Tag Archives: Channing Frye

Who to target at the trade deadline?

The NBA Trade Deadline is less than three weeks away on February 18. The Cleveland Cavaliers may be looking to add a piece.

Before we get into who the Cavs will target, you have to ask yourself, “What needs do the Cavs have?”

Offensive-minded Backup for Kevin Love

The Cavs offense struggles mightily with its second unit. Recently, the Cavs have played Love with the second group in order to maintain some level of offensive competency. It’s no secret that when they play Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao at power forward, they lose offense naturally.

Thompson, with his rebounding prowess, is more suited to play the center position. He can get rebounds by the handful. Timofey Mozgov can stretch the floor with his mid-range shot but he is a center and only a center. Varejao’s mid-range shot is unreliable at best. He has added it to his game over the years but has not been able to hit it consistently.

When you decide to rest Love, who do you put out there at power forward? You can go small and put LeBron there and play Iman Shumpert or Richard Jefferson at the small forward position. It is a mismatch against almost every power forward in the NBA to play LeBron at that position. However, LeBron does need his rest during games.

A solution? Find an offensive-minded power forward, a stretch four, to play when Love needs to go to the bench.

A Potential Replacement for Timofey Mozgov

Timofey Mozgov is in the last year of his contract, and with the NBA Salary Cap rising next season, he is going to get a large contract. There has been speculation that the Cavs will try and trade Mozgov before the deadline. If the Cavs do stand pat and keep Mozgov, it is likely that he will not be with the Cavs next season.

According to Nylon Calculus, a basketball statistical breakdown website, Mozgov ranks in the Top 10 in Percent of Shots Contested at the Rim of those who play at least 18 minutes per game. He is a very good rim protector. So if you are going to replace Mozgov, you have to find someone that is near his level, or has the potential to reach Mozgov’s level of rim protection.

Timofey has also developed a mid-range shot. This season, he has hit 67% (12-18) of his shots from the 16-foot to 3-point range, almost all of them from the left side of the basket.

So what happens if you trade Mozgov? You have to find a reliable backup because Thompson will take over the starting role for good. The Cavs lineup is best with Thompson in the lineup. If you can find a young center, or one with a manageable cap number for three or four years due to the luxury tax, that would be ideal.

Who to Target at the Trade Deadline?

Here are seven names (six realistically), that the Cavs could look at to add to their championship roster.

Al Horford – C – Atlanta Hawks
One Year, $12,000,000

Let’s get this one out of the way first because it is least likely. There are very few reasons why the Hawks would trade their All-Star center. Horford is in the last year of his contract at $12-million.

Horford is going to get one more large contract before he retires, more than the three-year, $60 million contract that fellow Hawk Paul Millsap received last summer. He will more than likely get a max contract, which is going to be massive due to the rising cap.

Whether the Hawks are going to pony up and give him that contract remains to be seen. They have two other centers locked up beyond this season, Tiago Splitter and Walter Tavares. Tavares is an interesting prospect and may be seen as the replacement in the future for Horford.

I could give you a hundred reasons why the Cavs would do this trade.

In order to make the trade work, the Cavs would have to give up Varejao along with other assets to even make the Hawks consider it. The Cavs do not have a pick in the 2016 NBA Draft that they own. The Clippers owe them a second round pick but it is Top 55 Protected. They would have to part with more than one first round picks.

Kosta Koufos – C – Sacramento Kings
Four Years, $7,700,000

Koufos would be a great a replacement for Mozgov. The Sacramento Kings have a loaded front-court with DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein. Koufos has been the third man in this rotation.

Koufos does not have much of an outside game, but he is an above-average defender at the rim. He would fit well defensively in the second unit if the Cavs decide to move on from Mozgov.

In order to get Koufos, the Cavs would be able to use the Brendan Haywood trade exception. They could also throw in a player like Sasha Kaun or Jared Cunningham, but what Sacramento could use is draft picks. There is a relationship in the past with the Cavs and Kings from the JJ Hickson and Omri Casspi trade.

