NBA Rumors: Cavs Eye 3-Team Trade Featuring Hawks' John Collins, Jazz's Malik Beasley

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 13: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on January 13, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cavaliers are reportedly pursuing a three-way trade that would result in Utah Jazz guard Malik Beasley landing in Cleveland.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported the Cavs have pursued a trade framework that would also feature Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins joining the Utah Jazz. The report says Cleveland's most likely trade piece in negotiations is Caris LeVert, whose contract expires after the 2022-23 season.

The Hawks would land LeVert in the proposal as a way of ridding themselves of the remaining three-plus years on Collins' $125 million contract. Collins has woefully underperformed since signing the deal, and the Hawks are strongly considering moving him before next month's deadline.

The Jazz have long been interested in Collins but are reportedly seeking draft compensation from the Hawks to take on his contract. Utah has spent the past several months hoarding future draft picks as the team attempts a rebuild in the post-Donovan Mitchell/Rudy Gobert era. Atlanta has yet to show a willingness to part with picks to trade Collins.

From a pure production standpoint, it's hard to see why the Cavs would be so keen on moving LeVert for Beasley. Both are high-volume inefficient bench guards. While Beasley is a better three-point shooter, he's shooting only 35.8 percent from distance on 8.6 attempts per game this season. LeVert, who doesn't have Beasley's reputation as a shooter, is shooting 35.5 percent and is a far superior creator off the dribble.

Perhaps Ricky Rubio's return from injury has the Cavs desiring a player who plays more off the ball than LeVert, but this proposal largely feels like a shuffling of deck chairs.

Utah would seemingly be the team that benefits most, as Collins is a talented and versatile 25-year-old big who merely may be in need of a change of scenery. While he remains wildly overpaid, the Jazz likely aren't planning any big free-agent expenditures in the near future.

It's possible Utah could wind up acquiring a distressed asset at the nadir of his value and recouping major rewards, similar to the team's trade for Lauri Markkanen.