Cleveland Cavaliers: Which Cavs Are on the Trading Block?

Oct 13, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert (4) drives against Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 13, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert (4) drives against Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the top dog in the East, but they might be able to trade these players for another needed veteran presence to improve their team.

Sitting atop of the Eastern Conference with a record of 26-7, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a couple of noticeable issues on their team. If exploited correctly, it could eventually lead to their demise come playoff time. With the trade deadline quickly approaching along with a buzz around the NBA’s top talent, it may be time for GM David Griffin to start talking to other GM’s about potential trades.

What holes do the Cavaliers really need to fill?

The Cavaliers are for starters blocking just 4.1 shots per game which is 24th best in the NBA. Along with that, the Cavaliers are 22nd in the NBA in opponents second chance points. At 13.8 points given up, it continues to look like the Cleveland Cavaliers could use another big to backup Tristan Thompson.

While Channing Frye is a superb sharpshooter, his ability to rebound at a high rate is just not at the level of most 6-foot-11 power forwards. As the Cavaliers backup center, Frye needs to improve on his 9.1 rebounding percentage, which is fifth best on the Cavaliers. Because of the injury to Chris Andersen and the lack of rebounding by Frye, if a trade is done it should be for another back up big.

Players like Tyson Chandler and Nikola Vucevic could be traded for- if the right price is there. And these three players could present the right price if coupled together correctly.

Dec 21, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan McRae (12) warms up before the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 21, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan McRae (12) warms up before the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan McRae

Jordan McRae has – to even my surprise – been fairly solid in his time on the court.

Per NBA.com, McRae has the teams best turnover percentage which could noticeably be a big factor for other teams to look for. Couple that with the team’s fifth best usage rate, and it is even more impressive how much ball control McRae has had. He has also done with while playing point guard 54 percent of the time he’s on the court. That 54 percent figure, while seemingly high, is actually a career-low for McRae as he usually operates as a team’s point guard.

McRae, who signed with a Cavaliers last March, has seen quite the shooting woes since then. This season he has shot 35.7 percent from the field, three-point land, and two-point territory- which is especially weird. This will be a concern for teams looking to trade for McRae.

Nonetheless, McRae has been playing well as of lately which could help his stock rise if the Cavaliers wanted to trade him. Over his last five games, McRae has averaged 8.8 points per game. This stretch of games included a 20-point showing against the Hornets in which he dropped three triples on four attempts.

The only factor prohibiting Cleveland from easily giving McRae up is their lack of backcourt depth, especially after the injuries to J.R. Smith and Mo Williams. After Smith’s injury, the Cavs’ starting shooting guard has been DeAndre Liggins. Even so, the Cavaliers are still extremely thin at shooting guard right now with Iman Shumpert being the only consistent backcourt threat off of the bench.

Personally, I think if coupled with another player, the Cavaliers would be able to trade McRae in a two-player package to receive a rotational player. They could then sign an additional backcourt threat, like Norris Cole.

Nov 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert warms up before action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert warms up before action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert is another part of the Cleveland Cavaliers that they may be able to easily replace.

Shump is currently making $9 million per year, and it will also quickly rise until his last contracted season when it is at $11 million in the 2018-2019 season. While not horrible, the Cavaliers may be already seeing a big chunk of money coming their way in luxury taxes which may make it a business move to trade Shumpert away.

Otherwise, Shumpert may be the Cavaliers best piece that is not necessary. The Cavaliers have four pieces to their team that are invaluable- Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, LeBron James, and Kevin Love. Outside of those players, Shumpert could easily be the most valuable asset to opposing NBA teams.

Shumpert, who plays 68 percent of his minutes at shooting guard, could easily have Liggins take his minutes if traded. McRae would then move to solidify the backup shooting guard as the Cavaliers await Smith’s return.

Teams interested in making a strong playoff run now are the teams that would be interested in Shump.

The Atlanta Hawks could be a good target for Shumpert. They could possibly do a swap for Kyle Korver, who could be on the trading block. Having a more consistent sharpshooter than Shumpert could help the Cavaliers offensive spacing. The Hawks offense could also use another dynamic threat.

Shumpert is a solid part of the second unit. With that said, his value may be too high for the Cavaliers not to deal him later this season.

Dec 23, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mike Dunleavy (3) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Dunleavy

Mike Dunleavy is aging but he can still be valuable on the right team.

Dunleavy, who averages a career-low 15.9 minutes per game, has been unable to crack into the rotation for the Cleveland Cavaliers. His inability to compete with the like of Richard Jefferson is certainly no indicator that he could not still play and even start on some other teams.

Dunleavy has also shot the worse of his career while a Cavalier, and in my opinion it may just be the place not the team. Dunleavy started the majority of his games in Chicago before playing just 31 games last season.

The problem with Mike is that he is definitely the tail end of a trade. Dunleavy is the guy that is just thrown in as bonus. Team’s might be able to ask for Dunleavy and a player like Shump or McRae along with a future draft pick for a quality helpful veteran.

Mike has not quite been able to find a home in Cleveland, and if asked for, he could easily find his way out of Cleveland.

The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t NEED to make a trade, but it could be beneficial for their future success if they send away one (or two) of these three valuable players.

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