The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired more than just a crop of talented players in their recent blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics.
In exchange for Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers acquired Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ highly coveted 2018 first-round draft pick. With the Nets poised for another lackluster season, the selection very well could be the top pick in next year’s draft.
The pick, obviously, can bring the Cavs a bright, young talent. But on the flip side, Cleveland now owns one of the most valuable trade chips in the league. And according to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, the defending Eastern Conference champions already are toying with the idea of dealing the selection.
“As owners of Brooklyn?s No. 1 pick, which could be a top-five pick in next year?s draft, Cleveland has fielded numerous calls already about a potential trade,” Vardon reported. “It could be a part of a major trade package for the Cavs later this year, or, conceivably, the Cavs could make that pick next June.”
Judging from Vardon’s report, one would imagine Cleveland’s inclination to trade the Nets’ pick is directly correlated to LeBron James’ uncertain future with the team. The Cavs very well could draft their next franchise player with the pick, but it’s doubtful James would want to wait around for a youngster to develop.
Not to mention, multiple reports indicate that Cleveland is operating under the impression that James will leave after the upcoming season. The star forward can opt out of his current contract next summer, and the general belief around the league is that King James will move on to the third franchise of his legendary career.
So if the Cavs really are bracing themselves for life without James, a monster trade involving the Nets’ pick might be the best route in terms of building towards the future.
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