Just a month into the 2013-14 season, it's obvious the Cleveland Cavaliers could use a little help.
The team still hasn't found an answer at small forward, veterans are few and far between and someone who can create their own shot is still missing.
At some point, Cleveland is going to have to develop, or acquire, a second true "star" to play next to Kyrie Irving. Andrew Bynum could become this player, but is anyone convinced he can completely return to form? Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett could technically develop into said stars, but Bennett is still looking to crack the rotation.
When it comes to talking playoffs, Cleveland can feel great about playing in a terrible Eastern Conference. Sadly, it's feasible that multiple teams with a losing record could make the postseason.
The Cavs are far from out of it, but a little boost from another team would certainly help.
Potential Deal No. 1: Kings, Cavs Swap Shooting Guards
The Sacramento Kings appear ready to part with anyone on the roster not named DeMarcus Cousins and have already traded away Luc Mbah a Moute for Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves, per ESPN.
Cleveland should be targeting Ben McLemore, the rookie out of Kansas.
In his first 13 games (seven starts), McLemore is averaging 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 21.8 minutes. While these numbers don't jump out at you, he's thought of as a great outside shooter (42.0 percent from three at Kansas) and strong athlete who excels at playing off the ball.
With Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack, Cleveland needs a strong off-guard to knock down open shots and not always have the ball in his hands.
This is why Dion Waiters isn't working out. Waiters is more of a playmaker who's at his best driving to the basket trying to pick up contact. He would be better suited on a team like the Kings, who need another shot creator.
Cleveland may have to chip in a draft pick, but the Kings could be interested in the swap.
Cavs Receive: Ben McLemore, SG
Kings Receive: Dion Waiters, SG, 2013 second-round draft pick
Potential Deal No. 2: Evan Turner comes back to Ohio
The Sixers are off to a decent start at 6-10, but it's clear they're committed to the 2014 draft.
Someone they're not committed to is Turner, who wasn't offered a contract extension by the team prior to the season. The fourth-year pro out of Ohio State will be a restricted free agent this offseason.
Philadelphia seems willing to part with existing talent in favor of future picks, as they did with Jrue Holiday at the 2013 NBA draft.
The Cavs have draft picks and need a small forward and scoring, so attempting to trade for Turner is a no-brainer. In his first 16 games this season, Turner is off to a career year with 21.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists on 45.8 percent shooting from the field.
Again, Waiters could be the centerpiece here.
James Anderson has done a nice job at shooting guard this season for Philly, but Waiters has the greater upside and would be playing for his hometown.
Cleveland could also throw in Alonzo Gee for insurance in a move that would also give them cap space next season, should they choose to decline his team option.
Cavs Receive: Evan Turner, SF
Sixers Receive: Dion Waiters, SG, Alonzo Gee, SF, 2013 second-round draft pick
Potential Deal No. 3: Rudy Gay for Varejao, Bennett
The Raptors handed the reigns to 2012-13 Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri and no player on the roster should feel safe.
Toronto's best building block is probably Jonas Valanciunas, and DeMar DeRozan has taken over as the team's leading scorer. Gay is the team's most expensive piece at $17.9 million this year.
The Cavaliers need a scorer and small forward with Gay and should be willing to part with expiring contracts, young talent and draft picks to get him.
Anthony Bennett, despite a terrible start, would make sense in Toronto. They don't have a long-term answer at power forward, and Bennett is from Ontario and could be more comfortable playing close to home.
Anderson Varejao would have to be included to match up salaries and holds a team option for next season that the Raptors would get to decide on. Draft picks could always be negotiated as well, of course.
Cavs Receive: Rudy Gay, SF
Raptors Receive: Anthony Bennett, PF, Anderson Varejao, C, 1st-round draft pick (via Sacramento Kings)
Cleveland has plenty of trade ammunition, which unfortunately isn't doing much for them when it comes to their play on the court.
Bringing in a player like McLemore, Turner or Gay gives them an established or rising star to put next to Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Bynum. It might actually lead to a few more wins, too.
At 4-11, the Cavaliers' ship is sinking fast. Chris Grant will, in all likelihood, lose his job after the season if Cleveland fails to make the playoffs.
The season can still be saved with a key move or two, but something will have to happen sooner rather than later if the Cavs want to rebound from their dismal start.
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