Rumor: Cavs Had Strong Opportunity to Trade Up for Luka Doncic

According to Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cleveland Cavaliers had an opportunity to trade with the Atlanta Hawks for an opportunity to draft Luka Doncic on draft night that would have included Kent Bazemore.  While no further details were provided in Vardon’s recap other than the Cavs being pretty excited and concentrated on Collin Sexton with the 8th pick (who is averaging more points per game than anyone drafted ahead of him), it’s hard to judge the Cavs on if it was a “good or bad” move without knowing all the details considering the Mavericks did have to give up an extra lightly protected first-rounder to trade up from 5 to 3.

A source said the Cavs were offered on draft night the chance to trade up to No. 3 with the Hawks in a deal that would’ve sent Kent Bazemore to Cleveland. Instead, Atlanta swapped spots with No. 5 Dallas, and the Mavericks ended up with Luka Doncic while the Hawks landed Trae Young.

Cleveland wanted Sexton and held firm at No. 8.

After a little digging on our own, an Atlanta source informed me that while the Hawks did entertain a Bazemore trade option with the Cavs, it likely would have also included loosening the top-10 protection on the 2019 pick the Cavs surrended to the Hawks for Kyle Korver.  The easiest way for Cleveland to have done the deal to trade up from what I was told was to actually take the Dennis Schröder contract, reduce the protection, and send back George Hill‘s basically expiring contract.

Nicknamed “the umlaut” by the CtB community, taking on $15.5 million per year through 2021 for him would likely not have been worth it in the Cavs eyes if the report is true.  Although, the thought of Luka Doncic, Schröder/Bazemore, and Kevin Love would have been interesting, there is likely more in these negotiations that aren’t being fully disclosed, making it impossible to judge the potential swap.

While time will only tell and full details will unlikely come out, thankfully Collin Sexton has been playing well in the Summer League so far.  If he wasn’t, this story could have been an even bigger güt pünch.

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Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

Back up the brinks truck: Thomas’ new deal will be for the veteran’s minimum, ESPN reported.

MikeO
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MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

Still a terrible buy. Should have signed with Lakers. He’s a perfect compliment to Lebron…/s

JOHN B
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JOHN B
4 months 5 days ago

Talk about falling hard. Has there ever been a guy who goes from coming in sixth in MVP the year before to having to sign a vet minimum a year later or be out of the league?

JRL
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JRL
4 months 5 days ago

Sucks for him. I actually like IT.

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

So did I, until he turned out to be a total ass.

John B
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John B
4 months 4 days ago

Yeah. I am sure he had issues with how things were handled by LBJ and the coaches, as well as the cavs general lack of accountability and effort during the regular season, and no doubt the pressure to come back from injury likely caused him a ton of stress and frustration, but he didn’t handle things well or very professionally. Not that the rest of the team was very professional in how they dealt with their frustration over his play. No excuse though. He won no favors with me with his attitude.

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

So the Nuggets end up signing IT. China will have to wait.

MikeO
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MikeO
4 months 4 days ago

Future biopic based on IT’s career: “China can Wait”

newnomad
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newnomad
4 months 5 days ago

+1

believeLAND
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believeLAND
4 months 5 days ago

I like Collin Sexton

CLF
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CLF
4 months 5 days ago

+1

Nate Smith
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

+1

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

+1

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

Gordon
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Gordon
4 months 5 days ago

Gotta fix that bullpen.

CLF
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CLF
4 months 5 days ago

So I went back to watch Doncic tape after seeing this, and I’m of the opinion that the reason why the Cavs wouldn’t do this deal is because there’s not enough separation between Doncic and Sexton to justify the expense to trade up. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m just saying this is the most logical reason as for why they wouldn’t do the deal.

Doncic is clearly the superior shooter, has better vision, and has more size. But Sexton is a superior defender and has clearly superior athleticism. I’m still of the opinion that Atlanta did what was best, which was accumulate as many picks as possible in this insanely deep draft. Whether they chose the right guys is another story.

As far as I can tell, the only truly can’t miss prospect was Ayton. And the Suns chose Ayton even though they had supposed “insider knowledge” on Doncic. Everyone save Ayton has a flaw in their game.

Nate Smith
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

the 6-inches that Luca has on him means everything. we’re not talking one or two inches here. we’re talking the ability to play four positions versus one

Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

Doncic > Sexton. Easy.

Doncic > Sexton + 2019 Top 10 pick plus less salary flexibility? Dicey.

But if we are going to blow the pick anyway, then it goes back to easy.

I do like Sexton, FWIW.

Slammin Sam
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Slammin Sam
4 months 5 days ago

Yeah that size is key. Although I didn’t realize Doncic was such a poor 3 shooter. 31% on 7 attempts per 36 mins (@300 attempts).

