As teams pick up trade activity before the trade deadline, the Cavaliers are shaping up to be perhaps the most fascinating contending team. They have two first-round draft picks — including the heralded Brooklyn Nets’ selection via the Irving trade — but the superstar player whom the franchise could pursue with that pick has not been made available. Multiple NBA teams have cited Tristan Thompson as an asset Cleveland is willing to move in the right deal, such as one for the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.
The Cavs being willing to trade Thompson isn’t entirely surprising, as his salary is one the few Koby Altman can use to match salary. He also hasn’t played as well this season, at least partially due to an injury that kept him off the floor for a month.
As for the Cavs’ interest in Jordan, it could make sense. While he’s not the same offensive rebounder Thompson is, he is a better rim protector and might help the Cavs’ defense improve. It is worth noting, though, that he could be a free agent this summer if he declines a player option for the final year of his current four-year, $87 million contract.
It’s too early to say if the Cavs will deal Thompson for Jordan or anyone else before the deadline. But at the very least, it is on the table.
The trade deadline is on Feb. 8 at 3 p.m.