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As teams pick up trade activity before the trade deadline, the Cavaliers are shaping up to be perhaps the most fascinating contending team. They have two first-round draft picks — including the heralded Brooklyn Nets’ selection via the Irving trade — but the superstar player whom the franchise could pursue with that pick has not been made available. Multiple NBA teams have cited Tristan Thompson as an asset Cleveland is willing to move in the right deal, such as one for the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Adrian Wojnarowski said that his sources indicate the Cavs will not move the Brookyln pick for DeAndre Jordan. Their own first round pick, perhaps. But for the Brooklyn pick to be moved it will need to be a player that truly puts the Cavs “over the top,” something Jordan really doesn’t do against the versatile Warriors.
Time for a guest D.J.? From Jason Maynard: “Do you think the Clippers will move DeAndre Jordan before year’s end?” That’s been a low-pilot buzz around the Association for a little while, Jason, and Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com put it out there Friday that the Cavs would be “willing” to move Tristan Thompson for Jordan. And, you hear that the Clippers have put feelers out to a handful of teams. It makes sense. DJ has this season at $22.6 million before his option year in 2018-19 at $24.1 million. If L.A. was to move Jordan, now would be the time. The Clippers clearly aren’t a contender any more, and losing Patrick Beverley for the season only accentuates it. So why not move Jordan? He would certainly bring back a good haul; he still is immensely disruptive on screen and rolls, and protects the rim so well, he more than pays for his contract even if he’s not a first option on offense (at least he’s shooting 60 percent from the line this season, way, way up from previous Hack-a-DJ campaigns). Any contender could use him.
Question: Would Cleveland entertain DeAndre Jordan for the Nets pick and Tristan Thompson? Joe Vardon: DeAndre Jordan’s numbers are down this season. He’s averaging 10.4 points and shooting .664 from the field (he only shoots twos). Even his blocks — 1.2 per game — are down from the 1.7 he averaged a year ago. Also, Jordan, 29, has a $24.1 million player’s option in his contract for next season. So, he could essentially be a rental. That said, you’re right, he’d thrive playing alongside LeBron James and Isaiah Thomas. Tristan Thompson was great against the Warriors in the Finals two seasons ago, and struggled mightily last year. A league source believes this move, Jordan for Thompson, is one the Cavs would consider. How the Brooklyn pick figured in remains to be seen (Cleveland also has its own No. 1 pick), but if the Cavs felt Jordan was the only piece missing for them to take down the Warriors they’d have to consider this.
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January 20, 2018 | 9:51 am EST Update
Marc Stein: There is a growing belief in league personnel circles that Utah could move swingman Rodney Hood before the Feb. 8 trade deadline … with multiple teams expressing interest
Sources also said the Cavs’ needs are a guard who can shoot and handle the ball, and, secondly, a rim protector. Separately, coach Tyronn Lue and players have said the team’s struggles this month can be pinned on a lack of continuity from the return of players like Isaiah Thomas and Tristan Thompson from injuries.
Joe Vardon: Everyone wants to know if the Cavs would trade the pick, and there’s been much speculation that Cleveland would not, in fact, make a deal involving it. That’s not true, league sources have told me. The Cavs would consider trading it if the right player were available — a player who’s either elite or who has the potential to become elite and is signed for multiple years. That player may not be available. Paul George and the Thunder are getting it together. The Pelicans are playing better with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. The Cavs need a player who can dribble and shoot (sounds simple, but I’m serious), and after that, maybe a rim protector.
“Young Trey Burke was not all the way focused on basketball,’’ Burke said before the Knicks beat the Jazz 117-115. “Distractions going on in my life as a young player. “At the same time, I do feel I did a great job my rookie season. Second year, they drafted another point guard [Exum] — which kind of messed with my mind. It played with me a little bit. That’s where it went wrong. My rookie season the coach [Tyrone Corbin] gets fired. Going into the second year, it’s a whole new coaching staff to get used to. Sometimes it don’t work out.’’
Gina Mizell: Will Barton on the #Nuggets’ effort level: “Shots aren’t always gonna go in, but you can always play hard. We’re not doing that enough. We pick and choose when we want to play hard, and we can’t do that. We’re not good enough to do that.”
Rockets guard Chris Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players’ Association, would not share his position or the union’s on the idea of having the draft of All-Star teams to be made by captains Steph Curry and LeBron James public. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been opposed, despite the clamoring to have the selections Asked if he expressed his opinion, Paul said, “Yup.” Asked if he would share what he said, Paul said, “Nope.”