Cavs and Clippers talking Zeller-Bullock swap

(4pm EST Update: This didn’t happen.)

As the Cavaliers look to get something of substance for Luol Deng, they appear to be also discussing back-up plans at the small forward spot. ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, who continues to crush the Cavs beat from 500 miles away, reports that David Griffin’s team is exploring a deal that would net them Reggie Bullock in return for center Tyler Zeller.

Bullock, a 6-foot-7-inch swingman out of UNC, has all of the tools required for a small forward in the Cavaliers offense, excelling in catch-and-shoot situations as well as in transition. He has unlimited range on his jumper, has good size for his position and is a solid wing defender thanks to a 6-9 wingspan, but is very raw from an NBA standpoint. Selected 25th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, Bullock has been relatively buried on the Clippers’ bench, but has averaged 10 points and five rebounds on a per-36-minute basis.

Interestingly enough, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford pegged Bullock to the Cavs with the 19th-overall pick this past summer, the one that was eventually used on Sergey Karasev.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers reportedly liked Zeller back when he was the coach of the Celtics and the Clippers have no depth behind DeAndre Jordan at center (Sorry, Ryan Hollins.) The Cavs, as you may have heard, recently acquired Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers. Moving Zeller would seem to infer that Anderson Varejao’s wonky back is not as bad as it may seem. What this would mean for next season, when Hawes is a free agent and Varejao is one year older, remains to be seen.

  • Pat Leonard

    You can’t do this, David Griffin. I forbid it. Look, I liked Reggie Bullock and wanted him over Karasev, but you can’t trade a 7-footer who runs well, shoots well, and is improving in all facets of his game for a complete unknown in Bullock. There would have to be something else to the deal. This deal would make me pretty angry and probably send me running for bourbon.

  • mgbode

    completely agree. we both liked Bullock as a possible #19 option and I’ll still trade them Karasev for Bullock today.

    but, i’m not trading a 7fter who is playing pretty well right now and is locked in on his rookie contract for a guy who might potentially become a contributor.

    of course, the rumor from over the weekend was that we were looking at trading Zeller for a UNC SF, but it wasn’t this one.

  • Lunch

    Hopefully this toilet rumor won’t occur.

  • Pat Leonard

    I missed that rumor, who was the SF? Ellington? Because that would be pretty funny. Sam Amico just tweeted that the Zeller trade with the Clippers is “close”. I mean, if true, of course it’s close. The Clippers have an opportunity to pair Chris Paul/Darren Collison with an improving 7-footer who can pick-n-pop, pick-n-roll, and run the floor in transition to finish their alley-oops. No-brainer. Man, if the Cavs make this deal I seriously don’t see a situation where we aren’t all hating life over the next couple years.

  • markn95

    Man, I miss Windy. Maybe there were some hard feelings when he initially defected to the four letter network, but when the PD replaced him with the all time worst beat of Mary Schmitt Boyer and Jodie Valade? Please.

  • porckchop

    You’re going about this all wrong. Never run for the bourbon when one of our local sports teams does something stupid. Run for the gin, the light flowery notes pair excellently with the bitter after taste of yet another Cleveland sports trauma. The complexity and beauty of even moderate whiskeys will be lost in the bile gurgling up into your throat as you witness nonsensical, shortsighted Cleveland sports move.
    Gin was born for confrontation, in its earliest incarnation it was not “proved” as other liquors are, it was “punched” that is, the strength of gin was determined by how many shots it took before you punched a hole in a wall.
    Yes I urge you to think when you drink, use gin to get through these bad times, and save a bottle of good bourbon for that next great Cleveland spor– er, for a wedding or something.

  • No.

  • Harv 21

    “What this would mean for next season, when Hawes is a free agent and Varejao is one year older, remains to be seen.”

    Why I don’t get it. Isn’t an agile and quickly improving 7′ center rarer than a SF with those skills? And then what next year? My rule on these things: before the deal’s done and you’ve been talked into it, if it sounds like a bad trade it usually is a bad trade. Sounds like maybe David Griffin is auditioning for the job by swinging for the fences.

    Please, no.

  • PD is sub par

    Ah, Jodie Valade. I remember watching a roundtable discussion on the 2013 NBA draft. When they asked her who she wanted them to pick, she had no idea. She could barely name some potential picks, and when they asked for her analysis, I felt sorry for her. The fact that the PD would hire a “sports writer” of her caliber shows exactly why they are dying.

  • EZ

    Ken Berger Tweeted that this isn’t happening because discussions “hit a snag”. I assume the snag was that this is a terrible trade.

  • Pat Leonard

    Just saw Amico via FoxSports reporting that it was never a straight-up Zeller for Bullock trade, which made me happy to know that Griffin’s sanity never went on hiatus.

  • RGB

    Send them Hawes and 4 pairs of underpants.

  • Edward

    If you harbored hard feelings because Windhorst took a higher paying, higher profile, career catapulting job, you need to recheck your priorities.

  • Harv 21

    If I still had the connections and leisure time I would have gone for the mushrooms for any Joe Banner presser. Just to see what happens to his face.

    Wait, did he actually grow a mid-career crisis beard, or was that the vegetables talking?

  • eldaveablo

    Harrison Barnes I think?

  • EyesAbove

    Why do they wanna trade Zeller? Is Spencer Hawes ego that fragile?

  • mgbode


  • mgbode

    w/ racing stripes

  • mgbode

    I harbored hard feelings because BW went on a tirade about how he was going to spill all the beans about what really went down leading up to that free agency period. He even gave the juicy nugget about the December dinner with Riley.

    Then, immediately, ESPN gives him a much higher paying job and he shuts his trap about all of it.

    Yeah, using leverage blah, blah, but it’s still seedy.

  • EyesAbove


  • Pat Leonard

    Oh yeah… that makes much more sense 🙂

  • tuvozmellama .

    We’ll throw in barnes and dudley – please take them. We’ll keep Bullock.