It probably sounds funny to hear, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are setting themselves up for success. The Cavaliers had a flurry of trades this season, dealing Kyle Korver, George Hill and Sam Dekker for draft picks. And now, Rodney Hood.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Cavaliers traded Hood to the Portland Trailblazers Sunday, receiving two future second-round draft picks. The Cavaliers also got Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin IV, but their future with the team is probably bleak.
Through all the trading the Cavaliers have done, they acquired one first-round pick and six second-rounders. Wojnarowski reported that Cleveland is also still trying to deal away Alec Burks and J.R. Smith.
So, by dealing away all these guys, what does Cleveland gain?
Dan Gilbert has been doing this for so long now. He makes his team’s presence known when the lottery picks are announced. He made some good choices with his first-rounders in the past.
Take Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Wiggins (Cleveland probably wants him back) for example. Gilbert and co. also took Collin Sexton last year, who has the potential to be a great scorer in this league.
So assuming Kevin Love comes back from his injury, as reports say he is close to, and is back to his old form, the future is bright. Also, assuming Cleveland gets what it wants and gets the right spot in the draft order, the team is set to get RJ Barrett or, who everyone thinks they will get, Zion Williamson.
This is exactly what a rebuilding team like Cleveland needs and is going to be able to do now.
According to spotrac, the Cavaliers have Sexton under contract until 2020 (with 2020 and 2021 club options), and Kevin Love just signed a four-year extension with the team last year.
Thompson will still be there, and they will need to figure out how to deal Burks and Smith away. Those are two big contracts they can dump on someone else (which is a big reason teams have not gone for Smith yet).
How do the pieces fall in place?
Right now, Cleveland has one young player with potential and a few big guys around for a bit. And, the second coming of LeBron James (in Williamson) is set to make the Cavaliers exciting and good again.
One issue the Cavaliers will have to address is that they have a lot of dead money. Because of this, their payroll for the 2019-2020 season, according to ESPN, is nearing the luxury-tax line. So, Cleveland needs to find a way to clear out that dead money.
One thing that will help is Thompson is set to receive $18.5 million next year, but is a free agent in 2020, according to spotrac.
Assuming they keep Sexton, with Williamson still under his rookie contract and Love there, that opens the chance for Cleveland to get a big name in free agency.
That is also the time when they will have some of these second-round draft picks in play, so the future is set up for them.
All they have to do is take advantage and the Cavaliers are set for the future.
Featured image courtesy of SportingNews.