ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and a host of others have spent most of the day detailing a potential trade between the Sacramento Kings and the Cleveland Cavaliers involving disgruntled Kings’ guard George Hill and Cleveland’s Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert.
Cleveland, in desperate need of a guard who can defend both the 1 and 2 positions (Isaiah Thomas isn’t cutting it on that end of the court), is looking to offload Frye’s expiring $7.4 million deal along with Shumpert, who the Cavaliers have been trying to deal for some time.
Shumpert has one year and $11 million left on his current deal and also hasn’t played in two months because of a knee injury. Also, the Kings will need to clear two roster spots to make room for the potentially incoming Cavaliers.
This is where the Mavericks could possibly come in. Per Mike Fisher of dallasbasketball.com, Dallas has been priming themselves for a “nuclear winter” trade scenario with teams like Orlando (they’ve had preliminary discussions) where Dallas could potentially absorb bad contracts (like Evan Fournier’s remaining 3 years and $51 million) in exchange for draft compensation or intriguing young players.
However, another situation Dallas is perfectly set up for, due to its $13 million in cap space, is to be a third-team facilitator for other potential trades. The Mavericks have touched base with Charlotte about helping to potentially find Kemba Walker a new home should the Hornets wish to trade away their franchise point guard.
That situation, though it’s not confirmed if the Mavericks have any actual interest, would seem to apply to the pending Cavaliers/Kings trade which, sources say, “is on the 1-yard line.”
Look at this quote from Wojnarowski’s original story:
Sacramento has to clear a roster spot to take on one or two additional players in a deal with Cleveland and has been discussing deals for young forwards Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere to clear roster spots, league sources said.
Richardson is a 21-year old guard from Syracuse who is averaging just over 3 points per game. He’s also 6’6 and would fit Dallas’ need for more wings, an area in which they are sorely lacking.
However, Labissiere is the more intriguing player here. He is 6’11, 225 pounds and is shooting nearly 35% from deep this year. He is also just 21 years old. Given Dallas’ philosophy of “interchangeable men”, wouldn’t it make sense for the Mavericks (while already stocked in the 4/5 department) to make a run at a young big with the upside that Labissiere has?
I don’t know what it would take to get the deal done, but Dallas has positioned itself for a deal such as this. The Kings obviously won’t want to take back any other players because they’ll need both spots for Frye and Shumpert, but maybe Dallas can work some second-round draft pick magic. Either way, it stands to reason that they’d be checking in with the Kings on what it would take to make Labissiere a Maverick.
The trade deadline is still 15 days away and the Kings are likely to have plenty of other suitors should they look to move Labissiere, so it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out.