The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have interest in Washington Wizards forward Jared Dudley according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. The Wizards, however, don't seem interested in making a deal.
Here's what Windhorst had to say today today ESPN Cleveland as transcribed by Bullets Forever:
The Cavs would love to get their hands on Jared Dudley. They kicked around trading for Dudley last summer, the Bucks basically gave him away. He plays for the Wizards. He's shooting over 40 percent from three-point range, quality defensive player, quality locker room guy on the last year of his contract.
The problem is, the Wizards have the easiest schedule in the league after the All-Star break. So even though they've been a disappointment to this point, the difficulty is they still feel like they can make a run because of what their schedule is and they're going to be healthy. So right now, he's not available.
So that's one of the things, if you're looking for something to root for between now and the deadline, it's for the Wizards to lose every game so that they get more interested in trading Dudley. But I just don't think the Wizards are going to do it because he's valuable to them and they feel like they're going to make a second-half run.
The Cavs' interest in Dudley makes a ton of sense. He's a really good small-ball four and if the Cavs split minutes correctly, he'd be a nice sub for Kevin Love and also an on-court improvement over James Jones. He'd certainly allow the Cavs to play some better small ball lineups.
But it makes just as much sense that the Wizards don't want to deal Dudley, especially to the Cavs. The Wizards still could make the playoffs (they are currently four games back of the Pistons for the eighth seed) and he's essential if they want to play small in any Cleveland also doesn't have any assets that would really interest the Wizards. The only players the Cavs could trade straight up for Dudley would be Timofey Mozgov and J.R. Smith, neither of whom would really interest Washington. You could package different players together to make money work without giving up Mozgov or Smith, but it seems unlikely that the Wizards would be interested in players like Sasha Kaun or Mo Williams.
Additionally, Dudley is set to be a free agent in the summer, so if the Cavs were to deal, say, Mozgov for him, he might be a rental. It's a good idea, just not one that seems plausible.