The NBA's trade deadline is less than six days away and with all 30 GMs present in Los Angeles for the All-Star Game, the framework for any potential deals could be constructed in the next 48 hours. Several Cavaliers players have been mentioned in possible trade scenarios but as of Friday night nothing substantial or serious has been reported.
That's not to say anything won't change in the upcoming week. A few days ago it was reported the Cavaliers, with a league worst record of 10-46 at the break, were "aggressively" looking to see what assets they could acquire with the $14.6 million trade exception they received in the LeBron James trade this summer. According to the notes from CBS Sports' Ken Berger, Cleveland is looking to acquire any draft picks or young players with which other teams might be willing to part.
Trade discussions can be altered seemingly by the minute, as evidenced by the Carmelo Anthony drama that has unfolded throughout the season. But let's take a look at some of the rumors surrounding a few Cavaliers players:
It seems as if every trade conversation starts around the league starts and ends with Carmelo Anthony. This morning it was first reported that the Nets and Nuggets agreed in principle to a nine-player deal that would send Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New Jersey—there was a scheduled meeting between Anthony and Mikhail Prokhorov to take place in L.A. where they would hash out details on a long-term contract.
Then Anthony said no meeting was scheduled. Then reports leaked that Anthony met with MSG chairman James Dolan on Thursday night. Then the Knicks upped their offer for Anthony to include Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler. Now it's a matter of getting things resolved.
I'm just as sick of talking and hearing about as the rest of the basketball world. This might be the first little blurb I've ever written about this entire saga. But it seems apparent that Denver would prefer an offer from New Jersey simply because of the plethora of first-round draft picks the Nets are offering. If that's the case, the Nuggets won't want to take on Troy Murphy's contract in the deal and would like to find a third team in the mix.
That's where the Cavs could come in. Bob Finnan of The News-Herald did a write-up earlier this evening discussing Cleveland's possibly involvement in an Anthony-to-New Jersey deal. The Cavs could use part of their trade exception to take on Murphy's contract and receive one of New Jersey's first-round picks as additional compensation.
New Jersey owns the Lakers' 11 first-round pick, Golden State's '12 first-rounder and Houston's '12 first-rounder. Both of the Golden State and Houston picks are protected - the Warriors pick is top-seven protected and Houston's is lottery-protected. The Cavs would likely want one of those two picks, as L.A.'s '11 pick will likely be in the mid-to-late 20s and the Cavs will have one of the top two or three picks in the second round. Cleveland just as easily may be able to acquire a pick that late in the draft without having to take on the rest of Murphy's $11.9 million contract.
Then again, this is all based on Anthony going to the Nets...which is still a slight possibility, but far from a guarantee.
Parker has been on the Chicago Bulls radar for a long time this season—they're looking to upgrade their two-guard spot and have been in discussions with a few other teams as well, most notable being Denver with J.R. Smith. But now another team has been thrown into the mix: Boston.
The Celtics have dealt with injuries all season and recently lost Marquis Daniels for an extended period of time. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Cavs would be willing to part with Parker for "a quality draft pick or a young big man with promise." But they're not intent on moving him before the deadline—they would be inclined to hang on to him if their asking price isn't met.
While Parker is one of the lone veterans on this team, he'd have better value in a reduced role on a contending team (which is one of the reasons he signed with Cleveland last year). Trading him would open up more playing time for Manny Harris, Daniel Gibson and Ramon Sessions as well. If a team is willing to part with something like a second-round pick and a young player in return, the Cavs would be hard-pressed not to accept a deal.
The trade talk for Ramon Sessions hasn't been dormant in the last month or so, just pretty quiet. But things really heated up after Wednesday night's 32 point, eight assist performance in an upset of the Lakers. According to a tweet from ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Knicks, Hawks and Trail Blazers have all expressed interest in acquiring the fourth-year guard.
Sessions is averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 assists for the season but he's really excelled in the last month, most notably in the absence of Mo Williams. He's averaging 16.3 points (49.4 FG percent, 86.8 FT percent), 7.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals in the last 30 days. He showed flashes of this type of capability in the 2008-09 season for Milwaukee but somewhat took a step back last season in Minnesota, getting just 21 minutes per game off the bench and starting only one game despite playing in all 82.
Interest in Sessions is at an all-time high but that doesn't mean the Cavs have interest in moving him. He's been described as one of the few keeper pieces the franchise has going forward and shipping off one of the two players (along with J.J. Hickson) that has shown the most promise this season won't be an easy move to explain to fans. Don't get me wrong—if the Cavs are offered a first-round pick or something for him they should seriously consider it—but it's highly unlikely Ramon is wearing anything but a Cavalier uniform after Feb. 24.
New Orleans remains the team that is most often mentioned in any potential Jamison trade. The biggest obstacle, of course, is his contract—$13.4 million for the rest of this year and $15.0 million in 2011-12. The Hornets don't want to take on his deal but, according to reports from Cleveland.com, might be interested having an insurance policy should David West opt out at the end of the season and test free agency.
The Cavs could buy out Jamison if they can't find a buyer for him. ESPN's Ric Bucher said in a chat a few weeks ago that he expected the Cavs to negotiate a buyout if they couldn't trade him. But I wouldn't expect the Cavs to simply cut their ties with Jamison—he's a veteran presence in the locker room and is someone from which the young guys can learn professionalism (especially if they decide to trade Parker). No one knows what the parameters of a new CBA would be but you have to imagine his $15 million expiring contract would have some value next season. There would really be no point in buying him out this year.
This piece was originally published at the Cleveland Does Rock!!! blog page. Click here for more Cavaliers news and updates.
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