CLF
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CLF
4 months 5 days ago

He can shoot, he takes a lot of difficult jump shots off the dribble because he can’t get by anyone. A lot of his highlights were step back 3s in Euro-ball.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
4 months 5 days ago

Can’t get by anyone…..is not a good sign for a wing or PG playmaker/scorer. He does seem very slow (first step wise) for a guy that is supposed to be can’t miss. Cedi seems faster.

CLF
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CLF
4 months 5 days ago

Cedi is definitely faster, more athletic IMO. Doncic is strong 220-230 lbs… he can bully in the post against smaller guards and while going downhill off the PnR. But he’s not a plus athlete nor do I expect him to become one… IMO, guys don’t fundamentally change who they are.

He’s going to struggle on defense IMO…. I think he’ll only be able to adequately defend 3s and 4s. I think 1s and good off-the dribble 2s and 3s will be able to take advantage of his lack of foot speed. Also, if he wants to beat NBA guys off the dribble, he’s going to have to do a lot better… maybe watch some tape of SGA lol.

I’m not saying I don’t like him… he’s clearly a big, strong kid who can shoot and pass. I just think there are definitely flaws, namely off the dribble (which is probably fixable) and on defensive foot speed (which I highly doubt is fixable)… and I think the Cavs just thought that the difference between Doncic and Sexton wasn’t enough to justify the cost, which we don’t even know in full detail.

Jack
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Jack
4 months 5 days ago

If their logic was that the price was too high for where the Cavs are right now, I get it. Doncic isn’t Lebron, and the Cavs aren’t the Mavs. The Mavs have already been rebuilding for several years, had cap space, another good young guy in Dennis Smith and some veterans in Dirk, Barnes and Matthews. Adding Doncic and then Deandre Jordan is perfect for their timeline and fills a playmaking need. They’re ready to try to start winning again and building a contender. Meanwhile, the Cavs have no idea where they are or what they have.

So I don’t agree with people who say that they made a big mistake not trading up, but Doncic is still far and away the better prospect. Advanced playmaking skills are at a premium right now, and his are light-years ahead of Sexton, plus he has the ability to see over the offense and create angles with his height, and his shooting form is much more sound. And that your stuck with the athleticism you’re born with is a total myth. Dedication to improving your core and doing resistance training can take you from average to above average athleticism.

Chris K
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Chris K
4 months 4 days ago

Amen–look at Kevin Love.

Jack
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Jack
4 months 4 days ago

Right. Somehow he’s become a passable defender in space just since 2016.

Jack
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Jack
4 months 5 days ago

BTW, totally Ok with the Sexton pick. I love his game and passion.

CLF
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CLF
4 months 5 days ago

I think what kind of evens it out in Sexton’s case is his elite speed…. I’d agree it means something though. I think I would would still take a trade down and take SGA who has the length, wingspan, and better ability to get to the paint than I saw from Doncic.

CLF
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CLF
4 months 5 days ago

Also while Doncic has the better vision, Sexton’s vision isn’t horrible, perhaps even underrated along with his bball IQ.

Jack
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Jack
4 months 5 days ago
Doncic was clearly the superior pick. It’s not even close. I like Sexton and all, think he’ll be really good, but Doncic is miles ahead in the playmaking and size department. He’s going to improve his athleticism once he starts training NBA-style. His shooting form is much more sound and consistent. He has a better feel for how to finish at the rim (partially because he size offers more options). You also have to consider that he was doing his thing playing in a pro league with a lot of guys who already played college ball not too long ago and a lot more who are more physically developed than anybody you’ll see on a college basketball court (besides Deandre Ayton, who is a beast). In the NCAA, you face guys on a nightly basis who will never touch a competitive basketball court again after college, only very occasionally go up against NBA-ready players, and offensive and defensive systems are very rudimentary. My guess is that the Hawks wanted more, and the Cavs didn’t think it was going make a difference enticing Lebron to stay, and they probably all agreed that it would be a waste of time to draft… Read more »
JOHN B
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JOHN B
4 months 5 days ago

Not sure you get much quicker in terms of twitch muscle via strength training. I have never seen a marked improvement from guys that come into the league with subpar twitch athleticism.

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

Agree with JOHN B

Jack
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Jack
4 months 5 days ago

If you aren’t born with it, then you’re never going to be Steph Curry twitchy, but if you’re an average athlete that hasn’t done NBA-level strength and conditioning (think of what Lebron does), then you can improve your ability to change directions quickly and burst pretty substantially by optimizing your core. You can take one look at Doncic and tell that he definitely hasn’t maxed out his physical potential.