Brandon Bass – PF – Los Angeles Lakers
Two Years, $3,000,000

The Lakers will look to be shedding more salary that is on the books for next year with this summer’s free agency class (Kevin Durant). Bass has averaged 18-minutes per game with only six points and four rebounds per game.

He would not provide the offensive spark that the Cavs need in the second unit, but defensively he would be a good addition. The Lakers would not any salary in return that would be on the books for next year. The Cavs would only be able to use the Haywood extension, which would be a complete waste. The Lakers would have to send a draft pick along with Bass for the Cavs to take the contract.

Terrence Jones – PF – Houston Rockets
One Year, $2,100,000 (Restricted Free Agent after season)

This one is interesting. Terrence Jones is a player who has completely fallen out of the rotation in Houston. Unlike Bass, Jones can definitely provide a spark offensively and is a good rebounder. He is a freakish athlete. The Rockets have recently reacquired Josh Smith so his minutes are more likely to continue falling.

For this trade, the Cavs can use the Mike Miller trade exception, which make this a possibility. The Cavs would be able to sweeten the pot with future unprotected first round picks.

Ersan Ilyasova – PF – Detroit Pistons
Two Years, $7,900,000

I have liked Ersan Ilyasova back to his days with Milwaukee. He is a good athlete, can shoot the three. Detroit does not seem to be going anywhere and they are going to need all the cap room necessary to resign Andre Drummond.

For this trade, the Cavs would be able to use the Haywood trade exception and would likely have to include draft picks. He would be the perfect fit into the second unit.

Markieff Morris – PF – Phoenix Suns
Four Years, $8,000,000

Markieff Morris has fallen out of favor with the Phoenix Suns ever since they traded away his twin brother to the Pistons. He is only 26-years old and has a team friendly contract, especially one with a high luxury tax bill, for the next three seasons.

The Suns may just want to get out of this situation with Morris. The Cavs would have to use the Haywood exception but if the Suns would like a player in return, Varejao would be the likely candidate.

Channing Frye – PF – Orlando Magic
Three Years, $8,100,000

Let’s finish with my odds-on-favorite players for the Cavs to land at the trade deadline. Channing Frye is an older Kevin Love who is not as good at rebounding, but he can definitely shoot. Frye can still give you valuable minutes off the bench behind Love.

Orlando has been trying to rebuild their team since Dwight Howard wanted out of there. At 32-years old, the Cavs would have Frye for the next two seasons and would be the absolute perfect fit in their rotation.

So what would the Magic want? Draft picks. The Cavs can use the Haywood trade exception here again along with draft picks to pry Frye away from the Magic.

Dream Scenario

The Cavs use the Haywood trade exception on Frye and trade Varejao along with say Cunningham and Kaun for Al Horford. Let’s just way that won’t happen.

Personal Favorite Scenario

Channing Frye and Markieff Morris would be two great additions to the Cavs bench and would keep this championship roster together for a few more seasons.

A Farewell to C.J. Miles and Spencer Hawes

There has been a good amount of activity and rumors involving the Cleveland Cavaliers since free agency started on July 1. Within a matter of four days, two of their three unrestricted free agents agreed to deals with other teams (they cannot officially sign until July 10). On July 2, C.J. Miles agreed to a four-year, $18 million deal with the division rival Indiana Pacers. Two days later – fittingly on July 4 – big man Spencer Hawes agreed to a four-year, $23 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. Both of these players were guys I would’ve liked to have back, especially Hawes who I talked about briefly last week. There have also been rumors swirling about the third and final unrestricted free agent for the Cavs, Luol Deng. Like Hawes, Deng caught the eye of the Clippers and very early on in the process.

Even before Hawes signed with Los Angeles, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnorowski said the Clippers were interested in the two Cavs (plus Deng) in a possible sign-and-trade deal with Cleveland. This is a point he repeated shortly after Hawes agreed to his new deal.

