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Cavaliers Trade Rumors: Rival Execs Say Cavs Act Like They Won't Deal Nets Pick

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 9: A view of the Cleveland Cavaliers logo on the court prior to Game Four of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 9, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are a mere 6-12 in their last 18 games, and help apparently won't come in the form of trading the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick they own.

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com, citing rival executives, reported Monday the Cavaliers "are acting as if they are not going to trade the Nets pick."

The pick figures to be an attractive one considering the Nets are 19-35 on the season and just 2.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks, who own the worst record in the league.

Even if the Cavaliers were to trade the pick, Lowe granted finding a worthwhile deal "is really hard."

He noted DeMarcus Cousins is out with a ruptured Achilles, the Oklahoma City Thunder appear set to keep Paul George through this season, and DeAndre Jordan and Carmelo Anthony wouldn't be worth it.

Lowe did point to the Portland Trail Blazers as a possible trading partner with CJ McCollum involved, but he said the Nets' pick and Kevin Love would be too steep a price to pay, and Portland may not want to do the trade if Tristan Thompson replaced Love in the package.

Elsewhere, adding more contracts could be a concern since "the Cavs are already paying a ghastly repeater tax bill," per Lowe.

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There is also the LeBron James factor since he has a player option on his contract for the 2018-19 season and could very well hit free agency this season.

On the one hand, keeping the pick would give the Cavaliers an insurance option should James leave. It would be something of a franchise restarter if they could land a potential superstar in the making in the upcoming draft.

On the other hand, James is a once-in-a-generation talent capable of putting the team on his back and leading it to a fourth straight trip to the Finals. Trading the Brooklyn pick would give him additional help in a win-now window when the Cavaliers are attempting to add championship banners that are far from guaranteed in the future regardless of who they draft.

Adding additional playmakers could also theoretically help persuade James to stay in Cleveland during the offseason.

It all adds up to an intriguing situation, but rival executives seem to believe the Cavaliers will hold onto the pick.

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