The Cavs' strategy is working and potential trades to watch for

The Cavaliers have made four trades this season

James Rapien
February 07, 2019 - 10:14 am
Jan 18, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Alec Burks (10) watches from the bench during the third quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Utah won 115-99. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

© Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cavaliers have made four trades this season, including a three-team deal on Wednesday night. General manager Koby Altman is doing what anyone in his position should do – acquire future assets that can help the organization win in the post-LeBron era. 

In November, the Cavaliers traded 37-year-old Kyle Korver for two second-round picks and Alec Burks. They took Burks, shined him up and flipped him for a first-round pick. They had to add salary to do so, but they acquired valuable picks in the process.

The Cavs traded for Rodney Hood last season in an attempt to bolster scoring off the bench. On Sunday, they flipped him for two second-round draft picks. Dan Gilbert is willing to add players with bad contracts if it means acquiring draft capital. It worked in 2011 when they traded for Baron Davis and ultimately ended up with Kyrie Irving. The pick Houston sent to Cleveland is lottery protected, but the strategy stays the same. 

If it's beneficial to absorb 38-year-old Pau Gasol and the $16 million he's set to make next season or the high-priced Chandler Parsons contract – he's due $25.1 million next year, then Gilbert will probably do it. The 11-43 Cavaliers need to hope the ping-pong balls bounce their way on May 14, but they can't control that. What the front office and ownership can do is acquire as many future assets as possible in hopes of turning this thing around. 

Other Notes: 

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com says the Cavs are still hoping to trade J.R. Smith, but it's "easier said than done." The veteran left the team in November. He's making $14.7 million this season and on the books for $15.6 million next year – only $3.8 million of that is guaranteed. A trade would be more likely if the 33-year-old Smith was on the court playing on a nightly basis. Instead of being a good soldier like Burks, Korver, Hill and Hood – all of which were traded to playoff contenders, he became a distraction and was sent home. It would be a huge win if the Cavaliers could find a way to move him. 

Kevin Love will likely remain in Cleveland. This summer appears to be the prime spot for a potential deal. If he can get back on the court this season and play at a high-level, then the Cavaliers may get offers worth considering. There will be a few teams who miss out on top tier free agents who could have interest in Love. A deal could happen before today's 3 p.m. deadline, but it's unlikely. 

Tristan Thompson is an interesting name to watch, especially with San Antonio looking to move Gasol. They have two first-round picks this season and could put together a nice package for Thompson, who is averaging 11.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game this season.

NBA contenders should be looking at Jordan Clarkson. He's a crafty scorer off the bench and could be a weapon in the playoffs. He's due $13.4 million next season, which means Cleveland could always hang onto him and wait to trade him a year from now. Clarkson is averaging 16.6 points per game, which is a career high. 

The NBA trade deadline is today at 3 p.m.