Rumors of trade talk are flying around Cleveland right now, something the Cavaliers organization might need address, as they possess a 6-13 record. After investing big money in offseason moves that led to high expectations from everyone coming into this season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the season hasn’t exactly gone as planned.
The initial rumors of an Anthony Bennett trade came after the overall number one pick had the worst start for a number one pick in the history of the league. Talk was a deal to the Philadelphia Sixers, possibly, who had their eye on him in last year’s draft. Those rumors have almost since dissipated, with Bennett’s better (but still, subpar) play and the Cavaliers’ interest of dealing other players…leading into the active shopping of Dion Waiters.
Waiters, one of the better young guards in the game, has been streaky in his young NBA career. To give context, look at Dion’s last two games. In a nearly 20-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks last night, Dion had 30 points on 13-20 shooting. In Wednesday night’s win against the Denver Nuggets, he was 2-8, scoring five points.
This stat also says something about the Cavaliers’ organization as a whole. In those two games, Kyrie Irving had 0 and 23, respectively; when Dion is taking on the scoring
role while Kyrie struggles, the Cavaliers are not at their best.
Besides defensive play, this is a huge reason why Waiters finds himself on the trading block. Mike Brown does not seem to believe Dion can be a consistent starting two-guard at this point, something Waiters disagrees with, obviously. Team chemistry is also something Dion Waiters does not seem to be aiding in, clearly.
Rumors were Waiters going to either Chicago for Luol Deng, the Knicks for Iman Shumpert, or the Sixers (who at this point seem to be likely to make some trade with Cleveland this season) for Evan Turner or some sort of multi-player deal.
There were also talks of the Cavaliers’ being open to letting Tristan Thompson and/or Anderson Varejao, but no specific deals have been rumored.
Earl Clark’s name has also been bouncing around.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to make a move, it should not be from the front court. Tristan Thompson is having a stellar season (75% from the line with the switch of hand) and Anderson Varejao is always a great defensive presence that brings a ton of energy to floor. When the Cavaliers are out rebounding their opponent they are at their best; they have only been out rebounded in one win, where the Wizards had a +1 margin on them.
I also don’t see them likely to move Anthony Bennett, either. I know he has had a horrendous start to his career, but Bennett is still 20 years old, and needs time to develop and mature.
And as for Earl Clark, I don’t see anything happening. He is a consistent, solid player who has the praise of Mike Brown, (at times) that can defend well.
Dion Waiters, on the other hand, seems to be more work than worth effort, at this point. He is a disruptive present who forces shots, lacks defensive focus at times, and plays streaky.
But what can we get for him?
If this Iman Shumpert talk is plausible, I believe the Cavaliers should negotiate for this move. Iman would be a great compliment to the team. He doesn’t need too many shots, plays defense, and has the ability to shoot the three. I know his stats aren’t great this year, but the New York Knicks are in a similar situation to what Cleveland is in right now and I think everyone knows the type of player he is.
Trade or no trade, something needs to change in Cleveland.
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