The Cavaliers are discussing trading Jarrett Jack to the Sacramento Kings for Jason Thompson, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. However, the Cavs will not make the deal unless they can find a third team to facilitate Thompson's contract.
ESPN has learned Cavs are in talks w/Sacramento on deal to swap Jarrett Jack for Jason Thompson. BUT Cavs looking for third team to route JT— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 20, 2014
As talks currently stand, I'm told Cavs NOT inclined to send Jarrett Jack to Sacramento UNLESS they find third team to take Jason Thompson— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 20, 2014
As ESPN reported Monday, Kings were at head of line for JJack w/Nets. BKN moved onto MThornton when CLE couldn't find third team for JTerry— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 20, 2014
The last two days have confirmed the dreams of a lot of Cavs' fans that want Jack traded, and I can't say that I blame them. Jack's been pretty much a disaster for the Cavaliers and dumping his contract for anything of value is going to be difficult. Thompson represents a similarly solid rotation player on an inflated contract, which I think is probably the best case scenario for the Cavaliers in a Jack trade.
While I really like Thompson's game, it's pretty redundant to the big men the Cavs currently have, so it makes sense why they wouldn't want him. Plus, his contract has no value to the Cavaliers because it will simply eat into their cap space. His contract is similar to Jack's in that it is three years guaranteed with a fourth non-guaranteed season. Thompson's non-fully guaranteed 2017 year contains a guarantee of $2.65 million. In a vacuum, I like Thompson on his deal more than Jack on his, but for the Cavaliers it makes no sense.
So now comes the question of who the best team to flip Thompson to is. My best idea -- and this is utter speculation -- is Portland. They need a third big man in the worst way, and he'd represent a substantial upgrade on Thomas Robinson, Meyers Leonard, and Joel Freeland when he returns from injury. With another real big man, the Blazers could potentially make a run in the West. My best proposed deal for these teams would be Jack to the Kings, Thompson to the Blazers, and Dorell Wright and Victor Claver to the Cavaliers.
Wright is only playing 12 minutes per game for the Blazers right now and could be fairly easily replaced. He has next season on the books at $3.15 million, and Claver also has one year at $1.35 million. It reduces the Cavaliers' salary commitments by one year, and gives them a known spot up shooting threat, although one that may be in decline. Claver is just a throw in.
Signs continue to point to the Cavaliers working the phone lines hard prior to the deadline tomorrow. They have a lot of movable pieces. It wouldn't be a total surprise to see them stand pat, but it seems as if things are trending towards a deal of some sort.