Deng leaving wouldn’t really bother me, especially with what he reportedly has wanted since the Bulls decided to trade him. He scoffed at Chicago’s three-year, $30 million offer before they felt they had to deal him. It’s been consistently noted that he’s looking to make $12 million annually and even though he may eventually get in the $8-$10 range, I don’t think he’d be worth it. Deng’s struggles with the Cavs may have been a blessing in disguise. Had the Cavs not been able to trade for Deng, they most likely would have been interested in signing him this offseason. Had they signed him to a four-year, $40 million deal (just as an example) and he struggled like he did at the end of last year, it would’ve put the Cavs in a financial bind. The two Cavaliers that did sign new deals are the ones that I will miss the most.

C.J. Miles (aka @masfresco)

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers

C.J. Miles was arguably Chris Grant’s best free agent signing while GM of the Cavs. Miles came over after he spent seven years with the Utah Jazz. He was drafted right out of Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas as an 18-year old in the second round, 34th overall. For the Cavs, Miles spent time playing on the wing and became their most reliable shooter over the two seasons he was here, shooting 39% from three and a 53% eFG%. These numbers made him a much-needed scoring option off the bench, making 47 starts in 116 games for the Cavs. He wasn’t the best defensive weapon on the team, but he always had good effort and attitude, something that has been echoed by members of the media.

The appreciation of a player who served this team for only two years is outstanding. I saw a lot of Cavs fans on twitter expressing gratitude and best wishes to Miles after he agreed, which speaks volumes since he’s signing with a division rival. I personally had a great time watching Miles play and his three-pointers were some of the highlights of the last two years – especially the 10 he made against the 76ers on January 7th this year. And from a fan’s perspective, he was great to interact with on twitter, if you like that sort of thing (I do).

Going forward, the Cavs drafted Joe Harris to hopefully help their three-point shooting. Now it looks like he’ll have to fill the hole Miles left as an off-the-bench shooter and defensive try-hard. With David Blatt most likely looking to get efficient shots from deep, Miles leaving is a bit devastating but something the Cavs in all likelihood saw coming and were prepared to handle.

Spencer Hawes (aka Steve)

This was the last game Spencer Hawes played in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform before being traded to the Cavaliers right before the deadline. (Both guys getting dunked on in this video, which includes LaVoy Allen, were traded the next day. Best dunk ever.)

Hawes was traded for Earl Clark, Henry Sims, and two 2014 second round picks (Jeremi Grant and Vasilije Micic for Memphis). At this time, a lot of people were focused on a possible deal with Lakers big man Pau Gasol. The Hawes trade came out of nowhere and was a surprise to many, with mixed reactions. (The guys at Fear The Sword had some good input on the Hawes trade the day after it happened.) Some were glad the Cavs added much-needed floor-spacing. On the other hand, he was in a contract year and the Cavs might have just given up picks for a guy that might only play 28 games – which basically turned out to be the case (played 27 games with the Cavs).

Hawes came in and shot the lights out. He was already known to be a great shooter, but shooting 45% from deep (led the team) was probably more than anyone could have hoped for. This dimension from Hawes, as well as his superb passing ability was something that the Cavs needed to keep and he would have fit so well with what David Blatt would want to do. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards. Hawes took what many thought was a generous deal for the Clippers so that he could play with a contender in the West.

Before I wrote this, I planned to talk about Josh McRoberts or Channing Frye as a backup plan to Hawes. Both of these big men have somewhat of the same skill set Hawes does – great shooting and passing. Unfortunately, both of them were picked up by other teams – McRoberts by Miami (four years, $23 million) and Frye by Orlando – for a surprisingly big four-year, $32 million deal, averaging $2.25 million more annually than Hawes.

There are two gaps left with the loss of Miles and Hawes: shooting and the frontcourt altogether. These were areas that were going to need attention even if these guys stayed in Cleveland. Now the Cavs will have to dig more other free agents and rely on current Cavaliers to step up – namely Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. Miles and Hawes were fun to watch as Cavaliers. Now it’s time to find their replacements.