Hey Cavs fans, Mike Payne here, editor of DetroitBadBoys (SB Nation's Pistons blog) and a genuine friend to Cleveland. Our rivalry was long ago and today, our situations are not dissimilar. I'm working on trying to develop a fan perspective on how Detroit should handle the 2012 off-season, and I wanted to ask you as Cavs fans if our teams have any trade opportunities for draft night.
I have two scenarios to share, and I've done my best to set up trade opportunities that I feel benefit both teams and don't seem like some homer who showed up here to offer nonsense. I don't think Detroit will part with its #9 pick, nor do I expect Detroit to have anything Cleveland would want for their #4 pick (Greg Monroe is going nowhere), but the late first round and early second round are areas where our respective teams might be able to work something out.
Rationale: Cleveland is losing veterans like Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker this summer, and the team might be in need of a veteran at one of their prime positions of need-- small forward. Prince's contract may exceed his on-court value, but the same can be said of Daniel Gibson, tenfold. To make the trade work financially, Cleveland would include Samardo Samuels' conract, and the real value for Detroit would be one of Cleveland's two early second round picks.
Given the lack of productive value of Gibson and Samuels, the real trade would be Tayshaun Prince and his contract for a 2nd round pick, of which Cleveland has two. Prince is declining, but 2011-12 was an aberration and he will fill a need in Cleveland by bringing veteran leadership, an additional ball-handler on the wing to spell Kyrie Irving and the ideal 30 minute backup that can fill time at the 2, 3 and 4. In turn, Cleveland gets out of the contract of Daniel Gibson.
Detroit trades Brandon Knight to Cleveland for Cleveland's 24th pick in the 1st round, their 3rd pick in the second round and a 2013 second round pick.
Rationale: Detroit needs a real point guard who can run a five-man offense, Cleveland already has one. Given Kyrie Irving's injury history and the Cavalier's thin line in the backcourt, Brandon Knight could be the final piece of a three-guard rotation that plays 30 mpg on-the-ball, off-the-bench each night. If Cleveland were to grab Bradley Beal at number 4, they'd have one of the youngest, most dynamic and productive backcourt rotations in the league with Irving, Beal and Knight. That's three rookie-scale players capable of scoring at will, and Knight brings the versatility of playing both backcourt positions as needed.
Given the high value prospect that Brandon Knight is, the cost is high accordingly. Detroit should ask for Cleveland's 24th pick, it's 33rd pick and a 2013 second rounder to make the deal.
Will Detroit do this trade? Absolutely not. GM Joe Dumars and new owner Tom Gores are invested in Knight. Personally, I'm of the opinion that Knight is not a starting point guard in this league, but he has a ton of value if used and developed properly. I feel that because Cleveland has Kyrie Irving and may add Bradley Beal this month, a guy like Knight would help give Cleveland one of the premiere backcourts in the league.
In short, I want to know if Cleveland fans would consider either trade. I think both trades bring a lot of benefit to the Cavaliers and I don't think I'm asking much in return in these scenarios. What are your thoughts?