The Cleveland Cavaliers have no problem paying up for good help.
The Cavs are willing to part ways with the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft in order to acquire a player on their “short list” of targets, ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported Monday, citing NBA sources. The Cavs aren’t necessarily shopping the potentially valuable pick ahead of the NBA trade deadline but they’re willing to include it in exchange for a player they covet.
Cleveland might make a big trade in an effort either to improve their chances of returning to the NBA finals this season or lay the foundations of future success if LeBron James leaves this summer as a free agent.
“That list consists of players still on their rookie contracts who have All-Star-level potential,” Marks writes.
Marks also says Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard are on the Cavs’ short list but also states their teams won’t make them available on the trade market at this point in the season.
Cleveland acquired the Nets’ pick from the Boston Celtics last summer as part of the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade. The 19-35 Nets have the eighth-worst record in the NBA, and the pick might be among the top five in the draft if fortune favors the Cavs in the NBA Draft lottery.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.