving's scoring ability.
Finding a solid shooting guard is important for the team because finding one will allow for Byron Scott to fully install the Princeton offense. He would also be the perfect mentor for a player like Iguodala because he was a championship-winning guard for the Lakers during his playing days. Iguodala is the type of player that can impact the game offensively and defensively and can also make other players around him better.
Iguodala could probably be had for the trade exception and J.J. Hickson. That could probably also net the Cavs a second-round pick. The 76ers are looking for big men and Hickson is available after his postseason social media gaffe. Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas are also available through the draft.
Iguodala is the best choice to use the trade exception because he fills so many needs in one move and allows for the team to be more selective in the draft. With so many positives that could come from this trade it would be hard for the team to not at least explore the possibility. The Cavs would certainly be a better team with him.