Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors: Could the Los Angeles Clippers be a Trade Partner?

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Three days into NBA Free agency, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have yet to make a deal for the $10.5 million non-guaranteed contract of Brendan Haywood. With rumors of multiple offers on the table, the Cavaliers could likely be weighing their options to see which deal is worth taking on the extra salary—and increasing their tax burden in the process.

Hot Read: 5 Potential Trade Options for Brendan Haywood

While they may be mulling over a few offers right now, David Griffin and the front office would be wise to hold off—because a better potential trade partner could emerge soon. According to multiple sources on Friday afternoon, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan could be leaving the team to sign a four-year, $80 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

For a team like the Clippers already strapped for cash, this would be a huge blow. Not only do they not have another starting center option on the roster, but they do not have the means to go out and acquire one either at this time.

Enter the Haywood contract.

Taking a look at the Clippers roster, there are a couple of names that should intrigue the Cavaliers should they look to do a deal. J.J. Redick is under contract for just over $7 million this season and $7.3 million next season, and would be an absolute perfect fit in the Cavaliers offense. Jamal Crawford is scheduled to make $5.6 million this year and is a free agent next season as well, and we all know that Crawford has the ability to provide instant-scoring off the bench and has never been afraid to create his own shot.

Could J.J. Redick be headed to Cleveland?
Could J.J. Redick be headed to Cleveland?

The question to answer here is—which do the Clippers value more, having a legitimate starting center or depleting their three-point/bench production by dealing Redick and/or Crawford?

The acquisition of Paul Pierce in free agency on a three-year deal should help to reduce some of those concerns if they are forced to deal either one or both of those players. On top of that, the team went out and acquired Lance Stephenson this offseason in a deal for Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes, so they have two players who can fill the depth void if Redick or Crawford are dealt.

For the Cavaliers, this deal would seemingly be a no-brainer. Aside from finding a backup point guard for Kyrie Irving, acquiring one of or both of these players would instantly upgrade a position of need at shooting guard. The team re-signed Iman Shumpert, but J.R. Smith is still a free agent—and nobody has a clue whether the team is actually going to bring him back (or if Smith wants to be back for that matter).

If the Clippers are looking to free up salary to pursue a center (either via trade or in free agency), the Cavaliers would be a perfect match. Below are two scenarios that could work for these teams.

Realistic Scenario

Cavs Get:
J.J. Redick: $7.08 million
Jordan Farmar: $2.1 million
Jordan Hamilton: $1.01 million

Clippers Get:
Brendan Haywood: $10.5 million contract

Greedy Scenario

Cavs Get:
J.J. Redick: $7.08 million
Jamal Crawford: $5.67 million

Clippers Get:
Brendan Haywood: $10.5 million contract
Rights to Cedi Osman
Future Second-Round Draft Pick

Obviously if the Clippers want to keep both players, the second scenario will be out. The first scenario gives the Cavaliers a deadly three-point shooter in Redick, a veteran backup point guard in Farmar and a young small forward for the rotation in Hamilton for the ability to cut $10 million off their roster right now or flip Haywood to another team for a starting center.

The second deal would be the home run for the Cavaliers, acquiring two players for their rotation that would help provide scoring and the ability to knock down open threes—something that was missing in the 2015 NBA Finals.

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Bob is the Founder, Site Director and Senior Writer of Cleveland Sports Zone. He has been writing about sports for over nine years thanks to his passion for Cleveland sports and a Journalism degree. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, ESPN, USA Today and other major sports networks.

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