The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly interested in New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson and while he's a nice player, it's a tricky proposal to consider on a number of fronts. Anderson's a nice player, but he's a free agent in the summer and he's a niche player. He can shoot, but isn't a good defender and can't play center.
Still, it makes sense that the Cavs are looking to acquire a player who they think can help win a title right now. Here are three possible deals the Cavs could make.
Deal No. 1: The straight up swap
If the Cavs want to keep everyone around and add Anderson to the mix, this would be the way to do it. The problem is that Varejao doesn't really help the Pelicans in a meaningful way and is owed guaranteed money beyond this year. For the Cavs, though, this is probably the best option because they'd net a good player at a fairly low cost, even if said player is a rental.
Deal No. 2: The asset swap
This would probably be the best package of players and pick(s) the Cavs could offer. Iman Shumpert would probably be more attractive to the Pelicans, but he's not worth dealing if it's in exchange for a rental. Still, it's hard to see why the Pelicans would want Mozgov and Williams. For the Cavs, it would basically force Varejao to play consistent minutes and Anderson into center minutes. That's not exactly ideal and any Kevin Love/Anderson pairings up front would be awful.
Deal No. 3: The three-team dream
The deal: Cleveland sends Varejao to New Orleans, Mozgov and Sasha Kaun to the Sacramento Kings while the Pelicans send Anderson to Cleveland and the Kings send Kosta Koufos to Cleveland. Cleveland also sends future second-round picks to both teams
This would be a dream for the Cavs. They'd get Koufos - a player they've been targeting in trade talks - and also get Anderson. They'd also have to give up very little (Mozgov on an expiring, Varejao's bad contract and non-factor Sasha Kaun) to get two good players.
There is no way this deal would happen. It would probably take sending Shumpert to the Kings and sending a pick to the Pelicans for either team to even consider this deal. For what it's worth, the Cavs could send Shumpert to Sacramento while also acquiring Ben McLemore and the deal still works.