The Cleveland Cavaliers may not have a front office in place with the start of free agency just days away, but that hasn’t stopped them from attempting to better their roster. Recent reports from multiple outlets state that the Cavs are not only still in on potential deals involving Indiana’s Paul George, but could also add New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Miami’s Dwyane Wade in the event either player reaches a buyout.
The deal would involve Cavs’ power forward Kevin Love. According to Chris Haynes and Marc Stein of ESPN, the framework of the deal would also involve the Denver Nuggets, but it appears it’s also the Nuggets who have provided the biggest headwind in terms of what they would send the Pacers in the deal.
The Nuggets were recruited into the talks to furnish the Pacers with the combination of promising young players and draft picks that they are seeking before consenting to surrender George, whose agent, Aaron Mintz, informed Indiana management just over a week ago that George has no intention of staying with the club beyond the expiration of his current contract in June 2018.
The three teams could not agree to a final trade construction in time to complete a deal on draft night Thursday, but sources say the Cavaliers won’t abandon their trade pursuit of George, believing that acquiring the 27-year-old and George’s potentially winning a championship next season alongside LeBron James is the one scenario that could convince the two-way menace to abandon his well-chronicled desire to join the Los Angeles Lakers as soon as possible. …
Sources say the Nuggets, meanwhile, have made upgrading at power forward one of their offseason priorities, which is why they covet Love.
According to the report, the Nuggets are not keen on parting with any of their younger, more promising talents—Nikola Jokic and prized first-year guard Jamal Murray are “off-limits.”—but it would appear, under the current deal, that the Cavs would also net power forward Kenneth Faried to provide Cleveland with much-needed depth in the frontcourt.
But wait—there’s more.
As ESPN first reported Tuesday, Cleveland made a trade push to acquire Jimmy Butler from Chicago before the Bulls wound up sending Butler to Minnesota on draft night.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst subsequently said in an NBA on ESPN Radio interview Thursday night that both Anthony and the Bulls’ Dwyane Wade are candidates to sign with the Cavaliers in free agency this summer if they can secure buyouts from Chicago and New York, respectively.
Anthony has long been linked to Cleveland and the Knicks continue to find trading the veteran forward to be increasingly difficult due to a high salary and no-trade clause. Wade recently picked up his $24 million player option with the Bulls, but this was before the team traded All-NBA wing Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, signaling a trip to the NBA Lottery in 2018. Both player, of course, have strong ties to Cavs forward LeBron James and would be welcomed additions in the event a deal could be worked out. The team is not expected to re-sign guard Deron Williams which would provide at least one available roster spot.
Oh, and in the event you’re wondering what is going on with the vacant GM position, it appears you’re not alone. According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs and would-be team president Chauncey Billups are at a bit of a standstill.
Sources: Talks between Cleveland and Chauncey Billups for President of Basketball Ops job still ongoing, no immediate resolution expected.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 25, 2017
According to Haynes who added additional commentary on SportsCenter, this deal would be the “worst case scenario” for the Los Angeles Lakers as George would be immersed in the Cavaliers’ winning environment as opposed to a rebuilding situation out west.
Stay tuned, folks. Things could get super interesting in the next few days.