Granted, Oladipo is a better natural athlete, but once he got into serious shape, it was like night and day how explosive he was and how much more body control he had.

newnomad
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newnomad
4 months 5 days ago

finally cavs get a ‘little ” love from the media——evil agree with you—-LUKA IS NOT THE ” NEXT LARRY BIRD OR EVEN DIRK ” IN MY OPINION——–JRL—I DON’T THINK TY WILL HAVE ANY CHOICE BUT TO PLAY THESE YOUNG GUYS (PLUS OTHER YOUNG PLAYERS )–OR HE WILL BE RUN OUT OF TOWN ——BEN AND NATE WILL PERSONALLY GET A ‘POSSEE” AFTER HIM

JRL
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JRL
4 months 5 days ago

I can see Lue playing

Hill
JR
Hood
Love
TT

with all getting 28-32min per game unfortunately.

Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

FWIW, Osman, Sexton, and Zizic are all top 20 players at summer league.

JRL
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JRL
4 months 5 days ago

Awesome!
Maybe Lue will play them 10+ min a game 🙄

Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

I believe Vardon, though the details are mushy.

3 for 8 + next year’s first + help Atlanta shred salary past next year (Bazemore/Schroeder for Hill). That is a reasonable deal for both sides. Especially if you think Doncic + Bazemore helps Bron stay.

If you think Bron is gone, then do not take on salary & try to keep next year’s pick.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

I call nonsense…

The Hawks clearly wanted Young… there’s no guarantee he’s available at 8. Hawks already have a decent shot at Cavs pick in 2019 despite the protection.

With the methodology of LeBron’s decision to move to LA coming more and more into focus as being more lifestyle than basketball related… these contracts would have been awful to absorb…

Luka Doncic is not the be all end all…

daspec90
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daspec90
4 months 5 days ago

Not so sure about the methodology. Rumor has it that DiCaprio’s first step is very quick and that Pacino is a defensive wizard. :)

Jack
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Jack
4 months 5 days ago

And clearly terrible for Atlanta. No way they would have only wanted the protections relaxed on next years pick when nobody knew whether or not Lebron was staying. That would have been moving down 5 spots and potentially getting the #25 pick next year and shedding some salary for their troubles. That could have been a terrible trade for them. At least Dallas plays in the west, where they’re guaranteed to be on the outer fringes of the playoff race.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

ICYMI. #Heat gauging trade market for Dion Waiters, sources tell our @amathur90. #NBA https://t.co/9qsjvhceXF

— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) July 12, 2018

MikeO
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MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

I’d trade Clarkson for him.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

See below…

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

#BringStWeirdoHome

Slammin Sam
Guest
Slammin Sam
4 months 5 days ago

I’ll start working on a design for the massive Dion Waiters billboard across from the Q. Can’t wait for the heartfelt essay in the Tribune

EvilGenius
Admin
EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

Plus a pick or Bam Adebayo possibly…

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

Since we already put Kevin Knox in Springfield earlier this week based on Summer League play, at what point do we talk about doing the same with Collin Sexton?

— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) July 12, 2018

Jack
Guest
Jack
4 months 5 days ago

Knox’s ceiling is just so much higher than Sexton’s.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

Not with the hair!

Nate Smith
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

Literally!

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

One of the many, many what if trade stories that always come out. I know I would have been thrilled on draft night if this had happened. I think Docic is going to be really good for a long time.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

Cedi Mind Tricks
Guest
Cedi Mind Tricks
4 months 5 days ago

Can we get Shump back and go for the tallest hair team?

warriorsfan
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warriorsfan
4 months 6 days ago

May be the rumor is false but not unbelievable. Mavs got absolute gem in the end, teams going to repent passing on Luka …

newnomad
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newnomad
4 months 6 days ago

ALSO A RECENT MEDIA POLL—DIDN;T HAVE SEXTON IN THE TOP 10 SUMMER LEAGUE PLAYERS—-MEDIA IS BIAS AGAINST CLEVELAND NOW THAT LEBRON IS GONE

JMay
Editor
4 months 6 days ago

Media was biased against CLE even when we had LeBron…

newnomad
Guest
newnomad
4 months 6 days ago

agree with all the following posts—-the media ” LOVES TO CREATE STORIES / DRAMA / CONFLICT ETC”–TO KEEP THEMSELVES IN THE NEWS —–WON’T BUY INTO THE RUMOR

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

Cory Hughey
Editor
4 months 6 days ago

I’m with you. Even if it is legit, it’s not Sexton or Doncic. It’s Sexton, next years first, and zero cap relief, and probably not resetting the luxury tax timeline. The tax is created to break up superteams teams after four years. The Warriors are an abnormality.

Jack
Guest
Jack
4 months 6 days ago

Cavs would have had to pay a king’s ransom to beat the Mavs’ offer because it was contingent on Trae Young being available, and that wasn’t a guarantee with the 8 spot.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

Yeah the details of this deal seem scarce, so I’m not really willing to judge it without fully knowing. And who is to say that Dallas doesn’t up their offer, and it becomes a bidding war? Or if the Cavs were just being used to get Dallas the make the deal?

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