Cavs reportedly very active on trade market, target Jared Dudley

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LeBron James
LeBron James
(Photo: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

More than any other elite team right now, the Cleveland Cavaliers possess the array of talent needed to contend with the Golden State Warriors. Even so, the Cavs can’t be content with simply having enough talent to make it out of the top-heavy East, and if their 30-point blowout at the hands of the defending champs a few weeks ago showed anything, it’s that the Cavs still aren’t fully built to take them down.

The Cavaliers are reportedly active on the trade market as the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches. They have Wizards forward Jared Dudley in their sights, according to reports from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:

Interest in Dudley is simple: more perimeter shooting options. Cavs players were reportedly in favor of looking at trading for Suns stretch forward Markieff Morris recently, given his shaky standing with Phoenix this season. Morris would be a more talented option than Dudley, but the common denominator is shooting. 

So who would be the most likely trading pieces for Cleveland? Kevin Love’s name is brought up every other week it seems, but the Cavs talent core should be more than safe for now (J.R. Smith included, for that matter).

Timofey Mozgov, who’s been involved in trade rumors this season and has an expiring contract, and Anderson Varejao, the 33-year-old veteran and Cavalier-lifer, could be options. Mo Williams is another veteran the Cavs could dangle in a trade. There might be more value, especially if we’re talking about the Wizards, for either Matthew Dellavedova or Iman Shumpert. The Cavs also have draft picks (they owe their first-round pick to Phoenix, but still have some more as well as second-round picks). 

To note, Windhorst did also report on Dudley’s availability:

The problem is, the Wizards have the easiest schedule in the league after the All-Star break. So even though they’ve been a disappointment to this point, the difficulty is they still feel like they can make a run because of what their schedule is and they’re going to be healthy. So right now, he’s not available.

Ultimately I think the Cavs are looking to move one of their veteran bigs and/or one of their backup guards to add a floor spacer. Assumedly the Cavs would rather have more options of smaller, better shooting lineups with LeBron-Thompson or sometimes even LeBron-Love as the front court. Another shooter might allow for the Cavs use their own version of a death lineup more often (Irving-Smith-Shump-LeBron-Love has only appeared in eight games, per NBA.com/statsand I say use it more). Insert a shooter in place of Shumpert and it changes the dynamic of that lineup and this team’s offensive potential.

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